Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
Parisian Nights
©2014 by Cynthia Rutledge

Parisian Nights ©2014 by Cynthia RutledgeParis, at night, is a beautiful site to behold. While the lights of the city are reflecting on the Seine, elegantly dressed Parisians stroll the most famous streets of Paris, taking in the sites and smells of one of the most beautiful cites in the world. Outdoor cafes, coffee houses and entertaining establishments, invite the passerby to stop, relax and enjoy. But this night is like no other. WWI had just ended, and the times were changing, as a new eclectic style was about to emerge and take the world by storm.

The Théâtre du Châtelet is full to the brim with chic, high society patrons and the atmosphere is electric. The curtains open for the first performance of the season of Diaghilev's Scheherazade by the Ballets Russes. This night was the turning point for the future of 20th century decorative design, fashion and jewelry. The intensely vibrant colors of the stage sets and costume designs, combined with the sultry beauty and passionate boldness of the Russian Ballet, lent an exotic, eastern opulence to the performance. This style had never been seen before and left a heady, magical atmosphere that was to transform the way woman looked and dressed.

20th century, Edwardian fashion for women, contrasted sharply with the provocative eastern flavor and brilliant costumes worn by the dancers in the performance. Ladies in pale, frothy confections of lace, wearing classical jewelry, paled in significance next to the brilliant colors and pulsating movement of the costumes on the dancers. Swathes of silk, sensuously moving jewel-toned fabrics; bare arms and ankles, ropes of pearls and chains of gold left the audience enthralled. The Ballets Russes and Art Deco had arrived in Paris!

Early Art Deco was still figurative, and rather classical, being based on 18th century styles. Edwardian motifs of flowers, garlands and swags, remained, but became more stylized. Parisian Nights evokes a design that is in transition between two distinctive styles of fashion.

An antique cushion cut CZ is bezeled with Czech glass fire polish beads and seed beads. The bezel transitions to an Art Deco style dagger shape, using right angle weave and netting techniques. Utilizing a combination of traditional materials, a new type of cup chain and a CZ drop, this design begins to step away from one fashion style, entering the next with ease. The dagger shaped pendant is attached to a necklace strap constructed in a right angle weave variation using seed beads, Czech glass beads, Czech and Swarovski pearls. This elegant necklace closes with a beautiful CZ embellished magnetic clasp.

Dimensions: 18 inches long, not including the pendant.

Techniques: Netting, Right-angle weave

Skill level: Intermediate

On to Taj Mahal Earrings...

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