And the Oscar Goes to…Chopard

Usually, Oscar Sunday finds me in a friend’s living room, eating takeout, and talking smack to the television set as we dissect the speeches, the fashions, the flubs, and, of course, the jewels at the Academy Awards. It’s a ritual I enjoy and (obviously) don’t take too seriously.

This year, however, was different. I realized my Oscar night was getting an upgrade about two weeks ago, when the lovely Prerna Balani, senior manager of public relations for Chopard USA, extended an invite for me and a plus one to attend Elton John’s 22nd annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, a 500-person shindig in West Hollywood that benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The Swiss jeweler is a longtime sponsor of the event; Elton himself gives the brand frequent shout-outs.

When it came to choosing a partner in crime, my twin sister, Julia, was, of course, my first choice, which is how, instead of eating Thai food on a friend’s couch, we found ourselves at table 64, beneath the most luxurious tent I’ve ever seen, eating chef Gordon Ramsay’s cuisine and watching the Oscars on giant screens as countless celebrities (Neil Patrick Harris! Petra Nemcova! Steven Tyler!) swirled around us.

That’s me and Jul, all dressed up with somewhere to go!

Now, I’ve been to enough Hollywood events to know that the novelty of seeing celebrities in person wears off quickly when you realize that just because you’re standing within whispering distance from them doesn’t mean they’re going to talk to you. Still, it’s pretty exciting to be surrounded by so many beautiful people—all the more so when it’s Tinseltown’s biggest night and they’re dressed in their finest beaded gowns and white tuxes and everyone’s drinking from bottomless glasses of Champagne (or bourbon, in my case).

Speaking of bourbon, it’s late, and I’ll be on a flight to Hong Kong by the time you read this, so let’s just cut to the chase:

Cate Blanchett’s opal earrings—by none other than Chopard. If you thought they were diamonds at first, you’re forgiven. I did too. Then she ascended the stage to accept her Best Actress Oscar, for her incredible performance in Blue Jasmine, and I caught the play of color in those 33 cts. of Australian opals, and I immediately thought, well done. Well done, Ms. Blanchett—for your performance, your well-deserved award, your poise, your old- Hollywood glamour, your sixth sense for fashion, and, last but not least, your unconventional but totally you choice in gemstones.

Cate Blanchett’s earrings (featuring 33 cts. t.w. Australian opals) belong to Chopard’s 2014 Red Carpet collection, which will be on display at BaselWorld.

And well done, Chopard. After 11 consecutive years of adorning Oscar winners—starting with Charlize Theron, who won best actress in 2004 for her performance in Monster, to last year’s belle of the ball, Jennifer Lawrence, and now, Great Cate—the brand is an indisputable lucky charm on Oscar night.

I know some people will want to talk about the wheeling and dealing that goes on between jewelers vying for a big-time placement during the Oscars, but I’m going to bypass that conversation for lack of evidence. Instead, let’s just appreciate the fact that Caroline Scheufele, co-owner of Chopard, has a crazy talent for picking winners.