Earrings To Complement Belle Epoque Fashion

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Have you ever thought how close your earrings are, to your face? Very close! And the way earrings complement face and hair is something we take into account when popping the earrings – consciously or unconsciously.

The choice of earring colour and style is very much connected to personal colour choices and clothing style, hair length, shape and colour – and in the past, what the prevailing fashions were. These days, there are more options as to style – not just subtle touches or details such as pin tucks or ruffles, but great chasms of difference – such as whether to wear pants rather than skirts, or whether hems are 10 inches above the knee, or at ankle length.

It was different at the turn of the 20th century. In France this period and style era was known as Belle Epoque – the beautiful era. It was a period of luxury and beautiful and elegant clothing; but only for the fortunate few. There was plenty of labour – so lace, pin tucks, embroidery, applique and other decorative devices were plentifully applied! Hair was up, but rather loosely, and ears were all but covered… and there were big, big hats, sometimes even as part of evening wear.

The earrings below, from James Alfredson, Australia, would be just the ticket – they are Belle Epoque, European in origin, and their pendant style would make them visible below the hairline.  Sapphire and diamond ear pendants c.1910, they each have a diamond and trefoil surmount, with a cluster of an oval faceted sapphire surrounded by scalloped borders of old-cut diamonds with an outer border of calibre-cut Royal blue sapphires set in yellow and white topped gold with millegrain. Further detail from the James Alfredson website.

Below the earrings, are a couple of images from c.1910, of women at the races…


Fashions embroidered with flowers at Auteuil, 1911, via Bibliothèque Nationale de France.


Fashion at the Races, France, 1911-1914 – Tumblr

Jewelry information and image courtesy James Alfredson
Period photographs courtesy Bibliothèque Nationale de France et Tumblr

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