Flower Power: Let’s Brooch the Subject

Peter Do Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Credit: Yiru Wang

Much of New York is buzzing. Thousands have returned to work. Broadway is coming back on September 14th with historic theatres selling tickets to their full capacity. This past week, Michael’s New York, the venerable midday watering hole for the city’s power players, has reopened. The return of the power lunch can’t be far behind.

Zoom calls and virtual events substituted for the real thing this past year and dressing from the waist up was more important than ever. But it is just as essential to place the emphasis on the top half of the body when you are seated for lunch. You can never underestimate the power of adding a statement flower brooch to your jacket, coat, cape, sweater, or crisp white shirt. It’s instantly snappy, chic, festive, and the ideal way to add a feminine touch to something more traditionally masculine.

Salvador Dali & Coco Chanel wearing a tweed jacket adorned with a camellia, 1937
Photo: pinterest.com

Like many other fashion items, Coco Chanel was there first. After Gabriele received her first bouquet of camellias from Boy Capel, her polo-playing lover, the camellia became Chanel’s favorite flower. She began pinning silk versions to her hair, and on the belts and lapels, of her jackets.

Chanel Camellias
Photo: .perlej.blogspot.com

The camellia remains one of the most identifiable symbols of the house of Chanel and it has been re-invented countless times throughout the Chanel collections.

Chanel Resort 2020
Photo: vogue.com

It’s not surprising that for Virginie Viard’s freshman outing for the house of Chanel, her first outfit on the runway was a traditional gold buttoned black jacket; a white camellia pinned to the white blouse worn beneath.

Saint Laurent Spring 2021 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

Anthony Vaccarello is apparently as enamored of the icons of Chanel as the rest of us. In fact, Ralph Rucci described the Saint Laurent Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear Collection as “Chanel on Quaaludes.” Someone on Instagram observed that it looked “less like a collection and more like an audition for the job at Chanel.” Ouch! Indeed, lately, Saint Laurent has looked more Chanel than Chanel.

Saint Laurent Spring 2021 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

Black and white patent leather camellias, were shown throughout the Saint Laurent Spring 2021 Ready-to-Wear Collection. Anthony’s iterations (they sell for $495 on saintlaurent.com) are actually choker necklaces but they have the same face-framing effect as brooches. If you wish, you can always wear yours as a brooch by simply pinning it on to a jacket.

Schiaparelli Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Daniel Roseberry

Black and gold is a signature of Schiaparelli’s creative director Daniel Roseberry. Daniel’s attention-grabbing bold gold jewelry is in a class of its own. One show stopper from the Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear Collection is an enormous 3-D gilded lily brooch. It is pinned to the lapel of a black jacket with sculptural gold buttons at the wrist and shown with matching wide-legged black trousers. It’s chic as heck. Just be careful not to poke out the eye of your lunch date.

Peter Do Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Credit: Yiru Wang

Giant feathery flower brooches were a recurring theme in the Peter Do Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear Collection. As always, Peter plays to his strength; sharp tailoring.

Peter Do Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Credit: Yiru Wang

It is hard not to notice that Peter is feeling for more decoration and embellishment than he has in the past. It’s emblematic of Do’s strong desire to go out, be seen, and get dressed up again after months lying on a couch at home.

Big Black Dahlia Brooch by SibFlower
Photo: etsy.com

Peter’s desirable brooches won’t be available for a few months, but a Russian woman, who has a shop on Etsy, sells handmade crepe and silk flower brooches that have a similar look, $37,

Vintage Tin Pin from Ellen Carey’s Collection

For those who love vintage, Seed Inc.’s Ellen Carey has a fabulous collection of vintage flower tin pins. They are all 3 inches, in mint condition, and priced at $150. For more information, DM Ellen on Instagram, @ellencareyseedinc..

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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