Tanzanite Is the New Black and Other Emmy Jewelry Suite Revelations

Hollywood kicks off its awards season tonight with the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. While I won’t be live-blogging the event (I’ll defer to JCK’s resident style expert, Jennifer Heebner, to provide up-to-the-minute tweets), I will be watching a few nominees and presenters more closely than usual.

That’s because I attended jewelry stylist Michael O’Connor and publicist Niki Ostin’s StyleLab Emmy Jewelry Suite in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Friday, where I had the opportunity to be the proverbial fly on the wall as celebrities and stylists streamed through the hotel room in search of statement jewels for the big night.

Chief among them was Kate Mulgrew, who plays Galina “Red” Reznikov on the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. O’Connor tipped me off to her arrival time (1 p.m.) at the Emmys suite when I saw him the night before at an event at the Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills. (Also geared toward stylists, the poolside cocktail soiree brought together seven of the Richemont group’s timepiece brands, including Cartier, IWC, and Vacheron Constantin, in an effort to woo Tinseltown’s tastemakers to use them on their celebrity clients and on set.)

At Richemont’s stylist preview event at the Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills

When I showed up at the suite on Friday, I took a seat in the armchair nearest the table laden with jewels from the 10 designers working with StyleLab (Bellarri, Brenda Smith, Dena Kemp, Kallati, Leeza Braun and the Leo Diamond, Mastoloni, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry, Takat, Diamonds With a Story, and Vahan Jewelry). Within a few minutes of my arrival, Mulgrew—wearing a white linen jacket and trousers, leopard print espadrilles, a dainty strand of pearls, and pearl studs—came in with her friend, the costume designer Catherine Adair (best known for her work on Desperate Housewives).

O’Connor was busy talking an older blond woman through her earring options at the table, so Mulgrew and Adair sat on the couch near me and stared at the jewels with gleaming eyes. The moment the crowd cleared, Mulgrew made a beeline for a pair of tanzanite and diamond drop earrings by Takat.

“These are the ones I want—these!” she said.

Courtesy StyleLab

Emmy nominee Kate Mulgrew at the StyleLab Emmy jewelry suite

Michael O’Connor, Kate Mulgrew, and Catherine Adair talking tanzanite at the StyleLab Emmy jewelry suite

While she tried on the earrings and a tanzanite cocktail ring, also by Takat, I chatted with Adair about jewelry. “It’s like crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s,” she said, explaining that she had sent photos of the dress Mulgrew intends to wear to the Emmys to O’Connor, and the two of them had plotted to accessorize the outstanding supporting actress nominee in Takat’s richly saturated tanzanite. Mulgrew also tried on a pair of long, graduated diamond drops featuring the Leo Diamond, which seemed like the runner-up for her Emmys ensemble.

While Mulgrew and Adair filled out the paperwork, O’Connor explained why he thinks his suite has been so successful. “It has to do with relationships; there’s a snowball effect,” he told me. “And also, there’s a variety of mixes: Takat for major emeralds and diamonds, Vahan for stacked bracelets…so it’s not like I’m trying to force one look on to anybody. And when they come to me, no matter what the style is, we can find a piece that will work.”

Other stylists and celebs swanned in and out of the suite through the rest of Friday and Saturday. Cary Fetman, stylist for Joan Rivers and ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, was one of them. He picked up a heavily pavéd white diamond bracelet from Leo Diamonds. We’ll have to wait and see if Rivers actually wears it tonight.

Finally, before Mulgrew buzzed out of the suite, O’Connor offered her a playful pair of amethyst and diamond circle drop earrings for everyday wear. She took off her pearl studs and wore the new pair out.

“I know you can’t wear these on your show,” O’Connor said to Mulgrew as she headed toward the door.

After all, prison bling doesn’t make a lot of sense—or does it?

“Never say never,” Mulgrew replied.