BY Lisa Lindblad
June 28, 2013
A must see at the Museum of Art and Design (always a fascinating stop in Manhattan for a culture monger) is the recently opened exhibition of over 450 pieces of costume jewelry that belong to Barbara Berger. The scope of the collection is fantastic, both in number and in diversity. The wow pieces – all in perfect condition – come from haute couture designers, contemporary Belgian, Dutch and American jewelers, and the classic houses we know well like Trifari, Haskell and Coro. They are all fabulous fakes but, in many instances, while they are all fabulous, you can often not even tell that they are fakes.
I have loved costume jewelry for decades now and have been collecting signed and unsigned pieces since I first lighted on a small Haskell pin at a vintage show. Since then my weekends have often included trawling through outdoor markets and, as I became more knowledgeable and more focussed, I developed relationships with dealers who would call me when something I was looking for came on the market. It was so much fun.
But my collection looks like Woolworth’s Best compared to Barbara Berger’s beauties. Some of my favorites are above and they come from St. Laurent, Gripoix, Haskell, Coro. Here are more from Coppola & Toppo and Schreiner.
There is much, much more and while many of those are smaller in size or less “serious” in style, they are all the best of their type. If you like jewelry, real or fake, this show is a must.