Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book Review: Vintage Jewelry Design

I love this book. It covers jewelry trends from the 1890’s to the modern day by decade. It’s a time capsule with pictures on every page interspersed with explanations of the trends and features on the designers who influenced them. And this isn’t just jewelry that only the rich could afford….although there is good amount of that.  This book also features jewelry from major designers, design houses and costume jewelry...or jewelry for the masses. Some of the jewelry featured will bring back memories of what was inside both your mother’s jewelry box and your own.

From the belle epoque era in Paris.  Caroline Otero was a famous courtesan and amassed a fortune in jewels from her go girl!!

Pendant by Josef Hoffmann links Art Noveau with Art Deco, 1910

Actress Kay Francis layers in pearls, 1935

Fulco di Verdura. 62 rubies, 232 diamonds

Fulco di Verdura and Coco Chanel, 1930's

Irene Dunne in diamonds, 1935.  She was so pretty.

1940's costume jewelry.  Don't we all still dress up like this and lay around waiting for our man to come home :)

An awesome Calder, 1940's

I started recognizing my mother’s jewelry in the section on the 50’s with a picture of the iconic Jackie Kennedy and her pearls. When I was very young, JFK was elected into office and it seemed the whole world was focused on him. Jackie set the trend for fashion in the US and her pearls took center stage. I remember watching my mother dress up for parties and her style seemed to emulate Jackie’s. I thought she was every bit as glamorous as Jackie. Every time I see a picture of young Jackie, I think of my mom at that time.

The 60’s also hit home with aurora borealis rhinestone jewelry. Mom had earrings and broaches that I was fascinated with. They were colorful and sparkly. To this day anything colorful and sparkly will stop me in my tracks. One of my favorite saying is…”I was going to conquer the world but got distracted by something sparkly”.

Gorgeous rhinestone jewelry by William DeLizza and Harold Elster, 1960's

By the mid to late 60’s the innocent world that I lived in changed with the Vietnam war. College students were rioting and Pop Art became popular. Jewelry followed the Pop Art movement with mod plastic and futuristic jewelry. Hippie jewelry was also popular. That is when I got my start into making jewelry. I would buy seed beads and string long strands of “love beads”.

Paco Rabanne, dress from plastic squares, 1967

Hippie Chic body jewelry by Adrien Mann, 1969

The 70’s are when I started buying my own jewelry. Remember Sarah Coventry jewelry?? I do. I was also a fan of turquoise. I had a fascination for American Indian's and Cher being part Cherokee influenced that trend. I still love turquoise.

The 80’s brought on Madonna and layers upon layers of belts, necklaces, and bracelets. TV shows like Dallas and Dynasty had women is glitzy jewelry. Remember Joan Collins, Linda Evans, Linda Grey and Victoria Principal walking around in big furs and even bigger jewelry.

Yves Saint Laurent, 1980's

It’s a fun look at jewelry over the decades and is an easy, interesting read.  Plus there is a great jewelry glossary at the end of the book defining jewelry terms.

All photos reprinted with permission of Vintage Jewelry Design, by Caroline Cox, copyright 2011 Lark Crafts. 


Barbara Briggs said...

I think I need this book!

Helene Anthony Dean said...

I very much enjoyed reading this. :)