Art Deco Costume JewelleryBy
Art Deco Costume Jewellery, part 4 of AntiquesAvenue’s guide to Costume Jewellery History.
In the 1920s and 193os Costume Jewellery was epitomised by the bold colours design and new materials which followed from the difficult times of the first world war.
The 1920′s saw a revolution in design, fashions changed dramatically after the first world war. Women had become far more independent, they had worked during the war and wanted clothing and fashion which supported their new lifestyle rather than keeping them in the past. As fashions in clothing changed so did fashions in costume jewellery, the style of the jewellery needed to match the style of the clothes. Shorter hair ( the bob) needed longer earrings. Short sleeves allowed bangles and bracelets to be seen. The flapper necklace which is very long went well with the straight dresses and dropped hemlines.
1920s shapes were angular, cubic, geometric and colours were bold shades of red, black, white, green and blue. Mixed in with this were style trends such as the Egyptian revival which followed the finding of King Tutankamens tomb in 1922 -scarabs, pyramids, palm trees were all popular – look at this original 1920s charm to see how the colours and angles of art deco mixed with Egyptian style.
Coco Chanel was possible The main designer of the 1920s – she added faux pearl necklaces by the yard to her designer outfits. Other costume jewellery designers started up in business during the 1920s include Miriam Haskell ( New York) and Monet
Materials from 1920s costume jewellery include glass, brass, plastics and faux pearls,
Massive technological and economic change during the 1920s led to an explosion of costume jewellery in the 1930s both in terms of the quantities available to be purchased, the design, manufacturing methods and materials used. As usual the costume jewellery introduced also followed the dress fashions of the day – the dress clip is a 1930s invention. These can be worn as a brooch or unclipped and worn either side of a square necklace ( more pictures of how this works at end of this blog entry):
Brooches and bracelets were worn more widely in the 1930s . Brooches were often figural in shape ( flowers or animals) and studded with diamante ( also known as Rhinestones in the USA). Fashion as in previous eras was still influenced by Royalty with Wallis Simpson ( the Duchess of Windsor) being one of the fashion icons of the day. The 1930s saw movie stars influencing fashion more and more – Think Joan Crawford.
Materials used in 1930s costume jewellery include bakelite ( still in the art deco geometric shapes and colours), marcasites, enamel and various non precious metals. “Pot Metal” is a silver tone metal which was widely used for setting with clear diamante.
Famous costume Jewellery designers starting in the 1930s include : Eisenberg, Joseff of Hollywood, Rebajes and De Rosa.
Next in this series on costume jewellery history is the 1940s and 1950s.