The fashion forecast for this spring and summer is a deluge of Seventies influences. Everything from hippie and bohemian chic to military khaki and eclectic mix & match prints were revamped for the 21st century woman when Spring/Summer 2015 collections debuted last fall.
Hitching a ride on the groovy ’70s trend is the bright and bold vintage jewelry from the decade, pairing perfectly with fashion’s latest take on the era that brought us caftans, crushed velvet, bell bottoms and boleros. Jewelry design in the ’70s was split between one-of-a-kind, often commissioned, pieces set with exquisite stones and more mid-priced jewels for the fashion-conscious woman increasingly buying jewelry for herself.
Meeting this new demand, the world’s premiere jewelry houses like Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Tiffany introduced seasonal collections inspired by the current trends in fashion by using colorful non-precious materials. Coral, turquoise, malachite, lapis lazuli, onyx and rock crystal were mixed and matched in compelling combinations evoking the flair in fashion at the time. The American designer David Webb widely experimented with the mixing of colors using hardstones, enamels and yellow gold to create voluminous shapes in his jewelry.
Suites became popular, too, comprising long chains with a pendant drop, earrings and typically a ring. The introduction of carved woods was a new concept, used extensively in the collections from Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels. Moreover, influences from India and its jewelry swept over the West as seen in the cabochon stones, stylized flowers, sautoirs, girandole and pampille pendant earrings, and vibrant color schemes like ruby, emerald and diamond.
The 1970s also marked the comeback of yellow gold, setting nearly everything in the rich warmth of the precious metal. Diamonds, traditionally set in white gold or platinum, became more suitable for wear during the day when set in yellow gold, which gave the flashy gem a more casual look. Yellow gold played a large part in jewelry made solely of the metal, with designers and houses continuing to experiment with the material in unprecedented ways.
Texture and volume, color and dynamism characterized jewelry of the 1970s, creating a suitable segue for today’s Seventies-inspired styles for the season. On the secondary market, there’s plenty of jewels to choose from…