From Chanel to YSL, Jennifer Gibson’s Trove of Fashion Jewellery Is a Collector’s Dream

by | Jun 21, 2022

This month I shared my lifelong passion for vintage jewellery with leading global purveyors of luxury, 1st Dibs and featured in their extraordinary ‘Introspective Magazine’. Talking about our unique collection is a particular highlight from the article and too good not to share. Read the full interview here.

Introspective Magazine Article - An Introspective Jennifer Gibson

Why have you chosen designer costume jewellery, as opposed to fine jewellery, as your focus?

You can have all the look and style for a fraction of the monetary outlay. Costume jewellery is a statement, impactful. It’s about glorious adornment. There are no limits on innovation, style or materials with costume jewellery except the designer’s imagination. No stone size, precious metal or lack of a hefty budget is going to stop your style! Costume jewellery is an expression of you and all your moods to the world.

As you survey your collection, what designers are best represented and why?

Dior and Chanel are the best represented, Dior perhaps the most of the two and the House of Christian Dior will always have my heart.

‘The process of curating her massive collection, a kaleidoscope of couture fashion-house creations, Gripoix glass, butterscotch bakelite, Cleopatra collars and dazzling door-knocker earrings is ‘insanely imaginative and utterly soulful,” says Gibson. “Costume jewellery is an emotional expression of art.”

Is there an era that you are particularly passionate about?

The 1950s to the 1970s by Dior is my huge passion, especially pieces from when the man himself was alive and head of his eponymous house [1947–57]. Beyond that, it’s the 1980s. And why not? Excess and costume jewellery were made for each other. Pieces by jewellery designer Victoire de Castellane for Karl Lagerfeld, Head Designer for Chanel from the eighties are pure magic, a higher echelon of design and quality than we will ever see again.

‘The expert curator and collector specialises in decadent costume jewellery fantasies with help from high-fashion favourites.’

What types of pieces do your stylish clientele tend to favour?

Lavish necklaces, statement earrings and whimsical or quirky pieces, including those by Christian Dior, especially the earlier rare pieces and strong Galliano-era pieces, and 1980s-90s Chanel, specifically by Victoire de Castellane.

Introspective Magazine Article - An Introspective Jennifer Gibson
Introspective Magazine Article - An Introspective Jennifer Gibson

What makes your collection a unique proposition for those dipping a toe into the world of costume jewellery for the first time?

The costume jewellery I choose for the collection is some of the best from the past one hundred years, be it the most stylish, the most innovative or the rarest. The unique proposition for the jewellery lover is this fact, plus you don’t have to trawl the planet to find your perfect piece or risk making a pricey mistake by going it alone. You can access unique, exclusive, authentic, timelessly stylish pieces of jewellery that typically exude superior quality over modern-day pieces. They also carry a story with them – vintage, as I have said, is a truly soulful acquisition. And of course, our pieces are as sustainable as any piece of jewellery can get. I use my resources – my time, energy and deep knowledge to find exquisite pieces, uniting them with their new owners through curation and service.

Some collectors are automatically drawn to Chanel and Dior because of the brand recognition. Which designers may not be as well-known but excel in terms of design concepts and quality?

I’d urge collectors not to be slavish to a particular brand or dazzled by its world famous headlights. Wearing a brand for the sake of it isn’t stylish. I don’t buy a piece of Chanel or YSL or Lacroix, or any other premium luxury brand, unless first and foremost it screams style. What’s the point? Who else is going to covet it? The point with costume jewellery is style and impact. So, the piece has to exude this, or I pass it by and yes, even when it’s Chanel. And I’ve seen some quite ugly and non-descript designer pieces so they do exist. My advice is to ignore the name at first glance, look at all pieces including famous brands, under the radar brands and unsigned beauties too (they had a designer, they just didn’t sign their pieces) with an equal eye. Browse our jewellery box with an open mind and you may be surprised at the pieces that speak to you.

The capsule brooch - vintage capsule collection Jennifer Gibson Jewellery

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