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Diamonds! Sapphires! Golden Bras! Why 2019 Was the Year of Bling

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Diamonds! Sapphires! Golden Bras! Why 2019 Was the Year of Bling

It isn’t a red carpet without a little bling, and in 2019, stars seemed intent on raising the bar for statement jewelry. Throughout the year, trends filtered in and out, but the demand for conversation pieces in diamond, platinum, and gold never wavered. Bigger was often better—who could fault Lady Gaga for wearing more than 100 carats to collect her Oscar statuette?—but subtle moments like Harry Styles’s single freshwater pearl at the Met gala mattered too. A look back at the most impactful gems (real, faux, and everything in between) shows exactly a single well-placed piece can cause a sensation.

Lady Gaga’s 128-Carat Tiffany & Co. Diamond at the Academy Awards

The 91st Academy Awards marked one of the biggest nights of Lady Gaga’s career. Nominated for “Shallow,” her duet with A Star is Born co-star Bradley Cooper, she was in the running for her first Oscar, and needed a look that could capture the significance of that moment. And while her sleek Alexander McQueen gown was beautiful, it was the Tiffany diamond that took things to the next level. 

The 141-year-old stone was first discovered in 1877 in South Africa’s Kimberly Mines and subsequently purchased by the brand’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, a year later. The largest yellow diamond in the world at that time, the raw stone was transformed by gemologist George Frederick Kunz into a brilliant-cut 128.54-carat masterpiece with 82 facets. Once worn by Audrey Hepburn in her promo stills for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the gem was reimagined for Gaga’s Oscar look. Set in a platinum necklace featuring 16 cushion-cut white diamonds and 46 more brilliant-cut, it provided an opulent final touch to her big night.

Angelina Jolie in a Robert Procop Scorpion Brooch at the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Premiere

If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself—or at least find a worthy collaborator. For her red carpet return at the world premiere of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Angelina Jolie channeled the spirit of her villainous Disney character through haute jewelry she co-designed with Robert Procop. The bewitching scorpion brooch featured 50 carats of white diamonds set in platinum, and made for an unexpected addition to her Atelier Versace gown. 

Jolie and Procop have been working together for nearly a decade on custom pieces and the actress’s “Style of Jolie” collection, a range benefiting the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, a charity she co-founded that builds schools in areas impacted by warfare. In keeping with Jolie’s commitment to philanthropy, the one-of-a-kind piece they created for the Maleficent premiere may eventually be placed on auction to benefit EPCC.

Kate Middleton in Princess Diana’s Earrings at the BAFTAs 

One of the perks of being a royal is access to a limitless array of jewels, but Kate Middleton has always been mindful of her choices. At 2019 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, the Duchess made a quiet statement in earrings that once belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. The pearl and diamond pair were first worn by the Princess of Wales in December of 1995 at the United Cerebral Palsy dinner, where she received an award for her humanitarian work.

Rachel Weisz’s Cartier Hair Ornaments at the Academy Awards

As Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough in The Favourite, Rachel Weisz is cunning, resourceful, and seductive. Nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2019 Academy Awards, Weisz paid homage to her memorable character with a temporary crown. Two vintage Cartier Collection brooches from 1903 were combined to create a stunning diamond and platinum headband. Carefully woven into her hair by hairstylist Mark Townsend to appear seamless, they added an ethereal element to the actress’s look that contrasted with her futuristic Givenchy couture.

Brie Larson and Scarlett Johansson Bring the Infinity Stones to Life

The Avengers movies may masquerade as action-adventure flicks, but really, they’re all about jewelry. As the franchise’s MacGuffin, the Infinity Stones kickstart the plot—and given their prominence onscreen, it makes sense that the leading ladies of Avengers: Endgame would seek to recreate the jewels and their matching gauntlet for the film’s debut. Both Brie Larson and Scarlett Johansson wore versions of the concept to the world premiere in April, bringing the fictional bling into the real world with help from designers Irene Neuwirth and Sonia Boyajian respectively.

Zoe Kravitz’s Solid Gold Tiffany & Co. Bra 

Fabulous jewelry isn’t just about necklaces and earrings—and at Vanity Fair’s annual Oscar party, Zoe Kravitz showed exactly how innovative the medium can be. The actress dazzled in an 18-carat gold mesh halter designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany and Co. Inspired by a trip to Jaipur, India, the vintage piece was shown as part of Halston’s fall 1975 collection alongside a matching scarf. Resurrected by Kravitz and then paired with a Saint Laurent skirt, it proved every bit as alluring more than 40 years later.

Rihanna Goes for Casual Crystals 

Who says you have to dress up to make a statement with jewelry? When Rihanna touched down at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport back in July, she did so wearing an unexpected mix of casual gear and eveningwear. Her sweats by Palace Skateboards were elevated with the addition of silver Manolo Blahnik heels and a pair of Balenciaga’s oversized floral crystal drop earrings. Originally featured on the brand’s fall 2018 runway, the gems have become one of the rare pieces Rihanna has worn more than once.

Cate Blanchett’s Wearable Cindy Sherman at the Venice Film Festival 

Cate Blanchett met her match in Cindy Sherman’s jewelry collaboration with Lizworks. No artist is more associated with portraiture than Cindy Sherman, and Lizworks’s collection delves into that subject matter via cameos. A chameleonic presence onscreen, Blanchett was the natural choice to wear Sherman’s sardonyx earrings detailed with pensive self-portraits. Detailed with pink and lemon quartz, the pair Blanchett chose for the premiere of Joker was a distinctive style win.

Cate Blanchett’s Wearable Cindy Sherman at the Venice Film Festival 

Cate Blanchett met her match in Cindy Sherman’s jewelry collaboration with Lizworks. No artist is more associated with portraiture than Cindy Sherman, and Lizworks’s collection delves into that subject matter via cameos. A chameleonic presence onscreen, Blanchett was the natural choice to wear Sherman’s sardonyx earrings detailed with pensive self-portraits. Detailed with pink and lemon quartz, the pair Blanchett chose for the premiere of Joker was a distinctive style win.

Elle Fanning Wears Her Heart on Her Finger at the Cannes Film Festival 

Diamonds aren’t the only statement stone. For her first time as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival, Elle Fanning wore an array of exceptional jewelry, but nothing stood out quite like the heart-shaped Chopard ring she chose for the opening ceremony. Anchored by a massive 47.81-carat purple tourmaline set in rose gold, the piece was impossible to miss.

Jennifer Lopez Unleashes the Purple Dragon 

Sure, Jennifer Lopez may have been decked out in $8.8 million worth of Harry Winston gems at this year’s Met Gala, but one stone stood out from the rest. The famed 63.32 carat sapphire at the center of the Purple Dragon necklace is mesmerizing all on its own, but surrounded by diamonds, and peeking out from beneath Lopez’s beaded Versace headdress, the piece took on special significance. A flash of color that served to inspire her lavender beauty look by makeup artist, Scott Barnes, the jewel enlivened the entire look.

Billy Porter Brings Back the Floral Brooch at the Tony Awards 

The talk of the Tony Awards red carpet was Billy Porter bringing the house down (quite literally) by repurposing the curtains from his Broadway show, Kinky Boots, as a dramatic suit with a sweeping train. The inventive outfit—which featured a uterus motif in support of reproductive rights—was utterly modern, but Porter accented it with the most classic of accessories. The diamond Oscar Heyman gardenia brooches on his lapel were a stunning throwback to the days when no outfit was complete without a pin.

Dua Lipa Does Gems for Gen Z

Most Gen Z stars have yet to develop an affinity for fine jewelry, but at the American Music Awards, Dua Lipa showcased the beauty of gems for the next generation. In a Bvlgari High Jewelry necklace with a 35.64 carat emerald at its center, she radiated elegance. The brightly-colored stone contrasted with her bubblegum pink Miu Miu gown, adding to the upbeat and vibrant nature of her ensemble.

Harry Styles Pierces His Ear Just for the Met Gala 

The pièce de resistance for the ultimate soft-boy look, Harry Styles’s single pearl earring at the Met gala, was irresistibly chic—especially given that he got pierced just for the event.


Source: Vogue.com