For the impending festivities of the holiday season, get inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age. Despite the bleak spirit that The Great Depression and World War II ignited during the era, Hollywood managed to infuse America with glitz, glamour and elegance, and provide a sense of escapism for women around the world.

With scarce materials, creativity and inventiveness were paramount. Rayon was discovered as an alternative material, and fashioned to emulate the silk gowns worn by Hollywood mavens. Experimental textiles replaced metal and wood usually used for purses. Coco Chanel made costume jewelry popular during this time, filling her boutiques with faux gem pieces made to decoratively adorn outfits in a viable way.

Dolce & Gabbana’s green velvet box bag with crystal embellishments adds intrigue.

Dolce & Gabbana’s green velvet box bag with crystal embellishments adds intrigue.

Influences from this downtrodden-yet-wistful era were largely present on Fall/ Winter runways this season. Bold statements were made via ornate brooches, oversized gemstones, opulent handbags and shoes embellished with pearls and diamonds.

One emblem present that expressed the period was the box purse, a product born out of limits. Cardboard was used to replace hard-to-find metals usually used for frames, and then wildly ornamented with pearls, beads and even fur. Dolce & Gabbana’s interpretations were a standout this season— with goods ranging from bedazzled-andbaubled to wood-painted in an unmistakably Art Deco pattern, and then festooned with rose beading.

The adorned purses and shoes that graced the runway were irresistible, but jewels made stand-alone statements in brooches, pins and single earrings.

The stupefying size and beauty of the purple, teardrop earrings encompassed in diamonds at Miu Miu inspire “costume,” just as Coco Chanel would have wished. Jeweled brooches of butterflies, flowers and others, a simple striking letter—as seen at Balenciaga—are all making heirloom pieces in vogue once again.

Chanel’s golden metal brooch (from Cruise 2016 collection) with strass would catch the likes of Coco herself.

Chanel’s golden metal brooch (from Cruise 2016 collection) with strass would catch the likes of Coco herself.

Modest means and limits encouraged imagination and invoked the dare to brighten women’s spirits at the era. So, in this day, whether a faux ruby brooch or an antique emerald necklace, let the Joan Crawford in you sparkle in big, ornate jewels sure to bring glamour to your holiday attire.

Punahou grad and Fashion Institute of Technology alumna Meleana Estes gives us her take on the hottest runway trends. A trendsetter in her own right, her designs for her eponymous handbag line and modern take on resort attire for aloha wear purveyor Manuheali‘i have garnered rave reviews.

Photos courtesy brands