And the award goes to…The 65th Annual Emmy Awards are upon us, and Hollywood is in full prep mode. Once TV’s biggest stars have found the perfect gown, it’s time to add the final touches – jewelry. And what red carpet ensemble is complete without a healthy dose of bling? Just ask jewelry and style expert Michael O’Connor. He and I chatted at StyleLab’s Primetime Emmy Awards Jewelry Preview where he dished the dirt on this year’s most precious pieces.
I’m fortunate enough to get invited to this event each year, and every time I go I feel like a princess in a tiara store. So many sparklers, it’s hard not to go blind! But don’t get too attached; these high-end pieces are just for borrowing. O’Connor handpicks a collection of necklaces, rings, watches, earrings, bracelets and more from a variety of designers for celebrities and stylists to choose from.
Here are a few of the highlights you can expect to see shining on the scarlet strip.
Thanks to pop culture phenoms, like the remake of The Great Gatsby and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the 1920s are back in a big way. That means we’ll see more and more vintage elements, like drop waist dresses and pearls, on the red carpet. “When you think pearls, you think grandma. But designers are using them in new and hip ways with fashion elements,” O’Connor said. Case-in-point: a stunning pearl and black diamond necklace by Mastoloni. Matching earrings and bracelets were on display, too.As was a gorgeous double-strand necklace with a subtle ombre treatment from Baggins.
SHADES OF BLUE
Fresh from New York Fashion Week, O’Connor noticed a divergent trend: “We’re back to black and white, but color mixes were also prevalent. I saw floral prints in a variety of colors, so I pulled together these pieces with the runway in mind.” And which color family made the biggest splash? “Blue is once again the hot color for 2014.” Takat offered striking tanzanite earrings, while Bellarri showed a beautiful cocktail ring made with several shades of blue topaz. I was particularly fond of a multi-colored enamel and gemstone cuff made by Joan Park…it even had matching earrings!
As far as gowns are concerned, O’Connor predicts lots of beading, ’60s silhouettes and one-shoulder designs. “We’ll see more beading on clothes, exposed zippers, bigger ruffles, a lot of exaggeration in clothing.” If you’re wearing a dress with a beaded neckline, O’Connor recommends opting for dramatic earrings and a ring. If the beading is south of your waist, then a necklace would be great. The one we were all coveting? A $1.2 million stunner made with 84 carats of ethically mined cushion-cut diamonds by Chester Industries. A close second? A. Jaffe’s diamond floral masterpiece.
That’s right; jewels aren’t just for your neck, ears and hands anymore! By far the most impressive pieces in the room weren’t traditional accessories; they were a collection of crystal hair pins and combs once owned by Marilyn Monroe provided by Jewelry by Gail. They’re truly pieces of history, and the best way to incorporate actual old Hollywood glamour into any modern look. And, yes, I tried one out. But I wasn’t alone. Actress Sherri Saum modeled a pin, too.
Leave the house without a giant sparkler on my finger? Never! At this event there were plenty to choose from. A floral ring from A. Jaffe? Got it. Turquoise, pearl and sapphire treasure by Abellan New York? Of course. But my favorite was the mystical green stone ring encircled by diamonds from Frankie Caballero of the American Gem Trade Assn. According to O’Connor, this crossover into the dark side is inspired by TV shows like Vampire Diaries. Additional evidence of supernatural influences included blackened metal. “People are looking at vintage pieces. This gives it a bolder vintage feel.” One great example was a pair of earrings by Gabriel & Co.
Speaking of earrings, there was no shortage of those either! But if you’re looking for something understated, you’ve come to the wrong place. When it comes to the Emmy’s, go big or go home! I was really impressed with a pair from Jane Berg Jewelry that’s buildable! Each segment is removable, so you can wear them as long or short as the occasion calls for.
As I was leaving, O’Connor showed me one final piece that was particularly close to his heart. Created by Cassandra Erin, this cuff feature’s O’Connor’s motto and his signature: “Fashion changes, but style is forever.”
Will we see more to-die-for looks than total disasters? Let us know what you thought of this year’s Emmy ensembles!