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Tributes & Tribulations
Fashion mavens grade the stars of Oscar Class 2007

Every year, the Academy Awards becomes more of a feeding frenzy of fashion. The winners and losers on the red carpet sometimes get more press than who takes home Oscars.

But is there anything to learn from all the sound bites and snipes that circle the awards show? This year, Modern Jeweler asked fashion forecasters, educators, and editors to critique and analyze which trends from the 79th annual Academy Awards might translate into trends at retail. Although the consensus seems that most stars played it safe by forgoing major statement pieces, one area that retailers might want to focus their diamond jewelry business for the fourth quarter would be diamond bracelets.

Modern Jeweler thanks the following fashion soothsayers for serving as our 2007 red carpet review panel: Michael Coan, assistant professor and chair, jewelry design, Fashion Institute of Technology; Susan Glick, managing director, fashion and marketing, Chicago Merchandise Mart; Franklin Klein, professor of fashion merchandising, Laboratory Institute of Merchandising; David Wolfe, creative director, The Doneger Group; and Jackie White, fashion editor, Kansas City Star.

Who has the best overall look?

Michael Coan: There were several that almost got it all, but most usually missed somewhere. Penelope Cruz got most of it all together—a fine, clean line to the gown, great “flamenco” look to the entire ensemble, and elegant jewelry choices. Trivial points: no necklace to balance a fine upper torso and the diamond bracelet is appropriate and elegant but could have been wider to balance the wide sweep of the skirt. The earrings really set off her face, giving off the great sparkle that one gets from a cluster of diamonds. Helen Mirren almost got it. The overlook was fine and stately. Her jewelry and accessories were great. Her jewelry was innovative and it’s nice to wear a brooch on the back of her gown.

Susan Glick: Gwyneth Paltrow in her sienna seamed Zac Posen gown looked amazing with her Fred Leighton chandelier earrings and coordinating bracelet. Her make-up and hair was right on target. Leonardo DiCaprio looked the part of a major movie star in his peak lapel tailored tux.

Franklin Klein: Kate Winslet, Cate Blan-chett, and Reese Witherspoon all looked elegant and had a touch of simplicity.

David Wolfe: Penelope Cruz took my breath away! A tiny woman in a great big gown and she has the charisma to make it work. I liked her total statement. The overstated blush pink gown with its intricate bodice and huge feathery fabric skirt was balanced by a super sleek chignon and small, but very significant Chopard starburst earrings. Gwyneth Paltrow upheld her reputation as a star who dares to walk the dangerous cutting edge of high fashion on the red carpet in her dark salmon Egyptian-inspired pleated mesh by Zac Posen. Her bright lipstick and waterfall of long hair emphasized the drama and her double wrist vintage diamond bracelets added real zing.

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Gwyneth Paltrow
Classic look: Gwyneth Paltrow in Fred Leighton vintage diamond cuff bracelets, rose cut chandelier earrings, and diamond ring.
© Wireimage

Penelope Cruz
Oscar raves: Penelope Cruz wore yellow diamond right-hand ring, yellow and white diamond bracelet, and cluster earrings from Chopard.
© Getty

Helen Mirren
Winner’s circle: Helen Mirren wore diamond cluster earrings, bracelet, and brooch from Chopard.
© Getty

Anne Hathaway
Trend setter: Anne Hathaway stood out from the crowd in mixed diamond bracelets and right-hand ring from Van Cleef & Arpels.
© Getty

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet in 54 carat pear-shaped yellow diamond cluster earrings from Chopard.
© Getty

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett won high marks for her Armani Prive gown and diamond cuff, black and white diamond earrings, and right-hand ring from Lorraine Schwartz.
© Wireimage

Jennifer Hudson
Boom or bust? “Dreamgirl” Jennifer Hudson’s look didn’t win over the style mavens. She’s wearing diamond jewelry from Fred Leighton.
© Getty

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman in ravishing red—and rough diamond cuffs from L’wren Scott, manufactured by William Goldberg, which contained 187 diamonds totaling 375 carats.
© Wireimage

Emily Blunt
Once again, the Oscars didn’t seem to feature many necklaces. Emily Blunt wears a black and white diamond cuff from H. Stern.
© Getty