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Whimsical Earrings Make a Bold Statement on the Red Carpet

An army of black gowns made a powerful statement on the Golden Globes red carpet — and provided the perfect backdrop to one of the evening’s less-solemn trends: statement earrings. Stylist Erica Cloud says the striking jewelry adorning stars’ lobes was a way “to both demonstrate a total show of unity and solidarity, but also, because we’re all so different, still reflect everybody’s individuality.” Cloud’s client, “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore, accented the scarlet sash of her Rosie Assoulin gown with custom-made drops by Irene Neuwirth featuring fire-opal hearts and pink tourmalines.

While whimsical earrings may seem an unlikely accompaniment to such a somber occasion, stylist Tara Swennen sees it as a reflection of the world today.

“As we all know, fashion goes in waves, and I think right now it’s hitting that playful wave again, probably due to the climate at the moment and people really trying to find relief,” says Swennen, who dressed Golden Globe winner Allison Janney in a Mario Dice gown offset by dazzling Lorraine Schwartz earrings. “As ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes accessorizing can be a fun way to do that.”

Swennen also works with Kristen Stewart, Caitriona Balfe and Whitney Cummings.
Erin Walsh, who dressed “The Deuce” nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal for the Globes, says she’s even started wearing earrings again herself, after many years’ hiatus.

“I feel like it’s not just on the red carpet. It’s on the street. It’s in the air,” says Walsh. “I honestly think it’s fun. Do you know what too? I think people are feeling more comfortable dressing like versions of themselves versus just, you know, products of stylists or whatnot. People are becoming more and more collaborative in the process, and that’s really exciting.”

Speaking of collaborating, Gyllenhaal reached out to her childhood friend Sophie Buhai who designed her 7½-inch pearl drops. “They grew up across the street from each other,” says Walsh of the pair’s longtime friendship. “For Sophie, I think that was an exciting moment because she hadn’t had that kind of red carpet moment before, so, that was really nice.”

Walsh, who liked that Gyllenhaal’s dangly earrings played off the tassels of her Monse tunic-and-pants combo, applauds people for not necessarily reaching for the obvious choices. “They’re experimenting more with golds and with costume and with different variations,” says Walsh.

To wit, Cloud chose unusual spear earrings from Jennifer Fisher’s fine jewelry collection to offset “Downsizing” nominee Hong Chau’s Stella McCartney dress.

“They looked like a spear or thorn going straight through the ear,” says Cloud of Chau’s take on the trend. “I like that you get to show a lot of edgy-ness with classic elements like diamonds and platinum — it’s still fine jewelry, but it isn’t your typical look.”

And who could forget the enormous, 70-carat diamond and titanium Lorraine Schwartz danglers Beyoncé wore with her Blank Panther-inspired Nicolas Jebron gown and hat at the Grammy’s? The earrings were “just that kind of something to push a look right over the edge into being incredible,” Cloud says. “Most people think of chandelier earrings when they think of statement earrings — and it never has to be.”

Looking ahead to the Oscars, can we expect to see earrings continue to make a statement?
“Yeah, I think people are gonna have fun, and take risks, especially for the Oscars and because this is such a powerful year of women,” says Ade Samuel, who accessorized “Black Panther” actress Letitia Wright’s look at the premiere with stunning Norman Silverman diamond earrings. “It allows us to continue to have a bold moment.”

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