Dazzling divas on the red carpet

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One’s necklace shouldn’t fight with one’s neckline—and other tips from the experts


Jewelry on the red carpet is more than an accessory – it’s an integral part of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. The world’s top fashion designers, jewelry houses and stylists work together to create the perfect look for each actor for film premieres and award ceremonies. Hollywood’s award season brings out the hottest names in film and television, but also the top names in fashion and jewelry.

Jewelers envision the red carpet as a place where they can present their most show-stopping pieces. A beautiful piece of jewelry, worn by a favorite actor, can boost sales significantly. Some jewelers also sponsor the events; for example, Cartier sponsors the Cannes Film Festival (among others) while Chopard sponsors a Golden Globes after-party.

It’s also a matter of choosing the jewelry and style diligently. “The dressier you dress, the less jewelry you need, and vice versa,” says Jacqui Stafford, style expert, fashion editor and TV personality. “The necklace shouldn’t fight with the neckline.” With some gowns, the stylist needs to get more creative, such as the pairing of the opera-length Tiffany necklace, worn over the back of a white lace Elie Saab dress with a deep V back, which Jessica Biel wore to the 2012 Golden Globe awards.

“There are certain jewelers you work with that go with certain designers,” says Susan Stein, owner of Fashion Connection and fashion editor at Palm Springs Life magazine. Neil Lane is well connected with stylists, which is why his pieces are a common sight on the red carpet, notes Stein. Stars who have worn Neil Lane on the red carpet include Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Ritchie.

The jewelry must complement the actor’s personality. “The actress has to be able to carry it off,” says Stafford. A bold piece of jewelry won’t work for an actor who is demure. Sofia Vergara showed off a fearless look at the Screen Actors Guild awards in 2012 with a bold amethyst cuff and earrings by Lorraine Schwartz.

Stafford notes the recent trend of flesh- and peach-colored dresses work best with gold jewelry, while one-shoulder dresses need only earrings and a cuff to complete the look. In terms of the trend in jewelry itself, Stafford says, “It’s moving away from diamonds toward bold statement pieces.”