GOING FOR THE BOLD
“BIGGER IS BETTER” WAS THE RALLYING CRY WHEN IT CAME TO ACCESSORIZING FOR THE RED CARPET
Byline: Marcy Medina
With stars and stylists more vigilant than ever about seeking out one-of-a-kind dresses, they’re certainly not going to skimp on making a statement with accessories.
This year, bold and eye-grabbing won out over delicate and twinkly when it came to the finishing touches.
“You’re supposed to look at a piece and say, ‘Wow!”‘ said designer Erica Courtney. “We’re talking about pieces that make you do a triple take.” She said her chandelier earrings are such show-stoppers that “I can’t even figure out what necklace you could wear with them.”
“The trend this year was toward oversized gems,” agreed Andrea Hansen, marketing director of H. Stern, who made the walnut-sized aquamarine and diamond necklace that Catherine Zeta-Jones wore last year. “If you go with a stone that big, everything else must be very simple. For example, you can do a major statement earring, but go very soft or absent on everything else.”
Bulgari put together a collection of weighty archival pieces, ranging from 1890 to the Seventies. One convertible diamond is practically a bauble built for two: it can be divided into two shorter necklaces, while its detachable centerpiece stones can be worn as brooches. Another, rather sizable brooch described as “en tremblant” has dangling diamonds that sway with the wearer’s movements. Also fitting the bigger-is-better bill: Kwiat’s weighty teardrop diamond earrings, which were up for grabs in a L’Hermitage suite.
Of course, Hutton Wilkinson of Tony Duquette jewelry has always known that more is more. “My jewelry is so big and sculptural, it’s almost operatic,” he said. “You know, the luxury of one-of-a-kind pieces is the only thing that rich people have. It’s the ability to look unlike anyone else.” Christian Dior went for high drama this year as well, with colorful, deeply faceted gems set in chunky cocktail rings and massive chokers.
A designer who’s known for making mesh-like jewelry that drapes across the skin like fabric, Christian Tse created his first Oscar collection, incorporating platinum and diamonds, into a line that is usually yellow gold. While the shimmery collars can cover most of the wearer’s poitrine, Tse apparently decided that wasn’t enough: he also made an entire mesh top specially for the Oscar after-parties.
Of course, not all the action happens above the neck. Jimmy Choo teamed up with Russian-born jeweler Sasha Ratiu, who made gold and diamond dragonflies and stars meant to be worn on the backs of spindly stiletto heels or across the straps, a look British socialite Tamara Beckwith demonstrated at WWD’s Oscar party. “I feel like a very expensive Barbie doll,” she said, looking down at the diamonds climbing up her heels and ankles.
For the hip jewelry line Me + Ro, a diamond collection seemed a natural progression from its gold and gemstone line. “We were asked to make some diamond pieces for Julia Roberts for the 2001 Oscars and it just seemed right to do a whole collection this year,” said co-owner and designer Michele Quan. “It’s meant to make a women feel special and one-of-a-kind.” While the pieces may not be on the largest scale, the star who inspired them certainly is.