The style-setting actress shines in Stephen Russell’s Jewelry

photo courtesy of Rex/Shutterstock

I’ve long admired Nicole Kidman’s jewels chosen for red carpet events, from her Bulgari raw diamond necklace in 2002 to her drape-y L’Wren Scott necklace in 2008 at the Academy Awards. But my favorites over the years have been the various antique pieces the style-setting actress has appeared in at numerous events.

Cannes Film Festival’s 70th Anniversary on May 23, 2017 was no exception. This time the actress and her team went back to a favorite jeweler of mine, Madison Avenue’s  Stephen Russell, where pieces range from the late 18th century to those from renowned houses of the Art Deco period all the way through ‘70s vintage jewelry. There are also some jaw dropping designs created by the store’s owners Stephen Feuerman and Russell Zelenetz (Please watch for a full profile on coming soon)

Stephen explains, “antique jewelry, primarily pieces from the late 18th through mid-19th century are traditionally the pieces that Nicole and her team go for when we work with them. Nicole can also pull off wearing every category of jewelry without looking over-accessorized.”

For the Cannes Anniversary celebration, an all-day event ending with a starry night packed with bejeweled celebrities, Nicole stepped on to the red carpet in Armani Prive. Regarding the choice of jewelry with her gown, Russell offers, “Antique diamond jewelry was the perfect answer to compliment the bohemian glamour of Nicole’s dress. The blackened silver topped pieces in which old cushion and mine cut diamonds are set, allows them to sparkle without ever outshining the person wearing them. This jewelry was relevant then, and is still relevant today.”

Jewelry created during this time is extremely popular among collectors as well as modern day designers who began blackening silver and white gold when new versions of old diamond cuts including rose, mine, cushion and European began coming out of India in the very early part of the 21st century. This look is still going strong today in both authentic antiques as well as styles that are inspired by the rare pieces.

The Stephen Rusell pieces that Kidman wore included:

– Circa 1840 girandole style earrings of cushion cuts with old mine cut diamond surrounds and three old mine cut pear shape drops dangling at the bottom.   This earring style was in vogue all through the 18th century with closed foil backs. In the 19th century when diamond cutting techniques became more advanced, jewelers worked with open back settings as in this pair which total approximately 21-carats of diamonds. This earring silhouette has  swung back into popularity in contemporary designer collections in shorter, wider versions as well as styles similar to  these more elongated looks.

– A necklace with various sizes of mine cut diamonds and with the added appeal of being a convertible piece. It was designed with fittings that detach and transform the necklace into two bracelets.  Modern designers are acknowledging the versatility of these type of pieces and have begun to design their own styles that can be worn in myriad ways.  This necklace is French, circa 1880 and is comprised of 580 diamonds, with an approximately diamond weight of 14 carats.

-A bracelet with all-around stations of scalloped edged ovals, set with mine cut diamonds surrounding three cushion cut diamonds, with single cushion cuts connecting each station. This is circa 1840.

-Two cluster rings from Georgian period.  The smaller shield shaped cluster ring is from England, circa 1780 and the earliest piece that Kidman wore.

The ring with larger center diamond of a 2.6 carat cushion cut is circa 1820 and features 30 mine cut diamonds surrounding the central one and weighs approximately 3-carats. It is mounted in silver over gold and is a prime example of one of the most popular styles of rings from the 18th through 19th centuries. It came back with more flash and bling with brilliant cut diamonds with either a diamond or gemstone center during the mid 20th century.