Ah, the 1980s - a decade of unapologetic fashion, hair that defied gravity, and a a ton of in-your-face jewellery. Get ready to dive into the world of chunky chains, colossal earrings, and kaleidoscopic gemstones that defined this ballsy era. So, strap in and let's revel in the wild, untamed spirit of '80s jewellery.
Iconic '80s Jewellery Styles That Don't Give a Damn
Bold, Chunky Chains
Ines de la Fressange, Chanel Runway, 1986
Who said size doesn't matter? The '80s embraced the go-big-or-go-home mentality with chunky gold and silver chains that made a statement without even trying. Whether draped around necks, wrists, or hips, these chains were the ultimate middle finger to subtlety.
Paulina Porizkova, 1980s
Karen Mulder for Celine, Late 80s
We're talking earrings so massive, they needed their own area code. Hoops that could double as hula hoops and dangles that tickled your shoulders were all the rage. And don't forget the colours and geometric shapes that screamed, "Look at me, I'm fabulous!"
Madonna, 1986 - The Holiday era!
Arm candy, anyone? Piling on bangles was like a competitive sport in the '80s. The more chaotic the mix of metals, colours, and patterns, the closer you were to achieving fashion nirvana.
Brooches with Attitude
Dainty, delicate brooches? Not in the '80s. We're talking brooches so ornate and oversized, they practically demanded their own spotlight. These bad boys were all about injecting some serious personality into your ensemble.
Designers Who Owned the '80s Jewellery Scene
Paloma was daughter of the legendary Pablo Picasso. She dove headfirst into the world of jewellery design, slaying with her bold and colourful creations. Growing up in an artistic environment, she quickly built a rep for crafting jaw-dropping designs. Teaming up with Tiffany & Co., Paloma became an '80s trendsetter, perfectly capturing the essence of the decade with her iconic bling.
Kenneth Jay Lane
Kenneth had been killin' it since the '60s, and he continued to dominate the costume jewellery scene in the '80s. Kenneth Jay Lane's designs were glamorous, dramatic, and never shy of making a statement. His star-studded clientele included A-list celebs and royalty, cementing his status as a leading jewellery designer of the era. His creations rocked bold animal motifs, intricate craftsmanship, and a luxury vibe that was hard to deny.
Bernard Shapiro and Lester Joy teamed up to create Les Bernard, the ultimate costume jewellery powerhouse of the '80s. Their designs were eclectic, innovative, and packed with whimsy. Les Bernard's jewellery boasted oversized shapes, mixed media, and colourful enamel work that perfectly embodied the extravagance and playfulness of the decade. On top of all that, they even designed for the iconic TV show Dynasty. Their kickass pieces graced the pages of top fashion mags, making the brand synonymous with the bold and fearless style of the '80s.
Enter Donald Stannard, another influential costume jewellery designer who left a lasting impression on the '80s fashion scene. With a background in theatre and film, Stannard brought drama and flair to his designs. Known for his opulent, statement-making pieces, his work often showcased intricate detailing, bold enamel colours, and striking gold-tone finishes.
His pieces are now' rare vintage gems. Stannard kicked off his own line after working with Kenneth Jay Lane in the '60s. He went solo in '72 when Vogue dropped his name. Next thing you know, his designs were all over Broadway plays, TV shows like Dynasty, and draped on the rich and famous. Stannard left us in 2006, and now his designs are hotter than ever and in high demand.
The 1980s may be long gone, but the fearless spirit of its jewellery lives on. This decade taught us to embrace our inner fashion rebels and say "screw it" to the conventional!
Paloma Picasso - the ultimate 80s jewellery muse
Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington - a true 1980s jewellery icon