Friday, February 29, 2008

Gold at Record High....Again

Gold hit another record high again at 976.32 an ounce.

When I consider purchasing clothes, handbags and shoes versus purchasing jewelry I always go for the jewelry.

I love this Ferragamo handbag. It is classic and timeless but probably manufactured in China at a total cost of about $100 and now being sold retail at $1890.
Versus these classic gold earrings with diamonds, for $1850....I'd go for the earrings!

What about you?
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vintage Shopping Fantasy

If you love vintage frocks I have a treat for you,

I love so many of the dresses that it is hard to choose which one I like best.

But, since I love "goddess" dresses and color is everywhere in the spring collections I would choose this Fernando Sanchez dress and pair it with these gorgeous pink tourmaline and diamond chandelier earrings from
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Harvard Westlake Cheating Scandal

Well there goes the neighborhood....

Kids gone wild at the Harvard Westlake School.

Those parents must be in mourning after all their effort and money spent in order to get their kids the best education possible is Los Angeles...

Even the elite cheat.
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Chic in Paris

I just found this new blog

Chic in Paris

Gorgeous! But why is she showing this not so chic jewelry?
It looks like she needs a shopping spree on!

All I know is that I want this blogger's life!
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Luxury Summit in Beverly Hills

I'm looking forward to this.

Maybe I'll finally find out what the effect of the current economy will be on my business.

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From the brilliant Manolo:

Diablo Cody refused to wear the diamond flowered shoes by Stuart Weitzman for the Academy Awards. Maybe it was all for the better considering that she was wearing Betty Rubble's dress.

I'm considering putting in a call to Stuart Weitzman to see if those shoes were made in a size 9. I'd be happy to wear them to the office, or walking the dog, or wherever.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Carine Roitfeld the Anti Anna Wintour

And I thought Anna Wintour was bad...

The Paris Blog Group commented on how this hit piece from New York Magazine about Paris Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld is shockingly mean...focusing on how she is not much more than a high level stylist controlling a low circulation magazine surrounding herself with the thin and beautiful.

While I'm not a big fan of she with the sunglasses who must be obeyed, I believe that not all fashion industry leaders are evil at the core.

Tim Gunn, for example, is class act with impeccable taste and a respect for both the designer and the consumers of fashion.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cameron Diaz Bvlgari Faux Pas

Not only did I think that Cameron Diaz was out of her league at the Academy Awards, I think that she was out of her league on the Red Carpet.

I was reminded by this post on Zuburbia that the Red Carpet is all about showing off the goods and Cameron Diaz couldn't be bothered to mention the incredible jewelry that she was wearing courtesy of Bvlgari in Beverly Hills.

Way to go Cameron!

Also, check out the Vintage Pick of the Day Bvlgari sapphire flora ring on Zuburbia from Beladora. It's perfect for spring!
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Recovered Voices and the LA Opera

While so much vapidness comes out of the Entertainment Industry which dominates this city, it's important to remember that Los Angeles in another way is a cultural leader, with a world class Opera.

I was so fortunate to see The Broken Jug and The Dwarf this weekend. These two short operas are part of the Recovered Voices program brought to us by Music Director James Conlon. By championing music that was suppressed or lost due to the upheaval of World War 2, Conlon has brought new recognition and appreciation for composers such as Vicktor Ullman who died at Auschwitz and Alexander Zemlinsky, who had to flee Berlin and Vienna and died in Manhattan in 1942.

The Dwarf was absolutely sublime, from the moving story to the luscious sets and costumes to the pitch perfect singing of Susan B. Anthony and Mary Dunleavy.

And next year we finally will have The Ring cycle...excellent!

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80th Annual Academy Awards

I tried my hardest to get out of watching last nights 80th Annual Academy Awards but I got sucked into to vortex as usual. John Stewart was flat and the entire show was boring. The best part of the show will be reading the Fug Girls take on the red carpet!

Perhaps I would have enjoyed the program more if I had bothered to see any of the movies...but I just couldn't find the time. Maybe now I will take the time to see Juno, There Will be Blood and No Country for Old Men.

What was up with all of the one shoulder gowns this year? And the red? Nicole Kidman was gorgeous, as always, and blew away everyone else with that 1399 carat L'Wren Scott diamond sautoir necklace. I don't know what that ridiculous accessorie was on Rebecca Miller's dress but she needs to take a few lessons from Nicole Kidman in how to accessorize. Cameron Diaz looked stoned, but then she always kinda looks that way. Maybe she was just nervous because she was surrounded by the serious talent... Helen Mirren and Julie Christie, who both looked amazing. I don't know what Tilda Swinton was wearing but it was beyond ugly....oh and Tilda, we know how distasteful you find coming to the United States so please do us a favor, and don't come back.

And, can anyone explain to me what's up with the man earrings? Is it an Irish thing? Both Daniel Day Lewis and Colin Farrell were sporting full on hoop earrings in both ears. That is the most unattractive trend in male jewelry since the heavy gold chain of the 1970's. Can you guys please check in with The Sarorialist to get some fashion tips.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Prada IPO

As reported in WWD, Prada is planning on going ahead with their IPO this year. I can just see the results now, the Prada family cashes out big time...IPO speculators make a quick bundle and then dump the stock....and mututal fund managers will be sitting on huge positions as the stock falls along with the rest of retail sector.

Or...I could be wrong. Prada is a strong brand and if they can actually sell bags like this at over $1000 then we can keep expecting 20% sales growth.

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2008
By Andrew Roberts MILAN — Despite a nervous stock market, Prada SpA is still set on going public this year.A Prada spokesman said Sunday the company planned to list on the Milan Stock Exchange in either June or November, pending the outcome of consultations with advisers and due diligence analysis. He added no decision would be taken until at least March, when Prada reports 2007 earnings."We don't have to decide tomorrow," the spokesman told WWD.The Milan-based fashion group, which owns the Prada, Miu Miu, Car Shoe and Church's brands, said in December it planned to float in 2008, subject to market conditions, and named as its banks Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and Unicredit SpA, and Goldman Sachs & Co. Some 30 to 40 percent of the group is expected to be floated.Industry sources valued Prada at an estimated 4 billion to 5 billion euros, or $5.85 billion to $7.31 billion at current rates of exchange.Competitor Ferragamo SpA is also planning an initial public offering this year and has reportedly tapped Mediobanca and J.P. Morgan as global coordinators and UBS as joint book-runner on the deal. Ferragamo chief executive officer Michele Norsa told WWD last week the Florentine luxury group was going ahead with preparations for a listing. (For more on Ferragamo, see opposite page.) Speculation has been mounting that the slowdown in consumer spending in the U.S. and Europe and sliding luxury goods stocks could deter both companies from floating — particularly Prada.Prada, which is 95 percent owned by the Prada family, has pulled the plug on its IPO three times in the last seven years, citing unfavorable market conditions. Luxury goods stocks listed in Milan have lost on average one-third of their value in the last three months on fears of a bleaker economic outlook.A Prada spokesman said in December the company was in perfect condition to list this year, referencing a track record of solid growth in sales and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over the last three years and a strong internal management team. He added that Prada sales were projected to grow at least 20 percent for 2007.
But what about 2008?
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

LACMA Opens Broad Contemporary Art Museum

Last Sunday I was invited to the opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the LA County Museum of Art. It was a fantastic event. The building was stunning. Large, well lit, it was the perfect place to show so many huge instalations and canvases by leading contemporary artists. While there were so many great pieces to see, I didn't really have enough time to fully appreciate the collection.

Hopefully, I will be able to go back soon and spend the proper amount of time to see each piece.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New York Magazine's Fall Fashion Trends

Everyday I'm faced with so much to blog and so little time.
While it looks like I'm destined to be a weekend only blogger I just couldn't not take the time today to list the 10 most important trends coming out of New York Fashion Week.
I mean how would we live without this necessary information!

1. Slimmed down Silhouette.

Thank God we can finally get rid of those floaty dresses that make us look 4 months pregnant!

2. Tweed.

Excellent...there's nothing like a little Horse and Hounds look for Fall.
And with the extremely cold weather we've had this winter, some warm tweeds will be practical.

3. Oversize Chunky Knit Sweaters.

Uh oh....what happened to the slimmed down silhouette?

4. Pants...and not just pencil jeans.

Once again, excellent. It will be nice to have some comfortable trousers to wear again.

5. Visible Zippers.

This is so bad that no comment is needed.

6. Hats.

While totally impractical I love this trend. Note my remarks about the Tricorne hats at the Marc Jacobs show. I love them.

And...with everone worrying about sun damage and slathering on the SPF 40, why not provide your own shade by wearing a hat?

Or in sub zero weather, there is nothing so practical as a hat.

7. Navy and Black.

This is a classy pair...and it suits my existing wardrobe.

Plus, Navy and Black are perfect background colors for beautiful jewelry!

8. Heels with more subtle Platforms.

Perfect. High heels without platforms are gorgeous but so difficult to wear...iespecially f you actually have any amount of walking to do. A bit of a platform makes wearing heels so much more comfortable.

9. Sequins.

This is so wrong unless used in moderation. Unless subtly incorporated into the design, sequins, beading and other accessorizing generally clashes with jewelry and tends to have a seriously cheap look.

and if that wasn't enough...

10. Feathers.

Oh please, do we really need to channel our inner Zsa Zsa Gabor?
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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fashion Week New York Marc Jacobs

I just saw the Marc Jacobs documentay on the Sundance Channel and I think he's a brilliant and creative designer....but what the hell was he thinking when he put together these clothes for New York Fashion Week?

There was maybe, and I do mean maybe, one wearable outfit in the entire show. could only wear it if you were 6 feet tall and 110 pounds and still you'd be asking "Do I look fat in this outfit?"

But, his hats rocked....especially the tricorne.
(photos: New York Magazine)
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Fashion Week New York

(photo: WWD)
Here is Ellen Pompeo at Fashion week.
This is why actresses need stylists.
Where is Rachael Zoe when you need her?

I can't wait to read the Fug Girls comments on this pathetic outfit
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Friday, February 8, 2008

Montblanc Diamonds

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Montblanc reception at the Rodeo Drive boutique for their new ultra luxe diamond collection where they previewed two new drop dead gorgeous diamond necklaces.

The Eclat was composed of a 6 strand diamond riviere, with a total carat weight of 58.75 carats!!! From the top strand suspends a 6.12 carat D-IF Montblanc diamond. Priced at a mere $2,415,000!

And if that wasn't enough, the showstopper was a the Lumiere, a long flexible necklace compsed of 3050 diamond briolettes with a total carat weight of 378.74 carats with a 11.88 carat D-IF Montblanc diamond drop. At $5,000,000 it was a steal.

I look at jewelry all day long 5 days a week for my business, and I'm afraid I've become more than a bit blase about jewelry. Even with a piece de resistance like the Lumiere, I could find faults. Because of the way the briolettes are woven into the necklace, they don't have much sparkle...they don't look like 378.74 carats... so I kinda have to ask what's the point?

And while the two perfect colorless - internally flawless Montblanc diamonds are magnificent, they are in a patented cut in the shape of the Montblanc flowerish star logo. Do I really need to wear clothes, handbags, or jewelry with logos....I think not.

Still, if some generous person wanted to give me either of these diamond necklaces...I think that I could get rid of my distaste for logos pretty quickly.
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Waif Men From Euro Fashion to Reality

(photo: New York Times)

Where have all the adult men gone?

Pajamas Media recently featured a post Single Men in Never-Neverland? by Dr Helen responding to the article by Kay Hymowitz in City Journal about the perpetuation of adolescence in adult males.

While I've noted a trend towards this in men in the 20-30 something age bracket, most of the men I know who are 45 and older fit into the traditional adult male category of married fathers providing for their families.

Meanwhile, media and fashion continue to promote the male image of perpetual adolescent in both what activities men do an in how they look. The New York Times fashion blogger reports in The Vanishing on the desired look in male models by Europe's leading menswear designers. They are all going for the waifishly thin androgynous physic.

"Their waists, like that of Mr. Svetlichnyy, measure 28 or 30 inches. They have, ideally, long necks, pencil thighs, narrow shoulders and chests no more than 35.5 inches in circumference, Mr. Brown said. “It’s client driven,” he added. “That’s just the size that blue-chip designers and high-end editorials want.”
For Patrik Ervell’s show on Saturday, the casting brief called for new faces and men whose bodies were suited to a scarecrow silhouette. “We had to measure their thighs,” Mr. Brown said.

In other words, a hairless six foot tall man weighing 145 pounds is the ideal. Seriously, I don't know any men over the age of 21 who even look like this...or would want to look like this.

“I personally think that it’s the consumer that’s doing this, and fashion is just responding,” said Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, a fashion branding and production company. “No one wants a beautiful women or a beautiful man anymore.”
In terms of image, the current preference is for beauty that is not fully evolved. “People are afraid to look over 21 or make any statement of what it means to be adult,” Ms. Cutrone said.

I don't agree with the idea that it is the consumer is demanding this male image. Do you?
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Monday, February 4, 2008

Giants win Superbowl

Ok, so I was soooooooo wrong.

Who knew that the Giants defense would take down Brady so many times. Who knew that Manning would keep his focus right to the end.

I was thrilled to see the Giants win. In 2 consecutive years we've had the two Manning brothers hand it to Tom Brady. Unbelievable.

It will be interesting to find out how many people watched the game....predicting, like myself, a Patriots rout.

Also, the commercials were great and Tom Petty rocked!

All in all a great Superbowl Sunday.
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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Luxury Goods Biz Breaking News

What happened to Fortunoff? The classic New York high end jewelry and silver store, which generates $450 million in annual sales, is filing chapter 11. According to WWD, NRDC the parent company of Lord & Taylor, is going to buy the company for $100 million. While the market is swamped with new luxury goods names, I'd hate to lose venerable brand like Fortunoff.
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The Best Quarterback Ever

Well I don't know about you, but I'm expecting the superbowl game today to be a complete rout.

Brady has a Zen master's gift for slowing down and simplifying a rapid and chaotic environment. "He's calm in the pocket," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. "He has a great feel for how much time he has. He's never thrown off. He's fun to watch.

Tom Brady is the best quarterback, ever.

With his talent and Belichick's coaching, the Patriots should play and win this game today with the finesse of finely tuned swiss watch. Still, all that icy precision gets a little bit boring. I would have rather seen Peyton against Eli in the Superbowl.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Congratulations are due to the newlyweds Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy. After a 3 month whirlwind courtship one the most powerful leaders in Europe has married one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Well done Sarko! But I just need to know how Madame Sarkozy is going to dress for her future interviews?

Thanks to Eursoc for keeping us all abreast of Carla's PR.
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Welcome to Beverly Hills Branchee.

I've started this blog to write about business, particularly the luxury goods world, current events, fashion and other news and of course jewelry.

Also, since Branchee translates as connected, this blog will connect you to other blogs and articles that I find interesting, amusing or just plain bizarre.
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