Behind the Jewelry Worn to the 2014 Met Costume Institute Gala

While the Twitterverse mourned the lack of live feed at last night’s red carpet arrivals to the 2014 Met’s Costume Institute Gala celebrating the opening of the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibit, photographers on-site capably documented the festivities—some of which included stunning jewelry choices. These were as varied as the couture, which ranged from ball-gown fabulous to polished Hollywood vixen, and offered something impressive for jewelry lovers of every ilk.

Hair jewels were perched atop many a crown. Olivia Munn’s diamond wings took up elegant residence in her side part, keeping company with a small diamond stud. Lupita Nyong’o made a strong statement in a green jeweled and feathered Prada flapper number with a severe headband festooned with diamonds that elicited mixed reactions. Sarah Jessica Parker’s non-jeweled floral number, however, was pure glamour and looked great with her black-and-white color scheme and off-the-shoulder gown. And in what might be the most inventive move of the night, Rita Ora’s stylist carefully placed a line of gold leaf in her part. (Points for originality, but some thought it looked as though dye was mistakenly left over after a mad dash out of the hair salon.)

Thankfully, necklaces did play a role in accessorizing open—and even one closed—necklines. Rihanna was a vision in white attire with an impressive Jacob & Co. diamond-studded choker, Kendall Jenner wore a major rivière, and Dita von Teese completed her 1930s vibe with a chunky golden Y style. Karolina Kurkova donned a significant vintage-looking diamond collar, as did the queen of fashion herself Anna Wintour, while Anna Kendrick channeled a princess in a daintier diamond version.

Nontraditional jewels like necklaces down the back and ear cuffs also had a robust showing. Rihanna’s colorless diamond jewels stationed across both hands struck a brilliant balance with her bare midriff. Charlize Theron let an impressive pair of winged ear climbers with diamond fringe make her accessory statement, and Nicole Richie’s delicate diamond backlace looked lovely with her lavender locks. And Sarah Jessica Parker put a vintage diamond bracelet with a center floral motif on the upper part of her gloved white arm, along with what looked like round-shape matching pearl and diamond pins, also climbing up the fabric.

Additionally, celebs such as Lena Dunham and Lupita Nyong’o, among others, scattered myriad vintage and vintage-inspired rings across fingers, which quick-shooting photographers caught on camera clutching purses.

Oversize earrings with cluster effects also had a presence last night. Take, for example, Elizabeth Olsen, who seemed ready to hit the ice in her skater-chic mini dress accessorized with a pair of large diamond cluster earrings. Hailee Steinfeld and Suki Waterhouse wore clusters, too, though their completed ensembles didn’t scream Ice Capades.

And while there were a few diamond stud earrings (think Rita Ora and Allison Williams), statement earrings, by far, ruled the jewelry trends of the night. Both Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian wore oversize numbers—Bey had on black chandeliers and Kim wore colorless diamond drops—both by Lorraine Schwartz. Emmy Rossum wore vintage-looking diamond and ruby tassel-like drops, Selena Gomez had on long, wavy diamond feathers, and Anne Hathaway wore colorless diamond linear drops. Kate Upton was a vision in coral—carved cameo earrings with gemstones as well as a matching statement necklace—and Jessica Alba looked angelic in yellow-gold and stone styles hanging from her ears (in addition to several large yellow gold rings—some by Melissa Kaye Jewelry—stationed on numerous digits). Riley Keough’s earrings, meanwhile, stood out as the decidedly more modern look of the night with an oversize structured yellow-gold-looking pair of drops.

Stay tuned for “The Big List of Who Wore What to the 2014 Met Costume Institute Gala” tomorrow on the Style 360 blog.

More Met Gala coverage:

 Who Wore What to the Punk-Themed 2013 Met Gala

• Who Wore What to the 2012 Met Gala 

• 5 Best Dressed (and Bejeweled) at the 2012 Met Gala