Glass has been used for many centuries in the production of fashion jewellery. Fashion jewellery is – as the word suggests – jewellery that matches the latest fashion trends and unlike real jewellery is much cheaper. The earliest form of fashion jewellery was in ancient Egypt in the style of reconstituted beads. Fashion jewellery is also known by other terms: Rhinestones and rhinestone jewellery can also be classed as fashion jewellery.
An interesting evolution
The history can – so it is believed – be dated back to the 18th century in France. At this time, the first great era of fashion jewellery began. There was a great demand for the jewellery at the time of the court of Louis XV. This king is also said to have been keen on promoting the spread of glass blocks made from leaded glass. Alsatian jewellery and inventor Georges Frédéric Strass played a very important role in this period because he was able to produce specially manufactured diamond imitations using his own unique method. He developed a glass paste which was so hard that it could be ground in a brilliant cut and was so successful that he was allowed to be called the ‚Jeweller of the King‘.
Fashion jewellery conquering the world
The concept of fashion jewellery, however, was probably made in the 1920s when Coco Chanel designed the first fashion jewellery to suit people’s collection. She was thus the first fashion designer to make fashion jewellery part of her collection. Even today, renowned fashion designers design their fashion jewellery in Paris and other fashion centres of the world and present them to an interested audience at fashion shows (such as Haute Couture). From the late 19th until the mid-20th Century fashion jewellery centres were founded far from the great fashion capitals. Idar-Oberstein, Pforzheim, Providence (USA) and of course Gablonz (Jablonec) or Neugablonz were among the first places from which fashion jewellery was sold all over the world. There were, of course, not just glass stones but also glass beads, glass balls, or even materials such as base metals, wood, leather, textiles and other products used in the manufacture of fashion jewellery. Creativity has virtually no limits.
Fashion in the news
Renowned magazines, launched in the 19th Century, contributed to the worldwide success of fashion jewellery and even still do today. The first issue of Vogue was published in Paris in 1892. Harper’s Bazaar even appeared several decades earlier – 1867 in New York. These magazines quickly reached high volumes and even today they are the first port of call for fashion buffs for sources of information on trends in the fashion world.