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How Fred Leighton Transformed an Antique Tiara into Oscar Jewels for Billie Eilish

I love writing about the jewelry at big red-carpet events because with every Academy Awards show or Met Ball comes a daisy chain of fascinating little stories about how a stylist or celebrity chose a jewel, connected with a brand, or styled their jewelry.

 

Here’s a juicy jewelry tale from celebrity jeweler Fred Leighton about the Oscars last week: The brand created original jewelry pieces for music superstar Billie Eilish, who took home the Best Original Song Oscar for “No Time to Die,” in a collaboration between Eilish’ stylist, Dena Giannini, and Rebecca Selva, Fred Leighton’s chief creative officer.

 

Fred Leighton jewelry Billie Eilish earrings

Billie Eilish in custom Fred Leighton diamond jewelry at the 2022 Oscars

The diamond star earrings and rings Eilish donned for the event were repurposed from a 19th century antique diamond star tiara that Selva acquired with the specific intention of deconstructing it to create new pieces for the pop star. The tiara’s stars are set with old mine cut and rose cut diamonds mounted in silver on gold (and was it ours, we’d be dying to pop them off, too). Ingeniously, the tiara’s stars were made to be detachable! So its owner was able to wear the stars as brooches, pendants or on hair pins or hair combs.

 

Eilish paired the starry pieces with a voluminous black ruffled gown by Gucci that divided fashion fans online (we loved it for its flowy movement and artsy silhouette). But there was no quibbling about the success of her bold jewels—they were absolute winners.

Fred Leighton jewelry Billie Eilish

Fred Leighton jewelry Billie Eilish tiara

Fred Leighton deconstructed this 19th century antique diamond tiara to create rings and earrings for Billie Eilish (see the stars off the tiara, above)

 

Fred Leighton jewelry Billie Eilish earrings

Top and above: The final starburst earrings on Eilish

“We worked with Fred Leighton on finding the perfect vintage pieces to transform into a modern expression, while honoring the amazing craftsmanship and design of the antique diamonds stars,” said stylist Giannini in a prepared statement.

 

“Fred Leighton himself was a firm believer in the idea that jewelry should be worn, enjoyed, mixed and appreciated—and not just kept locked in a safe! And the historic house’s creative director, Rebecca Selva, has absolutely carried this philosophy forward today.” —Emili Vesilind

 

All photos courtesy of Fred Leighton

 

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1 Comment

  1. Alyssa April 7, 2022

    I love the idea of the tiara originally being able to be broken up into different elements for the owner to wear..such a versatile piece. The mix of the OMC and rose cuts really creates such a beautiful sparkle. A win in my book!

    Reply

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