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Necklace Styles 101

You may find, while you’re browsing all the pretties online that you come across some unfamiliar names on some of the jewellery.

Necklaces in particular have some interesting titles that may, sometimes, slightly overcomplicate things.

It’s really not that difficult so let me shed a little light for you:

Lavalièr, (or lavalière) just means a necklace consisting of an ornament, whether that’s a simple stone, a locket, cameo or frankly, anything, suspended from a chain.

Négligée necklaces these are necklaces where two dangling drops suspended from a pendant attached to neck chains are of unequal lengths. There is something slightly decadent about the brazen unevenness of the stones hence “négligée” or “neglected”.

Sautoir necklace consists of a long necklace ending with a single tassel or pendant. These were quite popular in the 1920s flapper era with the long necklace and tassel trend.

Rivière necklace is usually just a row of gemstones, sometimes graduated in size with the largest in the centre. The gemstones are normally all of the same variety. Popular from the 18th century well into the 19th and still today, they are a good classic style

Fringe necklaces are a variant on the rivière but in their case the stones hang in a row as droplets. These were more popular from the late Victorian in to the Edwardian period.

Bib necklace does pretty much exactly what it says. It can be of interlocking stones, loops, chains, discs but starts at large and can go to enormous even covering the shoulders. Starting with layers of pearls in the late Victorian period, by the Deco age it was almost artform, continuing into the 60s and 70s. Equally, they can be seen on the Ancient Egyptians!

Festoon necklaces are one of my favourites and can look frightfully grand or delicate and romantic. Their basic form is loops and swags in chains, pearls, beads or precious stones, creating a garland effect often with bows or floral clusters in between. Originating in the Georgian period they were revived in the Edwardian as a deeply feminine look.

Chokers and collars (or colliers) sit high at the base of the neck or around it closely.

Chokers were popular at the end of the 19th century and into the Edwardian period, often layered with long strands of pearls. Simpler forms were simply made of a ribbon or piece of black velvet with a central ornament – also worn in Georgian times.

Collar style necklaces returned in the 1950s as pearls, coloured pearls and early plastic and bead creations were worn high with twinsets and day dresses.

Sadly, these are far more difficult for the modern woman to wear with our bigger frames.

If they were tight then, they’d be impossible now without extending.

See? Not that hard after all. Now go and show off to your friends 😊

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