Play & Display: talking costume jewellery with VANITY FAIR

by | Jul 14, 2022

This month saw the annual publication of the legendary ‘Vanity Fair on Jewellery’ and for me it was a dream come true. I was delighted to be asked to contribute to Felix Bischof’s article about costume jewellery, nestling in amongst a long and illustrious roll call of sparkly designers!

Jewellery guru and Vanity Fair Jewellery Editor Annabel Davidson kicked off proceedings in her editor’s letter explaining. “For the first time ever, we’ve covered costume jewellery in a big way. Felix Bischof’s feature covers a designer making costume versions of renaissance jewels, Giovanna Engelbert’s masterful new direction at Swarovski, Daniel Roseberry’s genius at play at Schiaparelli, and all the new costume jewellery designers you need to know.”

Felix set the stage to perfection for his beautiful and insightful article, echoing a sentiment I feel deeply every day announcing “with its electric, eclectic look-at-me vibe, costume jewellery is having a moment. Crystals, resin, semi-precious stones and even glass are coming into their own, charged with whimsical possibilities.”

Vintage Dominique Lion Brooch

“For the first time ever, we’ve covered costume jewellery in a big way.”

Annabel Davidson, Editor Vanity Fair Jewellery

For those who are new to costume jewellery as an adornment, Felix beautifully introduces the art and its standing in the jewellery world, “As a product category, costume jewellery – also known as fashion jewellery or bijoux fantaisie in France – has been brought to the fore. A group of new designers and makers have found non or semi-precious materials to be conduits to their creativity. Meanwhile, fashion houses are reconsidering their costume-jewellery offerings. The demand for vintage finds, truffled out by experts in archival treasures, is rising too.”

“Everyone deserves to be glamorous and happy. So, I thought [bringing] joy should be my goal for the jewellery.”

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, Swarovski’s Creative Director

Jennifer Gibson Vintage Jewellery in VANITY FAIR JULY

Throughout this divine article costume jewellery greats explain their passion for the bijouterie, not least, Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, Swarovski’s Creative Director. Her remark is one that deeply resonates. “Everyone deserves to be glamorous and happy. So, I thought [bringing] joy should be my goal for the jewellery. Like, this is what they should do”.

The article touches on a wonderful array of costume jewellery designers spanning centuries, including Swarovski, one of the original masters of rhinestone jewels, legendary couture houses such as Fendi and Schiaparelli (Elsa along with Coco Chanel pioneered the early twentieth century revolution in costume jewellery).

It was fabulous to see our brand feature in this glorious first for Vanity Fair on Jewellery and an unexpected joy to see my words in the closing paragraph. Sincerely thank you Vanity Fair and Felix Bischof.

“The demand for vintage finds, truffled out by experts in archival treasures, is rising too.”

Felix Bischof, Editor, The WEEK Fashion

“There is a huge appetite right now for bold and colourful wearable works of art,” says expert dealer Jennifer Gibson.

Her recent best-sellers include sparkling statement earrings, bib-style necklaces and figurative brooches. “More is truly more”, she opines. It’s a statement echoed across the industry. Costume jewellery is back.

“There is a huge appetite right now for bold and colourful wearable works of art, more is truly more!”

Jennifer Gibson

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