This past Friday’s Wall Street Journal had a story about brooches. Google the title and caption of the article and you’ll get a free pass to read it. The piece suggests that the brooch, or pin as it is better know today, has long been the neglected child of the fashion flock, gilded, as it were, by its nonagenarian subtext. However you’ve come to call them (and from my past lecturing I’ve learn that this is both a regional and cultural phenomenon), brooches and pins are in every dresser drawer and have been for eons. They never really left the building, just collected dust in a box until the right jacket or dress comes along.
These days we also put them in our upswept hair — an idea that I welcome despite the fact that my hair will remain boy short (that’s my old hair to the right). So I’ll wear my pins to emphasize what I like best: my smile and Pilates-honed waist (a la Michelle Williams and the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor). Brooches have been moment makers, and savers too, say when a zipper gets cranky, or a button misbehaves. They can be worn as pendants; many have a bail at the back for sliding along a length of ribbon, chain or leather cord. Unlike anything else in the jewel box, the brooch is most complete expression of the jeweler’s art. Lack of experience in styling is no excuse not to wear one. Take a look at the runway, grab a magazine, or get a copy of Brooches: Timeless Adornment from your local library or buy one on Amazon.com. It’s no longer in print, so I’m not peddling. Let’s just say something as useful, singular, and brilliant as a brooch always deserves our attention.