Lauren Romano discovers why the 20th-century trend for transformable jewels is enjoying a dazzling comeback
Back in the 19th century, double-duty jewellery meant extravagant headpieces worn at high-society balls which could be broken down after the debutantes departed. “Inventive transformable jewellery was designed as a response to ever-changing wardrobe requirements, when designers crafted intricate jewels that could be assembled and disassembled to form multiple pieces,” says Burlington Arcade jeweller, Susannah Lovis.
Today, opportunities to dust off your diamond tiara are probably rare, but should you find yourself in the market, Lovis has the perfect trinket. “This is an archetypal example of the ingenuity and versatility of structural design from this era,” she says, presenting a spectacular Art Deco platinum and diamond diadem that disassembles into earrings, a bracelet, a brooch, a choker and a necklace.
Pictured right: Van Cleef & Arpels’ Antique Zip Transformative Necklace. Photo courtesy of Antoine Delage.