By Deborah Yonick, jewelry style expert
Statement necklaces are back in a big way, with some of the most memorable designs adorning leading ladies at the 86th Annual Academy Awards®. Dramatic gemmy earrings and cocktail rings remain staples, with color a key trend on the red carpet. The influence was strong for Art Deco and reinterpreted classic must-haves from past decades.
Among the signature neckwear eliciting gasps was a $2 million Neil Lane carved rock crystal and diamond platinum necklace draped down the back of “American Hustle” Oscar® nominee Jennifer Lawrence. Also fabulous, a radiantly regal arrows brooch-pendant on a long chain by AGTA Member, Tiffany & Co., adorning Best Costume and Production Designer-winner, Catherine Martin, who collaborated with the brand on the jewels for “The Great Gatsby.” And, Jennifer Lee, co-director of the Best Animated Film “Frozen,” looked stunning in a green tourmaline and diamond platinum pendant necklace by AGTA Spectrum Award®-winning designer and AGTA Member, Erica Courtney.
“Celebrities are focusing their accessory choices on one large piece of jewelry that adds eye-impact and emphasis without overwhelming their gown,” describes, Michael O'Connor, jewelry and style expert and TV commentator, and curator of the StyleLab jewelry suite . O'Connor hails color a strong red carpet trend, particularly cool hues like blues and greens: think tanzanite, sapphire, topaz, aquamarine and turquoise. He says the media's view of the event is laser focused on nominees and winners, which really doesn't tell the whole story. “I assure you, color was all over that carpet!”
Dramatic earrings and cocktail rings remain red carpet staples. The most adaptable jewels, earrings and rings complement varied necklines and dress styles with ease.
O'Connor cites as top earring picks: long and linear or large, geometric and framed in pavé. Favorite ear embellishments adorned Best Actress-winner, Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) in glistening opal chandelier drop earrings, showcasing 62 white opals totaling 33 carats in diamond pave and 18K white gold by Chopard; Best Actress-nominee, Amy Adams (“American Hustle”) in luscious rhodochrosite drop earrings with lapis and turquoise accents by Tiffany & Co.; and film and TV actresses Jessica Biel in aquamarine and diamond drop earrings, also by Tiffany & Co., and Olivia Wilde in Lorraine Schwartz jade and diamond platinum earrings.
Wilde also rocked a bold black and white diamond platinum ring by Tiffany & Co. While presenter Anne Hathaway sported a square-cut emerald and diamond platinum ring by Neil Lane. Singer Darlene Love wore a killer cushion-cut black diamond ring by Martin Katz, and dazzling black diamond pear-shaped deco earrings in antiqued 18K gold. And, music icon Lady Gaga wowed the crowd in a rose gold and fancy grey diamond ring with pink diamonds, a la Lorraine Schwartz.
But best in digit decoration, the radiant Lupita Nyong'o, Best Supporting Actress-winner for “12 Years a Slave” clutching her Oscar® wearing Fred Leighton gold rings including one set with an antique pearl, another in opal, and one in a turquoise 1960's design that matched her “Nairobi” blue flowing Prada gown.
The party scene on Oscar® night also nabbed a lot of attention, including: Reese Witherspoon in 30+ carat emerald drop gold earrings by Irene Neuwirth; Kelly Preston (actress, former model, wife of John Travolta) in Neil Lane kunzite and diamond platinum chandelier earrings; British actress Lara Pulver in a John Hardy white agate silver cocktail ring and white sapphire and diamond silver bangle. Also noteworthy in Neil Lane, British television presenter and former model, Emma Willis in pearl and diamond platinum earrings and an emerald and diamond platinum ring; Jada Crawley (wife of NBA all-star Chris Paul) in citrine gold rings; and Mindy Kaling (best known for her role in “The Office”) in aquamarine and diamond platinum earrings and ring.
Actress, model and singer Zoe Kravitz accessorized her emerald green gown with the Black and White Ice Tassel Necklace by AGTA Member, pearl house Mastoloni, featuring 7-11mm cultured pearls accented with 30 carats of black diamonds, and 3.5-5mm cultured pearls with diamond accents in the tassel.
Also in Mastoloni signature designs: Tysha Williams, actress, assistant director of "The New Face of Salve" and hostess of "Studio 3 Hollywood Upclose" wearing Black Ice earrings, featuring 12.2mm Tahitian pearls accented with nearly 10 carats of black and white diamonds in 18K white gold, and a ring from AGTA Member, Pearls 4 Girls. And, Sue Munro, wife of Chris Munro, Oscar®-winner for Best Sound Mixing for “Gravity,” in Golden Ribbon earrings, with stunning 15.5mm golden South Sea pearls wrapped in 1.75 carats of brilliant cut white diamonds in 18K white gold.
The award-winning looks O'Connor styled with jewels from the 2014 AGTA Oscar® Collection included Margaret Anne Smith, wife of Best Film Editor-winner, Alan Baumgarten for “American Hustle” adorned in "Prince of Peach" morganite earrings featuring morganites (28.30 ctw.) accented with diamonds (1.80 ctw.) by Dallas Prince, as well as “Young and the Restless” star Kate Linder, who sparkled in "Palace Collection" earrings in 18K White Gold with rose-cut diamonds (6.29 ctw.) and round, brilliant diamonds (1.26 ctw.) from Elyse Fine Jewelers.
• Statement necklace designs are back and big, especially with the trend continuing for strapless dresses.
• Dramatic gemmy earrings and cocktail rings are the most adaptable jewels, complementing varied necklines and dress shapes with ease.
• Color is a strong red carpet trend, particularly cool hues like blues and greens: think tanzanite, sapphire, topaz, aquamarine, emerald and turquoise.
• Pantone Color of 2014, Radiant Orchid colored gems are popular, think tanzanite, sapphire, amethyst, morganite, kunzite, garnet, tourmaline and freshwater pearl.
• Black and white styles in interesting patterns reign, think pearls and diamonds.