She had begun designing jewellery in the 1930's when her designs were produced or influenced by her Surrealist friends. There was the brooch in the shape of an eye, lobster pins, lip-shaped brooches with pearls for teeth, earrings in the shape of telephones - they were audacious often whimsical but also reflected the philosophy of the Surrealists. Her famous 1938 Circus Collection included clowns, bears, acrobats and horses. Her famous Lobster Dress, using a drawing by Salvador Dali, was worn by Wallace Simpson during a photo session by Cecil Beaton just before Simpson married the Duke of Windsor.
By the 1940's Schiaparelli was beginning to establish her own, less outlandish style in her jewellery design. She was still flamboyant and loved bright colours but her pieces began to reflect her love of natural forms and her ability to juxtapose shapes, textures and colours to wonderful effect. She used glass stones, crystals and cabochons in an array of shapes and colours never seen before. She used moon rocks, aurora borealis stones, pearls dyed to match the stones, irridescent glass seashells. Many of her productions were sets - necklace, bracelet, brooch and earrings - all with the same core element that was then repeated throughout.
The 1930's Schiaparelli pieces were not signed, and are very difficult to find, but by the late 1940's most pieces were being signed. Initially this was in block lower case letters, then in the late 1940's and 1950's it became a script signature. This continued until Schiaparelli ceased to produce jewellery in the late 1950's. Schiaparelli later however sold the rights to her name and jewellery under the Schiaparelli label continues to be produced. The signature is different however, being all capital letters. So beware!
Very Vintage: by Catriona McIntosh,
The glamour of vintage Schiaparelli Jewellery:
[October 02, 2015]
Having trouble with the small sizes of
yesteryear? Well, most of us do!
The ladies were smaller
than the women of today.
NO Problem, be sure to check out our necklace extenders.