Versatility adds to the perceived value of jewelry. My recent blog posting on the Chanel chain brooch demonstrates how a cleverly designed hybrid piece of jewelry can be used in multiple ways to give very different looks.
In the March 2009 issue of Marie Claire, the very same look of the chain brooch is either incorporated into an elaborately styled yet classically shaped Chanel jacket (price upon request), or is an uncredited additional accessory. The jacket itself is of exquisite material, and appears to have pearls woven into it.
In either case, the essence of the jewelry on the jacket is two brooches joined by a multiplicity of chains. In this latest styling, the chain brooch is performing the function of holding the two sides of a jacket together. Think how the chain brooch could also serve to hold together the two sides of a lightweight cloak. And it could also very easily serve to hold together the two sides of a cardigan sweater.
In fact, this styling brings to mind the sweater clips of the 1950’s, holding the two sides of a cardigan sweater together at its top edge, seen when the sweater was worn over the shoulders rather than with the wearer’s arms in the sleeves. Cardigans are trendy again. Is there the potential for another trend revival here?
Seeing Mickey Rourke at last night’s Academy Awards and his signature style of wearing chains from his waist reminds that the chain brooch could also easily be affixed at the waist, allowing the chains to drape over the hips.
And this, in turn, reminds a bit of Victorian-era chatelaines, brooches pinned on the bodice or waist to which were affixed by chains all sorts of useful implements.
I’m looking forward to seeing whether creative artists take this design idea further.