Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1970's - a mini-fashion history

Just like the 1960's - the decade to follow was an amalgamation of contrasting styles and aesthetics. The androgynous hippie born in the late 60's, with their bell-bottoms and long hair, continued throughout the 70's.

Nature themes and ethnic influences were at the forefront, with fashion and jewellery heavily influenced by Indian, Egyptian, Asian, and Native American styles. Wood, leather, pukka shells, turquoise, and opals were popular for their rough, raw, and organic forms.

The 70's also gave rise to the glam rock and punk movements that would only gain strength throughout the 80's - including ripped jeans, torn shirts, and safety-pin jewellery. But my favorite movement from the 70's would have to be the art nouveau revival that seemed to sweep across the decade almost unconsciously. It was not so much a movement that cherished the past as being a better time (as we so eagerly do today) but a revolt against the often grim and soul-less modular expressions of 60's art and architecture. Flat geometric shapes gave rise to a wave of the 'psychadellic' that was popular with graphic artists and designers - particularly when it came to album covers, band posters, advertisements and film.

(poster by Bonnie MacLean for The Yardbirds)

I love the contrast between the rigid and controlled aesthetic of the 1960's and the "oddly disturbing, writhing forms, and almost erotic character" of art nouveau, (check out this great article from Time Magazine about the revival, when it was just beginning).

(Art Nouveau ring by Dino Giannetti - available in sterling silver at 18Karat)

This ring was hand-carved out of wax by Dino in the 1970's - it's remarkable the amount of detail that remains from the casting. The band consists of a woman and a small child lost in a wave of billowing silk - to form of the woman's body creates the band itself.
(Woodgrain Ring by Dino Giannetti - available in sterling silver at 18Karat)

After finding this wax, I couldn't help but to have it cast. Being a child of the 80's, wood-paneling was a ghost from the past that only reared its head when visiting your grandparents basement. But somehow, as a piece of jewellery, I find it to be very compelling - especially the contrast between the rings grain and smooth skin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

1960's - a mini-fashion history

(Twiggy - doe eyes and pink mini-dress)

The 1960's was the decade of 'anything goes' - a decade of rapid and unprecedented change both politically and culturally. The miniskirts, platforms, and PVC of the Mods mixed with the crushed velvet, brocade waste coats, and long hair of the Edwardian resurgence.
(Mick Jagger - photo by Colin Jones)

One of the most prominent movements, centered in London, was youthquake - a movement that recognized for the first time the power of youth to influence fashion and culture. The youthquake movement marked the moment teenage spending had reached never before seen levels - teenagers for the first time had money to burn.

Super models Jean Shrimpton
and Twiggy became the fashion icons of the 1960's with designers Mary Quant (inventor of both the mini-skirt and hot pants) and Betsey Johnson at the helm of the youthquake movement.

In jewellery, over-sized and abstract forms were the foundation of every good collection. Every piece was to be a statement piece, using extra large gemstones - mainly quartz and cabochons resting in bulky, organically inspired settings. Big earrings, big beads, bangles, and cocktail rings were fundamental.
(1960's Sea Shell Ring - by Dino Giannetti. Available in sterling silver at 18Karat)

This rings is one of my favorites - cast from a wax Dino originally created in 1968 - this ring successfully partners a substantial volume with graceful design. The ring seems to effortlessly bellow - like sheets hung out to dry, blowing in the wind.
A classic.