Hollywood Stars in full fashion force for Awards ceremonies 2009 - Sun, 21 May 2009, 00:00 EST

"If you look at the 1930s, the times couldn't be more depressing than they are now," Michael Coan, of New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, says, noting that the era was a heyday for Hollywood glamour. "I think the ostentation is going down, but the elegance is in. Overall, they're going classic, as people do in times of trouble."

Classic diamond jewelry, including small drops and studs, had a strong showing at both the the SAG Awards and Golden Globes.

Newcomer Freida Pinto, a breakout star from the film 'Slumdog Millionaire', wore a bolder look to the Globes, but at the SAG Awards, she donned more traditional diamond designs from Martin Katz: a blue and white crossover ring, drop earrings, and a seven-row bracelet, topped off with a second bracelet in her hair.

And some of the shows' biggest winners wore simple diamond looks too, including Kate Winslet, who chose Chopard oval-shaped diamond drop earrings and a five-row diamond bracelet for the Globes and 30 Rock's Tina Fey, in Judith Ripka stacked diamond bracelets and diamond pendant earrings at the SAGs,.

Coan says that celebrities appeared to be most playful with their choice of earrings."They're bold, large and oval," he said, calling out a prevalent drop-hoop style at the SAG Awards.

"The outline is very replicable and that's very important to know," he says. "Everything they were wearing in jewelry can be modified to any price point."

Consumers can easily emulate the bold earring designs, such as those worn by Applegate and the yellow gold and ruby Bochic pair chosen by Jane Krakowski for the SAG Awards, Coan says.

And in terms of designer and branded diamond jewelry, customers may be asking jewelers for lower-carat-weight versions of Hollywood pieces they like, but experts say it's a good time for sales associates to emphasize the idea of "fewer, better things," as promoted in the successful De Beers' 2008 holiday campaign.

"Fashions come and go, but during a recessionary period, what you have to do is invest in pieces that you can mix and match with your outfits to create totally different looks," O'Connor says.

From Hollywood to hockey moms

--The 'Hoop earrings', from small diamond versions to oversized drop styles, were red-carpet favorites, but lightweight versions offer a big look without the big price tag.

 --Classic diamond jewelry will always be a winner. Emphasize the versatility and lasting power of traditional designs.

--Style expert H. Stern's Andrea Hansen and Michael O'Connor both call out long chain necklaces, which can be worn in numerous ways: long and simple, layered a few times around the neck or twisted around the wrist.