Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bon Anniversaire

Oh...and Bon Anniversaire to the étalon francais
Jean don't look a day over 50...
and enjoy the skiing in Avoriaz!
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Bienvenue en France ! La Grève Générale !

Ah Paris
The City of LightThere is always the Paris of our dreams.
Strolling along the Champs-Elysées before stopping at a sidewalk cafe for an apéritif...
Visiting the Musée d'Orsay then perusing the used book vendors along the quai next to the Seine...
Shopping at the boutiques on the Rue Saint-Honoré and the Rue du Bac...
Checking out the antiques at the Marché aux Puces early on a Sunday morning...
Dining late at a neighborhood brasserie in the 16th Arrondissement...
And then there is the Paris of our reality.
La Grève

From AGI News
AGI) - Paris, Jan. 29 - Today's general strike in Paris has turned into chaos and clashes in the French capital. The strike against the economic politics of Nicolas Sarkozy and his management of the financial crisis saw the participation of tens of thousands of people, mostly just parading peacefully. After a few hours however some groups of youngsters became violent. Many of them were wearing ski-masks, they started shouting slogans against Sarkozy asking for his resignation. Then they began throwing stones, they started fires and clashed with the police. The police in turn used truncheon against the rioters but were unable to disperse them according to eye witnesses. The protesters tried to enter Boulevard de Capucines shouting ''We go to the Elysée!". Had they really done so they would have passed the shopping and tourism districts to reach the President's office. The police stopped them however.
From the Wall Street Journal
French unions are worried that the faltering economy will lead to massive job cuts. So naturally they organized a general strike yesterday that could cost the economy a few hundred million euros in lost working hours. Nobody has ever accused the union bosses of clear thinking. "Black Thursday" is the first sign of political trouble in a major European economy as a result of the economic crisis. More than one million people protested against President Nicolas Sarkozy's economic management. As always, France's public-sector employees were particularly eager to strike -- 23% of them didn't show up for work.

And from a blog (h/t joe)
Yet again the French are on strike. This time, among the usual collection of everybody striking over their own petty demands that they expect the rest of society to attend to for them, is the over-arching theme of this economy wrecking event – they are striking against the global economy.
The best I can gather from interviewed agonists and such is that in large part people are mad at the French government’s intervention to prop up the banks and major industries, something the blithering idiots are usually all for. Normally, a trend away from
socialistic dirigisme would be a good thing for the overall potential of a healthy economy, but these protestors, including the bolshy CGT, Reds, etal., are protesting that the largesse of the state is being directed at the economy at all and not limited to relieving them of the cost of social free-riding.

Even the employees of the Euronext stock exchange are marching. Just what is it that they think the ‘social compact’ is supposed to do for their racket that the rest of the people in their same union won’t protest?
and you wonder
does anyone really want another French Revolution?
well, apparently so...
Never letting a crisis go to waste, the left are ready to exploit your misery for the sake of their power-grab, and opportunity to wreck the economy for good with methods borrowed from the largely agrarian 1930s. As per the Boy wonder Olivier Besancenot:
Olivier Besancenot, the young leader of France’s extreme left is hoping Thursday’s strike will be the first step towards another French revolution as the recession bites and protests multiply across Europe’s second largest economy.“We want the established powers to be blown apart,”

From the International Herald Tribune

PARIS January 29, 2009 (IHT) - Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike Thursday across France, snarling transportation and closing post offices and schools in a sign of discontent with President Nicolas Sarkozy's response to the economic crisis.
... Mass transit in the capital was in chaos, with service on suburban commuter lines reduced or nonexistent, and most subways and buses running well below normal frequencies. The Education Ministry estimated that 37 percent of teachers walked out. In Marseille, the country's second largest city, television showed buses crammed with commuters as subway service was completely interrupted.
Across France, airports were operating at reduced capacity and flights were delayed. The rail line that serves the two Paris airports was completely shut down, stranding arriving travelers in long taxi lines.
As many as 200 demonstrations were planned across the country, including a massive march across Paris in the afternoon.

La Grè's a national sport for the French!
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Beladora Bling For Zesty Zink

While I was slaving away crunching numbers the young jewelry divas, the lovely Liz and the ravishing Renee were off at the second photo shoot for the week.
This shoot, thanks to Angela the Dita von Teese doppelganger, was at an artist's studio in Silver Lake for Zink Magazine...
a beauty editorial with Beladora bling...and lingerie!
What's not to like?

I'll fill you in on the details when the magazine comes out.

And Liz and Renee...thank you for a job well done on a difficult day.
I heart you!
Go Team Beladora!
(Liz and Renee ...Speaking of photo shoots...what do you think about "The Bitches of Beladora"?)
Hey...I just had to ask it was Miss de Ville's idea.
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Music - The Paul McCartney Interview

The always entertaining Wendy B posted this on her blog today. I thought that it was so amusing that I had to share it.

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Music - Lilly Allen - The Fear

OK, I hate the video but I love the lyrics.

Lily Allen - The Fear Lyrics

I want to be rich and I want lots of money

I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny

I want loads of clothes and f***loads of diamonds

I heard people die while they are trying to find them

I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless‘

Cuz everyone knows that’s how you get famous

I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror

I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymoreI don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore

When we think it will all become clear‘Cuz I’m being taken over by The Fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers

It’s all about fast cars and passing each other

But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic

and that’s what makes my life so f***ing fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption

and its not my fault it’s how I’m program to function

I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror

I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymoreI don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore

When we think it will all become clear‘Cuz I’m being taken over by The Fear

Forget about guns and forget ammunition

Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission

Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner

Now everything is cool as long as I’m getting thinner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymoreI don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore

When we think it will all become clear‘Cause I’m being taken over by fear

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Another Day At The Office - NOT!

Well, I'd like to tell you that it was another day at the office...but it wasn't.

Today the jewely divas were off to a photo shoot for Genlux, the premier luxury fashion magazine of Southern California.

The shoot had everything you would have imagined from a drop dead gorgeous stylist who could have been Dita Von Teese's doppelganger to teh usual hair, make-up and associated fashionistas to a rocking cool photographer with all the accoutrements including a fog machine.

Here's a photo of just one rack of the wardrobe which included some of the prettiest spring frocks from Valentino to Catherine Maldonado.

And let's not overlook the choices of accessories with sky-high heeled shoes, arty hats and a sword...because you never know when you might need a sword.

Of course there was plenty of Beladora bling.
Here's a photo of 3 of the 10 trays of Beladora vintage jewlery.

And let's not forget the money shot.
Here's the model who was all of 13 or 14 years old.
I kid you not. She was in 8th grade.
(God knows this is LA... but would a 16 or 17 year old not been fresh enough for a high fashion shoot?)
But she was so sweet and adorable and TALL and she showed off the goods.
I'm just giving you a little peek of the pretty girl because I don't want you to miss the full effect of her all dressed up in $10,000 worth of clothes and $100,000 worth of vintage Art Deco jewelry that will be in the March issue.
If you don't live in Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, San Marino, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach or Monarch Beach, you might not get this magazine at your doorstep so look for it at you local newstand or Borders Book Store.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tough Times For The Bergdorf Blonds

Ah...the much to read, so little time.

Since you probably missed these two gems on life for the posh girls
in a post mortgage meltdown -recession - credit crunch - hedge fund scam world....
I thought that I would share them with you.

First, a classic from my favorite Aussi blogger in London, Ms Robinson
at Woman of Experience
The Great Mistress Firesale

And then a link I found through Instapundit
Dating A Banker Anonymous
God, you are so 24!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Savvy Shopping - Got Gold?

This year you've seen the both the stock market and the housing market collapse and you're wondering if it is even safe to keep your money in T-Bills with the Federal Deficit at stratospheric heights.
But let's face can't keep it all in your mattress.

OK, I gave up giving investment advice long ago but I'm still always interested knowing what works in a bear market.
And so is the Wall Street Journal.

What You Need to Know About Gold

Gold shined in 2008. Could 2009 be as bright?
Of all the major assets -- stocks, corporate bonds, cash and others -- gold was one of last year's few standouts. While so many investments collapsed amid the turmoil, the price of an ounce of gold posted a gain of about 4.3%.

So far this year, the rare metal is up about 0.7%, after a rally Friday put it back in positive territory. And longer-term concerns are emerging that aggressive, untested government policies aimed at righting the flailing economy could ultimately fuel a further rise in gold prices.

So why does gold work for now?

The case for gold is this: The government is pumping trillions of dollars into bailouts and stimulus plans, a purposefully inflationary policy aimed at reversing current deflationary pressures. If inflation results, or if the dollar weakens as the supply of dollars necessarily increases under the stimulus plans, gold is a likely winner because it hedges against inflation and fiat currencies.

But not everyone agrees

The opposing view: "The inflation argument hasn't been seen yet in government data, and once the economy catches gear, the [Federal Reserve] will pull the money back out of the economy," negating any inflationary pressures, says Tom Pawlicki, a precious-metals analyst at MF Global, who says he's "not friendly on gold."

This article lists four investment strategies with both the pros and cons

Pooled Accounts
Exchange Traded Funds
Mining Stocks

I'd like to offer you another option

An investment you can wear.

(yes...less than an "It" bag and it will last another 100 years and more)
Vintage Woven Gold Bracelet in Yellow and Rose Gold $2850

And from today's Financial Times
Strong investor buying on Monday pushed the price of gold above $900 a troy ounce, hitting a 3½-month high in dollar terms and posting all-time highs in euro and sterling, in a stark sign of money seeking refuge from equities and bond markets.
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John Galliano For The Guys

I love John Galliano's haute couture for women.
It is witty and wonderful.
I even kinda liked the clever historical references in his 2009 Menswear Collection.

John Galliano does Paul Revere

John Galliano does Natty Bumppo

John Galliano does Mr. Rochester

and then he brought us this....

and worse...this

And you were worried about
Global Warming, Credit Crisis and Government Spending...
Jesus Christ...after seeing the 2009 Menswear Collections
I'm worried about nothing less than the Decline of Western Civilization!
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Jean Paul Gaultier For The Guys

Recently someone described me in an email as "quite a talker"
And you know, he was right.
I have an opinion....and I express it.

But about Jean Pierre Gaultier's 2009 Menswear Collection
Words fail me.

Except, God help us all!
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Every Day Is A Great Day Now - The 4 Lessons

So here you have it

A first hand account of flight #1549
"Every day is a great day now."
As many of you now know, Gerry McNamara (New York/Charlotte) was on US> Airways Flight 1549 last week. We caught up with him to discuss the> harrowing incident and - in a departure from our usual format - present> his stirring account as told to us:
Thursday was a difficult day for all of us at the firm and I left the> Park Avenue office early afternoon to catch a cab bound for LaGuardia> Airport. > > I was scheduled for a 5pm departure, but able to secure a seat on the> earlier flight scheduled to leave at 3PM. As many of us who fly> frequently often do, I recall wondering if I'd just placed myself on a> flight I shouldn't be on!
Just prior to boarding I finished up a conference call with my> associate, Jenn Sparks (New York), and our placement, the CIO of United> Airlines. When I told him that I was about to board a US Airways flight,> we all had a little fun with it. > > I remember walking on the plane and seeing a fellow with grey hair in> the cockpit and thinking "that's a good thing... I like to see grey hair> in the cockpit!"
I was seated in 8F, on the starboard side window and next to a young> business man. The New York to Charlotte flight is one I've taken what> seems like hundreds of times over the years. We take off north over the> Bronx and as we climb, turn west over the Hudson River to New Jersey and> tack south. I love to fly, always have, and this flight plan gives a> great view of several NY landmarks including Yankee Stadium and the> George Washington Bridge.
I had started to point out items of interest to the gentleman next to me> when we heard a terrible crash - a sound no one ever wants to hear while> flying - and then the engines wound down to a screeching halt. 10> seconds later, there was a strong smell of jet fuel. I knew we would be> landing and thought the pilot would take us down no doubt to Newark> Airport. As we began to turn south I noticed the pilot lining up on the> river still - I thought - en route for Newark. >
Next thing we heard was "Brace for impact!" - a phrase I had heard many> years before as an active duty Marine Officer but never before on a> commercial air flight. Click for more...
Everyone looked at each other in shock. It all happened so fast we were> astonished! > > We began to descend rapidly and it started to sink in. This is the last> flight. I'm going to die today. This is it. I recited my favorite bible> verse, the Lord's Prayer, and asked God to take care of my wife,> children, family and friends.
When I raised my head I noticed people texting their friends and> family....getting off a last message. My blackberry was turned off and> in my trouser time to get at it. Our descent continued and I> prayed for courage to control my fear and help if able. > > I quickly realized that one of two things was going to happen, neither> of them good. We could hit by the nose, flip and break up, leaving few> if any survivors, bodies, cold water, fuel. Or we could hit one of the> wings and roll and flip with the same result. I tightened my seat belt> as tight as I could possibly get it so I would remain intact.
As we came in for the landing, I looked out the windows and remember> seeing the buildings in New Jersey, the cliffs in Weehawken, and then> the piers. The water was dark green and sure to be freezing cold. The> stewardesses were yelling in unison "Brace! Brace! Brace!"
It was a violent hit - the water flew up over my window - but we bobbed> up and were all amazed that we remained intact.
There was some panic - people jumping over seats and running towards the> doors, but we soon got everyone straightened out and calmed down. There> were a lot of people that took leadership roles in little ways. Those> sitting at the doors over the wing did a fantastic job...they were> opened in a New York second! Everyone worked together - teamed up and in> groups to figure out how to help each other.> > I exited on the starboard side of the plane, 3 or 4 rows behind my seat> through a door over the wing and was, I believe, the 10th or 12th person> out. I took my seat cushion as a flotation device and once outside saw I> was the only one who did....none of us remembered to take the yellow> inflatable life vests from under the seat.
We were standing in 6-8 inches of water and it was freezing. There were> two women on the wing, one of whom slipped off into the water. Another> passenger and I pulled her back on and had her kneel down to keep from> falling off again. By that point we were totally soaked and absolutely> frozen from the icy wind.
The ferries were the first to arrive, and although they're not made for> rescue, they did an incredible job. I know this river, having swum in it> as a boy. The Hudson is an estuary - part salt and part fresh water -> and moves with the tide. I could tell the tide was moving out because we> were tacking slowly south towards Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty,> and The Battery.
The first ferry boat pulled its bow up to the tip of the wing, and the> first mate lowered the Jacobs ladder down to us. We got a couple people> up the ladder to safety, but the current was strong pushing the stern of> the boat into the inflatable slide and we were afraid it would puncture> it...there must have been 25 passengers in it by now. Only two or three> were able to board the first ferry before it moved away.
Another ferry came up, and we were able to get the woman that had fallen> into the water on the ladder, but she just couldn't move her legs and> fell off. Back onto the ladder she went; however, the ferry had to back> away because of the swift current. A helicopter arrived on station> (nearly blowing us all off the wing) and followed the ferry with the> woman on the ladder. We lost view of the situation but I believe the> helicopter lowered its basket to rescue her.
As more ferries arrived, we were able to get people up on the boats a> few at a time. The fellow in front of me fell off the ladder and into> the water. When we got him back on the ladder he could not move his legs> to climb. I couldn't help him from my position so I climbed up the> ladder to the ferry deck where the first mate and I hoisted the Jacobs> ladder with him on it...when he got close enough we grabbed his trouser> belt and hauled him on deck. We were all safely off the wing.
We could not stop shaking. Uncontrollable shaking. The only thing I had> with me was my blackberry, which had gotten wet and was not working. (It> started working again a few hours later).
The ferry took us to the Weehawken Terminal in NJ where I borrowed a> phone and called my wife to let her know I was okay. The second call I> made was to Jenn. I knew she would be worried about me and could> communicate to the rest of the firm that I was fine. At the terminal,> first responders assessed everyone's condition and sent people to the> hospital as needed. As we pulled out of Weehawken my history kicked in> and I recall it was the site of the famous duel between Alexander> Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. Thankfully I left town in better> condition than Mr. Hamilton who died of a mortal wound the next day! I> stayed with my sister on Long Island that evening, then flew home the> next day.
I am struck by what was truly a miracle. Had this happened a few hours> later, it would have been pitch dark and much harder to land. Ferries> would no longer have been running after rush hour and it would not have> been the same uplifting story. Surely there would have been fatalities,> hypothermia, an absolute disaster!
I witnessed the best of humanity that day. I and everyone on that plane> survived and have been given a second chance. It struck me that in our> work we continuously seek excellence to solve our client's leadership> problems. We talk to clients all the time about the importance of> experience and the ability to execute. Experience showed up big time on> Flight 1549 as our pilot was a dedicated, trained, experienced> professional who executed flawlessly when he had to.
I have received scores of emails from across the firm and I am so> grateful for the outpouring of interest and concern. We all fly a great> deal or work with someone who does and so I wanted to share this story -> the story of a miracle. I am thankful to be here to tell the tale.
There is a great deal to be learned including: Why has this happened to> me? Why have I survived and what am I supposed to do with this gift? For> me, the answers to these questions and more will come over time, but> already I find myself being more patient and forgiving, less critical> and judgmental. > >
For now I have 4 lessons I would like to share:
1. Cherish your families as never before and go to great lengths to> keep your promises.>
2. Be thankful and grateful for everything you have and don't worry> about the things you don't have.>
3. Keep in shape. You never know when you'll be called upon to save> your own life, or help someone else save theirs.>
4. When you fly, wear practical clothing. You never know when> you'll end up in an emergency or on an icy wing in flip flops and> pajamas and of absolutely no use to yourself or anyone else.

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The Davos Dream...Continued

Yep...I'm still dreaming about Davos

From the Wall Street Journal
JANUARY 26, 2009
World's Elite Visit Davos in Doubt

"Why are we surprised all the time, almost weekly" by bad financial news, said Victor Halberstadt, professor of economics at Leiden University in the Netherlands and a veteran of the Davos event. "Do we really understand too little about the economy? I'm afraid the answer may be 'yes,' and that is why policy makers are going to Davos."
I'm sorry but no matter how many policy makers are sent to Davos the world is still full of economic illiterates.
But let's be honest...Davos isn't really about Economics, it is about Marketing.
Over the years, Davos has become as much a marketing event, where companies look for business and polish images, as the intimate brainstorming venue of the event's early years, when a few hundred executives attended.
The five-day confab, which has signed up about 2,500 participants, will be a more sober affair than usual, organizers say. There are fewer gimmicks -- such as scents pumped into session rooms last year by a high-profile perfumer -- fewer movie stars have been invited, and fewer lavish parties are being thrown by governments and companies. Goldman Sachs won't be holding its usual party this year. "In the current environment, we didn't think it was appropriate," says spokesman Lucas van Praag.
OMG...Goldman Sachs is cutting back...oh the horror!
But there are plenty of people there ready to party...
Still, more than 1,400 chief executives and chairmen of companies are making the trip despite the deep slump in corporate revenues and stock markets.
And Davos doesn't come cheap. The annual corporate membership required in order to send executives costs 42,500 Swiss francs ($36,768), plus 18,000 francs to attend the meeting, not including accommodations, according to a Forum spokesman.
I just need to ask, in a world gone to hell, can any CEO justify $36,768 for Davos?
Just asking...
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Dreaming About Davos

Davos...oh Davos...why am I never invited?
How I've longed for an invitation to the annual World Economic Forum at Davos.

Let's start with the fact that I LOVE the Swiss all seasons...but particularly in winter.
And no...don't ask why a California born woman (Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica) has a thing for the's a Magic Mountain's too zauberberg to explain.

Next, everybody who is anybody gets invited to Davos.

But apparently, this year the guest list is there finally was space for me!

From the International Herald Tribune
At Davos, crisis thins the guest list

GENEVA: The Masters of the Universe no longer sit atop the magic mountain.

Let's face years past we've had economic gurus Bono, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
so I want to know who's at Davos this year....

Not long ago, at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Richard Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers held forth on the state of the global economy before mesmerized journalists and cowering subordinates while other Wall Street stars mingled after-hours with the likes of Claudia Schiffer, the German supermodel.

Let's face it things are different

"The pendulum has swung and power has moved back to governments," said Klaus Schwab, the German-born economics professor who founded the World Economic Forum in 1971 and has been its impresario ever since. "This is the biggest economic crisis since Davos began."
The crisis, to be sure, is hurting some more than others. While Davos will draw about 2,500 participants - roughly the same as last year - it looks like there will be many fewer members of the tasseled-loafer-set strutting down the resort's snowy streets.

Yes but where is everybody?

Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is sending his deputy. It looks like Schiffer and Angelina Jolie, accompanied by Brad Pitt during the boom's glamour years, will also be absent.
Even Bono, the rock star and social activist who has attended for the past three years, has other commitments: He and his band, U2, are promoting a new album.

Well...maybe it is more than timing.

Lehman, once a top-tier corporate "strategic partner" to the tune of 500,000 Swiss francs, or $432,000, a year, is bankrupt, and Fuld's invitation has disappeared with it. Even if he had wanted to come, Schwab said, there is no room for has-beens at Davos.

"It's like a guillotine," Schwab said, relishing his role as guardian of the velvet rope for the mover-and-shaker and position-paper crowd. "So many former CEOs and former politicians want to come. We say no. Once you lose, or you're not in an active decision-making role, you don't have the right to an invitation."

Some invitees do not want to test Schwab's hospitality. John Thain, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch, abruptly canceled after being pushed out on Thursday from a top job at Bank of America, which acquired Merrill last year. Thain, a Davos regular who once ran the New York Stock Exchange,was to have participated in a panel on Saturday called "The Bank of the Future."

OK, there has been some scaling back but my friends at Citibank were still in attendance.
Which is good to know after they received the BAILOUT $$$.

Citigroup, which recently received a $45 billion bailout from Washington.
Citigroup, now scaling back to a smaller Citicorp, still plans to send five formal participants to the conference like others in the strategic partners circle. But the company has sharply reduced the army of other executives and support staff who accompany them.

Seriously guys...invite me to Davos
Ski all day, discuss world economic issues all night...
Sounds like my kind of fun!
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Can't Get Enough Of "The Big O"?

Admit just can't get enough of "The Big O" can you?
And nooooo, I'm not talking about all things Obama...
Vintage Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti Sevillana "O" Pendant With Diamonds $1950

Go ahead...
wear you vintage Tiffany Elsa Peretti diamond pendant to remind you everyday of your very own "Story of O"....
whatever that "O"may mean to you.
For me, of course, the "O" is for Optimism!
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Light, Bright and Just Right

OK, so I wasn't impressed by Michelle Obama's choices in dresses for the Inauguration.
But...I was impressed with her jewelry.
Long, lean and brimming with briolettes!
Big, bold, and gorgeous!

Multiple bangles of bling!

I'm not a huge fan of jewelry designer Loree Rodkin because her pieces tend to be a little too Rock & Roll for know what I mean, all Maltese crosses, black diamonds, and trying too hard to be hip.
Let's put it this way...if it's the kind of thing that Madonna wears....I won't be wearing it.
But, Rodkin has toned it down with her new designs.
I love the way that Michelle Obama terms of the subtlety of her diamonds.
She sparkled without being overwhelmed by her jewelry.
Very classy indeed.

(photos snagged from Jewelrywhore blog)

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Ultimate Fantasy Closet

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Guy Stuff - I Prefer the $43,000 Suit

Things are bad enough
Do we really need this?

Skirts And Skorts For Men–Will Shoppers Buy?
At the trend-setting men’s wear shows this week in Paris and Milan, skirt-like skorts for men have popped up on some runways

Yohji Yamamoto’s version was so long, flowing and full that his culottes definitely straddled the skirt/pants line, while Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen showed more tailored styles in which the culottes silhouette was more defined.
Similar looks have been percolating in fashion circles recently — Mr. Yamamoto unveiled skirts for men at
his September runway show for the Y-3 label for Adidas. And, Marc Jacobs has been appearing at high-profile events and parties wearing skirts or skorts since early fall. The designer, who donned a skirt yet again for the Louis Vuitton’s men’s show in Paris Thursday, took a bow wearing a pair of tartan skorts at his Marc by Marc Jacobs runway show in September and just two weeks ago was photographed at a New York screening of “Defiance” in a skirt.
Why can't we just let men be men and stop trying to feminize them....
Other than hot Scottish guys their kilts, I don't want to see any men in skirts.
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For Those Of Us Not Shopping At Brioni

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That One Special Thing - But Is It Simply Not Suitable?

From today's Wall Street Journal

The $43,000 Recession Suit
Even as overall sales wane, some luxury makers push the price envelope; 'one really special thing'

As the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression swept the globe in October, the high-end Italian clothier Brioni introduced the most expensive line of men's suits in its history. Made to measure from rare fibers such as vicuna, pashmina and Qiviuk, the suits have price tags as high as $43,000.
"The timing was not fortunate for us," says Andrea Perrone, Brioni's co-chief executive.
Well apparently not because
the wealthiest 1% to 2% of consumers world-wide -- are still spending, even if they are buying fewer things. Individuals in this group, whom Mr. Perrone calls the "elite of the elite," have bought 30 of the $43,000 suits.
So the luxe market isn't as dead as we thought
The outlook for high-end labels, it turns out, depends on where in the luxury hierarchy they are located. Retailers took a holiday beating in December, and consulting firm Bain & Co. expects demand for luxury goods this year to fall by 3% to 7% overall. But at the market's upper-most crust -- which Bain defines as 70 brands including Loro Piana and Harry Winston, as well as Hermès, Van Cleef and Brioni -- sales for 2009 are expected to hold steady or grow moderately, following growth in 2008 of 8%, says Bain partner Claudia D'Arpizio. Very wealthy people may not be buying as much as they used to, but they aren't reducing their standard of living, she says.
So it's all about the message
And the message is "If you're going to buy, buy BIG"
While middle-income consumers have cut spending because of their income, "that's not the case with the wealthy," says Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at Deloitte LLP. The wealthy are "constrained by guilt, and that's the hurdle high-end brands have to overcome." The luxury advertising message is more important than ever, he adds.
I understand why a piece of jewelry is priced somewhere north of $40k...there is the actual intrinsic value of the materials, the cost of manufacturing and the design.
But is a bespoke suit ever really worth $43,000?
WTF is the fabric made out of...spun gold?
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Music- The Corrs - Little Wing

What's not to love about hot Irish chicks doing a Hendrix cover of Little Wing.

Not to mention some of my favorite lyrics including

That's all she ever thinks about

Riding with the wind....

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Vintage Value Venture - Winter Blues for Mellifluous Mozart

So what if Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman faked the music at the Inauguration...
You can get some real music...
maybe even a little Mozart at the Music Center
Mozart: Sonata in F, K 377
Brahms: Sonata #3
Janacek: Sonata
Schubert: Rondo in D Minor

What to wear?
Classic vintage of course!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Diner Chez Maman

In my life January is a month of birthdays.
This week alone I have have the birthdays of two close friends, my mother and my stepmother. Last night it was a b-day dinner at AOC wine bar with friends and tonight it was the annual grande bouffe chez maman with family.
Between the incredible meal at AOC...sweetbreads and quail, clams and artichokes...all kinds of small plates of yummy stuff...with côte du rhône
and tonight's moules à la crème et frites with vinho verde from Portugal, I need to take an extra long hike this weekend...or two!
I was supposed to go the Angelino cocktail party at the LA Art Show tomorrow night but I'm going to curl up with a good book instead.
The Birthday Girl - Madame De Ville - Enjoying Herself With Some Prosecco!
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Puppy On Prozac Brings Down Chirac

Ann Althouse brings us this today
Former French President Chirac hospitalised after mauling by his clinically depressed poodle

Admittedly, this looks suspiciously like something from The Onion
but it was actually reported in the Daily Mail Online

Former French president Jacques Chirac was rushed to hospital after being mauled by his own 'clinically depressed' pet dog.
The 76-year-old statesman was savaged by his white Maltese dog - which suffers from frenzied fits and is being treated with anti-depressants.
The animal, named Sumo, had become increasingly violent over the past years and was prone to making 'vicious, unprovoked attacks', Chirac's wife Bernadette said.

Actually, the vicious pet is what I call a "designer dog"
a Maltipoo or Maltese/Poodle hybrid.

Here's a picture of a random Maltipoo.

(And you're saying to yourself that you'd be depressed too if you had to wear a stupid red bow in your hair)

One of Althouse's commenters posted this
Frenchman loses battle to poodle! This is news?
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Music- Train - Drops of Jupiter

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Obama And The Bad Boyfriend Benefit

Professor of International Politics, Daniel W. Drezner has nailed it with this post on his Foreign Policy blog:
What now? Barack Obama, bad boyfriends, and the good people who do dumb things

As the new foreign policy leader, Barack Obama will inherit a wonderful political gift - one that will hopefully counteract a first-year liability that will inevitably surprise him.

Obama's inheritance is the Bad Boyfriend Benefit. Personal experience, combined with the consumption of way too many Sex and the City episodes, has taught me that one of the easiest gigs in the world is to be the next boyfriend after a bad one. Because the contrast is so sharp, the legacy of a bad boyfriend is that if the new one is simply a decent human being, they can still have the overwhelming support of friends and family.
To put this in more concrete terms - the contrast between Bush and Obama is so sharp that he will automatically benefit by the comparison. Even when president Obama continues the policies of his predecessor, the initial focus will be on the changes rather than the continuities. This will buy the Obama administration some much-needed goodwill in its first year of office.
Yep...I can already feel the love
Hat tip Instapundit
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Lady Fashion For The Inauguration - Fugly

Uh Oh...I'm going to get myself in trouble for this...

Every article that I've read today has just gushed about our First Lady's Inaugural style.

Well, I'm just not drinking the Kool-Aid.

I think that Michelle Obama is a very formidable woman.
Her personal style is extremely modern and chic.

She knows how to choose the right outfit for the occasion.

She dresses up well without looking like she put too much effort into it.

She knows how to wear clothes that flatter her figure.

She looks spectacular in vibrant colors and she's not afraid to wear them.
So what I want to know is what the hell happened today?????

I'm sorry but I think that this ensemble is outright F-U-G-L-Y.
Neither the fit nor the color is flattering.

And, hate me if you must...but I think that her inaugural gown is another miss.
With all of the potential designs, colors and fabrics available for the big night
Why did the First Lady choose this outfit?

President Obama, on the other hand looked positively debonair.
Going forward...the change that I am hoping for is that she goes back to the style that suited her so well during the campaign.
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