Does your jewelry collection contain more than a few variably dated heirlooms that might have been passed down by the women of your family from whom you descended? Have you stored them somewhere securely, although just out of eyesight enough to keep you content in just knowing that they’re safely preserved? Are most of these pieces kept where you know that you’ll be able to find them if you at some point come upon an occasion or ensemble necessitating their absolute belonging? You’re not alone.
Brooches (aka fibulae,) have been big business for numerous preceding cultures and eras, dating back to the Paleolithic age, where the brooch was employed as a fastener to hold worn cloth together. The mechanism used for fastening has always been the defining element to classify the type of brooch, with those very first cave-dwelling fashionistas relying on thorns, and later flint and then bronze as brooch fasteners. We have the Byzantines to thank for adding bling to broaches, from their enameling techniques that added color and flair to these fasteners. Brooch artistry continued through the ages, with many growing in size, while others included jewels, and at certain times, it was fashionable for many smaller brooches to be all worn at one time.
A Coming Out Party
While it’s unlikely that any brooches numbered among your present collection date back before the 20th century, there is new inspiration for you as a brooch owner to get any you do have out of storage, to be dusted off and used as trending fashion embellishments for today’s freshest attire. The size of a brooch might best determine its best placement, with the smaller variety serving as excellent methods of topping off a string of buttons, or just above a zipper closure. A closer look at many of the design-clad top models gracing the metropolitan runways of fashion week has revealed a new surge of flair-power for these lovelies from yesteryear’s prominence. Not being confined to catwalks, lovely heirloom brooches are showing up all over the red carpet, being flaunted by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, the Olsen two, Wendi Murdoch and Zhang Ziyi.
Practice Makes Perfect
Admittedly, adding brooches to today’s haute couture can take a bit of experimentation, however, once that sweet spot is found, the game-changing force of brooch-fueled style that follows makes every try-fail worth the effort. Among the first decisions to make is the form of attachment you’ll use for each brooch. Many work quite well when affixed to other pieces, such as a myriad of distinctively styled chokers and wrist or arm bands. Others seem to beg for a clasp modification that might allow a smooth transition to a hair accessory or as a centerpiece of a necklace. Try cinching one strap of an eveningwear favorite with a large brooch for an asymmetrical gift of glamor to your presence. The methods by which you can embellish an infinite number of hairstyles should keep you busy for a long time. One thing is sure–once you get the hang of it, you’ll be shopping for brooches at yard sales and markets, from your new passion. Enjoy!