Introducing Charleston By Rachel Farag 12.07.2017 3886 Views

Roaring back to the 1920s with Kailis' Art Deco-inspired Charleston Collection.

The Roaring Twenties might have been a period of dramatic social and political change but it was also exciting, racy, exuberant and – after the cataclysmic impact of the Great War – it felt liberating. Especially so for a generation of young women who started listening to jazz, bobbing their hair, wearing make-up, driving cars, smoking and partying in short skirts whose hemlines were significantly higher than many of the more conservative establishment thought decent. Oh boy, being a Flapper was fun!

Design-wise, this is when the Art Deco movement gathered pace and the period became renowned for sumptuous decorative arts, fine materials and superlative craftsmanship. Even now, almost 100 years since it first began to surface, it feels modern, elegant and visually impressive.

Art Deco conjures up images of the gleaming Chrysler Building in Manhattan, Sydney's golden State Theatre, of exquisitely beaded and fringed dresses, cloche hats, movie stars like Clara Bow, Anna May Wong and Carole Lombard, and, of course, glittering jewellery featuring lots and lots of pearls. So it's no surprise that the Kailis design team turned to Art Deco style for inspiration when developing the Charleston Collection.

The crown of the Chrysler building in New York City (top) and the lobby ceiling of the General Express Building in London (bottom). Art Deco-styled architecture were on our mood boards for this collection.

As an art movement, Art Deco was one of the first truly international design trends and was influenced by a wide repertoire of styles and motifs – in fact you can find references in Art Deco to everything from Egyptology and the Orient to African tribalism and Diaghilev's Ballet Russes.

For Kailis, it was the bold, geometric lines distilled from the architecture of the day that had the greatest influence on the Charleston Collection. Grain-set in white gold, brilliant cut and pear-shaped diamonds create a dazzling platform for the large and lustrous Australian South Sea Pearls Kailis is renowned for. In fact, Charleston is all about balance – the perfect symmetry of angular Art Deco elements and the beautiful simplicity and irrefutable luxury of the pearl; immediately modern yet timeless, perpetually elegant and refined, and all executed with Kailis' unwavering attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship. And the name? The Charleston Collection is named after a dance that originated in the southern states of the USA but soon took the world by storm. Picture it: all those Flapper girls kicking up their heels and dancing The Charleston in Art Deco ballrooms all over the world, wearing their diamonds and pearls and risqué short skirts … what could be more fabulous?