Coco Chanel made it fashionable to wear jewelry meant for the evening with her daytime outfits, like a long string of pearls. She embraced jewelry and truly made it “costume jewelry”. Her couture house produces colorful necklaces, bracelets, lapel pins and earrings crafted from glass beads.
Chanel’s jewelry from the 1920s usually consisted of ropes of pearls with interspersed pate de verre stones, sometimes with crosses hanging from them. She also made strands of pearls and colored glass for wearing with colored glass and pearl cuffs and bracelets. In 1929, Coco opened a boutique in her Paris salon to sell accessories, such as bags, belts, scarves and jewelry.
The 1930s saw gilded jewels, chains, cuffs, and buttons in an almost militaristic style. It was around this time that Chanel and the first large couturiers started to produce lines of costume jewelry to accompany their clothing, a trend continued by Christian Dior among others. It is probably due to this development that Chanel is credited with the “invention” of modern costume jewelry. Many of the designs were simply copies of her real jewelry, which was either given to her or worn by her high status friends and clients.