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The Hollywood Influence


The Hollywood movies being produced from the 1930’s onwards had enormous influence on the clothes, jewellery, make up, hairstyles that women wanted. By the 1940’s and 1950’s American culture was very dominant in any area where there was a picture theatre. People wanted to look like the people they could see up there on the screen.

The Second World War had a huge impact on the goods that were available. Precious metals were rationed as all metals were needed elsewhere, and couldn’t be spared for the frivolity of jewellery. So costume jewellery became looked upon as a real and exciting alternative.

Costume jewellery as it was called was introduced by the likes of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. Both of these remarkable designers wore costume jewellery themselves, and introduced some beautiful and imaginative designs to the general public. Celebrities like Mrs. Wallis Simpson wore them and was often photographed.

Who can forget the wonderful ornamental scarabs and snakes threaded through Elizabeth Taylor’s hair for the film Cleopatra. This started a huge revival in Egyptian style costume jewellery in the 1960’s.

Women were encouraged through watching the stars of the time, and through the media, to mix their pieces of fine jewellery with beautiful pieces of costume jewellery.

Film stars would often be seen wearing Parures – a matching suite of coordinating precious gems. Joan Crawford was a fan of this, so she would often wear a stunning diamante bejewelled necklace, large jewelled earrings, and matching brooch.  Much later after her death a huge auction was held and a huge amount of money raised from the sale of her costume jewellery collection.

In the 1980’s Dynasty and Dallas were extremely popular on television and watched by 250 million viewers.  Actresses in these productions were extremely well groomed, and complimented their outfits with stunning costume jewellery.

Throughout this whole period, designers were busy stretching the boundaries in the production of well constructed, good quality costume jewellery – more details on those designers can be accessed from the home page of this web site. Some of those designers are still producing today, and some sold their businesses on to companies that are continuing to manufacture good quality costume jewellery in the vintage style.