The most memorable looks along the red carpet of the 66 th Annual Golden Globe Awards were those in colorful gowns and jewels. While the expectation was to downplay the pomp and circumstance given the difficult economy, celebrities with an eye for style (or a really good stylist) chose a more optimistic, yet tasteful approach in their use of color.
Providing a bit of escapism from the news of the day, some divas donned beautiful gowns in shades of pink, purple and red, hues of blue, and hints of buttercup, coral and tangerine with single-shoulder designs pervasive. Golden tones and even variations on white also stood out in a sea of predictable black.
Although the bling was relatively modest in diamond staples (barring Beyoncé in well over 200 carats), there were screen sirens longing to excite onlookers with unusual gem designs. Emeralds and sapphires, both blue and fancy, were popular choices, but less commonly plugged gems like red spinel , green tourmaline, green beryl, garnet, agate, moonstone, and coral, even labradorite were seen. Statement earrings outpaced conversation neckpieces, and big gemmy rings and stacks of gem-set bracelets remain a red carpet essential.
Style commentators buzzed over actress Eva Mendes, a presenter at the awards, in an off white Christian Dior gown topped by a dramatic necklace featuring 132 blue turquoise gems accented by more than 36 carats of diamonds set in 18k yellow gold from the Van Cleef & Arpels Private Collection, circa 1974.
Also in white, was actress Kate Beckinsale , who popped some color against her stark J. Mendel gown with red spinel and diamond chandelier earrings by Fred Leighton. While actress Drew Barrymore, in a cloud-colored Dior frock, wore dreamy jewels by Hollywood design darling Lorraine Schwartz, including luminous moonstone and opal earrings and bracelet, and a pearl ring with diamonds, all set in platinum.
Navy blue gowns change up traditional black tie fare, with great examples on Globe nominee Anne Hathaway and actress Debra Messing. Hathaway struck a monochromatic tone by adorning her strapless Armani in sapphire and diamond platinum earrings, circa 1935 Van Cleef & Arpels Private Collection, and 13-carat violet sapphire ring set in 18k white gold with diamonds from its Pierres de Caractères Collection. Messing adorned her silk taffeta halter Vera Wang with emeralds in drop earrings and rings set in 18k-gold with diamonds by Fred Leighton (19 th century), and emerald, enamel, and diamond tiger bangle (1960's).
Actress Amy Adams also chose emerald in earrings and ring set in blackened platinum by Lorraine Schwartz to wear against the black backdrop of her strapless Oscar de la Renta . Not only were emerald and sapphire represented on the red carpet, so was ruby. Actress Emily Blunt wore ruby earrings by H. Stern in its “Fireworks” design, as well as a bracelet with more than 3,000 different colored stones, a one-of-a-kind “Sutra” style from the Diane von Furstenberg collection for H.Stern . Moreover, Jennifer Lopez (aka J-Lo) sparkled in a big ruby and diamond ring by Lorraine Schwartz; and “Gossip Girls” Blake Lively, in a too-tight Nina Ricci strapless number, at least showed style savvy in the Fred Leighton jewels she wore including a carved ruby, sapphire and diamond bracelet, sapphire and diamond bracelet, rock crystal and diamond bangle, and aquamarine and diamond openwork bracelet.
Perhaps the most interesting gem choices came from TV stars like those in the Showtime series “Dexter.” Both Julie Benz and Lauren Velez selected colorful Erica Courtney jewels, with Benz in green tourmaline flower/green beryl drop earrings and Velez sporting Madera citrine oval drop earrings in 18k gold and a labradorite and South Sea cultured pearl 18k gold necklace. While Saturday Night Live favorite Amy Poehler rocked in coral and diamond chain necklace and agate and diamond ring, among her platinum ensemble by Fred Leighton.
For those who caught Globe nominee Marisa Tomei's right hand and wondered what kind of enormous rock she was wearing, it was a hand carved quartz and diamond ring by Sevan, She also wore a one-of-a-kind “Zeus” necklace by the same Turkish designer, with carved citrine and diamonds in white and rose gold.
Several celebrities, besides Barrymore and Velez, cultivated their looks with various pearl types, such as “High School Musical” sweetheart Vanessa Hudgens in platinum necklaces set with conch and baby pearls by Lorraine Schwartz; “Ugly Betty's” America Ferrera in a natural pink pearl and diamond bracelet in silver on gold by Fred Leighton, 19 th century; and Neil Lane fans Sally Field in pearl and diamond platinum rings, bracelets and earrings, and Isla Fisher in pearl, sapphire and diamond platinum bracelet.
While dozens of celebrities wore white diamond bling, the real standouts were those in fancy colors including yellow, cognac, and black. In yellow diamonds: Globe nominee Penelope Cruz in 20-carat Chopard ring; Jenna Fischer in Chopard channel-set bracelet; and Christina Applegate in Lorraine Schwartz flower cluster rings and drop earrings. In cognac diamonds: Hayden Panettiere in Fred Leighton briolette ring; Taraji P. Henson in H.Stern's Arabesque briolette drop earrings and “Hera” style rings; and Alexis Zegerman in H.Stern's Zephyr, Sophia and Snowflake designs. In black diamonds: Brooke Burke in H.Stern buckle bracelet and earrings, and Victorian Collection ring; Kate Flannery in Erica Courtney snake cuff; and Globe winner Laura Dern in Neil Lane ring.
To inject excitement and optimism in your wardrobe, follow the style cues of Hollywood's chicest stars and seek out unique gem-set jewelry. Colored stones can transform any outfit, lift spirits, and offer big bang for the buck!