Bijoux-Bijoux! Costume Jewellery from Chanel to Dior
The Kunstgewerbemuseum will be showcasing masterpieces of costume jewellery dating from 1930 to 2007, with around 400 objects from the Gisela Wiegert Collection – all celebrated designs from major fashion houses and renowned designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Willi
Apparel and jewellery have always been inextricably linked, playing off of and inspiring each other, and costume jewellery – originally made from base or semi-precious materials for serial and thus inexpensive production – is now considered an indispensable complement to high fashion. Until the mid-20th century major production centres included Idar-Oberstein (Germany) and Jablonec (Bohemia), and after World War II Neugablonz (Germany), and Providence, Rhode Island in the United States. Here, jewellery was and continues to be designed as well as manufactured in large production facilities.
Coco Chanel was the first fashion designer to recognise the creative potential of costume jewellery, and from the early 1930s onwards, she made a point of incorporating it into her collections as a design element. Other couturiers followed, and today nearly every major fashion house creates its own jewellery line, season after season. Costume jewellery – or, to be more precise, ‘couture jewellery’ – has become an integral part of haute couture collections, encompassing its own artistic aspirations that distinguish it from ‘real’ jewellery.
The exhibition has been developed in collaboration with Gisela Wiegert, one of the most prominent German collectors of costume jewellery. Wiegert has been passionately and knowledgeably collecting high-quality costume jewellery for over 30 years, and has generously provided the most significant and beautiful pieces of her opulent collection to the Kunstgewerbemuseum for the exhibition. The presentation in the fashion gallery provides the unique opportunity to juxtapose fashion and costume jewellery and thus suitably portray the critical importance of jewellery in fashion.