By Anthony DeMarco
All the stars were at the Cannes Film Festival. I’m not talking about the royalty of the motion picture industry or the high-end fashion design houses whose clothes drape the celebrities who parade on the red carpets.
I’m talking about the stars of the jewelry world. Cannes is the only red carpet showcase I know of where the jewels are on a near-equal footing as the stars and the clothes. That’s largely thanks to Chopard, which has partnered with the film festival since 1998. Since 2007, it has created a collection of one-of-a-kind high jewels known as the “Red Carpet Collection,” worn by many of the stars throughout the 12-day festival. This year, the Swiss luxury brand unveiled 69 jewels in the collection, many receiving a great deal of international exposure.
However, Chopard isn’t alone. Cannes is a big international stage for the fashion and luxury goods and everyone wants to be there. De Grisogono and Bulgari also introduce their high jewelry collections at Cannes. Piaget, Boucheron, and Cartier are among the other brands prominent at the festival with their jewels.
This year the dominant themes were light colors and classic, elegant designs. White gold or platinum matched with white diamonds and other light colored materials were prominent. White diamond necklaces were big on the red carpet and ranged in style from classic riviere designs to bigger and bolder pieces. For example, Jessica Chastain wore a sautoir in white gold and diamonds matched with a ring in the same materials.
De Grisogono is not one to stay too conservative and proved this with a big round saucer-like white gold and diamond necklace worn by model Bella Hadid.
Colors provided detail such as in elegant drop earrings with colorful gems or necklaces with either a colored gem as a center stone or outlining the fringes.
Chopard seemed to have dipped into color the most. One reason is that brand has also included sustainably sourced materials in its high jewelry collection, including Fairmined gold. This year it added emeralds, mined in a responsible sustainable manner by Gemfields, a colored gemstone mining, marketing, and distribution company with an emerald mine in Zambia.
The following jewels were among the best on the red carpet.
Julianne Moore wore jewelry from the Chopard Green Carpet Collection: 18k white Fairmined gold earrings set with two pear-shaped emeralds (10 and 11 carats each) and marquise-cut diamonds, an 18k white Fairmined gold ring adorned with a 10.3-carat cushion shaped emerald and marquise-cut diamonds. The emeralds are ethically and sustainably mined from Gemfields.
Jessica Chastain wore an Extremely Piaget sautoir in white gold and diamonds with a Piaget Sunny Side of Life ring.
Chinese Actress Zhao Tao chose a necklace, earrings, and ring in 18k rose gold set with rubies and diamonds from Chopard.
Julia Roberts was in a necklace from Chopard in platinum featuring a 52.76-carat pear-shaped emerald and 43.41 carats of diamonds, along with a ring in 18k white gold with a 18.49-carat pear-shaped emerald and diamonds and a pair of diamond studs.
Gong Li wore a radiant necklace in white gold set with a central blue sapphire and diamonds as well as earrings set with blue sapphires and diamonds and two diamond rings, all from Piaget.
Victoria Beckham wore two bracelets in 18k white gold set with diamonds and a ring in 18k white gold set with 8.88 carats of cushion-cut diamonds, all from Chopard.
Kirsten Dunst wore a pair of earrings in 18k white gold with diamonds (20.24 carats), a bracelet in platinum set with diamonds (9.12 carats) and a bracelet in 18k white gold set with diamonds (18.27 carats), all from Chopard.
Thai Actress Araya Hargate wore an 18k white gold necklace set with 76.5 carats of conch pearls and 90.76 carats of diamonds. She also wore diamond stud earrings in 18k white gold set with brilliant cut diamonds and a ring in 18k white gold with 5.21 carats of diamonds, all from Chopard.
Melissa George wore Piaget Sunny Side of Life ear cuffs set with a pink sapphire centre stone, pink tourmalines and diamonds as well as a Piaget Limelight ring set with a pink tourmaline and diamonds and a Limelight watch full set of diamonds.
Italian Model Bianca Balti wore earrings in 18k white gold set with sapphires and diamonds and a bracelet in 18k white gold set with sapphires and diamonds, all from Chopard.
French Actress Frédérique Bel wore 18k white gold earrings and a bracelet with diamonds and rubies, all from Chopard.
Anthony DeMarco is a freelance writer and editor who covers the luxury jewelry and watch industry for several publications, including Forbes.com the Financial Times, Hong Kong-based JewelleryNetAsia and the Italian jewelry magazine, VO+. He also has a blog covering the jewelry and watch industry, Jewelry News Network.