Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – Marilyn Monroe sang about it and Elizabeth Taylor proved the point as the men in her life paid homage to the woman she was by lavishing the most stunning jewels on the great beauty. Such was the magnitude of Elizabeth’s collection that a relationship developed between the talented actress and the House of Bulgari that spanned her lifetime. Indeed some might say it was her longest lasting marriage. Although the pairing pre-dated 1962, that was the year when she flew to Rome to film Cleopatra; the subsequent events – and the jewels gifted her at that time- heightened her legend. A friendship developed with Gianni Bulgari as she sat in his shop and swapped stories prior to filming. It was while shooting Cleopatra that she and her costar Richard Burton fell passionately in love, though both were married to others at the time. The notoriety of their affair and his penchant to indulge her love of jewelry endorsed the relationship of jewelers and stars that is seen on the red carpet today.
Much like the intertwining of fashion and celebrities, so too have jewels and actors become de rigueur on the red carpet. In an age where understated ease is the watchword of the day, the Globes gala combines the best of the celebration of talent, style and jewels that has made the red carpet a much watched pre-show event. Because of its reputation as the best party in town, the red carpet literally sparkles as jewels drape cleavages, drip from lobes and encircle wrists and fingers.
In recent years colored jewels and stones have also made a statement and we can expect to see variations on some classic shapes this year again.
Men are not forgotten, while some will sport bling in the form of watches that are so loaded with gems that they rival the bright flashes of light as the world presses to see the talented at their best, most men go for understated style. The occasional diamond stud in an earlobe or pin on a lapel the other exceptions.
Click on the gallery to see stand out jewels over the years.