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Hooray for Hollywood


Think of the heyday of Hollywood and you’ll be recalling the 1930s and 40s, also the time of some of the country’s most severe economic difficulties. As things in everyday life seemed to get bleaker, Hollywood, its stars and films turned up the glamour quotient, giving everyday Americans escape from their daily worries. As economic doom and gloom makes that 24/7 crawl on newscasts and the Internet, Hollywood is looking more like a well-needed oasis from reality.

The 81st annual Academy Awards ceremony was a pivotal case in point. Producers revamped the three hour-plus show to attract viewers, a gamble that paid off. Americans are endlessly fascinated by even the smallest details about celebrity lives and their thirst for information continues unabated.

Modern Jeweler asked a panel of retailers to tune into the red carpet pre-shows and the Oscar telecast and turn a professional eye toward the participants. Who did it all right, the best dressed with the best jewelry? What seemed most inspirational? What might translate into sales over the counter? The reviews were mixed, but one thing stood out in the spotlight: The need for glamour is more important than ever.

The editors of Modern Jeweler wish to thank the following retailers for their participation in the 2009 Oscar panel: Janet Deleuse, Deleuse Jewelers, Tiburon, California; Judi Bufkin, Judith Ann Jewels, Houston, Texas; John Shulan, Shulan’s, Fairlawn, Ohio; Cindi Earl, Cindi Earl All the Best in Fine Jewelry, Nashville, Tennessee; and Joel Starkman, Joel Starkman Fine Jewelers, Scottsdale, Arizona.

A handful of stars made every retailer’s list along with their comments about what made it and what missed.

KATE WINSLET

Kate Winslet, best actress winner for “The Reader,” was considered a shoe-in for the award and the best dressed list. Her Yves Saint Laurent gray degrade satin gown was complimented by cascading earrings with 28 pear shaped diamonds from Chopard along with a big 117 carat diamond cuff bracelet.

RETAILER REVIEWS

Janet Deleuse: I believe there’s resurgence in Deco, Egyptian, and styles with an emphasis on the 1940s. Kate Winslet gave us a total forties feeling. Her hair, the dress, and the earrings all were very much on the mark. She got it.

Judi Bufkin: Kate Winslet looked very pretty in her “Grace Kelly” look. It was a prime example of an updated, classic Hollywood look. It helps that she has a killer body, too.

Cindi Earl: The Chopard earrings on Kate Winslet were beautiful. They are dramatic and showed the next step beyond the chandelier and hoops we usually see on the red carpet.

NATALIE PORTMAN

Natalie Portman was another favorite with the press and our retail panel. The actress was pretty in a pink Rodarte gown accessorized with vintage Kwiat diamond hair pins and combs and a vintage Art Deco cuff from the Kwiat family’s collection.

RETAILER REVIEWS

Judi Bufkin: Natalie Portman was so lovely but I think she would have looked better had she worn some kind of diamond necklace, too. I had e-mailed clients to get their input about the Oscars and nearly all of them said they missed the jewelry. This is a time when we really need to see jewelry. In general, where were the necklaces?

Cindi Earl: Natalie Portman looked beautiful. She was one of my top favorites. I thought she had the best overall look, tasteful, age appropriate

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Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
Amy Adams
Amy Adams
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
Taraji Henson
Taraji Henson
Penelope Cruz
Penelope Cruz