BAFTAs 2024: Cate Blanchett Steals the Show in Tahitian Pearls

Normally, when we write about awards shows, we remark on the proliferation of white diamonds, the bold pops of colour or the bejewelled silhouettes that appear to be ‘on trend’. However, on this occasion, the only thing we want to discuss from the BAFTAs 2024 red carpet in London is Cate Blanchett and her endless loops of steely grey pearls… what a moment! Let’s dive into this look that’s stunning from all angles.

Praise must go to Louis Vuitton for dominating the fashion race at this year’s BAFTAs, hosted in London on Sunday, February 18. The Maison dressed numerous stars for the occasion, including Phoebe Dynevor, Sandra Hüller, Emma Stone, and Cate Blanchett. Best actress award winner Emma Stone raised a few eyebrows with her peach-hued silk and organza dress, complete with a ‘leg of mutton’ sleeve in homage to her character Bella Baxter in Poor Things. However, it was Cate Blanchett who scored in the jewellery stakes thanks to Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of watches and jewellery, Francesca Amfitheatrof. She wore a body chain of Tahitian pearls that Amfitheatrof assembled from five archival high jewellery pieces – essentially repurposing white gold, coloured gemstones, and pearls to created something that perfectly traced the lines of her custom burgundy gown, most notably the deep low back.

Emma Stone in gold and diamond earrings and necklace, alongside Phoebe Dynevor in white gold, emerald and diamond earrings and cuff, all by Louis Vuitton

The combination of pearls (a traditionally feminine material) and the leather trim of her gown create a cool contrast, starting tightly around the neck. First, we see a single strand of large grey Tahitian pearls and, below that, what looks to be a slightly longer-line necklace with Louis Vuitton monogram-shaped diamond stations, leading the eye to a central pendant. There are three elements to this pendant: a 15.25-carat cushion-cut pink spinel surrounded by diamonds, a 10.73-carat cushion-cut tsavorite garnet, and a 2.70-carat, oval-shaped purple sapphire, also hugged by diamonds. This trilogy pendant is linked to two strands of pearls that fall down the front of the actress’ dress, over her hips and rest in a perfect swag just atop her derrière. According to British Vogue, the result is akin to an “eco-warrior’s armour”.

Francesca Amfithreatrof explains: “This is more than a collaboration, it is a moment where Cate and I at Louis Vuitton create space so we can express ourselves. The jewels are a magnificent tool to show how jewellery has always been repurposed to express new emotions. To be conscious of the materials we use, how we use them, and the life span they have. These are questions we try to pose, and Cate does it consistently and with such beautiful poise.”

Cate Blanchett wearing a repurposed Louis Vuitton high jewellery body chain in white gold, Tahitian pearls, coloured gemstones, including a 15.25-ct cushion-cut pink spinel, a 10.73-ct cushion-cut tsavorite garnet and a 2.70-ct oval purple sapphire, and diamonds

There’s so much more to this story too, like the fact that Cate Blanchett actually wore some of the pearls in this creation to the 2023 BAFTAs, demonstrating how they can be reused and refashioned no matter what she chooses to wear. Similarly, Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière chose material from the brand’s ‘deadstock’ to create the dress, drawing on the idea that nothing should ‘go to waste’.

Emma Corrin wearing white gold, onyx and diamond earrings and ring by Cartier

There were plenty of other lovely looks on the red carpet, of course, although none with quite the same impact as Cate and her sustainability-minded body chain. The team here at particularly liked the Tiffany & Co. jewels on display, especially the playful turquoise and diamond starfish earrings worn by Ayo Edibiri and the Jean Schlumberger by Tiffany Fleaurage necklace sported by Emily Blunt with over 37 carats of multi-coloured gemstones and diamonds.

Dua Lipa also chose some interesting Tiffany & Co. pieces, including a pair of earrings and a bracelet from the 2023 Blue Book collection. The former were set with enhanced orange sapphires of over 9 carats, plus Umba sapphires and diamonds, while the latter also contained an orange sapphire over 10 carats, padparadscha sapphires, rubellites and diamonds. Considering she was wearing a red Valentino dress, these vibrant orange corundums are an excellent creative clash.

Dua Lipa in gold, platinum, orange sapphire, Umba sapphire and diamond earrings, a gold, platinum, orange sapphire and Padparadscha sapphire bracelet, both from the 2023 Tiffany Blue Book Collection, paired with a Tiffany Victoria® alternating ring in platinum and diamond

Actor Domingo Colman continued his streak as ‘best-dressed man of awards season’ with a selection of Tiffany & Co. pieces, including a Jean Schlumberger Apollo brooch in gold and platinum. Speaking of men, we must also mention award-winner Robert Downey Jr. in a Starfish diamond pin by Rahaminov Diamonds weighing nearly 11 carats in 18k white gold! He was only marginally eclipsed by Paul Mescal, who upgraded the lapel of his jacket with a Cartier Libre lapel jewel, set with garnets, onyx and diamonds (oh, and matching cufflinks and watch).

There are some more honourable mentions, such as Lily Collins in a Tamara Ralph Couture gown featuring a crystal-encrusted rose necklace. She paired this beautiful dress with a pair of white diamond earrings and rings by Cartier. Daisy Edgar-Jones opted for Cartier, Margot Robbie picked Lorraine Schwartz, Rosamund Pike sparkled in Boucheron, and award-winner Da’Vine Joy Randolph chose a pair of high jewellery earrings by Moussaieff. Florence Pugh really went to town with the Boucheron Rosée necklace from the Nature Triomphante High Jewellery collection, plus the Vendôme Liseré stud earrings and the Beloved solitaire ring with a cushion-cut 7.12-carat diamond.

Next, there was the Bulgari tribe, including Carey Mulligan in a sapphire and diamond collar necklace and Barbie director Greta Gerwig in the Serpenti Diva’s Dream necklace with a 22.86-carat green tourmaline and nearly 8-carats of diamonds. Only the pendant of a striking Bulgari necklace was visible under the collar of Lashana Lynch’s Prada gown. It peeked out like a modern bow tie with a 13.16-carat oval-shaped rubellite, 16 rubellite beads, 22 spinels and 28 buff-top pink tourmalines, plus 15 pear-shaped diamonds and pavé-set diamonds.

If we had to pick out some trends, we’re going to put our money on elaborate stud earrings. Ayo Edibiri, Emma Corrin, Lashana Lynch, Phoebe Dynevor, Emma Stone and Florence Pugh all wore studs of some description, so it will be interesting to see if this continues at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards and the Academy Awards in a few weeks’ time. Don’t worry, we will report on all the action!

Send enquiry about featured jewellery.