Professional Jeweler Archive: Ancient Inspiration

June 2003

Professional Insider/Trend Spotting

Ancient Inspiration

Goddesses serve as fashion muses

The fashion trend toward goddess-wear is a boon to jewelry, with all those bare necks and upswept hair crying out for precious accessories. It’s a style fashion observers say has staying power, thanks to its flattering ability to hide figure flaws and emphasize feminine curves. Designer Tom Ford includes goddess styles in his recent collections for Gucci and Yves St. Laurent and tells The Wall Street Journal the look will be around for more than one season. “It just feels right,” he says.

That dean of design excess Bob Mackie is credited with starting the goddess craze with a strapless chiffon gown he designed for actress Jennifer Lopez to wear in the romantic comedy Maid in Manhattan. This year’s Oscars extended the look, as Oscar winner Nicole Kidman and Lopez chose to wear the style on the big night. Saks Fifth Avenue also went goddess in its spring catalog and show windows, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art anointed the trend with legitimacy when it gave its annual Costume Institute gala a goddess theme in April. A new exhibit at the museum traces the goddess look in fashion dating back to the 1930s.

For affluent women who get dressed up often for charity events, the style provides a graceful alternative to black dresses. It also provides jewelers with spectacular openings to sell dangling earrings and important necklaces.

But there are opportunities to serve more down-to-earth customers too. The goddess style has inspired an increased interest in cameos and other carved and worked gems and jewelry, as well as historic jewelry in general. Mere mortals can wear these styles to the office. Designer Sandra Goodkind of Woodbridge, CT, has seen an upsurge in interest for her one-of-a-kind pieces. The designer scours antique shows and dealers’ inventories looking for unusual antique elements and then builds modern jewels from them. “I want my jewelry to have meaning and history,” she says.

Ralph Lauren decorates the models in many of his spring ads with rich cameos and detailed necklaces.
Stars such as Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez wear goddess styles to the Oscars, with upswept hair and chandelier earrings, as this page from People magazine illustrates.
Elle shows a more casual goddess look in a recent issue, complementing it with mother-of-pearl chandelier earrings and a relaxed gold chain.
This selection of one-of-a-kind, antique-inspired designs for modern women is by Sandra Goodkind of Woodbridge, CT; (203) 389-4864,

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications