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Men in Jewelry? Adrien Brody’s Cannes 2023 Look Challenges Traditional Notions of Masculinity

Arriving on the red carpet last night for Asteroid City, a comedic drama directed by Wes Anderson, American actor Adrien Brody made quite the sartorial statement at Cannes Film Festival 2023.

Photo: Andreas Rentz

As is customary, the American actor made his public appearance dressed to the nines for the event, in a smart tuxedo bu Brioni. But what drew everyone’s eye was his choice of accessory for the night out: a one-of-a-kind brooch from contemporary jewelry artist and designer Elsa Jin, called Night Dance.

Inspired by the Sogdian dance, a whirling performance originating from Central Asia (via the Silk Road in China), and celebrated in the court of the Tang Dynasty in China as a sign of tolerance and unrestrained openness, the brooch isn’t just a brilliant add-on for special occasions. The accessory is unique for its ability to carry the dance’s ecstatic motion within its diamond set form. When worn, the body of the 82-gram brooch almost seems to swirl on its own, while featuring a darkness reminiscent of night. A single golden pearl is placed in the center of the brooch, symbolizing the preciousness of freedom and romance.

Photo: Kristy Sparow

“The challenge [in making Night Dance] is in the shape,” Jin shares. “Titanium modeling is difficult to work with, especially in our effort to render a two-part structure. There were many attempts at achieving the desired shape. We first made a stencil with light clay and then many adjustments before committing to wax mold. Then a silver mold, with finely cut holes, in order to set diamonds infinitely small. A most delicate work of art.”

For Jin, there was no one more suited to Night Dance than Adrien Brody, who carries within him a distinctive form of elegance and chivalrous melancholy. “He perfectly captures the essence of Night Dance as inspired by the nightly parties of intellectuals
and aristocrats of the Tang Dynasty,” she revealed. “A shape that evokes fortitude, color, and gentility, qualities of a nobleman.” 

What makes the Elsa Jin + Adrien Brody style moment even more special? It’s not his first. “Night Dance is the second of three pieces designed for men. The first was Les Lamelles de Bambou, worn by Adrien Brody at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2023.”

Photo: Courtesy Elsa Jin

No doubt, Adrian Brody’s choice of brooch is one that will be spoken for years to come—we may even spot it in the many jewelry roundups being written about from Cannes 2023. After all, men’s jewelry is at the forefront of fashion conversations today, and Jin couldn’t agree more. “Men’s jewelry enjoys a growing attention in creative design. Having studied this movement, I believe it has vast potential, and so men’s jewelry is an interesting challenge for me. The reason why I chose brooches first is because brooches are the jewelry that men wore in the historic past, connoting regality, authority, originality. There is also great freedom in brooch design. A man donning a brooch on a suit can be both beautiful and masculine. I want my work to capture, if not inspire, the elegance of today’s gentlemen. I hope to see men wear their own jewelry. To see men make their own fashion statement.”

Below, a closer look at the actor’s dazzling statement piece.

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