On Tuesday night at Bulgari’s pre-Oscar party — which turned a rooftop on Rodeo Drive into a glamorous, tented Roman-inspired garden — Kirsten Dunst was sitting at dinner talking to her agent, UTA’s Theresa Peters, when in walked Julianne Moore.
Dunst nearly gasped. “Are you wearing the Elizabeth Taylor necklace?” asked the actress and Bulgari campaign face, taking in the dramatic necklace and pendant, made from 60.5 and 23.44 carats of emeralds and diamonds, respectively.
“Yes I am,” said Moore, a longtime model for the Italian luxury house.
The pendant was purchased by Richard Burton upon his and Taylor's engagement in 1962 and later added to the hulking necklace in 1964, when Burton returned to the Italian jeweler to buy the epic piece. And Tuesday night marked the first time that another person had worn the necklace since Taylor. The piece, along with seven other Bulgari pieces once owned by Taylor, was bought by the jeweler at the blockbuster auction of Taylor’s belongings that was held by auction house Christie's in December 2011.
As a rep for Bulgari explained at dinner, the necklace was incredibly difficult to create. It wasn’t just the challenge of finding the necklace’s huge 23.44 carat central stone but also the parallel emeralds that diminish in size as they ascend toward the neck. Plus the clarity of the stones had to match perfectly. As Moore noted to Dunst, “It’s so perfectly proportioned."
Guests including Drew Barrymore, actress Clotilde Courau, E! Fashion Police helmer George Kotsiopoulos, Irena Medavoy, Naomi Watts, Paul Haggis and Fashion Star host Louise Roe were in attendance to celebrate the baubles. David Jarre, a magician and the son of actress Charlotte Rampling, and composer Jean Michel Jarre, entertained guests including Barrymore with tricks as DJ Mia Moretti and electric violinist Caitlin Moe amped up the party apres dinner.
The evening served as the formal debut of Bulgari’s new Rodeo Drive store (401 N Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills). Barrymore wore Max Mara. Dunst wore Chloe. And Kate Walsh, who wore rubellite and diamond pieces from Bulgari's Serpenti collection, Instagrammed a picture of herself deep in thought, asking. "What would Bulgari do?"