Adorning Fashion: The History of Costume Jewellery

Adorning Fashion: The History of Costume Jewellery

Costume jewellery is usually believed to refer to attractive but inexpensive adornments made of non-precious materials. The earliest ‘costume jewellery’ emulated exquisite jewellery styles and emerged in mid-1700s France with the emergence of the bourgeoisie. Costume jewellery has evolved significantly since then. Costume jewellery has evolved into an art form in its own right, from Victorian sentimentalism to mass-produced ornaments available today.

A thorough examination of its past is long required. Adorning Fashion delves into the evolution of costume jewellery over the past four centuries, complete with professional information, identification techniques, and historical anecdotes. Each era’s styles are given specific attention: Victorian, Edwardian, Arts & Crafts, Jugendstil, Art Nouveau, and each decade of the twentieth century. Production procedures are also thoroughly discussed. Silver and gold can be imitated using alloys and gilded electroplating. At the same time, the refraction index of treated glass can be mistaken for a diamond to the untrained sight.

Adorning Fashion features Kokichi Mikimoto, Arthur L. Liberty, Carlo Giuliano, René Lalique, Elizabeth Bonté, the Castellani brothers, Jean Fouquet, Jean Després, Fulco di Verdura, Jean Schlumberger, Salvador Dal, Miriam Haskell, Lina Baretti, Countess Cissy Zoltowska, Line Vautrin, Kenneth Jay Lane, Francisco Rebajes, Diane Love, Christian.



Deanna Farneti Cera has been researching and writing on vintage jewellery for over thirty years. An international expert on European and American fashion jewellery, Deanna was the curator and acting Vice Director at the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Bologna from 1975-1980 and has curated the exhibitions Le girlie di Hollywood – American Designers of Fashion Jewellery 1920-1960 (1987) and Jewels of Fantasy (1991). She wrote the book Bijoux (Federico Motta Editore, 2010), which was translated into Costume Jewellery (UK Edition) and Amazing Gems (US Edition). Deanna lives and works in Milan.