February 20th, 2009
11:10 AM ET

$30 million worth of 'ooooh'

Editor’s Note: CNN’s Jacque Wilson is in Los Angeles for the first time to cover the Academy Awards. Follow her blog updates from the event Sunday right here at CNN.com/marquee.

Michael O'Connor looks over some goodies.

No girl can turn down jewelry. So when accessory style expert Michael O’Connor invited me to observe several of his Oscar appointments, I jumped at the chance - if for nothing else than to be in a room with $30 million worth of “ooooh.”

O’Connor is a liaison of sorts between celebrity stylists and accessory designers. He gathers jewels he thinks his clients will like so that the stylists don’t have to run to a bunch of different designers. In return, they take $34,000 watches off his hands.

In this economy the celebrities are cutting back, O’Connor said. He expects red-carpet walkers to veer away from bling and head toward classic pieces that "can stand the test of time."

That, of course, means platinum.

For fabric, O’Connor sees less red, more black, white and dark blues. But simple colors don’t mean the process is any easier. Stylists take weeks putting together the perfect outfit for their client. The neckline affects the hairdo, which affects the necklace, which affects the earrings, which affect, again, the hairdo. And then when the celebrity changes his or her mind the day before the event, O’Connor gets a call at midnight.

"Celebrities are just like you and I," he told me. "They wake up in the morning and say, 'what was I thinking when I bought this outfit? It makes my butt look fat.' Or gives me no chest, or height or whatever."

Funny, I say that about every outfit I wear.

And just when I was about to head out the door, my head spinning from the sparkle, in walked the stylist for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. She knew what she wanted and it didn’t include anything that dangled, had rubies or was too white-diamond. "Angie," she said, wouldn’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t wear that.

Thousand-dollar baubles aside, I’m still shocked that I was in a room with someone who could call Angelina Jolie "Angie." Can the Oscars on Sunday really top that?

- Jacque Wilson, CNN.com Associate Producer

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. michael evancho

    you and all did a special job and night out! MICHAEL EVANCHO

    February 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kim

    Ho hum.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Maggie

    JDK – this IS an "entertainment "section ....

    February 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jo Ann, Ohio

    I wonder how many homes could be saved from foreclosure with that "$30 million worth of "ooooh?"

    February 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Joanna, It is just another case of supply and demand jacking the prices up, but let's be honest here these people are not rocket scientists nor are they providing a service that we cannot live without. In my opinion, there aren't many great actors out there. Movie stars are not actors.

    February 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gram

    This is the Oscars – private showing of 30million – ooooooooh –

    February 21, 2009 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Amy

    Well put Joanna. We put them where they are. It's not like they're robbing anyone to get this money. If we didn't demand those faces, the price provided to those who supply wouldn't be so ridiculous.

    February 21, 2009 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joanna

    Speaking of their sky-high incomes:

    It is us, the movie-goers who cause their exorbitant salaries by demanding to see the "movie stars" in every upcoming movie.
    If we, the public, wanted to see a new face in every new movie, the actors would earn more in line with the real-life.
    If the movie directors were permitted by the public to chose from the existing pool of normal actors, the budgets for most movies would be a fraction of what it is now.
    And we wouldn't be so envious.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JDK


    I agree this is about as news worthy as some other worthless stories on CNN. $30 million worth of ‘ooooh’ what kind of loser would actually say that,.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. K

    AKR, it's all relative. They are used to living a certain way, doesn't make their way wrong. Yes, cutting back by celebrities might not seem like much of a sacrifice to you or me but it IS still cutting back. I really don't see how that makes them spoiled. To me, spoiled would be refusing to cut back.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NV

    Sorry should have read I am with AKR...

    February 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NV

    I am AKR – please let us sacrifice but not ever the rich, spoiled actors. We do not want them to get millions less for one movie. We are losing our 2 Bedroom houses and jobs. And they have to make hard decission what piece of jewelery they should wear. Wow – only in Hollywood – got to love America!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

    @ Murray - My apologies. Jacque included a photo but I was caught up in other things. It's now been added. - TL

    February 20, 2009 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. AKR

    I am so sorry to hear that celebrities are having to "sacrifice" so much because of the economic downturn. I mean, platinum? I'm so sorry and pray to god that he or she will make things better soon, and let these rich spoiled people not have to sacrifice anything!

    February 20, 2009 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Murray

    Okay, let me get this straight. You were in a room with $30mil of jewelry and YOU DIDN"T GET ANY FOOTAGE OR PICTURES.

    Gee, thanks for sharing.

    Look, you guys are a television and web news group. PICTURES PEOPLE.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |

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