Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - For French Bohemian Babes

Beladora II Pendant in 18K $495

Anne Bezamat Pendant in Bronze $450

Feel like a little quel que chose francais for summer?

From the WWD article Ladies First, ex model Anne Bezamat, who is now designing jewelry, has come up with a collections of rings, necklaces and pendants.

"It's very French bohemian chic," says Bezamat of her brushed bronze and sterling silver necklaces and pendants, some engraved with French sayings about love ("Toi et moi," "Je t'aime moi non plus"), all clasped with small fleur-de-lis. "It reflects my roots and my travels."

If you'd like a little French boho style but prefer it in 18K, how about a vintage gold pendant from Beladora's sister site, Beladora 2. This pendant, engraved with the words "Tu es l'amour de ma vie, Maurice" is so charming. And...I love the idea that these words weren't made up by some ex model designer with her marketing actual homme named Maurice had this medallion custom engraved as a gift for his lover.

Vintage Estate Jewelry...there's always a story behind it.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bevelry Hills - A Typical Day on the Town

Kristopher Dukes the brainiac beauty

The one and only Fabio

What a day...

First I had the pleasure to lunch with Kristopher Dukes who is a brilliant as she is lovely. I love that combination of beauty and brains.

Then at dinner tonight, none other than the one and only Fabio sits at the next table. Honestly, except for the ridiculous long hair, which of course is his signature feature, he is gorgeous. With him was an age appropriate date who was attractive in every way, except for her fake double D breasts. Style note: she was wearing a maxi dress.

You know... just another typical day in Beverly Hills.
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Coach Profits Climb - H.L.Menken Was Right

Ugly Coach Handbags
Uglier Coach Handbags

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

H.L. Menken

You can check out for some of the ugliest bags ever created.
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Sartorialist Style - Purple Driving Mocs in Milan

When I want to see a the best of NY and European fashion trends, I don't pick up Vogue. I go straight to fashion photographer extraordinaire, The Sartorialist. His photos show the most chic looks worn on the streets, like these purple driving mocs on men. I love this look.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rocking and Rolling in Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles Skyline
Wouldn't you know I'd miss all the fun.
Los Angeles has had a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, felt from Santa Barbara to San Diego to Las Vegas.
Of course I was driving in my car down Wilshire Boulevard and didn't feel a thing.
And just the other day I was thinking that it's been a long time since we've had a big earthquake....
Luckily, the reports so far say that there has been no major damage.
Let's hope so.
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Carla on the Cover

I just can't get enough of Sarko and Carla Bruni aka the French (actually Italian) Jackie O.
Vanity Fair's cover article, Paris Match, which could have been titled
When Sexual Preditors Attack
gives all the details on both Sarko and Carla's preditory ways.
They are hunters who met—predators,” Karl Lagerfeld tells me. “It’s a good thing. He had seduced many women, and she was a kind of seductress. When two like this meet, it can be good.”
While Carla's relationships with rockstars like Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton have been well documented, she's openly admitted to prefer polygamy and polyandry “She’s a kind of alpha female. She was never a courtesan like Pamela Harriman—she was more like a female Don Juan.” and
She also learned to take on men. “Carla is the hunter, not the hunted,” says a man who knew her in her teens. “She is a female womanizer.”
Surprisingly Sarko as the consummate politician hasn't been much more subtle about his sex life. After an affair with the married Cecilia resulted in her becoming his mistress and then his wife, he continued to have affairs throughout his political rise, with a multitude of women including Chirac's daughter Claude.
Despite Cécilia’s being “the great love of his life,” Nay alleges, Sarkozy was always susceptible to other women. “Whenever he had an opportunity to have an affair,” she tells me, “as mayor of Neuilly, in his office, he was a man who screws as much as he can.”
In France, however, Nay assures me, “it is not politically incorrect for politicians to have affairs.” It can be dangerous, however. Several people allege that Cécilia once received, presumably from her husband’s political enemies, a detailed list of all the women he had been with during their marriage.
Eventually, Cecilia left him for her own affair and came back only to help in his campaign for the Presidency. With her help he won the election, she bailed out, the affair with Bruni began and the rest is history.
There is something so tawdry about the affairs of American politicians. After the news last week of John Edwards getting caught sneaking into the Beverly Hilton , American politicians could benefit from some lessons in how to have consequence-free affairs from their counterparts across the pond, particularly the French who do the whole coupe de foudre thing so openly and with such elan.
Tres drole, non?
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Monday, July 28, 2008

Savvy Shopping - Sapphire Summer

Richard Chai Dress at Target

Something old and something new for summer.

Why spend a fortune on designer dress, that may or may not be in fashion, ever, after this season. I love the high low concept of buying an inexpensive, but wearable dress from Richard Chai at Target and paring it with estate jewelry that has timeless elegance and enduring value. This early Art Deco ring has an intricate openwork domed design with calibre cut sapphires zigzaging around bezel set diamonds. Very cool.

Beladora is featuring this ring and other sapphire and diamond estate jewelry on sale.

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Frightful - Madonna at Fifty

I'd rather look like Helen Mirren at 63 than Madonna at 50.

So, uh Madonna, how's that Kabbalah going for you?
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On Target - Richard Chai

Designer Richard Chai, who used to work with Marc Jacobs, is launching his Go International line for Target this August.
Young, wearable, affordable....what's not to like.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vintage Value Venture - Summer Sarong for Retro Glam

Dita von Teese Style

Vintageous Vintage Sarong Dress

I had dinner the other night on the patio of the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica. As usual it was full of hip Westsiders and entertainment types...nothing of note.

Then, as the evening progressed and the DJ was setting up, some guy came in with a group of model-actress-whatevers dressed in Dita von Teese style, complete with 1940 hairdos. I have to say that looked different but glamorous.

So, here's my picks for future Dita von Teese girls for a night on the town, a sexy vintage sarong from Vintageous and dangle earrings from Beladora II.
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Fashion Blog Links

Since I'm not a web's some suggested links for the fun Fashion blogosphere reading.

The Fashioniste - Fashion, Art, Graphics and Music

Please Don't Feed the Models - Fashion and Art

Poor & Stylish - Great picks from Target Go International

Fashionologie - Fashion Biz Buzz

Racked LA - LA Shopping News and Deals

Racked NY -NY Shopping News and Deals

La Femme - Fashion Miscellany

Style Bite - Independent Fashion
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Nostalgia Notes on the Net

Mad Men Sixties Style

Swingtown Seventies Style

Style Spy has posted on the the influence of the 1960's styles which have been beautifully executed in Mad Men . Clearly the latest Vogue has picked up on the 1960's trend with its spread featuring a perfectly coiffed model in ladylike suits and gloves photographed in and about country club quality Cadillacs.

Glenn Reynolds has linked to Tim Cavanaugh's article on 1970's Style Envy as seen in TV's Swingtown and film's such as Viva.

Win Free Sex!
The never-ending charm of sexual revolution nostalgia

But the relative daring of both raises a question: In a world where amp-lover and plushy-fetish porn is as near as your web browser, why does the cutting edge of erotic exploration seem to be found in material that's nearly four decades old?
The appeal may be simple style envy. Swingtown luxuriates in the Super Seventies vibe to a degree that is bracing even after many years of Me Decade nostalgia. Some viewers, this one included, have had a hard time getting up to speed with the three couples at the center of the show, who fit too neatly into a continuum from free love to hidebound tradition (i.e., there's one enthusiastic open marriage, a pair of lovably nervous erotic explorers, and one set of cramped, Stepfordesque squares). But who (other than Nielsen viewers, apparently) could say no to the milieu of plaited hair, randy airline pilots, swingers parties, and paneled kitchens? Viva, an even more finely wrought piece of art, aims not for the look of the period but for the look of the period's movies: the high-key, pseudo-Technicolor lighting scheme and spare, colorful set design a handful of us have been missing ever since Dragnet went off the air; nudge-nudge wink-wink dialogue delivered in the flattest possible tones; and the way everybody's always got a cocktail in one hand a cigarette in the other.

This is why I think the unleashing of the Frigid Woman is the key to this story, the explanation for why the sexual revolution contained both new vistas of freedom and the seeds of its own undoing. For all that loosening up ultimately contained just more male insistence, a sense that the real problem with society was that women just weren't putting out enough! The journey to sexual liberation was sold as a step forward for women, but it was also a clever way to eliminate the option of saying no. And while "frigidity" was a phenomenon that had been discussed for decades, it reached crash velocity just when the promise of balling your way through to the other side seemed believable. It turned out women weren't having a problem achieving orgasm at all: They just couldn't do it with you.

Samizdata's Quote of the Day from PJ O'Rourke

"Weren't the eighties grand? Cash grew on trees or, anyway, coca bushes. The rich roamed the land in vast herds hunted by proud, free tribes of investment brokers who lived a simple life in tune with money. Every wristwatch was a Rolex. Every car was a Mercedes-Benz. A fellow could romance a gal without shrink-wrapping his privates and negotiating the Treaty of Ghent. Communist dictators were losing their jobs, not presidents of America and General Motors. Women wore Adolfo gowns instead of dumpy federal circuit court judge robes. The Malcolm who mattered was Forbes. Bill Clinton was only a microscopic polyp in the colon of national politics, and Hillary was still in flight school, hadn't even soloed on her broom. What a blast we were having. The suburbs had just discovered Martha Stewart, the cities had just discovered crack. So many parties and none of them Democratic...Back then health care was a tummy tuck, not an inalienable right. If you wanted a better environment, you went to Laura Ashley."

So, isn't it getting to be about time for a little nostalgia for the Go Go 1990's.
Shouldn't we soon see a show based on Sand Hill Road venture capitalists, Silicon Valley tech geeks and the Wall Street analysts who were in their pockets during the days of the search for the New New Thing...all set in the heady happy time before 9-11?
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Savvy Shopping - Gilt Groupe

Invitation Only Shopping - what exactly does that mean?
In the Haute Look business model we've got competitor Gilt Groupe who brings us
36 hour sales of fashion and luxury brands with a private trunk show feel.
Is this a good way to shop? I'm not sure but at up to 70% off retail I think it's worth checking out.
While that invitation only thing is a smart marketing ploy for snob appeal...I'd bet that it's not too hard to get an invitation....especially given that, except for clothing, all sales are FINAL
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Savvy Shopping - Some Like It Haute offers limited time only sales like this one with couture handbags from the uber high end vintage boutique, Decades Two. I'm not sure if I would shop on a website that has a clock ticking down the minutes but I think it is a brilliant marketing move by HauteLook to create a sense of urgency...particulalry as items sell while you're's an impulse shopper's paradise (or hell).

But how reasonable are the prices, I just don't know. It this used handbag worth $1700? Is 35% off the original retail price a good deal?

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Savvy Shopping - It's Turquoise Time

Fake Prada Handbag from EDesigner Shop

Turquoise Mules from Yoox

Chloe Top from Net-a-Porter

Juicy Shorts from Net-a-Porter

Ah's online Summer Sale time and I don't have to get into the car, drive to the mall, fight for a parking place and deal with the crowds.

I am happy.

UH OH....Deja just left a comment telling me the eDesigner bags are fake!!!

I am all against counterfeit goods, whether it's Prada bags or Cartier love bangles.

So...just ignore the photo.

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Downsizing the Holmby Hills Way

The Spelling Residence - "The Manor"

With inflation going through the roof and the monthly cost of household utilities equal to about the cost of a small car, what's a Holmby Hills heiress to do? Well downsize, of course. Which is just what Candy Spelling is doing.

Mrs. Spelling, who owns the largest house in Los Angeles a 123 room - 56,500 square foot mansion has just purchased a little 16,500 square foot pied-a-terre in Century City for a reasonable $47 million or $2,848 per square foot.
It is hard to compare the new and old. Spelling's current home has 11 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, and then there's the one-lane bowling alley, the gift-wrapping room, a screening room and a doll museum. But what's in store for her new digs is still a question that may tantalize the curious.
I'm sure that the new pad will be magnificent with its 360 views....but personally, I'd rather have the view from the Koenig Case Study House 21.
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Around Town - Lautner at the Hammer

Chemosphere 1960

If you love architecture like I do, Los Angeles is a fantastic place to live. Despite being a young city compared to Boston or New York (or Rome!) , greater Los Angeles, by which I mean Pasadena to Pacific Palisades, has a rich architectural tradition. From the Turn of the Century Castle Green by Fedrick Roehrig in Pasadena to the new BCAM at LACMA by Renzo Piano, there are numerous examples of work by some of the best architects of the last 100 or so years.

Here's a list of just some of the great architects who have created great Los Angeles buildings.

Green & Green - Gamble House

Myron Hunt - Huntington Residence

John & Donald Parkinson - Bullocks Wilshire

Alison & Alison - Royce Hall

Albert Martin - May Company

Raphael Soriano -Schulman House

Charles & Rae Eames - Eames House

Pierre Koenig - Case Study House 21

Paul Williams - LAX Theme Building

Frank Lloyd Wright - Ennis House

Rudolf Schindler - Wilson House

Oscar Neimeyer - Strick House

William Periera - Robertson Plaza

Richard Meier - Getty Center

Frank Gehry - Disney Hall

For me one of the quintessential LA architects is John Launter whose modern designs captivated the forward looking attitude of Los Angeles of the 1960's and an exhibition of his work, Between Heaven and Earth, is now at the Hammer Museum.


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch - RIP

Randy Pausch. the Carnegie Mellon professor famous for "The Last Lecture" has passed away. If you haven't seen the video of The Last Lecture you absolutely must watch it. Set aside 104 minutes to be sure to see the whole thing.
These lyrics just seem to keep popping in my head these days.
Drink to all that we have lost
Mistakes we have made
Everything will change
But love remains the same
-Gavin Rossdale - Love Remains The Same
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

John Edwards - Extracurricular Activities Abound

The Other Woman - Rielle Hunter

Keep Praying John

Unlike Ms Robinson, I'm not exposed to a lot of sexual shenanigans, in fact I'm surrounded by people who are really happily married. I don't know personally any men who are cheating on their wives....but admittedly I don't get out much.

For the most part I'm non judgemental about the sexual predicaments that people get themselves into. People meet, they become attracted and one thing leads to another. Life goes on.

But when I learn about the sexual peccadillo's of politicians I can't help but feel a twinge of schadenfreude.

So now we get the report that John Edwards was caught sneaking into the Beverly Hilton to see his alleged mistress and mother of his love child, Rielle Hunter. There's nothing quite like finding out that one of the most smarmy and sanctimonious politicians, he of the 28,000 square foot house, is cheating on his wife who is battling cancer.

And, it's one thing to have an affair....but a love child! Seriously, how can an adult man, presidential candidate and cheating spouse not use a condom?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stevie Nicks - A Class Act


In our culture we are inundated with stories about actors, rock stars, entertainers and celebrities. We know what they wear, where they party, who they hook up with and what drugs they get charged with. But out there in Spin Land what we never hear about is the incredible private acts of kindness. I know about one and I'm going to tell you about it.

Sara, the daughter of Joe, a dear friend of mine, was diagnosed with juvenile Ewing sarcoma about 8 years ago. This is a rare fatal form of cancer that afflicts only about 200 children in the United States.

I don't know all the specific details of this story but here's the gist.
Stevie Nicks, songwriter and singer extraordinaire from the mega rock band Fleetwood Mac, became acquainted with Sara and became Sara's dear friend and supporter. Stevie and Sara both shared a love of Welsh mythology, particularly the tale of the horse goddess Rhiannon...yes that Rhiannon of the famous song. Over the years, whenever Sara was well enough, her father took her to see Stevie perform, all over the country. Stevie, who lost one of her dearest friends to cancer years ago, formed a deep bond with Sara and visited her in po-dunkville Pennsylvania, far from the glitterati of Los Angeles and New York.
Sara's father proactively advocated for her medical care taking her to the finest hospitals in the country and fighting to get her accepted into the most advanced experimental treatment programs. She had the best medical care available.

But I think that the experimental medical treatments had only a part in how long Sara survived after her initial diagnosis. I believe that it was the love of her father and the life affirming friendship with Stevie that kept her alive for over eight years. Stevie was in regular contact with Sara and kept her focused on a project that they were working on together. She gave Sara hope.

The cancer finally advanced to her lungs and on her last days at her home she gasped for breath. On her final day, heavily medicated, her father put some calming music on a CD for her to listen to, which helped to stop the breathing spasms. When the CD finished the heavens opened and a thunderbolt clapped, the rain poured down and Sara stopped breathing.
Sweet Sara, 24 years young, rest in peace. And Stevie Nicks, you are a CLASS ACT.
Take me like the wind, child
Take me with the sky
Take me now
Take me like the wind, baby
Take me with the sky
All the same
All the same
All the same, Rhiannon
All the same Baby, all the same
All the same
And he still cries out for her,"Don't leave me now."

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Monday, July 21, 2008

eBay vs Tiffany in Trademark Tussle


Big news from WWD
Luxe Brand Smackdown: Tiffany Loses to eBay In Fight Over Fake Goods

A federal judge in Manhattan, ruling in a trademark lawsuit filed four years ago by Tiffany & Co., said the giant online auction house does not have the legal responsibility to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods.

eBay amongst other things, is global bazaar of counterfeit goods, and I'm really not sure how Tiffany or any other Luxe brand can police an online auction for the sale of counterfeit goods.

From time to time you can find little treasures on eBay but it annoys me to see items listed as antique or vintage which are obviously not true period pieces. And, there is so much garbage on eBay that it takes forever to find anything nice. Who has the time for that? I prefer to shop with known estate jewelry dealers who stand behind their product and have a full refund return policy.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Madrid - It's All About the ME

ME Hotel Madrid

Before my trip to Spain, everyone asked if I was going to stay at the venerable Ritz Hotel. Well...uh no...I wanted to stay at the highly hip ME hotel on the Plaza Santa Ana. Complete with a Randy Gerber restaurant and bar, the highlight of the hotel was the very happening rooftop bar. The night that I arrived Spain had won the Euro Cup so there was much in the way of festivities...and I met two charming American businessmen...
Overall, I loved the hotel and excellent concierge Ruben Tomas, but was a bit disappointed in the Whiskey Bar....where I was served some seriously bad appetizers. Maybe Randy Gerber will get off his Malibu Beach ass and do something about the bar menus in his restaurants....yeah, I'm not holding my breath.
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Vintage Value Venture - Dress Like A Deb To Stay Cool

My Favorite Hotel in Djerba Tunisia

Debutante Clothing Blue-Green Chiffon Dress

Beladora II Art Deco Emerald and Diamond Ring

Is it just me or have Los Angeles summers become unbearably humid. Some days it is so humid that I feel as though I'm spending the summer in Boston....or worse...Washington DC... where the summer humidity is beyond description. It has been so humid here this summer that last week at a dinner party at at rocking cool architectural Hollywood Hills house I could see the lightening from an electrical storm in the electrical storm in Los Angeles????
While I adore hot weather, I need the dry heat of Palm Desert...or Djerba, Tunisia.
And if I can't have dry heat I need a sleeveless dress to stay cool.
Luckily, Debutante Clothing blog has added a vintage store so I found what I need to stay cool. A lovely blue-green water color chiffon dress at a very reasonable $159. And...I'd add this Art Deco emerald and old cut diamond ring from Beladora II at $1850.
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Hamptons Holiday Hilarity

Because this is the time of year for the Hamptons high season I bring you some suggested reading from
Even if you’ve just spent millions of dollars on a new vacation home, you’ll never really fit in out East until you understand the local lingo and the ways of the uber rich.
Last year, Miles Jaffe, son of reknowned architect Norman Jaffe, self-published his satirical "Hamptons Dictionary: The Essential Guide to Class Warfare". Now he’s back with an expanded and upgraded "platinum" edition published by The Disinformation Company ($17.95).

Whether you’re in BriHa (
Bridgehampton), EaHa (East Hampton), SoHa (Southampton), NoHi (North of Montauk Hightway) or SoHi (South of Montauk Highway), it’s all “unreal estate” in the Hamptons. Renting a share for the summer? Then you’re a “hampster” or a “grouper,” or better yet, a “bottom feeder." Saw a Hamptons home listed for sale for less than $1 million? That’s called “affordable housing.” Don’t know what to call your neighbor’s newly built 10,000-square-foot house? It’s a “McMansion” or “megacottage” and your neighbor is a “McMoron” living in a “rich man’s Levittown.”

If you’re still perplexed about the ways of the truly rich,
The Official Filthy Rich Handbook" (Workman Publishing, $11.95). will help. The new title pokes fun at the way the rich dress, shop, party and vacation. Summer hotspots include the Hamptons, of course, where Amagansett, Springs and Sag Harbor are “hippie-luxe”; East Hampton is a refuge for “WASPs”, and Southampton has become somewhat “flash.”
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Vintage Value Venture - 1970's To The Max

Posh Vintage Maxi Dress

I never thought that I would see the Maxi dresses, that icon of the bohemian 1970's, come back into style....but it has.
Everyday in Beverly Hills I see women sporting this look....including some of the women in my office. It's comfortable and cool....and flatteringly covers up some of the not so perfect parts of your figure.
I don't think that I'm ready to adopt this look for the office but I wouldn't mind this pretty floral Maxi dress from Posh Vintage for cocktails by the pool, paired with this sweet Tiffany & Co. Butterfly set from
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OMG - Men Are The New Women

New York Magazine has reported on this Frightening Fall Trend.

Fall Trend: Women’s Necklines Rise, Men’s Fall

If you're the kind of girl who likes to flaunt her cleavage, we have some bad news for you: Cleavage is out for fall. The runways were devoid of plunging lines. Even Dolce & Gabbana showed high necks with ties or scarves. Why the sudden return to modesty? The Guardian reports:

Ironically — yet unsurprisingly — while women's necklines have risen, men's necklines have plunged! Yes, those deep Vs American Apparel made so popular aren't going anywhere. We've said it once but we'll say it again: Men are the new women. Have fun, boys.

I'm OK with a return to higher necklines on women's fashions but...

Please, someone....anyone....stop the lower necklines for men!
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Vintage Value Venture - Totally Turquoise

Viva La Vintage Turquoise Dress
Beladora Turquoise Earrings

Going to the Aqua Lounge and need an outfit to make a splash?
Here's a bombshell 1950's-1960's dress in tantalizing turquoise from Viva La Vintage. It's an adorable website with super cute graphics...and best of all, reasonable prices.
Since you can save so much on the dress, how about a splurge on the earrings?
These sexy chandelier earrings have a really chic matte gold base and the diamonds are set in blackened gold for that extra bling. As always, the beauty is in the details....from Beladora, of Course.
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Halter Tops - Hermes Style

First, you tie a knot in the very center of the scarf on the reverse side to take up the slack in the fabric. And then you do what I did the first time -- two ends around the neck, two ends around the waist. This gives a much more fitted effect, which is nice, and shows off the bright blue border of the scarf, which is a color that does wonders for me.

Put on a fairly substantial necklace. Fold the scarf in half diagonally to make a triangle. Bring the points of the triangle up and tie them in a knot around the necklace, and the bottom points around your waist. This is genius, and I love the way it looks with this scarf, whose circular design really works well here.

I've always wanted to wear an Hermes scarf as a halter top but I've never known how to tie it properly.

Finally, Style Spy has taken the mystery out of the tying technique.

Now, with little practice this might be my new summer look.
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