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Treasure Chest: Fantasy Baubles

Sasha Maksutenko is a San Francisco based personal stylist at Styled by Sasha Maks and owner of vintage costume jewelry e-boutique Sasha Maks Vintage.
An avid vintage clothes collector since college, her passion for vintage fashion was sparked by an introduction to New Wave cinema’s style heroines like Anna Karina and Jeanne Moreau. She studied interior design and art history and went on to become a dealer of mid-century design.

While looking for notable 20th century design, her focus eventually shifted to vintage costume jewelry. Impressed by the sumptuous materials, superb craftsmanship and an immense diversity of design, Sasha began collecting and launched SashaMaksVintage.com in 2009. The curated collection encompasses the glamour, fantasy and originality of costume jewels from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Vintage Swoboda Agate Necklace

Swoboda, Agate Necklace

By Sasha Maksutenko

I discovered vintage costume jewelry while working as mid-century design dealer. While looking for treasures at flea markets and estates sales in San Francisco and the Bay Area, I was drawn the over-the-top creations in an amazing array of materials and designs of costume jewels. My background is in interior design and I have been a passionate vintage clothes buyer through college.  Vintage jewelry opened up a whole new world to discover, collect and eventually sell.

Sasha Maks Vintage Pierre Cardin Bracelet

Pierre Cardin Bracelet

I launched my e-boutique Sasha Maks Vintage in 2009, and while I collect and admire jewelry from 1950s through the 1980s my personal favorites are the Space Age creations of Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin, and Lanvin from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Costume jewelry runs the gamut from aristocratic designs in fantasy hued rhinestones by fashion houses such as Christian Dior, historically based mashups in faux pearls and patte-de-verre  by Chanel, and Space Age avant-garde fantasies by Parco Rabanne of chain mail and plastics.

Sasha Maks Vintage Lanvin Necklaces

Lanvin Lucite Necklaces

Sasha Maks Vintage Kenneth Jay Lane Koi Necklace

Kenneth Jay Lane, Faux Jade Koi Pendant Necklace

Another favorite and important designer of note, who is still producing today, is Kenneth Jay Lane, starting in the early 1960s, Lane’s approach was humorous and extremely diverse. Championed by the inimitable vogue editor, Diana Vreeland,  his creations where worn by the socialites and celebrities of the day, Jackie O, Elizabeth Taylor, and Babe Paley. Ken Lane creative output knew no bounds, he created exotic Maharajah inspired designs, ironic versions of animal-motif pieces based on Jean Toussant’s Big Cat jewelry for Cartier form the 30s and 40s, and dazzling Art Deco -style jewels.

What originally drew me to costume jewelry was its larger then life scale. It’s witty, experimental, glam and simply a joy to wear! For those who covet individual style one-of-a-kind vintage baubles are your statement making answer.


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