Jennifer Lopez Wore Nearly $2 Million in Diamonds Last Night—Including a Pair of Earrings So Special, They’re the Only Pair That Exists
By now, it’s safe to assume you’ve seen at least a few—if not dozens—of photos and videos of Jennifer Lopez’s show-stopping looks at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards. Despite Madonna’s seriously strange “tribute” to Aretha Franklin and more than a few questionable red carpet turns, J.Lo remained the most-talked-about person of the event, picking up the Video Vanguard Award, performing her greatest hits, and doing it all in a suite of custom Versace. Her stylist Rob Zangardi (one half of the duo known as “Rob and Mariel” with his partner, Mariel Haenn), called us to talk about how it all came together, and said the looks were in the works for nearly two months. “I was actually with Jennifer when she found out she was getting the [Video] Vanguard Award, and it was sort of a full-circle moment for me and Mariel, as well as for Jen,” he said. “We met at MTV, and 20 years later, we’re standing next to Jennifer before she accepts an award [recognizing her accomplishments over 20 years]. It was a really epic night.”
Spending a few months on looks for a three-hour show isn’t a new phenomenon to Zangardi and Haenn. They’ve worked with Lopez for eight years, handling the costumes for all of her performances, including her Las Vegas residency two years ago. “The way we break down all of her show costumes is by sections—there’s always a Latin section, a hip-hop section, and for the VMAs, it was all about her greatest hits, so we knew there would be a full variety,” he said. “We knew we had to make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time, so we were adding layers, taking off layers, using tear-aways… And the first brand we thought of was Versace, because she’s had such a long relationship with them. They know how hard she dances, and that she’s going to be suspended from the ceiling and needs the mesh, the snaps, the stretch fabric so she can move.” That meant a gilded tracksuit for one song, and a barely-there bodysuit and ivory fur coat for another.
The first look, of course, was Lopez’s red carpet gown, a mercury chainmail number with a thigh-high slit. For in-the-know Versace fans, it was a subtle nod to Lopez’s early career: It was back in the early ’90s that she made her debut as dancer on In Living Color, around the same time Gianni Versace was dressing supermodels in his slinky, now-signature chainmail dresses. “Versace chainmail is classic J. Lo at this point,” Zangardi added. “And silver sparkles and diamonds!” Later on, she wore two more Versace looks rooted in the early ’90s: On stage, it was a dramatic cape in the house’s signature blue and gold “Pillow Talk” print, and for her after-party, she changed into a belted catsuit in the same print.
As for the diamonds, Zangardi and Haeen enlisted Tiffany & Co. to “bling her out”—usually the last step in the getting-ready process, and one that Lopez happily participates in. “Her look is always a little bit couture, a little bit street—she might wear [a couture gown] with big hoops and tons of gold necklaces.” Last night’s jewelry was as “couture” as it gets, including a pair of earrings from Reed Krakoff’s first Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection, which features one-of-a-kind pieces using only the rarest, most high-quality gems. The angular earrings had rows of diamonds in a few cuts—baguettes, round brilliants, pavé—and are the only ones in existence. “Naturally, the earrings Jennifer chose were the most expensive ones on the tray!” Zangardi said with a laugh. Tiffany & Co. declined to share a price for the earrings, but Lopez also wore 70 carats of diamond bracelets and rings with six-figure price tags, for a total look that rang up to about $1,690,000. Add the cost of those earrings… and we’re talking well over $2 million. As Zangardi put it: “She knows her jewelry!”
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