They may be everyday items for many people, but those jewellery pieces we have stored in pretty boxes play a larger significance in our lives than most people realise. For instance, jewellery helps add some extra dazzle to an outfit, turning it from drab to fab in a snap.
And while the likes of Chopard, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels have all become household names, thanks to a bevy of media coverage, ad campaigns as well as as red carpet mentions by A-list stars, there are some other famed jewellery houses that one should know in order to increase one's cool quotient.
This week, we take a look at some of the famous jewellery houses that are now considered vintage finds.
Founded in 1890, the House of Gripoix is one of the oldest if not the oldest in the trade. The artisans of Gripoix were among the first to master the techniques of glass enamelling, which is made from “Pâte de verre,” or glass paste, which is formed when molten glass is poured into a mold. They were also the first to introduce the sheening of fake pearls and various other techniques of the art of parure so essential to the world of haute couture.
Gripoix's treasured petites mains, the artisans who toil tirelessly in cramped workshops to create the exquisite details that transform a beautiful garment into a sumptuous showpiece worthy of haute couture, have over the years turned out extraordinary pieces for Lanvin, Paul Poiret, Worth, Givenchy, Yves Saint-Laurent and many more. In particular, the House of Gripoix is credited with developing the pearl sheening that perfectly imitates cultured pearls and for which the House of Chanel has become famous for.
HOUSE OF BOZART
Not much is known about this label but this famed Italian jewellery house is renowned for its opulence and lush gilt-metal accessories. Founded in 1956 in Milan, the brand has been a family-owned business since it's inception. Many of its pieces make use of a combination of gold-toned metal and stunning gemstones. Because of how ornate each piece looks (every piece looks like it belongs in the museum), the jewellery pieces are often used in fashion editorials. Today, you can still find Bozart pieces in Italy. Or, if you're lucky enough, in specialised vintage houses.
Large pearl cuff
Multi-coloured gemstone belt
Gold Gilt metal suspenders
Other notable famed jewellery houses:
KENNETH JAY LANE
Also known at KJL, the company was founded in 1963 in America. The house has created designs for Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Vreeland, and Audrey Hepburn. More recently in 2011,Britney Spears and Nicole Richie have been seen wearing Lane jewellery. Legend has it that the Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, was rumoured to have been buried wearing one of his belts.
Crystal & enamel earrings