The 2010 Grammy Awards—Unexpected Trends in Fashion, Unattributed Standouts in Jewelry

The 2010 Grammy Awards could have been viewed on a black and white television set with little effect on the visual impact of most of the fashions. What one saw were (1) acres of black and near-black ensembles (appropriate for artistes, to be sure, but tedious en masse), plus (2) an assortment of white dresses; plus (3) gowns in shades of grey and its corresponding metallic, silver; plus (4) dresses in a range of nude colors (taupe, beige and pale pink) and their corresponding metallic, gold. There was plenty of sparkle with sequins and beading, and a few bright-hued exceptions, to be sure. However, after the colorful fashions and creative uses of jewelry at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, I found the vast majority of the fashions at the 2010 Grammy Awards disappointingly bland and the jewelry surprisingly understated.

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Where a designer dress took center stage, the jewelry was often relegated to a minor supporting role. Much of the design creativity on display was simply the result of importing fresh looks from designer fashion show runways. For instance, designer looks included sleeveless dresses with high necklines and a great deal of detail in front, like the Elie Saab gown (white) chosen by Rihanna and the Prada gown (black) worn by Nicole Kidman. Rihanna wore stud earrings in a flower cluster design by Neil Lane, appropriate modestly sized adornment for her high neckline, along with several large rings by Diamond in the Rough and a diamond bracelet also by Neil Lane. Kidman’s antique diamond and black enamel cluster earrings by Fred Leighton unfortunately were obscured by her hair.

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And of course, in a category of creative achievement all her own, there was Lady Gaga on the red carpet in an extraordinary celestial-themed dress (rendered in light pink and silver) by Armani Prive. She did not appear to wear any jewelry, but rather carried around with her an oversized bauble in the form of a huge starburst.

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There were many gems of jewelry design that demand recognition. As with this season’s previous awards shows, earrings, bracelets and rings were the most popular combination. Necklaces had a stronger presence at the Grammys than at the prior shows. Brooches were rare, with one notable exception being a diamond starburst worn by Pink in her hair.

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No one wears statement earrings better than Beyonce, and she proved this once more in two pairs of earrings by Lorraine Schwartz. On the red carpet Beyonce wore outrageously huge gold earrings with triangular drops to coordinate with the elaborate motifs and large-scale detail of her beige-colored gown by Stephane Rolland. Later in the evening she wore oversized diamond hoop earrings with the stunning textured silver gown she wore to accept the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

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Sheryl Crow wore a huge pair of diamond-studded gold disks by Ofira with her dark brown halter gown by Bottega Veneta. Note, however, the amazing turquoise-studded gold bracelet and enormous blue stone cocktail ring she wore; neither piece’s designer received a shout-out.

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I find it remarkable that the red carpet interviewers did not feel compelled to inquire as to the designer of a number of the more eye-catching pieces. For instance, how could one interview Hillary Scott of the group Lady Antebellum and not inquire about the source of her huge silver-colored metal earrings?

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In the best color statement of the evening, Mary J. Blige wowed in triple-drop diamond earrings and an exceptional diamond and pink sapphire bracelet by Lorraine Schwartz that perfectly complemented the cutout detail of Blige’s deep pink vintage gown by Gucci.

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Another of my favorites on the red carpet was Taylor Swift, whose sophisticated style is consistently excellent. The dramatic neckline of her sparkling teal gown beautifully complemented her features, including the arch of her eyebrows and the shape of her lips. Her custom drop earrings, reportedly created by Lorraine Schwartz and Ofira, were of a size, shape and scale to suit her perfectly.

Among the unidentified standout jewelry designs of the evening were the following:

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Shawn Colvin wore an intriguing statement necklace by an unidentified designer with her strapless black dress.

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Melanie Fiona wore an extraordinary unattributed cuff with her dress by Christian Siriano. Her earrings were intriguing as well.

Toni Braxton wore what appeared to be an exceptional diamond cuff bracelet on her left wrist, of which I do not have a good photo.

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Jennifer Hudson looked absolutely stunning in an ensemble by Victoria Beckham, accessorizing her figure-flattering peplum jacket with geometric neckline perfectly with Lucite geometric shaped bangle bracelets by designer unknown.
Indeed, Hudson’s short skirt was consistent with one of the fresher looks on the red carpet this season. Short dresses had a strong presence, continuing a trend we saw at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards.

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Another design detail that made a surprisingly strong showing is long sleeves. I previously noted Julia Roberts’ long-sleeved vintage dress at the SAG Awards. Covered arms may well be the “next big thing,” as Heidi Klum might say on “Project Runway”; she herself chose to wear this trend in her long-sleeved pale pink and gold metallic mini dress, accessorized with a charming, oversized diamond butterfly ring by Lorraine Schwartz. Other dresses with long sleeves were worn on the red carpet by Ciara, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus and in performance by Roberta Flack and Celine Dion.

Take note-the return to long sleeves may have an effect on the choice of bracelets as statement jewelry. I’ll discuss one solution in an upcoming post.