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Rhinestones and Celebrity Red Carpet Fashion: a Deep Dive

September 27, 2023 4 min read

Rhinestones and Celebrity Red Carpet Fashion: a Deep Dive

The world has long been enamored by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood's red carpet events; from the Oscars to the Cannes Film Festival, celebrities sashay down the iconic red carpets, often dressed in the most elegant, innovative, and often jaw-dropping outfits. Central to many of these outstanding outfits is the magical allure of rhinestones and crystals, offering a touch of radiance, class and old-school Hollywood glamour. So, what rhinestone-inspired red carpet moments have we loved the most in recent years? Let’s take a look.


Why Rhinestones are Perfect for the Red Carpet

Stellar Sparkle

First of all, what makes rhinestones such a celeb favorite when walking the red carpet? It starts with their unparalleled shimmer: under the limelight, rhinestones dazzle in a way that instantly captures attention. Each tiny crystal acts as a prism, scattering light and creating a luminous halo around the celebrity, ensuring they remain the center of attention throughout their walk in front of the photographers. Whether opting for Swarovski crystals or Preciosa Hotfix Flat Back Crystals (MAXIMA) Burgundy pieces, an embellished gown or outfit ensures that the spotlight is impossible to evade.


Unlimited Options

Aside from limitless shine, rhinestones also bring versatility to the table; their adaptability empowers designers to incorporate them in diverse ways, from intricate patterns that glisten with subtle sophistication to bespoke, eye-catching statement pieces.


Affordable Elegance

While the red carpet often showcases luxury, not all that glitters has to be gold - nor does it have to be diamonds! Rhinestones provide the splendour and brilliance of precious stones without the exorbitant price tag, making them the perfect choice for celebrities and stylists who want to achieve opulence without breaking the bank.

And while budget concerns aren’t always exactly a common problem amongst A-listers, there’s also the ethical dimension; while diamond mining has a questionable environmental impact, crystals are manufactured, making them the more planet-friendly choice.


Camera-Ready Brilliance

In an era of high-definition cameras and rapid-fire flashbulbs, every detail on the red carpet is scrutinized; crystal rhinestones have the innate ability to refract light, offering depth and texture that enhances the overall appearance. Their brilliance ensures that, no matter the angle, celebrities will look flawless, polished, and unforgettable in front of the endless flashing lights.


Rhinestones Meet Red Carpet: Our Favourite Fashion Moments

Taylor Swift, 2022 VMAs

After the release of her 2022 single “Bejewelled”, the stunning halter neck dress that Taylor Swift wore to the 2022 VMAs makes a lot more sense! The singer wore a minimalist, eye-catching Oscar de la Renta dress made entirely of crystals, with a nude bodice underneath creating an entirely ethereal appearance. Paired with Christian Loubiton heels and diamond earrings, this look has to be one of our favorite red carpet moments in the last year!


Doja Cat, Paris Fashion Week 2023

We all know that Djoa Cat loves to experiment with her appearance and change things up regularly, but even the most dedicated Doja fans were taken by surprise upon seeing her outfit for Paris Fashion Week in January this year. In a bold, more-than-a-statement-making move, the singer took to the fashion week red carpet wearing head-to-toe red Swarovski crystals, in a process which apparently took four hours and 58 minutes to complete! While it might not be the best outfit for a wedding or family event, we sure won’t be forgetting it any time soon!


Beyoncé, Met Gala 2015

It wouldn’t be a comprehensive list without a mention of Queen B! At the 2015 Met Gala, Beyoncé turned heads with her Givenchy Haute Couture gown, a sheer masterpiece adorned with multicolored crystals; the strategically placed crystals ensured modesty while allowing Beyoncé to flaunt her figure, all the while reflecting light with every move and flashing paparazzi shot. A perfect blend of elegance, sensuality, and star power, this look, amongst her many iconic red carpet moments, proves once again Beyoncé's position not just as a musical titan, but also as a fashion icon, pushing boundaries and setting trends for others to follow.


Kendall Jenner, 2021 Met Gala

At the 2021 Met Gala, Kendall Jenner wowed the audience in a sparkling, low-cut Givenchy gown, complete with a sheer, body-hugging piece covered in glittering crystals. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn's iconic dress in "My Fair Lady," the shimmering gown left little to the imagination but was tastefully done, proving yet again the power of crystals in making a bold yet elegant statement.


Rihanna, CFDA Awards 2014

In 2014, Rihanna was honored with the Fashion Icon award at the CFDA Fashion Awards, and to say that she dressed the part would be something of an understatement! Donning a custom Adam Selman sheer gown encrusted with over 230,000 Swarovski crystals, Rihanna shone bright like a diamond and truly cemented her place in the fashion world, accepting her award from Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. Not only did the evening cement Rihanna’s place as a trend-setting A-lister, but the event also birthed perhaps one of the singer’s most famous and audacious quotes: “Even as a child I remember thinking, “She can beat me, but she cannot beat my outfit.” Touché!