These chic brooches bring modernity to Victorian-inspired design

Brooches, which take inspiration from the Victorian era, become cool and contemporary adornments from ParelParel

Woman in black and white wearing brooch on her sleeve, and gold hand brooch holding a pearl
(Image credit: press)

Brooches become bold statement pieces in the hands of Polish jewellery brand ParelParel, which adds a modern edge to traditional design codes with the unveiling of two new pieces. The jewellery designs, gloriously oversized, mark a collaboration with Portuguese fashion brand Meet Paula.

The brands have created two large Victorian-inspired statement brooches in brass plated with 24ct gold, traditionally made using the lost-wax casting method, where the form is originally perfected using wax. The jewellery is then embellished with luminescent natural pearls. In the past, ParelParel has taken inspiration from an eclectic range of sources for its modern pieces, looking to movies and artists, including Francesco Clemente, translating a strong graphic identity into jewellery that encompasses oversized proportions and the inclusion of warm stones and gems. 

In these new pieces, the designs nod to a specific time. ‘The inspiration for the brooch designs came from the Victorian era,’ say Alex and Jolanta from ParelParel. ‘During this era, hand jewels were carved from delicate materials like ivory and coral, decorated with cuffs and accented with gold and gemstones. Also they often held allegorical objects so, in our project we wanted to maintain this tradition.’

gold brooch hand with pearls on it

(Image credit: press)

While these pieces stay faithful to these customs, they are given a contemporary spin in their playfully large proportions, with one brooch measuring 9cm and the other 10cm. ‘To give brooches a modern and fun character, we made them with large, almost caricatured, sizes,’ the duo add. ‘We wanted the brooches we created for the fashion brand Paula to have a timeless but playful character despite their inspiration from the past era.’

The offbeat placement of the pearls led to unexpected technical challenges. In one piece, a pearl rotates on its axis, adding a soothing tactility which proved complicated. ‘It was a novelty and a challenge for us to create – but we managed to achieve it, and we are particularly pleased with the results,’ they say.

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Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.