Magnificent Costume Jewels
MAGNIFICENT COSTUME JEWELS was founded in 1985 by renowned jewelry expert and historian Clive Kandel. The 1980s, known as the Bonfire-of-the-Vanities era, was a time of lavish display of wealth. The auction of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels in 1987 set the mood for an indescribable era of conspicuous consumption of jewelry. Crowds flocked to Christie’s and Sotheby’s Fine Jewels previews and auctions. Those sales became synonymous with a public display of acquiring expensive gems, including enormous South Sea pearl necklaces with matching earrings, Bulgari gold jewels, Art Deco diamond bracelets and rare Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry from the first half of the 20th century. It was a time when important collections were formed, rivaling the cache of treasures belonging to the newly rich of the 1920s.
Recognizing the desire by fashionable women to own and be seen wearing remarkable jewels, Clive Kandel brought his brilliant copies of the jewels that every woman aspired to own to the attention of the famed New York store, Bergdorf Goodman. Named Magnificent Costume Jewels, the collection was immediately placed in the centermost point of the main floor, from which the remarkable display ever-grew and expanded throughout the next 15 years.
The MAGNIFICENT COSTUME JEWELS collection was shown at Harrods of London, where Kandel's pieces were bought by members from royal families, including Princess Diana and Presidential First Ladies and numerous women on America’s best-dressed list.
Karl Lagerfeld selected MAGNIFICENT COSTUME JEWELS to be worn exclusively in the filming of his Duke and Duchess of Windsor fashion story for The New York Times. Lagerfeld declared "No other costume jewelry can fool the camera…and people... so well."
MAGNIFICENT COSTUME JEWELS remain the finest and most exclusive collection of jewels and are oftentimes, charmingly and accurately, described as "The Only Costume Jewelry Not Safe To Travel With."