10 Famous Jewelry Makers of the 1920s

It was the Jazz Age of the 1920s, an era that heralded the beginnings of conscious awareness of unconventional costume jewellery. During this time, the Art Deco movement had also made an impression on jewelry makers. Jewellery designs were influenced by events like the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb, African art, and the Avant-Garde art movement. They were largely accepted by the flapper generation who frequently wore Art Deco-inspired jewellery and dazzling clothing. 

To this swinging generation, it was all about femininity and accessorizing, and the movement provided design inspiration for these. Jewelry, they say, was meant to capture the eye and command attention.


The style was characterized by bold colour contrasts, geometrics, clean lines, and stylized motifs. There were long strands of pearls, brooches, strings of round beads, ornate bangles and wide embellished bracelets, earrings with tassels, and loop necklaces.

Today, many early 20th Century art deco-inspired costume jewellery still remain incredibly popular.


Some Famous Jewelry Designers of the Twenties


While some of the jewellers mentioned below have been known for their designs before the roaring twenties, many were at their peak during this era and made their mark in the jewelry design business. Their names still resonate among jewellery makers and collectors of vintage jewelry.

The following are jewellery designers (in no particular order) famous for their creations.


Frédéric Boucheron


His jewellery pieces are works of art and were designed to fit the reigning Art Deco designs of the 1920s. Before then, in the late 19th century, Boucheron was considered the pioneer of “modern jewellery” who revived an engraving technique that had been forgotten since ancient times. He soon became famous for the extraordinary designs and quality of his precious stones which included diamonds engraved with flowers or arabesques, and colourful gemstones (sapphires, rubies, lapis lazuli, coral, hematite, onyx, emeralds, and rock crystal) encircled with geometrically arranged diamonds.

Boucheron jewellery designers and makers enjoy the patronage of royal families and the custom of Hollywood icons like Dietrich, Garbo, and Rita Hayworth.


Mario Buccellati

In 1919, Mario Buccellati, also known as “The Prince of Goldsmiths”, acquired the family jewellery company and renamed it “Buccellati”. He was a famous jeweller who marketed his creations through exhibitions that helped him meet and make customers of affluent clients from all over. Mario Buccellati was so well patronized, he opened many branches around the world. 

His jewellery designs featured elaborate gemstone works suggestive of the Art Nouveau and Old Hollywood eras. They highlight animal and insect forms, created out of pearls. He is also famous for his “gold jewellery and exquisite silver objects” and the combinations of precious metals (silver & gold, and platinum & gold).


Coco Chanel


Chanel’s jewelry designs may have been considered innovative in the 1920s, but the works were revolutionary, radical, and bold, a new style that consisted of high-end components combined with lower-priced materials. Before the time, wearing costume accessories were considered a fashion faux pas because they were perceived as cheap and belonging to women who couldn’t afford genuine pieces. Unperturbed by the opinion of the status quo, she developed her radical design concept of mixing gems and other precious stones with faux ones. The results and responses were brilliant.

Piling bracelets and bangles, stacking faux pearl necklaces, layering an unprecedented number of brooches, adorning cuff bracelets; fashionistas were awed by this expressive and playful new look. Coco Chanel’s awesome combinations were and still are what costume jewellery is all about. Each piece she crafted was the signature finishing touch; a perfect complement to the already dazzling outfits of the flapper generation of the twenties.


Elsa Schiaparelli


After moving to Paris in the 1920s and establishing a Fashion House in the late 20s, Schiaparelli began making costume jewellery along with her other lines of clothing, perfume and other fashion accessories. She believed that costume jewellery was a vital part of fashion and style, an art form in its own right. Her early works are often portrayed as whimsical, glamorous, and extremely stylized.

Elsa Schiaparelli believed that costume jewellery was an integral part of fashion design as well as an art form in its own right. Elsa’s jewelry was whimsical, imaginative, and innovative often made with bright, colourful glass stones. Many of her designs are inspired by nature, the circus, astrology, and native African art.


Gerard Sandoz

One of the most famous jewellers of the 1920s, Sandoz was well known for his elaborate geometric designs. His bold and dramatic creations made him recognized as one of the forerunners of the Art Deco style of jewellery. Being an artist, he incorporated his bold and strong artistic styles into his jewellery, making each piece a beautiful work of art. In many of his popular works, Sandoz paired metals with gemstones like onyx, lapis lazuli, coral, and hematite.


Jean Dunand


Dunand was popularly known for his extensive use of lacquerware (a decorative-coating technique) on his design elements. He used it for many of his works, including vases, furniture, and most especially, costume jewelry. His creative designs of lacquerware jewellery made his creations trendy and a must-have in the twenties. Josephine Baker, one of the most popular music hall entertainers in France who took Paris by storm in the 1920s wore his famous lacquerware jewellery, a wide cuff bracelet and circular neck collar. This stunning jewelry set designed with black, yellow, and red colours made the Dunand jewelry famous. He was also one of the forerunners of the Art Deco style.


Miriam Haskell


This American designer, Miriam Haskell, is in the top ten jewellery designers of the time. She designed costume jewelry that was affordable to the 1920s women and worked in partnership with Frank Hess who was a part of the birthing of colourful jewelry designs. Frank Hess, her chief designer, was previously a young window dresser from Macy’s. Their partnership has been responsible for the finest handmade costume jewelry ever created.

Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford and Lucille Ball, and fashion-conscious women loved the unique style and characteristics of Haskell’s designs and wore her jewellery widely. Her jewellery has also appeared in films, on tv shows, and stage plays.


Napier

Napier jewelry was the rave in the 1920s. They made pieces in Art Deco style and introduced classy and elegant designs to fashion accessories lovers. Although Napier jewelry is no longer a top brand, its jewellery is still highly valued and sought after by vintage-inspired fashion-conscious individuals, and jewellery collectors.

The fashion industry was dominated by their eclectic bold designs which featured spectacular geometric and floral patterns made from faux gemstones, imitation pearls, glass, and plated metals. They are also recognized for their sterling silver works. Pieces were large and chunky and were a deviation from the typical designs of the time. This helped them make a positive impact on the fashion scene.

Napier was one of the first brands to make costume jewelry available and accessible to the masses.


Paul Emile Brandt

Paul-Emile Brandt was born in Switzerland but moved to Paris, France at a young age to study under Chaplain and Allard. He started his own business outfit in the 1910s, making Art Nouveau style jewellery. After World War I, Brandt began creating jewellery in the Art Deco style. His designs are characterised by neutral palettes with white gold and diamonds, offset with onyx stone or black lacquerware.

By the 1920s, he began to work with precious stones and lacquer work. He created jewelry designs made with inlaid lacquered eggshells, and brooches set with calibre emeralds in characteristic art deco styles. He describes his jewellery-making as “...jewelry of great design and great construction...”. 

By the 30s, Paul Brandt started to produce hand-jewelry – bracelets, bangles, rings, and neck jewellery - necklaces and pendants that featured relief work with geometric shapes.


Tiffanys


The company was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837. When he passed away in 1902, his son Louis Comfort Tiffany became the company’s first official jewellery design director, while Tiffanys became a design icon during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods of the early 1900s.

Around this time, the Art Nouveau movement was gaining ground. Louis’ designs featured nature-inspired pieces in Art Nouveau’s style. His pieces of jewelry were majorly made with enamels, gemstones, and even glass. 

Soon, the Art Deco era began and saw an absolute passion for all things Tiffanys. The jewelry makers became the arbiter of fashion and style as brilliant diamonds and lustrous pearls adorned the silhouettes of Hollywood’s silver screen actors. They became the screen darlings of the Jazz era – nothing burned brighter on a black and white screen than Tiffany’s dazzling jewels.


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Enjoy using this 19th-century vintage-themed fashion sketchbook with illustrations of French newspapers showing fashionable Parisian women in their elaborate day dresses. It comes in a convenient square shape and consists of dotted grid and blank drawing canvases printed on cream old-fashioned type paper.

If you are a classic fashion enthusiast, there is a possibility that you’d like this traditional look cream paper that great fashion designers of yesteryears sketched on. If you are a vintage fashion aficionado that needs a journal to write and sketch in, then this is for you. And if you are a fashion designer or fashion design student who just wants something different from the rest, this is it.

Vintage Paris 1893: Old-Fashioned Cream Paper Sketchbook Journal for Fashion Designers


Flapper Style-Inspired Notebook

If you are a vintage fashion and style enthusiast, then you know about the Flapper generation of young women and men of the 1920s. They loved to party, listen to jazz music, and displayed their contempt of what was believed to be acceptable behaviour of the era. They were energetic. They embraced what many considered an offensive lifestyle. Today, they are considered the pioneers of independent individuals that pushed barriers in political and sensual freedom.

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Roaring Twenties Vintage Writing Journal - Of Flapper Style & Jazz Music


Fashion Design Sketchbook

If you are a vintage style fashion designer who prefers some easy-to-whip-out and quick-to-access sketchbook, this is for you. If you need to side add notes to your classic designs and illustrations, you will love this handy and portable sketchbook that is specifically created for both beginners and practicing fashion designers.

Compact Size Fashion Design Sketchbook with Curvy Female Figure Templates - Fashion Designers Style Illustrations and Side Notes Book


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Are Jumpsuits Suitable for Weddings and Special Occasions?

Are jumpsuits suitable for special occasions like weddings? Absolutely. Women no longer HAVE TO wear a dress or gown for special events, and weddings are no exception. Consider a stylish jumpsuit as an alternative to the usual.

Jumpsuits are body-flattering. They are beautiful, comfortable, and non-restrictive, and they give you the flexibility and fluidity to move around effortlessly. Unlike most formal dresses, you do not have to give up your comfort to look chic.

For a wedding, you can easily style-up a jumpsuit to fit a dress code and make it classy. With the right accessories – heels, wraps, stoles, costume jewellery, elegant handbags, headpieces, and eye wear, your silhouette will be runway-worthy. 

Jumpsuit styles vary. They come with tapered, straight, semi-wide, wide, and ultra-wide legs. The designs range from halter-neck, strapless, and off-the-shoulder styles to jumpsuit gowns, bow-bodice suits, and tuxedo jumpsuits, all echoing popular gown details. Sleeve designs include bell, Bishop, cap, and butterfly sleeves. And the popular fabric choice for formal jumpsuits is velvet, brocade, satin, crepe, linen, and silk.

Whether you desire a sleek style, an embellished design, or something fluid and flowy, try a jumpsuit for a change.  We can’t deny the fact that a chic and elegant jumpsuit will make a welcome and refreshing change from the typical style of guest dresses everyone else is wearing.


Posts of Interest

How to Dress Vintage Chic Style in Everyday Clothes

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1920s Inspired Writing Journal with Images of Flapper Swingers 

1920s Inspired Writing Journal with Images of Flapper Swingers

 
 
How much of a vintage style enthusiast are you? Which of the fashion eras of the 20th century is your favourite? You will agree with most that the Roaring Twenties was the time when the Western woman decided she’s had enough of the Victorian and Edwardian styles of clothing.
 

Roaring Twenties Vintage Writing Journal

 

This era of the Flapper generation had a new breed of young men and women who loved the fresh and ‘swinging’ jazz music. A generation who showed disdain for the so-called acceptable behaviour. They were energetic, and they loved to party. They embraced what many considered as an outrageous lifestyle and are known to be the first generation of independent individuals that pushed barriers in political, economic, and sexual freedom. They are the Flappers of the 1920s.

As a vintage era aficionado, you’ll love this Roaring 20s vintage-inspired 'bujo'. Each lined page comes with images of young Charleston dance ‘swingers’. The book will make a great writing journal for anything from a diary and planner to a ‘brain dump’, a gratitude book, recipe or student’s class notes book. It will also make an awesome gift for the vintage-inspired. 


Further reading

7 Famous Fashion Designers of the 1920s

Vintage Fashion Quiz (with Images)

 

Vintage-Inspired Cathedral Wedding Veils

A cathedral wedding veil is all about the length. Coming at no less than 9ft long, you will find (or can custom-make) vintage-inspired cathedral veils that come as long as 12ft. but the beauty of the veil is having a long aisle to walk down. There is not much point it wearing veils that long if you are getting married in a small chapel with a short aisle.




If you desire a regal stately look on your wedding day, the Cathedral styled veil is for you. It is a ‘super-size’ vintage-inspired headpiece that makes a bold statement and portrays a wedding that’s not only stylish but elegantly formal as well. They are great for a black-tie wedding at a dramatic venue.

This long sweeping wedding veil that drapes naturally to the ground and trails behind you comes in single, double, or triple layers look beautiful when worn on trumpet-style wedding dresses, ball-style gowns, mermaid gowns, and A-line bridal dresses.

They look absolutely wonderful in the dim light of many traditional churches and cathedrals and ‘come to life’ as the bride walks out into the sunlight under the flash of paparazzi lights.

A vintage-inspired cathedral bridal veil can be worn either on the crown of the head, attached to the hair with heavy combs or hair clips or at the back of the head with a tiara. The tiara will give it an elegant and royal touch.






Further reading:
170 Years of Wedding Veil Styles (Bridal Veils 1800s to 1970s)
Wedding Veil Designs – Types and Styles of Bridal Headpieces
Gothic Bridal Veils for Medieval Inspired Weddings

Vintage-Inspired Edwardian Tops for Plus-Size Women

There is something simple yet romantic about Edwardian tops inspired by the fashion of the first decade of the 20th century. The blouses featured lightweight fabric with large puffy shoulders, frilly details puffed bodice, and bell sleeves. Great styles for plus size women with a curvy silhouette.

Majorly made from delicate lace or chiffon with intricate embroidery, these stylish vintage-inspired Edwardian tops were made famous by the Gibson Girl image, the epitome of the womanly model of physical attractiveness “as portrayed by the pen-and-ink illustrations of artist Charles Dana Gibson”.




During the Edwardian era (1901 to1910), women's fashion took on a stylish opulence with a bit of overindulgence, a trend that was inspired by the pleasure-seeking lifestyle of King Edward VII. It was an era of beautiful clothes and the peak of luxury living for the elites rich and the privileged few.

For fashionable plus size women, these stylish Edwardian tops are vintage chic at its best! Soft, sexy, and cropped blouses, lace camisoles, and puff-sleeve tops, they can all be paired with under-bust corsets and a pair of jeans, worn as is with your exposed midriff, or worn with bustle skirts for that dramatic and irresistible vintage-inspired look that's body-flattering for plus size women.






Further reading:
How to Dress Vintage Chic Style in Everyday Clothes
Slimming Underwear for Plus-Size Brides and Full-Bodied Women



Vintage Style Wedding Shoes (Bridal Footwear)

It is not an easy feat finding authentic vintage style wedding shoes for your vintage-inspired bridal dress. And if you do find one, which is near impossible, they’ll probably be the wrong size, and discoloured with age.

For that flapper style twenties wedding dress, how about finding the right kind of shoes to go with it? For the Gatsby themed wedding party, for instance, there will be a lot of dancing so, what best to wear than a pair of beautiful bridal shoes that’s great for the swinging dances of the roaring twenties.

Satin and lace vintage-inspired white bridal shoe
 (from Shoespie).

Rounded and closed-toe, this pair of satin and lace bridal shoes is the perfect match for vintage 20s wedding dress designs.

A simple, streamlined and elegant Mary Jane style shoe, it comes with a satin ribbon tie, a striking detail that gives it a classic chic touch.

Its medium heels with a slight front rise of 1cm make it one of the most comfortable wedding shoes for any bride that not only demands style but knows that style without comfort can turn to an agonising experience on her important day.

For any bride who is practically on her feet for hours, meaning walking down the aisle, taking photographs, moving round greeting guests at the reception, dancing at the wedding party, etc... You can’t ask for a more comfortable pair of bridal shoes.

Though they are basically wedding shoes, these vintage style wedding footwear can also be worn as bridesmaids and maids-of-honour shoes, prom shoes, and special occasion shoes, and come in white, gold, and ivory colours to match most colours of classic wedding dresses.


Further Reading:
Types and Styles of Bridal Headpieces 
Bridal Veils for Older Brides