Which Came First, the Necklace or the Dress?

By Cynthia Sliwa — August 15, 2014

Jewelry should never look like an afterthought.

While the limitations of a budget is likely to delimit the universe of choices available in a woman’s (or man’s) jewelry wardrobe, what is in that wardrobe should be chosen to flatter the wearer and to work with the wearer’s clothing. The wearer’s clothing, of course, should be chosen to be flattering in color and design to the wearer. When everything is in sync, the result can be stunning.

0814 jewelry perfection Michelle Monaghan InStyle 72dpi REV

Case in point:  the photograph of actress Michelle Monaghan appearing in InStyle Your Look 2014. Monaghan is pictured at the 2014 Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014, wearing a full-length gown of burgundy fringed leather by Altuzarra. Her stunning bejeweled pendant necklace is reportedly by Pomellato. She also wears a simple gemstone ring from Pomellato and no earrings. Any further adornment would be superfluous.  Her necklace has the proportions and the gravitas to suit the dress perfectly, falling beautifully within the confines of the plunging neckline.

0814 jewelry perfections michelle-monaghan-amber-valletta-met-ball-2014 from justjared REV

Contrast her look with that of model Amber Valletta, also pictured at the Met Gala in these side-by-side photos found on justjared.com.  Valetta wears an equally stunning bejeweled necklace, hers from Lorraine Schwartz, but its eye-catching design interrupts the line of the Saint Laurent jacket. Valletta is wearing the wrong apparel to carry off the necklace. The neckline of the jacket does not work with the shape of the necklace. Valletta further confuses her look with a trendy linear ear adornment in black that doesn’t coordinate with the elaborate necklace but seems entirely right with the jacket. The necklace seems to be an afterthought.

With a gown chosen to work with the necklace, Valletta’s choice of necklace would have been show-stopping.

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