As we started designing for the House of Alkara’s Victorian collection, a part of me kept going back to the popular TV show “Bridgerton” because of the costumes, set design and display of opulent jewelry, in rich jewel tones, pearls, and delicate floral patterns. The fashion and style of the Regency era depicted in this popular show greatly inspired me to create our own Victorian collection.
Jewelry made during the Regency era followed by Victorian era, which spanned from 1837 to 1901, was characterized by its opulent and ornate designs. During this period, jewelry was worn not only for adornment but also as a symbol of social status and wealth. Precious metals like gold and silver were the most commonly used metals in Victorian jewelry. Gold was often used in its pure form or mixed with alloys, while silver was often used as a base metal for gold or other precious metals plating. In this era people were extremely fond of gemstones, and jewelry was often adorned with a variety of precious and semi-precious stones such as turquoise, malachite, amethyst, garnet, topaz, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pearls. It’s interesting that Enamel was also used during that era to add color to jewelry and was often applied in intricate designs. Victorian jewelry featured motifs inspired by nature, such as flowers, leaves, birds and were highly detailed and intricately crafted.
In our House of Alkara design studio we spent significant amount of time and effort designing our Victorian style collection to show the sophistication and intricacy of the handcrafted jewelry. We used delicate pieces of precious gems to set into carved metal based on our own unique designs and vision. We used intricate metalwork techniques, including filigree, granulation, and repoussé [ruh-poo-SAY] in our jewelry pieces to create intricate patterns and textures that could capture the elegance and beauty of that era.
As we experimented with this fascinating concept, we added our own contemporary elements to the collection as well to make it unique yet preserving the soul of that bygone era.The Neo-Victorian Ethos necklace set was one of our first product where we designed it keeping large faceted amethyst gems in mind and garnet beads atop each floral motif. The picture below depicts the initial illustration of the concept.
Later we decided to make it more delicate and ornate to recreate the vibe of the Regency/Victorian era. In this piece we used some granulation and wired techniques to wrap the gemstones using 925 sterling silver as the base metal. We paired gems that would enhance the strength of each other and purposefully used two such pairs – Amethyst with Citrine to help reduce stress of daily life and increase positive energy, while paired Lapis Lazuli with Turquoise to help balance emotions and provide inner self-knowledge.
In our next product, we experimented with the delicate Filigree technique. The filigree technique is one of the popular style of victorian era and was also worn by Daphne Bridgerton in the show. We drew inspiration from it but then we jumped straight into 21st century by adding modern-shaped uncut and raw gemstones with simple snake chains to give it a minimalistic touch keeping the House of Alkara style and design aesthetics in mind.
My personal favorite since it was conceptualized has been this Mystic Quartz/Amethyst bracelet. This elegant bracelet with delicate filigree work around each amethyst gemstone screams of Victorian era but we used large faceted mystic quartz in beween to add modern element to it. Mystic quartz begin to be used as jewlery around 1998 and is very much part of contemporary style jewelry.
It was quite challenging to create a balance between Victorian style jewelry with a modern twist. But I must say that our experiment with various techniques and style with constant support from our experineced artisans gave us the opportunity to combine two eras and create something so unique. We created truly original and beautiful jewelry that reflects House of Alkara’s personal style and vision. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy exploring the world of Victorian style jewelry with a modern twist in our Victorian collection!