Hollywoods' Hero! – Joseff of Hollywood
Joan, Joseffs Wife and Business partner, with pieces from her company.
Hollywood: A thriving, robust industry of glamour and fame during the the great depression. If youve ever watched films such as Cleopatra (1963) or Marie Antoinette (1938), you might have been struck by actresses Elizabeth Taylor or Normer Shearers striking glamour, and who is responsible? Joseff of Hollywood of course!
A costume jewellery designer from the 20s to 40s, Eugene Joseff revolutionised jewellery in the film industry. After criticising the historical inaccuracy of jewellery represented in film, Joseffs ambition was to design jewellery appropriate for the screen, and achieve it he did! Not only were his designs unique, a whole lot of research went into the making of Joseff of Hollywood jewellery to accurately depict the appropriate period.
Take a look at this gorgeous piece worn by Elizabeth Taylor, inspired by the discovery of jewellery found in Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.
To this day, the Joseff family own a whopping three million pieces, made possible by the leasing scheme Joseff had used, allowing people to hire and re-hire. (Above: Elizabeth Taylor in "Cleopatra - 1963)
We still dont know how they made a Christmas tree out of Joseff jewellery but it must of taken time, Look at Joans face!
Soon enough, Joseff became a star of his own, with big Hollywood actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich loving his jewellery so much, they started wearing it off screen!
With Hollywood being so highly influential, Joseff opened his shop, Sunset Jewellery in 1935 to make his pieces available to the public. Seen as absolute luxury at the time, Joseff of Hollywoods Jewellery is highly collectable and sort after to this day.
(Left) Joseff and actress Katherine Wilson look over his supply of chains. Joseff always kept plenty of chains on hand to meet emergency studio orders. The cigar boxes behind Wilson are the same ones used today. (Right) Joseff is pictured delivering his wares to Buffums department store in a newspaper ad from 1948.
These days have gone! Now, its our turn to revive some of those glamour looks or better still, add the pieces to your own modern look. For an upbeat glamour hit or to rev up your everyday look whether it be jeans and a t-shirt, a little black dress or everything in between.
HQM has, as usual, happened upon an authentic collection of Joseff of Hollywood earrings, necklaces and brooches! This is a rare event as these pieces are rare and highly sought after.
Channel your inner movie star, original Joseff of Hollywood necklace and earrings available at Harlequin Market.