Women Throughout History Have Loved Statement Jewelry


by Sumaris Jewelry October 13, 2017

When Susan started designing jewelry in 2009, bold jewelry wasn’t the most popular accessories trend among fashionistas. According to Adorn London’s Jewellery Trends blog, Autumn/Winter 2009 trends included some vintage influence (1940s pearls) and some statement jewelry (industrial shard necklaces), but nothing Susan saw in stores spoke to her aesthetic.

Inspired, she threw herself into jewelry-making techniques and eventually began creating truly bold statement pieces that expressed her creative vision. Susan is also inspired by bright colors and unique color combinations - two characteristics often found in statement jewelry. Today, the SUMARIS brand is synonymous with "statement". 

So what exactly is statement jewelry, and how is it different from other types? According to one writer at Bustle, “Statement pieces define your personal style. They give an identity to your personal brand...they’ve maintained a staying power because of their ability to pull outfits together.” Simply put, they shout out loud, even when the rest of an outfit is simple and monochrome.

At the YouLookFab Forum, co-founder Angie writes, “They are often, but not always, the thing people notice first about your outfit. Sometimes they become items that people associate with your signature style.” Therefore, it’s important for the woman who wears statement jewelry to be sure her chosen piece matches the persona she wants to project to the world.

Truthfully, “statement” jewelry has been around ever since women first started wearing jewelry. We’d like to walk you through some highlights throughout history.

In Ancient Egypt, women wore collar necklaces and long earrings. The Egyptians were not shy about bold, ornamental jewelry. According to this article, “They loved pieces that had been designed with scrolls, tigers, scarab beetles, winged birds, jackals, antelopes, and tigers. One of the more interesting materials that was commonly used is coloured glass.” How much fun would you have wearing this jewelry?

Fast forward to the 1930s and 40s in America: women loved wearing multi-strand pearl necklaces and Art Deco-inspired shapes. In the 30s, the American economy had tanked, and many people were cutting corners to save money. But some women still wanted to express themselves through bold, rich jewelry looks. We love this photo of Gloria Swanson in a geometric, Art Deco-inspired necklace.

In the 1960s, America was obsessed with the “future” and new technologies. As a result, durable and affordable plastic became a popular material to use in jewelry, especially bold statement necklaces. Lucite is a type of branded plastic (specifically acrylic) that also gained popularity in the 60s. Check out this unique pink and yellow floral statement necklace made from Lucite and glass or this red-white-and-blue Trifari Lucite collar necklace (SUMARIS uses Trifari brooches in some pieces!).

The 80s was a time of excess and wealth, and women liked big jewelry featuring bold colors and metals. Jay Feinberg designed this necklace made with goldtone and colored beads. Another example is this silver-toned and futuristic necklace by designer Wilma Spagli.

The 90s were known for choker necklaces, daisies, and grunge - flannels and dark colors driven by the rock music scene in Seattle. Check out this Yves Saint Laurent choker necklace with heavy black stars. During this decade, “Southwest” style was also very popular among some people who loved the fluid combination of turquoise and silver. Check out this statement-making set, made in the 90s by Zuni artist Phelina ByJoe.

Lucky for Susan and for women who love bold style, statement jewelry is now being spotted on runways, fashion bloggers, and street-style fashionistas! You’ve seen how statement jewelry has evolved throughout the years, so you can imagine how you might want to adapt it to your style, both for today and in the future. Browse SUMARIS necklaces and find the one that speaks to you.




Sumaris Jewelry
Sumaris Jewelry

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