Make way dainty pendants because medallion necklaces, the cool big sister of jewellery, is swaggering back into style.
This season, supermodel Kate Moss wears hers long and low in Messika’s Lucky Move campaign, while actress Chloe Moretz’s is pleasingly heavy, channelling Louis Vuitton’s bold new direction for the B Blossom collection.
Traditionally a symbol of power and prestige, designed in the shape of a medal, medallions date back to antiquity. Worn on a longer-length chain than a pendant necklace, coming to rest somewhere on the breastbone, they often featured actual coins, a tradition that regained popularity in the Victorian era, when the fashion for sentimental jewellery was at its peak.
The medallion’s reputation may have taken a U-turn in the 1970s when they became Alpha Male territory – a look that has been revisited recently by Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Director Quentin Tarantino’s period detail is spot on, with DiCaprio teaming his gleaming gold medallion with a mustard polo neck and wide-lapelled leather jacket. But they have not always been men-only territory. During both World Wars, soldiers would send silver and gold coins to their sweethearts from the countries in which they were stationed as keepsakes to be fashioned into jewels to wear around their neck.
Many of the medallions featured here were envisaged by female jewellery designers and are indicative of a new boldness that is sweeping through the world of women’s jewellery. These commanding jewels speak to confident self-purchasers who favour statements over subtlety.
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