In the course of its development, any kind of art goes through changes and acquires new features. As a result, we get new trends in music, literature, sculpture, architecture, etc. Jewelry is no exception. At one time or another, we witnessed the occurrence of various jewelry styles because art most vividly reacts to changes in the world.
When we talk about jewelry styles, we can take into account two classifications:
- A professional jewelry classification is generally accepted in the fashion world. It is built upon historic fashion eras: Baroque, Classicism, Rococo, Romanticism, etc. In the 20th century, this classification was completed with modern trends such as cubism, abstractionism, art deco, futurism, and high-tech. While this approach is widely used by jewelers, designers, artists, fashion houses, and jewelry connoisseurs, regular buyers resort to a more simplistic (and more comprehensive) classification of styles.
- Buyers who are not experts in the jewelry art often refer to jewelry styles as classic, avant-garde, zoological, ethnic, gothic, geometric, exotic, etc. The name of each style clearly describes what one can expect from a piece of jewelry.
As a biker jewelry store, we do not follow any rigid classification or standard. Therefore, we are going to boldly mix the two previously mentioned approaches. Why? Because we can. Read on to find out which styles of jewelry have made their way into the Bikerringshop collections and how we intertwine them with biker fashion.
The classic style is the most versatile and widespread. If you are not a follower of a particular subculture, it is likely that the majority of your jewelry items are made in the classic style. This trend is distinguished by simplicity, graceful but not particularly intricate shapes, restraint in design, and versatility. Frequently, classic jewelry is shaped like a circle or rectangle. This is probably the only style that deserves to be called a golden oldie because it never really goes out of fashion. Classic jewelry looks appropriate with a business suit, a tailcoat, and casual wear alike.
Check out this Sterling Silver Feather Ring
The classic style of jewelry can be roughly divided into two subgroups. The first sub-style is sophisticated delicate jewelry in a rather austere yet elegant design. If these pieces carry inlays, most often those are diamonds and pearls, although cubic zirconias and semiprecious stones are not uncommon.
The second variety of the classic style features items of round, square, and other non-intricate shapes. They tend to be embellished with emeralds, rubies, sapphires, etc. Such inserts help create a product that is quite vibrant in color but strict in design.
We use the word avant-garde to describe unusual, quirky, leftfield jewelry. This style denies all traditional forms and traditions. Avant-Garde jewelry obeys only one law - the talent, taste, and vision of its creator. Normally, avant-garde is outrageous, eccentric, flexible, vibrant, and attention-grabbing. Its highlight is a combination of unusual materials. Precious stones can coexist with cubic zirconias or platinum can go hand in hand with leather. When it comes to proportions and shapes, avant-garde breaks any possible rule. Instead, items in this style benefit from color blending, graphism, and incongruous stone cuts. They display the most unexpected shapes and colors, and the eye-catchier they are, the better.
Zoological style takes advantage of the images of animals, birds, fish, and basically any species of flora and fauna in general. The designs of these animals can vary from risqué to cute and funny but one thing is for sure – every jewelry brand out there has at least a few products that depict our four-legged (scales, feathered, etc.) friends. Bikerringshop is no exception. Our collections are bristling with rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets depicting lions, wolves, eagles, and other types of animals, fish, and even insects.
Check out this Silver Pitbull Ring
When such an architectural trend as Gothic appeared in the Middle Ages, applied art quickly adopted its signature features. The jewelry of that time was notable for its massiveness, original textures, and symbolic content. Gothic managed to survive throughout the ages and at the moment, it has a huge number of interpretations.
A regular person who knows little about this jewelry style will probably say that Gothic is for youngsters rocking dark clothes and outrageous symbols. However, it is a mistake to believe that Gothic and Goths are the same concepts. The truth is that Gothic is a unique style that encompasses a few trends and their looks and meanings are often diametrically opposite.
Gothic that came to us from the Middle Ages and the Victorian Era (Neo-Gothic) benefits from cold contrasting colors. Being made of white gold, platinum, and silver, Gothic jewelry symbolizes mourning, death, and restraint. To add some contrast, jewelers incorporate gems of vibrant colors - rubies, sapphires, black pearls, etc. Each color has its own meaning. For instance, scarlet stands for blood and black and blue represent gloom and darkness.
Despite carrying ominous meanings, Gothic jewelry is elegant, sophisticated, and extremely feminine. Even products for the sterner sex carry a vibe of femininity thanks to filigree, lace, and intricate metalwork. Pendants, bracelets, and earrings, especially those that imitate the Victorian era, are steeped in floral patterns and curly lines.
One of the trademark topics of Gothic is God and religion. Crosses (Christianity produced a great many of those), crucifixes, icons of saints, and religious symbols constitute a great deal of all Gothic trinkets. Unlike jewelry for believers, which is known for modesty and austerity, Gothic prefers larger than life sizes, lush decorative elements, scattering of sparkling gems, and, all in all, it is a very ornate style.
Check out this Mary Angel Cross Pendant
Another trend in Gothic is jewelry for Goths. This is what most people think Gothic really is. Large skulls, crosses, bats, spiked elements, prickly plants, and, of course, Ankh are the major motifs in this offshoot of Gothic. Along with that, these trinkets are frequently adorned with studs, heraldic amulets, skulls, skeletons, warlock and even satanic symbols.
Gothic for subcultures has its own subdivisions. One of the most prominent sub-styles is Vampire Gothic. It successfully combines features of both classic Gothic and jewelry for Goths. On the one hand, it is bristling with the images of spiders, fangs, bats, as well as the attributes of the afterlife. On the other hand, Vampire Goths gravitate towards feminine and sophisticated jewelry that uses contrasts to the fullest. Silver jewelry with blackened elements or black enamel and infusion of red courtesy of rubies, garnets, or colored stones packs a powerful punch. Although Gothic prefers cold colors, the Vampire trend displays bias towards burgundy, scarlet, red, vinous, etc. Just like vampires need blood to survive, Vampire Gothic can’t live without red color.
The sublime and majestic Baroque originated in the 16th century in Italy. Its literal meaning is "whimsical", "wrong". The shtick of this style is amusing jewelry with irregularly shaped “baroque” sea pearls. You can easily recognize Baroque by a multitude of raised elements arranged in complex symmetrical silhouettes. Sophisticated and heavily decorated baroque ornaments frequently benefit from dense floral and curved patterns as well as noticeable colors.
Biker jewelry is as far from the Baroque style as possible. So do not expect to see candelabra-like earrings or regal tiaras in our catalog. That being said, the Baroque is the progenitor of Rococo, and some elements of this style can be spotted in our collections.
The Rococo style is more lightweight than its predecessor. Its statement features are curved shapes, asymmetric patterns, and bizarre combinations of all kinds of curls. The very name of the style originates from the word "rocaille", which means an ornament repeating the curl of a shell. In general, the Rococo style takes advantage of all kinds of twists, weaves, curlicues, and spirals, as well as fan-shaped arrangements and graceful and delicate elements of design. One of the most recognizable out of these patterns is Fleur de Lys, a heraldic symbol of lily and a personal pattern of French kings. The favorite stone is a diamond along with all sorts of clear gems and crystals. Gemstones are not just set in metal; they are affixed with the pavé technique so that it seems as if they drown in silver or gold.
Classicism replaced Rococo. Luxury and excessive pretentiousness got too old too quickly and people started demanding something simple and more understandable. So, in the second half of the 18th century, Classicism started being a dominating power in art. The main features of this movement are antique ornaments, clear lines, geometric patterns, and perfect symmetry.
Although this style lasted only a few decades, it left its mark in the history of jewelry. Even today we can see the traces of Classicism in modern jewelry - calm patterns, the integrity of forms, simple lines – this is all about this style.
Classicism borrows many motives and images from Ancient Greece and Roman antiquity. The most popular themes are images of laurel, oak, acanthus, Greek fret (meander), etc. The color palette is simple, soft, and discreet; the most noticeable colors are black, red, and white. Classicism style jewelry features pretty simple shapes such as medallions and rosettes.
The end of the 19th century is the heyday of such a prominent style as Art Nouveau. This trend originated in Russia and France but quickly spread across entire Europe. At first, Art Nouveau ornaments displayed Gothic and Japanese influence as well as a lot of floral patterns. In addition to this, they blazoned the images of mythical heroes, creatures, silhouettes of people, birds, and animals. Many of the jewelry pieces were created exclusively for the riches in a single copy.
Due to its vibrancy, creativeness, clever usage of enamel, and abundance of décor, Art Nouveau quickly became popular across Europe (even today many elements of this style find their place in the collections by prestigious jewelry brands). Many considered this style to be a paradox of jewelry craft because it mixes different approaches and techniques. In Russia, for example, Art Nouveau was exposed to local motifs and techniques. French jewelers, on the other hand, benefited from Japanese motifs. Either way, Art Nouveau jewelry was revolutionary and very incongruous for its times.
Besides Art Nouveau, you can often find animal motifs in Art Deco. The originality and tricksy features of Art Nouveau gave way to a new style known for simplicity, precision, and geometric shapes. After the First World War, people needed something to feast their eyes on, and jewelers meet their needs with Art Deco ornaments. The lack of curls and excessively complex patterns was offset by the brilliance of lustrous jewels. Large stones are a must for Art Deco jewelry.
As we have already pointed out, the images and silhouettes of animals weren’t something uncommon. However, these images are not fussy and ornate. On the contrary, Art Deco is luxury combined with simplicity, geometry, linearity, and stylization.
Simple small ornaments draw in looks as successfully as large and showy ones. They cause a desire to take a closer look. They display a strong character, beauty, and elegance, and, more often than not, they convey a certain message about their owners. This is all about minimalistic jewelry. Instead of hogging the limelight, it gives all the attention to a person who wears it.
Jewelry in a minimalistic style is closely related to the geometric trend. If nothing else, both styles made a name for themselves with clever utilization of triangles, circles, or cubes, etc. in body ornaments. Primitivism is one more "relative" of minimalism. Jewelers often use certain techniques inherent in the naive style for their minimalistic jewelry collections.
In general, the trend of minimalism is the least ornate, intricate, and complex. On the contrary, it is known for clear lines, through holes, and a bare minimum of decorative elements.