Sunday Jewelry Report Card: Fred Leighton, Glamourous Jewelry Destination

Today’s jewelry report card I wanted to revisit my trip to Fred Leighton in New York. The iconic store has been around since its 1970s inception when it was an eclectic and chic boutique. I first visited and posted on the shop’s gorgeous diamond and antique babbles in 2015 during the earlier years of the blogazine and Sarara Couture on instagram. I was covering the red carpet and the Academy Awards jewelry.  For me Leighton jewels is the perfect jewelry report card A++ account to follow and fine jewelry shop to buy from, due to their long well established history of quality.  Thus, I thought I would take you back to this wonderful trip and shop some new pieces on @leightonjewels. Today, Fred Leighton jewelry is also very focused on the new line that they have created which we will also shop below. Trust me when I say though, they are still the spot for mouth watering Art Deco, Victorian, and Mid Century stunners as well. In my experience they carry some of the best mid century examples. The brand’s vintage and new pieces are carried in various department stores and online. But as you will read in the original article below our shopping guide, nothing quite compares to a trip inside the Madison Avenue store!

Shopping the New Line-What We Covet:

Why We Follow (For that Jaw Dropping Antique and Vintage Jewelry):

*All above images belong to Fred Leighton Jewelry, via their website and instagram. Below images attributed.

Read the 2015 Article Below:

Antique Snake Cuff

Stunning French intertwined serpent cuff worn by Maggie Gyllenhaal to the Golden Globes this year. Dates to the late 19th century. Photo by Sara of Sarara Couture.

When one thinks of Fred Leighton, a New York landmark, glamour should come to mind. While they have a retail presence online, from 1stdibs to Net-A-Porter, nothing quite does it for a girl or (guy for that matter) like gazing at the babbles from inside their lovely chic salon on Madison Avenue. The crisp glass jewelry cases are organized, in general, by eras. Each one is carefully arranged over the rich art deco back drop of some of the shop’s original architecture.

Fred Leighton

Fred Leighton salon image, Sarara Couture.

 

Their collection spans from Georgian jewelry to current pieces that they custom design.  Fred Leighton, the boutique, began it’s story in the 1970s, mixing eclectic fashions. The namesake fine estate jewelry store opened officially in 1984. Murray Mondschein purchased the original store, Fred Leighton, in the 70s and made it his own by adding the jewelry selection, which gave birth to a jewelry dynasty. When Murray (who changed his name to Fred Leighton) retired the Kwait family purchased the store, with Greg, who is very involved, leading the helm today.  The brand continues to exude exceptional taste with a touch of old Hollywood allure and offers a wide range of quality examples.  This style has kept them fresh and led to a collection that continues to attract jewelry lovers, stylists, and editors worldwide.

  
Meryl Streep at the Oscars in 2003 wearing a stunning emerald necklace from Fred Leighton. Now featured in the exhibit the Maker & Muse. Women & Early 20th Century Art Jewelry. c.1910.

This time of year they consult with stylists who are selecting special pieces for the most influential red carpet of the year, The Oscars.  The shop provided it’s first piece of jewelry worn to the Oscars in the 1990s, to Nicole Kidman, an vintage Australian Opal choker.  The rest is history. They were so gracious to see me this week, and offer us access to some items that have been worn on the red carpet before, as well as fine fashion examples with an editorial appeal. As the blog’s focus is fashion jewelry and accessories I was interested, in also seeing these stylish fine fashionable examples.

As discussed in the post about fashion jewelry/ textual resources, fine jewelry has had it’s design moments, which have led to pieces that have been influenced by fashion and vintage designer jewelry itself. Fred Leighton has some superior fine estate examples, which are also easily translatable today.  For the newest selection visit the store and ask for the talented buyer Dana or Lindsey (PR), who was our guide into their shiny world. While you are there, you may also see Rebecca Selva (the talent behind many reinterpreted red carpet jewelry designs) fluttering around, working on her next project. As chief creative director, she continues to help fashion the image and feel of the stores selection with grace.

They offered us a first hand peek at past Oscar looks, current Oscar/red carpet worthy glam pieces, and suitable examples influenced by fashion during my visit to the salon. So, if inspiration is what you need and you can’t wait until this Sunday for the Oscars…. we’ve got it, enjoy the glam ride. Here are past looks and current possibilities-

Some of My Favorite Past Oscars Jewelry Picks from Fred Leighton’s Salon:

View image | gettyimages.com. Rebecca Selva converted the collar/hairband used by Natalie Portman in the 2005 Oscars. The mid to late 1800s piece was made into a headband for Natalie Portman to wear.
Jennifer Aniston. Oscars 2014, wearing converted Rebbeca Selva, Fred Leighton dress clips as earrings.
View image | gettyimages.com. Madonna 1998 Oscars. Fred Leighton jewelry.

 

Taraji Henson at the Oscars in 2009. Wearing a necklace from Fred Leighton.

 

2009 Oscars image of Amy Adams in a stunning vintage collar from Fred Leighton.
View image | gettyimages.com. Nicole Kidman, 2011 Oscars. Wearing Fred Leighton necklace.

 

Maggie Gyllenhaal 2010 Oscars bracelet. She wore various Leighton pieces. This 1950s brooch featured a 67 carat emerald. It was converted into a bracelet by the store and Rebecca Selva. Up close it is such an amazing piece. Available at Fred Leighton, 773 Madison Avenue.

Maggie Gyllenhaal 2010 Oscars bracelet. She wore various Leighton pieces that evening. This 1950s brooch featured a 67 carat emerald. It was converted into a bracelet by the store and Rebecca Selva. Up close it is such an amazing piece. Available at Fred Leighton, 773 Madison Avenue.

Here are some of the Oscar worn and red carpet worthy pieces that I found in the salon Images by me), which will give you a clue to the styles that may be worn Sunday at the Oscars. This includes closeups of Maggie’s 2010 Oscar worn diamond bracelet. Fred Leighton has quite a few pieces that will actually be worn this year and as they are revealed we will update this post Sunday. (What are your favorites? Please feel free to comment below.)

50s diamond earrings

1950s 12 carat diamond earrings. Available at Fred Leighton.

1700s earrings

1750s 18K gold amethyst earrings. Over 3″ long. Available at Fred Leighton.

1940s-50s diamond brooch

1950s diamond brooch with detachable earrings. Fred Leighton.

Custom Leighton Piece

Fred Leighton Oscars

Maggie Gyllenhaal worn 2010 Oscar bracelet. Converted 1950s emerald brooch bracelet, Contact Fred Leighton for more information.

 

vintage Cartier

1920s Cartier bracelet, Fred Leighton via the Madison avenue shop.

antique dollar

Antique necklace in the window of the Madison avenue shop.

Fashionable fine jewelry examples from the salon, that would fit into any editorial shoot: 

Vogue Sept 2010 cover

One of my all time favorite Vogue covers shows the editorial- fashion jewelry cross over that they have. Sept 2010. I saved this one in my archives! 1920s diamonds. Fred Leighton. Scan of the cover.

 

60s-70s 18K Tiffany necklace. Fred Leighton

60s-70s 18K Tiffany necklace. Fred Leighton. This was one of my personal favorites.

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Fred Leighton. Contact for more information about the necklace.

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Art deco star pins with what appears to be the original era trumpet clasp. Would be amazing earrings! Contact Fred Leighton for pricing and info.

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Van Cleef & Arpels 1950s 18K gold and diamond clutch

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Contact Fred Leighton for pricing and info.

 

 

 


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