Friday, July 31, 2009

Getting My Summer Swag On - Beladora Style

The subject of necklace's and how to wear them have been popular this month in the blogs. Duchesse wrote a great post this week about layering necklaces
and gave us some great tips

Mixing strands of beads, say a strand of turquoise with a strand of deep amethyst, or a tiger-eye strand and a citrine strand, is a refined, elegant look.

Mix pieces of substance with airier ones; too many thick necklaces will kill the charm. Play with mixing beads with other beads, chains of varying weight, or an assortment of chains and pendants.

Start with a two-layer composition. Aim for some sort of harmony, so you don't look like a kid throwing on the contents of your mother's jewelry box. I like pieces with some heft, though you do have to watch out for too much weight on your neck. Assembling many bitsy chains and pendants looks jeune fille no matter how many you layer on.

Well layering is one thing, but this Givenchy multi chain necklace worn by Madonna is another.
Seriously, is there anything that Madonna won't wear?

I don't need that much swag in my sautoir
so this is how I layer it on.

90 inch multi-gemstone by the yard style necklace in 18K

from Beladora...bien sûr
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Traffic Signs, Fruits and Poodles - You Know You Want Them

British singer Lily Allen becomes the latest celebrity with a jewelry line. Allen, who was experiencing money trouble earlier this year, also has a dress collection for New Look and a handbag campaign for Chanel in the works. Vogue UK reports that Allen has created a jewelry collection that includes nine different ranges incorporating pieces like coins, medallions, traffic signs, fruits and poodles. Allen professes to be delighted with the new line and has a special fondness for the panda charms. The line will include layered chains with a quirky and whimsical style in keeping with Allen's girly girl meets "Girl Interrupted" look. Look for the line to be out this fall.
Can I just ask this one question
Is there a celebrity out there...anywhere...that doesn't have a jewelry line?
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LVMH Lowering Prices To Make Money - What A Concept

From New York Magazine

LVMH isn't doing terribly in the downturn. Net profits for the first half of the year fell 23 percent, which sounds horrible, but competitor PPR just announced that its profits fell 76 percent, which is far more embarrassing (even if the decline was mostly owing to sales of YSL's Beauté division last year). But while LVMH's sales increased 0.2 percent, PPR's sales slipped 3.6 percent. Perhaps LVMH is winning because they're adapting better to These Times. They're slowly broadening their customer base for apparel, to include not only the very wealthy, but just the wealthy folks, too. And so Givenchy is launching a new capsule collection called Redux, designed by Riccardo Tisci. Already the marketing is genius: The name alone says, "Are you a middle-income consumer? You can probably afford me on sale!"

Prices start at around $340, which is still cheaper than Alexander Wang's biker shorts. The line is based on Givenchy classics like the white shirt and leather jacket. Tisci will show Redux twice a year alongside the pre-collection. The line will be available in October and will include shoes. So the downturn is paying off for the aspirational consumer. It's probably only a matter of time before more lines like this emerge. Funny how when the economy makes a luxury company its bitch, they find out who their real friends are: the poor.
(LMAO at this remark)
Except Louis Vuitton's customers. Those people are unstoppable.

Givenchy Fall 2009 RTW

Personally, I'm wondering if they are looking to cut costs by offering dresses with only one sleeve.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Wintour of our Discontent - Let's Hope Not

From Page Six

HAS Anna Wintour finally gone power crazy? That's what some fashion insiders are wondering this week after the Vogue editor in chief suggested a retail-sales strategy which some said amounted to industry price-fixing.

At a Tuesday "town hall" meeting hosted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, designers like
Donna Karan and Elie Tahari lamented steep markdowns that have plagued profits since last fall, The Post's James Covert reports.
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"Could someone lead a committee that would make ground rules for retailers when the discounting starts, and then all the retailers can agree to it?" Wintour asked.

When CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg pointed out, "That's illegal," Wintour said: "Is that something we can change? We have friends in the White House now."

According to a Vogue spokesman, Wintour was merely alluding to designated days for retail discounts that are already in place in certain countries including France and the United Kingdom.
"That may be OK over there," says Vano Haroutunian, a New York lawyer focused on the apparel industry. "But here, it sounds like collusion."

After a flurry of blog postings yesterday, CFDA executive director Steven Kolb downplayed the brouhaha, saying Wintour's comments were part of a "brainstorm." For example, designer Betsey Johnson suggested staging a fashion show at Madison Square Garden.

Nevertheless, Wintour's legendary power over the industry is matched only by her zeal to "push the envelope," according to one fashion insider. "Either the idea was crazy or it was brilliant, but it wasn't 100 percent crazy," our source said.

I am a great admirer of Anna Wintour and I admire what she does for the fashion industry.
And I'm so glad that she has "friends in the White House now".

But collusion is not the answer to what's going wrong in the fashion business.
Markdowns need to be at the retailer's discretion, not at a time designated by a committee or the government.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Diamonds - Another Reason To Love Them

People, I'm not making this stuff up...'s science!

Diamonds Are A Wound's Best Friend

Women tend to like them, meteors tend to make them and De Beers tends to hoard them, but now diamonds turn out to have a more constructive use: making nasty wounds heal faster.
As if we needed another reason to love diamonds...
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dictator Chic - All About Asma

Well, the Huffington Post has it right with these remarks about Asma Al-Assad

A couple weeks ago headlines were made when Syrian First Lady, Asma Al Assad invited the Obamas to Damascus. HuffPost readers ended up commenting more on Asma's beauty and less on what an Obama/Assad meeting would mean for the Middle East. And we couldn't help but notice the Syrian beauty either. In a region where the women love to cake on their make-up, it is very refreshing to see the wife of President Bashar al-Assad with very little on. (See the post "Less Is The New More: The Case For Taking Off Your Make-Up.")
We also noticed her love for Christian Louboutin platforms, sunglasses, and her signature wavy hair. From her natural look to her classic style, we picked some of our favorite Asma looks below.

Madame Assad is seriously beautiful and certainly way chic
from her statement jewelry to her louboutin shoes

Now, that the London born and educated, ex merchant banker is changing the way that the world sees her country, hopefully she can use her influence on her husband, and eventually do something about
Syria’s clandestine North Korean-abetted nuclear reactor project; support for the terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas; fingerprints on the murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister; corrupt dealings with Saddam Hussein followed by support for terrorist attacks inside Iraq; horrific prisons; jailing and torture of dissidents, and whatnot
Much can change in the Middle East with influential women like Queen Rania of Jordon and Madame Al-Assad.
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fall 2009 RTW - Lanvin - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Overall, I think that Alber Elbaz scored big with his Fall 2009 Ready To Wear Collection
for Lanvin with
structured draping and

luxurious fabrics

And as with any collection
there were a few looks that I thought were unflattering

And others that were downright ugly

Thankfully he mostly stayed away from that 1980s Disco Days theme with over the top shoulders.
Elbaz's collection has a wearable Michael Kors look to it, don't you think?
"People keep trying to divide designers into optimists and pessimists, but me—I'm a realist," declared Alber Elbaz. "I thought with my heart about what women need from fashion—dresses, suits, blouses, coats. Life isn't just parties and lunches." With this empathetic orientation, Lanvin for Fall added another dimension to the revival of Parisian values that are turning out to be the distinguishing feature of the best of this season's collections.
Life isn't just parties and lunches...
who knew?
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Around Town - Street Restaurant

I tend to get so wrapped up in my own little Westside environment that sometimes I forget that Los Angeles is a huge city with all kinds of things going on in areas that are outside of my little hood.
It usually takes a specific event to get me to travel east of Canon Drive in Beverly Hills
on a hot summer traffic filled Friday night,
and my friend's birthday dinner was such an event.
The party was at famed LA chef Susan Feniger's hot new restaurant Street
one block up from Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali's Mozza on Highland and Melrose.
Here's the description from Gayot
Susan Feniger has been writing Los Angeles culinary history since 1981 with City Café, City Restaurant, Border Grill and Ciudad with her partner Mary Sue Milliken. After training in France and regular travels to India, Thailand and Mexico, Feniger opened City Restaurant, her first concept of "street" food in 1985, before specializing in Mexican and Latin cuisines with the later places. Now with STREET, she went back to her cooking roots and spent more time in India, to introduce more exciting street-food dishes. They come not only from India but from many other parts of the world.
The Street Restaurant with Graffiti Themed Decor
(It would have been perfect for Wendy B and her Francis graffiti dress!)

The small restaurant and interior patio was was to be expected on a Friday night.
The service was excellent and the wait staff was well informed about the food and the wine.
The food was...well... shall we say interesting if you like travel to exotic countries and eat the food sold by street vendors. I have to admit that other than eating a crepe cooked by a street vendor in Paris, I pretty much wouldn't eat anything off the street So even coming from one of LA's best chefs, I thought that the food was rather so-so.
The noise level was so loud that we had to shout the entire evening in order to be heard.
The Birthday Girl in Beladora Pearls

But in spite of what I didn't like about the restaurant
I had a wonderful time catching on life with the beautiful birthday girl
a brilliant lawyer, artist, art historian and author

and with all of the other gorgeous and talented women in the group.

The Birthday Girl Brought The Good Stuff
And while I wasn't digging the millet-marshmallow-coriander amuse bouche
I did enjoy toasting with the Chateau Talbot.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Vintage Value Venture - Bring On The Blue

The Summer sale at Posh Vintage is finally here!
Just use the discount code posh15
Posh has plenty of 1970s gorgeous goddess style gowns in flowing jersey that are perfect for steamy summer evenings
But I'm tempted by this 1950's column dress in my favorite neutral, navy blue, that is wearable all year round.
Here's the description from Posh
We Believe That This Dress Could Date To 1956 As Marilyn Monroe Famously Wore An Almost Identical Dress In Photos With Arthur Miller For A Promotion For The Film 'The Prince And The Showgirl'... Marilyns Dress Was A Black Couture Cocktail Dress By GALONOS In A Wool Crepe With A BARE Exposed Midriff With A Sheer Black Chiffon Overlay... This Is One Of My Favorite Dresses Marilyn Ever Wore ... The Galonos Dress Is Featured In The Christies New York Auction Book Of Marilyns Personal Property... On Pages 36 And 37.. It Was Estimated To Sell For $30,000- 50,000.
Our Dress Made By Ira Rentner Is EXACTLY The Same Except The Daring See Through Sheerness Of The "Marilyn " Midriff Was Replaced With Solid Fabric. Finding This Is A Thrill...
- From The 'Vintage Fashion Guild'- Ira Rentner was a member of the famous Rentner family of fashion that included brother Maurice and sister Anna Miller. He designed from the 1940s into the 1960s.
And yes... I know that this season's look is all about revisiting 1980s glam
but over the top big shouldered clothes looked horrible on me then, and I wouldn't wear them again, ever.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Around Town - Champagne Thursdays At Christofle

Boutique versus Big Box

I tend to like to like one stop shopping so if you dropped me off at Neiman Marcus, or Target for that matter, I could easily walk out with enough shopping bags to fill the car.
But for certain things, such as silver gift items by Christofle, I prefer to shop in the Beverly Hills boutique.
And no, I'm not an affiliate for Christofle...
It's just that certain small businesses and boutiques in Beverly Hills, like Christofle, step up and support the local community while Big Box department stores, whose names shall remain unmentioned, don't make the effort.
So I'll be stopping by for my coup de champagne and to check out housewarming gifts for young Mr de Ville who will be closing escrow soon.
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Around Town - Chef's Night Out

7th Annual Restaurant Awards and Chefs Night Out
July 26, 2009

Some of Los Angeles’ most noted chefs and restaurateurs will join several award-winning Napa Valley wineries for Angeleno magazine’s Chefs Night Out, on Sunday, July 26, at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica.

The magazine’s food critic Brad A. Johnson and Tasting Panel Editor Anthony Dias Blue will honor L.A. chefs Josiah Citrin, Walter Manzke, Bruce Marder, Joachim Splichal and Adrian Vasquez and others. The event will also include cooking presentations and recognition of the “Best of Show” winners of the San Francisco International Wine and Spirits Competition.
Guests will indulge in delicious cuisine, fine wines and all things delectable while benefiting the children of Children’s Institute.

Here are the details
p>When:Date: July 26, 2009
Time: 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm
4:30 – 6:00 pm VIP Reception (VIP Ticket Required)6:00 – 8:00 pm Chefs Night Out Event

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
101 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Purchase tickets before the event to ensure availability.

$250 VIP Ticket includes: Chefs Night Out event plus a pre-event reception from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. with top chefs, presentation of Angeleno’s Restaurant Awards, and tastings of SF International Wine and Spirits Competition’s “Best in Show” winners.

$150 Ticket includes: Chefs Night Out event from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Guests will be treated to culinary creations prepared by top L.A. chefs paired with award-winning wines and spirits.

Food, wine and doing something good for Children's Institute...what's not to like?
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Looking Back To The Summer of 1969

For all of us there is some pivotal event that occurred in our childhoods that we still remember because in some way it influenced the way that we feel about the world.
For the generation before me it was the assassination of President Kennedy. Ask anyone of that generation and they will probably be able to tell you where they were when the event took place and have some memory of watching the funeral on TV.
For my children it was September 11th.

But for my generation it was 40 years ago in the summer of 1969
The Apollo mission to the moon and Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".
We all thought that a Mars landing would only be a few years away.

That summer while my parents were in New York City, my brother's and I spent 8 weeks at camp in the hills of Malibu. It the the usual kind of summer camp except instead of having a lake we had the big waves of Zuma Beach. Most of my days at that camp were spent riding horses, especially learning gymkhanna events. But one day, all of us campers were herded into the main house and sat in front of the television to watch the moon landing.

And it was awesome.

So, yes it makes me really feel old to realize that this incredible event took place 40 years ago.

The summer of 1969 was also a summer of music
and not just the Top of the Pops...

There was the wildness of Woodstock

And plenty of Soul Music

Pretty girls looked like these bikini clad babes from the Pirelli Calendar

and high fashion was both buttoned down

and Boho Glam

Bright colors and Big jewelry

and my mother, the easy breezy California girl running around the streets of New York,
would have looked a lot like this

So where are we today in the summer of 2009?

Less buttoned down and more Boho Glam for sure
with short skirts, strappy sandals and big sunglasses
And where is the space program?
Well, certainly not on Mars...but maybe a Mars landing will be the pivotal event of my future grandchildren's lives.

We shall see
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Technology Trouble or Internet Explorer 8 Sucks

After downloading Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 I learned that I can no longer copy and paste.
I wonder why they didn't list that on the features page....
Question: Is anyone else having this problem?
And my iPhone gets lousy reception and is slow to download email.
Question: Is this normal or am I just technologically challenged?
Note to self: Uninstall Windows Explorer 8
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Not Counting On The Kindle

I'm a reader and I've always lived in a world of books.

I've got bookshelves overflowing and I've even got 51 books stacked up on the dresser next to my bed, including the the 4 books that I'm currently perusing; "Vermeer A View of Delft" by Anthony Baily, "Art and Culture" by Clement Greenberg, "The Complete Shorter Fiction" by Anthony Trollope and "Royal Blood" by Bertram Fields.

I'm used to being able to pick up a book, read a few chapters, set it down for a week... or a year, and then go back to it.

From time to time I've considered stepping into the 21st Century and actually buying a Kindle but after decades of reading I've become addicted to the weight and feel of actual books.

And now, after reading about the remote erasing of books by Amazon from Kindle, I'm happy that I'm stuck in my 20th Century reading habits.
From Jack Balken via Instapundit

With ordinary hardcover books, once your purchase a copy, you keep it, and you can do pretty much whatever you want with it, including marking it up, cutting it into parts or selling it to someone else. This is because of the combination of the first sale doctrine in copyright law and the fact that the book is a physical copy. Because it is a physical copy, nobody would think that the publisher of the book would have a rights to enter your house and remove the book.

But when you purchase and ebook, what you really purchase is merely a license to to store an electronic copy on the Kindle's hard drive... As a result you may not have the rights to do things to an ebook that you think you can.

For Centuries, we have understood, or rather believed that owning books came with certain rights, including the right to keep what we purchase and use it, mark it up and sell it in any way we like.

We were free to purchase books and keep them in our homes, without telling anybody what we were reading, or indeed what page we had last looked at.

Amazon's Kindle system upends all these expectations.
Amazon knows what books you have on your Kindle and in theory, it can even know what book you are currently reading, and even the last page that you read on each of the books that you own.

It can delete books, modify books or add books, all without your permission. It can change features of the Kindle at will.

In upending our assumptions about our freedoms to read books in private and use them as we see fit, Amazon threatens many of the basic freedoms to read we have come to expect in the physical world. If we want to preserve these freedoms we will have to reform copyright law, and privacy law to control the new intermediaries that can control us at a distance.

As the Instapundit says, there is just something creepy about all of this.
Especially when you consider the irony...
The books that were remotely erased were "1984" and "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.
Big Brother indeed.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fall Fashion - Maybe Not Enough Leg

So aside from the so-so clothes and sky high platforms in the Nina Ricci collection...
Does anyone besides me have a problem with extreme thinness of these models.
Talk about designing for the global recession...
God, somebody...anybody....get these girls something to eat besides a salad!
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Savvy Shopping - Peridot Paradise For A Verdant Adventure At An Aman Resort

At this time of year in Southern California when the mid-day sun is burning and the shrub covered hills turn brown bringing on the beginning of fire season
I think about how lovely it would be to take a little time off at an Aman Resort in a lush tropical island paradise.
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