Translating Red Carpet Trends

Before, during, and after the broadcast of a major red carpet event, viewers search, watch and share everything they can about it, from red carpet fashion to YouTube trailers, says Google Internal Data. In fact, Google research reveals that women are taking their style cues from celebrities, searching for the most popular dresses and accessories with an eye to buy.

While viewers tune in to see who will take home the best actor award, many of them are just as, if not more excited about the beauty and fashion moments. Audiences want to see their favorite stars dressed in beautiful creations; it has an aspirational influence. Euromonitor International cites one of the most dramatic impacts of celebrity culture on consumer behavior is the greater emphasis on personal appearance and self-image.

“Jewelers need to pay attention to the trends on the red carpet,” advises Michael O’Connor, jewelry stylist to the stars and Reelz Channel style correspondent. “Fashion has a trickle down effect. Consumers have no choice but to follow what’s happening. Whether I want to look like my favorite celebrity or just glean visual cues of how things work together, there is a tremendous amount of media devoted to celebrity fashion and lifestyle.”

Whether direct or implied endorsements, celebrities are the guidepost and consumers do pay attention, says Rebecca Foerster, executive vice president, strategic planning and marketing for Leo Schachter Diamonds, New York, who adorned the likes of Kate Hudson, Regina King, Sienna Miller, and Kaley Cuoco Sweeting at recent awards shows. “As a society, we are influenced by celebrities, and value them as in the know and on top of trends.”

Top Jewelry Styles
O’Connor reminds that the runway focuses on fashion, but the red carpet is where consumers see the latest fashions accessorized to create a cohesive style statement. Top trending directions developing on the red carpet for some time now include bigger, bolder, more colorful looks; mystical/spiritual/tribal themes; geometric lines and vintage silhouettes; and body jewelry.

“Fashion is dictating what we see in accessories on the red carpet and the mega trend is for pieces that are larger in proportion for the wrist, ear and neck,” says O’Connor. “A large statement look, one important piece is a key style trend. When I style people, I advocate a focus on one statement piece.”

Sanjay Kothari, CEO for Interjewel, New York hails diamond the perfect gem for the red carpet, with its high refractive index that casts just the right amount of sparkle and shine. “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend on and off the red carpet for good reason. They make the perfect companion to any outfit, day or night. One of few neutral gems, diamond is the go-with-everything accessory.” Among the most memorable diamond jewels spied in 2015 was on Naomi Watts in a diamond snake collar by Bvglari, which she was seen wearing forward and backward at the Golden Globes and Cannes Film Festival.

But some of the most unforgettable looks on the red carpet, cites O‘Connor, feature bold color in stones like ruby, emerald, and sapphire; fancy color diamonds, especially yellow, champagne, and black; and other gems including tourmaline, spinel, topaz, and turquoise—as in Cate Blanchett wearing turquoise, aquamarine, and diamond clustered collar by Tiffany at last year’s Oscars.

In fact, pearls continue to intrigue Hollywood royalty, and recent red carpet affairs have not disappointed with stunning pearl embellished dresses and jewelry among the biggest standouts. At the Oscars, for example, everyone was talking about Lupita Nyong’o custom Calvin Klein dress strung together with more than 6,000 pearls, and Felicity Jones in Alexander McQueen pearl studded ball gown. There also were many A-Listers accenting in pearl jewelry.

Especially popular, are strands that mix colors like ombre looks; baroque shapes in a variety of designs, bold drop earrings and cocktail rings, and bracelets that can be stacked, cites Fran Mastoloni of Mastoloni, New York, who notes that layering continues to be important in bracelets and necklaces. “Pearls have a subtle charm that draw the eye into the wearer. Pearls pair well with other design elements and are easy to wear with other jewelry. The versatility factor is huge.”

From the Golden Globes at the start of the year to the Primetime Emmys in the fall, Hollywood A-listers have favored lobe hugging and ear climbing styles. But, Amanda Gizzi, director of public relations and special events for Jewelers of America, expects more emphasis on longer styles. Foerster notes that large earrings are the easiest to style with, no matter the necklines. She cites chandelier styles especially popular in longer lengths with lots of movement.

Kothari also rates hoop earrings a style staple, in linear, elongated designs with diamonds and mix of metals. He ranks stackable rings and bangle bracelets must haves, too. “The art of stacking remains a key trend, especially with diamond jewelry like eternity bands and bangle and line bracelets.”

But design directions are trending for big, open bold cuffs. “Popular designs have a feeling of airiness, with negative space that allows the skin to peak through,” describes O’Connor, who says this trend also translates well in collars. He sees a return to yellow gold, but ranks rose gold the red carpet favorite, as well as blackened metals like oxidized gold, platinum and silver.

While celebrities take more risks, what’s seen on the red carpets can be adapted to what’s happening on Main Street, says Gizzi. “Trends like the ear climber in delicate diamond or gem design or mismatched earring styles, perfectly imperfect pairs that are cousins not twins translate well in fine jewelry.”