5 Timeless Pieces That Never Go out of Style
There are just some pieces of jewellery that stay relevant decade after decade. Relevant is perhaps the wrong term as these pieces are definitive. They play an integral part in the way we think of a particular historical style period or movement. What’s incredible, is that these pieces can speak for multiple eras –how? The answer lies in their adaptability and integral beauty. Take the pearl necklace for example, which was both the epitome of deco chic when worn as a single long strand by silent screen beauty Louise Brooks in the 1920s and became the essence of political power dressing when worn by Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s. Here are five pieces which have endured the ages, and never seem to go out of style.
A pearl necklace is refined sophistication at its best. Elegant, understated, and yet undeniably opulent, the pearl necklace has held pride of place in jewellery boxes for hundreds of years. The length of the strand and accoutrements that come with pearls are forever changing; from Queen Elizabeth I who wore multiple strands with a Jacobean ruff to Grace Kelly who wore a single choker strand in Hitchcock’s Rear Window, and of course Elizabeth Taylor with her ‘La Peregrina’ pearl opulently set amongst diamonds and rubies.
Pendants are by their nature, understated and therefore, often overlooked as iconic pieces, but they are also ubiquitous and perhaps the piece you find yourself wearing most often. Historically, pendants were humble pieces intended to indicate religious devotion and made out of non-precious materials such as leather and wood soon however, the use of jewellery to show off one’s devotion was taken up by the wealthy, and religious pendants became first opulent, then not really religious at all. In the 20th century, the pendant evolved from its religious roots to become a symbol of low-key chic, worn in the 60ies and 70ies by Gallic muses such as Jane Birkin and Catherine Deneuve.
No jewellery says drama and excess in quite the way a cocktail ring does. These rings came into vogue in the prohibition era of the 1920s when alcohol had been banned but lavish partying was at an all time high. The cocktail ring was born of this dichotomy, something to be worn on special (clandestine) occasions at speak easies and private parties that would make a statement and remain in the memories of the party attendees long after the night of debauchery and excess had passed. The iconic status of this piece is due to its versatility, it has been favorited by groups as aesthetically diverse as the flappers of the twenties to the silver screen sirens of the post war period and through to the west coast bohemians of today.
There is perhaps no piece of jewellery quite as dynamic as the hoop earring. These slender circlets have been favored throughout history by groups as diverse as the Romans, pirates, gypsies and voluptuous Mediterranean screen icons like Sophia Loren and Penelope Cruz. The hoop earring’s popularity stems from its simplicity which frames and compliments virtually any face shape.
Marilyn Monroe’s breathy Lorelei Lee sang it best in 1953’s ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ and it’s become somewhat of a pop culture cliché, but there’s no denying it; diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Really, any kind of diamond jewellery has an enduring appeal, and there are innumerable instances of this beguiling stone reaching iconic status as jewellery worn on the necks, wrists, ears and heads of public figures throughout history. But diamond studs are perhaps the ideal form this gem can take for a modern woman as the fiery stone becomes the ultimate expression of simple beauty when left to dazzle on its own in otherwise unadorned ears.