Focus on the Eyes – or the Lips – with Well-Chosen Jewelry

The September 2010 issue of InStyle magazine does a retrospective on past looks from the Emmy Awards, including a page focusing on favorite accessories and grooming. The editors’ choice for “Best Earrings” is a pair of chandelier earrings by Lorraine Schwartz worn by Christina Applegate in 2008:

InStyle explains this choice: “The amethysts are awesome. But it’s the turquoise orbs that draw you into her eyes.”

Well-chosen jewelry draw the focus on the wearer exactly where emphasis is desired. Bringing attention to the eyes of the wearer through the use of color is one of the most effective techniques for flattering a wearable achievable with jewelry.

It’s interesting that InStyle articulates this image consulting principle in the Emmy fashion pictorial, as a photograph that appears earlier in the same issue of the magazine provides an even clearer example of this principle. Here is a photograph of actress Cameron Diaz wearing a dress and shoes by Lanvin, an uncredited bracelet, and a spectacularly flattering pair of earrings with “turquoise cabochons” from House of Lavande.  

The yellow gold color of the earrings is beautiful with Diaz’s hair, and the cabochons bring the viewer’s attention right to her arresting blue eyes. The earrings are pretty with the softly gathered, asymmetrical design black dress.

Also pretty with the dress is the bracelet, uncredited by InStyle. However, the bracelet, which appears to be inset with red and white stones in an asymmetrical design, bears no stylistic relation to the vintage earrings. The bracelet is much more contemporary in style than the earrings. A bracelet with a vintage look or a less ornamented gold cuff might have resulted in a more harmonious overall look. Given the perfection of the earrings, I would have swapped out the bracelet. Alternatively, a more contemporary design of earrings would have complemented the bracelet and dress.

Another favorite look from the Emmy Awards highlighted by InStyle, this one the editors’ choice for “Best Red Lips,” shows Leighton Meester in 2009 wearing a Bottega Veneta white gown. The show-stopping emerald chandelier earrings are not credited in the InStyle photo.

Part of what emphasizes Meester’s red lips is the bright green of her earrings, which dangle near and draw attention to her mouth. Green is the complement of red on the color wheel, and each complement adds emphasis to the other. If Meester’s red lips take home the style Emmy, the lovely green earrings are deserving of the award for Best Supporting Color.

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