Come rain or shine, Sunday will be Oscar time! And as the last hurrah of awards season, the theme of the night will be: Go big, or go home. I stopped by StyleLab’s annual Oscar’s Jewelry Suite today to scope out all of the sensational sparklers we’ll spot on the red carpet – and few pieces could be described as understated. Jewelry expert Michael O’Connor was on hand to offer styling advice and dish on the hottest trends in accessories. What pieces will Hollywood’s brightest stars be shining in at the 86th Annual Academy Awards? Let’s sneak a peek.
Rest assured that Sunday’s scarlet strip will be blinding with bling. “These are the most over-the-top pieces I’ve pulled in a while,” O’Connor said. “That’s the direction we’re going; everything has to be getting bigger.”
However, these big pieces will be restricted to just one area of the body. “People are taking one area and making it the focal point whether it’s with a necklace, a stack of bracelets on the arm or earrings.”
This year’s crop of statement necklaces is no joke. They won’t be whispering in the wind; these pieces are screaming to be noticed. “I brought in more necklaces, but necklaces are hard to place because you’re dealing with three things: the color, neckline and ornamentation of the dress.” For example, if the dress has a lot of beading around the neckline, then there’s no need for a necklace.
Celebs also want to maintain their youthful appearance. “They don’t want to look like Elizabeth Taylor; they want to look young and vibrant.” O’Connor recommends layering oversized pearl necklaces, like the ones he showed me by Mastoloni. John Ford with the American Gem Trade Association also designed a stunning piece made with 76 carats of Lightning Ridge opals and 8 carats of diamonds. I just love the handcrafted aesthetic; it’s so nontraditional.
When accessorizing your dress with a necklace, choose a piece that mimics the gown’s neckline. Pair a pendant or drop necklace with a plunging neckline, or wear a collar necklace with a rounded neckline.
Of course, I couldn’t leave without trying on a few pieces myself. My two faves: a yellow beryl, emerald and diamond necklace by Farah Khan and a jaw-dropping collar necklace made with $1.5 million worth of natural pink diamonds from AGTA’s Tivoli.
Dramatic earrings will be another major trend at the Oscars. Look for a pair of AGTA award-winning earrings by Caroline C. that feature a mix of blue and green gemstones including tanzanite, emeralds and Paraiba tourmaline. O’Connor also favored a pair of striking chandelier earrings by Farah Khan. The subtle hues of pink and blue will barely be noticeable on camera, but the luxurious luster of of these giant gems will be hard to miss!
And good news for those who dread getting their hair done for fancy functions! According to O’Connor, “Big earrings don’t require an up-do or a pull-back for hair.” Hooray!
So what is inspiring the creation of all of these opulent pieces? “Designers are using some color combinations America may not be ready for, like red and green,” as seen on an emerald and ruby bracelet by Farah Khan. “But we are getting more international in our tastes. Indian and South American influences are important.”
As for the glamorous gowns we’ll see parading down Hollywood Blvd., keep your eyes out for patterns.”I love prints because they allow you to mix your jewelry in a unique way,” O’Connor said. “I like to pull a color from the dress and find a jewelry piece to bring it out. I also love creating contrasts.” Some color combos to try: turquoise and brown or teal and magenta. Mermaid silhouettes will continue to be popular, as well as capelets to keep those shoulders covered!
And for those of you who think diamonds should be reserved for special occasions – think again. Hong Kong’s The Fashion Of Diamonds believes that diamonds are for – you guessed it – fashion. They’ve paired up the country’s top 4 jewelry designers with its 4 best manufacturers to create a collection of pieces made exclusively with Argyle diamonds from Australia. Each item is amazing in its intricacy as the designs feature symbols and flowers of Chinese culture.
BTW, as I was heading out, the event’s hostess received a call from Sharon Osbourne’s stylist. The Talk host was hoping to snag a pair of gold earrings for the big event. The team found a few contenders, snapped some pics and texted them over. We’ll just have to wait and see which pair she chose!