Sunday, August 31, 2008

Deep Glamour

In case you missed the posts by Manolo and Glenn Reynolds about Virginia Postel's new blog Deep Glamour you should check it out.

Virginia Postel, one to the blogosphere's most interesting writers has now teamed with Kate Coe, here's a quote.

Why Deep Glamour? is a spinoff of my research for a book on glamour that I'm writing for The Free Press. It's a way to try out ideas, interview interesting people, and get feedback from readers. It also gives me a chance to apply my ideas about glamour to time-sensitive subjects.
This isn't a one-woman site, however. One of the biggest reasons for starting it was a chance to work with Kate Coe, a woman with impeccable taste and a vast historical knowledge of Hollywood, fashion, and design. We're partners in this enterprise, and we'll be bringing in other writers, both one-time guests and regular contributors. We welcome your ideas and comments.
and one of her topics
"The Ultimate Glamorous and Daring Modern Woman"
As I've written before, the aviator is one of the most enduring icons of masculine glamour. Amelia Earhart gave that glamour a feminine face, and feminine grace. She was modern and sexy, but in a ladylike way. Her mysterious disappearance only heightened her glamour.

If you want quality writing on the subject of glamour, be sure to add her bookmark her blog.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Faking Fashion - Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Costume Jewelry

In the countdown to the elections, with emotions running high, I've decided to stay neutral on the subject of Politics.

But, one serious subject that I just can't stay neutral on is the topic of Costume Jewelry.
Especially now that New York Magazine has published this article on Fake Jewelry.

Here are some of their featured items ranging in price from $79 to $570. Attractive...yes. A good

I can certainly understand the desire to get the look for less. That's a big part of what this blog is all about. In fact I could have titled this blog "Luxe for Less". But my goal is to bring Value into the fashion equation.

Yeah, I would like a big bold cuff bracelet in the Verdura style, or a chunky gemstone necklace to wear this season. But I wouldn't spend one dime on fashion jewelry that is hot for maybe a month or two and then will fall apart...which it notoriously does.

In jewelry I am looking for Intrinsic Value and that comes from using real gold and natural gemstones. And the very best way to get the most value for your hard earned money is in Estate Jewelry.

If a stone falls out it can be replaced. If a strand of pearls or beads breaks, it can be restrung. If a chain or clasp breaks, it is an easy repair by your local jeweler.

If you want to leave a special gift to your daughter or grand daughter, a give of jewelry is something timeless and memorable.

And of course,
If you need cash you can sell or melt your jewelry! Lapis and Jade Bead Torsade Necklace in 14K - $495 Lapis Ring in 18K - $695

OK, these might not be the pieces that you would choose but I think that they are great with this season's jewel toned fashions.
And...if you are looking for a great deal right now on jewelry that will last longer than a lifetime

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Vintage Value Venture - Caught in the Clutch

As part of my Fall Fashion Fantasy picks, I've chosen a gorgeous Nancy Gonzalez crocodile bag. Well...great minds must be thinking alike today because the Bag Snob ladies have also featured these colorful Nancy Gonzalez crocodile clutch bags in fuchsia, green and purple.
But, while I love all things Luxe, I'm not going to shed any crocodile tears for these high priced croc clutches. And, I'm here to give you my suggestions for a Luxe Vintage Value from one of my very favorite online stores, Vintage Skins.

Hot Pink Cobra Clutch $95.00

Black Lizard Shoulder Bag Clutch $165.00

Bright Red Snake Shoulder Bag -Clutch $119.00

You can see these bags and more on their sale page.
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Even I Can Dream or My Fall Fashion Fantasy

Well with Labor Day weekend upon us I've finally had to accept the reality that Fall is finally here. Of course, Labor Day is not the leading indicator that Fall has arrived, Fantasy Football is. While I won't be having a Fantasy Football team, I will be so looking forward to watching Peyton and Eli Manning play this season. Those boys are going to be better than ever!

But instead of having a Fantasy Football team I have my own little Fall Fashion Fantasy.

And If I lived in an alternative universe I would jet off Virgin America first class to New York for a quick stay at the Pierre Hotel, where I could catch up with my East Coast friends at lunch at La Goulue and dinner at La Grenouille .
And bien sur do some shopping at Bergdorf Goodman.

And this is what I'd be buying for my Fall wardrobe.

Loro Piano Silk and Cashmere "Becky" Dress

Nicely tailored Nancy Gonzalez Crocodile Bag

Manolo Blahnik Bow Pumps

Now since this fantasy shopping spree would cost the equivalent to a down payment on an ocean view condo in Cabo San an alternative universe, I would actually opt for a wardrobe of vintage clothes and go for the real estate.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Savvy Shopping - Something's Fishy With Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry Fishdance Restaurant in Kyoto Japan

Frank Geary Fish Lamps

Frank Gehry Fish Pendant for Tiffany & Co.

One of the reasons that I love living in Los Angeles is that there is so much great architecture. From the classic Art Deco buildings to the Disney Concert Hall at the Los Angeles Music Center by our our local genius Frank Gehry.

Since the time that Frank Gehry first astonished us with his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, we've been observing his continual creativity with awe from his architecture to his furniture.

That is until he went into the jewelry design business for Tiffany & Co.

It's one thing to use a favorite motif like a fish for a restaurant or for decorative accessories...or even for an actual brooch that might... you know... actually look something like a fish. It's another thing to create an abstract piece of jewelry that is under-carated, overpriced, and all around banal.

Who...I ask who... is buying this pendant with a mere 0.08 carats in diamonds for a whopping $1300! In fact who is buying any of the Frank Gehry jewelry collection?

I'd rather invest in this pretty shell brooch in 18k with an interesting texture and pretty turquoise and coral detail for $495.
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Savvy Shopping - Sensational Senna

Senna Cosmetics
367 N. Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Look, I'm the first person to admit that I'm not much of a girly girl. When it comes to manicures and make-up I'm woefully behind the curve.
Thank God Kristopher Dukes, my go to girl for all things bright and beautiful around Beverly Hills, got my name on the guest list for the party last night at the Senna boutique introducing their Fall Collection.
Surrounded by professional make-up artists with flawless faces I succumbed to a little touch up by make-up artist extraordinaire, Leesa Dang.
The good thing is that I now know that my appearance can actually be improved with Senna products and by making a $30 or so investment in their primer I can put off the investment in botox for a little while longer. The bad thing is that knowing that the boutique is only a couple of blocks away from my office, I might be tempted to run over there on a weekly basis and get a little touch up by Leesa.
If you don't have a Senna boutique near you, you can buy their products online. They have a really nice easy to navigate website.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Modem Madness

For some reason it seems that I've burned through my modem again. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Is this going to be a regular occurrence every three months?
I hope not.
Until I go visit my friends at Time Warner Cable and get a new modem, I'm going to be going through blogging withdrawal.
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Noteworthy Napa Nuptials

I've been fortunate enough to have attended some wonderful weddings. From barefoot on the beach parties with sarongs and mai tais, to classic country club champagne sipping soirees, to weekend long fetes at French chateaux, each has event has been memorable.
But this weekend's wedding in Napa was truly something special.
The combination of a private home set amidst the family vineyards, absolutely delicious food and wines, very clever, amusing and heartfelt speeches, and an interesting group of guests was perfect. And add to that the pleasure of knowing that lovely young woman has found happiness with a young man who will treat her with the respect and appreciation that she deserves.
This wedding has left me feeling that all is right in the world
at least for today....
The Beautiful BrideThe Delighted Mother of the Bride

Congratulations Kim and Alex
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vows Amid the Vineyards

Ah...the event of the summer has finally arrived... a wedding in St. Helena this weekend. This is the first wedding of one of my friend's children...the ultimate reminder that I have most definitely reached a certain age. It starts here...the acceptance that the children of my group of friends are now young adults and reaching marriageable age.
The irony of course is that so many of us were even younger when we married so long ago.
This is going to be a magnificent wedding, at a private home with fascinating friends, a delicious dinner and impeccable wines. But no matter how lovely it will be there will be tears shed...tears of joy of course. To see a lovely young woman that I remember as a waif of a girl, who's now a brilliant business woman, take the next step into a life of love and marriage, is the most wonderful thing.
Hopefully, I won't have too long to wait until my brood, Mr Handsome and Miss Pretty, find their true loves and we can start planning some weddings. I'm ready to be the all controlling mother consulting on silver, china, crystal and pre-nups.
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Gold Medal Messing Around - It Takes an Olympic Village

Well we all know that sports are sexy and now we know that the Olympic Village is the Shangrila of sport f**king.
In this well written article by former Olympic athlete Mathew Syed we get the inside story.

Apparently once the competition is over the testosterone oozing athletes are about getting it on.
But even in an environment of the most fabulously fit, the basic laws of evolutionary biology still hold true. The medal winning males get the most action but the winning females are not in as much demand as the non medal winning women.

But - and this is the thing - success does not work both ways. Gold-medal winning female athletes are not looked upon by male athletes with any more desire than those who flunked out in the first round. It is sometimes even considered a defect, as if there is something downright unfeminine about all that striving, fist pumping and incontinent sweating. Sport, in this respect, is a reflection of wider society, where male success is a universal desirable whereas female success is sexually ambiguous.

To add to the sexual frenzy is the fact that this is a special far away environment where anything goes.
I also think it is significant that, for most athletes, the village is thousands of miles from home. The old “what goes on tour stays on tour” mantra is still alive and kicking, not just in sport but beyond. There is something deepseated in humanity that leads us to play by different rules whenever we leave town, a phenomenon that has caused instances of terrible inhumanity. When it comes to sex, it simply means that those in relationships no longer recognise, or at least ignore, the boundaries of fidelity and honesty that underpin human monogamy. Philosophers call it moral relativism; the rest of us call it hypocrisy.

My favorite Olympic contender has been Britain Nick Foster, aka The Silver Fox. He may have not have won the gold in swimming but I can bet that he was winning with the women.

Final thought: If Chinese gold medal gymnast He Kexin was part taking of the after competition fun, was that illegal if she was under 16 years old?
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - Peridot Print For Fall

Madeline's Vintage 1950's Green Print Silk Dress $395 Beladora's Peridot and Diamond ring $2850

You may not actually be spending your time smelling the thyme in the South of France, but you can imagine yourself sitting in a verdant garden in the early evening, at petit villa somewhere in the countyside near St. Remy, sipping on a pastis while wearing this lovely dress in a rich green print and this stunning peridot and diamond ring. Perfect for a fashionable Fall.
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The French - The Kept Woman of the Global Economy

Here are some comments on France from one of my favorite authors, Michael Lewis.

I was wrong, obviously. The English have not merely embraced commercial values but have become so thoroughly imbued with them that London has displaced New York as the world's money hub. A nation of people once embarrassed to complain that their soup was cold is now among the first to demand to speak to the manager.

But that was England, and those were the English. This is France, and these are the French.

In case you missed it, Nicolas Sarkozy, the new French president, has decided that the French need to become more productive. He eliminated the law forbidding work weeks longer than 35 hours, and he's making noises about changing the rule that allows unemployed Frenchmen to turn down job offers that they feel are beneath them and remain on the dole instead.

No French person is likely to be required to work more than 35 hours a week -- that appears to be too much to ask for just yet -- but any French person who wishes to earn more money may, shockingly, work for it.

The thing is, the French don't want to work more.

Inflicting market values upon the British circa 1980 felt a bit cruel, but visiting it upon the French circa 2008 feels almost like an unnatural act, like forcing a cat to fetch.

But the French are different.

For one, they enjoy feeling alone in the world. Their problem isn't an incapacity for selfishness, or for individual initiative.

They want to take all those selfish impulses that might be directed into improving productivity and efficiency and wealth- accumulation and channel it into being ... French.

To the extent that the French enjoy a natural advantage, it is in their inefficiency: They are the world's most efficient producers of structured indolence. They are the kept women of the global economy; their status depends, in part, on their practical uselessness.

An engineer with Total SA named Michel Guyot told Helene Fouquet of Bloomberg News that he may no longer have time to travel to the south of France ``to smell the thyme and listen to the cicadas.'' Apparently, the engineer echoes the concern of a social class and, perhaps, a nation.

....actually, I think that there is some preferential style de vie that lies somewhere in between the focus on leisure with a 35 hour work week and some 6 weeks vacation per year a la Francais and the American emphasis of forgoing leisure for the sake of getting ahead....
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Morning Miscellany

The Fashioniste is not a fashion blogger but an Art-Fashion-and-Literature Synthesist

I'm fascinated with the way that his latest post highlights Dior's 1789 with commentary on women and revolution by leading intellectuals of the 19th Century, including these quotes from Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.

Ever since the French Revolution, women's influence in Europe has decreased to the same extent that their rights and ambitions have increased; and thus the “emancipation of women,” in so far as women themselves (and not only shallow males) are demanding and encouraging it, turns out to be a curious symptom of increasing weakness and dullness in the most womanly instincts. There is stupidity in this movement, an almost masculine stupidity, which a truly womanly woman (who is always a clever woman) would have to be utterly ashamed of. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Part Seven: “Our Virtues,” Section 239, (1886), translated by Walter Kaufmann (1967).
Was it not the case in France that the influence of women, which steadily increased from the time of Louis XIII, was to blame for that gradual corruption of the Court and the Government, and which brought about the Revolution of 1789, of which all subsequent disturbances have been the result? However that may be, the false position which women occupy nowadays, demonstrated as it is, in the most glaring way, by the institution of the “lady,” is a fundamental defect in our social scheme, and this defect, proceeding from the very heart of it, must, by its very nature, spread its irritating and burdensome influence in all directions.-The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer: Studies in Pessimism (1851), translated by T. Bailey Saunders (1891), and slightly modernized for clarity by me.
and if that wasn't enough Schopenhauer for you...
[The fact that] woman is by nature meant to obey may be seen by the fact that every woman who is placed in the unnatural position of complete independence, immediately attaches herself to some man, by whom she allows herself to be guided and ruled. It is because she needs a lord and master. If she is young, it will be a lover; if she is old, a priest.-The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer: Studies in Pessimism (1851), translated by T. Bailey Saunders (1891).
On one hand the 19th Century produced philosophers like Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and their ilk. On the other hand it produced a scientist of the caliber of Marie Curie who despite her study of mathematics, chemistry and physics at the Sorbonne, was denied a position as a professor at Krakow University because she was a woman.
Ultimately, whose work was more important...Schopenhauer's or Curie's...the answer is evident.
interesting, non?
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Savvy Shopping - For Frugal Fashionistas

If you prefer dressing like a celebrity rather than a Royal
here's a great blog to read to get the look for less

Frugal Fashionista

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VF-'s 2008 Best Dressed List - Radiant Royals

From Vanity Fair's 2008 Best Dressed List - The Royals

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece -Distinguished Investment Banker Look

Brothers - Rafael, Duke of Feria and Don Luis Medina - Euro Cool

Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium - Understated Elegance

Almost Royalty - La Reine Carla Bruni Sarkozy de France - Magnifique

What I don't understand is how can any Royal not be on the Best Dressed List....with their wealth and access to the world's finest designers.

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American Fashion's New Guard - Favorite Fall Look

Great Photo of Fashion's New Guard
Favorite Fall Look
Doo-Ri Chang
Sculpted banded jersey dress
Brian Reyes
Electric-blue moire skirt, black and white taffeta blouse and black georgette blazer
Sari Gureon
Long black tulle tiered skirt with sleeveless silk embroidered top
Peter Som
The plum colored off the shoulder gown with layered organza
Alexander Wang
Black mesh tank with baggy wool pants
Georgina Chapman
Black lace high neck column dress with organza flower detail
Chris Benz
Three piece mauve Prince of Wales flannel suit and crumpled
Erin Featherston
A gown that's short in front and trains in the back with a vibrant photo real floral collage print
Richard Chai
Forest shearling cropped jacket with embroidered paillete waistcoat, winter white silk jacquard flared shirt and ebony brocade slouchy skinny trouser
Philip Lim
Longer length layering and the overall idea of covering up - it's more impactful
Zac Posen
That's like asking someone to choose amongst their children but I must say that Karen Elson's gown was delicious
Kate and Laura Mulleavy
Read and black mohair fringed jacket and skirt with hand knit shell and red and black silk tulle horror dress
Thakoon Panichgul
The sequined floral scarf tie dress
Lias Mayock and Sophie Buhai
Pistachio oil spill knotted tunic with gray suede riding pants
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Competing Against Chinese Children

The Great Chinese Children's Olympic Team
Chinese officials can forge birth certificates and issue new travel documents, but they cannot hide the girls themselves.

The US Golden Girl Nastia Liukin Who Is Not Pre-Pubescent

I was just wondering why does there have to be an age requirement in the Olympics anyway? If a 14 or 15 year old girl can fence or shoot or whatever at an Olympic caliber why does it matter. women's gymnastics two tricky physical characteristics, size and weight, actually do matter....especially when a little thing like gravity is an issue.

From Gordon Chang
Yet there is no mistaking what we can see with our own eyes. Chinese coaches tried to hide the ages of the girls with “enough makeup to shame a drag queen,” but no amount of lipstick and eyeliner can hide the fact that the American gymnasts have curves and breasts and the Chinese ones don’t. On average, the girls on the Chinese team are 3.5 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter than their American counterparts. Bela Karolyi, the legendary coach of gold-medalists Nadia Comaneci of Romania and Mary Lou Retton of the United States, calls the members of China’s team “half-people.” They still have their baby teeth, he points out. Take a close look at the picture of the charming Ms. Deng, and you will find that she’s missing a tooth — her permanent ones have not all grown in. Yet she too is now listed in official records as — don’t be surprised — 16.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fashion Comeback For Christian Francis Roth

The new Christian Francis Roth "Twill Seeker" dress

Early 1990's Christian Francis Roth "Op Art" inspired design

The Wall Street Journal has reported on the return of 1990's designer Christian Francis Roth to his eponymous line. Known for his line "Op Art" inspired designs in the early 1990's he later moved into fashion obscurity designing for Nordstrom Caslon and other brands.
While I wouldn't have worn his 1990's designs, I find them original and clever.
But....the new dress, while preppy and wearable, I find it uninspired.
And, I suspect that if this dress had been presented by a designer on Project Runway, Nina, Michael and Heidi would have wasted no time telling the designer "You're Out"!
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VPOD - More Versatile Than An Olympic Medallion

Look who else has been going for the gold with precision timing worthy of an Olympic gymnast.
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Beladora Bling for the Brainiac Beauty

In spite of her life of exotic travel and erotic exploration...purely for the sake of her craft....of course...the brainiac beauty, Kristopher Dukes, still has time for a little Beladora bling!

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Savvy Shopping - End of Summer Blues

Diane Von Furstenberg Dress on Sale at for $206.90

So it's August 15th already and I've already got the end of summer blues.
Is it just me or has the summer just flown by?
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Do Rules Really Matter In The Olympics?

China's Child He Kexin
Do rules really matter in the Olympics?
In Olympic gymnastics, the rule is that athletes need to be 16 years old.
Just nine months before the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government's news agency, Xinhua, reported that gymnast He Kexin was 13, which would have made her ineligible to be on the team that won a gold medal this week.
The Olympics used to be so simple when all we had to worry about was the doping of the East German female athletes.
Now our athletes have to compete against 13 year olds!
Not to take anything away from the Chinese team. They are the best. But why does every other team need to comply to the age rule when the Chinese don't?
On the topic of Olympic gymnasts, this story about Nadia Comeneci is incredible. Just think about the fact that we live in an almost completely borderless existence where freedom of travel is a given and Nadia Comeneci had to escape from Romania in 1989 where she was basically a prisoner of the State.
Does anyone today even remember what East Germany or Romania were like in the 1980's?
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Fashion Trends For Fall

According to the Times Online
The fashion trends for Fall and Autumn are:

Color with Color
Moderate Minimalism
Mellow Drama

Checklist: Autumn/Winter 2008
1. High-waisted, 7/8th-length trousers. Try: Whistles.

High waisted and 7/8ths length...horrendous unless you look like Kate Moss
2. Cropped jacket or blazer. Before buying, try it on with a pair of the above. You'll find that what complemented hipsters may not work with the new geometry. Try: Jigsaw.
Haven't we seen enough of these already?
3. Military or wrap coat or one with slit short sleeves for layering. Try: French Connection.
Wrap coat - chic, military coat - too much costume
4. Concealed platform shoes or ankle boots - we're over bondage - and a pair of flats. Try: Office and Kurt Geiger.

I love platforms, concealed or not...anything that can make me taller
5. Polo necks and other fine knits for layering and tucking into high waists. Try: Pure Cashmere and Hoss Intropia.

Cashmere polo necks...perfect with a scarf tied ascot style
6. A leather jacket - biker style. Wear it with classic, simple pieces for extra edge. Try:Topshop.

Been there done that, I'm over the look
7. A rococo-style necklace. Try: Mikey.

OK, but not with the a polo neck sweater...
8. A narrow belt to thread through the loops of those high-waisted trousers. Try: Gap.

Better yet, a narrow belt over a slim cashmere cardigan
9. Longer-length skirts - either pencil-shaped or slightly gathered at the waist are the newest. If you can't bear calf or ankle-length, don't worry, knee-length refuses to die and there are even some minis. Try: Zara.

A knee length pencil skirt...perfect, especially with that belted cashmere cardigan
10. A fitted or semi-fitted sleeveless dress: this winter's sophisticated antidote to the put-it-away or give-it-away smock dress. Try: M&S Limited and Jigsaw.

Finally...back to a slim silhouette. Enough already with the floaty frocks
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Obsequious Accessories Editors

Marnie Floral Necklace

Tom Binn's Black Fringe Necklace

Etername Enamel Link Bracelet

Check out The Fall 2008 Accessories Report on where Candy Pratts Price picks the season's most revolutionary extras.

Some great shoes...some great handbags....some so-so costume jewelry.

But what was she thinking when she picked this monstrosity by Delfina Delettrez!


So you ask yourself what's up with this Delefina Delettrez, a designer that you've never before heard of.

Apparently, Delefina Delettrez, age 20, is a 4th generation Fendi who just launched a jewelry line. Also featured in Vanity Fair where her jewelry designs were described as dazzling Goth romantic, Delettrez is getting plenty of press.

So, to all those jewelry designers who really know their craft and have invested years in GIA education and bench work, let me make a suggestion.

If you really want your work to be recognized by the main stream fashion media, just be a 20 year old scion of a famous fashion family with mediocre talent and editors will go out of their way to promote you and your designs.

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