“Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Fashion as Jewellery” – from the Sosenko Family’s collection November/December 2014

m sniadanie tiffany2The project accompanying the XVI Edition of the Festival OFF Fashion in Kielce

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Fashion as Jewellery Exhibition, arranged as part of this year’s OFF Fashion Festival, taking place between 10 and 23 November 2014, will be held at The Lift Modern Art Gallery in Kielce. Curated and originated by Katarzyna Sosenko, an art historian, the exhibition shows a unique collection of antique fashion accessories within the collection of the Sosenko Family, renowned collectors of handicraft and decorative art and creators of the largest complex of private collections in Poland.

The title and idea of the exhibition emerged from the need to create an exhibition showing potential and impetus of the 19th and 20th century fashion and addressed to young and modern people who are engaged in a dialogue with both pop culture and historical sources in their artistic work.

The leitmotif of the exhibition is the decorative role of jewellery and fashion accessories that function as jewellery. The exhibition aims at bringing the history of fashion closer to people and to illustrate it with the most impressive and inventive solutions. A selection of exhibits coming from historical fashion allows one to view changes in fashion design. Fashion as a theme of popular reality shows, blogs or university study programmes is an ever-growing phenomenon and industry, that is why a visit to this exhibition can become an exciting experience and aesthetical incentive for all those (both enthusiasts and professionals) who look for sources of inspiration to create an attractive appearance.

Principally, the exhibition will show exhibits from the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, obsolete now but some time ago the most beautiful adornment of women’s wear. These include hats and headgear, handbags and bead pouches, evening fashion accessories such as feathers, headdresses and hair adornments, fans, decorative belts and jacket buckles, brooches, clasps, necklaces made of imitation gems, hat pins, decorative sculpture-like buckles gemmed with little crystals. The leitmotif of all exhibits will be an extraordinary decorative potential. Design, material and techniques of the exhibits will refer to jewellery techniques.

Decorative wardrobe elements and ornaments were once hand-made using art techniques. Applications made of haberdashery items, bows, beads, polished glass beads, semi-precious gemstones, non-ferrous metals functioned as jewellery as they used to decorate specific clothing accessories.

The exhibition is addressed not only to fashion experts and modern designers. World literature lovers will have an opportunity to make themselves acquainted with phenomenal popularity of Truman Capote’s bestseller  Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) and an Oscar-winner film adaptation (1961).

An unusual title of the exhibition refers to the cult film Breakfast at Tiffany’s which had an enormous impact on the awareness of the role of fashion in woman’s life. An image of the main character of the adaptation of Truman Capote’s novel, played by Audrey Hepburn, perceived as a fashion icon and personification of elegance continues to inspire contemporary women to this day.

The background of the film is the 60’s fashion, elegance of the old-time New York and the famous luxury jewellery shop Tiffany & Co, located at Fifth Avenue in New York. A romantic love story is in fact a style manifesto with the leitmotif being Audrey Hepburn’s clothing and chic accessories and her efforts to have an attractive image.

Selected texts from the exhibition:


Jewellery has always played a few crucial functions – it was a symbol of one’s financial position or a form of investment, it expressed one’s personality, belonging to a group or one’s opinions. It seems that today, more that in the past, jewellery highlights one’s authority and competence in the world of business, too. Appearances are that important because in the speeding contemporary world the first impression has significant and sometimes irreversible consequences. Clothing and accessories defines one’s creativity, a courageous attitude, authority or competence.

The career of jewellery as an add-on is not only a culmination of the process of styling but also a phenomenon combining fashion and sociology. After a period of crisis, popularity of jewellery in everyday fashion has significantly grown. Its function is not only a decorative role but a clear message about the end of the crisis. Today’s decorative accessories cheer us up and, when boldly exposed, make us feel dressed better and more wealthy.


Today, jewellery and add-ons have made a great comeback. Jewellery is worn with everything – a wool sweater, checked shirt or T-shirt. The bigger contrast the better. The trend which is a kind of pressure to wear add-ons is a very interesting phenomenon that is widely present in today’s fashion.

Adornment of everything is a sign of the times but it’s worth becoming familiar with some examples of this trend in the past centuries. Currently, traditional patterns are on the boom. Thanks to oversizing or combining different techniques, making use of materials and eclectic ornaments, they have become interesting hybrids. Recently, considerable golden necklaces, oversized gold chains, big watches with sparkling diamond imitation, sparkling handbag applications, decorative buckles, chains and well exposed zip-fasteners have become extremely popular. Jewellery smartens up shoes, electronic gadgets, mobile phones and even furniture. Using gilt, sequins, polished glass beads, beads, diamond beads, caviar effect, pearls, decorative buttons, press studs and imitation gemstones has become an inseparable element of every part of contemporary wardrobe.

Please feel invited to come and see the exhibition
Katarzyna Sosenko

Katarzyna Sosenko, an art historian, antiquarian, owner of the biggest Polish collection of antique perfume bottles, author of The Scent of Luxury exhibition.

A graduate from the Jagiellonian University, holds a Master’s Degree in Art History, was granted a prestigious scholarship in museology and curatorship by the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation of Venice. She is an expert in the history of fashion and luxury brands. She has authored numerous articles and exhibitions in the area of craftwork.

She was born into a famous Cracow family with a long tradition of collecting, in which she grew up in an artistic atmosphere and created a unique collection, having both visual and documentary value. A passionate collector of other fashion accessories – antique handbags, hats, fans, glasses, buttons and walking sticks, which she exhibited in Poland and abroad on a number of occasions.

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Kielce Cultural Center

Plac St. Moniuszki 2b

25-334 Kielce

woj. Świętokrzyskie