More than a year ago, when the pandemic began, most futurist reporting was of prophetic pessimism. It was of economic downturn, limited opportunity and, of course, the horrific cost of life. It was the popular rhetoric – justifiably so. However, as time went on globalists incorporated a bigger-picture dialogue. One that began to argue that, historically, after moments of great depression humans have a predisposition to prosper.
So, exactly a century on, it seems we are heading into our very own Roaring ‘20s. The original followed both the end of World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic drawing an opulence not seen in a generation. It also resulted in a unique new style that spanned innovation, fine art and iconic architecture.
If you’ve ever set foot inside New York’s Chrysler Building, if you’ve ever watched a cinematic rendition of The Great Gatsby or if you’ve ever sipped from a crystal, cut-glass tumbler in a Lower East Side speakeasy, then you’ve likely been romanced by Art Deco. You’ve been momentarily transported to a time when culture turned toward decadent geometric design, a style that infiltrated everything from fashion to jewellery to modern construction.
Now, a burgeoning Deco redux is gathering speed. For Fall 2021 designers like Fendi, Miu Miu, Khaite and Dries Van Noten have all delivered droves of reimagined flapper garnering a kind of neo-prohibition trend. On the (few and far between) red carpets this year as well, A-listers like Regina King in Louis Vuitton at the Oscars, Elle Fanning in Gucci at the Golden Globes and Gugu Mbartha-Raw in Louis Vuitton at the BAFTAs have all conjured this cinematic golden-era glamour.
The delicate intricacies of Art Deco’s style is what makes it so special. The symmetry of its geometry and its repetition of iconic shapes (baguette-cut glass, splayed fans, layered prisms) make it instantly recognisable. Usually laid as gold-on-black, or green-on-gold, or diamond-on-ruby it hosts silhouettes that loop two-dimensional shapes into trinities, parallelograms and perfect spirographs. Perhaps it’s this reverence for shape that is seeing brides flock to Art Deco styles once again. Celebrities like Scarlet Johansson, Emma Stone and Jourdan Dunn have all recently debuted engagement rings with distinctly ornate vintage elements.
The return of Art Deco is an antithesis to our modern minimalism tendencies. The generous use of detail, artful patterns and grandeur is alluring, particularly after year of repressed living. It first evolved from a need to shed the doom of human suffering and it reclaimed our desire to decorate our youth and virility. Returning to this era once again celebrates emergence, our resilience, our optimism.
Notably, Art Deco celebrates women. For one of the first times, the 1920s allowed women to explore their sensual best and dress accordingly. Necklines were laced with strands of diamonds and pearls, ears held chandelier drops and wrists were laden with encrusted cuffs. Art Deco jewellery design became an archetype for the era’s opulence and it has some of the most intricate detail of any time – emerald cuts, ornate geometry and cubist layering.
Australian jewellery artisans, Hardy Brothers hosts an Art Deco capsule based in this geometric-cubist accent. The Kalon collection is a family of ornate gold pieces crafted with expertly-arranged round brilliant cut diamonds and princess cut emeralds. The designs reflect the iconic patterns of Art Deco interiors and architecture. Each piece is an example of why this style remains the permanent show-stopper.
SHOP OUR FAVOURITE ART DECO PIECES HERE:
HARDY BROTHERS, KALON EMERALD DIAMOND RING, $11,550, SHOP NOW
HARDY BROTHERS, KALON DIAMOND RING, $9,250, SHOP NOW
HARDY BROTHERS, KALON DIAMOND PENDANT, $16,580, SHOP NOW
HARDY BROTHERS, KALON DIAMOND CUFF, $27,650, SHOP NOW
HARDY BROTHERS, KALON DIAMOND EARRINGS $12,850, SHOP NOW
HARDY BROTHERS, KALON EMERALD AND DIAMOND EARRINGS, $16,580, SHOP NOW
While it’s true that Art Deco as an artistic genre remains timelessly enigmatic, its allure is steeped in more than just attraction. Its a symbol of exhaling and indulging in life because you can. It points to brighter days and to the pure privilege of getting dressed up and having somewhere to go.
If a style was ever to be considered more significant than simply a fashion whim, then this must be it.
Hardy Brothers is one of Australia’s most celebrated and distinguished jewellery companies. Founded in 1853, their impressive 168 year legacy draws on flawless attention to detail, superb artisan quality and a long-held commitment to traditional craftsmanship.