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Janelle Monáe may rock head-to-toe glitter on the red carpet, but it’s her ring game that really shines.
The “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” star dazzled in fistfuls of diamond-encrusted bands at the Oscars, Golden Globes and SAG Awards. She’s the latest A-lister to favor an abundance of bling for awards-season strolls.
One is never enough for celebs like Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Ginnifer Goodwin, who favor a lavish and eclectic look: Think stacked rings, nestled necklaces, armfuls of bracelets and trails of earrings.
“Layering creates a very sumptuous effect and a personal expression of your own style,” says Rebecca Selva, chief creative officer at Fred Leighton, which supplied the antique diamond-fringe necklace and double-diamond rivière that Kirsten Dunst paired at the SAG Awards.
Of course, heaped baubles are nothing new.
The ancient Egyptians adhered to the “more is more” ethos with their amulets, as did Tudor queen Elizabeth I, with her loops of pearls.
Coco Chanel never skimped on her beaded accessories, circa 1920, nor did Madonna, with her tangle of crucifixes and chains in the ’80s.
And today’s revival is more than just a red-carpet craze. Abundance ruled the spring 2017 runways, as houses such as Gucci, and Hermès sent out magpie selections of rings, while Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh and Rodarte festooned wrists with multiple bracelets and bangles.
The key to making it all work is finding a connection.
“The best thing someone who layers well once told me is to use the same rule with jewelry as you would when layering pillows on a couch: They need to have just one theme in common,” says Stellene Volandes, editor-in-chief of Town & Country magazine and author of the Rizzoli book “Jeweler: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design.” “It could be a color, it could be a texture, it could be a pattern. Everything else can be varied as long as there’s one thing in common.”
Take the seven Harry Winston rings that adorned Drew Barrymore’s digits at the Globes. They ranged from a sinuous lotus-leaf shape to a 37.03-carat cocktail ring topped with a South Sea pearl, but all were made of diamond-studded platinum. The actress Instagrammed an end-of-night shot of them with the hashtag #pumpkin.
Tracee Ellis Ross took the trend even further, flaunting diamond rings on all 10 fingers at the same event. Those treasures from houses including Noudar, Yeprem, Hueb, Kavant & Sharart and L’Dezen by Payal Shah shared an intricate, fretwork-like aesthetic.
The Hong Kong-based Shah likes to play with size. “I like layering short and long items, small and big pieces,” says the award-winning jewelry designer. “The different scales give pieces that ‘wow’ factor.” And if finding the right sparklers to juxtapose proves too tricky, Shah has just the solution.
Her architectural “Caterpillar” ring, spotted on “Insecure” creator Issa Rae at the Globes, looks like a tower of four open-design rings but is secretly flying solo.