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Complementing Petticoats and Waspy Waists

Exhibition  /  17 Sep 2010  -  14 Nov 2010
Published: 29.06.2010
Henkel & Grosse. Photograph: Untitled, 1962. Henkel & Grosse,Photograph: 1962Christian Dior, by Henkel & Grosse. Henkel & Grosse
Photograph: Untitled, 1962


Henkel & Grosse,
Photograph: 1962
Christian Dior, by Henkel & Grosse
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
(...) Henkel & Grosse was one of the world's most reputed costume jewellery manufactories. It owed its fame, among other things, to the fact that it produced Christian Dior jewellery for 50 years. (...)
Complementing Petticoats and Waspy Waists – Costume Jewellery from the 1950s
Christian Dior and Grossé Jewellery by Henkel & Grosse

Henkel & Grosse was one of the world's most reputed costume jewellery manufactories. It owed its fame, among other things, to the fact that it produced Christian Dior jewellery for 50 years. In 1955 the company entered into an agreement with Christian Dior, the famous French fashion designer, and from then on held the exclusive licence for manufacturing and distributing Dior jewellery. In addition, this Pforzheim-based company continued to produce its own, high-quality costume jewellery under the brand name of Grossé. These colourful brooches, necklaces and ear clips of playful floral shapes took off on their triumphant course as perfect complements for the typical women's apparel in the fifties, i.e. a petticoat skirt and a figure-hugging top which, worn together, showed off a slim waist to perfection. The most diverse sets of this costume jewellery were produced in various price ranges so as to appeal to as many groups of buyers as possible. Besides focusing on the 1950s, the exhibition will also present an “outlook” into the sixties and seventies and the Courrèges style typical of that era.

After Christian Dior opened his fashion house in 1947, he soon went down in fashion history with his New Look line that accentuated slender shoulders and emphasized the wearer's hips and waist with either pencil-slim, tubular skirts or widely flared ones. It was the visible expression of the onset of a new era and the atmosphere of new beginnings in the post-war years. Even though the silhouette of Dior's couture was not entirely new, he certainly succeeded in restoring femininity in the fashion world. Moreover, he coordinated hairstyles and accessories with the respective garments so that they harmonized with each other. Thus it is hardly surprising that this fashion designer also aimed to complement his fashionable creations with a jewellery collection of his own. His search for a manufacturer led him – on his one and only trip to Germany – to Henkel & Grosse in Pforzheim in 1955. After being granted the worldwide production and distribution licence, Henkel & Grosse designed, manufactured and launched “Christian Dior Bijoux” for half a century while at the same time creating the jewellery for its own Grossé brand which had already been brought to life in the 1920s. In the 1950s the company mainly produced romantic floral jewellery which, due to its delicate structure, had a very naturalistic look. Starting in the mid-sixties, with the emergence of André Courrèges's Space Age look, a clear-cut, geometrical and technically inspired formal idiom took over in jewellery design.

The Henkel & Grosse jewellery company was founded in 1907 by Heinrich Henkel and Florentin Grosse under the name of “Süddeutsche Gold- und Haar-Bijouterie” (“Southern German Gold and Hair Jewellery Company”). It had its first heyday in the 1920s with its costume jewellery made of brass, aluminium, wood and Bakelite. In the following decade the family-run company also established contacts with the Lanvin and Schiaparelli fashion houses in Paris, with Harrods in London and Saks in New York. In 1937 Henkel & Grosse received the “Diplôme d'Honneur” distinction at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la vie Moderne in Paris. In 2005, after its long collaboration with Dior, the company became part of the Dior group. The jewellery created by Henkel & Grosse had always been the epitome of contemporary design and technological innovation, something which is underlined by the fact that institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Primavera Gallery in New York included some of the company's pieces in their collections.-2016-2016

Remarks

The exhibition will take place within the framework of the 1950s Festival held by the city of Pforzheim

Opening:

Thursday, September 16, 7 p.m.

Opening hours:
Tu through Su and holidays 10 am to 5 pm

Admission:
3 €, reduced price 1.50 €, Group tours can be arranged
Admission free with Upper Rhineland Museum Pass and Icom-card.
Henkel & Grosse. Brooch: Untitled, 1959. Goldplated brass. Henkel & Grosse,Brooch: 1959Goldplated brassGrossé, design by Henkel & Grosse, Pforzheim, photo Petra Jaschke. Henkel & Grosse
Brooch: Untitled, 1959
Goldplated brass


Henkel & Grosse,
Brooch: 1959
Goldplated brass
Grossé, design by Henkel & Grosse, Pforzheim, photo Petra Jaschke
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Henkel & Grosse. Collier: Untitled, 1961. German silver, glass stones. Henkel & Grosse,Collier: 1961German silver, glass stonesChristian Dior, design by Henkel & Grosse, Pforzheim, photo Petra Jaschke. Henkel & Grosse
Collier: Untitled, 1961
German silver, glass stones


Henkel & Grosse,
Collier: 1961
German silver, glass stones
Christian Dior, design by Henkel & Grosse, Pforzheim, photo Petra Jaschke
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Henkel & Grosse. Brooch: Untitled, 1959. Gilded brass. Henkel & Grosse,Brooch: 1959Gilded brass Grossé, design by Henkel & Grosse, Pforzheim, photo Petra Jaschke. Henkel & Grosse
Brooch: Untitled, 1959
Gilded brass


Henkel & Grosse,
Brooch: 1959
Gilded brass
 Grossé, design by Henkel & Grosse, Pforzheim, photo Petra Jaschke
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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