Jewelry Can Make or Break a Look: Lessons From the 2012 SAG Awards

There were all manner of spectacular jewels set off to perfection on the red carpet at the 2012 SAG Awards. There were also a few examples of jewels that were noteworthy in their own right but distracted from the fashions they accompanied. Here are my nominees for worst jewels in a supporting role.

Atop most every worst dressed list was Kristin Wiig, not due to her blush-colored Balenciaga gown with its unusual halter neckline—a bold and edgy style that flattered her slender figure—but entirely due to her necklace. Wiig wore a wide, dark choker described by InStyle magazine as “a 19th-century diamond lattice choker by Fred Leighton” above the neckline of the dress. Not only was there a disconnect between the dark, heavy necklace, which had a Goth vibe, and the light gown, but also the choker apparently had a tendency to skew off-center, causing viewers to want to “fix” it. The necklace is an extraordinary, if unusual, style for a red carpet event. Unfortunately, it competed with the halter neckline of the dress, with neither the dress nor the choker emerging a winner.

(From US Weekly online, here is a photo of Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph with fellow Bridesmaid Melissa McCarthy: http://www.usmagazine.com/hot-pics/lot-of-energy-2012301.)

Yet another Bridesmaids star, Maya Rudolph, looked lovely in a gown from Naeem Khan with a light-colored beaded bodice and a draped black skirt. With her gown, she wore a spectacular pair of Kimberly McDonald earrings. Both the gown and the earrings are gorgeous, but as a pairing they were mismatched. The large stones in the earrings had a bluish cast, giving it a cool tone, whereas the bodice of the dress was embellished with warm-hued ivory beads. The color disconnect was jarring.

Ashlee Simpson received rave reviews for her appearance in a stunning Jenny Packman black gown embellished with irregular loops of delicate beading and accented at the necklace with sheer tulle. Her unusual earrings from Loree Rodkin, slender circles with dripping diamond accents, perfectly complemented the gown and the patterns of the beading. Simpson’s hair and makeup, added to the spectacular dress and earrings, made her the vision of a classic Hollywood star—until you noticed her hands. Simpson wore chunky silver rings on almost every finger, a trendy look I’ll be writing about in a future post. The rings are currently on-trend, but their heft clashed with the delicate detail of the almost ethereal gown and earrings.

Even the most spectacular jewels can appear off when the color or level of refinement of the jewels is a mismatch to the ensemble with which they are being worn.