Monday, March 31, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - Spring Blossoms

Why not mix a little old with a little new?

I like this vintage 1940's floral print dress form Dorthea's Closet Vintage with a fabulous pair of citrine and pink sapphire earrings from Rhonda Faber Green, the JCK award winning jewelry designer. To add to the ensemble a pair of vintage satin bags from Retro Designer Deals for $18!
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Prada 2007 Net Profits up 65.8%

I don't know but I just don't get it... Prada's net profits were up 65.8% for 2007 as reported by WWD.
Apparently everyone else in the world is buying these products in order for the Italian Mega Design House to have such strong profits. And how very important these numbers are with an IPO scheduled for this year.

Sometimes I love the line, but this shapeless dress ($730) and "Virginia Woolf on an Acid Trip" fantasy shoes, both with a bit of a 1920's aesthetic from Neiman Marcus just aren't on my list of must haves.

Of course there are other brands that contribute to the huge profits; Church's Shoes and Miu Miu which I find to be a just little trop precieux.
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Vintage Value Venture

Oh baby it's cold outside...

And it's going to rain too!

What happened to our beautiful 80 degree weather?

With rain coming on...again

I think it's time for a spring-ish rain jacket in navy and bright green that I found on Ebay.

And why not wear it with a vintage jade ring from

Now...if I just had the breezer bike to match!
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John Adams Recap

I know that you are waiting with baited breath for my weekly recap of John Adams on HBO...but unfortunately I had to record it because I was spending quality time in Laguna Beach. Photo courtesy of Jay Rubin Photography.
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dith Pran Witness to the Killing Fields RIP

Some sad news today. Dith Pran, a great man and a witness to the Cambodian holocaust under the Khmer Rouge, has died.

I wonder if the average high school student today even knows about the Killing Fields or for that matter can even find Cambodia on a map.
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Thanks, I'll take a pair in every color!

What's up with outrageously expensive shoes like these Jimmy Choos that retail for $1400. Why have shoe prices spiked to such astronomical heights? Since when did it become acceptable to pay these kind of prices? Can it be solely due to the low dollar or is it the mark-up?
And I wonder, what does the Manolo think about the prices of Manolos?

Monica Corcoran in today's LA Times explains the phenomenon to us. She suggests a revolution, I suggest a boycott.
(as I sit here blogging in my birkinstocks...)
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Create Your Own Ring

Is this anyway to buy an engagement ring Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit asks about the new Create Your Own Ring diamond feature on

Well, I think the feature is pretty cool. You can choose your price and see which cuts, clarity and color you can get for that price. This gives the buyer an idea of what is out in the market and some baseline retail prices. Of course, there are no bargains on this feature. But it is fun to use.
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Diamonds are a Geeks best Friends

And you thought that diamonds were just for showing off...

As reported by Idex. I have no idea what this means for the future of mankind but I think this is very important.
And don't you just love qubits?

Tiny Diamond Ring Helps Researchers Solve Quantum Computer Dilemma
(March 27, '08, 4:51 IDEX Online Staff Reporter)
This 300 nanometersthick and 5 micrometerswide diamond ring was made to help develop quantum computers. (Photo: P Olivero, BFairchild and S Prawer,School of Physics,University of MelbourneResearchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia have made the world’s smallest diamond ring – 5 micrometers across and 300 nanometers thick – carved from a sliver of a lab grown diamond. They hope the tiny ring will allow them to build powerful computers that use properties of quantum physics.

According to ABC Science, the researchers hope the ring will enable them to manipulate single photons – the smallest unit or ‘packet’ of light – and help them overcome some of the obstacles to building quantum computers capable of performing enormous numbers of processes at the same time.

Although scientists know in theory how this type of quantum computer could be created, they stress that, until now, there have been many logistical barriers to creating it in the real world.

But they may have discovered part of the solution in the properties of diamonds. “For quantum information processing, diamonds have some truly unique possibilities,” explained Professor Steven Prawer, whose research team recently revealed images of the ring at a meeting of the American Physical Society.

With diamonds, Prawer explained, a scientist has an ideal way to produce qubits, the equivalent in quantum physics to bits that store information on regular computers. Although like normal bits, qubits have two different values – 0 or 1 – qubits also have the ability to exist in a state of superposition – to be in both states, or two places, at once.

Microscopic impurities in diamonds – when a single nitrogen atom and a tiny gap upsets the stone’s normal carbon structure – meet the requirements of qubits very well, said Prawer. Scientists can take advantage of the gaps by shining a laser into one, producing single photons of red light, which can be easily manipulated.

“The diamond offers a fantastic platform in order to make qubits because diamonds offer us a gift from nature,” he explained.
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Friday, March 28, 2008

More Carla Mania

What's not to love about this fantastically beautiful French First Lady.

She has that je ne sais quoi, doesn't she?

The inimitable Linda Grant has some thoughts on "The Gaze" that is melting the Brits.

The gaze
Just look at the man-trapping stare that Carla Bruni has triumphantly brought to Britain. Show us how it's done, Carla.
As a basic foundation one needs to be ravishingly beautiful with large, lash-fringed eyes above a slightly parted mouth. If you lack the gorgeousness, you might resemble that deranged fan in the Stephen King novel Misery, who kidnaps a famous writer and amputates his foot.
If you direct all your attention at a man, you need to have a face that commands attention.
The Gaze tells an unlikely story, which men fall for every time. Witness Prince Philip in his gilded coach yesterday, as Carla turned on the 10,000-watt radiance. He sits back, as if hit by a stun gun. The Gaze says, "You, my darling desiccated duke, you, you could make me happy. Everything you say and do absorbs me. Look, I am smiling. And why? Because you are so witty, so handsome, so debonair in your overcoat. So what, you are married? Wives are easily disposed of."
In the Gaze, the face is mainly immobile. It is unnecessary to speak. The face speaks. The recipient of the Gaze interprets its language: my God, she fancies me! Then, alarmingly, the Gaze turns off, or away.
The sun is put out. The Gaze is directed to someone else. Yet how can that be, when it is me she loves?
Try practising the Gaze in front of a mirror, or on your pets. Take a good look at the goldfish. When you try this at home you'll find you're more likely to resemble a carp than Carla.

Linda Grant

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Weekly Wrap Up

Politics and Sex - The gift that keeps on giving.

First we have another story about our favorite ex Governor, Eliot Spitzer from Apparently, he's also a client of the New York escort service Wicked Models. The author did a little internet snooping to find the Wicked Models website complete with clever descriptive copy to sell the product.

All of our companions are hand-picked for their beauty, intellegence (ironic sic) and demeanor. We have stunning supermodels, Ivy League Educated beauties and the sorority girl next door. We pride ourselves in qualiy (sic, irony again) and adhere to the strictest standards.

In addition to all this fine writing, the website has a online booking feature which is just a step away from a fully functional shopping cart feature!

One innovation: The Wicked site had an online booking form. Say you're a socks-with-sex randy governor of a large Northeastern state and you're looking for a good time. At Wicked, you could set it up without an awkward phone call: After perusing the models, you enter in your first choice, your second choice, your personal details, and press Send. That's it! Like Amazon, but without the Proust.

Like Amazon indeed.

Then we have the news about Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. Let's see we've got your usual charges of corruption and parties with strippers, but what I really like about this story is the more than 14,000 text messages between the married mayor and his married Chief of Staff who he was having an affair with in 2002 and 2003. 14,000 text messages! Haven't these people ever learned that maybe in some circumstances you should delete your old text messages?

OK, other than randy politicians what have got. Oh yeah, the story about the Dallas strip club that allowed a 12 year old girl to dance nude. Aside from the usual early sexual exploitation of girls, the kicker to this story is that the club couldn't be shut down because in Dallas it isn't illegal to allow a minor to work in a strip club.

Do you think that this girl had previously been playing the Miss Bimbo video game?
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Real Fantasy Ride - Breezer Commuter Bike

Ok, so these are the wheels that I really want.

Now that the weather is so beautiful I'd love to leave my car at home and ride this Breezer commuter bike to the office everyday. It might be a little difficult though in my 4 inch heels.

But on weekends I'd definitely ride around town in this outfit from J. Crew with some casual estate jewelry from
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Maserati Quattroporte - Sex on Wheels

I am sooo not a car person. For all I know about cars I could easily mistake a volvo for a hyundai. But there's one particular ride that I wouldn't mind rolling in...the Maserati Quattroporte. Seriously, this car is sex on wheels. Check out the new 2009 model.

So someday, when I get to take my fantasy ride, of course I'm going to be wearing Giorgio Armani from Neiman Marcus. Maserati and Armani, the best of Italian Design.

As long as I'm going for the best, why not add some Tahitian Pearl jewelry from

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For a great mix of fashion and entertainment buzz you've got to read Stylephile . Published by Variety, this is the best blog for what's happening style wise in our very own La La Land.

And wasn't that nice of them to say a little something sweet about

The magic of antique jewelry

Last night a friend of mine invited me to examine the two rings she was wearing, both of them Victorian antiques, each with human hair woven in to the surface. The results were strange and beautifully intricate, displaying the kind of meticulous craftsmanship that we so rarely see today.If you agree that they don't make 'em how they used to, then you might enjoy, the online store for Kazanjian & Fogarty, Inc. They carry a variety of fine jewelry pieces from the 19th Century to contemporary, with a focus on signed pieces by the world’s finest jewelers (Van Cleef, Bvlgari, Cartier etc). New items are added to the site each week (upcoming items include diamond earrings by Loree Rodkin and a one-of-a-kind Heidi Klum Collection diamond pendant by Mouawad). But it's the golden oldie antiques that really get me excited.The three pieces above (L-R: Vintage Art Deco diamond ring in platinum, $4,750; Vintage signed David Webb diamond brooch, $5,850; Vintage antique Victorian enamel earrings, $1,250), give you a taste of the treasures you'll find on

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24K Skin Treatment - Stupendously Stupid

And while gold is trading near record highs....

Some people will believe anything. Seriously.

From the Daily Mail.

But a beauty company has promised that the precious metal - which it is using in a facial - has many benefits, leaving customers looking younger and banishing their wrinkles.
The Luxe 24 Karat Gold Facial uses the highest grade of gold leaf in an 80-minute procedure which costs £180. The flakes of gold leaf are laid on the face, before being massaged in.

Anyone who is so gullible as to believe that smearing their face in gold will make them look younger deserves to be robbed of the 180 pounds.
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Sexy - Then and Now

So...we've gone from Sophia Loren and Raquel Welch to Jodie Kidd as examples of what represents female beauty. Is there anyone besides me who prefers the old iconic example of what was not only beautiful but seriously sexy? In this town a woman with a figure like Sophia Loren's couldn't get a head turn let alone a date!
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - Sexy and Sweet

How adorable is this classic Lord and Taylor black silk dress from Kitty Girl Vintage paired with an embroidered black silk bag from Vintage Bags. Add some vintage pink sapphire and diamond earrings from Loree Rodkin for a little Rock and Roll goth edge from and you've got the perfect mix of sexy and sweet.
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Vintage Value Venture - Va Va Voom

Admit it...every once in a while you just want to pull out all the stops and show your inner Va Va Voom.'s your chance to be the Lady in Red. From Vingage Skins, Zappos and a new web gem Kitty Girl Vintage.

Just don't forget the ruby and diamond ring from
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Lady Like and Lovely Like Madame Sarkozy

Even Drudge is reporting on the positive impression Madame Sarkozy is making on her state visit to England. Note the demure flat shoes and proper handbag. No gigantic purse for her. Like the Queen of England she only needs a bag big enough to carry a few sugar cubes to feed the horses.

If by chance you are going to be making a state visit to the British royal family anytime soon I have the perfect shoes and bag for you. A perfect pair of pretty black flats paired from Zappos and a lovely vintage black lizard bag from Vintage Skins, both priced so reasonably that even with the tanking of the dollar, you'll save enough money to be able to afford afternoon tea at Browns Hotel!

And if you can't make it to the UK, stop by and visit the very witty Mrs. Robinson for a little reality check about real life (low and high) in modern London.
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Vintage Value Venture - Blue Beauty

In the spirit of all this lady like dressing with the Sarkozy state visit to Britian, I thought I would suggest a lady like tea length dress in a beautiful blue rose print from Hemlock. Perhaps you have anearly evening drinks party or a tea dance to attend.

With this pretty dress some lovely sapphire cabochon and diamond earrings from Beladora.
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Carla Bruni Sarkozy On State Visit To England

President Sarkozy and his rock and roll model wife have taken a state visit to England where they will be guests of the royal family at Windsor Castle. I'm glad to see that Madame Sarkozy has left the casual attire in Paris and opted for a lady like wardrobe befitting the First Lady of France. Next to the eccentric Royals, she looks very chic. And I adore the mini beret. She has even worn the flattest shoes so as not to tower over le petit President Sarko. Props to her.

Meanwhile, Christies is auctioning off a nude photo of her. Thank God they aren't auctioning off a nude photo of Camilla who by the way wears a leopard spotted hat so well.
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Neo Neo-Classicism from Nina Ricci

In the spirit of renewed focus on late 18th Century history as we've seen with the John Adams biopic on HBO, we've got a hint of NeoClasissical design coming off the runway from Nina Ricci.

Hey, it worked for Madame Recamier and it damn well works for me.

Here's an authentic Georgian Parure about 200 years old that would be perfect with this Nina Ricci dress... from, naturally.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Orwellian Online Indoctrination

I was just thinking about writing a post about multiplayer online games and the educational and social qualities of them. Unfortunately, just today I was reminded by the Times Online that they aren't all benign.

The Miss Bimbo site was set up by Nicholas Jacquart, a French entrepreneur. He moved to Tooting, South London, recently and with a 30-year-old businessman called Chris Evans set up Ouza Ltd to promote the website in Britain.
Just more of the non stop early sexualization of girls....apparently these days you can't start too early.

As with all online games
Users are set targets:
Level 7 After you broke up with your boyfriend you went on an eating binge! Now it’s time to diet . . . Your target weight is less than 132lbs
Level 9 Have a nip and tuck operation for a brand new face. You’ve found work as a plus-size model. To gain those vivacious curves, you need to weigh more than 154lbs
Level 10 Summertime is coming up and bikini weather is upon us. You want to turn heads on the beach don’t you?
Level 11 Bigger is better! Have a breast operation
Level 17 There is a billionaire on vacation . . . You must catch his eye and his love! Good luck

With the Fashion Industry promoting anorexia, the Music Industry promoting girls as Ho's and the Gaming Industry promoting bimbo-hood, is there anywhere in our culture that sends a positive message to young girls?
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Concentration Camp Chic

Linda Grant from The Thoughtful Dresser showed this photo on her blog.
So this is what the big business fashion industry is telling us we should look like. I can only describe this as concentration camp - starvation chic.
Seriously, what man wouldn't want to wrap his arms around this luscious and lovely lady.
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Luxe Industry News

Lot's of business news today from Women's Wear Daily.

Tiffany's 4th quarter profits down 15.8% or 89 cents per share due to special charges including a bad loan to Tahera Diamonds, while US sales were up 4% and international sales were up 21%. Overall profits for last year were up 19.6% or $2.40 per share.
This year, the company expects “robust” growth outside of the U.S. and Japan, with overall earnings of $2.75 to $2.85 a diluted share.

Also, Wall St. Cutbacks Could Weigh on Luxe with layoffs in all the major firms and lowered bonus payouts next December. Luckily for the luxury market the dollar is low.
For now, weakness in the luxury market Stateside is being delayed by an influx of foreign shoppers. "It's definitely being offset to some the fact that the dollar's so weak and there's been so much international visitation to the U.S., and especially New York," said DiNatale.
As stores look out over the horizon, perhaps seeing the storm clouds of more declines, they might choose to pull back on their orders. "The fallout from the macro climate definitely is going to impact wholesale because stores are looking at it and they're going to plan their budgets," said Jeffry Aronsson, former ceo of Donna Karan International and Marc Jacobs, who now runs his own luxury investment firm. "If it's a big company that in effect has been betting on its future or has analysts on the Street that they have to please, they're going to be under pressure."

Diamond Industry Braces for Challenging Times with the decentralization of the industry and end of the control of diamond distribution from London.
"Because there is much more awareness of building demand and catering to demand rather than just producing diamonds and then selling them into the market, it can be summed up that the diamond industry is changing from a supply-driven model to a demand-driven model," said Jeffrey Fischer, president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association. He added that control in the industry is becoming decentralized, with countries like Russia and Canada taking charge of their own distributions.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pierre Beaumarchais, Benjamin Franklin and Proud Destiny

I find late 18th Century history fascinating and while I don't usually read historical novels, there is one about this period that I recommend highly, Proud Destiny or Arms For America written in 1947 by Leon Feuchtwanger. This novel, set in 1776 Paris, is about Pierre Beaumarchais and Benjamin Franklin and the negotiations and intrigue involved in getting French support for the American Revolution. Pierre Beaumarchais was one of the Renaissance men of his era. Diplomat, spy, inventor, musician, businessman and playwright, his life was a series of successes in business, society and the theater and defeats including bankruptcy, exile and imprisonment.
Someone should make a movie about Beaumarchais...all the essential elements are, scandal, spying and success.

Leon Feuchtwanger was one of the major German authors of the 20th Century whose works have pretty much been forgotten (unlike the works of Thomas Mann, for example). A early critic of the Nazi's, he fled to France where he was latter interned and fortunately able to escape to the United States where he settled, like so many other German emigres, in Los Angeles. Like many intellectuals of the 1930's Feuchtwanger was an unapologetic supporter of Stalin who ignored the horror of Stalin's show trials.
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