London Fashion Week Special: Bring on the Bows !

Models walk the catwalk at London Fashion Week 2018 for Emilia Wickstead (Left) and Erdem (Right)

Last week at London Fashion Week we saw various re- inventions of the classic bow. We saw rebellious edged feminine designs in jewellery and big couture houses like Chanel, Garrard, Gucci and Tiffany’s providing their own twist on the trend.

The bow motif is associated with the Rococo period : a lady clad in bows and lace epitomises traditional feminine elegance. The Rococo bow was a faithful and enduring adornment of women’s dress as fashion moved from stiff and formal, to loose and playful. It's ubiquity disappeared somewhat following the French Revolution, possibly because of it's association with the frivolity and excesses of the Ancien Regime.

The bow made something of a fashion comeback in the Victorian era as a representation of romantic feeling, and as part of growing sentimental yearnings for a vanished past. A past of chivalry and courtly romance seemed a long way from the smoke and smog of the industrial revolution. Perhaps it is not too hard to imagine the humble bow as a badge of protection against a rapidly changing social landscape.

With advances in jewellery making techniques the bow developed in the Edwardian period into a more elaborate and intricate style inspired by lace making and silk trailing ribbons. Geometric or fluid designs appeared as signature jewellery and personalised pieces.

In the 20th century the bow motif became a perennial favourite. Bows are constantly re-introduced and re-invented as classic pieces worn in alternative and imaginative ways.

The overt association of the bow with the feminine and the frivolous is a playful concept for the modern designer : they may lean in to it's traditional connotations , or subvert them in new and exciting ways .

Want to buy in to the bow ? We've picked up some breathtaking beauties available now at Grays...

A Platinum Mounted Bow brooch of Openwork Lace Design, Set with Brilliant and Rose Cut Diamonds. English c.1910. Available at Nigel Norman Fine Jewels 

Carter & Sons Geometric Bow Clip in Yellow and Red Tone Gold. American c.1940. Available at Moira Fine Jewellery 

Shaded Blue and Pink Sapphire bow Brooch Set in White Gold. Available at Moira Fine Jewellery 
A Pair of Amethyst and Diamond Earrings Topped with Miniature Bows Set in Gold. Victorian c.1870
Available at Moira Fine Jewellery 
Blue Enamel and Seed Pearl Brooch set in White Gold. Victorian.
Available at C & B Gems 

Natural Diamond and Sapphire Bow Pendant. Edwardian Period.
Available at Wimpole Antiques 


                                        Written by Titika Malkogeorgou September 2018


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