Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Surely somebody will be offended by something in these lists.
Stuff White People Like
Of course I love the post on Vintage
Stuff Asian People Like
Stuff Black People Love
Stuff Parisians Like
Harvard Economist Jeffrey Miron, as reported by CNNpolitics.com, was against the bailout plan.
Here's some of what he wrote.
This subprime lending was more than a minor relaxation of existing credit guidelines. This lending was a wholesale abandonment of reasonable lending practices in which borrowers with poor credit characteristics got mortgages they were ill-equipped to handle.
Once housing prices declined and economic conditions worsened, defaults and delinquencies soared, leaving the industry holding large amounts of severely depreciated mortgage assets.
The fact that government bears such a huge responsibility for the current mess means any response should eliminate the conditions that created this situation in the first place, not attempt to fix bad government with more government.
The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubled financial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.
Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.
In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayers to those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, the bailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks and count on getting bailed out by government. This "moral hazard" generates enormous distortions in an economy's allocation of its financial resources.
Thoughtful advocates of the bailout might concede this perspective, but they argue that a bailout is necessary to prevent economic collapse. According to this view, lenders are not making loans, even for worthy projects, because they cannot get capital. This view has a grain of truth; if the bailout does not occur, more bankruptcies are possible and credit conditions may worsen for a time.
Talk of Armageddon, however, is ridiculous scare-mongering. If financial institutions cannot make productive loans, a profit opportunity exists for someone else. This might not happen instantly, but it will happen.
Further, the current credit freeze is likely due to Wall Street's hope of a bailout; bankers will not sell their lousy assets for 20 cents on the dollar if the government might pay 30, 50, or 80 cents.
The costs of the bailout, moreover, are almost certainly being understated. The administration's claim is that many mortgage assets are merely illiquid, not truly worthless, implying taxpayers will recoup much of their $700 billion.
If these assets are worth something, however, private parties should want to buy them, and they would do so if the owners would accept fair market value. Far more likely is that current owners have brushed under the rug how little their assets are worth.
So what should the government do? Eliminate those policies that generated the current mess. This means, at a general level, abandoning the goal of home ownership independent of ability to pay. This means, in particular, getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with policies like the Community Reinvestment Act that pressure banks into subprime lending.
The right view of the financial mess is that an enormous fraction of subprime lending should never have occurred in the first place. Someone has to pay for that. That someone should not be, and does not need to be, the U.S. taxpayer.
This echos what Rep. Kaptur said in her speech to the House. Wall Street billionaires keep their gains...yet shift their losses to the taxpayer.
In the end, I think that some measure of of a bailout will pass.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
What I find to be astounding out of his many accomplishments is the fact that he distanced himself from the culture of Hollywood and had a 50 year marriage.
His long marriage to Woodward ran counter to Hollywood's tradition of fast weddings and quick divorces, and the pair lived in a 200-year-old Connecticut house, far from the heart of the entertainment industry.
Asked the secret of his marriage, Newman once said there was no reason to roam, asking: "I have steak at home. Why should I go out for a hamburger?"
Could Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt be the Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward of our generation?
I hope so. So far they've distanced themselves from Hollywood, had a big family and devoted a large part of their lives to humanitarian causes.Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Neiman Marcus Sees Bleak Holiday
Luxury-Goods Retailer Reports a Doubling of Its Quarterly Loss And Warns the Wealthy Are Cutting Back
Upscale retailer Neiman Marcus Inc. offered a bleak outlook for the holidays and said its quarterly loss more than doubled from a year earlier, signaling a further downturn in the U.S. luxury-goods market.
Neiman, which posted a $35.7 million loss for its fiscal quarter ended Aug. 2, warned that the American luxury market is likely to be hit hard by the recent financial crisis as wealthy and upper-middle-class consumers change their attitudes toward spending.
I thought that we needed some savvy shopping on the serious side.
If done right the combination of navy and black can be completely chic like in this suit from Neiman Marcus. The lines are severe but slimming.
Carved Emerald Leaf Brooch with Diamonds and Rubies from Beladora.com
Fashion for a financially fragile fall.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Ken Thompson was ousted from Wachovia in June with a "golden parachute" now worth more than $5 million, and Chuck Prince was forced out at Citigroup with a parting gift now valued at $16 million.
Martin Sullivan, the chief executive of AIG, who left the insurance giant before it was rescued this month by the federal government, received 14 million dollars, a survey in USA Today said. He also quit with a severance package worth 47 million dollars.
Yet they still got out the door with 9.43 million dollars in retirement benefits.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
"It has the potential to yield one of the largest flawless D color round polished diamonds in history," the company said.
With a libretto by Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), music by Oscar winning composer Henry Shore (The Lord of the Rings) and direction by David Cronenberg (the director of the film 'The Fly"). Add to this team sets by designer Dante Ferretti who did the Academy Award winning design for "The Aviator'.
What's not to love.
And what to wear to see this dark drama of love, loss and science gone dreadfully wrong?
Well something black of course.
Beladora Antique Victorian Diamond Brooch worn on a black silk cord as a pendant. Perfect with the neckline of this 1950's Nettie Rosenstein black silk suit from Hemlock Vintage.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
More importantly, I've kept them.
God knows with what I'm seeing from designers this year, I need them.
So it's not all that unusual for me to put together an outfit with a dress (Donna Karan) from 1996 , a handbag (lizard which lasts forever...if you take care of it) from 1986, and a scarf (Hermes) from 1976, estate jewelry from 1966, and shoes from 2006.
I know what you're thinking....
I must look like a train wreck.
Well trust me....I look like no more of a wreck than these models from the Spring 2008 Collections....
What costume party are they going to?
Christina Binkley of the Wall Street Journal writes about the Spring Runway Fashions
So hoarders, take heart. Pull out your old clothes and wear them again: Nothing is out of style, according to New York's runways. We've seen long hemlines, micro-minis, pencil skirts and flouncy skirts. Big-legged pants, skinny-legged pants. Lots of leather and much chiffon.
The runways so far this week have major nods to two diametrically opposed eras -- the romantic late 1960s-early 1970s and the go-getter 1980s -- often on the same runways. Alice + Olivia's hippy-dippy collection (presented two days after Diane von Furstenberg's hippy-dippy collection) included a 1980s-type yellow blouse with big bows and cap sleeves alongside a Victorian white lacy dress whose mother was worn to Woodstock.
It's surprising that women's fashion is getting frilly, given that other aspects of design and architecture are going minimalist. (Our frocks will clash with our living rooms.) But fashion design has to move fast to keep us shopping for new looks, and the cycle of new looks now is so quick it's a blur.
Of all the new looks, I prefer the Romantic Hippy Chick but I wouldn't sport this look at the office.
For working women Binkley goes on to say Working women who want subtlety next season will have to turn to Michael Kors, or Oscar de la Renta if they can afford him -- or rely on what's already in their closets.
With designs like what I'm seeing in the Spring 2008 Collections, I'm glad that I've got a flattering collection of clothes to choose from right here at home.
according to these two books "Guyland" by Michael Kimmel and "Men to Boys" by Gary Cross, both reviewed this week in this Wall Street Journal article
Man and Sillyman
How the model of American masculinity became a stoner with an Xbox
Here are the excerpts:
Not so long ago, unmarried men were called "bachelors," but the word now seems oddly out of date. Back in the day, bachelors were a minor, outsider group populated mostly by loners of ambiguous sexuality or Hefnerian swingers with a taste for cool jazz and dry martinis. Today, as men marry well into their 20s and 30s and enjoy both a boundless pool of sexually available women and a commercial culture awash with "stupid fun," the young, unmarried male has become a far more prominent -- and more vexing -- social type. He has devolved into the child man -- or, if you like, man child, boy man or "basement boy" (a nod to his penchant for taking up residence in the rec rooms of suburban parents) -- with crude obsessions for Xboxes, "hot babes," and Will Farrell and Seth Rogen movies. The emergence of this social type is the subject of two timely books, "Men to Boys" and "Guyland."
Michael Kimmel, the author of the frequently cited "Manhood in America" (1996) and now of the cleverly titled "Guyland," finds that young men today just wanna have fun. After spending their college years in a haze of alcohol and hook-ups, young men go on to "re-create . . . their college lifestyle in the big city," where they flock to the sort of bar that advertises "Spring Break 52 Weeks a Year."
Mr. Kimmel is just as depressed as Mr. Cross is by such cultural signs, but for different reasons. Mr. Kimmel sees the roots of modern immaturity in what he calls The Guy Code, a set of informal rules about male behavior that requires guys to "shut down emotionally" and embrace homophobia to feel more powerful in a world where the privileged status that men enjoyed for centuries is no longer guaranteed.
Where "Guyland" concentrates on “A kind of suspended animation between boyhood and manhood, Guyland lies between the dependency and lack of autonomy of boyhood and the sacrifice and responsibility of manhood.”
"Men to Boys" traces over three generations from the lingering Victorian ideals of masculine self-restraint, gentility and "measured deference to female culture at home" to the buffoonery of radio host Howard Stern and ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman.
No longer has male hedonism to do with learning how to be well-dressed or cultivate a taste for wine, women, and song. It is about immediate satisfaction of the appetite and pleasures of the youth.”
Duly deconstructed beginning in the 1960s, male maturity was in full rout by the 1980s, when, for instance, Pepsi proclaimed itself "for those who think young." The coup de grâce was performed in the 1990s by the advent of slacker culture and the "endless thrills" of elaborate videogames. Mr. Cross observes that the current generation of young men has been uniquely shaped by a popular culture in which the "celebration of the puerile" never flags: "South Park," "Dumb and Dumber," Maxim, Comedy Central. Meanwhile, a slew of "western, crime, and adventure movies" were "transformed from morality tales into spectacles of violence."
While I know some middle age men who are endless adolescents, never marrying or having to do anything besides cater to their endless pleasure, be it women or video gaming or sports cars, I actually know more men who are married, some even with 4 or 5 kids, who are responsible, hard working, mature adults and quality husbands and fathers.
So is this "Culture of the Adolescent" an epidemic in our society? I don't really know. I hope not.
Now someone needs to write a corresponding book about women.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Is Contemporary Art a con?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Vintage Christian Dior in Sapphire Silk at Retro Dress
Art Deco Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet at Beladora
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
A 500 point drop. The worst drop since 2001
Well it's another Black Monday at least as far as the markets are concerned. Triggered by Lehman Brother's inability to find a buyer and subsequent filing for Chapter 11 the Dow is down around 300 points.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
From the blog:
It’s a fair bet that there has been nary a runway show all week without the presence of a model with an eating disorder. The industry has begun trying to come to terms with the high prevalence of malnutrition among the six-foot-tall models who are asked to slip into size zero clothing samples.
One tell-tale sign of severe malnutrition is a blotchy mosaic of mineral deposits under the skin. At runway shows, this is visible on some models’ arms and legs from as far back as the third row. A fashion photographer told me recently that they use special software to digitize this effect out of photographs.
“We see this as a first step,” says Ms. Billinkoff, the CFDA’s spokeswoman, of the signatures on the petition. “Depending on the reaction, it’ll be time to mobilize. Will the next step be to go back up in a sample size from a zero to a two or a four or a six — which is what it used to be?”
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Is it just me or is there something a little tranny about this girl?
Ice T and Coco at Baby Phat Show
Friday, September 12, 2008
For me it was a typical Friday night. You know, stay at the office until 9:3o finishing up all those pesky tasks that didn't get completed during the week.
Eventually I made my way home and took the pooch out for a walk. Nothing unusual there...a big black dog that wants to run while I stumble my way through the dark in my pencil skirt and high heels. Except for one little thing...tonight I noticed an unusual aroma in the air. The smell of fire.
And no, the Santa Monica mountains above Brentwood were not on fire.
My neighbors were actually have fires in their fireplaces!
DENISE Rich enthralled 100 Fashion Week-lings at Brasserie Cognac with a report on her summer vacation: "London is the best place to buy Jimmy Choo, St.-Tropez has the coolest Pucci. I get my Lacroix in Cannes, Louis Vuitton in Paris and Cavalli in Bal Harbour. Don't tell anybody."
Yes Denise....I won't tell anyone...but what I really want to know is where do you get all that pink eyeshadow...CVS?
We all know that 50 is the new 30, but is 80 the new 60?
Well apparently for my father it is.
Last night, as we celebrated my father's 80th birthday, I was wondering what kept him so youthful. Is it something in the Orange County water?
Here's a man who could be sitting in a Lazyboy in front of the HD tv. But no...he's too busy with working out at the gym 4 days a week for 1 1/2 hours each session, playing golf 1 or 2 times a week, working in his garden, singing in the choir at church, going to movies, seeing his friends, volunteering for neighborhood projects, and reading books. Next month, he and my step mother are off to Spain on vacation.
I think that the secret is in the balance of elements in his life, physical, spiritual and intellectual. And moderation in all things.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Filmmaker/Video Producer. She won an MTV Video of the Year Award for her work on Van Halen's music video for there song, "Right Here, Right Now." She was a Senior Vice-President of Entertainment and Educational Production for Walt Disney Records, Disney Music Publishing and Disney Ice Shows. She was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Carolyn, you are not forgotten nor are all the other victims of September 11, 2001 and their families.
The Uber Cool W Hotel in Westwood Randy Gerber' s Whiskey Blue Bar at the W
So there I was with my around town partner in crime Kristopher Dukes, at Angeleno Magazine's launch party for their September Fashion Issue, held at the uber cool W Hotel in Westwood. It was so packed with local fashionistas that we had to take refuge in the Whiskey Blue bar. Nice bar, bitchy bartenders.
The highlight of the evening was meeting Dr. Alexander Rivkin of the Westside Medical Spa and his gorgeous girlfriend. Alex is the doctor for those of us who don't believe in jumping into cosmetic surgery. A Yale trained surgeon and instructor at UCLA Medical Center, he specializes in non surgical treatments including:
He even has his own blog.
He doesn't know this yet but he's going to be my new best friend. (Sorry Kristopher, but I have to give to give preference to the man who can make injections...)
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Apparently, the It-bag moment is officially over. The trouble is, nobody has told my bag. Shane Watson explores a co-dependency
You don’t own an It bag — you hook up with it and hope for the best.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Also from WSJ this article on bling and the hot jewelry designers.
Today, the question ‘Who are you wearing?’ is just as likely to apply to your jewelry as your clothes.
So, like with clothes, bags and shoes, jewelry designers are selling a lifestyle or rather a narrative promoting an aspirational lifestyle. Is this anything new? Hasn't Cartier, Van Cleef, Harry Winston and Bvlgari always been doing this?
Well actually no. The great jewelry houses sold beauty, originality, quality and intrinsic value...sometimes with a named designer and sometimes not.
Now it's all about the cult of personality. Stephen Webster's rock and roll lifestyle is as important as his designs to the aspirational buyer.
Webster isn’t a rock star—he just channels the lifestyle of one. As a jewelry designer, he is part of a cadre that’s challenging the way people view and wear contemporary pieces. His crystal pendants, cocktail rings and diamond cuffs are part Punk, part Harry Potter. And his clients (including Madonna) are as interesting as his backers (financier Ron Burkle invested in the business in 2007). All of this adds up to commercial appeal: He sells his collection, priced from $2,000 to $250,000, at stores like Neiman Marcus.
Beyond the gems is an image that fans find consuming. “I really try to put everything I like into my jewelry—driving a motorcycle or listening to certain music, socializing and being with certain people,” Webster says. Customers “need to know what they’re buying into
I think Stephen Webster jewelry is awesome, particularly the Crystal Haze Collection. But it's pretty clear to me that wearing it isn't going to get me invited to parties at seaside villas on exotic Mediterranean islands with the rock stars and Ron Burkle.
I just love the line "Customers need to know what they are buying into". What the hell does than mean anyway?
Once again the lack of interest in the "It" bag is mentioned.
In the past, fashion designers provided that lifestyle association. The $2,000 “It” bag is the most recent example. The point was to create demand for a purse that everyone would wear. Today, with bag overload, some women are seeking items that are more individual, more lasting. Jewelry fits the bill. By way of example, in June, Saks Fifth Avenue said sales of trendy bags had softened, while high-end baubles were moving swiftly.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
After a short wrap up committee meeting for the Jewel of Orange County event for the Great Park Conservancy at the Peter Blake Gallery, we were treated to a short presentation by photographer Jacques Garnier. Garnier is in the progress of creating a photographic documentary over a 15 year period of the evolution of the area that will become the Great Park.
I was fascinated by Garnier's project not only because he documents historical change, but because he does it with the eyes of an artist.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Could it be too early to start shopping for my Fall fashion essential?
No, I didn't think so.
Besides, even if the predicted cool weather doesn't arrive and we have a moderate 75 degrees all winter long, the temperature in my office is still something akin to Northern Maine, rather than sunny Southern California.
Thus, the overwhelming need for a cardigan...or two...or three.
Urban Outfitters BDG cardigan...too slouchy
Nordstrom Soprano cardigan...too tight
Richard Chai cardigan...just right