Beyond its design, the beauty of a brooch is its versatility. It can be worn for impact or for intrigue, alone or in a group, opening up a wealth of possibilities for originating a more personal look. Creative Director Sara Prentice looks at how the House’s new diamond brooches can add interest to any outfit.
“One of the fashions I find most exciting at the moment is the way women are getting creative with brooches,” says Sara. “A well-chosen brooch or pin can add that finishing touch to a classic ensemble and transform daytime wear into evening elegance.”
While Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II famously always places hers below her left shoulder, it’s worth experimenting with other ideas. “Think about the shape of the brooch and how it can enhance the line, point or curve of a dress, blouse or jacket,” says Sara. “The slim profile of our Bow brooch looks beautiful running along the line of a high-neck dress, while the round Tudor Rose would be lovely pinned to the centre of a floppy silk bow, for example.”
These are not the only choices. The Albemarle collection now has two fine brooches including a lozenge design with round white diamonds and a fresh water pearl drop. “The play between straight and curling lines of diamonds and the lustre of the pearl make this something of a statement piece,” says Sara. “Pin it to the middle of a dress’s belt and it will lift the whole outfit, or add it to a clutch bag for something really different.”
An otherwise simple look can be elevated by colour, as Sara notes. “For a touch of drama, I would choose the Fanfare ruby or emerald brooch. Fix it to a plain top, jacket lapel or dress strap for extra interest, or go for something a little more playful, like the Enchanted Palace bug brooch in sapphire, emerald, ruby or opal.”
Sapphires have a long association with the House: in the brooch given by Prince Albert to his bride Queen Victoria which is still worn by Her Majesty The Queen today, and in the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring. The tradition continues with the Garrard Jubilee Sapphire brooch, a cluster setting in white gold of a spectacular 118.88-carat, untreated royal blue sapphire.
While this brooch demands to be worn alone, others can be combined. Queen Victoria would wear two or three diamond bows along the scoop of a dress or down its centre, for example. “Several of our current smaller brooches would work well together, a cluster of fans or a row of bows,” says Sara. All have been created to be light, not pull on fabric, and sit perfectly, not tilt, with the pin placed to best advantage.
The influence of another extraordinary royal heirloom, the Cullinan V brooch, can be seen in the white gold bars of the Albemarle collection brooches. One of Queen Elizabeth II’s favourites, it was made by Garrard in 1911 for her grandmother Queen Mary: a heart-shaped stone of 18.8 carats surrounded by a platinum web with diamond scrolls and borders. Now it has inspired another high jewellery piece, the White Rose necklace, which in a signature Garrard touch converts into a brooch that can be worn separately.