The 90’s were a precocious era for fashion, giving us such delights like ‘dungarees’ and bell bottoms, juxtaposed with satin slip dresses A’ La Kate Moss and knotted choker necklaces, that were reminiscient of Sabrina The Teenage Witch. And while there was a clear discrepancy between glamour vs grunge culture trends in fashion, 90’s jewellery trends were also wide and varied, with some starlets favouring simple teardrop necklaces and matching earrings that represented the 90’s minimalism movement, in contrast to the ‘youth culture’ youth trend featuring ‘cursive name necklaces’ and mood rings as a representation of a ‘teen’s identity’ in a world governed by ‘pop culture’ , bad hairstyles and cheesy boy bands. But the 90’s was also partial to the minimalist trend, where ‘less was more’ and colours such as black and white featured heavily during the 90’s obsession with a monochromatic palette. Rose gold faded into background and sterling silver and gold were the predominant metals used in earrings for women in the nineties, with designers such as Tom Ford and Calvin Klein using loose non-structural silhouettes juxtaposed with ‘barely there jewellery’ that rebelled against the ‘tattoo chokers’ and ‘alien rings’ that were seen as ‘gauche’ by those who were intertwined with the 90’s minimalism movement.
Thomas Sabo was a jewellery brand who chose to draw inspiration from the 90’s love of charms, hoop earrings and minimalist teardrop versus stud designs and use sterling silver and gold at the forefront of their infamous collections, which utilizes that 90’s minimalist movement, with their own individual and innovative twist. While Thomas Sabo’s sterling silver charm bracelets and pendant charms are akin to what celebrities wore in the nineties, paired with bohemian a-line dresses and choker necklaces, it is arguably their range of range of over 200 earring designs including extra-long shoulder-duster earrings that truly revolutionize the scope of modern jewellery today. With single earrings matching the new Charm Club pendants, ear studs for women and men and hoops in all sizes and designs – from the perfect mini hoops to the 90’s inspired XL hoops, Sabo’s earrings rebel quietly against the large tassel statement earrings that are so popular today, coming in sterling silver,18ct rose and yellow gold vermeil.
The 90’s minimalist movement in my eyes captured the elegance of ‘artistic nonchalance’ and Thomas Sabo is no exception, particularly notable in the ‘Sterling Silver Glam And Soul Collection’ which you can see above and below. Featuring the ‘Feather Earrings’ and the ‘Purity of Lotus Earrings’ , both minimalist earrings are clearly representative of the 90’s minimalism movement, with characteristics like the ‘tear-drop’ esque structuring of the rose gold earrings symbolizing the elegant confidence of feminine beauty, while the handcrafted perfection of the feather earrings is artistically nonchalant, with that ‘barely there’ filigree detailing that we have come to expect from the’ connoisseurs of jewellery’ Thomas Sabo. And while the brand might have been established in 1984, it is clear that the most predominant era to influence their three modern jewellery collections- The Sterling Silver Collection, Charm Club Collection and Fine Jewellery Collection- is of course, you guessed it, the 90’s whose love for both graphic elements and minimalist design, has clearly been forged in signature Thomas Sabo pieces like the yellow gold triangular shaped feather earring studs, inspired by the graphic characteristics of the jungle. The sway of the moving feathers is ever so slight and delicate, but the push back clasp in 925 Sterling silver and 18 K yellow gold plating helps elevate these minimal earrings to a higher plane. Ideal for dinner dates with your beau or ‘everyday wear’, the earrings are light on the ears and go with any outfit of choice, while the turquoise enamel adds a little burst of colour, that colourful unicorns like myself can love and appreciate.
In contrast the lightness and joie de vivre of the ‘feather earrings’ are juxtaposed by the ‘Purity of Lotus Earrings’ (Also from the sterling silver glam and soul collection) whose majestic ornate elegance is striking at formal functions or even to offset a ‘daywear look’ to draw attention to the grace of feminine beauty. The intricate structuring of the ‘lotus’ is a common theme in 90’s jewellery trend, but arguably the 18 K rose gold plating embedded with zirconia pavé white and sterling silver is the most striking feature of the earrings, symbolizing the natural self confidence and silhouette of a woman’s magnetism. Finished off with a rose gold and white coloured fish hook clasp, the lotus earrings are a 90’s statement symbol, which ‘like the flower’ that it so resembles is pure and elegant rooted in both ‘spirituality’ and ‘nature’ merged in one jewellery emblem. It might be said that the lotus earrings are more of a statement as opposed to the ‘feather earrings’ but ironically feathers also represent ‘celestial wisdom’ and ‘spirituality’, although unlike the lotus, the feather has no gender and is fluid to move between man and women, making the feather earrings a ‘unisex earring’ in contrast to the overt femininity of the lotus earrings.
But what does this have do with 90’s minimalism I hear you ask? Well it is simple, the 90’s sought to blur the boundaries between gender and fashion, creating two divisive camps- the feminine satin slip dress wearer with the ballerina bun and statement earrings versus the gender fluid being who wore their hair long, did not identify with a gender and wore unisex accessories that were neither feminine nor masculine, buying into that androgynous theme of identity that was as popular in the 60’s through icons like Audrey Hepburn as it was in the 90’s – see Destiny’s Child- and today, meaning that even the accessories that you chose to wear represented the identities that you chose to be a part of your image in the modern world. Binary constructs were deconstructed, and much of this decomposition of gender archetypes have manifested in Thomas Sabo’s jewellery collections that can just as easily be worn by men as it can be women. After all fashion has no gender, so why should jewellery?
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Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts and opinions are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.