Age of the understatement

Bare necklines are hot – should we be worried?

Picture researching during awards season this year has been tricky. Usually the red carpet is awash with mega-watt jewels and so creating a plethora of ideal snaps, but this year there has been a distinct lack of bling.

While we all know that the age of overstated bling is dead (unless of course you’re Mariah Carey at last night’s Oscars), the absence of any jewellery whatsoever has been a frightening celebrity trend, with bare necklines proving increasingly popular.

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At The Brits, big stars like Kylie, Leona Lewis and Lily Allen were nearly completely devoid of jewellery. And those who did bother to sling on a necklace – such as Alexa Chung and Alexandra Burke – kept it to a tiny pendant. And at the Baftas and Elle Style Awards, the situation was exactly the same; stars dipping into their jewellery boxes opted for rings, earrings and bracelets, but very few necklaces.

Dedicated sifting through hundreds of images brought up a few celebs who had invested in statement jewellery; Alicia Keys with gigantic earrings at The Brits, Claudia Schiffer with shoulder-length earrings at the Elle Style Awards and the super-glam Vanessa Redgrave at The Baftas with decadent strings of pearls. But these bold women were certainly not the norm.

With the Oscars approaching, I was looking forward to some of the classic red carpet power jewels that the Academy Awards is famous for. But alas, last night the age of understated jewels has hit us again. Necklines were bare and actresses dressing up their lobes chose small drop earrings with perhaps a bangle or a ring thrown on for a muted sparkle injection.

While the dresses are always the fashion star of the evening at The Oscars, jewellery was most definitely the understudy this year instead of the best supporting accessory.

The most disturbing aspect of this trend is that dress styles haven’t changed. Strapless gowns were out in force as always, but instead of beautiful necklines adorned with even more beautiful jewels, skin was left wanting. Charlize Theron, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz were just some of the starlets with strapless gowns and jewelless necks last night.

There were a few who ignored these new reserved jewellery style notes – Mariah, of course – but it seems to have been an unwritten rule that less is more on the red carpet. Let’s hope this is a fad that doesn’t stick, but in the mean time make sure your shelves are stocked with bangles, cocktail rings and small drop earrings that pack maximum bling into minimum area space.

After all, the red carpet season may be cooling off but the season of school and university leavers’ balls is just getting started and these styles won’t have gone unnoticed by girls looking for sparkly friends to match their classic strapless gowns.



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