The Oscars are just around the corner, and celebrities are getting ready to compete for the best dress on the red carpet (here are the most expensive Oscars dresses of all time in case you were wondering).
Of course, if you’re wearing an amazing outfit, you want accessories to match, and there’s only one thing for it: diamonds. Now as we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars here, a lot of celebrities just borrow them for the night, and it’s a whole process.
Jeweller Martin Katz has been dressing actresses for 30 years now, and he revealed what happens behind the scenes.
He said, ‘I remember my first encounter bejewelling an actress for the red carpet came when a client (an actress) asked me to loan jewellery to her co-star – it turned out to be a new young actress named Sharon Stone who was just about to hit the big time with Basic Instinct. I loaned her some pieces for that premiere and my brand went “viral” from there.’
Since then, Martin has accessorised over 500 of Hollywood’s finest, from Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman, all the way through to Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet Ashley Judd, Alessandria Ambrosia and Gigi Hadid.
What’s interesting is everything that goes into making this happen. Whilst some brands do pay the celebs to wear the jewels (‘eye-watering sums’ according to Katz), he simple works with those who like his designs.
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First off, it starts with the stylist. He says, ‘My team initially liaise with the stylists, and this can often be only weeks in advance. Since we are based locally in Beverly Hills we have developed close relationships with some top stylists who we work with throughout the year so we know their clients well.
‘Most stylists prefer choose the gown first then start considering the jewellery. On occasion, we have come across stylists who have a particular style of jewellery in mind then source an evening gown to fit that. We will then invite them into our boutique on Brighton Way for an appointment at which stage I personally like to meet with them to discuss ideas and show them pieces that I feel would work well.’
Once the celebrity approves of the choice, or requests a custom design, then ‘they have fittings in their ready-to-wear with the selected jewellery items and their hair and make-up done. They must see the finished look in advance and take several photos from all angles to ensure the look is flawless.’
Unfortunately, there’s always a risk the celebrity won’t wear the jewellery (or the dress, remember Anne Hathaway?), so the team have to bide their time: ‘they may suddenly wake up the morning before or worse yet, the morning of the event and change their mind on their outfit which can then knock on to the jewellery too. That would involve a last minute rush into the vaults to select alternatives and it’s happened before…’
And when we’re talking about really expensive jewellery, you need to have a plan in place in case anyone tries to steal it – just think how many people come to watch that red carpet.
Martin says, ‘Measures are taken to ensure the security of the jewellery and the talent wearing the piece too so we will send a security guard to accompany them.’
Disasters can happen though, and the jeweller’s diamonds once scattered all over the red carpet. ‘I will never forget though the year when Minnie Driver wore a multi-strand ruby of mine to the Oscars and unfortunately it became attached to her dress, causing the clasps to break and the ruby beads to dissipate across the floor of the auditorium. James Cameron was seen on his hands and knees helping to pick up the rubies for the distraught Ms. Driver. There’s never a dull moment at the Oscars!’
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