When I think of something that is always better XXL, something that originated from the need to be bigger, grander and more ostentatious, the first accessory that will always spring to mind will be the cocktail ring. This fabulous accessory that found it’s name and it’s place during the Prohibition era in the 20s and very early 30s.
Think gin houses, speakeasy’s, parties and decadence and the out and out glamour that went with this scene, not surprising then that the 20s was without doubt the most revolutionary decade for women’s fashion and independence.
It started with the suffragettes and war effort, moved on to full independence and exploded into full-blown decadence. The 20s introduced women’s fashion to a whole new era without corsets and modesty. The flapper girl wore shorter dresses and revealed more skin. Coco Chanel championed the first steps to an androgynous look and makeup became heavier and brighter.
The 20s woman seized the zeitgeist with both bejewelled hands smoking, voting, dancing, drinking and loving freely! During the US prohibition the underground glamour and decadance was the preserve of the wealthy and the speakeasy’s and gin soaked cocktail parties were exclusively for the socialites and upper classes.
The 1920s lady was independent and the cocktail ring signified this. She would buy the ring herself and the more individual the style and the more grandiose the ring the better. This lady wasn’t interested in marriage, this self-picked ring was for the right hand, screaming independence and had Beyonce been around in the 20s she would have put a ring on her own finger and it would have been a giant and overstated cocktail ring! All of these reasons make me love the cocktail ring even more.
The first cocktail rings were made using precious and semi precious stones and metals but by the 40s costume jewellery was becoming more fashionable and again the war was a precursor to this. Precious metals and stones weren’t readily available and it was the beginning of mass production. Fast forward to present day and there are an array of both fine and costume jewellery readily available for you to choose from and so in the spirit of the 20s lady, adorn your beautiful hands with some fantastic cocktail rings, light a cigarette, sip a cocktail and go dancing!
“Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray’s understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby