This year’s awards season was all about breaking the silence around deviant behaviour on the backlot. And, while the biggest names of the silver screen graced the red carpet at various events in sombre shades and tones, their statement pieces spoke volumes all on their own.
In a show of solidarity, a number of leading ladies wore large emeralds to these events. At the 75th Golden Globe Awards ceremony, Issa Rae wore an eye-catching lariat necklace by Lorraine Schwartz. Even encircled with 100ct of diamond and platinum, the real show-stealer was the 35ct Colombian emerald set front and centre in the piece. The surrounding diamond-studded chain and tassels only served to accentuate the green gemstone.
Also in attendance at the 2018 Golden Globes was Catherine Zeta-Jones. Her beautiful features were framed by a pair of emerald and diamond chandelier earrings also by Lorraine Schwartz. Adorned in a similar style was Isabelle Huppert, last year’s winner and this year’s presenter for the Golden Globe’s Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture award. Her 18ct white gold, diamond and emerald earrings from Chopard’s High Jewellery Collection feature cushion-cut diamonds of varying sizes weighing a total of 21.4ct. These were positioned between 35ct worth of pear shaped emeralds. The design is by turns stately and straight-edged, soft and scintillating.
Another piece that really took everyone’s breath away was Zoe Kravitz’s 105ct Colombian emerald earrings set against black jade, also by Lorraine Schwartz. The dark frame of jade around the lustrous green stones help to emphasise their size and lustre.
The truly impressive set of emeralds were paired with a matching 25ct oil-free emerald ring. And the entire ensemble was completed with a simple column gown by Saint Laurent that served as the perfect backdrop for all the smaragdine brilliance on display.
At the 71st British Academy of Film and Television Arts ceremony that took place over a month after the Golden Globes, Lady Bird (2017) star, Saoirse Ronan, was seen continuing the trend in a pair of Cartier diamond drop earrings that ended in cabochon emeralds. There with her was Octavia Spencer who was seen wearing a pair of white gold, emerald and diamond earrings and ring from the Precious Chopard Collection. These subtle stones contrasted beautifully with the black gowns worn by those in attendance at the event.
It was no accident that emeralds were the reigning gemstone of 2018’s red carpet season. The verdant hue of the stone is said to represent the green of growing things, renewal, and hope for the future. These are sentiments that are sorely needed in this time of crisis faced by the film and entertainment industry.
The link between statement jewellery and female empowerment is not so far-fetched. In the 1900s, when the suffragettes fought for women’s right to vote, jeweller Mappin & Webb pitched in on the efforts by selling a range of suffragette jewellery set with amethysts, pearls, diamonds and emeralds. Being able to accessorise for a cause made the movement fashionable in more ways
The role of the jeweller in raising the visibility of social movements remains an important one today. When discussing Beyoncé’s show-stopping US$6.8 million-dollar bespoke earrings in an interview, Lorraine Schwartz talks about how the geometric design is meant to be “very empowering, very strong” but at the same time, still feminine. The angular pair of earrings were paired with a custom-made Nicolas Jebran velvet gown with thigh-high slits. The ensemble was topped off with a dramatic beret. The entire look is said to be inspired by the Black Panthers – a political organisation established amid the 1960s civil rights movement in America.
Together, the statement jewellery and black velvet gown made a striking image at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony earlier this year. Despite the hard-angled shapes cut by the 70ct diamond and titanium statement piece, the concentric design moved easily with every tilt and turn. This delightful contrast of hard and soft allowed the piece to embody both strength and femininity at the same time as intended by the jeweller.
The strength and stability that geometric jewellery have come to connote is given an added layer of significance when they are worn by Gal Gadot. The Wonder Woman (2017) star was seen walking down the red carpet at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony in a Tiffany and Co 2018 Blue Book exclusive necklace also known as “Blue Ice”. The lariat neck adornment with more than 1,000 diamonds gets its name from the asymmetrical arrangement of 17 aquamarines down the front of the piece. Of the 61ct worth of aquamarine, the largest single piece is the 27ct, baguette cut aquamarine drop set in platinum and surrounded by inlaid diamonds. The broad, diamond dusted links in the chain are a throwback to the jeweller’s 1930s art-deco collection. They give the piece a sturdy look worthy of the Israeli model/ actress who has become a symbol of female strength, determination and endurance.
Blue Ice shows again that a carefully designed statement piece can be a deafening declaration all on its own. No further explanation needed.