Coco Chanel and the reinvention of fake into costume jewelry

“Wealthy women wereImage now buying essentially the same synthetic trinkets at Saks Fifth Avenue that blue-collar women were ordering by catalog on the cheap. The end result was a dramatic leveling of the social playing field.

‘Now that Woolworth’s has gotten out its own version of the plain gold or silver necklet,’ joked Lois Long, young working women no longer had to ‘mourn that the tin rings around Heinz pickle jars are not bigger.’

‘Today,’ wrote one observer, ‘both the parlor maid and the debutante wear ornaments which may be classified roughly as ‘attention getters’…”

Joshua Zeitz, Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern. Crown Publishers, New York. 2006.

A lovely, big book filled with the exploits of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, Clara Bow, Lois Long, Colleen Moore, and the “New Woman”. I hadn’t expected the information about the Klan, or the information on what happened after the Crash, and people went on with their lives. It’s fluffy, it’s gossipy, and a lovely diversion during our heatwave.

I’m sorry, can’t find any of my pictures of costume jewelry, so, perhaps caviar on toast points will evoke the Roaring 20s?

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