Why boho jewellery evolved into urban boho
An old favourite has had a major makeover. Call it the new Bohemian, urban boho, or metro boho, but whatever the name, boho jewellery has evolved over the decades to become today's city-friendly and versatile must-have accessory.
It really was inevitable. Boho jewellery was never going to go away. It expressed so perfectly the spirit of non-conformity, of free-spirit wildness, of uniqueness and self-expression. Ever more relevant, these values reflect the aspirations of the current generation. Coupled with boho jewellery's association with earth-friendly sustainability, it makes sense that boho values are now more popular than ever.
Boho jewellery was originally seen as the jewellery of hippies, music festivals and bohemian eccentrics. Found in communes, tropical paradises and dusty prairie photoshoots, it didn't transpose easily into the city fashion aesthetic. Despite being worn by fashion It-girls like Jane Birkin, boho jewellery was not readily assimilated into an urban fashion environment, let alone the office.
Something had to give.
Then and now...boho (left) and urban boho jewellery (right). Boho chic jewellery, once seen mainly as a hippie and festival look, has transformed into provocative and sultry urban boho jewellery. The Wolf's Tooth urban boho necklace is sleek and edgy, city-ready and always with an non-conformist edge. Swarovski crystal, skulls and precious metals characterise the new Bohemian look in this urban boho leather wrap choker with a jet-black Swarovski Wolfs Tooth harking back to the boho Southwestern influence. Perfectly matched with Swarovski crystal urban boho chic earrings. (Photo left: zombieunicron.tumblr.com)
Boho jewellery...you've come a long way baby!
Urban boho jewellery resulted from a gradual transformation of the boho style into something that was more versatile and reflected changing preferences in fashion. Designers are always looking for the 'next new thing', while remaining responsive to the vibe of the era they're working in. The spirit of change, of rebellion, of self-expression and asserting one's individuality has been the mantra of major designers since the 1970s. How to keep the essence of the bohemian style and yet make it relevant to a new generation was a challenge explored by dozens of the worlds top designers, particularly in the last two decades, and never more so than today.
From floaty and nostalgic boho (left), to sleek and sexy urban boho (right). Traditional boho chic (left) has evolved into contemporary urban boho jewellery and wow, urban chic has never been so desirable. Urban boho jewellery has trimmed away the excess, streamlined the style, dumped the overwrought layers and become the ultimate new Bohemian jewellery. Still a rebel, but a rebel in a leather jacket. Urban boho jewellery (right) has a contemporary minimalist feel. The artisan sterling femur bone necklace combined with artisan silver and turquoise earrings and blue agate layered bracelet expresses the essence of boho chic but dumps anything extraneous. (Photo left: Instagram, Photophangan.)
Urban boho chic jewellery moves into the city
Evolving into urban boho jewellery, boho chic gradually became more and more city relevant. While retaining the spirit and many of the elements of boho chic, we see designers streamlining boho jewellery characteristics. The excess is pared down; the flowers disappear and are replaced by edgy Swarovski crystal and artisan precious metal creations. These new pieces are now coupled with leopard and leather; the layers of floaty gypsy skirts give way to jeans and sleek little dresses.
In the transformation of traditional boho (left) to urban boho jewellery (right) the excesses of boho chic were pared down to the sleek elements of edgy urban boho. Tapestry style embroidered playsuits were replaced by unadorned suede minis, the cornucopia of boho jewellery was limited to a few pieces of statement urban boho jewellery. But the spirit of the Bohemian was never abandoned - the boots on the right and the fly-away braids are every Bohemian girl's dream! (Photo right: fashionrogue.com featuring Sara Sampaio in Vogue Brazil. Photo left: Pinterest)
Three ways to get must-have urban boho chic right now
Time to update your boho pieces with urban boho jewellery? Here are three suggestions of how to get the new urban chic look so you can flaunt your Bohemian spirit in the city and office. Think streamlined and contemporary; edgy and gritty; minimal rather than fussy. Wear a single glam bohemian piece rather than layers of jewellery - let your standout statement piece shine! Tone down on the feathers, and go for artisan metalwork. If you can afford it, a statement piece of rare Arizona turquoise and sterling silver is something that will carry you from gala event and yet add oomph to your favourite jeans. A leopard coat or leather biker jacket would finish the look beautifully.
1. Go classy rather than fussy...
A distinct departure from the festival fave of feathers and dream-catchers, the new Bohemian puts the emphasis on quality statement pieces like this artisan set at right. Precious metal, rare Arizona turquoise and distressed leather is urban boho chic at its classiest. And you can wear the wrap necklace and earrings anywhere, with anything! (Photo left: eslamonda.com)
2. Stick to provocative architectural shapes with quality boho elements...
Boho earrings (left) evolved gradually into the contemporary urban boho pieces (right) on the catwalks today. Look for unusual architectural shapes and quality materials and keep the traditional brass tribal look for festivals. The elegant yet edgy sterling spiral earrings with Arizona turquoise turquoise and Swarovski crystal skulls are edgy and contemporary while still expressing the non-conformist Bohemian spirit. (Photo left: ssense.com)
3. If you're going to make a statement, ensure it's the one you want to make...
Nothing dates your outfit faster than showy statement jewellery that had its hey-day years ago. Keep your boho statement jewellery contemporary. The catwalks are brimming with wonderful examples of gob-smacking statement urban boho pieces with the wow-factor in spades. (Hint: drool over Alexander McQueen's new Bohemian skull jewellery!) Check out the gorgeous statement Bohemian earrings worn by Kristin Zakala at right below.
Unless you are deliberately going for a nostalgia or festival feel (left), don't date your look with 'been there, done that' statement boho jewellery. Being a statement piece, the jewellery will dominate and define your entire outfit. It's one piece of jewellery you don't want to get wrong. The new Bohemian statement earrings (right) are a must have urban boho accessory for a 'Right Here, Right Now' boho look. The give-away? The look is versatile enough to wear with a classic fitted floral dress, as in the photo, or add a wow factor to your edgiest streetwear. (Photo right: Elle Magazine, photographer Owen Bruce. fashioneditorials.com. Photo left: arnhem.com)
Intrigued by, or perhaps ready to join the urban boho revolution? Check out the contemporary new Bohemian jewellery at Her Lovely Bones jewellery. We specialise in unique, limited and one-off artisan pieces with a minimalist, contemporary edge. You might be inspired to try a new look, or perhaps discover your new urban boho fave...
Feature photo: Kristen Zakala in Elle Magazine. Photographer: Bruce Owens. (fashioneditorials.com)