Tag Archives: brooch

Michelle Obama Jewelry Update



It’s been a while since Michelle Obama’s jewelry dominated the posts of this blingy chronical of all things shiny, but I’m happy to report that our Fashionista-In-Chief is back with some serious jaw-droppers for your gawking pleasure.

(A tip of the hat to the Mrs. O blog for their diligent chronicling of our First Lady’s fashion.)

The Brooch Is Back!


Michelle Obama met Kate Middleton and her in-laws in her signature brooch bling – this one a 1940s Hobe brooch from the House of Lavande.

And this sparkler a pink vintage Henry Schreiner brooch – also from House of Lavande.


Tom Binns Goes to Washington


I’ve always been a fan of Tom Binns’ wild and whimsical designs, but I was surprised to see our First Lady embrace his eccentric stylings not just for this dinner she and the Pres. hosted for the Queen of England – but on other occasions as well.

Pearl strands are fine and all – -but THIS is Jewelry! (Her ring is a jade and diamond lattice piece by Yewn)

Mrs. O Channels Jackie O!


Our Commander in Chic wore this classic Tom Ford gown with dangling diamond earrings (designer unknown) to Buckingham Palace for a formal state dinner. Elegance personified. Somewhere Jackie O is smiling.


While the pearl strand will forever by synomymous with First Lady Fashion, I’m thrilled to see such variety in her jewelry selections.

What are your favorite looks?

Blingy Butterfly Gets The Royal Treatment

Now that the jewelry-barren landscape that was New York Fashion Week is behind me, it’s time to get back to blingy basics. And there’s no better way to celebrate than by ogling this bodacious butterfly bauble that just joined the storied coffers of the Smithsonian Institution.

Designed by Cindy Chao, the “Royal Butterfly” is a three-dimensional diamond-and gemstone-studded brooch that took over two years to create. The design is balanced by four large rough diamond slices and includes more than 20 color gradients comprised of 2,318 colorless and colored diamonds, color-changing sapphires, colored sapphires, rubies and tsavorites.

Color-changing sapphires? Awesome.
Chao generously gifted her “Royal Butterfly” to the Smithsonian, which now lives with some of the world’s most significant jewels, including the famous Hope Diamond.

The designer’s ‘hope’ was not only for viewers to appreciate the art in a new medium, but that it would also inspire “people to dream and create” and “continue to contribute to the evolution of culture and the world around them.”


Ms. Chao? You had me at ‘color-changing sapphires’.

And if you’re hunkering for more Smithsonian sparkle, they just launched a branded jewelry line with QVC based on many of the pieces in their treasure chest. Check out Jewelry.com for more.

The Jewelry Insider

September 30, 2009


If Michelle Obama is ushering in a new era of power brooch diplomacy, she wouldn’t be the first. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a tenacious negotiator, loved to communicate her mood and intentions through her brooches, and now the Museum of Arts & Design in New York will exhibit 200 of her favorites.

Albright “found that what she wore and how she presented herself had a lot of interpretive meaning to those she was with,” said Holly Hotchner, the museum’s director. “The pins became an added way that she communicated as secretary of state.”

“Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection,” scheduled to open today, comes 10 years after the museum presented “Brooching It Diplomatically,” a show of pins created by contemporary artists inspired by the ones Albright wore.

“She started acquiring pins because of their inherent messages, their whimsical and pictorial quality,” said David Revere McFadden, the museum’s chief curator. “It’s not about jewels and gems, it’s about jewelry as a communication device.”

The collection is diverse, ranging from Americana styles — including flags and eagles — to ones with flora, fauna and insect themes. She always brought a selection with her on her travels so she could be ready for any situation.

For instance, Albright chose to wear a bee pinwhenever she felt talks amounted to “something like a sting,” McFadden said.

“It’s a very gentle way of saying to whomever she is speaking to: ‘Listen carefully because I’m kind of telling you where I think this conversation is going,”‘ he said.

When she thought negotiations would likely go well, she would wear a balloon pin. Another pin, made of stainless steel, shows the head of Lady Liberty with two watch faces for eyes, one of which is upside down. The pin allows both her and others to check the time.

I wonder how many times Albright said the word ‘pinhead’ during the Bush administration?

The exhibition, running from Sept. 30 though Jan. 31, 2010, will be accompanied by a book, “Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box,” written by Albright.


Jewelry Fit for Kings and Queens

Jewelry hounds, you may be the only folks who really understand this next sentiment. You know that moment when the jewelry stars align, and you see a piece of jewelry so perfectly designed – so beautifully crafted – so YOU – that you know it will be forever ingrained on the fashion-obsessed part of your cerebral cortex?

I just had that moment when reviewing the new Dior Joaillerie line – their royal ‘Kings & Queens’ collection by Victoire de Castellane. The jewels feature one of my favorite trends – skulls – in an adorable brooch and ring pair. Yes, you’re meant to buy them as a royal couple! Adorable!

Just look at these little beauties. Can you imagine the gasps as you wear the skull ring to your next big event? Or better yet? Imagine the skulls’ shine as you reach for that orange chicken Lean Cuisine during your next trip down the frozen food aisle. Glamour, people. Glamour.

The collection is made out of diamonds, opal, jade, quartz and obsidian, which along with the skulls symbolizes “eternity”, according to Dior. I’ve not been able to track down price points – which I’m thinking is just as well.

The King and Queen pieces even have cute little names: Queen of Jadélénie and King Opal to name a few.


So have you ever had a jewelry epiphany that rivals my new Dior skull obsession? If so, share the wealth! And what do you think about the royals? You die? Or not your style?

The Jewelry Insider

November 5, 2008

Well, he did it. In case you’ve been living in a cave, Barack Obama is the next President of the United States. The fabulous Michelle Obama is not only as smart and capable as our 44th President, we love her new take on significant other fashion. Her down-to-earth style and mixed use of designer and ‘off the rack’ is a far cry from Jackie-O’s fashion plate model and nowhere near Cindy McCain’s $70,000 outfit gold standard.

We’ve tracked Mrs. O’s jewelry fashion choices throughout the campaign, and last night she wowed us again with a diamond look worthy of the paradigm shift heard round the world. Her black and red Narciso Rodriguez dress was a fashion risk, but one that paid off in our book. Although the country is likely divided on the subject. Just a hunch.

And while the dazzling diamond drop earrings and blinged out bangles were a surprise choice for the jewelry-conservative Obama, we noticed one thing was missing. Where’s the brooch?

From her speech at the Democratic National Convention to her lauded appearance on the Tonight Show, brooch bling has been the jewelry of choice for the First Lady Elect. It’s, of course, good to keep the jewelry hounds guessing, but we hope she hasn’t put the brooch out to pasture along with Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and the neocons.

In the meantime, if Oprah has already picked out her Inauguration party frock, we can only imagine what the Divine Mrs. O will wow us with. One thing is for sure.

J Crew ain’t gonna cut it.

The Jewelry Insider

October 28, 2008

Vintage diamonds, yellow gold, glittering gemstones – we’re seeing a bevy of beautiful variations on the brooch theme these days. The sensibly stylish, Michelle Obama, is now synonymous with the jewelry trend, and she launched yet another brooch blitz last night on the Tonight Show.

“I want to ask you about your wardrobe. I’m guessing about $60,000, $70,000 for that outfit,” Leno joked.

“Actually this is a J. Crew ensemble. We ladies, we know with J. Crew. You can get some good stuff online,” a gracious Mrs. O replied.

“Do you order it all online? Doesn’t that take the fun out of it?”

”When you don’t have time, you’ve got to click.”


We are still on the lookout for the brooch details (which, like her convention brooch, most likely came from her own jewelry box), but the J Crew ensemble included their Italian Deco tank, Crystal-button colorblock cardigan in Silver Honey and Metallic cloque pencil skirt in Metallic Sour Lemon.

Even Mrs. O knows it’s all about metallics this season, ladies.

Until recently, the brooch was a forgotten jewelry accessory relegated to Victorian era museum exhibits and grandma’s jewelry box. But with Michelle Obama’s help (and TV’s hit Mad Men), it’s clear women of all ages can “spread the wealth” with this glittering jewelry trend.

The Jewelry Insider

October 14, 2008

The stars came out in droves last night to toast Madonna’s latest accomplishment: movie directing. The lady clearly likes a challenge.

Dolce & Gabbana and the Cinema Society hosted a celebrity-packed screening of her freshman film effort, Filth and Wisdom, at New York’s Sunshine Cinema. Movie director hubby, Guy Ritchie, was conspicuously absent from the affair.

Jealous, anyone? Or maybe he couldn’t sit through it again.

The film is a “musical/ drama/ comedy” hybrid about an aspiring Ukranian rock star and features Richard E Grant and Eugene Huntz of the gypsy punk band, Gogol Bordello. The interweaving plot also revolves around “a man who spanks for money, a chemist and a pole dancer”.

That’s our Madge.

The director looked lovely in a black D & G number and worked the diamond brooch blitz to its full effect. Lindsay Lohan (is there a red carpet she hasn’t been on lately?) wore a tasteful pendant necklace and the layered bangle look with her short short skirt and very blue fingernails.

Actress Elizabeth Banks (who plays Laura Bush in the upcoming Oliver Stone film, W) looked lovely in a tasteful gold choker, and newlywed, Beth Ostrosky, showed up in a tasteful LBD and a classic gold bracelet.

Jerry Seinfeld ex, Shoshanna Loenstein, on the other hand tried to work the gold statement necklace trend, but the overall effect was less than glowing. Unfortunately, movie reviewers have had the same reaction to the flick. Ouch.

Filth and Wisdom opens in select theaters on October 17th

The Jewelry Insider

September 24, 2008

Break out your checkbooks, music fans. A diamond and sapphire brooch worn by Elton John is on the auction block in London tomorrow. The 1930s Art Deco piece was worn by Sir Elton in his 1988 music video, “I Don’t Wanna Go on With You Like That.” A photograph of him wearing the piece during the filming of the video accompanies the lot.

The brooch, which is expected to fetch over $20,000, is shaped like the letter “J” and has brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds and oval-cut and circular-cut sapphires.

“Diamonds have an enduring appeal,” Jean Ghika, Bonhams’ UK director of jewelry, said Tuesday. “They provide timeless elegance in a fast-moving fashion arena and in many instances maintain their worth.”

An 11-carat emerald-cut diamond ring by De Beers that auctioneers say could go for as much as $593,000 is among the other items being sold. Economic crisis? What economic crisis?

For those of you who miss music videos with narrative through lines dramatized through interpretive dance (or heck – just music videos), check out the old Elton MTV gem on You Tube here. Playing the synthesizer in a long-tailed suit never looked so cool.

The Jewelry Insider

August 28, 2008

Brace yourselves jewelry junkies. The brooch is back! No longer the domain of grandma and your flashy Aunt Ida, the brooch is beaming everywhere from the runway to TV’s hit series Mad Men. But perhaps the most important brooch sighting was on would-be first lady, Michelle Obama (a.k.a. the new Jackie Kennedy), during her highly anticipated speech at the Democratic National Convention. If there was brooch buzz before, Obama sent the look into the stratosphere.

No matter your political persuasion, the starburst brooch Obama wore with her turquoise Maria Pinto dress had tongues wagging throughout jewelry land. Who designed it? What is it made out of? Where can I get one? Our sources reveal that it came straight from Mrs. O’s jewelry box and was symbolic of Barack’s rising sun campaign logo. It is said that she wore it close to her heart to symbolize that her speech was coming straight from the heart. I see your eyes rolling. Hey – whatever works, people!

But you don’t have to be married to a presidential candidate to hop on the brooch bandwagon. Much like the pearl strand, the brooch is one of the more versatile and accessible jewelry looks. Dig through your grandma’s jewelry box for a vintage piece or shop around for a new, modern interpretation. Pin it on to add flash to your little black dress or throw some sparkle on your office attire. The opportunities are endless (much like the race for the White House).

So do your country proud and ‘brooch’ the subject in your own fabulous way. Cindy McCain, are you taking notes?