I don’t need to tell you that Fred Leighton has been one of the premier jewelers on the red carpet for decades. Everyone knows that. But what, or make that who, you probably don’t know is the woman behind the scenes of the magical moments. Rebecca Selva has been the jewelry styling genius at Fred Leighton for more than a quarter century.
Over the decades she has worked closely with all the best stylists on the planet and made red-carpet jewelry history again and again and again. She does this by transforming the creative visions of her stylist friends into realities.
One crowning achievement in Rebecca’s illustrious history happened in 2005 when Scarlett Johannsson’s stylist at the time, Annabel Tollman, came into the legendary Madison Avenue Fred Leighton boutique and said she was thinking of “stars.” Rebecca had three vintage star brooches fixed to a tiara frame.
She has helped countless celebrity stylist select jewels to layer for big moments. One of my favorites was the time Rebecca and styling legend Elizabeth Stewart put together not one, not two but three vintage necklaces from various periods for Cate Blanchett to wear with a gold sequined Gucci dress at the 2018 premiere of Thor: Ragnarok.
Rebecca even has a film credit for her visionary work. She assembled the jewels for Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. There were over around $4 million dollars worth of jewels in the film. And the historical diamonds get lots of close ups. They finished off gowns to perfection and, in my opinion, definitely added to the overall look that won the costume designer Milena Canonero an Oscar.
Now, Rebecca is turning her talents to a new project called First Look. It features her favorite pieces currently in Fred Leighton’s inventory. The selection can be found on Fred Leighton’s website. If you sign up for the newsletter you will also receive images of how Rebecca sees some of the jewels being worn.
“One of the joys of Fred Leighton is we have so many jewels from across periods to the present and people are always asking me how to wear them together,” explains Rebecca. “I have been styling jewels for the Instagram posts and people have been really responding to it. They want the full look. So, we came up with First Look.”
The debut selection includes 28 pieces ranging in price from $5,000 to $60,000. The selection will be updated every other month.
“With day to night thinking, as well as what we hear again and again from clients that they want to be able to wear their jewelry as opposed to saving it for special occasions, I focused on rich and textured gold and woods, and cool and intriguing gemstones like turquoise, malachite, tiger’s eye,” explains Rebecca. “Styles range from night to day, classics to statement pieces. They are jewels that sing to one another, because I do love a jewelry song!”