Fascinating Rhythm: Dots & Dashes in Repeating Style Motifs

Beautiful design often has an inherent rhythm. There may be a sense of movement, a sensuous undulation. Or rhythm may be conveyed in points of emphasis and sharp emphatic lines, like music with a strong beat.

The latter, more geometric designs often involve the interplay of points and lines or dots and dashes. One style motif I have spotted this season has a playful bent and a natural rhythm—in some cases, the cadence almost seems to repeat dot-dot-dash, dot-dot-dash, like the step-step-together dance moves of a waltz. While there are all manner of combinations of the dot and dash elements, the following designs are examples of jewelry that display a certain fascinating rhythm.

An ad from Henri Bendel recently appearing in Elle magazine includes a crystal necklace and bracelet from Auden with rhythmic dot-dash themes.

Jewelry designer John Hardy uses dots and dashes extensively in a collection highlighted in a recent ad.

An example of a rhythmic effect appears in a bracelet and necklace by Louis Vuitton, seen in this resort collection ad. The colors and floral additions add to the sense of movement.  

In this photograph from the October 2010 issue of Elle, Glee actress Dianna Agron wears a vintage necklace with a dot-dash motif of bars and beads acquired from Decades,  L.A.; the earrings are vintage Yves Saint Laurent. Her gown is from Salvatore Ferragamo.

The dot-dash theme is seen in this tiered cuff from Jennifer Elizabeth featured in the October 2010 issue of Marie Claire.

A pair of cuffs from Janis by Janis Savitt runs parallel channels of dots and dashes, as pictured in the December 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

In this photograph from the January 2011 issue of Vogue, a variation with circle-centered squares appears in a bracelet by Marni worn with a Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere sweater and tee and Calvin Klein pants. The earrings are from Tom Binns Design.

Consider that a beautiful piece of jewelry may not only appeal visually; it may also be playing your song.