|Naomi Watts in a Bulgari necklace at Cannes 2016. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain.|
There is an interesting article over at The New York Times called “When It Comes to Red-Carpet Jewelry, ‘Elegance Is Refusal’” by Bronwyn Cosgrave, about all the high jewelry at the Cannes Film Festival. A captioned photo of Elizabeth Taylor at Cannes in 1957 in her diamond tiara, and other gems, claims it was her showing up dressed this way that helped usher in the idea that Cannes was all about high-wattage glamour. The opening paragraph too, posits that the story of Liz swimming in a pool in Cap Ferrat wearing this tiara when hubby Mike Todd presented her with a magnificent Cartier ruby and diamond parure, was instrumental in burnishing the idea that the Cannes Film Festival meant jewels, the bigger the better. (For a recap of Liz receiving this Cartier set, in her own words, click here.)
|Liz at Cannes in 1957. Photo by Ullsten Bild/Getty Images.|
French fashion editor/stylist Carine Roitfeld says she doesn’t like that the actresses who show up on the red carpet at Cannes are paid to wear such big jewelry. I don’t mind that so much. I’d do it too, if I were, say, Naomi Watts, above, so resplendent recently in an Armani Privé gown and Bulgari jewels. And it was interesting to read about the various personal pieces owned by Ms. Roitfeld and other stylists. I would expect those gals to wear their own jewelry, why would they be in borrowed finery? They are the stylists! Most people don’t even know their names, let alone what they look like. It seems to me that the publicity garnered by their wearing jewelry from the big houses would be wasted (in my very humble opinion). I think the most famous stylist in the world is probably still Rachel Zoe (and I bet she owns the jewelry she wears).
What I thought was a more ridiculous premise was pointing out that Rooney Mara wore little or no jewelry during awards season this year—is the writer trying to suggest that jewelry-shunning Rooney is a purer person than the ladies (like Cate Blanchett!) who wore big gems on loan from the big houses? Does that mean, in addition to opting for no jewelry, Rooney also bought the Givenchy dress she wore to the Oscars? I bet not! (If she did, let me know in the comments, and I will stand corrected.)
|Cate & Rooney at the 2016 Oscars. AFP Photo.|
I realize that all red carpet dressing is a fantasy so I expect it to be borrowed—the gowns, the jewels, the bags, the shoes, even the dates! If the actresses get paid to wear it too, I say, Why not? If it weren’t for red carpet dressing, most of us would never get to experience, in any format, the pleasure of seeing the most beautifully designed and crafted jewelry pieces on the planet. I don’t know about you, but the thrill of that never gets old to me. It is wonderful to see what such talented jewelry designers, from any house, in any decade, were able to dream up and create. The fun is enhanced by seeing these amazing jewels worn by the lovely actresses we recognize from stage and screen.
If actresses want to add their own jewelry to their red carpet look I’m all for it, but let’s face it, can you name one actress who actually owns even one piece of jewelry we ever see? The only one I can think of is Jennifer Tilly. If she ever comes back to the Oscars I beg her to wear her glorious Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. brooch, seen below. (Liz also owned the same brooch, btw, and Jennifer tried to win it at auction and was unsuccessful. She found the one she does own at a different auction and spent $80,000 on it.) If you know of actresses who turn up wearing their own gems, please let me know!
|Jennifer Tilly in Crazy About Tiffany’s. She owns that stunning Schlumberger for Tiffany brooch she wears!|
Until there are more ladies like Jennifer, who has a true passion for jewelry (like Liz) and wears stunning creations from her personal collection, I vote that the red carpet stays awash in borrowed bling. Don’t you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!