Hollywood piles on designer wears and branded diamonds despite recession - Sun, 21 May 2009, 00:00 EST

Hollywood piles on designer wears and branded diamonds despite recession

Style experts and analysts cited a return to elegance of old Hollywood at the year's early awards shows, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee the beautiful Amy Adams was a perfect example. The "Doubt" actress looked amazing, stunning and elegant in a wine colored gown and H. Stern's- "Nature" diamond earrings with rose quartz drops and amethyst.

As millions of Americans are struggling to pay their monthly bills, the word on Main High Street is that this is no time for the affluent to be showing off with lavish jewels and flashy cars.

But over in Hollywood, the show does and will always goes on, with the biggest stars of movie and TV dressing up in gemstones and stunning diamonds for the winter awards season, thus providing that window into the glamorous life the public so craves.

Fears that the economy might pared-down accouterments and inspires drab attire at shows such as the 81st Annual Academy Awards, the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards and 66th Annual Golden Globes proved to be unfounded, with flash and color out in full force.

Pulled-back hair, classic diamond jewelry and fishtail-style gowns were among the style hallmarks of the Oscars, with Hollywood's leading ladies forgoing potential fashion risks and instead turning to sophisticated, elegant looks. In terms of jewelry, the most popular combination appeared to be drop earrings or diamond stud paired with a diamond bracelets at the wrist and diamond ring.

Kate Winslet, who won the Best Actress award, accepted her Oscar in a stunning Chopard bracelet featuring 117 carats of multi-cut diamonds, which she paired with a diamond ring and pear-shaped diamond cluster earrings in platinum.

"At the end of the day, do we appreciate [celebrities] for the entertainments they bring or do us want them to emulate us?" she asks. "They have to make good movies; that's what they are paid for. They are not paid to fix the economy." Andrea Hansen, international communications director for Brazilian jeweler H. Stern, had similar thoughts.

Hansen says that while a few politically and socially minded celebrities laid low amid the economic downturn (Angelica Huston, for example, skipped the September Emmy Awards, which took place the week Lehman Brothers closed), Hollywood remains relatively insulated, and box-office revenues remain strong, paving the way for business as usual.

Michael Coan, the chair of the jewelry design department at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, says Hollywood has not, historically, dialed down the glamour in tough economic times.