Many people still debate as to whether we are in a new era of art and design or if we are still within that realm of modernism. It’s hard to say now that fashion has been done in every way possible. There couldn’t possibly be anything new anymore, right? Despite this, you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that the era of jewellery we are in now (if you want to consider it a new era) is “contemporary”. Since the literal definition of contemporary is “belonging to or occurring in the present”. I like to think this is a new era, even if the name contemporary can only last for so long.
In this exact moment there is a general pattern in jewellery design and it is an interesting combination of all other designs from the past. Jewellery right now is very focused on small minimalism with unique geometric designs made out of a variety of material. This minimalist look is ideal for the layering trend that has continued from the modern era. The freeform geometric designs is very indicative of the Belle Epoque time period. And the material experimentation is like that of the resourceful retro/retro modern era.
New materials are constantly being incorporated and/or invented. Synthetic stones have became so advanced they have their own means of quality grading. A new form of gold plating was invented and called "gold filled" which is a considerably thicker layer of gold that looks better and lasts longer. Rhodium is now being put on silver to make is shiner and stop it from tarnishing.
There is also a mass resurrection of the arts and craft movement. More and more people are making jewellery at home and selling it themselves. Most of the styles of these jewellery pieces stay fair away from the glitzy gemstone look and lean more towards unique geometric styles. For this reason this movement seems to be more successful than the last. It also provides an alternative to supporting major jewellery conglomerates.
The economy has never been more prevalent in literally everything than it is now in contemporary society. The internet has brought the world to every individuals fingertips. Which means many people have become painfully aware of the dark sides the jewellery trade - how material is acquired and how it is sold. This has resulted in the public demanding more support for small and reliable businesses. Which also means that the arts and craft movement stands a chance and family run businesses, like ours, can gain some traction. However, is it enough?
Many argue that the new trends we see now are strong indications of an economy that is just unfair and unsalvageable. Are we just finding cheaper alternatives because we know that everything is and always will be out of reach? Or are these new materials and technic how we start balancing out the economy? What do you think?