By Rachel Garrahan in Los Angeles
The red carpet was ablaze with boldly colored gemstones and equally bold design at the Academy Awards on Sunday evening. While the stars' couture gowns and satin shoes were threatened by the heavy rains, their red carpet jewelry lit up Hollywood's grey skies.
With a nod to Oscars ceremonies of old, many actresses stepped out in show-stopping statement necklaces that kept all eyes off the puddles.
Presenter Margot Robbie set the hearts of jewelry lovers racing the world over, wearing an iconic Van Cleef & Arpels Zip necklace. A feat of high jewelry engineering, the style was originally created for the Duchess of Windsor. Margot's choice of the Zip Antique Columbine with its tassel of blue sapphires was offset by her blonde side part and scarlet lip to perfection.
Fellow Australian Cate Blanchett, last year's winner for Best Actress and this year's presenter of the award for Best Actor, was elegant as ever. Her simple black Maison Margiela Couture gown provided the ideal canvas for one of my favourite statement necklaces of the night: an outsized Tiffany bib of turquoise, aquamarine and diamonds.
Viola Davis combined two of the evening's trends in one. Her necklace, a Van Cleef and Arpels estate piece, was a beautifully crafted tangle of gold, diamonds and pearls. Pearls proved popular with many on the red carpet this season but surely Lupita Nyong'o must take first prize for the most worn in one evening. Her custom Calvin Klein dress at the Oscars glowed with a staggering 6,000 ivory orbs. She added just the right amount of sparkle with Chopard diamond earrings and a diamond ring.
Presenter Scarlett Johansson brought sex appeal to the red carpet with an emerald green Atelier Versace gown complete with dramatic Swarovski beaded collar. Together with her mismatched earrings, ultra-modern Piaget ear cuff and undercut, she combined glamour with fashion forward edge.
Emma Stone, nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Birdman, the night's major award winner, is another star known for her fashion-forward ensembles. She wore striking sculptural cuffs from Tiffany's Blue Book Collection for 2015, together with an Elie Saab gown in a daring yellow tone. The high jewelry bracelets, created by design director Francesca Amfitheatrof with 1940s glamour in mind, combined stylized waves of California surf with gold and diamonds for maximum impact.
As for the evening's major award winners, Julianne Moore, who took home the Oscar for Best Actress, shone in custom black and white Chanel, her low bun revealing swirls of Chopard diamonds in her ears. She shared both awards category and style with Marion Cotillard. The French actress, who was nominated for her role in Two Days, One Night, also wore sculptural diamond earrings from the Swiss jeweler, with a monochrome gown - in her case an opinion-dividing Dior bustle.
Patricia Arquette's barn-storming Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech demanding equal rights for women was one of the most rousing of the night. She let her words do the talking while her Rosetta Getty gown and Fred Leighton earrings were understated, grown-up chic at its best.
Showing that red carpet jewelry is not just for women, the rapper Common, who won the Oscar for Best Original Song with fellow writer John Legend for Glory from Selma, accessorized his tux with a 19th century sapphire and diamond clover brooch, also from Fred Leighton. Micaela Erlanger, stylist to the rapper and Lupita Nyong'o, was also behind Jared Leto's powder blue Givenchy tux and Cartier Art Deco diamond and onyx brooch, also from the Madison Avenue jeweler.
Finally, while the jury is out on presenter Gwyneth Paltrow's Ralph & Russo gown, she certainly showed how to mix color for a bold statement: the ultra-feminine blush pink dress contrasted with the deep crimson rubellites of her Anna Hu Fire Phoenix earrings. It was a good night to see confident women (and men) having fun with high jewelry.
Read about the best Hollywood stars jewels of 2015