Part of the fun of the Academy Awards is trying to guess what celebrities will wear on the red carpet—from the gowns to the gems. Can't wait until Sunday to get your fill of celeb style? We asked jeweler-to-the-stars Neil Lane—who has provided red carpet jewelry for everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Salma Hayek—to show us the pieces he would choose if he was dressing these Latina stars on Oscar night. Here are his picks...
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"Zoe Saldana doesn’t like tons and tons of jewelry. She's not going to wear a big necklace and big earrings and big bracelet and a big ring," says Lane. For the Avatar star's first major Oscar night appearance, Lane says he would keep her jewels simple by finding a focal point for her look. "We want to focus either on her ears or on her hand. We would do a big diamond ring because she loves to sway the audience with her hand," he says. "And maybe add a beautiful pair of long slender earrings down to her shoulders. She's capable of wearing a long earring because she has a long neck."
For Jennifer Lopez, Lane (who drenched the star in $7 million worth of diamonds for her wedding to Marc Anthony) would choose the most striking Oscar night jewelry. "She loves diamond chains, so for the red carpet I would put half a dozen really long diamond chains on her," he says. "And maybe some 10-carat diamond studs that dangled as well as diamond bracelets. She likes dramatic looks."
Neil Lane feels that Salma Hayek’s red carpet look is "very much about her dress." To complement the star's spectacular gown at the Academy Awards, Lane would keep her jewelry simple with statement diamond earrings and a statement diamond ring. “She’s sultry and has dark hair," he says. "Earrings are great around her face. You could either do white sparkly diamonds, or you could take it down a notch and darken the metal and use a rose-cut diamond."
Lane describes Jessica Alba as "a chameleon" because she can look gorgeous in many different jewelry styles—from exotic designs to classic, formal pieces. For the Oscars, though, Lane says he would stick with a look he knows Alba loves: diamond earrings. "I think for this particular red carpet I would do a big pair of diamond earrings." For Alba, Lane particularly likes the idea of creating white platinum shimmering earrings with a diamond flower motif and adding a few diamond bracelets to top off her look.
It’s no secret that Penélope Cruz, nominated for her role in the musical Nine, likes to wear fairy-tale fashions at the Oscars. To match the Spanish star’s dramatic style, Lane suggests gems with a vintage vibe. "She looks great in black, so I can see her doing something romantic with wide chandelier earrings with a darkened metal and a lot of sparkle in them," he says. To finish the look, he'd give the actress a "big, showy ring."
With Eva Longoria Parker’s history of gorgeous awards show ensembles, we’re sure the Desperate Housewives actress would wear amazing jewelry if she were to attend the Oscars. "She’s fun and very amiable to jewels," says Lane. "I would probably do a big diamond necklace--maybe something that's big and flowery with yellow stones. I would choose a very festive necklace because she likes that kind of jewelry." Lane says he would complement the necklace with yellow diamond earrings and a yellow diamond ring.
"She’s very easy-breezy, and when she goes down the red carpet she wants to sashay really quickly,” Lane says of Cameron Diaz. "I don’t think she wants to be encumbered by heavy, heavy diamonds. She's more of a golden girl. So, depending on what dress she wore, I might do some pastel jewels. I might give her turquoise and gold long earrings and a stack of gold bracelets." To make the gems Oscar-night worthy, Lane says he would also add a turquoise and diamond ring to Diaz’s ensemble.
We’re guessing that it’s only a matter of time until America Ferrera makes an appearance on Oscar night—she’s already won acting accolades for her comic performance in Ugly Betty. For the talented actress’s premiere Oscar red carpet, Lane says he would give her a soft, romantic look with lots of detail. "I would do earrings with a Victorian vibe. I would create intricate details with gold work and beading, and maybe even put little butterflies in the earrings. And I would do a matching bracelet.”