Mad Men


Next year (2015) will mark 125 years since Napier moved its costume jewelry & accessories company to Meriden, CT, and I have been immersed in Napier since the recent publication of Melinda Lewis’ iconic book, “The Napier Company: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry” (Fall 2013).  My online shop collection has now grown to 45 pieces of this company’s vintage beauties, the largest and longest standing costume jewelry producer in U.S. history.  From the Art Deco period to the chunky and bold 1980’s, Napier dominated the jewelry counters of most fine department stores, from Filene’s to Macy’s to Bloomingdale’s.  Not to mention, who doesn’t remember their silver plated wares, such as the piggy bank (popular baby shower gift), the chic sterling diaper pins (engravable for silver-spooned tykes), or their barware (jiggers, cocktail shakers, etc.)?  …Which are now making a comeback, thanks to retro-homage TV shows like AMC’s Mad Men.

Napier developed many of the classic styles that became staples for the American woman’s working and cocktail party wardrobe, from the Gucci-link designs to their infamous and best-ever made charm bracelets from the 1950’s-60’s.  Feast your eyes on a fashion timeline that might recall your mother’s or grandmother’s favorites!

Napier 1950's moonglow fruit charm bracelet

Napier 1950’s moonglow fruit charm bracelet

Napier 1968 Eugene Bertolli design set

Napier 1968 Eugene Bertolli design set

 

Napier 1940s sterling silver bracelet

Napier 1940’s sterling silver swirl bracelet

Napier 1950s chatelaine earrings

Napier 1950’s over-the-ear chatelaine earrings

Napier gauntlet bracelet

Napier 1955 flexible gauntlet bracelet

 

Napier Gucci link bracelet

Napier “Gucci” link anchor bracelet

Napier bell earrings

Napier 1950’s Bell Chime earrings

 

Keeping a sharp eye on costume jewelry, I’ve been scanning the screen images of the wildly popular retro show on AMC, Mad Men, looking for what these women are wearing with their early 1960’s wiggle dresses and party frocks.  Looking at Season One to start, I’m seeing a lot of the designer, Trifari, particularly on the character known as Rachel.

However, in one of her first scenes, she steps out with a luscious pink satin glass necklace with matching earrings, which is totally stunning over her fuchsia pink outfit and over-the-top feathered hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here she is pictured with a teardrop faux pearl and art glass 3-strand necklace with the matching earrings, designed by Trifari.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here she is pictured another  Trifari set, with black lucite “rings” and gold plating.

Same Trifari set with green lucite rings

Trifari black lucite “ring” necklace