Put a Pin in it

In or Out?

Did somebody mention brooches? The brooch has something of a chequered past with the word “brooch” today causing many a fashionista to recoil at the thought of looking twice their age. The very mention of the word in a fashion industry meeting may well – until the recent Oscars – have been met with a cry of “Put a pin in it!” How ironic then, if the recent Oscars are an indication, that the brooch may well be coming out of retirement to dazzle the world once more.

One may indeed wonder how the fashion coordinators of the rich and famous managed to pull this off given that brooches seemed for sure to be left for dead by an industry ever moving forward.

Keeping it Together

To get an idea of how there may be a full-blown revival in the making, we need to travel back through time to Bronze Age Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilisation and the time and place where brooches first made an appearance as nothing more than a practical convenience that kept together that which would otherwise fall apart. 

Every problem begs a solution, and what could be more embarrassing than cloaks and the like falling off, especially in the absence of underwear as we know it today? Enter the clothes pin, the earliest form of brooch and a mere practical solution that helped everyone to literally keep it together and avoid losing their drapes.

Design to Define History

Brooches have undergone a fascinating evolution in style throughout the ages, reflecting shifting societal values, cultural influences, and technological advancements. Originating as practical items in the Iron Age, brooches gradually evolved into bold statements of status and design during Roman antiquity, incorporating decorative elements and gemstones.

The Migration Period witnessed a fusion of Germanic and Roman styles, characterized by vibrant colors, intricate techniques, and the introduction of filigree and openwork. As brooches spread across Europe, the Anglo-Saxon Period in England embraced circular designs alongside diverse Celtic and Scandinavian motifs.

Above: Our range of Antique & Vintage Brooches

Throughout the Late Medieval Period, brooches became intricate amalgamations of religious and pagan imagery, featuring lavish metals and gemstones. The Early Modern Period introduced flamboyant gemstones with innovative cutting techniques, leading into the Georgian Era's simpler, nature-inspired designs. The Victorian Era saw brooches become poignant symbols of mourning, while subsequent periods such as the Art Nouveau, Edwardian, and Art Deco eras witnessed a resurgence of creativity, incorporating diverse influences and materials from around the world.


Pinning Down the Fall

By the 1960s, brooches had declined in popularity and returned to simpler, more functional designs. The fanciful designs of yesteryear had suddenly gone, evanescent memories of a decadent past. Brooches were still worn by the elderly on hats and coats and to show the support of a chosen cause but were rarely seen elsewhere.

The twentieth century had seen two devastating World Wars and a scarcity of precious resources, yet beyond that one could only speculate as to why these glorious jewels lost their popularity. Perhaps fashion had simply moved beyond the need for brooches, with many moving away from formal wear that required them.

Jewel: Alice Victorian Diamond Brooch & Pendant


Back to Brooches - A Revival

It seems, however, that the tides of fashion have turned, albeit slowly. Over time, many vintage brooches began to see new life in reinvented form. Their gorgeous gemstones and gold were reclaimed and, with a measure of imagination, repurposed into stunning jewels like earrings and necklets that retained that former glory. 

With many of the new wave being bigger and bolder, the potential for loud and clear messages is undoubtable. Look at any catwalk shoot from early 2024, and you will see brooches popping up everywhere in featured collections from Schiaparelli to Oscar de la Renta to Vivienne Westwood and beyond. Every designer the world over is doing their best to smooch the brooch. The sheer diversity of designs and materials is truly rocking the scene.

Pin-teresting Twist for Menswear

Men adorning brooches to embellish their suits infuses a touch of sophistication and individuality into their ensemble. These small but impactful accessories, often overlooked in men's fashion, have the power to elevate a plain lapel to a statement piece.

With the 2024 Oscars, the circle was complete. The stars shone brightly on the night with a diverse array of brooches. Robert Downey Jr’s slender monochrome rose brooch, Cillian Murphy’s symbolic atomic bomb brooch, and Mark Ruffalo’s strangely sublime burnished silver floral brooch were the true showstoppers of the night.


In With the Pin

Now designers the whole world over are working overtime, ploughing through their treasure troves, banging their creatives heads together, and seeking inspiration in everything from the farthest reaches of fashion history to the finest details of the natural world.

Whether its a vintage pin adding a nostalgic charm or a modern, sleek design injecting a contemporary edge, brooches offer a canvas for personal expression. They serve not only as decorative accents but also as conversation starters, inviting curious glances and admiration for the wearer's discerning taste.


The brooch is back, and to be honest, it never should have left us.





 View our beautiful range of fine jewellery and vintage rings. Meet our Principal Designer to discuss Custom Making your dream ring, choosing from an extensive range of diamonds and gemstones. We believe there are more than enough diamonds, gemstones and precious metals already mined for our jewellery needs. We have amassed a stunning collection of recycled diamonds, gemstones, gold and other noble metals, all environmentally friendly and conflict free.