In fashion’s ever-forward moving moment, it can feel like a full-time job to keep up with the latest trends. The irony of these popular pieces is that in most cases, what we consider now to be “new” is actually recycled from the past. Pioneering the art of the rebrand, fashion finds itself in a constant state of revival masked as modernity. While not every trend is destined for déjà vu, the journey of many jewelry styles stay on a loop. So how did jewels go from upscale to upcycled?
The concept of history repeating itself isn’t new, but you likely didn’t think the adage applied to your accessories. Cyclical in nature, styles have a typical span of 15 years before being reborn in the next genre. Statement pearls, scallop-style curves and chunky chains — each have taken the trend title in a quindecennial pattern before popping up in 2021. Whether emulated or elevated, these formerly beloved styles reemerge once more to take on a new time. With so much inspiration in front of us in the modern world, it’s easy to forget that history holds all the style secrets of the past. The beauty of cyclical styles is that they are time-tested, making them opportune vessels for advancement both in construction and design.
In their origin, trends take on one of two identities: classicism and romanticism. In the former, style becomes a function of societal structure and in the latter, playful creativity acts as the catalyst. Mirroring the balanced duality motived by their making, trends today follow in their footsteps of opposition. For instance, while chunky chains are everywhere right now, minimal chains were the previous neck-candy-craze. Completing the circle of the style cycle, trends flow through a fluctuation of scale and detail.
Although fashion may be fleeting, the temporary identity of trends generates speed and recurrence of styles. Creating a dynamic of needing it now paired with the innate need to belong, the motivation of jewelry’s self-expression expands. Not only are we continuing to use jewelry to tell our story, but we are also using it as a way of weaving ours into the collective whole. With a culture that thrives on connection, keeping on trend can act as a source of commodified comfort. While feeling like a part of something adds special sentiment to your jewels, there’s another reason we reach for retro time and time again — nostalgia.
From the time we’re young, we are taught to express ourselves visually. When you’re a kid, you don’t have the same control over your style as you do when you’re an adult — but that doesn’t stop you from forming opinions about what you do and don’t like. With age comes purchasing power, which tends to pull you towards trends you idolized in your youth. Not only do these trends fulfill your inner child and speak to your sense of play — but the familiarity enhances style awareness and acceptance, as well as carving out a natural space in the style cycle. When it comes to your jewels... our holy-grail suggestion? Choose materials like stainless steel that last. That way, when your OG jewelry inevitably comes back in style, it's ready to shine.