And the winner is . . . diamonds. After all the color of the gemstones and boldness of designs at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, the Academy Awards proved to be the time for the presenters and nominees to wear their most formal ensembles. Gone were the short dresses and playful baubles. In came big dresses for the women, classic tuxedos for the men, and a sense of refined elegance in the accompanying jewels. For many if not most attendees, this meant classic white diamonds.
There were show-stopping statement pieces of jewelry in evidence, to be sure, but not in the volume we have come to expect at red carpet events. Jennifer Heebner’s post highlighted many of the best; here are a few more worthy of notice:
In earrings, Carey Mulligan charmed in lush waterfalls of diamonds pinned to her ears. The fragility and lightness of the 19th Century Fred Leighton design is what made them work for the gamine actress.
The ruby and diamond floral design earrings by Lorraine Schwartz chosen by Miley Cyrus also had a playful quality.
Necklaces were rare but those that appeared were noteworthy. Mariska Hargitay looked to 19th Century Fred Leighton designs for her diamond necklace.
Helen Mirren wore Chopard diamonds.
Kathy Bates wore a suite of jewels from Diamonds in the Rough.
Brooches were back, most notably in Mariah Carey’s enormous Chopard diamond brooch worn at the waist of her Valentine Haute Couture gown. Oprah wore her own jewelry, including a brooch at her waist. Vera Farmiga and Zoe Kravitz wore Fred Leighton diamond brooches in their hair. Demi Moore chose platinum and diamond hair clips by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Taking a different approach to adornment in her hair, Elizabeth Banks looked to Fred Leighton for her blackened platinum and diamond headband and floral earrings.
But there was more to be gleaned from the jewelry sections at the Oscars. What I found interesting and delightful was the intelligence with which some jewelry was selected for the gowns it accessorized.
For instance, rectangular designs in jewelry emphasized the straight horizontal necklines of the bodices of the gowns worn by Amanda Seyfried and Kate Winslet.
Amanda Seyfried wore several multi-colored diamond bracelets by Lorraine Schwartz, including a zigzag pattern cuff, that had the overall visual effect of repeating the shape of the bodice of her Armani Prive gown. Her earrings also cleverly related to the geometry in the design of the dress.
Kate Winslet’s custom-made rectangular pendant of platinum and yellow and white diamonds from Tiffany and Co. repeated both shape of the center panel of the bodice of her Atelier Yves Saint Laurent dress, as well as its overall columnar shape.
The shape of Paula Patton’s diamond tassel earrings by Martin Katz related beautifully to the multi-layer detail at the neckline of her Carolina Herrera gown.
Gabourey Sidibe’s earrings by Lorraine Schwartz also were an inspired choice. The scale of the drop earrings complemented the floral embellishment on her Marchesa gown, and the earrings design repeated the angles of her off-the-shoulder neckline.
Color, when it appeared in jewelry, tended to be subtle or pastel in hue: Pearls and pink sapphires on Queen Latifah.
19th Century ivory and diamond earrings by Fred Leighton on Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Yellow and white diamonds by Chopard on Mo’Nique.
Pearl, diamond and sapphire earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels on Demi Moore.
Lovely light turquoise earrings and bracelet on Oscar winner Jeff Bridges’ wife, Susan Geston.
Also noteworthy was that Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, on a tension-filled day when the Oscar was hers to lose, chose to wear not borrowed jewels, but rather to enjoy a diamond bracelet and diamond earrings from her own personal jewel box. Is there any adornment more comforting and appropriate on a day when you need to be your most magnificent than special pieces of jewelry you know and love?