On Oscar red carpet, fewer jewels make stars shine

Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:51pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For weeks, Hollywood's actresses fret over what gowns to wear on the Oscar's red carpet, but choosing the right dress is only half the battle. Finding the right accessory is crucial.

Pick the wrong necklace, earrings or bracelet, and the star risks looking incomplete or, worse yet, becomes talked about for all the wrong reasons by fashion police watching one of the world's biggest catwalks.

And this year, contrary to what one might think about the glitzy Hollywood affair, wearing the right accessories doesn't always mean dripping in diamonds, the experts say.

"Jewelry should be minimalistic - the dress should be the 'celebrity,' so to speak," said fashion designer Allen B. Schwartz.

Sandra Bullock stunned in her gold beaded Marchesa gown with an embroidered bodice when she won best actress in 2010. She capped the look by wearing delicate diamond drop earrings and bracelet, along with a silver clutch. The accessories served to highlight her shimmering gown and radiant face without overpowering the actress, making Bullock appear polished and every inch the Hollywood movie star she is.

"We're moving towards a very minimal period of accessorization," said designer Marc Bouwer. "If people are going to wear something, it's going to be one strong piece or almost nothing at all."

Yet that one strong piece can spell disaster if paired with the wrong dress. Earlier this month at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, some fashionistas put Kristen Wiig on their worst-dressed lists not because there was anything wrong with her halter-neck Balenciaga gown, but because of the awkward Fred Leighton choker she paired with it. The chunky black rhinestone piece seemed distracting and out of place, completely overshadowing anything else Wiig wore.

MINIMAL FUSS   Continued...