Style + Beauty Editor
An insider’s guide to Oscar bling, then and now
-Lois Joy Johnson
I envy celebrities but not for their fame, private jets, or paparazzi-studded days and nights. I just want to be able to borrow jewels on demand, too. My obsession began with legendary movie star Liz Taylor’s rock collection.
Just read Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry, and you’ll be hooked. Taylor collected sapphires, rubies, and emeralds as her colorful lovelife and eight marriages progressed. Husband number five and six (he married her twice), Richard Burton, gave her the famous 33-carat Krupp diamond ring and the 69-carat Taylor Burton diamond (she’s wearing the necklace in the photo above, but later sold it to fund a hospital in Africa).
Taylor piled on her own bling with everything from jeans to caftans to cocktail dresses. Photos of her from the 60s and 70s are the inspiration for today’s celebrity stylists, who recognize Taylor as an icon of glitz and glamour.
Now stars wear loaner jewels for their Red Carpet strolls. Wouldn’t you? A one-night stand in three million dollars of diamonds provides plenty of sparkle and media attention for both jeweler and actress before they switch pieces for the next event in the public eye.
According to Susan Duffy, executive director of marketing and advertising for Chopard, diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Duffy says, “Diamond chandeliers are the most-requested pieces right now. They catch the light and bring attention to the face and are very glamorous but in a contemporary way.”
Kate Winslet’s landslide coup of two Golden Globes, and her figure-hugging Narciso Rodriguez dress got a lot of media buzz, but I sat there glued to her Chopard diamond drops (10 carats worth $1,000,000) and her five-row multishaped diamond bracelet (47 carats worth $310,000).
When she won the Screen Actor’s Guild Award, Winslet glittered in Chopard diamonds again. Listen Kate, I’d be superstitious too. Checking the last five years of Oscar-winning actresses, I realized the brand has been a lucky charm for Marion Cotillard, Helen Mirren, Rachel Weisz, Hilary Swank, and Charlize Theron.
I’d love to sashay around in the real thing, and so would you. Unfortunately, until our Oscar nominations are announced, we’ll be sticking to crystal or cubic zirconia.