Maria Doulton: The red carpet is one of the most important moments for spotting jewellery, and with the awards season well underway, we sent our guest editor, Rachel Garrahan, to Los Angeles, where she went behind the scenes to see what happens before the Screen Actors Guild Awards take place. She then caught up with Graff at their special salon, set up to showcase some of their most fabulous jewels, for a stellar moment in the limelight.
Rachel Garrahan: Hello, I'm Rachel Garrahan for The Jewellery Editor in Los Angeles. I'm here today at the Shrine Auditorium near downtown LA, where tomorrow's Screen Actors Guild Awards, or SAGS, will take place.
Well, preparations are underway for the award ceremony, the red carpet is rolled out and table arrangements are fine-tuned. I speak to Graff's Eduard Van Der Geest about why this giant of the gem industry chooses to host the SAGS Green Room, where stars can relax before taking to the stage. He also explains why Graff is above jewellery trends, and why it doesn't loan its pieces, as many other companies do, to actresses, to wear on the red carpet itself.
E. Van Der Geest: We are a name; we're an iconic brand, with our own design. Whether it's a trend for a certain part of the world, that's one thing, but to say it's for the red carpet; I think it's a little bit difficult when you're dealing in such high-value numbers.
We don't really do much on the red carpet in terms of lending out; that's the one thing as a company that we just don't support. We don't pay stars or talents to wear our jewellery. They buy it. In order to keep that sort of profile, we just don't lend out. That's why we're in the Green Room and not on the red carpet. We bring things from different parts of the world to have a really special selection.
One of the things that we brought in that is quite unusual is this magnificent emerald carving. It's about 150 carat of Colombian emerald; it's gone through a rather extensive process of design, manufacturing and such.
We brought a fabulous sautoir; it's a very long necklace that has a bracelet attachment to it, so it can be lengthened or shortened. It's the type of jewellery that is a little different to an over-the-top black tie necklace. It contains a superb collection of fancy intense yellows, and a lot of white diamonds, and it's a different design. I mean that could be labelled more of a trend in the sense that it can be worn during the daytime.
One of the - it's one of our most fabulous rings, actually - was a diamond that was cut about a year and a half ago. It's a 45 carat cushion. It's a magnificent colourless diamond, and it's truly a very special piece. That's a rarity, and you can't say that that's a trend for any particular time or reason; it's just a unique piece, and we're very fortunate to be able to display it.