The line was cheesy but the jewellery stupendous. In the 2003 film How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Kate Hudson plays the girl trying to lose Matthew McConaughey’s ad executive, who invents the awful line “frost yourself” as a diamond company’s campaign tagline. However, the classic diamond cluster necklace adorned with an 87ct yellow-diamond pendant that Harry Winston crafted for Hudson to wear in the film, set off by a simple yellow silk dress, was such a success that it sold immediately to a collector.
Now Harry Winston has reinvented the idea, as the main sponsor of the Hollywood Costume exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, which starts on October 20 and runs until January 27. Winston’s CEO Frédéric de Narp points out: “As a jewellery house that first did promotional film pieces in 1935 and has had its work featured in films and on the red carpet ever since, we were an obvious company to be involved.”
The exhibition examines costume’s role in creating character and detailed ambience, and features iconic outfits from a broad film spectrum. There are creations once worn by Mary Pickford and Meryl Streep, those designed for fantasy characters such as Darth Vader and Spiderman, and costumes from period pieces such as Gone with the Wind, Cleopatra (two versions) and Keira Knightley’s alluring green dress from Atonement.
Guest curator Deborah Nadoolman Landis and Winston decided to recreate the Hudson necklace to go with the original dress, and it took over a year to find appropriate stones. A detachable 51ct yellow sapphire replaces the diamond (it is just as large because of its lower density), while the cluster necklace is a faithful reproduction. Priced at £1.1m, the piece is for sale but cannot be removed until the exhibition’s end. Collectors have already expressed interest, but Winston remains open-minded.
For those not prepared to raise the readies for the necklace, compensation comes in the form of a version of Dorothy’s red-sequin, block-heeled shoes from The Wizard of Oz. They're right on trend and only £38 from the museum shop or online (www.vandashop.com).