Originally, the brooch was called a fibula and had a practical aspect: it was a staple used to fix the ends of a garment. There is a legend, told by the Greek historian Herodotus, that a last survivor of the Athenian expedition to Aegina was murdered on his return by the needles of the fibulae of the wives of the warriors who died in battle. After this episode, Athenian women were forced to part with their draped clothes tied with a fibula to adorn themselves with a straight tunic that no longer required one.
Despite this, the creation of these pieces soon took on the appearance of a decorative brooch or medallion that could be worn on either the shoulder or the chest. It was no longer an accessory but an ornament that men and women could wear to complete their outfits.
From the end of Antiquity, brooches were most often fitted with various gems, precious or semi-precious stones. There was usually a stone set in the heart of these settings that expressed the values of its owner, such as the ruby associated with charity. The brooch had a real symbolic value and was also a sign of social rank.
The brooch evolved considerably from the 17th century onwards. Goldsmiths offered a new twist to this jewel by working it like jewellery. The brooch became a bodice front that was placed on imposing stomach pieces, which decorated the so-called “French dresses”.
A true fashion accessory, the brooch has been democratised over time and from the 1930s onwards, it went from being an accessory for formal outfits to a trendy accessory allowing us to free our expression, our creativity and our personality.
Today the brooch has become a more accessible piece of jewellery for all with the emergence of costume jewellery, embroidered jewellery and contemporary jewellery. Less gold, silver and diamonds are used in favour of crystal pearls, mother-of-pearl and semi-precious stones such as agate, turquoise, charoite and tiger’s eye.
So how is this beautiful piece of jewellery worn nowadays?
There are many possibilities when it comes to wearing a brooch. Today, NAHUA is presenting you with a picture of the possibilities:
The Preciosa embroidered brooch with its semi-precious stone, in this case a faceted aquamarine, adds a twist to an overly conservative round collar, or adorns an overly strict trouser pocket, for a “gentle rebellion” effect.
The Briac embroidered brooch in the shape of a flower has a semi-precious stone at its heart, in this case violet charoite. Its art deco design is perfect on a jacket lapel.
Look at me! The Horlane embroidered brooch can be worn as an accumulation so as not to go unnoticed.
This one is called Dune, an original brooch with a faceted fuchsia agate perfect to adorn our winter jumpers.
Sacred heart with a semi-precious stone in its centre, here the Eye of the Tiger, the Rosie embroidered brooch delicately closes a Claudine collar.
The Royco embroidered brooch represents a small bee carrying a semi-precious stone on its back, in this case Lapis Lazuli, which will be delicately placed on all your blouses and blazers.