Suzy Parker Goes Faux Miriam Haskell

During the 1940s and 1950s, wartime restrictions on the use of precious metals set the stage for a golden age of rococo design among costume jewelers. Miriam Haskell, the doyenne of costume couture, was one of the period’s leading lights. Having opened her first shop, Le Bijou de L’Heure, in New York’s McAlpin Hotel in 1926, she earned a reputation for making gorgeously handmade yet affordable costume pieces that allowed women, no matter their income, to feel glamorous. “She was a trendsetter ahead of her time that used jewelry as a way to express her individuality,” says Gabrielle Fialkoff, president of Haskell Jewels. The designer’s devoted fans included Coco Chanel, Lucille Ball, and Joan Crawford, who owned a set of almost every piece made from the 1920s through the 1960s. In this 1957 photo, model and actress Suzy Parker wears a necklace of opalescent moonstone cabochons and Austrian crystals every bit as striking as she is. Today, as material prices continue to climb, fine jewelers are once again exploring the world of fashion jewelry, so it’s only fitting that the Miriam Haskell name is back, with a lower-priced M. Haskell line that retails from $12 to $40, as well as the original Miriam Haskell collection, still handmade in New York (retail: $300–$4,000), not far from where it all began 85 years ago.

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