Hit the vogue for 70s style with psychedelic gems

© Written by Rachael Taylor for JewelleryNetAsia

The fashion overlords have spoken: this season, the 1970s are back. There are many incarnations of this trend filtering through – hippy dippy flower power, punk rock chic, homely kick flares and stripes – but my favourite jewellery interpretation is a little more far out.

The 1970s were a time of experimentation and the swirling, psychedelic motifs inspired by that time have become iconic. While most fashion houses indulging in the new-season 1970s pattern bonanza, such as Dries Van Noten, Pucci, Anna Sui and Saint Laurent, have opted for earthy, muted tones, we should not forget that this was a decade of explosive colours, and in the world of fine jewellery things are getting suitably trippy – a little more disco than dropout.

This trend taps nicely into the vogue for coloured gemstones, but the key here is to set gemstones in a way that creates super-bright graduation or clashing of colours. The idea is to create a vivid rainbow, and Robinson Pelham in London does this perfectly with its new Circus collection that creates a prismatic effect of almost neon-like colours. Sapphires and garnets graduate into each other; purple hues blending into blues, mixing into greens, lifting to yellows and oranges before returning to purple. The effect is spectacular.

Electric is a word that sums up this trend succinctly, and it features in the collection names of two more London-based designers: Tomasz Donocik and Fernando Jorge. Although the collection is actually inspired by 1982 film Blade Runner, Donocik’s Electric Night collection’s use of amethyst, tanzanite, blue sapphire, iolite, blue topaz, emerald and diamonds perfectly captures, for me at least, the psychedelic lights and giddy atmosphere of the 70s disco, as does Jorge’s Electric Blue Bolt ring, which use sapphires and London blue topaz in an unorthodox, freeform shape.

Los Angeles-based designer Andrea Fohrman has quite literally chased a rainbow for her designs. Her jewels use a kaleidoscope of sapphires, amethysts, tsavorites and diamonds of varying shades to create rings and necklaces with rainbow motifs, perfect for bringing in a bit of that 70s peace and love vibe to the trend.

And for an alternative to heavily set jewels, there is a way to achieve that trippy aesthetic with myriad colours in just a single gem – use an opal. The opal is like no other gem, and its ethereal qualities are perfect for this 70s vibe. For a great example of how to make it even more on trend, look at Dream Earrings within the Freedom collection created by Mexican jeweller Daniela Villegas. She has joined a set of Ethiopian opal studs to diamond-set white gold feathers, and then attached those to a pair of real Love Bird feathers, creating long drop earrings with a distinctly hippy vibe.

Peace out.

This article was originally published on JewelleryNetAsia on 07.05.15. I write a weekly column for this website about global jewellery trends. 

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