Thursday, May 29, 2008

Elizabeth Gage Retrospective - The Unconventional Gage

More Jewelry News.

Master goldsmith and jewelry designer Elizabeth Gage is celebrating 40 years in business in London this summer with a retrospective exhibition "The Unconventional Gage". The retrospective will be repeated in New York at the Four Seasons Hotel in November.

Known for her handcrafted pieces influenced by Classical, Medieval and Renaissance styles and prominent use of large gemstones, Elizabeth Gage's jewelry has a unique signature style.

If you'd like an Elizabeth Gage ring but $14,000 plus is a little over your budget, your can find several rings for about half the retail price at
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What Happens In Vegas

So many shows to see this weekend in Las Vegas....and by that I don't mean Cher, Celine Dion and Carrot Top. The Couture and Italian Jewelry Shows alone take a day to see and of course the JCK Show is overwhelming. But the highlight for me is the Antique Watch & Jewelry Show at the Rio. Every year there are so many magnificent pieces to see, but will anything be affordable.? After a year of steady increases in gold prices and diamond prices I don't think there are going to be any bargains. It's always fun to shop though.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Telling All and Telling Too Much

On the topic of blogging, Ms Robinson has an excellent post on the trend towards self indulgence in blogging as personified by Gawker's Emily Gould. As part of the My Space - Facebook generation she has had no self restraint in baring it all in her online life. Only now she realizes that what she puts out on the Internet will live in perpetuity. There is a line you don't cross about revealing intimate details about your personal life and she crossed it.

Of course tell all reports in print are nothing new. In the 19th Century George Sand wrote a thinly veiled account of her affair with the famous French poet Afred de Musset titled Elle et Lui. Then his brother Paul de Musset retaliated with the story from Musset's side titled Lui et Elle. The titillating tale when on when one of Musset's latter lovers, Louie Colbert published her account of Musset titled Lui.
So even an author of George Sand's talent felt the need to tell all. Emily Gould's silly self indulgent online scribblings won't have the lasting power of George Sand's oeuvre, but for right now, she's a pathetic joke of the blogosphere.

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Manolo's Shoe Blog

The does he do it? Not only does he bring us wearable shoes every week he brings us the latest in latest the most ridiculous footwear.

I read his blog regularly and am always impressed by his reading, listening to, and watching post. Seriously, how does he have the time for all this on top of managing his worldwide Manolo blog empire?

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Savvy Shopping - For Summer in Sunny Spain

Well London isn't in my plans for this summer but I do expect to take a little trip to the south of Spain. This will be a super casual trip with a simple wardrobe for relaxing on the beach and watching the sunset with a glass of sangria.

So what to's a tank top ($5.90) and shorts ($22.90) and espadrilles ($59.90) all on sale from Of course there's got to be a little something from This Judith Ripka "JR" bracelet in black alligator and gold with diamond detail will be perfect.
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Victoria & Albert Jewelry Collection

From WWD.
Are you travelling to London this summer? If so be sure not to miss this exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The gallery spotlights around 3,500 pieces of jewelry, many from the museum's existing collection. The jewelry has been curated to span the history of European adornment, from deep yellow Etruscan gold neck pieces from the sixth century B.C. and delicate diamond brooches from the 18th century to the graphic jewelry made from materials such as plastic and pebbles , which came into vogue in the Sixties."Every different period has its own style — it's always a mix of social history, fashion and what materials are available," said Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, consultant curator for the gallery.

Like with paintings, sculpture, furniture and fashion, jewelry has a story to tell of historical significance. When you see the Etruscan Revival jewelry of the Mid 19th Century with its meticulous craftsmanship you can how the discoveries in Mediterranean archeology influenced women's fashions. Or when you see the Egyptian designs in Art Deco jewelry you can see the way fashion was influenced by the the excitement of the discoveries of King Tut's tomb in the 1920's. In the Late Retro period of the 1950's there was jewelry designed to look like Sputnik satellites.
These are just a few examples but there are countless more.
Now, if only I could figure out how to find to time to jet off to see this extensive collection......
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Got Game?

My knowledge of video games has always been limited to the one game that the de Ville progeny loved to play Super Mario. Not only did they love the game...on occasion I would wake up alone at 3:30 in the morning wondering where Mr de Ville was, only to find him at the computer playing Super Mario. God knows that was a lifetime ago.
Later, a little over 10 years ago, I remember dragging my son to B-school one day and he ended up in the computer lab playing Doom, an online multiplayer game, with a group of guys from my B-school class and kicking their ass.
Now he's busy studying for the CFA and learning how to become a young hedge fund mogul and has no time for games other than watching the Lakers playoffs. But as I've learned there is an entire culture of adults out there who put in serious hours every week playing multi player games.

Recently I got a full tutorial in what is the latest and greatest in gaming and I'm here to report.

Fun Com has just launched the most technically and graphically advanced game The Age of Conan and even a fashionista like me is impressed with the cgi technical artistry of it all.

It's got the usual game features where you choose an avatar based on specific archetypes and have multiple quests to accomplish to gain powers and reach the next level.

But as I've learned there is sooo much more involved.
You can choose to play as a single player against the game environment and artificial intelligence characters of the game. Or you can choose multiplayer mode either Themepark where you are basically led through certain scenarios or Sandbox where multiplayer randomness is thrown in.

Add to that an awesome End Game and there is a cyber world that just gets more exciting the more you play.
With multiple players on servers all over the world you can connect online through the game and join informal groups or formal guilds where you share your talents and work together to fight your cyber foes.

Serious gamers are living in this online world on a daily basis. Online relationships are formed. Forget or you can find a cyber lover more easily in a multiplayer game.

It's not only a phenomenon it is a veritable worldwide culture.

Actually. I'd love to try my hand at this game but between the gazillion hours that I spend on the computer for work and on this humble blog I don't have the extra hours just to learn how to manipulate the mouse and the keyboard to make it out of level one where the real fun begins. And I'm all about finding the fun.

Meanwhile the tech geeks at Fun Com are rolling in the cash with initial game sales and all the players addicted and paying monthly subscription fees. We're talking hundreds of billions here.
All I need to find out is whether or not Fun Com is a public company and can I buy the stock.
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fashion Blogosphere Fun

No time to post today but I thought I'd link to what I enjoyed reading this week in the fashion blogosphere.

Linda Grant with Hemlines
Kristopher Dukes with Web Snob Links
Fashiontribe's Sex and Sour Grapes
Second City Style with Blog Therapy Roundup
Fashionista with Would You Wear Grey Hair
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Cartier's Bel Air Road Show

Courting the Superwealthy at Cartier Atelier
Eager to Keep Its Luster, The Jeweler to Maharajahs Takes Its Cases on the Road

Christina Binkley in yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported on Cartier's new strategy to reach high end clients.

Anxious about losing its luster, however, Cartier is aggressively stalking the superwealthy in their own natural habitat. Cartier's U.S. chief executive, Frédéric de Narp, last year recruited art adviser Carl Adams from Christie's auction house, where Mr. Adams had assembled an enviable Rolodex. As Cartier's vice president of business development, Mr. Adams organizes 18th-century-style salons that give Cartier access to the nation's leading socialites in their own homes. "We want these influential women to understand the heritage of the brand," Mr. de Narp says.

The luxury house doesn't sell anything at the events. Rather, it aims to build relationships with future customers so that when someone wants to buy a $150,000 bracelet, she thinks of Cartier first.
"I'm trying to build an awareness that Cartier -- at a certain level -- still exists," Mr. Adams says.
Last Thursday afternoon, 44 bejeweled women gathered at the Bel Air home of Carla Sands, wife of real-estate mogul Fred Sands. The guest list was chosen jointly by Cartier and Mrs. Sands. "I've known the hostess for years, and I knew the caliber of the people she would invite," Mr. Adams said. He'd already held "Cartier ateliers" in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Palm Beach, Florida.

Now just in case you weren't on the guest list for Cartier's Bel Air Road Show...and you aren't in the market (just yet) for that 51 carat yellow diamond has some great vintage Cartier baubles like this sleek Ellipse ring.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Loulou de la Falaise Jewelry for Oscar de la Renta

Last night I was invited by fashion blogger and all around girl about town Kristopher Dukes to the Oscar de La Renta boutique on Melrose Place. The Bag Snob girls were there too but I ducked out before I had a chance to meet them.

What was the occasion? The presentation of the new line of jewelry designed by Loulou de la Falaise of course. The store was full of pretty young things in their Jimmy Choos who were more interested in chatting with each other rather than perusing the collection.
Of course Eliza Reed Bolen, the step daughter and face of Oscar de La Renta was there as well the famous french fashionista Loulou de Falaise, best known for being the muse of Yves St. Laurent. Oddly, she didn't seem to be wearing the jewelry from this collection but she was rocking some major bangle bracelets.
The line to debut this fall exclusively at Oscar de La Renta boutiques, is mostly made of single-and multi strand beaded necklaces - a de la Falaise trademark- each and eclectic hodgepodge of stones in varying textures and sizes.

Look, I like bold chunky bohemian gypsy chic as must as the next person, but not at those prices. When I see something that cost $2000-$4000 to manufacture priced at $20,000-$40,000... I just shake my head and wonder who buys this nonsense?
After all, this isn't Cartier, Weingrill or Van Cleef quality, this is typical product out of India.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - Pretty in Pink

Vintage Skins in my very favorite online store for vintage handbags. They have a great selection of unusual handbags and incredible prices. Here's a really unique pastel plaid snakeskin clutch in MINT condition that is on sale for $145!!!

Seriously, where else can you get something like this.

Staying with the pastel pink palate, you can pair this bag with a vintage angel skin coral ring from It's also on sale.
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Bling Biz News

A couple of interesting things are happening in the Bling Biz.

From Women's Wear Daily:
— Top-tier jewelry companies aren't flinching in the face of the U.S. economic slowdown — and are proceeding full-speed ahead with their store expansion programs.

So even in this economy Graff, Chanel, Bulgari, Van Cleef and other high end jewelers are expanding. Recession or not, the expectation is that highest end luxe client will continue to shop.

But on the lower end, things sales aren't so sparkling.
From Idex:
Online super jeweler, Blue Nile reported that US sales were down 1% in Q1, compared to a 34% gain in Q1 of 20078. Demand for diamonds in the low end of $5,000 and below remains strong but in the $100,000 plus level demand is weak. Has the high end customer stopped shopping or just opted for the retail store schmooze rather than online efficiency?

While the company reported that first quarter revenues were $70.5 million, up 3.8 percent from the prior year, all of the increase came from sales in international markets, including Canada, the U.K., Western Europe, and to a lesser extent, market tests in Eastern Europe and Asia. Sales in non-U.S. markets were $5.7 million, up 124 percent from last year’s $2.5 million in the first quarter.

I think that the trend for international sales will stay strong due to the weak dollar.
Then again...some super smart people I know are starting to short oil and euros...maybe we're in for a stronger dollar soon.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Around Town - Crustacean Restaurant

A couple of weeks ago I had dinner with Elizbeth An, the adorable owner of Crustacean Restaurant, in Beverly Hills. No only is she a talented restaurateur she is an incredible interior designer and created an interior that evokes the French Colonial look of pre-war Hanoi. The food is great....and the menu not only includes special dishes prepared from recipes handed down through generations in the An family, each item is listed with a recommended wine.

If you happened to be in the hood and stopped by one day after work, you might find Elizabeth and me at the bar noshing on asian tapas and sashimi and sipping Chardonnay.

Crustacean - 9646 Little Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills.
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Sex in the City - The Cost of Being Carrie

With all the hype out there now about the new Sex in the City movie, Ms. Robinson's blog has discussed the great SITC conundrum aka The Cost of Being Carrie. How did the lead character Carrie, a 30 something year old magazine writer, afford a life of martinis and manolos in Manhattan. Seriously, this character had a new pair of $700 shoes in every scene.

"Ok let's say she makes about $100,000 a year.""No, no let's say "$150,000..maybe she was poached from her first paper?""Ok she buys at least two pairs of Choos or Blahnik's every week. That's around US $1400. $5,600 a month before the Gucci, Westwood and Oscar De La Renta clothes at around $3000 a throw.

Obviously Suspension of Disbelief is an important element in theater, film and tv. But to build an entire series around a vapid character whose shopping habits alone could bring a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder, and now a film, well I can't suspend my disbelief enough to want to see it.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Savvy Shoppping - Sizzling Spring Sale

Smart online retailers such as are making the move to mark down prices early as reported by Christina Brinkley in the Wall Street Journal.

In many places, spring styles have been marked down before it's even warm enough to wear them. Finally, fashion's seasons -- which always feel somewhat premature -- have gotten so out of whack that they actually work in shoppers' favor!

The early markdowns are largely a result of flagging consumer confidence. With home foreclosures, sky-high gas prices and financial-industry layoffs making headlines, many middle-class consumers sharply cut back their spending, particularly avoiding splurges on high-priced shoes, handbags and designer fashions. Stores, though, made their purchases of spring goods early last fall, when the luxury industry was still enjoying double-digit sales amid an orgy of interest in such frivolities as ostrich handbags and Louboutin platform sandals.

All the off-kilter fashion timing plays into the hands of Internet discount sites, which are already busy selling designers' current spring and summer collections. Melissa Payner, chief executive of, says this spring's retail slump has enabled Bluefly to sell current-season designer fashions at 40% or more off. Ms. Payner notes that Bluefly is seeing more inventory than usual this season.

While department stores launched spring and summer collections in January, Bluefly waited until March to buy and took the luxury of reading trends when they were already happening. That enabled the site, among other things, to order more blue than yellow after early predictions that yellow would be big failed to come true. And thank goodness, because yellow is a hard color to wear, no matter what the price.

In addition to the regular sale on there is an additional 15% markdown on sale dresses through May 19th. With the scorching heat outside today, I'm liking this cool blue Shoshanna silk dress on sale for just under $200. Naturally, I've found the perfect Judith Ripka blue ring to go with it from

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Crowning Glory - The Ideal Accessory

Tosca, so lush, so lovely, but soooo long. I adore Puccini's operas, La Boheme, Carmen, Madame Butterfly and Turandot....what's not to love?
But for some reason Tosca, that old war horse, just doesn't rock my opera world. Maybe it's because I've seen it too many times. Or maybe it's because after I saw Placido Domingo and the memorable Hildegard Behrens sing it in the sublime Zeffirelli Met production in New York (way back in the day) complete with a back stage tour by the lighting designer Gil Wechsler, I just decided that I would never see a better Tosca.

Well the LA Opera, which staged the magnificent Dwarf this year is bringing back Tosca...again. But this year they are adding some bling to bring some sparkle to the production. As reported by the LA Times

For its latest revival of “Tosca,” opening Saturday, Los Angeles Opera has obtained a rare stage artifact – the jewelry worn by Maria Callas in 1956 for her Metropolitan Opera debut as Giacomo Puccini’s tragic heroine.

Made of nearly 200 tear-shaped Swarovski crystals, the jewelry was created specifically for Callas by the Atelier Marangoni in Milan, Italy.
The three-piece set, which consists of a tiara, earrings and a fanned-out necklace, is worth approximately $85,000, according to Swarovski, the current owner.

Of course you don't need to be a tragic heroine who throws herself off the Castel Sant'Angelo to sport such bling.
The Kazanjian Foundation has the perfect tiara for Edwardian tiara circa 1910 which was worn by Madonna for her wedding to Guy Richie. This beautiful crown has 768 old cut diamonds, approximately 78 carats which can be converted into a necklace.

Come on, you know you always wanted to be a princess. Well here's your chance to buy a tiara and know that the money that you paid went to charity. I call that a win-win for everybody.

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Vintage Value Venture - Sexy Sarong Dress for Summer

Having seen one shouldered gowns all over the red carpet this season, worn by everyone from Anne Hathaway to Gweneth Paltrow, I've found a bight multi-colored Angelo Tarlazzi silk sarong dress from Retro Dress with sexy cut out sides that would be a perfect look for a summer party. Add a big bold fancy cut amethyst ring from and you'd be ready for the red carpet too.
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2008 Garden Tour Event

Yesterday, with the intense summer sun I could only think about lolling about on the loggia at the Virgina Robinson Estate. The loggia with the greens and blues of the delphinium covered balustrade, created by Lucas Design Group for the annual Garden Tour event, was a cool oasis in the sizzling heat. Unfortunately, I couldn't loll about because I spent the day on the rose garden patio. Luckily, every now and then I got to duck into the pool pavilion with luscious floral designs by the Bel Air, Brentwood and Beverly Hills Garden Clubs.
The annual Garden Tour event always... a huge success due to the hard work of the Friends of Robinson Gardens Board and members.
With special congratulations to President Deborah Shaw, Benefit Chair Leslie Kavanaugh, Garden Tour Chairs Angela Movassaghi and Leslie Kavanaugh, Patron Gala Chairs Dani Lancer and Ricky Ring, Benefit Committee Garden Chairs Laura Alpert and Maralee Beck.
Thanks also go to Ellen Lipson and Cindy Fields who made working outside in the heat not just bearable but fun, Kim Gregory of Christofle Beverly Hills who donated the Spirit of Beverly Hills Award and showcased the most incredible sterling silver and Marcella Ruble who took such great photos including the one above.
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Karl, Nice Outfit!

First Karl Lagerfeld corralled all the local celebrities and celebutants for his Cruise Collection fashion show at the Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport. Now WWD has reported that he's continuing with his Cruise Collection roadshow at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami.
Lagerfeld as usual surrounded himself with his regular retinue of sycophants including the very attractive Anna Mouglalis who had this to say about Miami.

Mouglalis, meanwhile, had just arrived from Paris earlier in the day, but already found the time for some R&R. “I took a good bath in the ocean, which is great,” Mouglalis said, adding that she couldn’t help but marvel at the Miami scene. “I love the contrast of the Art Deco buildings with the architecture the people here redesigned for themselves,” she mused. “There are so many fake faces, fake boobs and fake muscles.”

If she took such note of fake faces, fake boobs and fake muscles you would think that she would have a comment about Lagerfeld. Seriously Karl, is that a codpiece?
As the Manolo would say, AYYYY!
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Around Town - May also offers a monthly calendar of local events.

Here's what's up for May

May 2008Click here for a printable monthly calendar.June 2008 Monthly» Wine and Cheese TastingEvery Wednesday and Thursday» Cooking ClassesEvery Saturday» Tea Tasting ClassesEvery Saturday and Sunday – Year RoundAlso Tuesday through Sunday – July, August, and Thanksgiving through December» Trolley TourEvery Wednesday» Da Vinci Ristorante Presents Jazz WednesdaysEvery Thursday» Fromages et Vins Wine and Cheese Tasting at Le ChateauEvery Friday» Candlelight Fridays at The BlvdMonday through Friday» Kick the Weekday Blues at blue on blue May 5 - May 19, 2008» Great To Be Nominated Screening Series at The AcademyMay 16 - July 31, 2008» Ink & Paint: The Art of Hand-Drawn AnimationMay 16 - July 31, 2008» Pulling Back the Drapes: Set Decoration RevealedMay 16, 2008» The Art, Science and Psychology of Production DesignMay 17 - May 18, 2008» Spring 2008 Affaire in the Gardens Art ShowMay 21, 2008» 2001 in 2008: A Cinematic OdysseyMay 22, 2008» An Academy Salute to Robert Evans/Rosemary’s Baby ScreeningMay 29 - June 1, 2008» Love, Janis at the Wilshire Theatre
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A Virtual Walk Down Rodeo Drive has teamed up with to bring you a virtual tour of Beverly Hills. So if you want to take a drive down Rodeo Drive and even stop and go into some stores and take a 360 degree look around....without leaving your home computer....this is the site for you.

And if you aren't interested in the shops perhaps you can appreciate some of the local architecture like this Frank Lloyd Wright building on Rodeo Drive.
Note: this site is still in the Beta mode and it is a little quirky. The New York and Boston tours are easier to view.
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Savvy Shopping - Vintage Estate versus Costume Jewelry

With the countless number of existing clothing and accessories lines and new brands appearing everyday why would anyone choose to purchase Vintage clothes and accessories?
Mary Kincaid of gives us 5 reasons to shop Vintage.

1. Outstanding Quality

Once you've examined a quality piece of vintage clothing you will readily see that it just can't compare to one of today's contemporary garments at a similar price. It's actually possible to wear couture-quality garments for the price of ready-to-wear! Vintage clothing was often lovingly sewed by talented home seamstresses or made by designers who put extra-loving care into each garment--and it shows.The fabrics, many times, are unbelievable. A similar item in the same fabric today could conceivably put it out of your price range. Outstanding silks, cashmeres, wools, leathers and furs are available at prices that pale in comparison to walking into a boutique and purchasing a similar item today.

2. Unique Details

Hand embroidery, unique buttons (many collectible on their own), outstanding beading (sometimes glass), blazers with printed silk linings. The kind of detail that today is often found in only the high-end designer or couture garments is available on many vintage clothing pieces of yesteryear.

3. Individuality

You can be assured that if you are wearing a vintage clothing item, you will not have to worry about another woman walking in the door with the same dress, blouse, or handbag. The confident vintage fashionista knows that she can wear her beautiful hand-embroidered tulle blouse even when lavish embellishments aren't the "Season's Trend." These vintage clothing pieces turn heads because of their uniqueness. If you aren't a cookie-cutter personality, then vintage clothing is for you. Vintage allows you to have what no one else can have-let them drool over your one-of-a-kind pony skin handbag! You can look fantastic without looking like anyone else.

4. Financial Freedom

Okay, quick quiz question: Which would you choose? A new Chanel suit or Gucci handbag from the current season or 2 Chanel suits or Gucci handbags from a decade ago? Buying vintage clothes, especially non-sought-after labels or individually tailored pieces, makes you clothing budget go a lot further. For the same amount of your hard-earned cash, you can compile an outstanding wardrobe by buying vintage clothing and accessories. Talk to anyone who is a vintage-aholic and you'll hear the stories: an authentic Christian Dior handbag purchased for $1, a fox fur stole for $15, a no-name wool suit with black fur collar for $35. Now these are the extreme vintage bargains that make one jump up and down with glee, yes, but purchasing that handbag for $100, the fur stole for $125 and the suit for $150 is entirely possible using eBay or a quality vintage clothing website or boutique. Or maybe you'd rather blow your entire yearly wardrobe on just one of these trendy pieces? I didn't think so.

5. Environmental Contribution

According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 4 million tons of textiles are sent to landfills each year. Recycling these beautiful pieces of vintage clothing means one less piece of clothing left in our landfills. It also honors the designers who created them, the seamstresses who poured hours into their creation and the women who initially owned and loved them. Also, most of today's textiles requite petroleum in their manufacture, so wearing vintage clothes also helps with our fossil fuel concerns.

For fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar has always been one of my favorites. But I'm blown away with the 3 page article titled The Return of Costume Jewelry from the May print issue. This article actually states
Best Investments From CHIC chokers to key cuffs, here are all the season's MUST-HAVES for accessories while recommending a Balenciaga crystal necklace for $9,875 and other items priced well over $1,000. Are they insane?

Costume jewelry (like the Balenciaga necklace pictured above) is a total waste of money. Even before it goes out to fashion it tends to falls apart. And... if it manages to stay intact, it has no lasting monetary value. You can't break it down to its intrinsic worth of metal and gemstones.

"It" bags and "It" shoes are over. Jewelry is the accessory to wear this season and the next. Just make sure that you wear fine jewelry, and if you want value at at reasonable price, buy Vintgage Estate Jewelry and spend less than what you would pay for designer costume jewelry.
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Picturesque Pigna

Meanwhile, what's up on Mother's Day with my mere, Madame de Ville...and no her first name isn't Cruella. She's off, as usual gallivanting around Europe. After days of bad weather on the Spanish coast she's finally reached the sunshine of the picturesque little village of Pigna in Liguria Italy.
Happy Mother's Day Maman.
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Mother's Day Special Treat

Instead of the usual Mother's Day flowers and brunch, I had a special gift. Friday night was the annual black tie patron gala at the Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills. This event was for the benefit of the Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens which support the oldest estate in Beverly Hills built in 1911 and its magnificent terraced gardens. In a city where so many stately buildings have been torn down to make way for the biggest and the best and the latest in contemporary architecture chic, it's a pleasure to be involved with a group that supports a living piece of Los Angeles history.

This year's theme was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the gala chairs went all out to create a whimsical atmosphere. After cocktails on the tennis court, the dinner, set in the garden, was so elegant with topiarys of red roses on all of the red clothed tables.

But what does this have to do with Mother's Day you are wondering. Well, my special treat was to take as my date my son, Mr. Handsome. And handsome he was in his tuxedo and new glasses. While it was difficult for him to give up a Lakers play off game, he rose to the social challenge and ended up enjoying himself thoroughly. And I was so proud to watch his natural charm with everyone he met.
Then, to top off the Mother's Day treat, the prodigal daughter, Miss Pretty, called with the news that she had aced all her finals and was getting A's in all of her courses. In addition, she's been asked to curate the college film festival and write the movie reviews for the local city newspaper.

So all is good for Belle de Ville, la Mere, when touts va bien avec les petites.
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Vintage Value Venture - Beautiful Blue

Looking for an elegant vintage cocktail dress that you can wear all year long? This beautiful vintage 1950's dress from Circa Vintage in blue and gold is perfect for summertime cocktails in the garden, or a winter night at the ballet. Staying with the blue and gold theme and accentuating the pretty squared neckline, I think this vintage Judith Ripka Necklace and Pendant from is perfect.
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Serious Subjects

Somehow over the last week while my internet was down I was making a mental list of all of the subjects I wanted to comment on. I decided to leave the comments on Oil Prices, 57 States, Lebanon and the Trade Deficit to the serious cyber pundits and stick to blogging on softer subjects.

But...of course I always have an opinion and it concurs with this WSJ editorial.

The United Nations this week said the refusal of Burma's government to allow workers into the country's devastated agricultural region was unprecedented in the history of humanitarian relief. The human catastrophe produced by Burma's refusal to permit aid in the wake of Cyclone Nargis has stunned the senses of a world that has watched this spectacle for a week.

There are uncounted numbers of persons dead, homeless and orphaned. Bodies still float in water. The World Health Organization has warned there could be outbreaks of cholera and especially malaria. U.N. member-state India warned the junta the deadly cyclone was headed toward Burma on May 1, two days before it hit. Yesterday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said food relief hasn't yet reached the region because "regrettably" the junta won't talk to him.

After so much international assistance was brought so quickly to those who suffered from the Tsunami, it's deplorable to see how the Burmese Junta has hindered humanitarian aid after this terrible tragedy.

But how can we be shocked by any actions by Burma after decades of house arrest of the world's only imprisoned Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.
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Friday, May 9, 2008

Online Again At Last

OMG, how did we every live without the internet?
First I find out that my modem doesn't work. So I replace it. Then I need a technician to come to my house. Then I'm still off line. Then another modem and another technician.
But it wasn't as easy as it sounds. 5 days with no internet...which is something close to living in the stone age....and living with serious withdrawal.
Not only that...I had to deal with tech support from Argentina. Oh and David from tech support in are a complete f-ing wanker.
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Monday, May 5, 2008

Tech Support - Where Are You?

I'd like to tell you that the reason that I haven't posted is that I suddenly was invited for a vacation in Bora Bora.
Unfortunately, my internet is down....way down and will be down until maybe Wednesday.
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Saturday, May 3, 2008

What to Wear to Win

Fashion Dilemma

While you prefer to play on ponies rather than play the ponies,

Mr. Charming has invited you to the track to watch his thoroughbred race.
Naturally you usually wear jeans when you are horsing around at equestrian events, but the turf club has a no denim dress code.
So what's appropriate to wear?

Ralph Lauren, of course, from Saks Fifth Avenue online. Accessorize with a vintage Hermes racing scarf from and a vintage estate necklace, bracelet and earrings by Italian master goldsmith, Carlo Weingrill from

The horse may not win, place or show....but you will look great!

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Lexus Leasing Legislators

Your tax dollars at work.

On YOUR Dime: Congressmen Lease Luxury Cars
Little-Known But Exploited Loophole Allows Politicians To Drive, Maintain Expensive Cars, SUVs On Taxpayer Money
Rep. Charles Rangel: 'My Constituents Appreciate It'

You may not realize it, but members of the House of Representatives can lease a car and have it paid for by you -- the taxpayer. And it's not just the car, but gas, registration, insurance … the works.
And how about this one: Congressman Gregory Meeks was recently seen waiting for Congressman John Conyers to step out of Meeks' Lexus LS460, which Meeks leases for $998 per month.
No surprise here about this kind of Congressional spend but a Lexus LS 460 is is $1000 a month....who knew.
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Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Gulfstream Grab

The links for Dude, Where's my Recession just keep on coming. Apropos this article the Instapundit has commented on Aviation Week's report on the run on Gulfstream G650 jets.

G650 Customers Wait in Line
Gulfstream's planned output of 83 G650 business jets in the first 2.5 years of production is oversubscribed by a factor of six to seven, says parent company General Dynamics. Gulfstream began accepting $500,000 refundable deposits on the new $58.5 million ultra-long-range jet on April 15, signing time-stamped letters of intent with customers that it is now working through to convert to orders.
Oh, it's so hard to spend $58.5 million these days.
But the big issue is...where are all these new jets going to land on the Westside? has a report on the problem in Santa Monica from increased private jet traffic.

Jet landings and takeoffs have increased 14-fold since that agreement, to 18,575 in 2007. Traffic jumped 22 percent the year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when more business flyers began to use private planes to avoid delays caused by new security measures.

Jets stack up on Santa Monica's runway waiting for a break in traffic in the air, including from nearby Los Angeles International Airport. During the movie industry's Academy Awards, jets idle on the runway for hours, spewing fumes into residential streets.

Oh... the problems with private jet travel these days....

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Savvy Shopping - Tangerine Dream

For some people May 1st is the day to wear red and gather in the streets and sing L'Internationale.

Here's a cheery example of the lyrics:

The state tries to stop us and the law cheats,

The taxes bleed the unfortunate

The rich do nothing.

The rights of the poor is a hollow phrase

Enough of being oppressed! Equality needs other laws!

No rights without duty, it says, Equally, no duties without rights.

This is the final struggle Let us gather, and tomorrow International Socialism Will be for mankind!

But I prefer to go shopping!
Besides, I don't look good in red.
So here's cheery outfit for May Day.
From Bergdorf Goodman a flippy little frock from Marc Jacobs on sale for $272 with some cute little sandals by Calvin Klein for $60 from
Of course this outfit wouldn't be complete without something sweet from This vintage Victorian carved coral necklace would be perfect....

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Six Random Things

I've been tagged by Une Femme d'un Certain Age to write six random things about myself.

1. I love football movies from Rudi to Remember the Titans to On Any Given Sunday.

2. My nickname as a child was Sissy...and I hated it.

3. I'd like to go to Bora Bora and Australia.

4. If I could learn any particular dance it would be the polka because bopping up and down in a frilly skirted outfit and drinking beer looks like fun to me.

5. If I had a gazillion dollars I would buy the film rights to the books "Journey Into the Whirlwind" and "Within the Whirlwind" by Eugenia Semenova Ginzburg and hire Stephen Spielberg to produce the movie.

6. When I was a sophomore in college I was the ta for calculus.

Thanks Deja for the tag. Kristopher and're it!
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Credit Crunch Commentary

Day after day, from Drudge to the NY Times, all we read about is the ongoing credit crunch and the inevitable recession.

Ms. Robinson, my favorite Woman of Experience, has analyzed the current economic client and come up with this helpful idea.

Using proprietary mathematical modelling techniques, Ms Robinson has employed sophisticated algorithms to conclude, with absolute certainty, that a high flying investment banker only needs a wife around, oh, four days per month tops.

Being a woman who is all about solutions, Ms Robinson is pleased to announce 'Rent a Wife', an idea so simple she may franchise it. Why own what you can rent? Wives with names like Flick, Tory, token Asian babe Amina and an appropriately chunky Nigella will be located in huge houses with mega-mortgages in Notting Hill, South Kensington and Surrey. They will have an annoying friend called Verity (the one that wears Crocs) and children called Persephone, Ludo and Corinthian.

The man can either buy a yearly pass (which will save him even more money) or pay monthly.

As Glenn says, read the whole thing.

Then we have this report from US News and World Report

Out: Recession. In: Expansion. That's my quick take on today's first-quarter gross domestic product number, which showed that the economy grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter. Now that's not a robust number by any means, but it's not so bad given all the worry out there that the economy is headed off a cliff. Before you declare a recession, as many economic pundits have, shouldn't the economy, well, actually recess a bit—if only for a quarter?
With those IRS checks in the mail added to regular seasonal spending, Q2 might not be so bad.
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