On high fash­ion and pre­cious jew­els

Solitaire (Singapore) - - Content - By Aniko Navai

Fair skinned with straw­berry tresses and a big, se­duc­tive smile, Jes­sica Chas­tain has that rare charm of a movie star from a by­gone era. She has a great ca­reer, fame, not to men­tion a gor­geous hus­band – she re­cently mar­ried her long-time love, Ital­ian fash­ion ex­ec­u­tive Gian Luca de Pre­po­sulo. Ev­ery­one thinks she’s had it easy.

Well, it wasn’t re­ally the case. Chas­tain had hum­ble be­gin­nings and bit­ter strug­gles at the start of her ca­reer. Up to her late 20s, noth­ing re­ally came to­gether for her. She was mostly do­ing theatre and get­ting so-so re­views, un­til an agent called Al Pa­cino’s at­ten­tion. The ac­tor later cast her as Salome in a stage pro­duc­tion that he filmed and showed at the Venice Film Fes­ti­val. The then 30-year-old Chas­tain knocked them dead with her per­for­mance, and Salome cat­a­pulted her to Hol­ly­wood.

From con­tem­po­rary roles such as Zero Dark Thirty and Miss Sloane, to pe­riod movies like The Help and The Zookeeper’s Wife, Chas­tain is one of the few ver­sa­tile ac­tresses who can jump from one role to an­other ef­fort­lessly.

What do you love about jewellery?

I am a woman who loves old-time glam­our. I love the his­tory of Pi­aget, whose time­pieces and jew­els were worn by Jackie Kennedy, Frank Si­na­tra, and Brigitte Bar­dot. We’re all nat­u­rally drawn to­wards di­a­monds be­cause they re­flect light. On the other hand, I’m


some­one who’s very much into colour. 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. But then there’s some­thing very sen­sual about a ruby or an amethyst. I love a great big di­a­mond. I love pink di­a­monds.

You al­ways make a state­ment on the red car­pet. How do you pick your gowns?

For many years I had to beg and bor­row from fash­ion houses be­cause I was just not fa­mous enough. Now, I have the lux­ury of hav­ing de­sign­ers come to me and of­fer to make me a spe­cial gown. I’m a very happy per­son and I love bright colours – they just make me feel good. Usu­ally for me, fash­ion is an emo­tional choice.when I was do­ing my very first Cannes Film Fes­ti­val I asked my stylist if we could find a dress that looked like sun­shine, be­cause that’s how I felt. I don’t nec­es­sar­ily think in terms of whose de­sign I wore last time so I can’t wear them again. I just go with how I feel. With my clothes, I turn to my friend Ric­cardo Tisci at Givenchy for his clas­sic el­e­gance and mod­ern lines.

You’ve been Pi­aget’s grand am­bas­sador for a while now. How do you feel about it?

I love Pi­aget. It’s all about Old Hol­ly­wood with an added sparkle.

Can you re­call a favourite jewellery mo­ment that you’ve had on the red car­pet?

There was one time where I had seen a pic­ture of a pair of beau­ti­ful green emer­ald ear­rings from Pi­aget on In­sta­gram. I took a screen­shot and sent it to my stylist, and I said, ‘I re­ally want to wear th­ese ear­rings for some­thing big. Let’s find a dress.’

Usu­ally, you have the dress and you find the jewellery to ac­ces­sorise it with. But this time, the ear­rings were so gor­geous so it was the other way around. We found a beau­ti­ful black Elie Saab gown, and I wore the en­sem­ble to The Mar­tian Lon­don pre­miere.

If we had a chance to peek into your jewellery box, what would be your most prized pos­ses­sion we can find there?

It’s prob­a­bly the gift my grand­mother gave me years ago. It’s not a typ­i­cal piece of jewellery. It’s an an­tique, crys­tal-en­crusted lip­stick and per­fume pull the lip­stick out and a lit­tle mir­ror pops up. It’s cov­ered in crys­tals, and be­cause my grand­mother gave it to me, it makes it even more spe­cial.

Are you as keen about jewellery on-screen as you are off-screen?

When I’m work­ing I fo­cus on ev­ery­thing, make-up, hair, and es­pe­cially jewellery. In Zero Dark 30, my char­ac­ter, Maya, al­ways wears the same neck­lace. 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 can con­nect my­self to a piece of jewellery and cre­ate the his­tory of that piece and the char­ac­ter, then I can give a deeper in­ter­pre­ta­tion to the role.

You came to this year’s Golden Globe with a gor­geous Chopard neck­lace but with­out even a lit­tle purse. Didn’t you need one?

No, I did not [laughs]. All I needed was my phone, and my then fi­ancé, Gian Luca, car­ried that for me.


Rose Pas­sion ear­rings with emer­alds and di­a­monds, which Jes­sica Chas­tain wore to The Mar­tian pre­miere in Lon­don, PI­AGET Chas­tain wear­ing Pi­aget High Jewellery pieces

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