With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, romance is in the air. Everyone is thinking about roses and the color red. But I’ve decided to offer a different take on romance, with brooches by the incredible costume jewelry designer William Hobé. His pieces from the late 1930s through the 1940s are as romantic as they come.
If you read my earlier post What’s Your Fashion Personality, you know that there are six personality styles and that most of us are a combination of two. So these remarkable jewels suit more than the Romantic woman. To show you how to wear them, I’ve styled outfits for her as well as for the Aristocratic and Classic personalities who have some romantic traits.
For the Romantic Woman
Every element in this outfit is feminine. The soft, fitted tulip dress flows over the curves of the Romantic woman’s body but has a neckline that’s appropriate for office wear. The curved lines are repeated in the coat and accessories. This Amethyst, Emerald, Sapphire & Sterling Brooch pinned to her shoulder has the elaborate details this personality style craves: a basket of layered sterling silver leaves and flower buds surrounding flowers of large, faceted amethyst, emerald and pale sapphire glass stones. The floral motif is repeated in the handbag.
For the Aristocratic-Romantic Woman
The Aristocratic woman wears structured clothing with clean straight lines. Her look is inspired by traditional menswear. This outfit features straight-leg jeans, a pinstriped shirt, and a navy blazer with pointed lapels. The shoes have a pointed toe. But this woman also likes to mix in some romantic elements: a saddle bag purse, silver hoop earrings, and this Hobé brooch. At 4” high, this Pink Tourmaline, Sapphire, Peridot & Sterling Bouquet has layers of sterling silver flowers, stems, and leaves tied in a bow.
For the Classic-Romantic Woman
This outfit reflects the smooth, uncluttered lines and couture details the Classic personality prefers. The silk top and gabardine trousers match, and the coordinating blazer with curved lapels is in one of her favorite patterns – jacquard. To this tasteful and refined outfit, I’ve added Romantic accessories: a gardenia-embellished handbag and this exquisite Aquamarine & Vermeil Sterling Bow Brooch, pinned to the jacket lapel. Larger and more elaborate than many of this maker’s pieces, it has buds that flow alongside aquamarine glass stones. The center flower, my favorite Hobé form, is gold-plated. If you wear earrings, I suggest gold or sterling hoops, aquamarine studs, or gold or sterling ball studs. This brooch is the main attraction.
About the Maker
William W. Hobé (1881 – 1961) started his own button company before becoming a costume jewelry maker in New York City in 1926. From the beginning, Hobé’s designs were often inspired by historical European jewelry, and their production was always top quality. The company used many of the same techniques and craftsmanship standards as those employed in the making of fine jewelry. In the 1940s, designs mainly featured leaves and flowers, bows, baskets and hearts, motifs common for that decade. However, this company’s pieces bear no further resemblance to those of their competitors. Hobé’s brooches, bracelets, and earrings were made of sterling silver, by artisans who crafted each piece by hand. The level of detail of their work is unsurpassed.