How We Wear Diamonds: A-listers Like Emily Ratajkowski and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Are Carefree Casual Styling

Emily Ratajkowski was on-trend with her mismatched ear cuffs that showed today’s more flexible approach to wearing diamond jewellery at the 2023 Met Gala in May. Photo: Getty Images
EmRata mismatched Ana Khouri ear cuffs at the 2023 Met Gala and Rosie HW paired Jessica McCormack earrings with a swimsuit. Designers taking note include Anita Ko with her own diamond ear cuffs, while Bea Bongiasca, Olivia Bond and Marie Lichtenberg offer fresh ideas for wedding ‘ringfies’
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Whether it’s Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing London-based designer Jessica McCormack’s signature diamond pieces with her swimmers, Emily Ratajkowski wearing mismatched Ana Khouri ear cuffs to the Met Gala, or the fashion set bringing back the classic tennis bracelet, diamonds are getting a makeover.

It’s not just that they are so much more than a diamond solitaire presented as the ultimate symbol of love (thanks to that very famous De Beers advert in the 1940s). But how we wear diamonds – more casually and definitely having more fun – is changing too.

This can be seen in modern designs such as Anita Ko’s cool twinkling ear cuffs or Bea Bongiasca’s candy coloured enamel and diamond tendril rings. Then there’s fresh takes on diamond engagement ring settings, such as the scallop eternity bands at Olivia Bond and Jessica McCormack’s button back and tilted settings.

Marie Lichtenberg, a former fashion editor turned jeweller, says her Would You Marry Me ring embodies a modern way to think about diamonds, engagement rings and getting married.

“It is deeply ingrained in our brand’s DNA. This ring embodies wearing everything with humour and a lot of chic. The ring’s body, meticulously handmade, is adorned with princess-cut diamonds. However, the true surprise is found inside the ring which showcases a flawless two-carat pear-cut diamond. Discretion can sometimes be an extreme luxury,” she says.

Sydney-based jeweller Sarah Munro, founder of the Sarah & Sebastian jewellery brand, which now has stores in Melbourne and Sydney with more to come, says its popular ear piercing “labs” have helped to disrupt how we think about fine jewellery.

Her clients are guided – “ear alchemy” as the brand defines it – towards choices such as twinkling constellations of diamonds that snake around the ear lobes.

Munro has long believed that diamonds shouldn’t be something to be kept in the safe.

“I believe that jewellery is meant to be worn and enjoyed. As an avid scuba diver, I always go diving in my tennis bracelet – it’s something people laugh at me about, but I never take it off. I firmly believe that jewellery ages beautifully when worn, so I say ‘just wear it,” she says.

“I believe that jewellery is meant to be worn and enjoyed. As an avid scuba diver, I always go diving in my tennis bracelet – it’s something people laugh at me about, but I never take it off. I firmly believe that jewellery ages beautifully when worn, so I say ‘just wear it,” she says.

When it comes to how clients are thinking about diamonds, Munro says more than ever they want pieces that fit their personal style.

“We have seen the perception of diamonds shift from special occasions to everyday wear, with people embracing unique ways to incorporate diamonds into their personal style,” she says.

Munro says her customer wants something different, pointing out that the brand’s bestselling diamond pieces include its Blue Corridor diamond earrings which feature nine natural pear-shaped diamonds and was inspired by Munro observing the graceful movement of whale pods drifting through the water.

Los Angeles-based jeweller Grace Lee founded her eponymous brand because she wanted to create fine pieces that could be worn all of the time – and preferably, stacked together.

“My diamond designs are all meant to be stacked and layered together. The best way to create a stack is to add different textures, diamond shapes and even mixing metals. The best examples of this are in the many “ringfies” on my IG feed. I am often making ringfie’s together with clients in the studio. My favourite is when I pull an unexpected piece and the client is surprised at how well the piece stacks with their current ring(s),” she says.

“A fun, chic and casual way to wear diamonds is our Diamond Dot cord bracelets. I personally wear one in Neon Pink and like to layer with tennis bracelets. I like the pop of colour the neon adds in a very subtle, thin cord.”

Alina Barlow, founder of the Alinka jewellery brand which creates fine jewellery pieces with a twist on classic styles and mixing white and black diamonds, says clients are thinking more long-term more than ever with their purchases.

“We believe clients are now more considered and they do their research. They focus on acquiring larger, significant pieces rather than multiple smaller pieces. As the world keeps rapidly changing, their forecasts for the future lead them to choose quality over quantity,” she says.

“Our clients are more sophisticated with impeccable self-style. They know what they love and need. It comes down to two things, confidence and independence of anyone’s judgment. They tend to choose pieces that reflect these attributes and their personal style.”

As for her own approach to diamonds, Barlow says it changes every day.

“I start each day as a new blank page. I take off every single piece of jewellery and rebuild my look on how I feel that day, and each day is unique. I believe in listening to my inner voice and I reflect that in the jewellery that I wear. This applies to both day and night,” she says.

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