Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spain Rocks

The bad news....I am computer challenged here on the Spanish coast.
The good news....this place rocks!
Full report when I return home next week.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh Manolo - So Spot On

More brilliant posting from Manolo

From Prada For The First Monday Of Summer

At first you think this trait is funny, because his eyes have this unusual purpley-blue color that reminds you of mountain lupin, and fogs your better judgment. But then, this past Friday, you realized that not only had you gone Dutch so often that you could apply to Amsterdam for citizenship, but that he had the bad habit of “forgetting” his wallet at home.
Even this would not be so awful, except that he was also, at the same time, revealed as the sanctimonious bore, forever going on about “out of control American consumerism”, (although when you mentioned
Thorstein Veblen, whom you find terribly amusing, his lupin-blue eyes went blank with incomprehension).
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Savvy Shopping - Cool Blue

Since it has been seriously sweltering this past week I've been thinking how nice it would be to have cocktails outside on a lovely patio next a turquoise pool. And I've found the perfect outfit in the coolest of blues. This Norma Kamali dress from Nordstrom is perfect with these blue topaz and diamond pieces from David Yurman. The Silver Ice bangle, the Albion earrings and the Renaissance pendant from
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Piaza Sempione - For The Party

OK, so it was Target for the low side of the wardrobe.
The high side is this Piazza Sempione dress from Neiman Marcus, now on sale for a mere $569.
BTW...I don't look like the model in this photo.
And, what's up with this pose....arms crossed, legs spread....seriously conflicting body language.
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Shopping For Spain

As I started planning for this trip I realized that neither my daily wardrobe of little black dresses and high heels for my office on Rodeo Drive, nor my Cabo san Lucas beach vacation wardrobe of cargo shorts, flipflops and wife beaters was going to work for Madrid and Cadiz.

So, being all about high - low fashion I decided to buy my travel wardrobe at Target...and I did.

My favorite new piece is this ginger colored cotton sundress (with side pockets!) that reminds me of Prada. I'm going to wear it with my new black ballet flats and black handbag also from Target.
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Another Adventure Abroad

My mother, Madame De Ville of Monarch Beach, is off again on another adventure abroad. She just got back a month ago from France, Portugal, Spain and Italy and now she's on her way back to southern Spain...for are you ready for this.....a party.
Not one who would miss an event where there will be diplomats, local officials, high ranking military officers and hot Latin men, I'm going to Spain too!
Ostensibly I'm accompanying her because of her "delicate health". I'm suspecting that the real reason is that she's going to be in need a chaperone for those sultry Spanish sunsets with the sangria flowing. As a 5'9", 125 pound, Teutonic blond babe of a certain age, God only knows what kind of trouble she could get herself into!
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Michelle Obama - BattleAx to Bombshell

I'm staying out of politics this election season but I do want to comment on the transformation of Michelle Obama. Early on we had the Battle Ax look, then the Jackie O phase. Now she's gone straight to Bombshell and she looks gorgeous.

Here's the Wall Street Journal on Michelle's Fashion Campaign.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Here are Ms R's Rules For Recessionary Blogging

Ms. R nails it again with her Rules for Recessionary Blogging.

Flight to Quality
Mergers and Takeovers
Sub-Prime Blogging
Opportunity Cost
Shorting other Bloggers

As Glenn would say, read the whole thing.
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Cartier - It's All About The Love

If you're looking for a little love from Cartier, here are earrings and a matching ring from the Diamond Heart Collection by Cartier at And, if you are feeling particularly altruistic stop into your local Cartier store to see the new jewelry in their Love Collection. With 10% of sales going to global charities, you can shop for Cartier Love jewelry without guilt.

A little about LOVECHARITY: Since the Cartier LOVE bracelet was introduced more than 30 years ago, it has become one of the most coveted jewelry designs in the world and the ultimate symbol of love. Over the past two years, Cartier donated more than $2.24 million to sixteen global charities from the sales of its LOVECHARITY bracelet.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - Art Deco Amethyst

How amazing is this pairing.
From Contentment Farm this incredible 1930's Art Deco evening gown in deep purple with a low scooped back. I can just imagine some svelte socialite slinking around her Park Avenue penthouse with a sidecar in one hand and a cigarette holder in the other.
Of course, she would be wearing an Art Deco amethyst bead bracelet with a diamond claps in platinum like this one of a kind piece from

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Model Nonsense News

Because you need to know.

Breaking news from New York Magazine.

Her eighth!


Uh, maybe because she damaged the brand with Topshop. The heroin addicted boyfriends were fine....but the Topshop thing...well that's really damaging.

Question: Is is just me or does anyone else think that Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss are total skanks?

Meanwhile, from Reuters the serious model news.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York congressman who has been romantically linked by tabloid newspapers to several high-profile, beautiful women, is one step closer to creating a special work permit for foreign fashion models.
Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, a 43-year-old bachelor, has proposed legislation giving international beauties their own U.S. visa category, rather than have them compete with computer analysts and scientists for the non-immigrant H-1B visa for skilled professionals.

Actually, it's not a bad idea.
I hate the fact that foreign models have qualified for any of our limited and important H-1B visas....we need all the foreign mathematicians, engineers, computer scientists, etc. that we can get. And hey, I support promoting our fashion industry and if it takes foreign models coming here for fashion shows and shoots, then let's give them visas.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Audi Availability?

According to Autobloggreen, available in England, this Audi A4 TDI Diesel gets 46 miles per gallon.....
Meanwhile, the gasoline based A4 which is sold in the US gets a modest 30 miles per gallon.
So Americans are stuck with cars that get lower mileage, and the US government refuses any attempt to increase domestic oil production.
It’s not that we cannot produce any more oil; you suspect that some are motivated by the belief, perverse as it sounds, that we should not. We should not drill 50 miles off shore on the chance someone in Malibu takes a hot-air balloon up 1000 feet and uses a telephoto lens to scan the horizon for oil platforms. Also, there are ecological concerns. (The ocean is a wee place, easily disturbed.) There’s something else that may well be my imagination, but I can’t quite shake the feeling: high gas prices and shortages of oil make some people feel good. This is the way it has to be. Oil is bad. Cars are bad. Cars make suburbs possible. Suburbs are the antithesis of the way we should live, which is stacked upon one another in dense blocks tied together by happy whirring trains. So some guy who drives to work alone has to spend more money for the privilege of being alone in his car listening to hate radio?
Yes, I know, projection and demonizaton and oversimplification. But this is true: there’s a side of the domestic political structure that opposes expansion of domestic energy production, be it drilling or nukes or more refineries.
The long-term upside seems indistinct, and the short-term downside seems rude and obvious.
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Dubious Dubai Development

Can anyone tell me why an Emirate as wealthy as Dubai needs to lure the rich with celebrity endorsed real estate? Don't they have enough wealth there already?

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Property developers in this Persian Gulf sheikdom, famous for its grandiose projects, are increasingly turning to American and European celebrities to help sell the properties to wealthy consumers.

Mr. Pitt joins Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, fashion designer Giorgio Armani and golfers Greg Norman and Tiger Woods, among others, who have staked their reputations on helping Dubai property agents lure wealthy foreigners.

Mr. Armani's development, which includes condos and a hotel being built by Emaar Properties, will compete with Palazzo Versace, a hotel that will feature furniture and fittings selected by rival designer Donatella Versace.
Would I go out of my way to stay in a Brad Pitt designed hotel....probably not. I'm not sure how anyone is going to cash in on his environmentally friendly design skills.
But, I can see how the over the top design by Donatella Versace would be perfect for over the top Dubai.
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Vintage Value Venture - Coral Caprice

I love to read because not only do I find great new links to vintage websites, like her recent VPOD from Contentment Farm, I find thoughtful and well written commentary like this:

More than a quarter of the world's coral reefs have already been destroyed by pollution, global warming or overfishing, and at least one statistic predicts that at this rate, we'll lose over 57% of the world's coral reefs in our lifetime.

Mary is right of course. I'm often asked why coral jewelry is so expensive, and I have to explain that natural - un-dyed coral is a truly rare material and the current prices reflect this lack of supply and potential loss of more coral reefs.

So staying with the coral theme I found this brightly printed 1960's silk dress by Suzy Perette from Contentment Farm, and paired it with this natural un-dyed coral torsade bracelet from

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tory Burch - The Next Great American Brand?

Is Tory Burch the next great American Brand. Well according to this LA Times article not only is she a designer that creates an iconic lifestyle brand, she is a designer that contemporary women can relate to.
"Women relate to me on many different levels. I'm a working mom and I'm getting a divorce. I think not having a perfect life is something they can relate to, and I'm very honest about it."

It's that instinct for personal style, for mixing and matching genres, eras and prints that Burch could market more, and that could propel her into the future. Right now, she's got the goods but she needs the myth, something like Ralph Lauren's Americana story, or Diane Von Furstenberg's iconic working girl-in-a-wrap dress. If she can find that, four years could turn into 40 and Tory Burch could just be the next great American brand.

Personally, I don't related to Tory Burch and I find her collection just OK. Une femme doesn't get all the hype either.

Seriously, look at the dress in this photo. How does one describe it....harlequin ethnic? It's not even mediocre. Is this the best that American design can come up with?
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Crazy about Carla

I don't know about you but I'm crazy about Carla Bruni aka Madame Sarkozy. I mean what's not to like? She's just released a new album, and according to the news it has lived up to her usual audaciousness.

A sampling of the lyrics:

Ma Came
You are my fix,
More deadly than Afghan heroin
More dangerous than Colombian white

Une Enfant
I am a child
Despite my 40 years
Despite My 30 Lovers
A child.

So now Sarko has more on his plate to deal with in addition to his huge diplomatic gaff of inviting Bashir Assad to join him for France's annual Bastille Day parade and festivities.
From the Times Online

In the meantime, Sarko has another little diplomatic flare-up to douse. Colombia has taken offence over Carla Bruni's new song (last post), the one that likens her lover to the best Afghan heroin and Colombian cocaine.
Fernando Araujo, Colombian Foreign Minister, said: "In the mouth of the wife of the President of France, this kind of utterance is very painful for Colombia". His country was trying to eradicate a trade that has caused so much death and violence, he reminded France.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Platinum Triangle Palaces

Drudge today linked to this LA Times article about the continued building of mega-mansions in the Platinum Triangle of Los Angeles which encompasses Bel Air, Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills.

How do you end up with a mega -mansion?
According to this article it just happens.

Real estate agent Drew Fenton said that no one sets out to build a mega-house; it just happens. "You keep adding the rooms you think you need. The ballroom. The screening room. Masters with his and hers and a beauty salon and a massage room. And the house keeps growing." Added Fenton: "I can't explain why someone needs a gift-wrapping room or a florist room. That is a question of culture."

But Drew, what about the vault room for the jewelry?

Well anyway, for those mega rich women to wear while meeting with their contractors to discuss the progress on the yoga room, a vintage diamond bypass ring in platinum, from of course.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marathon Marital Sex or How To Get A Book Deal

I'm glad that I can always count on Glenn Reynolds to link to interesting articles that I would otherwise miss like this NY Times piece on two married couples who decided to enrich their marriages with daily sex....and then get book deals out of the experience.

One wife gave her husband a 40th birthday "gift" of daily sex for a year resulting in the book "365 Nights". The other couple stayed at it for 101 consecutive days and wrote the book "Just Do It" complete with details of what they used to stimulate sexual desire.

For some reason I can just envision...

Husband: (reclining on the couch watching TV)

Wife: (walks in front of the TV in a cheesy negligee from Victoria's Secret) Honey, it's time for your little gift now.

Husband: But Babe, I'm watching the Stanley Cup Finals and they just went into triple overtime!

Wife: Oh I'm sure you won't mind missing the game. You can always read about it in the paper tomorrow.

Husband: But Sweetie, you know that I strained my back unloading all those groceries from your car that you bought at Costco.

Wife: No worries, you just lie there and I'll get on top. You know how much I like it that way.

Husband: But Sugar, what about the kids, they might walk in on us.

Wife: Don't be silly, they're sound asleep. I gave them each a half of Valium and told them it was a special vitamin for happy dreams.

Husband: But Angel, you know I've got our biggest client coming in from Tokyo tomorrow for meetings and I've got to go over my presentation tonight.

Wife: Dammit....enough with the excuses. Just do it. You're getting your gift whether you want it or not! For God sake's I've got a book deal.......
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - Black Baby Doll with Bling

When it comes to vintage, I love mixing it up...a little 60's with a little 80's...a little Jackie O meets Dynasty.

This 1960's little black baby doll dress from Posh Vintage only needs some classy bling from Beladora to make it the perfect outfit for 2008.
This South Sea pearl, diamond and black onyx ring is fabulous. I love finding something special that I can wear, not just this year but for decades.
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Yves Saint Laurent - His Life and Times

There have been so much excellent commentary on Yves Saint Laurent that I decided not to post on his his creative genius. But, I would like to recommend a wonderful documentary about Le Maitre, written and directed by David Taboul.
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Monday, June 9, 2008

Sex And The City - Oh So Fugly

Sometimes the truth is ugly and sometimes it's just fugly.

I have to admit that I was never a fan of SATC. I saw a few shows but never found the characters interesting enough, let alone sympathetic enough to become a fan.

So why did I bother to see the movie. It was part curiosity to find out what all the hype was about and of course to see the fashions. Some might just call it a desire for a little clothes porn.

Whatever the reason it was a waste of a lovely California evening.

I'm not going to go on and on about the silly plot and shallowness of the characters. But I will tell you that the most of the clothes were horrible. I didn't even like the bags and shoes! (Seriously, whatever they paid Kim Cattrall, it wasn't enough for the unflattering outfits that she had to wear. No wonder there were so many pre-release rumors about catfights between Kim Cattrall and SJP. )
Check out

And don't even get me started on the jewlery.....

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Weekend Reading For Fashion Fun

To add to you literary endeavors

Around the Fashion Blogosphere

Ten Reasons to Skip Sex and The City

The Cost of Clothes

V-Beck's Style

Why SITC Sucked

Not Older, Better

And be sure not to miss

Plumage Makes the Male
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Gems Take Vegas - The JCK Report

Gems Take Vegas
Another year of Vegas jewelry shows has come to an end and, as JCKstyle editors nurse sore feet and overtaxed livers, we reflect on new trends. Happily, in the area of fall fashion, there was much to be found. Among the top trends:

Watery Stones. Faceted gemstones so light they are nearly transparent. Green and purple are the most popular colors, and topaz and amethyst the most popular stones.

Hip Pearls. Black or white, pearl designs are anything but traditional. Keshi and baroque varieties are hot in designs that emphasize their unique shapes.

Stone Layering. Gemstones of all varieties are being dressed up with stone-on-stone creations or metalwork that lies over (or under) gems to add interest to the already-hot color category.

Weekly Gem. The Vegas shows were a week for stargazing. Among the celebs were Russell Simmons, the keynote speaker for the JCK ~ Las Vegas Show, Christina Aguilera and Seal, who both performed for jewelers, and the designers from Badgley Mischka, both on hand to launch their new fine jewelry line.
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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Spring Trend - The Green Goddess

Spring Trends 2008.

In Style is showing that the Goddess Dress is still going strong. I'm not surprised...we are all Goddesses and sometimes we need to show it.

This lovely green Goddess Gown is by Phillip Lim and will look luscious with these peridot chandelier earrings with the blackened gold detail and Mauboussin peridot ring from
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Looking for Some Lovely Lhuillier?

If you love Monique Lhuillier's soft sexy dresses like I do I've got good news. A sample sale at the Beverly Hills boutique is coming up.
July 12-14, 10-6PM.
Monique Lhuillier Salon
9609 S. Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills 310.550.3388
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What Happens in Vegas - The Report

Las Vegas. Admit want to know all.
Here's the highlights.
Antique and Estate Jewelry Show. Lots of exquisite jewelry but my take was not a lot of business except in large stones and watches.
Couture Show. Some interesting new designs and business was brisk.
Italian Show. Emphasis on diamond slice jewelry, snake bracelets and sunburst pendants. Mostly yellow gold, with some great pieces in titanium. I love the Italian manufacturers. They always have a couple of bottles of wine in their booths at lunchtime. So European.
Gems and Diamonds. More supply than can be what's up with the Rap price increase?
Technology. Saw my team at Logicmate. New talent has been hired so maybe now I wont have to harass them daily for attention.
Vegas...well it was the same as ever. Hot, crowded, tacky.
I was glad to see my favorite Bartender John at Sensi at the Bellagio. He was, as always, friendly and fun. Dinner at Daniel Boulud at the Wynn was OK but not as good as the New York restaurant. Trying to get an outside table for cognac and cigars was the usual hassle at the Fontana Bar at the Bellagio.
Bars were teeming with the typical New York diamond dealers (not the Hassidic ones of course)...with their wedding rings conveniently slipped off so they could prey on the young and naive. Ah...the typical trade show shenanigans.
Highlights of my trip.
Taking a much appreciated break by the Bellagio pool.
And...getting chatted up by a young-ish diamond dealer from NY who first had to tell me how intrigued he was by the Ashton Kutchner -Demi Moore relationship. Yeah whatever.
Then he told me about how he made the transition from the IDF to M&A at Lehman Brothers to Diamonds. OK, interesting.
Then he told me that he loved old I'm thinking great, he's got an appreciation for the genius of Preston Sturgis, Stanley Kramer, Akira Kurosawa, etc. He then goes on to say that his favorite "old" movie was The Usual Subjects. I guess when you are 35 a movie that was released in 1995 qualifies as old.
Being a young and cocky guy he just had to make a $500 bet with me on when the movie Papillion was released insisting that it came out in 1963. I was like dude, Dustin Hoffman wasn't even acting in movies in 1963. His big break came much later in The Graduate. But no...he had to insist.
Of course the next day at his firm's booth, when I tried to collect my $500 he was short by about $500.
So Oren, you still owe me.
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