A brooch renaissance, is it possible? A few months ago, I gasped when I saw a Yves Saint Laurent logo brooch on Pinterest. The brooch looked nothing like the ones I grew up seeing in the baptist church I attended, where flora and fauna-shaped brooches were as common as a Bible.
It was styled with a navy wool coat and an oversized striped shirt. This one drew me in because it not only bore the initials of my favorite luxury brand but also added just the right amount of accessorizing to an outfit I would have otherwise worn without jewelry.
It appears that I am not alone in rethinking the brooch as a must-have modern accessory. Demand for brooches increased by 27% during the 2022 holiday season, according to The RealReal's 2023 luxury consignment report, while demand for Gucci pins increased by 70%.
Creators on TikTok are debating the sartorial possibilities of brooches beyond regal, bedazzled versions worthy of an appearance on The Crown, with the hashtag #brooch receiving over 100 million views.
They're also making an appearance on the runway: Consider Jil Sander's spring 2023 collection, which featured silverpins worn on oversized, simple shirts, and Acne's lineup, which featured ribbon pins worn as nipple covers, alluding to the DIY nature of today's ballet core and kitschy "Weird Girl" aesthetics.
Gucci recently included modernized brooches in its fall 2023 collection: A bright blue sleeveless turtleneck was made more eye-catching with draped pearl strings that ended in a diamond-encrusted brooch, and a Gucci logo pin was worn over a classic fur coat.
The sudden need to rethink our accessories is the result of a larger phenomenon. Take a look at New York Fashion Week, where the season's concept appears to be uniform.
The runways were more in tune with a minimalist approach than the exuberant fashion we've become accustomed to seeing in recent years, with capsule wardrobes, workwear staples, and mix-and-match basics.
Many have questioned whether there is room for maximalism in this mood shift, especially after recent red carpets have seen celebrities abandon predictable accessories, specifically necklaces, entirely.
However, it is worth noting that brooches appear to be an exception on the red carpet. At the 2023 Grammy Awards, musician Steve Lacy wore a diamond-encrusted brooch with a dangling pearl, paired with a black Saint Laurent suit, while at the 2023 Sanremo Festival, Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni wore a goldbird-shaped pin by Schiaparelli.
Olivia Wilde wore a black rosette pin to the Babylon premiere in December 2022, while Michelle Williams wore a red rose one to the 2023 AFI Awards, which she paired with a black blazer dress. Brooches were also used in one of the biggest fashion moments of 2023 so far.
Rihanna walked onto the Super Bowl halftime show stage in a red bodysuit and jacket with three vintageJoseph Saidian & Sons brooches hanging from the lapel that shone brighter than a diamond.
Brooches are still associated with traditional formalwear, from royal fashion — everyone from the late Queen Elizabeth II to Meghan Markle has worn a brooch at some point — to Upper East Side grandmothers, such as Gossip Girl's Cece Rhodes.
But perhaps they had the right idea all along: brooches and pins, even in their blingiest form, can provide a good dose of accessorizing with minimal styling.
The good thing about this trend is that there's a vast range of sources to choose from, whether raiding your grandmother's jewelry closet (please, ask in advance) or heading into the vintage market for secondhand brooches.
There's also the option of making one yourself. In a recent controversial, viral TikTok video, creator Madeleine White fashioned a paper, makeshift flower brooch from the show invitation while cutting up a Prada jumpsuit into a micro two-piece set that she wore to the brand's fall 2023 show.
There's always the option of using small earringsas brooches as a less risky way to try out the trend (just be mindful of the fabric before pinning them).
As we enter a period of recession-fueled fashion characterized by minimalism, classic silhouettes, and everyday wardrobe essentials, brooches suggest we can indulge in a little bling... as a treat.