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Paul Flato Hollywood Whimsical Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on December 19, 2010

Paul Flato – Hollywood Whimsical Jewelry

Paul Flato, who died at 98 in 1999, was known as the Jeweler To The Stars.    In the 1930’s and 1940’s, he brought European styling to costume and fine jewelry, and added some Hollywood whimsical touches.

He grew up in Texas near the King Ranch, in a well-to-do family.   He began making jewelry and bejeweled saddles there.

After a stint at The University of Texas at Austin, Flato moved to Manhattan and attended Columbia University, then spent several years working for jewelers before he went into business for himself, opening a boutique on 57th Street.

He advertised in VogueHarper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair; hosted lavish jewelry fashion shows; had a booth at the 1939 World’s Fair; and soon sold his extravagant jewels to Brenda Frazier, Doris Duke, Norma Shearer, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Millicent Rogers, Linda and Cole Porter, and dukes and duchesses.

His genius lay in eccentric assemblages and unlikely color combinations of stones that were theatrical and conceptual.

n 1938, Flato opened a store on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood at the urging of George Cukor and designed jewels for the movie Holiday with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Then came five more motion pictures: Hired WifeThat Uncertain FeelingBlood and SandTwo-Faced Woman and The Lady is Willing.

Perhaps you’ve seen some of these pieces of jewelry from old movies and fashion magazines.

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