Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring In The New

May all of you and your loved ones have abundant health, happiness and prosperity in 2010
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Black Diamond Dangles And Champagne Cocktails

New Year 2010
New Year 2010 by belle de ville featuring BELADORA I'm not really going to be wearing this outfit tonight...But I think that the inexpensive outfit and shoes from Forever 21 paired with the fur cape and black diamond dangle earrings is a perfectly acceptable look to celebrate the New Year.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cynthia Sliwa's Jewels on Jewels

Diane de Poitiers

I know that we all have lot's of fabulous blogs on our blogrolls to peruse daily and so little time but I'd like to introduce you to one of of the best style blogs out there.
JCK's Jewels on Jewels extremely well written (unlike this humble blog) by Cynthia Sliwa

Here's a fine example of her writing about modern day trophy wives and Diane de Poitiers, who was alas only a kings mistress not his wife

And another great post with circular motifs in jewelry and Kandinsky

While I should have been reading the JCK blogs all this time I actually found out about Cynthia's blog from my favorite client Sherry who reads about all things jewelry-ish and is even a bigger authority on estate jewelry than I am!
Sherry just emailed me an told me that Cynthia's blog was named one of the Top Ten Blogs To Read in 2010 by Pierce Mattie PR.
Congratulations Cynthia!

I'm sure that you'll agree that her blog is worth adding to your blogroll.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trending Towards Turquoise

Thank God that style guru Imogen Lamport and vintage style crusader Mary Kincaid have informed me of the fact that turquoise is going to be the dominant color of 2010...because I'm always late finding out about these things.

I love the vibrancy of turquoise, it is certainly one of my favorite colors and while I don't often wear the color in terms of my clothes, I do accent what I wear with plenty of vintage turquoise jewelry.
Here's one of my favorite peices because of the blue on blue motif.

Beladora Vintage Turquoise and Zircon Ring in Platinum
Do you wear the latest trend in color in your clothes, accessories, both or neither?
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Monday, December 28, 2009

De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum

So these are the hot boots of the season...
who knew?
From the WSJ
The Shoe That Kicked Off a Frenzy
Despite a $1,295 price tag, the Otway boot sparked a craze

The boots in question, which didn't hit stores until September, are called "Otway," and they can fairly be called the "It" boots of the season. Made of supple suede, the cuffed booties are adorned with rows of circular studs and are held up by a four-inch triangular heel.
Those who are still interested in owning them can forget about it. With the exception of a few pairs on eBay, they are out of stock nearly everywhere, despite a $1,295 price tag. call me crazy but I'm going on record to say that I think they are hideous for $1295 but they might, and I mean might, be wearable at $295. And didn't we already have boots like these back in the Mid- 1980s?

Right now I'm only interested in what's comfortable on my feet and I'm looking for flat brown boots, not necessarily the OTK kind
Here's what's on sale at Bergdorf Goodman

not exactly a bargain

Michael Kors Fallon Flat Boots $315 reduced from $450
I'm not loving the zipper

I'm really liking these but can't I get actual riding boots for less?

I like these but aren't OTK boot going to look so 2009 in 2010?
So the search continues.
But what I certainly won't be searching for are those silly Otway boots.
So not my style

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bringing Out The Rubies For The Boxing Day Bash

One of reasons that I love the Christmas season is my friend Marcella's annual Boxing Day Bash held at her very cool architectural house in the Hollywood Hills.
Marcella, is a renaissance woman. In addition to being an artist and an attorney, she is involved with the arts and decorative arts at the Getty Museum and LACMA, and with the historical and cultural preservation of historic Los Angeles architecture. Where most private parties in Los Angeles tend to be clannish, you know the same group of people that only socialize within their narrow range of friends, Marcella's parties are put together with an eclectic group of guests, from filmmakers to socialites to curators to business tycoons and then random people like me thrown into the mix.
At any rate I always have a good time.
And this year in the spirit of the colors of Christmas I wore the big ruby and diamond parure that was purchased from a princess....because why should all that pretty sparkly stuff just stay in the vault.
Unfortunately I didn't get a good photo of the house but here is her view of Hollywood to the east
And her view of the Sunset Strip to the west with the Chateau Marmont in the foreground.
But I couldn't stay outdoors for too long with the camera because it was a frosty 50 something degrees last night...
Thank God I have a quiet week until the next party on New Years Eve.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vintage Value Venture - Couture Allure On Sale

OK people pay attention here
The holidays are always about finding just the right gifts to please our family and friends. But the post Christmas week is a good to time find something wonderful for ourselves.
I know you all have some post holiday cash in hand....or you will as soon as you return that holiday sweater that you received as a gift that you will never wear, back to the department store.
Well Couture Allure Vintage is having an after Christmas Sale!
For me it's kinda a toss up for me between the vintage Oscar de la Renta evening gown with matching coat with mink collar and cuffs...because god knows that I lead such a formal life of galas and black tie events that I need an evening gown...
and this very wearable 1950s Mr. Blackwell cashmere and wool dress for $175!

Certainly the simple black dress will go better with a double strand of south sea pearls and my new favorite pair of south sea pearl and diamond earrings.

So this is what I've picked out....what are you going to get?
(Oh, and don't forget that Beladora's discount code is HOLIDAY09
till the end of the month)
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So What Was Your Old Email Address?

Cute girl in a cute video linked by

( I like the way that this girl is so young that she's talking about addresses being old....especially when she's not even old enough to remember anything as ancient as a compuserve or netscape email address.)

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Cuteness

So cute, enjoy.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

The prettiest Xmas tree - ignore the bad focus

How it all comes together
It must be the miracle of Christmas
A full day at the office
then the rush to buy Christmas gifts at the very last minute on Xmas Eve

How I ever threw together a boeufe bourguinon, roasted potatoes with Herbs du Provence, salad and Cote du Rhone
at the last minute for my small family of two adult children I'll never know...
maybe it has something to do with 2 decades plus of practice.
With no time to pull out the fine china and sterling silver it all seemed rather pedestrian
But it worked for our simple family of three.
A Very Simple Family Christmas Eve Dinner
Our small family of three enjoyed a simple evening a trois together
and I hope that all of you who celebrate Christmas enjoyed your family too
Wishing all of you and yours a wonderful Christmas
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Christmas Music Medley

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No More Maison Du Chocolat!

The best thing about finally reaching Christmas
is that business associates and friends
will finally stop sending baskets and boxes
of chocolates, cookies and chocolate covered strawberries.
Seriously...enough already with the Maison du Chocolate, Godiva, Mrs Fields etc...
Does your office fill up with fattening treats every Christmas too?
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Guy Style - Off The Cuff

When it comes to women's jewelry my basic attitude is anything goes...
from dainty little hoop earrings to huge diamond pinky rings,
from vintage pearl sautoirs to tremendous tiaras
it's all good

When it comes to men's jewelry I'm all about subtlety.
IMHO a wedding ring, a watch and cufflinks are all any man needs
But since men need so little in terms of accessories
(let's face it they are pretty much perfect without accoutrements)
they should have the very best
a straightforward platinum or 18K band
a Cartier, Patek or Jaeger LeCoultrer dress watch
and of course
interesting cufflinks for his monogrammed Turnbull and Asser french cuffed shirts
Since blue is my favorite color I tend to favor sapphires
and here are my choices from
Sapphire Cufflink in 18K $2250

(made by Charles Gold & Co, who manufactured the Van Cleef cufflinks)

Sapphire Square Cufflinks in 18K $3250

Sapphire Cufflinks in 18K $2250
(Charles Gold & Co)

Maybe the man in your life needs a little Beladora box in his Chrismas stocking
...or maybe a special gift after Xmas but in time for New Year's Eve...
Don't forget the discount code HOLIDAY09
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Still Need To Shop?

Still haven't found that special gift?

At there is a huge selection of jewelry under $1000

And at
a big selection of vintage fine jewelry under $500

with free shipping and Xmas delivery

Don't forget the 15% discount on all items over $1500
Discount code HOLIDAY09
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Decollete and Diamonds

I was so looking forward to going to a holiday party tonight until I delved into my little closet of cocktail dresses and found that none of my holiday party clothes fit!
After an immediate state of panic I found one black velvet outfit and modeled it for Miss de Ville to get her opinion. She kindly told me that I looked like a fat nun.
Not good.
I will have to overcompensate for that with decollete and diamonds.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

For Friends In Cold Climates

I have to admit that I secretly envy my many friends who will have snow for Christmas
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy To Be Home For The Holidays

Another reason why I'm happy to be home for the holidays

Where to put this story? In the global warming department, in the French hospitality department, or in the let's-turn-everything-over-to-government-run-services department?
More than 2,000 people spent hours trapped inside the Channel Tunnel after five Eurostar trains broke down due to cold weather.

The trains failed as they left the cold air in northern France and entered the warmer tunnel.Some passengers were evacuated via service tunnels to car trains, while others were kept on their trains. Many have faced gruelling 15-hour journeys.

…Lee Godfree, a passenger evacuated from one of the stranded trains, said he and his family had arrived in Folkestone at 0500 GMT, having left Disneyland Paris at 1837 GMT.He said their journey had been a "complete nightmare"."We were without power. We ran out of water, we ran out of food and there was very, very poor communication from the staff," he told the BBC."We lost air conditioning when we lost the power. We had to open the emergency doors ourselves."The evacuation procedure we followed was one that we set down ourselves."

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Friday, December 18, 2009

A Little Holiday Offer

One of the problems with getting on an email list is the constant barrage of email.
Take Bluefly for example. I get about 5 emails from them a day.
Naturally I get Gilt and Hautelook emails everyday too, but they do time based flash sales so I understand the need for daily communication.
But what about Nieman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and the rest of the stores whose mailing list I find myself on....isn't their email one step away from the viagra spam that I get everyday too?

At Beladora we didn't want to become that annoying store that is always popping up in your inbox. Jewelry isn't something that you purchase daily. It tends to be an occasion based product, so we don't have a daily, weekly or even a monthly email marketing strategy.

But this year we sent these email cards to our clients with a special offer of 15% off on all jewelry over $1500.
I think that the cards came out quite nice, don't you?
And, I like to extend our Holiday discount offer to all of you
because after faithfully reading BHB
you definitely qualify as 'friends and family'

The discount code is HOLIDAY09
and it is good until the end of the month
You might have a special birthday or anniversary coming up
or maybe you've had a your eye on something special for a while
so come on over to and
and tell your friends!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Around Town - Sabrage At Christofle

If you are in Beverly Hills
Thursday December 17th
the CEO of Christofle demonstrating the Art of Sabrage

Yeah...I bet you CEO can't do this!
History of Sabrage:
This technique became popular in France when the army of
Napoleon visited many of the aristocrat domains. It was just after the French revolution and the saber was the weapon of choice of Napoleon's fearsome cavalry (the Hussar). Napoleon's spectacular victories across all Europe gave them plenty of reason to celebrate. During these parties the cavalry would open the Champagne with their sabers. Napoleon probably encouraged this and is known to have said: "Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it."
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Vintage Value Venture - Never Pay Retail

I just thought that I would point this out

Henry Dunay Diamond Sabi Ring in GOLD from Bergdorf Goodman $15,600

NOTE: The ring from Bergdorf's has is in gold and not platinum
has about half the diamonds, and is about 3 times the price
as the ring from
Bergdorf's would probably sell the Dunay platinum ring for about $30,000

It just blows me away that anyone would pay retail
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Favorite Foularde

Taking a clue from Deja Pseu
I thought that I'd show you what I am wearing today at the office
my foulard de la semaine

This is the same scarf that I wore to my first job interview after I graduated from college....waaay back in the day.

Et voila,
fine silk scarves like fine estate jewelry will last decades, if you take care of them.
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Monday, December 14, 2009 in

Here are a couple of paragraphs from this very interesting article
The vintage jewelry market, is, for many, unfamiliar territory. It's sometimes perceived as terrain riddled with esotericisms and studied references that are intimidating to broach (no pun intended). Yet, in an economy that is encouraging people to streamline their wardrobes; vintage jewelry companies are finding a ripe market for buying and selling vintage gems with everyday consumers rather than connoisseurs or other dealers. This means that the product is more accessible and the marketplace more transparent, so, you are bound to get a little more bling for your buck.

Interest in vintage jewelry heightened in the last few years as greater attention focused on the investment-worth, and, design exclusivity offered by estate pieces. Estate jewelry, specifically fine pieces, tends to hold its value, or, even appreciate over time. The 18k yellow gold chain that you’ve held onto for the last decade is, in most cases, worth more today than the day you bought it; and if it’s signed, you may have just bolstered the rate of return on your initial investment two-fold. High quality vintage is quickly becoming the delicacy of the jewelry world as rarity in quantity and design, make it an increasingly exclusive commodity.
But be sure to read the whole thing!
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Hiking In The Hills

After two weeks of nonstop work and staying at the office until 9:00 at night
and dealing with some major office mayhem
not the least the servers and cameras going down
topped off with scrambling to get jewelry to to ELLE magazine in NY
and driving through the pouring rain to get the goods to
Vanity Fair magazine for a cover shoot by Annie Leibovitz!!!
I was desperate for some down time

So the sun came out today and I took to the Brentwood hills for some hiking

Sadly, the last rainstorm was warm and all of the snow has melted on the local mountains
but still beautiful
it was beautiful
And tomorrow is another day...back to work
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Vintage Value Venture - Holiday Gift Ideas Under $500

Here are four fabulous suggestions for vintage fine jewelry gifts under $500
Diamond Hoop Earrings in 14K

Vintage Mid-Century Diamond Ring in 14K

Antique Sapphire Bar Brooch Pendant in 14K

Sapphire and Diamond Cascade Ring in 14K

And....for purchases over $1500 on
use the discount code HOLIDAY09
for a 15% discount
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukkah

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Christmas Countdown

Photo from Stirred, Straight Up, With A Twist
(where does he find these fab photos?)
In spite of how much I love hats
this year I'll stick with my reindeer antler headband
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Around Town - Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills

One of the things that I had been looking forward to in the upcoming week after Christmas, when I will get a little break from the 10-9 schedule
would have been dinner at Thomas Keller's new Beverly Hills Restaurant
Bouchon Bistro
After all Keller is the real "top chef" in the US
and I really like bistro food
and the restaurant is conveniently located about a block and a half away from my office

and food blogger Kevin has written a glowing review about it here an email from a friend
I received this very un-glowing review
First the 30 day reservation policy
When we heard through the grapevine that Thomas Keller was coming to town,we agreed that Bouchon would be the location for my birthday dinner in December. As it turned out, the food was good but not memorable and the attitude was bad and quite memorable. It began inauspiciously with the reservation attempt. My first call was deflected because I had called more than 30 days out. The brasserie is following a strict 30-day advance booking rule. So, exactly 30 days out I called at 10:02 am, two minutes past the posted time that reservations line opens and, of course, our desired time – 7:30 on a Monday night – was no longer available. But 7:45was available. This sort of thing is usually not a good sign, because it suggests that the restaurant and the patron will have to jockey for who is serving whom. Nonetheless, the 15-minute difference was certainly no big deal to us and requested a very nice table since this was a birthday dinner. A day out, I received a pleasant reminder call to reconfirm, did so and reiterated the birthday occasion. There was no mistaking not only that we wanted a nice table but why.
then the table wars
Sadly, it took three levels of well-coiffed but inflexible personnel and four tours of the cavernous dining room before table negotiations finally ended, with the restaurant clearly winning the “who serves whom” issue. The first table was a cramped banquette table near the large serving station that takes up the middle of the acoustically-challenged room. The second table was adjacent to the ear-splitting bar area, an unpopular part of the dining room that was empty save for the hustler and his mark, who were stuck up against a pillar under the palm tree and able to eye the action and be eyed as the action. The third table – another banquette - was in restaurant purgatory, which here seems to begin about 2/3 of the way back past the side pillars. There are about four prime four-top tables well spaced against the broad half-curtained windows that look onto the illuminated courtyard. But despite the fact that two of these tables were occupied by couples, this couple was not to be offered the remaining table along the windows despite repeated efforts as we worked our way up the chain of command to the maitre d’. He was polite but firm – we were not getting that table. But a previously unseen window-side table just inside purgatory was finally made available when my wife pulled out her cell phone in front of the maitre d’, called a nearby legendary restaurant and secured a prime table on no notice. Faced with this upping of the ante – our ability to score on the away team’s turf - we were persuaded to stay and took the window – the privacy – and purgatory.
then the good but not earth shattering cuisine
For our inconvenience, we were offered two coupes of champagne and the“best server I have”, who introduced himself and then disappeared for ten minutes. With the pecking order now re-established by management, we were finally able to turn to the meal itself. To begin, we share a nice thick slice of flavorful pate de campagne, with appropriate garnishments. My wife’s main dish was flavorful off-the-bone beef short ribs and I had the crispy skin sea bass, which was an evening special. Both dishes were solid and enjoyable, although my fish dish was perhaps slightly overcooked and yet warm rather than hot. Even though it did not go with either main course, we ordered a side of obligatory pommes frites. Oh, how we miss Benita’s on Third Street Promenade - those were pommes frites. These were tepid – and uninspired - French fries. The eponymous side dish can definitely be skipped without missing anything. On the other hand, both the Vouvray with the fish and the Burgundy with the short ribs paired well. Desert (also shared) was a return to the obvious at Bouchon –bouchons. Again, good but not great, but presented in a portion that was sufficient for us to share.
then does the hype justify the hassle
This is a meal that one can get in any number of brasseries in Paris –Bofinger, Brasserie Flo and Brasserie Lipp come immediately to mind – to say nothing of countless other undiscovered local gems in out lying arrondisements and throughout Alsace. But alas, on a wet and cold early winter night, we were in Beverly Hills and not Paris. The prices here are at least comparable to France – with the aperitifs (had we paid for them), and had we had bigger appetites for two appetizers and two deserts, what is supposed to be a casual dinner would have soared well past $200 a couple. But the memory of those authentic brasserie experiences in their natural settings – the good, the bad and the indifferent – was triggered at Bouchon and, for us, that was enough to make this a pleasant birthday dinner. But next time, we'll wait until we are in France and go for the real thing.

This is what happens when chefs become superstars. Maybe after the restaurant has been around for a year or so and the novelty has worn off, I will venture over to test the snappy wait staff and good but not great food.

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