One of our biggest inspirations and favourite jewelers is Paul Flato, known for his extremely imaginative designs. During the 1920s to 1940s in New York, Paul Flato was considered the first celebrity jewelers, creating beautiful work for many celebrities on screen and off.
What we love is that Paul Flato loved brooches and would design bespoke pieces with his clients. This heart was designed by himself and Millicent Rogers.
Paul Flato designed a collection called 'Say it in Jewels' these sign language clip brooches called 'Deaf and Dumb' being a being part of it due to him being partially deaf. Each hand sign represents a letter of the alphabet, so the customer could spell out there name or initials.
Flato also created tiny foot brooches decorated with ruby toenails, see below, and gold boxer shorts pins, another favourite is a pair of miniature gold slippers that were made for the dancer Ginger Rogers.
Here are 2 great examples of his imagination and style of work adding humour to his beautiful jewels. The actress Marlene Dietrich broke a leg whilst filming 'The Lady is willing' so Paul Flato created this leg in a cast pin for her!
Flato was highly influenced by the Surrealists in Europe, and started making polished gold lobsters, elephants, parachutes, stars, agnels, architectural details and parts of the body.
Circa 1950, gold tone compact set with pear shaped faceted paste stones, with matching lipstick holder.
Paul Flato, 1st September 1900 – 17th July 1999
Wilbur & Gussie x
Posted on: 11th September 2017