American Gem Trade AssociationAdd More Color To Your Life

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By Deborah Yonick, jewelry style expert

Red carpet trends embraced retro-glam looks influenced by the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s at the 82 nd Annual Academy Awards March 7. Shades of blue—from sapphire and aqua to slate and midnight—were prevalent, with rich hues of purple and crimson also popular. Jewelry trends continue to focus on the ear and wrist, although there were a few noteworthy necklaces and rings.

Undoubtedly, the trend for asymmetrical necklines, strapless, and bejeweled bodices have placed greater emphasis on earrings, with a wide array of styles spied on the red carpet including long chainmail-esque chandelier, tassel, hoop, and teardrop designs. Also, bracelets remain an accessory must, with the fashion forward stacking a single wrist instead of two in a mix of types and styles against architectural draping and layers of ruffles that draw the eye down the silhouette.

“The most striking sight on the red carpet was the amount of wonderful color—from Jennifer Lopez in lavender to Mo'Nique and Maggie Gyllenhaal in shades of blue, and Sigourney Weaver in red,” describes Michael O'Connor, jewelry and style expert, Style & Substance, Inc. in New York . “Colored gemstones were popular choices for celebrities to create that Oscar glamour.” He notes that stylists mixed and matched for both monochromatic and contrasting looks in color.

O'Connor singles out celebrity fans of designer Lorraine Schwartz, including Zoe Saldana in 80-carat amethyst platinum ring against the purple shades of ruffles cascading down her Givenchy Couture by Riccardo Tisci; and Gabourey Sidibe in sapphire and diamond platinum swirl earrings atop her cornflower blue Marchesa; or Miley Cyrus in ruby platinum earrings and ring popping against a champagne colored strapless Jenny Packham gown.

Other notables include the Fred Leighton adorned Vera Farmiga in 1930's opal and diamond platinum ear clips topping her rubellite hued Marchesa in a gush of scalloped ruffles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal in 19 th century ivory and diamond calla lily pendant earrings, 1920's cabochon emerald and diamond platinum bracelet, and sapphire and diamond platinum brooch complementing her hand-painted tropical print Dries Van Noten gown.

Style kudos also go to Queen Latifah in pink sapphire and pearl drop earrings by Chopard—perfect with her lilac colored, sequin-detailed Badgley Mischka; Mariska Hargitay wearing 1920s Fred Leighton sapphire and diamond platinum bracelets with her midnight blue strapless Vera Wang; and Entertainment Channel reporter Giuliana Rancic, who accessorized two red carpet looks in Chopard jewelry: yellow and white diamond chandelier earrings and ring, and sapphire and diamond bead earrings and 6-carat sapphire ring.      

The best pop of color was seen on Susan Bridges, wife of Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges, in a black Monique Lhuillier topped with bold turquoise drop earrings.

Rings Resonate

Although big bold necklaces have dominated ready-to-wear runways for several seasons now, the red carpet has been void of much neckwear. At the Oscar's, one of the most memorable necklaces of the night was a 19-carat yellow diamond platinum lavalliere by Tiffany & Co. as worn by Kate Winslet in a platinum strapless Yves Saint Laurent gown. She also sported 10-carat yellow diamond platinum drop earrings and three yellow diamond platinum bracelets.

But bold, gemmy cocktail rings remain a big fashion do for icons on the red carpet. In addition to Zoe Saldana's statement-making amethyst ring, there were several other striking examples.

Tina Fey wore a stunning black jade and diamond platinum ring by AGTA Spectrum Award winning designer Stephen Russell against her black beaded Michael Kors. Meryl Streep flashed an Art Deco onyx and diamond platinum ring by Fred Leighton with her white Chris March gown. Demi Moore sported a black pearl and diamond platinum ring by Van Cleef & Arpels, the perfect contrast to her blush ribbon and ruffle layered Versace. Elizabeth Banks chose a 19 th century sapphire and diamond cluster ring by Fred Leighton to adorn her bluish gray Versace. And, Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart went monochromatic in an Alberto Makali aqua gown and Neil Lane aquamarine jewelry.

Fancy Diamonds

Of all the celebrities who choose diamonds for the Oscar's those wearing fancy colors are unforgettable, like Mo'Nique in fancy yellow diamond drop earrings and line bracelets by Chopard.

Accessorizing in multiple fancy color diamonds, Amanda Seyfried wore 250-carats worth of brown, champagne and mint diamond jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz against her white strapless Armani Privé ball gown.

Atop her Elie Saab couture, Rachel McAdams rocked a 145-carat natural multi-color diamond cluster earrings by Lorraine Schwartz. And, Faith Hill wore all black with 180-carats of Lorraine Schwartz black diamond in blackened platinum bangles, and large black sapphire and black diamond drop earrings by OFIRA with her strapless Roberto Cavalli.

Carpet Cues

The Look: Earrings are the go-to red carpet accessory, ideal to adorn popular asymmetrical necklines, single shoulder and strapless styles.

Key Items: A range of earring styles is in, most notably elongated chandeliers, bold drops, and dangling tassels. Stacked bracelets and bold cocktail rings are also Oscar worthy, with the newest take decorating just one wrist and flashing a singular statement-making ring. The preferred metal on the carpet, platinum!

Top Gems: Popular Oscar rocks include sapphire, emerald, and ruby, as well as organic gems like coral and pearl. Also spied were jewels set with onyx, jade, amethyst, aquamarine, and opal, as well as a range of fancy color diamonds.

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