Classic Hollywood movies were my father’s idea of great entertainment for children. By the time my sister and I were preteens, we had seen several screwball comedies including Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby, a handful of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films and the great mid-century musicals like Singing in the Rain and Westside Story. La La Land, the winner of 7 Golden Globes more than any other film in the award show’s history, brought back the memories of watching those movies as a child. The musical is inspired by old Hollywood.
The innocence of Emma Stone’s character, a struggling actress named Mia, is reflected in her charming style. Costume designer Mary Zophres explained in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, that she created dresses with a vintage silhouette for Emma to dance in and shopped for items someone on a tight budget could afford.
The other key Kyle Chan designs are 14K gold and green onyx earrings and a 14K gold and green onyx necklace. With these two jewels Powell is subtly referencing the old Hollywood way of wearing matching sets of jewelry. The green onyx also matches Emma’s green dress not to mention her eyes. I love the way the color coordinated pieces break rule number one on everyone’s lists of jewelry don’ts—don’t be matchy-matchy. These jewels show matchy-matchy can be kind of great.
Emma wears the green onyx jewelry in the most romantic scene of the film when she goes to the movies with Ryan Gosling then dances with him in the stars at the Griffith Observatory. Parenthetically, Stone has referenced this scene a couple of times in her jewelry choices for the film’s debut at the Venice Film Festival on the red carpet and at the press conference not to mention in the stars covering the Valentino dress she wore to the Golden Globes.
When Mia (Stone) does experience some professional success in the movie, she upgrades her jewelry to New York designer Monique Péan. The transformation in her style doesn’t radically shift. She remains in the same sort of sweet mode. It just becomes highly elevated, an amazing reflection of the authenticity of her character. The pieces Emma wears from Monique (seen above) are: a diamond and recycled platinum engagement ring with a .99-carat hexagonal shaped center stone, an aquamarine, diamond and gold pendant necklace, trapezoid shaped diamond and recycled white gold studs and a magnificent 13.27-carat rose-cut diamond and 18K recycled white gold bracelet.
While La La Land may be rated PG-13 for some language, it has the elements found in those old films my father showed my sister and I as pre-teens. There is lots of dreaming, romance and joy. The qualities that surely inspired him to show us those old movies when we were so young.
See several of the Kyle Chan jewels Emma Stone wears in La La Land in the trailer.