The flashing of lights, the brightest smiles, the swish of gowns, the sky-high heels, and the sparkling, gleaming, glamorous gems—this can only be one place, the red carpet. Celebrated across the globe for their unparalleled beauty and spectacular influence, red-carpet events are the pinnacle of chic style and fashionable grace. And one single brand shines brighter than any other on this worldwide stage: Harry Winston. Founded in 1932, the House is heralded for generations for its exquisite craftsmanship, peerless designs, and flawless gems, and has graced the red carpet for decades. Just as a supporting character in an award-winning film artfully enhances the entire picture, so does the jewelry of Harry Winston elevate the glamour of the industry’s stars.
These magical moments don’t just happen by themselves, of course. They are the product of visionaries like Cristina Ehrlich, a celebrity stylist whose client list includes myriad A-list luminaries. She’s known for both her impeccable taste and her skill at crafting perfection with Harry Winston jewels.
Here, in conversation with Ehrich, we get her specialized view, her philosophy on glamour, and her insights on why Harry Winston is peerless in its perfection.
ELLE: Tell us about your process when you style celebrities for red-carpet events.
Cristina Ehrlich: It’s quite like painting on a blank canvas, and uniquely tailored to each client’s individuality. Whether they’re a long-term client or a new face on the red carpet, it’s about crafting a narrative that resonates with their personality. It involves understanding their desires—be they classic elegance, modern chic, or a nod to old Hollywood—and shaping the look accordingly.
ELLE: What key factors do you consider when selecting the right Harry Winston jewelry for someone?
CE: The event’s specific ambience plays a crucial role, since each red carpet has its own character. The movement of the gown, the flow of the carpet, the lighting—everything comes into play. Starting from the neckline, the dance between the dress, jewels, makeup, and hair unfolds. Each piece of jewelry must complement the body and lie flawlessly against the skin, inspiring awe with every glance—which pieces from Harry Winston never fail to achieve.
ELLE: What is your favorite Harry Winston red-carpet memory?
CE: It’s hard to choose just one! Harry Winston jewels always epitomize timeless elegance, but I recall one A-list client’s fierce look in a black strapless gown, adorned with stacked Harry Winston bracelets and a bold ring, which showcased the sparkle and opulence of the brand in full glory.
ELLE: When you think “iconic Harry Winston,” what comes to mind?
CE: The House of Harry Winston is about statement pieces—bold yet delicate, ornate yet clean. It embodies major glamour that transcends time. It’s that balance of strength and delicacy that makes its jewels a go-to for the red-carpet moment.
ELLE: What jewelry styles have the greatest impact under the limelight?
CE: It’s less particular styles and more the harmony among different pieces that lands. For high jewelry to really shine, a necklace paired with earrings, say, needs to find the precise balance. I always aim to understand how a client carries themself in the public eye, and then use that knowledge to ensure the jewels capture light in the most captivating way.
ELLE: If you could style only one piece of Harry Winston jewelry, what would it be?
CE: Undoubtedly the Winston Cluster Wreath Necklace. This piece is beyond—you can pair it with everything from a cocktail dress to any style of gown to a tuxedo. You can even style it with a crisp white men’s dress shirt.
And it has an incredible backstory: On one frosty December night in the 1940s, Mr. Winston was inspired by how fresh snow glistened on a decorative holly wreath hanging on the door of his estate. Recognizing the similarities between the beauty of nature and diamonds, he created the sculptured shape of the wreath and decided that from then on, the gems, rather than their settings, should be the focus of his designs. It’s no coincidence that the iconic necklace remains a perennial favorite to this day.