Known for my collection of Bakelite and other plastic 1930s jewellery I have opened a shop on Etsy.
I have been collecting for about 30 years and I was highly influenced by a shop called Wardrobe that I visited when I first came to Brighton in 1986.
The fantastic colours and shapes of plastic jewellery have been a fascination to me and because I am from Russian and Turkish decent I am known for my unusual eclectic style.
As a historian I have included a short history plastic jewellery below.
The modernist period after World War I included Art Deco design. Driven by the machine age Chrome and Bakelite were used as cheaper materials after the stock market crash in 1929.
Bakelite, a phenolic resin, was patented by Dr. Leo Baekeland in 1907 and was originally used in industrial designs. The stunning colourways of Bakelite in black, white, green and mustard.
Bakelite and Celluloid were experiments in new shapes and dramatic angular designs. Translucents made from Lucite also provided affordable costume jewellery in an age of high fashion in the luxury market.
It was Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli who promoted costume jewellery and if it had not been for the couture designers costume jewellery would not have been accepted in high society.
In the 1920s the straight lines of the new style dresses were accentuated by long strands of beads and bare arms were adorned in bangles.
Vogue and Harpers Bazaar promoted the avant-garde designs as a fashionable alternative to fine jewellery. Worn by famous actresses in Hollywood consumers were seduced by the charm of the new designs and the colours and statement pieces were a good antidote for hard times.
Bold costume jewellery is now considered timeless and it decorates the surface of clothing making an exciting statement.
The term ‘costume jewellery’ was first used in the New Yorker magazine in 1933 and it is a 20th century phenomenon.