Christian Lacroix

Couture costume jewellery

For many, Christian Lacroix’s haute couture clothing defined the look of the 1980s. Brightly coloured, extravagant and embellished, it was enhanced by his distinctive costume jewellery.

Lacroix (b.1951) studied History of Art and began his fashion career at Hermes. He launched his own fashion house in Paris in 1987 and started designing jewellery two years later. His substantial designs featured elaborate gilt hearts, crucifixes, and charm bracelets, which are lavishly set with poured glass and generous paste stones. Designs often have Lacroix’s interlaced initials. These may be repeated on the back, as well as Christian Lacroix Paris.

The company was put into administration in 2009. In 2010, Sacha Walckhoff created a men’s ready-to-wear clothing line under the Christian Lacroix brand. Actress Jennifer Saunders ‘worshipped’ at Monsieur Lacroix’s feet in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. A pink heart brooch from The Design Gallery is featured in Judith Miller’s latest book Costume Jewellery (published November 2010).