Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Costume jewellery

Following the Great Depression in the United States in the late 20s and early 30s, most of the highly talented designers and craftsmen who had been working in the precious jewellery industry were made redundant, and moved across into the costume equivalent, taking their considerable skills with them. Significantly, this was at a time when trend-setting clothes designers such as Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and Hattie Carnegie were promoting the idea, for the first time, that it was “cool” to wear jewellery made from non-precious materials.

The best-known example of a designer moving across is that of Frenchman Alfred Philippe, who c.1930 left the hugely prestigious precious jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels and joined Trifari – a New York-based company who rapidly became the United States’ largest and most eminent costume jewellery maker. 



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