Cannes Film Festival descended on the Riviera (May 14-25) with a glittering tsunami of stars. The twelve-day festival is the premiere European venue to check out who’s wearing what, as stars strut their stuff at a host of premieres, galas and lavish parties.
While red carpet jewelers such as Harry Winston show up in Cannes, you find a more continental spin on haute jewels than at U.S. awards shows - more European designers, such as Bulgari and de Grisogono.
Cannes is a good place to get a read on international trends in jewelry design. Judging from this spring's festival, here are a few trends you can expect to find on jetsetters this year.
Brought to you by Chopard
Chopard has been the official sponsor of Cannes since 1998. Along with accessorizing a lot of A-list celebs there, the Swiss house produces the prestigious Palme d’Or trophy. This year the 24kt-gold fronds were made out of fair mined gold as part of the company’s sustainable luxury initiative.
Attached to a block of crystal, the Palme d'Or is made from 118 grams of pure gold and worth about 20,000 euros. Two are made, as well as two mini Palme d'Or, for each festival by five of Chopard's "top jewelers," the same ones who produce the red carpet jewels worn by the stars. Mini palms go to the winners of the best actor and actress awards.
How a company known for luxury watches turned into a revered jewelry house in just two decades remains a hot topic. Business insiders maintain that celebrities’ partiality for the brand is no coincidence; Big names are paid big bucks to flaunt the decadent designs. In 2008, it was revealed that Chopard paid actress Charlize Theron $200,000 to wear their jewels to the 2006 Oscars 2006.
Whatever big-budget marketing techniques may be involved, Chopard’s influence during the film extravaganza continues to grow. For the past seven years, artistic director and co-designer Caroline Scheufele has been releasing The Red Carpet Collection, a high jewelry line that debuts at Cannes each year.
The 2014 collection pays homage to starlets of 1950’s and 60’s Italian cinema, such as Sophia Loren, who was in attendance. This year, the exclusive 67-piece collection turned heads with emeralds, diamonds, amethysts, and sapphires. If the Palme d’Or were to be given to an accessory, it would go to Chopard’s Riviera necklace, a glittering garland of 18kt white-gold foliage adorned with diamonds.
Fine emeralds are a rarity but they were in abundance at Cannes this year. At the party for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Hollywood sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence donned Irene Neuwirth minimal emerald drops, adding a splash of color to her black Christian Dior Tank dress.
Jennifer Lawrence wearing One of a Kind Emerald Earrings by Irene Neuwirth
Julianne Moore, winner of this year’s Best Actress award, matched her dark green Lanvin dress with Chopard Red Carpet Collection earrings, with 44 carats of emeralds surrounded by pink sapphires and rubies set in 18kt white gold. Penelope Cruz wore cascading emerald-and-diamond drop earrings by Chopard with a black and white Armani Privé dress.
Swiss designer De Grisogono celebrated 20 years of eye-catching jewelry at the festival this season. Hosted by founder Fawas Gruosi, the brand held its annual star-studied “fatale” fete at the luxurious seaside Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc.
Sharon Stone, the first to don De Grisogono jewels at Cannes two decades ago, wore over two million dollar's worth of the brand’s jewels with a fuchsia Roberto Cavalli gown. The highlight of the ensemble was a ring with two large emeralds surrounded by navette-cut rubies on pavé emeralds.
Naomi Watts in Bulgari’s “Ultimate Temptation” necklace with 60 carats of fantasy-cut diamonds and a 12.5ct pear-cut diamond
Animal designs popped up all over Cannes this year. Naomi Watts strutted the red carpet in a Bulgari Ultimate Temptation serpenti necklace - a fitting plug for the premiere of her movie “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Created for Bulgari’s 130th anniversary, the snake sports 60 carats of fantasy-cut diamonds and Watts wore it draped down her back, a trend we identified at the Academy Awards. It was a perfect complement to her powder-blue Marchesa gown.
Model Cara Delevigne wore a de Grisogono necklace designed around a chimpanzee with 771 black diamonds and clutching an 18-carat sapphire in its paws. The self-proclaimed animal lover also wore the brand’s black and white diamond panther ring, set with emeralds for eyes.
Cate Blanchette in Chopard’s 18k gold Shrimp earrings with black and white diamonds and 20 carats of multi-colored sapphires
Not to be outdone in the wildlife department, Cate Blanchett mixed birds with sea life, boldly pairing coral diamond shrimp earrings from Chopard’s Animal World collection with a feathered and embroidered Valentino gown. You have to be exceptionally beautiful (and confident) to pull this off.
Diamonds are a Gown’s Best Friend
Old Hollywood made its way to the French Rivera in the form of classic up-dos and plenty of diamond designs, particularly present extravagant earrings. Channeling Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman attended the premiere of her film “Grace of Monaco” in a sparkling blue Armani Privé gown paired with Harry Winston Caftan diamond bracelet and Winston Cluster Diamond Line Earrings for the premiere.
Adèle Exarchopoulos in diamond chandelier-style earrings by Chopard
Actress Adèle Exarchopoulos, winner of the Best Young Talent award, demonstrated - with these Chopard chandelier-style diamond earrings - that even the young talent can pull off statement jewels.