Brooches have been stealing the limelight as of late. There was Margaret Thatcher’s old Cartier diamond brooch, which went under the hammer for some S$145,534 just last week. And last month, a 15th century heart-shaped medieval brooch that might have once belonged to noblewoman Katherine Neville, Baroness Hastings, was unearthed in a farmer’s field in Leicester. The pin is crafted with white enamel, and will be sold by Hanson’s Auctioneers on 23 August. It’s expected to fetch between £6,000 (S$10,540) and £8,000 (S$14,054).

Over at Hillwood Museum in Washington, a newly launched, ongoing exhibition showcasing glittering jewels once owned by the late American socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post, features a delicate 1960s floral Van Cleef & Arpels brooch as one of its highlights. The beautiful brooch comprises ruby petals and a centre of diamonds, all of which are mounted using the brand’s signature invisible setting.

quirky brooches van cleef & arpels
Once belonging to the late Marjorie Merriweather Post, this Van Cleef & Arpels brooch is currently on display at Hillwood Museum in Washington. (Photo: Hillwood Museum)

Indeed, a brooch can truly work wonders in transforming an outfit. A simple black dress instantly becomes sophisticated and occasion-ready with the addition of an elegant pin, while quirky brooches fashioned with insect, animal and other playful motifs effortlessly inject a dash of whimsy to even the most austere power suit.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to elevate your attire, and take it from the office to a fun night out, these trendy pins are the perfect solution. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of 5 quirky brooches that we love. One of them even comes shaped like a pizza.

(Main photo: Cindy Chao; featured photo: Shourouk)

1
Frog brooch by David Webb

The humble amphibian gets a luxurious makeover in this whimsical brooch by US jeweller David Webb, which features cabochon ruby eyes and a green enamel body speckled with 18k gold. The brooch is part of Webb’s Kingdom collection, an animal-inspired repertoire of earrings, bracelets and rings.

www.davidwebb.com

2
Phoenix Feather Brooch by Cindy Chao

This resplendent feather-shaped piece by Taiwanese jeweller Cindy Chao is bedecked with almost 10,000 sparklers including a pear-shaped fancy greenish yellow chameleon diamond (2.47 carats), a pear-shaped fancy vivid orange yellow diamond (2.03 carats), and 82.80 carats worth of fancy-cut fancy coloured diamonds. According to Chao, it features nearly 1,000 fancy yellow diamonds in over 36 rare hues and cuts from all around the world, and took some 10,000 hours to complete. Evidently, this showstopper’s for collectors with magpie-like tendencies.

www.cindychao.com

3
Hummingbird Aigrette by Chaumet

Designed by Joseph Chaumet circa 1880, this lovely jewel can be worn as a brooch or aigrette for a headdress. The dainty hummingbird is encrusted all over with pavé-set rubies and diamonds, and is crafted with a burst of feathers on its tail. This brooch is currently on display at Chaumet’s ongoing Imperial Splendours exhibition at the Palace Museum in Beijing till 2 July.

www.chaumet.com

4
Emojibling Pizza by Shourouk

Wear your love for junk food on your sleeve — on in this case, shirt — with this cheeky design by Paris-based jeweller Shourouk Rhaiem, whose creations have been spotted on the likes of Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama and Sarah Jessica Parker. The brooch is embellished with faux pearls, Swarovski crystals and gold-plated brass. The best part? It’s 100 percent fat-free.

www.anthropologie.com/shop/pizza-brooch

5
Dragonfly brooch by Bentley & Skinner

As royal jewellers to the Queen of England and the Prince of Wales, Bentley & Skinner boasts quite a storied history. It exhibited some of its bejewelled creations at the annual Chelsea Flower Show in London last month, and one of its highlights was this Victorian dragonfly brooch from 1880. The brooch showcases two pairs of wings crafted with blue enamel, veined details and three old-cut diamonds set in yellow gold, while its body and tail are covered with eight diamonds set in silver. The dragonfly also has ruby eyes and carved gold legs and antennae.

www.facebook.com/Bentley-Skinner

Sara Yap
Deputy Director, Digital Operations (Asia)
Sara Yap is the Deputy Director of Digital Operations at BurdaLuxury, and a contributing writer to Lifestyle Asia’s dining and jewellery beats. When she’s not on the lookout for exciting new restaurants or bejewelled trinkets, she’s probably buried in a riveting read, or reminiscing the good ol’ days with her favourite playlist of ’90s boyband hits.