Awards season has begun, and celebrity stylist Brad Goreski is already off to a busy start – at the 2017 Golden Globes, his clients included Jenna Dewan Tatum, Sarah Hyland, Kaley Cuoco and Lea Michele. Ahead of his next major event and Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale, the stylist chatted with us about all things glamorous. “People are invested in the fantasy of the red carpet,” said Goreski, who is currently a co-host on E!’s Fashion Police, as well as the channel’s Live from the Red Carpet pre-show. “They want to see: couture gowns, glittering jewels and high price tags to discuss, enjoy and be in awe of.” Given his experience as a stylist, critic and TV personality, we couldn’t wait to ask Goreski about what makes red carpet jewels so alluring and the celebrities that always get it right.
Do you have any early memories of fashion and jewellery?
One of the first times I noticed how jewellery could create a conversation and be instrumental in creating a look would be Marilyn Monroe singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which ultimately became iconic. I was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe when I was younger, and I’m now obsessed with the pared-down, real Marilyn as opposed to the public Marilyn. She still holds the definition for glamour in my mind.
When it comes to red carpet styling, do you begin with the gown or the jewels?
Most commonly the gown comes first. I did one look with Jessica Alba in 2013 where she wore a $6 million dollar Harry Winston diamond necklace. I saw the dress first at the Oscar de la Renta pre-fall show. They held it for me, and I tried it on Jessica, but almost at the same time, I saw this Harry Winston necklace at a preview. I knew as soon as she tried on the dress that it needed this necklace. We had to get approval from the president of Harry Winston because the necklace was such high value. To date, it’s still one of my favourite looks.
JESSICA ALBA, WEARING AN OSCAR DE LA RENTA GOWN AND A HARRY WINSTON NECKLACE, STYLED
BY GORESKI, AT THE 2013 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS. PHOTO BY GEORGE PIMENTEL/WIREIMAGE.
Speaking of memorable looks that you’ve styled, what are some of your other favourite jewellery moments?
Another time when the relationship between the gown and the jewels was so beautiful was Jenna Dewan Tatum in Carolina Herrera. The dress was this yellow, almost scuba material, and the jewels were pink and yellow diamonds from Lorraine Schwartz. That was a situation where you ask yourself, ‘Okay, you have a yellow dress, but what do you pair with it? Do you put it with just white diamonds, do you put turquoise with it, but then maybe it becomes too boho-LA-beachy,” and I wanted to keep it super high glamour.
What are some of your go-to jewellery makers?
I love art deco jewellery. I’m very much drawn to that time period when I’m pulling Neil Lane, or when I’m working with any vintage jewellery boutiques. The vintage estate jewellery from Van Cleef is also so incredible. I love Harry Winston. I’ve used them on many red carpets. Their diamonds and the quality of their jewellery are just exceptional. On the modern side of jewellery, I work closely with Lorraine Schwartz during awards season. There, you always know you’re going to find that perfect special piece that’s going to make the whole outfit.
When styling jewels, you have to ask if the composition is correct, as you would with a painting.
What makes a red carpet jewel different than a fabulous, everyday gem?
In terms of what’s coming up and what we saw last season, I think the red carpet gives you license to pull out those amazing pieces, like the Harry Winston necklace, and beautiful, big, bold pieces. When my clients are attending a big red carpet event, they definitely want to feel like they’re dressed up and in a way that is different from even going to a movie premiere.
As far as your process goes, do you select a certain amount of each type of jewel? Do you focus on choosing classic versus standout pieces?
You have to have the big bang set – the over the top, larger, high-value pieces – but then you also have to have substitutes like smaller earrings. When styling jewels, you have to ask if the composition is correct, as you would with a painting. You don’t want it to look like you just loaded somebody up with jewellery for the sake of a big award show, and you also want your client to feel like they are wearing pieces that they could actually own too. Not in terms of price, but in terms of style.
CHANNING TATUM AND JENNA DEWAN-TATUM AT THE 2015 GOLDEN GLOBES. GORESKI STYLED
JENNA DEWAN-TATUM WHO WORE A CAROLINA HERRERA GOWN WITH JEWELLERY BY LORRAINE
SCHWARTZ. PHOTO BY JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES.
What is a fail-proof show-stopping jewel?
Necklaces always read well. Sometimes earrings can get lost behind hair and bracelets make an impact, but for a close-up shot, a statement necklace is the piece of jewellery that people will talk about for years and years. When Eva Mendes wore a white Dior gown with a beautiful turquoise Van Cleef & Arpels necklace at the 2009 Golden Globes, it became an iconic red carpet jewellery moment.
From your Fashion Police experience, which celebrity always gets it right, especially when it comes to jewellery?
Cate Blanchett – and Gwyneth Paltrow gets it right too. Cate really plays into the event. When she’s doing movie premieres she dresses fashion forward and cool, and with big award shows, it’s always big gowns, big jewels, and there’s a hair situation happening. There’s always something fully realised about what she’s wearing. Also in her posing, and I’ve actually talked about this on Fashion Police, she presents the jewellery well. If you think about the Armani Privé she wore last year at the Oscars, she posed with her arms pointed forward so you could actually see her Tiffany & Co. jewellery. That mindfulness is great for the jeweller too!
Click below to see the pieces from Sotheby's Fine Jewels sale that Brad Goreski paired with his clients.
Lead image: Brad Goreski and Jenna Dewan Tatum, whom he styled, at the 2017 Golden Globes. Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage.