My Vintage Jewelry Design Inspiration

December 10, 2012

I love contemporary fashion and design. But to state the obvious (and why not!), what's contemporary today may become vintage tomorrow. So all the wonderful costume jewelry pieces that my mother wore when I was a young fashionista in the 50's and 60's (and I went through her jewelry box daily and tried them all on) are vintage and collectible today and I love them as much as I ever did. 

Companies like Coro, Trifari and Eisenberg mass produced jewelry while other designers were identified with a distinct jewelry style: Miriam Haskell, Kenneth J. Lane and Coco Chanel to name a few. Some jewelry trends during the mid nineteenth century were stylized copper flowers, leaves and bows, enamel on copper, wired beads, rhinestones, crystal and glass beads and bold brooches. Also seen were influences of the Art Deco era.

Some of the Great Ones

The fabulous Coco Chanel and her jewelry designs and fabulous sense of style have influenced fashion for decades. Her presence is felt every season on the fashion runway. Her costume jewelry was coveted by women who could afford the "real" deal. She was especially fond of faux pearls and long and layered necklaces, which were sometimes mixed with crystals. And the gold chain with the medallion pendant says "Chanel" to even a fashion novice.

Miriam Haskell created fantastic pieces made of beads wired to filigree backings, coiled bracelets and tiny seed beads. To see the most stunning pieces and to read a wonderful history of this amazing jewelry, purchase the book Mariam Haskell Jewelry. It documents the actually fabrication of some of the jewelry, her collaborations, how to authenticate the pieces if you are a collector and has pictures that will take a jewelry lover's breath away.

The use of faux stones like coral, jade and turquoise was a signature of Kenneth J. Lane. They were frequently embedded with crystals in a gold plated animal and insect pins. He also liked a type of necklace called a torsade, which is many strands of small beads twisted together often with a fancy clasp worn in the front of side of the piece. And Audrey Hepburn was wearing a KJL necklace in the iconic picture of her from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

My Vintage Inspired Jewelry

So when I started designing jewelry in the mid 2000's, I had a wealth of style inspiration. from many years of loving jewelry. Here are some of the pieces that are my homage to vintage jewelry.

Vintage style jewelry makes a bold yet original statement that compliments even the most contemporary fashions. Here are some of the pieces that are my homage to my love of vintage jewelry. Click on each of the images below and you will see a full description of the jewelry piece.



Do you remember what was in your mom's jewelry box? Do you still have any of the pieces or wonderful memories of them? If you do, I'd love you to send me a picture of or an anecdote from the past and I will share it on my Facebook page.


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