Marie Z. Johansen's Reviews > Vintage Jewelry Design: Classics to Collect & Wear

Vintage Jewelry Design by Caroline Cox
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Mar 28, 11

bookshelves: art
Read in March, 2011

I was thoroughly surprised when I received this book. For some reason the title made me think it was more about designing jewelry - but as I paid more attention I became captivated by this gem of a book. It is, in fact, about jewelry design – but it’s about the history of jewelry design! As a history buff – this book was really up my alley! Although I don't wear a lot of jewelry myself I sure do appreciate it. Thanks to this book I can now identify the period style that most appeals to me. Who knows - when I win the lottery I may go in search of Belle Epoch jewels!

As you can tell from having a look at the contents page the book breaks down the history jewelry design into decades. What was fashionable during this time - and why was it fashionable? How the particular period of history influenced the design and appeal of fashionable jewelry. Fascinating!

As always Lark books are visually appealing. The layout and photography is always spot on. The author, Caroline Cox is a visiting professor at the London College of Fashion and the focus of her work "explores the relationship between fashion, beauty and culture". Ms. Cox is both a lecturer and a cultural trends advisor. I can't think of much more interesting work

Lark layouts often seem to employ a grid. I think this approach works very well especially at the beginning of a chapter -it gives the reader a glimpse of what the pages in the next chapter will cover. The grid will depict the that period covered is, for example, 1910- 1919 and then there are thumb nail examples of the fashion, jewelry designs and art that was in vogue at the time

The book beautifully covers baubles, bangles, beads, gemstones of incredible value and beauty as well as examples of contemporary fashions and art. Historical notes about well know jewelry designers are included - Faberge, Tiffany, Schlumberger, and Schiaparelli just to name a few. Want to know the history of Bakelite and celluloid? This is the book to grab and read. I love the photos in the book - of famous models, celebrities, high society folks and the titillating world of high fashion.

I love the way the book ties everything together. Historical references refer to why certain styles, trends and materials came in to fashion when they did. That information is rounded out with a perfect collection of corresponding fashions, make-up styles and artistic works that defined the decade.

Am I little 'gushy' about this book? Yes! Why? Because it was such a delightful surprise and because it fits right in with my enjoyment of all things fashion, costume, and historical. This book will have a wide appeal I think because it does cover so much. It's perfect, of course, for jewelry designers and all of us who love gems and jewels, but it also will appeal to artists, designers, fashionistas and history buffs. I love this book and it does - for certain - have a spot in my permanent library!
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