Monday, January 2, 2012

Bodacious Brooch, or, Fantastic Fibula

(image taken from Anne of Carversville)

After seeing this fashion editorial in the Wall Street Journal Magazine featuring magnificently elegant and sophisticated and quite accomplished older women dripping with luxurious, resplendent jewels, I first lamented not owning such an extensive and impressive collection myself, then, once over my delusions of grandeur, I remembered some of my larger and more ostentatious costume rhinestone pieces. Frequently, large and sparkling jewelry seems to make too much of a statement for the daytime, a long and fevered, bloody battle cry of a statement sometimes, causing a brief moment of hesitation, though, ultimately, I choose not to shy away. This editorial gave me much relief and encouragement; as I age, I hope I continue to display such boldness unabashedly. With the bright freshness of a new year, I am embracing my tried and true sparkles.

Black and this golden ochre are one of my favorite color combinations; with the pleats in this short silken skirt and the ribs in the turtleneck, the fabrics add textures to the look. I tend to forget about turtlenecks, but come January with the bitter cold, I definitely want my neck covered.

I have had this brooch in my collection for years, since high school; it was a gift from my mother from a small local antiques market. Perusing many different antiques markets over the many years, as well as many different vintage clothing shops and various consignment joints, I have seen armies of costume jewelry pieces, and this brooch maintains its unique shape and size. Typically, I would wear this fastened to the lapel of a blazer, occasionally a thick knit sweater; more recently, I learned it could become more versatile as a necklace. Here, I thread two different length strands of pearls, creating a large, almost chest plate-like look.

A bow in the back, for good measure.

My mother and I found this 1940s vintage black patent leather handbag at a large antiques mall in Pennsylvania; after the purchase and transporting the bounty home, my father immediately made a joke about the ability to discreetly carry a rather large handgun, should I so choose. Generally, there is mostly excess jewelry, my wallet, various cases of extraneous eye shadow and tubes of chapstick within its belly, but, good to know that if I ever move to Detroit, I can pack heat in secret.

Faux Victorian-era lace up heels of leather and suede, perfect for a jaunt about the town in the sun and some frantic grocery shopping. Going to the grocery store the day before work again commences after a long holiday was a foolish decision.

The long, segmented legs of this brooch remind me of an underwater insect, perhaps crossed with some strange and spindly starfish. Using the pearl necklaces to create a pendant was a great idea for a large and quite heavy brooch, such as this one, since I am usually apprehensive that it will tear or rip thinner fabric, or just cause a blouse or sweater to pucker.


  1. Such a lovely skirt!

  2. I love the bow in the back of your skirt.
    xo Josie

  3. Hi, really nice blog! :) you’re so stylish!
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  4. Love your skirt! The color is lovely and the bow is so cute and unexpected :) Also, love the cute little ladies in your header - adorable!! Happy New Year!

  5. Well done with the embracing! And that is a damn cool skirt!

  6. Even though she has a million pieces of jewelry on, she looks understated and effortless. I love the collection she's modeling.


  7. You did your inspiration justice. That brooch/necklace is a total statement piece! Happy 2012! Thanks so much for dropping by my page :)

  8. I love how classic and chic older women can look, I hope I look like her when I'm older! You emulate her fabulously.

    Fashion Dawgs

  9. oh I love this outfit! so sophisticated. your skirt is absolutely amazing - I think I hear it calling my name! perfection :)

    I love brooches - I have a sweet elephant brooch that I wear far too little, and an owl that I wear far too often!

  10. Love the outfit! I love all things vintage. The turtle neck looks so cozy!!
    Thanks for visiting! :)


  11. Very chic :)

    I hold off wearing turtlenecks until mid-Autumn and then I'm in neck warmin' shirts and sweaters about 90% of the time until late Spring !

    I hate having a cold neck too :)