DESIGNER JEWELS ARE FOREVER A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

By: John Hogan

Houte Couture or High Fashion Jewelry has been with us early as 1866 starting with Krementz and gaining momentum by 1900-1910 with designers such as Nina Ricci and Gabrielle Coco Chanel.

NINA RICCI VINTAGE OMEGA CHOKER & EARRINGS SET, C. 1980

NINA RICCI OMEGA CHOKER & EARRINGS

PARK LANE CROWN-CROSS DESIGN VINTAGE BROOCH-PENDANT, C. 1955

PARK LANE CROWN BROOCH-PENDANT

OSCAR DE LA RENTA VINTAGE SAPPHIRE CHOKER & EARRINGS, C. 1980

OSCAR DE LA RENTA CHOKER & EARRINGS

AMERICAN VINTAGE RHINESTONE VIOLIN BROOCH, C. 1980

AMERICAN VINTAGE RHINESTONE VIOLIN BROOCH

Today we refer to such jewelry as Designer Jewelry. From the runways of Paris and Milan all the way to New York the debonair woman has always flaunted jewels of distinction at social functions and in her personal life. The designers of the fashion world have always determined styles in clothing and accompanying jewels to match the appropriate occasion.

The glitz and glamor of Paris and Hollywood had to be maintained by the socialite ladies and one could not always wear precious and semi precious jewels. Consequently designers of haute couture clothing had to quench the thirst for elegance and flash such that the aspiring woman could look her best in debut situations. Because of the fame of our high society designers of clothing, they now had branched into jewelry fashions for the world to compliment their elegant gowns, evening dresses, shoes and purses. Once these designers had established notoriety for themselves they were now welcomed with open arms by these sophisticated socialites and movie stars for having given them the luxury of soaring to the top of the glamor world with no frowning about their jewels of choice. This high fashion jewelry had now become just as famous and treasured for its quality look as semi precious and precious jewels.

As the movie world embraced houte couture jewelry so did the rest of the fashion world and its consumers. People now craved to own pieces designed by these haute designers. Because of their significance as status symbols in the designer world, these designers had to produce their best creations at whatever the cost and of course the end result did not matter to the socialite consumer as long as these designs meet up to their expectations in terms of quality and glamor. This is why today many of these jewels by many of these designers are soaring even beyond some of the semi precious and precious jewels. As a matter of fact many regard some of these designer pieces on par aesthetically and price-wise with the authentic semi precious and precious jewels and in some cases way beyond depending on the prestige of the designer.

The competition amongst the top designers of the fashion industry and the top consumers of the socialite world was now at full speed. Cost was not a real factor in determining who created the best and who was going to wear these creations. What the world wanted to see and wear was only a matter of whom could create the best and who was to wear the best. Many times jewelry items were custom designed for debutantes, movie stars and personages of top socialite stature. 

The list of haute couture jewelry designers is endless. We can go back as far as 1866 with Krementz, Whiting Davis 1876, Napier 1875, Lisner 1904, Nina Ricci 1908, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel 1910, Marvella 1911, Castlecliff 1918, Hattie Carnegie 1918, Coro 1919, Mazer Bros 1923, Miriam Haskell 1924, Trifari 1924, Monet 1927, Eisenberg 1935, Boucher 1937 and Francois 1937. As we approach 1940-1950 many other familiar and quality names surface for example Weiss 1942, Sherman of Montreal 1947, Christian Dior 1955, Park Lane 1955, and Oscar de la Renta 1960. This is just some of the frosting on the cake of fabulous designers at the time who dictated fabulous creations for fabulous and famous people of the past, present and future.

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