Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Miss de Ville Models Mahie

On occasion Miss de Ville gets the day off from school.

Today for example, she had the day off for Cesar Chavez Day....
Naturally she didn't get President's Day off because Cesar Chavez is soooo much more important than...mere Presidents such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln...you know who didn't do too much for this country.

Well anyhoo, when she gets the day off she comes into the office to help out.
Somehow she prefers to try on the goods rather than doing any actual work.
Quelle surprise!
Jean Mahie Amethyst and Diamond Jewelry in 22K
Jean Mahie Galore!

Jean Mahie Lapis and Diamond Jewelry in 22K

Jean Mahie Ruby and Diamond Earrings ion 22K
If you're an appreciation of jewelry artist extraordinaire, Jean Mahie
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Who's Driving What In Washington

I guess that we finally know what's wrong with Detroit

With President Barack Obama showing the ailing U.S. auto industry some tough love Monday, POLITICO wondered -- what's ...
... in the driveways of White House aides? A lot of foreign cars, as it turns out. A survey of West Executive Drive, where White House staffers park, revealed only five American cars out of 23 --a Dodge Grand Caravan, two Ford Escapes, a Jeep Cherokee and a Cadillac. The lot was sprinkled with BMWs, Mercedes, Hondas, Toyotas, Saabs, Audis, Volkswagens and a Volvo.

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Going Gray The Daphne Guinness Way

I happen to be one of those people that has hair that grows rather quickly.
On one hand it's a good thing if you have long hair like I do. On the other hand it is a disaster when you start to go gray.
I didn't go gray until about 3 years ago and at that time I made the decision to go blond.
God knows you can't go gray in this town....you might as well commit social hari kari.
OK, so being blond isn't such a bad thing except that about every 3 weeks or so I find myself at the hairdresser...and seriously, I hate it. Not only is it frigging expensive..it takes hours of my time...which I hate to waste.

So here's a picture of me blondish from last summer in Spain with my younger brother and my mother.
(yeah, I'm the one in black)

My brothers both started to go gray in their mid thirties...and luckily I didn't. So by now they both have salt and pepper hair...and are even more handsome... or should I say distinguished....because of it.

I, on the other hand, wouldn't want to go gray unless I could do it the Daphne Guinness way.

Well, she's not exactly gray...it's more of a black and white Cruella de Ville kind of look and she rocks!

Daphne Guinness is my fashion icon.

Nobody pulls off extreme chic the way that she does.

Check out the signature black and white wardrobe.

And the serious estate jewelry

And the skunk hair
I love it.

Now...if only I was an heiress to the world's most famous brewing fortune, the ex wife of a Greek shipping tycoon, and 100 pounds...I would rock this look too.
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Paris - Maybe Not Always So Chic

I hope that you're reading Karen's posts from her vacation to Venice.
Her observations about fashion abroad are priceless.

It's hard to tell the Italians from the other European tourists here. I've decided that although Europeans dress nicely, they mostly look the same. This time of year it's tall, flat black boots worn with lightweight wool coats. Of course there are the big scarves, but it's delightful to see something other than purple. In fact, purple is very big as the color "pop." I find it funny how the crowd mentality really grabs onto a trend in Europe. In the States, there is much more individualism, creativity and variety in the way we dress. If they tell us purple is "in" we may pay attention to it, but not to the exclusion of the rest of the rainbow.

I've always agreed with her comment that in the States...at least where I reside, there is much more individualism and variety in the way we dress.

After so many bloggers have posted about the Parisienne chic, I've always found that women are better dressed on the westside of Los Angeles (Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood and Malibu) and on the upper eastside of New York.

When I travel to Paris I sometimes see women dressed like the fashionistas in The Sartorialist's photos.
But mostly I see this type of individualism in fashion in Paris...and it just seems to miss in my opinion.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Around Town - Beverly Hills Film Festival

Yup...there's always something to do in Beverly Hills.
Rumor has it that Lindsey Lohan will be there....lucky us!

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Vintage Value Venture - Spring Roses For Spring Weddings

Well, it's spring...finally
Well maybe not in North Dakota
My mother is happily getting ready for her spring trip to Spain, France and Italy. Included in her little European jaunt is a wedding of the daughter of family friends in southern Spain and for the happy event she's packing a smart little frock, a rose print jacket and adorable shoes each with a gigantic fabric rose on the top.
Considering that the family owns a major Sherry winery and after a couple of glasses of fino and in an outfit like that I wouldn't be surprised if ma mere ends up with a rose in her teeth flamenco dancing with some young toreador.
Alas, I'm not off to Europe until the weather warms up to at least 85 degrees.
But.... if I had a lovely spring wedding to go to this is what I would wear.

And I'd be flamenco dancing with a young toreador with a rose in my teeth!
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Yep - It's That Simple

It's pretty obvious about how I feel about supporting my fellow fashion bloggers, especially those who promote vintage fashion which is both economical and green. And, I'm thrilled to read that my favorite vintage blogger, Mary Kincaid, whose Zurburbia blog is the top aggregator of vintage shopping info, has been nominated for 2009 Glam Awards. I'm going to vote for her and you should too.
Here's where you go.
Remember you can vote everyday so vote early and vote often!
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Around Town - Seeing Red on Rodeo Drive

Valentino To Be Honored By Rodeo Drive Walk Of Style Award
Thu, Apr 2 - Beverly Hills (down the road from the Rodeo Drive Valentino boutique)Valentino has been named as the 13th honoree of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style award. There will be an outdoor exhibition themed in Valentino's signature red, as a tribute to the legendary fashion designer. The ceremony will coincide with the West Coast premiere of the documentary film "Valentino: The Last Emperor" by Matt Tyrnauer.

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Around Town - Social Primer Opening at Lily Lodge

When I saw this invitation on Social Primer, I just had to stop by and congratulate blogger and social etiquettician, K. Cooper Ray on his store opening at the Lily Lodge at 644 N Robertson Boulevard. I was hoping to run into Hautelook hottie, Carlota Espinosa, which I didn't, but the event was crowded with the kind of LA socialites that I rarely see in my westside hood. (Seriously, I never see Alfredo and Lulu at Toscana in Brentwood...they must cook Italian at home)

While I often link to corporate retailers like Neiman Marcus, I strongly believe in supporting small boutiques which bring us charming and often one of kind items that add that old fashioned elegance to our lives. Robertson is a great shopping street, especially now that Chanel and Ralph Lauren have opened stores. But seriously, Karl and Ralph don't need your business while the local merchants do.
So, if you are looking for a special gift for a gentleman...and Father's Day is coming up in a couple of months, do check out the Social Primer shop. You will be certain to find something special.

The very natty bow tied gentleman K. Cooper Ray

Here's the Vanity Fair write up
Social Studies
What: The opening of Cooper Ray’s Social Primer.
Where: Lily Lodge, West Hollywood.
Who: Cooper Ray, Perry Reeves, Crystal Lourd, Jamie Tisch, Lulu de Kwiatkowski, Lucy Liu, Sally Perrin, Cameron Silver, Lady Victoria Hervey, and Magda Berliner.
Why: Because Ray, the editor of SocialPrimer.com, which teaches gentlemen how to “instill civility into an uncivilized world,” took his brand one step further with the pop-up shop that features his favorite picks from the site.
Talking Point: The merits of old-school style, as guests admired the vintage stationery, soaps, and bow ties.

Congratulations Cooper!
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Books - Oh The Calamity!

If you haven't already read Wendy B's post on Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror - The Calamitous 14th Century" you need to read it now.

It's become de rigueur for newspaper columnists, bloggers and people standing around the water cooler to bemoan the decline of civilization as evidenced by what one historian called "economic chaos, social unrest, high prices, profiteering, depraved morals, lack of production, industrial indolence, frenetic gaiety, wild expenditure, luxury, debauchery, social and religious hysteria, greed, avarice, maladministration, decay of manners."
If you're feeling panicky over the state of the world, A Distant Mirror is my prescription for what ails you.
Tuchman, writing in 1978, says, "If our last decade or two of collapsing assumptions has been a period of unusual discomfort, it is reassuring to know that the human species has lived through worse before."
As they say...read the whole thing.
And, what I want to know is where is Wendy's instalaunch?
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Financial Crisis - For Fun and Profit!

Look who's having fun in the worldwide financial crisis!
Yup, you guessed it...George Soros.

From The Mail online
'I'm having a very good crisis,' says Soros as hedge fund managers make billions off recession

A hedge fund manager who predicted the global credit crunch has said the financial crisis has been 'stimulating' and the culmination of his life's work.

I love the way Soros will bring down and entire currency or country...if it means he will profit off of it! God knows after you've earned a few billion, you just can't get enough!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Solve World Hunger. Get Out Of My Closet.

The Obama Deficit

From the Telegraph

Michelle Obama says her husband Barack knows nothing about fashion
President Barack Obama is obsessed with his wife's clothes but knows nothing about fashion, the First Lady, Michelle Obama has revealed.

Obsessed with his wife's clothes...Oh God I hope not.

Mrs Obama, who has swiftly become an American style icon with a Vogue cover to her name, says that she orders the president to stop nosing around her wardrobe, puts up with him mocking her collection of shoes and has to wear one trendy belt when he is not around because he has no sense of style.

Describing a scene which will sound familiar to many less illustrious couples, Mrs Obama said her husband remains bemused by her interest in clothes. "He's always asking: 'Is that new? I haven't seen that before,'" she said, revealing that she replies: "Why don't you mind your own business? Solve world hunger. Get out of my closet."
She went on to mock Mr Obama's tone when dealing with that age old thorny issue: the number of shoes a woman needs. Imitating her husband, Mrs Obama said: "You didn't need any more shoes. The shoes you had on yesterday were fine. Why can't you just wear that for the rest of the presidency?"

Solving world hunger is a lofty goal, at this rate I'd just prefer the President to help stabilize the economy.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Around Town - Where To Take The Euro Boys

Your friends from the frosty northern German city of Hamburg stop in LA to see you on their way to skiing in Colorado and you are suffering from the worst cold you have had in 5 years. So where do you take them that is attractive and interesting enough to give them a flavor of LA and low key enough that you can survive in your sad snivelling condition.

The place to go is the Casa Del Mar Veranda in Santa Monica with its great view of the ocean and full of the stereotypical beautiful people. OK, so there isn't a great choice of non domestic beer, your friends are just going to have to settle with Bud Light, but they won't mind as view is so pretty, particularly the tall leggy blondes that keep walking by.

Then dinner, and the explanation of the fact that here in LA it's pretty much either sushi or Italian...so off to Sushi Roku. Crowded and crazy yes, but that's what Santa Monica is. I'm pretty sure that they had no idea of what was on the menu, or the difference between sushi and sashimi and when I ordered my usual salmon sashimi, they weren't too enthusiastic about sharing it.

A trip to LA isn't complete without a stroll around my hood, Beverly Hills. Yes the magical land of Prada and Zegna where the streets are always clean, the flowers are always in bloom and the Bentley's always roll.
No stop in Beverly Hills is complete without lunch at E Baldi. Italian food, of course on Canon Drive, which is like the Beverly Hills equivalent of a mall food court. From the Italians, Cafe Roma, Il Pastaio and Enoteca Drago, to Spago, Maestro and The Montage, there's a restaurant about every 20 feet up and down the street.
The best is E Baldi with their carpaccio of tuna and arugula salad, which let's face it, is as close as you can get to sashimi in Italian cuisine.

Then a quiet dinner at a local neighborhood haunt, The Brentwood. More like a private club for the Brentwood elite than anything else, the fare is great American food...but at a price. Roast chicken, pork chops, fish and chips, and some seriously good french fries and creamed spinach. It was a big hit with the Germans, who were looking for something to eat besides raw fish!
Next time it's going to be my trip to Hamburg, where a sunny 70 degree day is considered a heat wave. Oh well, whatever the weather, there will be plenty of beer and wienerschnitzel.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Why Men Don't Pole Dance

Why men don't pole dance
Hat tip Random Thoughts

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Executive Travel The JP Morgan Way

Admit it...you so wanted to read this
Here's the link to the video from ABC.com

So...let's get this straight

JP Morgan already has 2 corporate jets and now they are upgrading to 2 new ultra luxurious jets and possibly the finest private hanger with a roof garden to house the new rolling stock...or should we call it flying stock.

The financial giant's upgrade includes nearly $120 million for two Gulfstream 650 planes and $18 million for a lavish renovation of a hangar at the Westchester Airport outside New York City.

According to JPMorgan Chase architects, the new hangar will be built with reclaimed wood, quarry tile and even a "vegetated roof garden."
The Gulfstream 650's are described by the manufacturer as the "fastest," "widest" and "most comfortable"
private jet ever with superior cabin amenities, an optional stateroom, and 12 interior designs to choose from.

Do I need to remind any of you of the fact that JP Morgan has received 25 Billion TARP money.
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Dating Rules and Reasons For Cheating

OMG...I'm so confused.

Thank God I'm long beyond the dating scene because there are new rules for dating...and they're not nice.

OK...this is supposed to be tongue in cheek...but it's kinda not.

we've got He Man Women Hater's Dating Rules

1. Boys do what they can, men do what they want.
2. If you don’t know the guy or he is a douche, fuck his gf and/or wife to within an inch of her life. 3. Guilt is for pussies, however if you do something without her consent (includes getting her drunk douche bag) you should be castrated, fed your dick and shot in the head.
4. As with the markets celebrate your victories and move on to the next. Your score doesn’t go up if you keep hitting the same piece of ass.
5. Attachment is for pussies. “Date” as many as you can.
6. If you are dating 2+ at a time, lay it out there, if they can’t handle it, they can piss and the fuck off to an Analyst (had to put a jab in there).
7. Pick your targets before you get drunk. (Saves you from waking up Coyote Ugly).
8. Both Harper and BL1Y speak of the this relationship thing, I’m sorry but it does not compute.
9. Who cares what people think. Are you sheep? Be a fucking man. Fuck em!
10. Never lie, your friends appreciate the rejection/coyote ugly/drunk/disgusting/embarrassing stories more than you know. Just not as much as the women readers do…

In conjunction with The Hit List

The Jewish Chic
The Indian Chic
The Spaniard Chic
The Cuban Chic
The Argentinian Chic
The Brazilian Chic
The Middle Eastern Chic
The Greek Chic
The Swedish Chic
The Brit Chic
The European Chic (Russian)
The Bo Derek (10) Chic
The Artist/Musician/Model/Waitress
The Athletic Chic
The Good Chic (Best Liar)
The Bad Chic (Slut)
The Dog Lover Chic
The Doctor Chic
The Attorney Chic
The Over 30
The Single Mom Chic
The Bridge and Tunnel (B&T/SI) Chic
The Blue Collar Chic (Stripper)
The Ivy league/DABA/ High Maintenance Girl Chic
The Party Girl Chic
The Hott Dumb Chic (Since stripper was taken, any other will do)

(I like the fact that the older woman chic is over 30!!!)

All of this in response to a post from The Daily Flavor

Dating Rules for Females
1. Do what you want.
2. Get what you want - most* of the time “the end justifies the means” in dating. *home wrecking is never OK!
3. Never feel guilty about getting what you want.
4. Always rejoice in your victories.
5. Don’t get too attached to quickly, even if you have to date 3 + men at a time.
6. If you are dating 3+ at a time, don’t let the participants know.
7. Do judge a book by it’s cover, at first! Then add up all the other positives and negatives.
8. Do put in all the work necessary to make a relationship work, once you choose it.
9. Don’t act or feel insecure - it’s unflattering, and if you begin to feel this way spend 10 mins analyzing why, and then never think about it again, just move on.
10. Never settle, not even for one night or five minutes.

OK...so even though this is tongue in cheek there is something still so sad about it.

Oh...it's so good to be middle aged.

Then we have from Yahoo

1. Bored

2. Dependence

3. Confusion

4. Because They Let You

5. Nurturing

6. Revenge

7. Confirmation of Attractiveness

8. The Thrill

9. They Don't Consider It Cheating, Even Though You Might

This subject has been on my mind the last week or two because of a situation with one of my young colleagues. After 4 months of dating a man that she fell madly in love with, she found out...through Facebook of course, that he was married with two children. (It's amazing what you can learn through Facebook...another topic for another post)

So, I give you reason number 10

10. Because They Can...And They Will
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Luxe For Less - Managing Margins Down

From Jeanine Poggi in Forbes.com
Fashion Deflation
The recession is prompting clothing makers and retailers to lower prices.

There's some good news for shoppers amid the economic gloom: Lower clothing prices are coming soon, and not just for sale items. Mainstream brands such as Lacoste and Coach plan to cut retail prices as much as 30% on their fall offerings.
The reason: Fashion producers are trying to anticipate consumers' tighter budgets and avoid last year's drastic markdowns, which can undercut a brand's perceived strength. "The 70% discounts we saw during the holiday season are risky not just for brand integrity but brand equity," says Erwan Rambourg, luxury and sporting goods analyst at HSBC.

As a defensive action, clothing makers are tightening belts, making do with lower profit margins and passing along the cuts to consumers in the form of lower retail prices.

OK...so mid level brands are lowering their margins, which is great for consumers, but what about luxury brands?

It's highly unlikely that you will see these reductions at true luxury players such as Louis Vuitton and Cartier. "These brands offer classics, and if Cartier doesn't sell one of its watches today, they can still sell it six months from now," notes Rambourg.
Roger Kowall, owner of Ohio-based men's boutique Cuffs, says suppliers such as Hermès, Loro Piana and Brioni have maintained their prices for the fall. Burberry and Bally also say prices will remain steady.
"Luxury is all about perceived value," Rambourg observes. "If you lower prices you take away that 'wow' effect, which is what defines luxury."

While luxury may be all about perceived value, I have to differ with Mr. Rambourg on the price reductions on luxury goods.

While price reductions my not be published, I know that you can walk into any Cartier store in the US and get an immediate reduction on a Cartier watch. These stores desperately need to move product and manage their cash flow.

Perhaps a one of a kind piece of jewelry will never be discounted, but a stock item will be discounted 10-20%. I wouldn't be surprised if you can also get a discount on the Cartier "Love Bracelet"...although who would buy one new when you purchase one pre-owned at a discount.

Even with brick and mortar stores lowering margins, internet businesses, will continue to be the best places to shop, because you can shop at your own convenience from your own home, not be pressured by sales staff to make a purchase and avoid ridiculous retail markups.

This is what I'm liking now online. I don't need a branded item for the "wow" effect.

Black Onyx and Diamond Earrings from Beladora2.com $395

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vintage Value Venture - Because I Didn't Get Any AIG Bonus Bucks

Every week I read the news and shake my head about the massive screw-ups coming out of Washington.
...AIG bonuses paid by the taxpayers and then our friends over at Fannie and Freddie reaching out for taxpayer backed bonuses too.
Of course we have the usual suspects complaining about limits on bonuses
Next we have this
Blogger Amy Alkon reminds us of even more nonsense from Capital Hill.
Bend Over, America!
(Again.) Guess who owes us back taxes? Matt Jaffe writes on ABC News that at least 13 companies who've sucked up some of the $300 billion in TARP funds owe hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes:
Two of the companies owe more than $100 million in taxes, said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.
Altogether, the 13 companies owed the government more than $220 million in unpaid taxes, he said.

No wonder we had the largest weekly drop in the dollar since 1985.

Thank God for Vintage...because I'm assuming that you didn't get government backed bonus bucks this year either.

OK, so it's not Roland Mouret....but I like the Mad Men 1950's vibe and detail. Plus the emphasis on the shoulders fits with everything shown this year at New York Fashion Week.

Dress Detail - Note blue interior at neckline

Rhonda Faber Green Sapphire and Diamond Earrings from Beladora.com $3250

Sapphire and Diamond Ring from Beladora.com $1950

Yeah...I know that the jewelry is on the pricey side...but with the dollar going down and gold going up...not to mention the inevitable inflation that will be coming our way soon...I'd rather have my assets invested in estate jewelry than in the stock market.
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Savvy Shopping - Going Green For Spring

Wondering what to do on a foggy spring weekend? How about a worry free drive along the coast to Santa Barbara in an environmentally sound and super sexy and sleek Tesla Roadster.
With oil prices on the rise again last week, it's nice to know that you can drive an electric car that is energy saving, high performing and cost efficient.
When Tesla formally announced the Model S Sedan last June, the MSRP bandied was about $60,000 for the all-electric sedan. In its newsletter today, Tesla has confirmed that the "anticipated base price" for the Model S will be $57,400. With a federal tax credit of $7,500 available, however, the Model S should cost just $49,900. Details on what's included in the base version of the Model S should be available at the vehicle's official unveiling next week. Tesla says that even with a sub-$50,000 price tag (just barely), the Model S is really competing with cars that cost much less:
Because of tax incentives and relatively inexpensive maintenance and refueling, the lifetime ownership cost will be closer to cars with far lower sticker prices. [...] The Model S will become the car of choice for environmentally conscious and discriminating drivers throughout North America and Europe.
Tesla Model S Roadster
From the Tesla Newsletter
"We're not beholden to Middle East oil – and by the way my car is probably faster than your car!" joked Rob, CEO of WilderShares LLC and manager of WilderHill Clean Energy Index, the first Index on Wall Street for energy efficiency and zero-carbon solutions. "This car is an elegant solution to some of the world's most difficult problems. And buying it is helping push along EV adoption generally because Tesla is investing the money in lower-priced cars down the line."
Tesla is now producing approximately 20 cars per week, which will increase to 30 per week this summer. About 1,000 people are waiting to take ownership of their Roadster, which means Tesla is sold out through October of this year. The Roadster remains the only highway-capable production electric vehicle of any kind (not just in the sports car category) for sale in the US or Europe. It does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Dukes With News You Can Use

Here's LA fashion icon and total tech geek, Kristopher Dukes, talking about how to protect yourself online.

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For The Boys - Dressed Up Denim NY and Paris Style

New York
On their way to the Ralph Lauren Show...
as if you couldn't have guessed
Cocktails at the Hunt Club later perhaps?

Paris - city casual chic
Great mix of dressy coat and shoes with denim shirt

"Shopping in your closet" or finding a new way to put together a look with what you already have at home has pretty much been the theme of how to dress in this year's recession.
Obviously, this way of dressing isn't just for women only.
From The Sartorialist here's two city looks for men in denim
and the Sart's comments on the second look
I love when you see something and think, "wait, I have those items...why didn't I think of putting them together like that?"
If "street-style" blogs are useful right now, in this difficult economic time, then it is because they highlight simple little styling tricks that can inspire us to see the wardrobe we already own in a new way.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Model Lives - Nico and Gisele

Nico at her Paris apartment in the early 1960's

I was just thinking about how much our style icons have changed in the last 50 years.
Take for example two models famous enough to go by one name
Nico and Gisele.
German born Nico, who rose to fame in the late 1950's, had a career that spanned decades as a model, actress and singer. From a small part in Fellini's La Dolce Vita to working with Serge Gainsbourg, and later part of Andy Warhol's Factory and a singer in the Velvet Underground, she was at the cultural center of all things hip in the 1960's and 1970's.
She also had a life riddled with drugs including dropping acid while pregnant with Alan Delon's son and decades of heroin addiction.
Nico - Poster girl for Heroin Chic

And then we have Brazilian born Gisele.
Glamazon and all around girl next door....except with legs that go from here to forever and the hottest quarterback for a husband.
Aside from the glamour job making her a gazillionaire, Gisele seems to live a rather normal life including hanging out at the park with Tom Brady's son and meeting friends at Casa Vega in the Valley.

Gisele - Poster Girl For Healthy Living
Newlyweds Gisele and Tom Brady - Eating Ice Cream and Looking Normal

How much difference 5 decades make.

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Music- Nico Singing Serge Gainsbourg

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

We Make Plans and God Laughs

Why is it that on the one weekend when I have friends in from Europe I come down with the worst cold that I've had in at least 4 years. So while I must go out and be social, I really just want to lay on the couch and watch movies on Netflix with my cup of theraflu.

just another example of
We Make Plans and God Laughs
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