I get a big kick out of classic science fiction movies and television shows that project what the future will look like. Some advances, especially in technology, have already developed way past what the filmmakers could imagine. Others…I’m looking at you jet pack and live-in robot…have not come to pass. This weekend’s Doctor Who featured a species with a highly evolved sense of accessorizing. Enchanted by the neck and arm bands of the Silurians (homo reptilica, far left), I set about to find out what the makers of early, iconic sci-fi films thought jewelry would look like in a galaxy or in a time far, far away, and see if any of these future styles had come to pass.
These photos from Metropolis, Forbidden Planet, and Fantastic Voyage show that innovative costume design was a high priority but jewelry wasn’t part of the look.
Fast forward to Jane Fonda in Barbarella, and now we’re getting somewhere. Metal wrist armor and chain mail are mixed with swinging 60s bodysuits and go-go boots…..helloooo kitten! Star Trek, and Buck Rogers continued the highly adorned intergalactic lady look. Their characters were dripping with chains and pearls, but nothing that hadn’t already been seen right here on earth.
Later science fiction classics co-opted minimalism (THX 1138), spiritualism (Logan’s Run), primitivism (Star Wars), steam punk (Brazil), and plain old punk (Mad Max) to convey the jewelry of the future.
Definitely no “jet packs” here.
So, Hollywood, I’m calling you out. It’s way past time to give your outer space heroes and time travelers something more than little gold hoops (see Gattaca). Brilliant jewelry is being created in new ways with cutting-edge materials that will cement your look and inspire your audience. We are ready to be transported.
More work by the jewelers featured in this blog can be found in 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs as well as on their websites: