By Deborah Yonick, jewelry style expert
A humble Hollywood, in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, toned down the bling for the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards Jan. 17 in Los Angeles. It was simple elegance, with the mode of accessory a signature jewel—mostly earrings, and some really great bracelets and rings. Memorable statement pieces were set with vivid color gemstones and pearls against jewel tone gowns that favored shades of purple, blush and champagne nudes, and classic black.
Next to plum, lavender and lilac, ruby red, sapphire blue and emerald green also turned up in gowns that still showcase asymmetrical necklines, although there were more strapless and crisscross styles in the mix this year. Tailoring details like flouncy ruffles, architectural folds and metallics enhanced classic silhouettes.
Standout jewelry choices flashed beautiful color that either popped against neutral gowns or created monochromatic looks. Large drop, multi-tier dangle and tassel style earrings were prevalent, as well as wide bracelets and bold rings.
Style expert Michael O'Connor notes that celebrities are choosing one area to highlight, whether that's a large statement necklace, big earrings or stackable cuff bracelets. "Colored gemstones are making a big appearance on the red carpet. We're seeing more in the cooler palettes, such as blues and greens," he says, adding that when paired with platinum their brilliance is maximized.
The beauty of gemstones, notes Douglas K. Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association, is in the range of colors, types, and prices that exist. "As diverse as the people who wear jewelry, is the range of gemstones that can capture the imagination, convey individual style and express personal meaning. Celebrities on the red carpet who choose gem-set jewelry celebrate their unique personalities and approach to fashion with confidence."
Spied on the red carpet was a litany of amazing gem drop earrings that had onlookers a buzz. Among the favorites, film star Julianne Moore dazzled in Bulgari earrings dangling two enormous pear shaped emeralds, weighing 52.86 and 62.32 carats. "Glee" star Lea Michele also chose emerald earrings in cabochon drops totaling 83 carats by Chopard.
Cougar Town star Courtney Cox sported the most amazing black sapphire earrings set in blackened gold and diamonds by Hollywood's designer darling Lorraine Schwartz. Also in LS, Lisa Edelstein of "House" wore blue sapphire and diamond blackened platinum earrings, and "Avatar's" Zoe Saldana adorned in custom made natural unheated ruby earrings, bracelet, and rings.
Other lobe lookers included actresses Kate Hudson in natural pearl and diamond briolette tassel earrings by N.Y. jeweler Stephen Russell; Olivia Wilde in open link black onyx and diamond earrings by Tiffany & Co.; and " Modern Family's" Julie Bowen in a pair of embellished onyx earrings from House of Lavande.
L.A. designer Erica Courtney also decorated the ears of Alfre Woodard in a multi sapphire chandelier style, Lauren Valez of "Dexter" fame in yellow beryl drops, and " CSI Miami" star Eva La Rue in marquis-shaped aquamarine earrings.
Unusual necklines did not do much for neckwear, but next to earrings there was plenty of wrist action on the red carpet. Every style is in from cuffs to bangles to multiple strand line bracelets conveying volume.
Nicole Kidman wrist wrapped in emerald and diamond bracelets by Fred Leighton. TV Guide's Lara Spencer wore an impressive Chopard bracelet set with 123 carats of Paraiba tourmaline (and matching necklace with nearly three times as many stones). Olivia Wilde adorned with a black onyx and diamond fan bracelet in platinum by Tiffany. And in Chopard, "Dexter" star Julie Benz wore yellow diamond bracelets, a nd film star Emily Blunt stacked champagne, pink, and lemon color diamond and blackened platinum bracelets.
In fact, diamond pieces that turned heads on the red carpet were those in fancy colors like the vertical three stone ring with yellow and white diamonds by Neil Lane on Toni Collette; and the pink diamond Chopard ring on Penelope Cruz. Heidi Klum flashed an amazing blue, orange and white diamond ring by Lorraine Schwartz. And, Globe winner Sandra Bullock dangled stunning iridescent grey diamond earrings, also by Schwartz.
Bold gemstone rings continue to rule star style. Multiple AGTA Spectrum winning designer James Currens of J.W. Currens in New York City dressed TV broadcaster Shaun Robinson and actress Maria Menounos in amazing color stone rings. Robinson wore a tanzanite and diamond platinum ring, and Menounos sported a ruby ring by the designer.
Other great examples were seen on "Dexter's" Jennifer Carpenter, who wore ruby and Allison Brie, of "Mad Men" and "Community" in rock crystal rings, both by Neil Lane. Drew Barrymore, Globe winner for her role in "Grey Gardens," flashed an 80-carat moonstone ring by Lorraine Schwartz. And, Alessandra Torresani of "Caprica" also wore moonstone set in a ring by Erica Courtney.
There were few necklaces, but those who wore one made a statement in gemstones. Julia Roberts embellished her little black dress in a vintage sautoir from Van Cleef & Arpels dangling a stunning pendant with 29 citrines and diamonds in 18-carat yellow gold. Kristen Bell topped her white strapless number with a blue sapphire and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels . And wrapped in a rope of pearls, Calista Flockhart adorned with a Cathy Waterman necklace, while Téa Leoni chose a long Tahitian strand by Erica Courtney.
Expect red carpet trends this season to focus on simple elegance and singular statement pieces—with color an important element in expressing personal style.