The brooch is back and likely to stay

One fashion buyer recently characterized this season’s demand for luxe accessories—especially brooches—as “absurd.” And, indeed, it isn’t often that an accessory goes from frumpy to fundamental in a mere month, but that’s exactly what happened to the brooch when fashion designers suddenly rediscovered it last spring.

While debate rages about the longevity of the trend and, therefore, its viability in the fine-jewelry arena, prevailing opinion is that consumers, having been immersed in brooches for an entire season, have developed an interest in the fashionable trend and won’t abandon it after only a single season. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren gave the trend at least another season of life by accessorizing his Spring/Summer ’05 runways with brooches. Looking ahead to spring, however, the trend graduates from the overboard look of multiple brooches (as promoted by the ubiquitous Sarah Jessica Parker Gap ads) into the idea of a single, significant brooch.