Iraqi war dulls sparkle of Oscar’s diamond anniversary

Whoever are the winners in the 75th—diamond anniversary—Oscars on March 24, jewelry, fashion, and glamour are already the losers, reports the International Herald Tribune in its March 20 edition.

The war in Iraq has cast a somber mood over the normally giddy, festive event, a fashion highlight for millions of viewers in the United States and around the world.

This year saw the elimination of the pre-show red carpet walkway–a quasi-runway of stars parading the latest fashions and accessories past fans, photographers, and the press. This, along with members of the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences dressing down for the ceremony, has caused “dismay and disappointment among the army of dressmakers, stylists and beauticians,” said reporter Suzy Menkes in her story.

One of those directly affected is De Beers LV, the recently created luxury retail company participating for the first time in the Oscars festivities.

“I’m disappointed that we won’t get the exposure on the red carpet,” Alain Lorenzo, chief executive of De Beers LV, is quoted as saying. “We don’t even know how many photographers will be allowed.” De Beers LV “had hoped to raise awareness of the brand,” Menkes writes, with a selling party at a private home on Friday, March 21, and “by getting the company’s jewelry on the stars” for the Oscar festivities and parties.

In addition, model Iman, a De Beers spokesperson and former wife of singer David Bowie, had commissioned special gowns for the Oscars and related events from the fashion houses of Dior and Pucci.

The jewelry houses of Boucheron, Chpoard, and Garrard also had been “jockeying for position as they set up hotel suites around the city,” reported Menkes.