Friday, September 10, 2010

Jewels are a Girl's Best Friend

Like the saying goes, everything old is new again, and crystal brooches are no exception. These handy-dandy accessories are great for dressing up just about anything, from a cashmere sweater to a favorite clutch or coat. I have a few stashed away, but my favorite one was owned by my great-grandmother (who from what I was told was very stylish and kind of flashy). I inherited this piece, along with a great black faux fur coat that at the time had the brooch pinned to it. Since then I've used this brooch on just about everything, from dresses to head scarves to purses. The versatility is endless. That's the great thing about costume jewelry, no matter what, it's pretty timeless and there are infinite uses for costume pieces. You can find it for relatively little money on eBay, at flea markets and garage sales, pawn shops, and even brand new pieces at trendy mall shops. 
There are even books dedicated to this jewelry sector, such as Costume Jewelry by Judith Miller (DK Adult, 2007) and my favorite Jewels of Passion: Costume Jewelry Masterpieces by Sherri R. Duncan and Deby Roberts (Schiffer Publishing, 2008), which includes stories behind some of the most beautiful pieces created in the 20th century by designers like Christian Dior, Kenneth Jay Lane, and Trifari. Ultimately I think what draws me to costume jewelry, and especially brooches, is that they are fashion pieces that most people can afford and they can completely change the look and feel of the most simple article of clothing or accessory. In a recent trip to The Hollywood Museum I got a chance to see some pieces owned and used by two of my favorite icons, Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball, and knowing that these two ladies also enjoyed a big hunk of crystal and rhinestone around their neck or on their lapel, just confirms how jewelry can really be a girl's best friend (or at least their best accessory). 

Marilyn Monroe accessories used during early screen tests & Lucille Ball's personal jewelry collected from her home on Roxbury Dr.

Book Cover Photos: From website

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