The story behind Cate Blanchett's eco-conscious BAFTA jewels

We go behind the scenes to reveal the story behind Cate Blanchett's sustainable BAFTA 2024 jewels and gown created by Louis Vuitton.

Cate Blanchett at BAFTA 2024 in Louis Vuitton

When Cate Blanchett stepped onto the red carpet of the BAFTAs this year in London, all eyes were on her dramatic Louis Vuitton cross-body pearl necklace. Lustrous Tahitian pearls descended in two strands from a gem-set choker, sweeping away to hip height and then skimming around the back like a harness. The body-swathing necklace not only perfectly complemented her draped, high collar, backless burgundy coloured gown, but it also chimed with her commitment to sustainability.

Cate Blanchett's Louis Vuitton necklace is composed of Tahitian pearls that descend in two strands from a gem-set choker, sweeping away to hip height and then skimming around the back like a harness.

Ms Blanchett's custom-made Louis Vuitton gown and necklace were statements of eco-conscious luxury. The gown is made from a crepe jersey from Louis Vuitton's fabric archive. Likewise, the necklace was another example of sustainable and circular use of the most precious materials. The pearls in the necklace were repurposed from the shoulder jewel Ms Blanchett wore to the BAFTAs the year before. The spinel, tsavorite and purple sapphires were sourced from previous high jewellery pieces, making the jewel a high-profile example of sustainability. The outfit shows the power of the red carpet and celebrity appeal to draw attention to the pressing issue of sustainable consumption. Ms Blanchett chose Louis Vuitton for its style, skills, and knowledge of both craftsmanship and materials to create the most newsworthy look of the red carpet season.

Cate Blanchett's 2023 BAFTA shoulder jewel by Louis Vuitton was taken apart and the pearl re-used in the body-harness jewel that the Australian actress wore to the BAFTAs in 2024. 

Ms Blanchett has complete confidence in Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton's Artistic Director of Jewellery and Watches, who, beyond their professional relationship, are friends. Amfitheatrof says: "This is more than a collaboration; it is a moment where Cate and I at Louis Vuitton create space so we can express ourselves. The jewels are a magnificent tool to show how jewellery has always been repurposed to express new emotions. To be conscious of the materials we use, how we use them, and the life span they have. These are questions we try to pose and Cate does it consistently and with such beautiful poise."

Francesca Amfitheatrof Louis Vuitton's Artistic Director of Jewellery and Watches worked closely with Cate Blanchett to create her BAFTAs 2024 body jewel. Photo by Rob Kasabian

The final structure of the necklace was only decided by Ms Blanchett and the Louis Vuitton team at the final fitting of the gown in London. The pearls were strung and arranged at the last minute to perfectly wrap around the gown's silhouette, which took over 150 hours of work. The dress itself was also adapted at the final hour: the sleeves were removed to strike the perfect balance of elegance and drama.

Three exceptional gemstones were chosen to complement the violet and pink tones of the four rows of metallic and white Tahitian pearls. A 15.25-carat deep pink spinel surrounded by a frame of diamonds sits above a similarly mounted 10.73-carat luminous green tsavorite and a 2.70-carat powder purple sapphire. Louis Vuitton's Monogram-cut diamonds added fire and light to the composition and the jewel was crafted by the house's master jewellers in its Paris atelier using traditional skills.

Never known to put a foot wrong in the fashion stakes, while others may have been tempted to pile on more jewels, Ms Blanchett completed her jewellery look with a pair of simple stud earrings. Chic, polished, and composed, Ms Blanchett is a past master at striking just the right note on the red carpet.


Support our Work with a Contribution of any Amount

We need your help to keep The Jewellery Editor’s independence so that we can continue to offer quality writing that’s open to everyone around the world.

It means we can give a full and varied picture of the big, wide world of jewellery and watches whether it is on our website or social media channels.

Every contribution is hugely appreciated and key to ensuring our future.

Terms and conditions

Our shopping list