On Nov. 1, the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., was filled with guitars, glamour, and a whole lot of glittery jewelry for the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards.
Host Carrie Underwood, who had a total of 12 outfit changes throughout the show, walked the red carpet in an ivory an gold Reem Acra gown with pink gold and diamond earrings and matching ring from the Johnathon Arndt Fleur et Feuille Collection.
“I feel like pop and country are converging. Look at Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. The look for the big crossover stars has more in common with mainstream Hollywood glamour than it might have been back in the day,” says jewelry designer Wendy Brandes. “But I think they still love putting on a show with voluminous hair, sequined dresses, dangling earrings, and clinking bangles.”
Although she left the CMAs empty-handed, Taylor Swift sparkled in a nude and red glittered Jenny Packham gown, accentuated with Neil Lane jewels. “Anything Taylor Swift does is hugely influential. After her recent first-week album sales, I’d pay close attention to her jewelry preferences!” Brandes says.
Staci Egan, owner of Contempo Artisan Boutique in Boalsburg, Pa., had the opportunity to give her jewelry to Underwood, Swift, and other big names in the industry. Her wreath necklace—made of sterling silver wire, freshwater pearls, and faceted jasper—was selected for the CMA gift bags. “Country music has exploded,” Egan says. “It is a tremendous opportunity to have my piece featured in the gift bags.”
Photos courtesy of Staci Egan
“Because country is so trendy, it has taken over the fashion world. I have noticed a lot of rustic details like boots and flannels mixed with high fashion sparkly chandelier earrings—I love it!” Egan says. “I also admire the way many of the female country artists are a wonderful example for the younger generation.”
Other stars who stole the show: Miranda Lambert, winner of Female Vocalist of the Year, in bold Sutra rings and earrings; and Nashville actress Hayden Panettiere (she may not be a country star but she plays one on TV!) in a short glitzy dress by Georges Chakra Couture and a L’Dezen diamond bracelet.