Thursday, April 30, 2009

Playing With Polyvore - Electric Blue From Beladora2

Electric Blue
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Diamonds From Fantasy To Reality

The Fantasy

A 30.02 carat pear-shaped D, Internally Flawless type Iia diamond was sold for $4,002,500 to an unidentified private buyer at Christie’s New York jewelry auction on Wednesday. The winning bid represents a $133,000 per carat sale price. “The market for colorless diamonds remains absolutely firm and very much in line with prices realized for similar stones this time last year,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s head of jewelry. Another top selling item was a 6.76 carats cushion-cut Burmese ruby and diamond ring that was sold for $866,500, or $128,000 per carat, to an Asian private buyer. A rectangular-cut D, VS1 diamond weighing 32.72 carats sold for $1,650,500, within the estimated range of $1.4 - $1.8 million. “The sale attracted buoyant participation from private collectors and members of the trade from all over the world, setting a great tone for the spring jewelry auction season,” Kadakia added.

Yes, there is still a market for big rocks, especially if they are D-IFs.

And, you would think from Kadakia's comments that the demand for diamonds is robust.

The Reality

What better way to describe reality than to show you this chart.

Diamond prices have tanked.

So...if you are in the market for something new or if you want to trade up, now is a good time to buy.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Carla Bruni - Never Beautiful Enough For The Brits

I don't know why exactly but for some reason it doesn't bother me when the Fug Girls take down one celebrity after another for their fashion crimes. From Bai Ling to Lady Gaga, I'm OK with the fashion criticism that these celebrities deserve.

But it truly does vex me when the fashion press comes up with something like this embarrassingly catty article by Liz Jones in the Times Online
The day Carla met her match...How Spain's Princess upstaged the French First Lady
First we have a comparison of their derrieres, because let's face it, in 2009 the worthiness of women is still judged according to their figures, faces, and fashions.

This was the spectacular battle of the derrieres. Even though I don't usually have much time for Carla Bruni, believing her to be merely an expensively dressed model with the beady eyes of a terrier, I did feel a tiny bit sorry for her yesterday. (beady eyes of a terrier....can you believe she writes this stuff?)
Who would want to negotiate a flight of steps in a tight skirt and heels, in front of the world's Press, in synchronisation with the owner of one of the classiest rears in the world: Princess Letizia of Spain.
Anything would have been better than the ignominy of having your flat, slightly over-aerobicised fortysomething posterior photographed for all the world to see next to something so round, so high, so - damn it - perfect.
(Yep, there we go....forget the individual accomplishments of these women, it's really all about their derrieres)

And then Ms Jones gives us the take down on their legs and shoes.

I can only imagine Carla later that night, spitting into husband Nicolas Sarkozy's ear: 'It was all your fault. If only you weren't so damned short, I could have worn six-inch Fendis to crank up my bottom instead of tiny kitten heels that make me look as out of date and tired as snow-washed denim.'
Shoes say so much more about a woman than her CV. (!!!!!!) OMG....the next time my assistant needs to send out her resume I'll be sure to tell her just to send out a picture of her Jimmy Choos. Carla's black Christian Louboutins show she is being forced to conform against her nature, while Letizia's blush pink platforms demonstrate that, like her husband, Crown Prince Felipe, she is bringing Spain firmly into the 21st century.
The former TV anchor's platforms by Spanish designer Rebecca Sanver show she is flirtatious, fun-loving and prepared to take risks. Carla merely shows sublimation.

And the article continues with sweeping generalizations

The Spanish are so much more effortlessly sensual than their French and Italian counterparts. Far less label conscious and not uptight about looking thin, they are happy just to look hot.

and insults

Her simple black Dior sheath in velvet would have looked lovely on someone as gamine as the actress Natalie Portman, but against the Princess it looked as if she had pulled on a pair of curtains - particularly as she did not seem to be wearing a bra.
Letizia wore a stunning dove grey satin gown with a full, beaded skirt and a tiara atop her carefully tousled hair.

and insights into Carla's psyche

The trouble is that you can see Carla cares she has been usurped. A lot. Oh really? To me she looks bien dans sa peau as the wife of the President of France.
Despite all those years as a clothes horse, she often feels outclassed and has no innate sense of what is right in society. And when exactly did Liz Jones become Carla Bruni's fashion therapist?
Before every official engagement, her personal secretary will glean as much information about the dress code as possible: is it long or short, gloves and hats, are trousers allowed?
Carla lacks confidence, so will never go wild and wear something a bit dashing or daring. She needs to let go a little. Let go? Her job as the wife of the head of state is to promote French Fashion, and she does it flawlessly.
Letizia wins hands down in the battle of the style stakes, but it has nothing to do with age - she is 36, Carla is 41 - it has more to do with attitude. yeah...whatever
The Princess looks like a woman who is vital and interested, who is unafraid to experiment and to laugh.

The article goes on to compare the women by dress, shoes, sleeves, bottom, bags and legs...because let's face it, women, no matter if they are a princess or a prole, are judged only as a sum of their parts.


And as for the comment about Carla's need to "let go a little"...oh the irony when we all know that this is a woman who has "let go" plenty in the past...

Carla's agony as intimate photos of her with ex-lover are stolen in raid on Paris flat

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Palm Beach Polo - A Great Loss

Well the story came out on Yahoo
It not only was a bad batch of drugs
It was a bad batch of drugs that are not legal in the US
I'm not surprised
Whatever the reality there is a huge sense of loss.
Here is the email that I received from a friend in the Palm Beach Polo world.

Our Black Sunday
By Sam Morton
“Nothing really prepares you for what happened Sunday; the horror of overt twenty horses dropping at our biggest polo tournament of the year. Young athletes cut down in their prime.. It is our Black Sunday or 9/11 in polo.
There are lots of rumors running around which doesn’t really change the end result. Lots of horsemen who happened to be there scrambled over to help but there was nothing they could do. One witness told me it looked like there were twenty people around each horse trying to do something,anything.
“People who work behind the scenes in polo learn to work fast. We pride ourselves on it. Horses are tacked up, stripped, and washed in minutes. At the U.S. Open Sunday, and at any Florida function all winter, there are people from all over the world in the polo community. For over an hour,South Africans, Argentines, French, Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Cubans, and several other countries, worked shoulder to shoulder with the best horse vets in the world to save lives. They were scrambling as one, at a moment’s notice. I can tell you no one could have worked faster in any sport, equestrian or human, and for that I am extremely proud to be part of it. The polo team, Isla Carol mounted a substitute team in little over an hour. I’m not sure people realize what went into that.
“Grooms, sponsors, vets, players, photographers and spectators are all bonded by a passion for horses. It’s who we are as a community. The last time we were brought together was the herpes virus scare a few years back. I sat in a room and looked at pros, blacksmiths, grooms, vets, owners and fans of polo that pulled together for the love of our horses and I think it was probably the first time I truly thought about being part of a community. I was proud then and I am proud now.
“In Plains Indian society, less than two hundred years ago, it was believed that when a man dies, his horse would accompany him in the next life.That’s how much horses were deeply involved in their life, and in a way they are that much a part of our lives in polo. I can tell you every polo player, groom, owner, trainer and fan of the game fells the pain right now. We are deeply hurt and saddened as a people over the loss of our horses.
To Lechuza we send our condolences.“God bless the souls of our horses that run with the angels now."Gotta go."“My horse fights with me and fasts with me because if he is to carry me into battle, he must know my heart and I must know his or we shall never become brothers. I have been told that the white man who is almost a god, and yet a great fool, does not believe the horse has a soul. This cannot be true. I have many times seen my horse’s soul in his eyes.-Plenty Coups Chief of the Crow”

You may or not be a fan of Polo as a sport but the spirit and the heart displayed by polo horses is beyond description.
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Music - Theivery Corporation

What a week and it's not even over yet.
First we get the most marvellous hot weather and now it's cold, gray and gloomy.
So much to do this little time.
I need a little chill music.
Maybe you do too.

And how lovely are these lyrics?

Do you applaud fear
Do you hold it near
Are you afraid to live your life
The way I perceive
In my arms Ill catch you
Do you mind If I always love you
Heavens gonna burn your eyes
Youll see In my dream
Ill catch you Into my arms I
ll catch you
Do you mind if I always love you
Heavens gonna burn your eyes
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A Little Beladora2 Beauty

Miss de Ville modeling the goods
Because even grown up girls like to play dress up

Opal and Diamond Ring and Opal and Diamond Dangle Earrings

Pink and Blue Sapphire Pendant

Edwardian Diamond and Seed Pearl Ring

Art Nouveau Style Butterfly Pendant

Citrine Bracelet and Citrine and Reticulated Quartz Dangle Earrings
Vintage Fine Estate Jewelry from = Beladora on a Budget!
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fashion Blast From The Past

Every so often I just have to check out what Todd is up to at The Fashioniste because I love the way that he shows the influence of the past, through iconic images, on today's style.
No less than brilliant.
Example, Hedy Lamarr to Tori Amos.
If you enjoy film, fashion and art history you should take a look at his blog.
Also, you can become a fan of The Fashioniste on Facebook.
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The Mix - Boulevard St Germain Style

Check out this video from

Note the mix of vintage with new...even from the director of Lacroix haute couture.

Vintage Cartier Ring from $995

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hell in High Goal

From the Palm Beach Post
The horses, all from the same team, died one by one, "almost certainly of an intoxication of some sort that they consumed," said Lechuza Caracas team veterinarian James Belden, a local vet who was among those pumping intravenous fluids into the horses, trying to save them. Belden doesn't travel with the team but said he does not believe the horses were given anabolic steroids because the team competes in England, where such drugs are prohibited.
The U.S. Polo Association does not require drug testing of horses. "There is no drug testing required because polo has always been a gentlemen's game. Polo has always been about the glory of the game, and not the money," said Scott Swerdlin, a member of the Palm Beach Equine Clinic.
Uh's actually all about the money but that's another subject for another post.
And I think that this pretty much says it all

At the highly competitive level of the Wellington tournament, distributing "cocktails" to horses prior to matches to enhance their performance is a common practice, said several polo experts. The steroid-like chemicals are given to horses mixed with their water or can be administered by needle, the sources said.
Anyone who has had any experience in the world of sport horses whether racing, polo or show jumping knows that horses are routinely drugged.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Dangerous Dating

Yep, I definitely think that I could have used this book last year when I made a brief foray into the world of After avoiding the whole online dating thing for years I decided to take the plunge last November.
Having no experience at this I was totally confused when it came to writing my profile and I made some serious mistakes...I posted my actual photo (not professional head shots and bikini shots that had been photoshopped), I listed my actual age and I didn't write a nonsense physical/personal description because somewhere deep down I believe in truth in advertising.
I love what Amy Alkon says about this in her post Match Dot Con
A seasoned shopper on an online dating site doesn't just wonder if everybody's lying, he expects it. People will tell you right in their profile that honesty is extremely important to them -- then sandwich that claim between more fudge than you can buy in one of those candy stores you see in the mall.
In the 4-6 weeks that I was on Match, I met a total of three men, all bright, funny, attractive, successful and age appropriate (well in the case of 2 out of the 3...the third was waaaay too young but hey...he contacted me...and he had a cute accent) The whole thing just seemed too contrived and forced and let's face it, I didn't have the energy or the enthusiasm to market myself properly.
Not to mention that during this same time, my drop dead gorgeous 26 year old assistant with a face and body like Scarlett Johansson and two degrees from Berkeley and a UCLA law degree (!!) was on Match and couldn't get a decent date.
Something was just soooo wrong.
Admittedly, I'm jaded but seemed to be nothing more than an online shopping site for men.
So now, the closest I would get to dating is reading it about it on the web....and trust's pretty ugly out there.
btw...Woman of Experience who has brought us some of the best writing on the subject of dating is serializing her novel Toxic People online, check it out at here.
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Playing With Polyvore - Pink Tourmaline Dream

Pink Tourmaline Dream
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Gavin Rossdale - The Trouble I'm In

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Maybe I Don't Drink Enough Champagne

From the AP
ROME – Rita Levi Montalcini, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, said Saturday that even though she is about to turn 100, her mind is sharper than it was she when she was 20.
Levi Montalcini, who also serves as a senator for life in Italy, celebrates her 100th birthday on Wednesday, and she spoke at a ceremony held in her honor by the European Brain Research Institute.
She shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine with American Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate the growth of cells and organs.
"At 100, I have a mind that is superior — thanks to experience — than when I was 20," she told the party, complete with a large cake for her.

Wow...a brilliant woman with such a sense of style.

Check out the big bracelet....and the booze!

Love it!

and God do I wish that I could say that I am as sharp as I was at age 20....
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Playing With Polyvore Beladora2 Style

Beach Girl, Beladora2 Style

My first attempt at Polyvore

Better things to follow!

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Around Town - The Newport Boat Show

Deal of the Week

Buy this yacht and get a second one for free.

The Newport Boat Show in Newport Beach, California takes place this week and the biggest yacht at the show will be the 103-foot Princess Yoli Ni. The yacht is listed at $1.75 million through Northrop and Johnson. She was built in 1993 and has four staterooms. The listing states that the Princess Yoli Ni is a bargain not just because the current owner purchased the yacht in 2008 for close to $2 million but because the new owner will also get Jo-Jo, a 60-foot Tempest with purchase which is listed separately for $199,000. The Princess Yoli Ni has a full galley, dining room, master bedroom with his and hers bathroom and a living room with a granite-topped bar. The current owner is upsizing to a 125-foot yacht.
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Around Town - LA Opera Selling The Ring

It seems like every couple of weeks I'm getting called by someone at the LA Opera who wants to sell me tickets to the next year's special production of The Ring.

It amuses that the sales spiel is something like this
"These tickets are selling out quickly to international buyers so you've got to buy your tickets now...blah, blah, blah"

Given the fact that this production won't be staged until May-June 2010
not to mention that the price is over $2000
I'm just not all that worried that the tickets will be sold out any time soon.

On the other hand perhaps it's true that tickets are selling to international opera fans,
because no matter how beautiful the music, powerful the voices or poignant the story, nobody in Los Angeles wants to see Freyer's operatic equivalent of singing teletubbies on the stage

Maybe they wouldn't have a problem selling tickets if the staging looked more like the floating harem in this production of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Naples Teatro San Carlo.

My suggestion to the LA Opera
Stage a Ring with Valkyries and Rheinmaidens costumed by Agent Provocateur
For more on the international opera and classical music scene check out Opera Chic.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Quote of the Day - "Women Get So Ripped Off!"

Yesterday, I was surfing the shopping sites with my main man...
no not my bf...the estate jewelry buyer extraordinaire that I learned all my tricks from.
He and I were checking out what was available online in terms of designer fashions and
we came upon this dress.
His comment "Three Thousand Dollars....Sheesh, women get so ripped off!"
I'd have to say that most of the men that I know would have said the exact same thing.
What do you think. Is this this price...a ripoff or not?
What would your main man say about this dress?
Would he think that $3000 was a reasonable price?
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Eddie Izzard - Learning French

Happy Friday

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When Celebrities Design - Padma Lakshmi Going For The Gold

Every year when I go to the jewelry trade show in Las Vegas I'm overwhelmed by the amount of jewelry there is for sale.

The Antique and Estate Jewelry show has everything from vintage parures and tiaras to the latest signed jewelry from Buccellati to Verdura. The Couture and Italian shows have the latest in high end jewelry designs. Then there's JCK and Watches and can't possibly see it all in a week.

With so much inventory already available for sale I tend to be surprised when some celebrity launches a new jewelry line.

Today, design maven Jill at Stella's Roar posted about the launch of a new jewelry line by model, celebrity chef and reality show host of Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi.
Well Padma is beautiful and brilliant and certainly knows how to capitalize on her celebrity. Like Cindy Crawford or Elle McPhearson, she is now her own brand.
I like the exotic boho Southeast Asian vibe of Padma's designs. And...while most Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern jewelry is 18K or higher karat, by manufacturing in low karat 10K and 14K she has kept the cost down...and that is important with gold hovering around $900.

Ivanka Trump Jewelry

Heidi Klum Jewelry

On one hand there is something that bothers me about all the professionally trained jewelry designers, who truly understand gemology and how to actually create pieces as bench jewelers, but who never get the financial backing, publicity and retail opportunities as celebrity designers.
How many GIA trained designers who are not celebrities could launch a line and get picked up by Bergdorf Goodman?
What do you think about this?
Would you be more likely to purchase jewelry, clothing or accessories because they were "designed" by a celebrity?
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Around Town - Brentwood in Bloom

California Poppies In Bloom

Lupine In Bloom

View From Trail

Maybe spring really is here. The wildflowers are finally blooming.
OK....wildflowers in bloom or not....I take the whole spring thing back.
Today it feels like November in New England.
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Just Looking For A Good Deal

Every year on this day as I send my checks off to the black holes that are the federal and state governments, I wonder if there is a chance in hell that my hard earned money is being well spent.
Am I getting a good deal on my tax dollars?

Obviously, when I read things like
this and this and this
I don't think that I am.

So where do you get a good deal for your money? reports on Where to Shop for Web Deals

Online retailers benefit from lower overhead. They spend less on real estate, labor and supplies, which means that they can charge less. When traditional retailers began to reduce their inventories back in the spring of 2008, online outlets were able to scoop up the extra goods from manufacturers at bargain prices.

Another advantage to consumers who buy online: quality. Some 80% of the inventory at brick-and-mortar outlets is designed especially for those stores, according to Marshal Cohen, chief retail expert at the NPD Group in Port Washington, N.Y. Often, the items sold in outlets are made from less expensive materials than what's on sale at traditional retailers. That's typically not the case online, where most of the goods are simply overstock.

The Forbes article mentions the usual suspects; Bluefly, Yoox and Overstock
I just can't understand why they didn't mention
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Around Town - Kazanjian Red Diamond at the Museum of Natural History

I love the comments by the children in this video
especially "it makes me happy"

If you happen to be at the Natural History Museum check out the Kazanjian Red Diamond in the Gem Vault.
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French Vogue - A Hot Tranny Mess

Question: Has Carine Roitfeld replaced her gauloises with crack?

Just because French Vogue devotes the March issue to Chanel doesn't mean that the world needs to see this.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter - Butterflies and Bailouts

I had a tough time getting into the Easter mood this year.
No church, no brunch with friends....not even a hike in the hills.

I suspect that my miserable mood had something to do with a trip to my accountant on Saturday to go over my taxes all the while knowing that Federal bailout money is going to complete nonsense like the Italian American Museum and vintage street lights for the city of Alameda...not to mention the the bonuses paid to Wall Street executives.

Yep, I was bummed out all weekend until about noon on Sunday when I rallied and decided to put together a little Easter dinner for the de Ville kids.

So, yes I did the marketing, arranged the flowers and set the table with the Queen Victoria china and got to the cooking.
Herend Queen Victoria China at Neiman Marcus

The menu was rather yummy and luckily I had a little help from Miss de Ville.
kir royale as an aperitif
salad of mache and beets dressed with a light vinaigrette
roast lamb, asparagus and roast potatoes with herbs de provence served with cote de rhone
cheese and baguette
individual chocolate molten lava cakes with whipped cream
Obviously, no one was on a least not last night.
Roberto Coin Butterfly Brooches in 18K at

The dress code chez moi is always casual, but keeping with the butterfly motif on the china these butterfly brooches in pink and yellow sapphires from Roberto Coin would have been perfect.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Vintage Value Venture - Posh In Pink

OK, so maybe the weather totally sucks....after a week of gray clouds, cold temperatures and rain....but I can still shop for spring.
Especially when there's a spring sale.

Posh Vintage 25% Discount - use code - posh 25

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Music - Imani Coppola

Ooooh my new wireless keyboard and mouse...delivered in one day from Dell....I am happy.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Obviously Not My Rescue Dog

When Jasmine the abandoned greyhound arrived at a wildlife sanctuary shivering and desperate for food, she needed all the love in the world to nurse her back to full health.
Now it appears the kindness and patience shown to her has rubbed off - for the rescue dog has become a surrogate mother for the 50th time.
Seven-year-old Jasmine is currently caring for tiny Bramble, an 11-week-old roe deer fawn found semi-conscious in a nearby field.
She cuddles up to her to keep her warm, showers her with affection and makes sure nothing is matted in her fur. In short, the perfect foster mum.
But then again, she has had plenty of practice, having cared for five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and even 15 rabbits.
Jasmine was brought to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary by the police in 2003, having been found dumped in a garden shed.
She was cold, filthy and malnourished. It took a few weeks for her to fully trust staff at the centre but with tender loving care she was nursed back to full fitness.
Five years on, Jasmine is now the one looking after stray waifs.

Naturally I would have the rescue dog that hunts and kills small furry animals.
My next rescue dog is going to be a greyhound.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Playing With Polyvore

I don't know what's up this week in my computer world but for some reason mine was en panne yesterday. My bluetooth went down and with a wireless mouse and keyboard...I was stuck.

After an hour spent on the phone this morning with a heavily accented customer support person, I finally got them to agree to send me what I need and hopefully I will be back online tomorrow.

So until the new stuff arrives I'm en vacance chez moi, at least in terms of blogging.

In the meantime...I've been so impressed with the style selections of Jill's Shopstyle "look of the day" posts that I did a search on Polyvore for Beladora and came up with pages and pages of gorgeous ensembles.

This particular one caught my eye....obviously I'm desperately in need of a real vacation and right now a Roman Holiday would suit me just fine.

who knew?
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mourning and Margaritas

I'm always amazed by the things that I don't know about other people.

Recently I attended a memorial service for an elderly woman who I didn't really know very well.
I can best describe her as a "lady" in the sort of old fashion sense of the term. To begin with she was Southern, from that generation where sensibility and good manners were the norm. I always knew of her as a housewife and mother, later a grandmother. She was a stay at home mom who concerned herself with taking care of her husband and raising her children, creating a lovely home and garden, entertaining her friends, charity work, and being involved with her church.
You get the picture.

What I didn't know was that way back in the day she majored in mathematics and then after college worked in Washington DC as a codebreaker for the NSA.

Code breaking for the NSA....I never would have guessed it.
So much for my assumptions about other people's lives.

And why the margaritas?
The family of this lady didn't go for a whiskey sodden wake in a sad wood paneled room.
Instead it was an afternoon and evening in the garden in 80 plus degree weather with margaritas and some very funny family stories...much laughter and many happy memories.
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

When Casual Dressing Is Serious Business

From the Wall Street Journal

Like Hollywood executives, Silicon Valley Tech Tycoons, hedge-fund chieftains are often the most casually dressed guys in the room (though their Seven jeans and untucked Lacostes cost as much as some suits).
But those dress codes don't apply to their female colleagues. It's a measure of the tremendous scrutiny that hedge-fund women face that they can't confidently imitate the men's "power casual" style.

"You're neither here nor there," says Kay Garkusha, who worked at a small Connecticut hedge fund until December. "You can't dress like the guys and you can't dress like the other women who are in support roles."
I'm a little confused here...if you are intelligent enough to get into the hedgefund business....wouldn't you be savvy enough to make reasonably intelligent choices with your wardrobe? Couldn't you redefine "power casual" to be somewhere in between jeans and brioni?
Clothes signal our position at the table. For instance, buy-side executives, as Wall Street's consumers, can afford to under-dress the sell-siders, who are more often expected to suit up to help close a sale.
For women, who have more clothing choices than men, the risk of a mistake is magnified. Just ask Michelle Obama about the peril of bare arms. There's a steady debate about whether former Lehman executive Erin Callan's heels were too sexy.
Wouldn't common sense dictate that you don't wear sky high Lamboutins with their sexy red underside while in the office or out with clients, just as you wouldn't wear a skirt that is too tight, or a blouse that shows décolletage.
Still, it's possible to reduce such risks by considering what clothes mean to the people around us. Our clothes at work needn't express our true inner selves. Instead, they can express our ability to contribute or take charge.
If you work in a creative profession such as entertainment, advertising, fashion or the arts, pretty much anything long as it is chic. Mixed patterns, sky high platforms, animal prints, arms full of bangle bracelets, can all look appropriate.
Double standards show up in many fields all over the country, but none more than the testosterone-charged world of Wall Street. There, women are still fighting for access to executive levels in an atmosphere where men also dissect each others' wardrobes for minute suggestions of power or weakness.
If you are interviewing for a job or in front of clients, not matter what your quantitative abilities, an overly chic outfit implies that you care more about your wardrobe than do about your business.
It isn't fair, but neither is life.
One experienced hedge-fund executive, sharply dressed in a Brioni suit the other night, related her experience interviewing for jobs in a suit paired with boots rather than pumps. She didn't get a single call back to a second interview when she wore the boots. If you consider clothes as symbols, a possible explanation emerges: Boots with heels are sexy, with a hint of dominatrix. While that message might be subtle enough for everyday work, our antennae are more sensitive in job interviews, where there's no room for risk.
Boots to an interview? Only in a blizzard, and maybe not even then.
Collars on a shirt or jacket convey authority. Flat shoes can suggest a girlish lack of authority; if you wear them, choose flats with some hardware and avoid the ballet look. As for stockings, the debate rages on, but if your primary audience is over 50, they may feel more comfortable with them.
Even though my profession is dominated by men, my job doesn't entail dressing to assert my authority. On the rare occasion when I do need to meet with clients my outfit is always the same, a black suit, black sheath dress or black pencil skirt and white button down shirt, black pumps, black handbag, South Sea Pearls or a vintage brooch (serious not whimsical), and a classic (and large) wristwatch.
How hard is it to put together this type of wardrobe?
Women have worked so hard to get to the top of the food chain.
I just hate to see fashion designers, editors and stylists promoting the kind of trendy dressing that keeps the fashion industry employed and the women outside of the industry in the purgatory of never making it to managing partner.
Does your job require some level of power dressing and if so what do you wear?
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Around Town - Hungry?

Cooking Demonstrations At Two Rodeo Drive

April 4, 11, 18 & 25, 11 am-4 pm - Via Rodeo (cobblestone street)

Every Saturday in April Two Rodeo Drive will host cooking demonstrations on Via Rodeo. Come watch as culinary masterpieces are prepared by the executive chefs of some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants. Wine pairings will be offered for each prepared dish by a sommelier and will offer a 10% discount on all purchases. Live entertainment too! Fun and all for a good cause:

Provide a donation to the LA Foodbank in the form of canned goods, non-perishables or a donation of $5 or more and get $7 off your all-day parking at Two Rodeo on the day of the show.

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Around Town - Thirsty?

Los Angeles Beer Festival

Sat & Sun, Apr 4 & 5, 2-5 pm -

Sony Studios 10202 Washington Blvd.

It's about time Los Angeles has its own beer festival! The event will feature dozens of international and domestic beers, and will include beer-friendly food vendors and various tribute bands.

Admission: $40 each day; includes unlimited 4 oz. pours as well as great live entertainment. Must buy tickets in advance, tickets WILL NOT be sold at the door.
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Around Town - Stopping Traffic On Rodeo Drive

Two days ago Heidi Klum was up and down Rodeo Drive modeling for Vogue. In addition to her crew, there were countless paparazzis and tourists surrounding her. She strutted her stuff and then jumped into a van with her crew and for an outfit change and then showed up somewhere else on the street for more pictures. This went on all day long.

Well yesterday, Heidi was at it again and so were the crowds and paparazzis. She was extremely professional and focused...seemingly unaware of the ruckus she was causing. (Kim Kardashian was modeling on Rodeo also, but that was like, whatever.)
So yesterday evening as I was leaving my office at 6:30 and driving down the alley I spotted Heidi still at it, but this time no gawking fans. It was just the hardworking glamazon and her crew in the dingy alley parking lot with a look on her face that said "auf wiedersehen already...I just want to take off the frigging 5 inch heels and go home and put my feet up".
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To Shopstyle or Not

I love Shopstyle.
Where else can you go on the net with access to different online vendors to create your own stylebooks with entire looks like these...and no...these aren't my groupings, I've filched them from style maven Jill of Stella's Roar.
So with Shopstyle you can search, create, blog and shop all in one place from hundreds of brands.
Jill's Mediterranean Dreams
Jill's Black and Gold

Jill's Blackamoor Luxe

Jill's Dubai Glamour
A couple of questions...
Vendors on Shopstyle pay a fee if their merchandise if purchased through the site so they have to raise their prices in order to cover that fee.
Would you prefer to buy something online through a shopping aggregator site like Shopstyle which conveniently carries hundreds of brands, and not care about the price or would you prefer to buy from the actual online vendor and pay a lower price per item?
Is convenience or price more important?
Should Beladora be a Shopstyle vendor?
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