Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Savvy Shopping - Blazers and Brooches

After being banished to wardrobe hell for the last few seasons blazers are finally back
and thank god for that
1. I like them
2. the uber discount estate jewelry website
has the vintage brooches to fit any blazer lapel

I also like the way that both Banana Republic and Ann Taylor have shown brooches on the lapels of their blazers and jackets.

Shown with a pair of cute dragonfly brooches
but I would go for the Victorian Jabot Pin

The 8mm pearls and the bright yellow gold of this "Jackie O" style brooch are perfect
on this Dolce & Gabana style portrait neck blazer

Double Weave Jacket at Ann Taylor$220
Nice Dolce & Gabana style portrait color on this jacket

And finally a modern minimalist style pin for this
minimalist style jacket

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Art For Art's Sake?

I'm not really sure what I think about the arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland this week.
In spite of being a "convicted felon and fugitive" it's been over 30 years since he fled to France.
Isn't this really about his denying a court order and not showing up in court, not the fact that he raped and sodomized a 13 year old girl, who was pimped out by her mother, in 1977? That unfortunate young lady is now well over 40 years old. Does she want to dredge all this up or remain anonymous and get on with her life?

Jim Lindgren of the Volokh Conspiracy had an interesting post on the subject of artists and their behavior
Roman Polanski, George Orwell, and Salvador Dali
When I was running university film societies in the 1970s and early 1980s, I considered Roman Polanski’s Chinatown the best film made in the 1970s. I don’t know what I would think today because I haven’t seen it for three decades. And I still consider Rosemary’s Baby one of the best horror movies ever made.
I mention this because good artists are not necessarily good people and bad people are not necessarily bad artists.

In George Orwell's Notes on Dali, an essay about a good artist but a disgusting person, he wrote
It will be seen that what the defenders of Dali are claiming is a kind of benefit of clergy. The artist is to be exempt from the moral laws that are binding on ordinary people. Just pronounce the magic word “Art,” and everything is O.K.: kicking little girls in the head is O.K. . . . It is also O.K. that Dali should batten on France for years and then scuttle off like rat as soon as France is in danger. So long as you can paint well enough to pass the test, all shall be forgiven you.

One can see how false this is if one extends it to cover ordinary crime. In an age like our own, when the artist is an altogether exceptional person, he must be allowed a certain amount of irresponsibility, just as a pregnant woman is. Still, no one would say that a pregnant woman should be allowed to commit murder, nor would anyone make such a claim for the artist, however gifted. If Shakespeare returned to the earth to-morrow, and if it were found that his favourite recreation was raping little girls in railway carriages, we should not tell him to go ahead with it on the ground that he might write another King Lear.

In a culture that commends Art for art's sake
is any behavior acceptable?

Your thoughts?
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Modern Manners - French Style

Le Petit Journal : Jacques Chirac gaulé

No understanding of french is necessary

The look on Madame Chirac's face...priceless

and in case you missed this from the Huffington Post

French Divorce Ruling Allows Text Messages As Evidence

AP - Unfaithful spouses in France beware: Passionate text messages sent to mistresses and lovers can now be used as evidence against you in a divorce.
Experts say the recent ruling by France's Supreme Court to accept phone exchanges as legitimate proof of adultery will make it easier for the French to get divorced. Previously, French husbands and wives often had to wait for years to escape a marriage if they could not prove that their spouse was misbehaving or mistreating them.

At least Chirac wasn't texting

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Back To Bed

As impressed as I am with having a television attached to the bed

I'm wondering if there is a statistical significance between having a TV in the bedroom and the rate of divorce.
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Man Style - Is This What Men Want In A Bed?

According to this article from WSJ
Pimp my Bed: The Male Sleep Lair
Manufacturers, such as Hollandia, are catering to men in terms of design of mattresses and beds.
And what do men want?
After years of catering to women, manufacturers are setting their sights on men. The new macho mattresses they're introducing have "muscle-recovery properties" and cooling technology, on the theory that men are more likely to feel too hot in bed. The bed frames feature built-in TVs, iPod docking stations, wine coolers, safes and other guy-friendly gadgetry.
OK, I get the cool matress thing...because I've never known of any man who wasn't just naturally hotter, in bed and out, than a woman.
Meir Kryger, a physician at the Gaylord Sleep Medicine Centers in Connecticut and a past president of the National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit that supports sleep-related research, says he isn't aware of any scientific evidence of men being warmer in bed than women.
No scientific evidence yet we have the whole air conditioning thing
Michael Zippelli, Dormia's CEO, acknowledges he has no scientific proof that men tend to feel warmer, but he says anecdotal evidence from his customers is persuasive. "Ask 10 girls in an office if it's cold or not and see what happens," he says. "It's a war of air conditioning."
Cooling mattress technology...awesome
And, I get the whole gadget thing because men really like gadgets
Except for the safe thing
Who needs a safe in their bed?
Maybe a hidden compartment in a side table for a gun, as someone I used to know had,
but full on safe...really?
And I have to ask myself, what does a man's bed design tell about him?
Take this bed for example

Hollandia International’s ‘Executive’ bed includes a 32-inch TV in the footboard. Storage in headboard and footboard lets men pare down furnishings to the essentials.

Well it's a minimalist design in an "American Gigolo" gray
OK...not bad...elegant, functional, masculine
But what about this bed?

Hollandia International’s ‘Glow’ bed contains discreet storage units and dresser drawers

Sleek yes, in a "2001" way, but the shiny neon orchid color is just so, not good.

And finally we come to this, the non plus ultra if you will of male beds.

Hollandia International’s ‘Sphere’ bed, includes a champagne cooler just in case. The cave-like structure comes in fabrics including suede and microfiber. The flat screen TV is embedded in frame, and includes a remote control.

Well, when it comes to this bed I could get into a whole discourse on Mod Design meets Freudian need to return to the womb, but I will spare you.
Seriously, I can't look at this bed with out thinking
who could possibly want to get shagged by "Austin Powers"

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Savvy Shopping - Earthy Elongation

I have to admit that over the summer I've gotten used to wearing those long flowy 1970's hippy chick style dresses, with groups of bangle bracelets, multi stand chain necklaces and hoop earrings.
At first I thought that I would tire of this trend quickly
but I am liking the boho babe look more and more
and really, what's not to like about wearing a dress that covers up a multitude of skin (and sins)
and is as comfortable as a nightgown.
This is how I would take that look into Fall.

(I love the earthy color mix of malachite, tiger's eye and agate)
Set of Vintage Bangle Bracelets from $1850

So, do you like this trend or are you over it already?

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Things To Do In New York In The Fall

On my list of things to do in New York this fall
(besides meeting the infamous Wendy B)
The Watteau exhibit at the Met

Watteau, Music, and Theater
September 22, 2009–November 29, 2009
The exhibition will explore the place of music and theater in the work of the great early eighteenth-century French painter and draftsman Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), comparing an imagery of power, associated with the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, with a more optimistic and mildly subversive imagery of pleasure, developed in contemporary opera-ballet and theater.
It will show that the painter’s utopian vision was directly influenced by these sister arts and will shed light on the subjects of a number of Watteau’s images. In addition to material drawn from various departments of the Museum, including musical instruments, porcelains, and prints, there will be a number of major loans of paintings and drawings by Watteau and his contemporaries from other collections in the United States and Europe.

Especially because I loved this movie
Ce que mes yeux ont vu
An art history drama/thriller
Here's the trailer

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Friday Hilarity

Funnier than Effexor

Zanier than Zoloft

Sillier than a shot of Serotonin

If this video doesn't make you smile, nothing will

H/T Xilary - thanks for the video antidepressant

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vintage Value Venture - Kitschy Kittys and Charming Charms

Keeping with my cat theme from yesterday
I thought that I would post a few pieces from Vintage Heart Pendant in 14K
On the front there is a jadeite figure
and on the back there is this charming engraving
Who wouldn't want a vintage charm that was given to a woman called
"Pussy Dear" Vintage Cat Charm in 14K

Purrfect for Pendants Too

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Can't Stop Catting Around

Lately, Wendy B, Karen and Pseu have been showing their awesome animal prints
So, I'd like to suggest a way to show off your feline fabulousness with vintage estate jewelry.
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The Real Members Of Congress

I saw this on this morning and just had to share the love

So when are we going to get a reality show about The Real Members Of Congress?
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bring On The Burberry...And Beckham

Burberry-the emblem of British soccer fans/hooligans

So it's bad enough that I'm a huge fan of football movies.

You know... movies like We Are Marshall, Rudy and Remember the Titans ...the kind of films that bring on copious amounts of tears and movies like On Any Given Sunday which show a behind the scenes look at how players and management interact.

I loved Bend It Like Beckham and now, after going to a screening of The Damned United, I am now officially a fan of soccer movies.

This film is an not only an intense character study of famed British manager, Brian Clough, brilliantly acted by Michael Sheen, which we all know of as Tony Blair in The Queen and David Frost in Frost/Nixon, it is a Bromance showing the ups and downs of the relationship between Brian Clough and and his on/off partner in management, Peter Taylor, sympathetically played by Timothy Spall.

After the screening there was a Q&A with Michael Sheen who was so charming and well spoken. I'm looking forward to seeing him in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Peter Morgan's new film about Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

So bring on the Burberry and go see The Damned United.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Happily Not A Part Of Red Carpet Fugglyness

So I was hoping to post a picture of the red carpet look from yesterday's Emmy Awards, of a particular television personality...but she wore the diamond statement necklace of a certain jeweler to the stars....who shall remain nameless.
And....she showed up on the "Worst Dressed" list.
Just saying...maybe she should have worn the Beladora bling
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Around Town - One-Sheet Art At The Academy

Way, way back in the day, long before CAD, CG and Photoshop, movie posters or one-sheets were created from hand illustrations. The one-sheet, so integral to the marketing of a movie, had to be eye catching and enticing. It had to convey the promise of the excitement, sex, suspense, romance or comedy that would be delivered in the film.

So yesterday, since I have an interest in art, movies and marketing, I went to see the
Art Of The Movie Poster
Illustrated One-Sheets And Design Concepts From The Paul Crifo Archive
at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

From the Academy's write up
This new Academy exhibition explores the creative choices that go into the visual elements of a movie marketing campaign. Why was that design chosen? How might the success of a particular film have been affected if an alternate ad campaign had been selected?
“Art of the Movie Poster” explores the decades between the 1950s and ’80s, and showcases the creative process by which a finished movie poster was achieved. Each stage of the process is included, displaying reference stills, concept sketches, and hand-rendered and photographic ‘comps’ (a design incorporating graphics and text). Also featured are many of the approved original illustrations of ‘key art.’ Multiple poster styles will be displayed alongside the final, ‘winning’ posters, which are from the collections of poster designer Paul Crifo and the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library.

During the decades covered in this exhibition, posters were generally conceived and executed by art school-trained craftsmen working within studio advertising departments or at ad agencies. Crifo studied illustration at Pratt University; from 1942 through 1986, he worked on more than 400 motion picture advertising campaigns and personally designed 120 film posters for Hollywood studios, foreign distributors and independent film companies, largely while working out of New York City.

Posters and the preliminary design artwork that will be showcased include “Paths of Glory,” “Separate Tables,” “The Great Escape,” “Tom Jones,” “Zorba the Greek,” “The Group,” “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” “The Producers,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Play It Again, Sam,” “A Separate Peace” and “Mahogany.”
Of course the days of this kind of hand illustration are long gone. Today's one-sheets typically showcase the stars, in their larger than life, photo-shopped to perfection images.

After the exhibit, it was lunch outside on the terrace
next to to the fountain at my new favorite Beverly Hills restaurant,
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Modern Minimalism - Sleek and Sculptural

Keeping up with Couture Carrie's post on Modern Minimalism

I snagged this one shouldered wonder by Jill Sander, from Carrie's post, specifically because of its sculptural style.
To wear with it, this sleek bangle bracelet in 18K
which I believe is a custom piece by designer Patricia Von Musulin.

OK, so these photos aren't so flattering...
(and no my arm isn't that short and's the camera angle)

This heavy gold bracelet is really more of a piece of art than an item of jewelry
Don't you think?
Only available from

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's Ba-Na-Nas!

Since Stylists have been on my mind this week
I thought that I would share this hysterical parody of Rachel Zoe by Amy Phillips
And good for RZ for posting it on her Twitter page...
showing that she actually has a sense of humor.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Perfect Storm Of Stylists

I don't know what happened this week, perhaps the planets were perfectly aligned.

What I do know is that the, not so top secret Beladora HQ, has been all abuzz because we have had stylists stop by the office every single day this week to borrow jewelry.

We've got goods going out, goods coming in... yeah it's an awful lot to keep track of.

And after running down Rodeo Drive with Anya Sarre to hunt down the red carpet bling for the Emmy's, I can only thank god that she didn't bring her camera crew....because it wasn't pretty.

So between Entertainment Tonight, America's Got Talent, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight (again) and Dancing With The Stars I can hope that we get some great photos.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Norman Borlaug - America's Albert Schweitzer

Taking a break from posts about fashionista-ish subjects
I wanted to recommend to you this WSJ editorial about
the greatest American of the 20th Century

Norman Borlaug arguably the greatest American of the 20th century died late Saturday after 95 richly accomplished years. The very personification of human goodness, Borlaug saved more lives than anyone who has ever lived. He was America's Albert Schweitzer: a brilliant man who forsook privilege and riches in order to help the dispossessed of distant lands. That this great man and benefactor to humanity died little-known in his own country speaks volumes about the superficiality of modern American culture.

In 1999, the Atlantic Monthly estimated that Borlaug's efforts combined with those of the many developing-world agriculture-extension agents he trained and the crop-research facilities he founded in poor nations saved the lives of one billion human beings.

Saving billions of lives, imagine that

Norman Borlaug RIP

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

America's Got Talent - And Sharon's Got Bling

From last night's America's Got Talent Final

a beautiful aria by Barbara Padilla

and a showstopping suite of diamond statement necklace, earrings and bracelet

worn by the Sharon Osbourne

courtesy of

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Making A Statement - Beladora Bijoux On The Red Carpet

When you've got the goods you're happy to lend them out
especially to you friends at CBS
Here is Samantha Harris
from Entertainment Tonight and Dancing With The Stars
on the Creative Emmy's Red Carpet
wearing the Beladora Bling
A spectacular signed statement necklace
in Turquoise and Diamonds by Chaumet
and a Turquoise and Diamond Ring

This morning there was more scrambling around to get estate jewelry out for the final night of a major television show. If the star sports the diamonds, I'll be sure to post the pics.
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Skip Skyping Away

Yes, I know, when it comes to stepping up the technology I'm on the slow side.
I've had Skype on my computer for years and just never really got around to using it.
until yesterday
and, it really was the easiest thing to have a conversation, with video on the other end, with a friend in Germany
that cost nothing.
People who know me well understand that I am not a phone person, in fact I almost have a phone phobia...yeah, it's weird. I much prefer texting and email.
But I've willingly joined the cult of Skype
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Film, France, Friends and Food

I finally got around to seeing Julie & Julia, a charming film,
and it made me wistful for France
OK maybe not the real France of strikes, traffic jams and car-b-cues
but certainly my fantasy of France
which is all about L'Art de Vivre
fine cuisine, elegant decor, chic fashion, intelligent conversation, fun people
and a strong dollar
you know what I mean
the France of post war Paris where Julia Child lived and learned
like I's a fantasy
Fortunately, on my vacation last month, my fantasy became my reality
with fun people, intelligent conversation, chic fashion, elegant decor
and of course fine cuisine
so here comes the food porn

Let's just start with my stop over at Charles de Gaulle airport where I ignored the Hermes scarves and the Dior perfume and went straight for the food.
The choices were just astounding
how could I not linger over the Ladurée counter with luscious treats in pretty pastels
And jarred yumminess of foie gras

and vin et fromage

Certainly a large part of the pleasure of L'Art de Vivre is L'Art de la Table
where the table setting and presentation is as important as the food being served
White linens, good stemware and Christofle silver add so much to the ambiance

Even this simple lunch of mélon et jambon, at the antique filled apartment of my dear friend Patrick, a retired business consultant and chef extraordinaire, was made sumptuous by virtue of his beautiful table.
Perhaps it it time for me to consider dusting off my old tattered copy of Mastering The Art of French Cooking, pressing some napkins, polishing some silver and getting to the task of entertaining a few friends in my petit pied-à-terre.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

The Ultimate Accessory - The Boucheron Bag

While not being a bag snob who would drop bundles on a Birkin,
there is just one bag that I consider to be the ultimate accessory

The 18K gold bag with diamond clasp by uber French jeweler Boucheron

Elegant yet simple design

Handcrafted with a built in mirror and attached gold backed comb

The perfect size for a credit card, cash, cell phone and a condom
What more does a woman need?
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The Duvall Difference!!!

I've been too busy to blog this week but I just couldn't let this peccadillo pass by.

The players:

The California Assemblyman - Family Man with a penchant for spanking
Mike Duvall

The Hot Lobbyist - Heidi Barsuglia

The story

From the AP

The videotape shows Duvall during a break from a July 8 committee hearing detailing his extramarital exploits to fellow Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller of Corona. He is overheard on an open microphone bragging that he slept with an energy industry lobbyist who wore "eye-patch underwear" and that he enjoyed spanking her when they hooked up. Ooooh nasty...did she enjoy that too?

He told Miller, a longtime friend, that he also was sleeping with another lobbyist. Oh, and he's not just banging one's actually two lobbyists!!!

The response

The 54-year-old married father of two issued a statement denying he had affairs and saying his only offense "was engaging in inappropriate storytelling."

So is it possible the he was just bragging among the boys about his fantasized bedroom games? Well maybe...because why would a woman who is 19 years his junior want to get spanked by that bloated bastard.

"I hate to be the one to break the news, but relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists are neither uncommon nor unknown," Bill Cavala, a Democrat who worked in the Assembly speaker's office for more than 30 years, wrote in a blog Thursday. "The capitol community is like, in many ways, a combat fraternity. It is not surprising that the men and women involved in the political trenches together should be attracted on another level as well."

OK, it's not news that people who work together often end up sleeping together...and that men in positions of authority use their power to get women in bed (other than their wives of course)


It's just that this little story shows what is going on in Sacramento when the State of California is in a serious crisis with everything from budget shortfalls to huge wildfires.

So from Legislators playing solitaire to engaging in salacious sex talk

Welcome to our Government at work.

And on the anniversary of 9-11, I think how very naive I was to even consider that an event of such an enormous importance would usher in a new seriousness in Government.

My bad

It's business and bullshit as usual

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Look

While Sher was enticing younger men with her new Francis dress
and Jill was causing trouble in her Shrimpton Couture bijoux
I was keeping it casual with some of my favorite weekend accessories
Rhonda Faber Green Hammered Gold Hoops with Diamond Detail

Lapis and Malachite Long Chain Necklace with Hammered Gold Beads in 18K

Indian Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald Bangles in 20K
(The Jill Bangles)

and my new favorite accessory

Electra Amsterdam Bike

Labor Day Weekend already
So much for summer...
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