Fashion Friday: The Brooch is Back

Friday, May 04, 2012

For today’s Fashion Friday, I wanted to brooch a subject that I personally love – BROOCHES! Not only do I love the extra bling a brooch provides, but I love the story behind the pins. My budding collection is above!

I like to think that this trend is being led by Her Majesty of Brooches – Queen Elizabeth – as she celebrates her Jubilee and the upcoming summer Olympics. Oh and we can’t forget Kate Middleton too. That girl has been rocking pins since her Canadian tour last summer.

I was reading up on the Queen’s brooch collection and some of the pins have great stories behind them. Here’s a little history lesson to make you sound super smart during the Jubilee!

Back in 1905, a man by the name of Fredrick Wells discovered a 3,106 carat diamond near a mine in South Africa. Yes, Beyonce, this ROCK weighed more than a pound. The HUGE diamond was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan who opened the mine. So when you find something this huge, you’ve got to sell it – which is exactly what happened here.  The diamond was sold to the Transvaal government and then presented to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday in November 1907 (making everyone else’s birthday presents look pathetic). Being a nice guy, Eddy had the rock cut into a plethora of pieces that would then be featured in crowns, jewelry and several brooches.  

The most famous cuts from the Cullinan are III and IV. The pear shaped 94.9 carat diamond is known as Cullinan III, while the 63.6 square-cut diamond is IV. Queen Mary rocked this rock a number of fashion forward ways – on a crown, lower on a sash, as a brooch, etc. Queen E rarely wears it, but when she does, she typically sports it as a regular brooch. It’s also known as “Granny’s Chips” because it’s made from “chips” of the larger Cullinan Diamond. (Source: Royal Order of Spendor)  

If you are wondering, the value of this brooch is £50,000,000 – OR 80.83 MILLION DOLLARS.

You often see the Queen wearing the Flower Basket Brooch (top right). I like the simple story behind this one. It was presented to E to mark the birth of Prince Charles – a fancy push present! (Sources: Royal-Jewels and photo from Royal Collection)

Speaking of milestone presents the Williamson Diamond Brooch (bottom right), featuring a 23.6 carat pink diamond (in the center), was gifted to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 as a wedding gift. It was later cut and set by Cartier in 1952. (Source: Royal Collection)

To the left of the Williamson Brooch is one of many bow brooches E has in her jewelry box (er, vault). This is the Lovers Knot and a piece from Queen Victoria’s bow collection. The Queen V bows feature a trio of brooches. (Sources: Royal Collection and Royal Order of Splendor)

There are SO MANY more jewels that I could include here, but the last one that I wanted to share is Prince Albert’s Sapphire. It’s also known as Queen Victoria’s Wedding Brooch – as it was presented to V the day before her wedding…in 1840. This fabulous brooch has been passed down through the generations and is often worn by E (I think because it’s so patriotic!)

Whether its Queen E or Kate Middleton leading the brooch revival (it was also all over the runway a few years back), celebrities are now hopping on the train, which means next up is us average style-obsessed consumers.

Here are some stars rocking brooches in a variety of ways:  

 Rose Bryne (the pic is a little old)

Here are some brooches that you may consider adding to your collection.

When B and I made our marriage official, I knew that I wanted to do something to personalize by bridesmaids bouquets, while adding a little bling. So I set out on a missing to find brooches that matched their personality or an inside joke that we shared. The brooches were then used on their bouquet as well as mine (the martini glass was “something borrowed” from my godmother!).

While they all held special meaning to the bridesmaid, one that I especially adored was my friend Melissa’s. She loves Kennywood (a local amusement park) and I was able to find an amusement park brooch! I picked up most of the bling from the garment district of New York while on a business trip!

(Photos from the fabulous Studio Bash)