When the actress Jessica Chastain teamed a navy Givenchy gown with a diamond and platinum Piaget necklace for the Oscars this month, she little imagined that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the fabled Swiss watch and jewellery house.
Later that night, she swapped her jewellery for another creation, a necklace from the Extremely Piaget collection that boasted a ruby ‘as big as my thumbnail… it was insane’ and dazzled on the post-ceremony red carpet (pictured below).
Bazaar caught up with her in Paris to discuss her burgeoning relationship with all things glittering, sparkly… and expensive.
HB: Why do you think precious stones hold such a fascination for women?
JC: There’s something about the brilliance of the stones. We’re drawn towards diamonds because they reflect light and there’s some happiness in that. On the other hand, I’m someone who is very much into colour – that teardrop ruby illuminated another part of me.
HB: And why don’t you think men wear so many stones?
JC: I know so many men who are drawn to colour and I think men should get more into their jewellery – I love it when a man really goes for it at a big occasion and dresses it up. On the other hand, if I’m fighting it out with Bruce Willis for who gets to wear a necklace on the red carpet, I hope I win!
HB: If you had to choose, would it be white diamonds or coloured stones?
JC: I believe there’s something spiritual about colours and stones and they change my mood. So if I’m wearing yellow diamonds I feel very cheerful and happy and sparkling. But then there’s something very sensual about a ruby or an amethyst. On the other hand, I love a great big diamond. I love pink diamonds. Love, love, love pink diamonds… there’s not a stone I would say goodbye to.
HB: What jewellery are you wearing now?
JC: I am wearing two of Piaget’s Possession rings, one in rose gold and one in white gold. Of course, I chose the one with four levels of diamonds that turn in opposite directions – and I’ve been turning it constantly as we talk. I’ve always played with my jewellery, so this design is perfect for me. And I’m also wearing some white gold earrings from the same collection.
HB: What appeals to you about Piaget’s house style?
I am a woman who loves old-time glamour. I love the history of the brand, whose timepieces and jewels were worn by Jackie Kennedy, Frank Sinatra and Brigitte Bardot. In my clothes, I turn to my friend Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy for his classic elegance and modern lines: simple and straight. And I see the same elegance in Piaget, coupled with the extreme femininity of the Mediterranean collection with its roses. It’s all about Old Hollywood with added sparkle.
HB: Do you use jewellery to help you prepare for a role?
JC: When I’m working on a new role, I focus on everything: make-up; hair and especially jewellery. In Zero Dark 30, my character, Maya, always wears the same necklace and I knew what it was and who gave it to her and why she wore it every day. That level of detail may add layers of meaning for the audience, but more importantly if I connect myself to a piece of jewellery and create the history of that and the character, I’m putting on her mask.
HB: Why do you think actresses become so associated with jewellery brands?
JC: I think it’s about the emotional qualities of the stones – as actresses, we rely on our emotions to inspire the characters we play and stones are all about inspiration. Feelings are the key for both of us.