ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
BLINDING BAUBLES DON’T HAVE TO DOMINATE THE RED CARPET — THIS YEAR, BOTH DELICATELY MODERN AND RESTRAINED RETRO LOOKS HELD THEIR OWN.

Byline: Marcy Medina

Whether they sparkled or dangled, looked to the past or forward into the future, Oscar accessories proved that variety was the spice of life.
Kathrine Baumann, who crafted her glittering “Chinese Takeout” and “Dragon” minaudieres for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” stars Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi, plugged away up until the 11th hour.
Alan Friedman eschewed the last-minute approach for his 50-carat, Asscher-cut diamond necklace, which was 10 months in the making. The new piece echoes the vintage craze while retaining a modern edge.
H. Stern went the opposite direction, with a unmistakably modern bib necklace fashioned from colored crystals. “The idea behind it was to show how young women can take jewelry in a hip yet elegant direction,” said a spokeswoman.
Daniel Swarovski also looked forward, creating a crystal-encrusted, elongated clutch that was one of the most-grabbed-at items at this year’s L’Ermitage fashion expo. The Paris-based line also offered up fashion watches in a rainbow of colors this year for attendees who wanted to clock the marathon ceremony in style.
Cynthia Bach, who designed Cate Blanchett’s trendsetting arm bands for last year’s Oscars, turned to necklaces and earrings this year. “I’m big on tassels,” she said, referring to her pearl and diamond tassel necklaces. As for earrings: “I’m not doing hoops this year. I’m going more glam Hollywood, back to the Fifties, with dangling earrings and more flair.” One new style, called an “earring pull” featured a fine platinum chain with a diamond drop at the end that’s threaded through the earlobe.
Bach wasn’t the only one who zeroed in on the long, dangly earring trend. Bulgari created an Oscar collection of pendant earrings. A spokeswoman said the modern pieces were based on linear designs characterized by geometric shapes, stylized naturalistic elements and contrasting gemstones such as emeralds, blue sapphires, rubies and diamonds.
At Harry Winston, the diamond line earring was among the most hotly pursued Oscar items. “The diamond bracelet has been so popular that the diamond line earring was a natural evolution,” said a Winston spokeswoman. She added that cuff bracelets in diamonds and colored gemstones have also been hugely popular.
Tod’s designer Diego Della Valle, whose name is practically synonymous with chic leather goods, made his mark at the Oscars with a specially created satin stiletto sandal. “This shoe feels very sexy. It’s tradition married to the best design possible,” he gushed. “It just feels like a movie star.”