Gone are the days when the only people you’d see wearing pins were the royal family or the over-fifties. Today we are seeing them sparkling from red carpets and lighting up fashion shows. Even men are wearing them. What’s most exciting is that they are showing up in increasingly creative forms. For our latest style edit we took a handful of our favourite pre-loved and vintage brooches from the world’s top jewellery houses and had a think about how best to work them in 2017.
For us, the beauty of the brooch is its versatility. As well as its traditional home on the lapel, we’re seeing it on waistlines, shirt cuffs, handbags, chokers and in the hair. It doesn’t have to combine solely with evening-wear either. It can look best livening up a t-shirt or a block jumper.
Our model wears a Brooch by Cartier which features old European cut Diamonds mounted in a beautiful three-leaf design, made in 18k Yellow Gold, available here.
Yet that same brooch will take on a whole new level of elegance when paired with a dress or suit. Indeed, a brooch can make the outfit. With a little thought, like wearing it against plain colours for maximum contrast, it will be the first thing you notice. Try an all-black suit with no other jewellery except for a single brooch on the neckline or a cluster on the lapel. The trick is not to overdo it. Discretion draws the focus.
Our model wears a Brooch by Tiffany & Co. from their Elsa Peretti collection and features a starfish design made in 18k Yellow Gold, available here.
What to Look For
Like with the explosion of the charm bracelet, people are choosing their favourite animals or symbols that reveal their personalities and influences. But unlike charms, brooches can come in far more detailed and elaborate forms. Flowers and nature-inspired pieces are also a must.
Try vintage pins by Van Cleef & Arpels, a long-term leader in brooch style, which has a back-catalogue of iconic fairies, ballerinas, leaves and feathers. Or Cartier, which also makes similar designs as well as fish or its signature panther.
Our model wears a Brooch by Tiffany & Co. which features Cabochon Sapphires with one round brilliant cut Diamond creating a beautiful floral design, made in 14k Yellow and Rose Gold, available here.
This year has been one of the biggest yet for brooch design. The big jewellery houses have seen a surge in demand and are producing fresh and exciting collections. Van Cleef & Arpels is leading the way with its enchanting pairs of exotic animals, but brooches date back to Victorian Britain, when they were the most common item in a woman’s jewellery box, which means there are many pre-loved and vintage pieces out there that can be given a new lease of life if strategically placed. The possibilities are endless!
For more style guides and jewellery reviews, follow our magazine, or for buying options you can shop pre-owned and vintage jewellery on Xupes.