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Jewellery Design: The Rise and Rise of Costume Jewellery

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The love for beauty has prompted people to try many unconventional articles. This is very true when it comes to costume jewellery which has made a space for itself, becoming the alternate fashion accessory.

The history of custom jewellery per se goes back to 1920 when the word “costume jewellery” was first coined. At a time when jewellery designing was applied largely to precious metals like gold and silver, many also loved the fancy ones. These fancy or “junk” jewellery were crafted with materials like pearls, beads, base metals, glass, shells and wood.

Even though it became popular among many, it took a while for this type of jewellery to gain mainstream status.

An era that craved for more


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Freedom, progress and wild imaginations started to form as the features of the 20th century mindset. With the advent of industrial revolution, making jewellery for more expressive and creative themes gained more takers and admirers.

The fondness for instant fashion in jewellery that was conveniently changeable and cheap, grew in time. It led to crafting of fashion jewellery with inexpensive metals and materials. It also went well with phenomena like counter-culture and retro fashion.

Imitation to Innovation


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Imitation jewellery began as an attempt to create jewellery that emulated the more expensive variety of jewellery that was donned by the rich. The artificial stones and imitation gold, all helped to create affordable yet appealing jewellery.

In the decades following the 1920s, newly invented materials like bakelite, lucite and plastics, were used to make expressive and fashionable jewellery. That line of jewellery did more for those who loved to make a statement.

A new generation of craftsmen emerged who were very creative and made fashion jewellery out of a combination of an array of materials. These included base metals, rhinestones, crystals, celluloid, shells, glass, corals, amber, stones, ivory and bone.

Fashion and movies


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In the 1960s and the following decades, movies played a big role in popularizing fashion jewellery. The trend of fads and evolving fashion was well reflected in the inclination of people to change what they wear more frequently. The craze for expressing fandom and displaying cult icons including those influenced by movies increased the fondness for fashion jewellery.

The modern times and beyond


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Today, the fashion jewellery industry has an unprecedented relevance and customer base. There are world-renowned fashion brands like Coco-Chanel and Christian Dior with their exclusive costume jewellery collections. There are even dozens of internet-based local brands dealing in indigenous and innovative fashion jewellery, offering exquisite designs at very affordable rates.

Today, even bridal jewellery has crossed over to costume jewellery. The future generation will increasingly opt for more creative and simpler jewellery which is the strong point of costume jewellery.

The consistent rise of this industry is a matter of study for students at a jewellery design institute. Hamstech encourages and trains students to put their imagination and creativity liberally into custom jewellery design.

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