Chane’sl first line of the so-called ‘costume jewelry’ became quite a hit in 1921 when Coco Chanel first introduced it in her Paris boutique along with her clothing collection. The creation of her own line of costume jewelry was just was only logical since Chanel’s main concept was: "luxury should be comfortable."

Chanel laconic and simple garments asked for additional accessories. Real jewelry would not work. First, Chanel loved to experiment with the size of gemstones and the amount of jewelry, and secondly, it was no longer safe to wear fine jewelry in the daytime. So Mademoiselle introduced her own line of costume jewelry. Collaboration of Chanel with the House of Gripua began in the early 1920s.

 

 

Maison Gripoix was a small family company, founded in 1870 by Augustine Gripoix. Madame Gripoix and her daughter Suzanne used She used the pâte de verre (glass paste) technique whereby a ceramic or qypsum mold was filled with multi-color pieces of glass and special gluing substances and then baked in a furnace. Although, Augustine changed the original method a little: she melted the glass first and then she poured the melted glass paste into the moulds. 

Cabochons turned out of pure and saturated color, transparent and shiny. They perfectly imitated gemstones. The ladies lined up to make replicas of their jewelry. Maison Gripoix also made its own line of jewelry. Beautiful necklaces in the shape of flowers and insects were very popular with fashionistas of the early XX century.

Sarah Bernhardt wore them on stage and in her everyday life and famous fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth found them incredible.

Madame Gripoix also collaborated with Paul Poiret, creating oriental-inspired couturier jewelry for him.

At that time, all famous designers ordered bijouterie from Madame Gripoix: Jeanne Lanvin, Jean Piguet, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent. But it was Gabrielle Chanel with whom Madame Gripoix had the most striking collaboration. The legendary pearl necklace Chanel is the work of the masters of Gripoix House. Chanel’s famous fake pearls were created by Madame Gripoix in such a way that it was impossible to tell the difference between them and the real ones.

Gripoix’s high-quality materials and best jewelry designers have put Chanel bijouterie at the top of the list of high-end costume jewelry brands. In the 1920's and 1930's, Sicilian Duke Fulco di Verdura was the head designer of Chanel jewelry. He created the iconic Maltese Cross motif and white enamel cuff bracelets.

Today Gripoix continues to make jewelry. But this is no longer a family business. The style has changed – the designs have become simpler, more graphic and modern. Our collection comprises some unique 1960s pieces, which were created by Coco Chanel. They have become iconic. They are sold at auctions (rarely on a free sale) and are collected and handed down.


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Suzanne Gripiox at work

Gripoix’s high-quality materials and best jewelry designers have put Chanel bijouterie at the top of the list of high-end costume jewelry brands. In the 1920's and 1930's, Sicilian Duke Fulco di Verdura was the head designer of Chanel jewelry. He created the iconic Maltese Cross motif and white enamel cuff bracelets.

Today Gripoix continues to make jewelry. But this is no longer a family business. The style has changed – the designs have become simpler, more graphic and modern. Our collection comprises some unique 1960s pieces, which were created by Coco Chanel. They have become iconic. They are sold at auctions (rarely on a free sale) and are collected and handed down.

 

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Vogue illustration, 1938