The June launch of SpaceX's Dragon shuttle heralded the arrival of a newly designed space suit. But, for non-astronauts, space-inspired jewelry is a trend that nods both to futurism and peoples' long fascination with our solar system. The extraterrestrial and celestial worlds have served as a reference point for designers over the course of centuries, resulting in fashion that re-emerges every few years, with cosmic motifs that embrace the mystery and magic of our universe as well as an embrace of sci-fi culture.
There are abstract interpretations that have walked down the runway, including collections inspired by classic films like The Matrix and The Fifth Element; Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2018 leather-clad models wearing futuristic sunglasses comes to mind. Then there are the more literal riffs on galaxies including constellation prints and planet silhouettes. Considering the expansiveness of the universe, there's ample source material to work with.
Jewelry that nods to the sky (and beyond) provides a futuristic contrast to other current trends like daisy-bedecked earrings and seashell-adorned baubles. It speaks to an otherworldly aesthetic that can run the gamut from nostalgia to a super-modern moment. In other words, jewelry that takes inspiration from outer space isn't meant for one specific type of personal style, there are different ways to incorporate the solar system into your jewelry box and the three designers ahead share how to do that in 2020.
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Wave of Nostalgia
If you were a '90s kid, then designer Alina Abegg's cosmic escape collection no doubt stirs up pleasant memories. "I had the idea to revive the beloved plastic alien rings of childhood and iconic space vehicles of vintage sci-fi films," she tells TZR. She translated this youthful keepsake into a more modern, grown-up context including a 14-karat rose gold alien-shaped ring featuring eyes of diamond melee and dramatic drop earrings in the silhouette of Saturn. "For me, these pieces feel very modern. I often like to think I travel back to the past to find forgotten treasures, and then through bold design choices, update and elevate them to our times."
Designer Pamela Love also notes that celestial motifs go back much further than the playful pieces of the 1990s. "There were a lot of moons and stars in Victorian jewelry so it can feel especially nostalgic," she tells TZR.
Pamela Love's affinity toward astronomy was spurred by a gift from her parents. "When I was a little kid, my parents bought me a telescope," she explains. "I have always been fascinated with our connection to the moon, how it affects the tides, how it affects everything on earth."
Her collections always speak to this connectedness to the planet and its neighbors. Her latest assortment of celestial-inspired pieces includes a white quartz and matte gold plate finish brass necklace featuring the different phases of the moon, handcrafted by artisan jewelers in Afghanistan.
The Sky As An Artform
There are myriad components of the sky that designer Bibi Van Der Velden looks to for inspiration. "I have always been fascinated by clouds, stars, and the night sky. The artful movements, patterns, colors, and constellations up there are such intriguing forms of art," she tells TZR. "A piece of that as jewelry to treasure down on earth is quite grounding and distinctive."
Her galaxy collection speaks to a space-inspired aesthetic that she argues "feels very modern, and yet as a subject it’s timeless." The pieces all incorporate an element of movement into the design, including the Mammoth Galaxy Ring. "It was created from a mammoth tusk orb pendant that spins in its 18-karat yellow gold setting, embellished with sapphires and diamonds as stars."
All three designers agree that the best approach to incorporating this celestial jewelry into your look is by mixing them with other pieces. "I’ve always been a collector, so a mix works best for me," Van Der Velden continues. "I wear multiple jewelry designers as well as my own pieces. I love to wear three or four necklaces, different lengths and styles. A mix of shapes and sizes in an eclectic combination of rings is something I love to play with styling-wise too: stacking them together, switching up depending on how you feel that day, just as the galaxy does itself."