Thursday, April 30, 2009
A 30.02 carat pear-shaped D, Internally Flawless type Iia diamond was sold for $4,002,500 to an unidentified private buyer at Christie’s New York jewelry auction on Wednesday. The winning bid represents a $133,000 per carat sale price. “The market for colorless diamonds remains absolutely firm and very much in line with prices realized for similar stones this time last year,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s head of jewelry. Another top selling item was a 6.76 carats cushion-cut Burmese ruby and diamond ring that was sold for $866,500, or $128,000 per carat, to an Asian private buyer. A rectangular-cut D, VS1 diamond weighing 32.72 carats sold for $1,650,500, within the estimated range of $1.4 - $1.8 million. “The sale attracted buoyant participation from private collectors and members of the trade from all over the world, setting a great tone for the spring jewelry auction season,” Kadakia added.
Yes, there is still a market for big rocks, especially if they are D-IFs.
And, you would think from Kadakia's comments that the demand for diamonds is robust.
What better way to describe reality than to show you this chart.
Diamond prices have tanked.
So...if you are in the market for something new or if you want to trade up, now is a good time to buy.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
But it truly does vex me when the fashion press comes up with something like this embarrassingly catty article by Liz Jones in the Times Online
The day Carla met her match...How Spain's Princess upstaged the French First Lady
First we have a comparison of their derrieres, because let's face it, in 2009 the worthiness of women is still judged according to their figures, faces, and fashions.
This was the spectacular battle of the derrieres. Even though I don't usually have much time for Carla Bruni, believing her to be merely an expensively dressed model with the beady eyes of a terrier, I did feel a tiny bit sorry for her yesterday. (beady eyes of a terrier....can you believe she writes this stuff?)
Who would want to negotiate a flight of steps in a tight skirt and heels, in front of the world's Press, in synchronisation with the owner of one of the classiest rears in the world: Princess Letizia of Spain.
Anything would have been better than the ignominy of having your flat, slightly over-aerobicised fortysomething posterior photographed for all the world to see next to something so round, so high, so - damn it - perfect. (Yep, there we go....forget the individual accomplishments of these women, it's really all about their derrieres)
And then Ms Jones gives us the take down on their legs and shoes.
I can only imagine Carla later that night, spitting into husband Nicolas Sarkozy's ear: 'It was all your fault. If only you weren't so damned short, I could have worn six-inch Fendis to crank up my bottom instead of tiny kitten heels that make me look as out of date and tired as snow-washed denim.'
Shoes say so much more about a woman than her CV. (!!!!!!) OMG....the next time my assistant needs to send out her resume I'll be sure to tell her just to send out a picture of her Jimmy Choos. Carla's black Christian Louboutins show she is being forced to conform against her nature, while Letizia's blush pink platforms demonstrate that, like her husband, Crown Prince Felipe, she is bringing Spain firmly into the 21st century.
The former TV anchor's platforms by Spanish designer Rebecca Sanver show she is flirtatious, fun-loving and prepared to take risks. Carla merely shows sublimation.
And the article continues with sweeping generalizations
The Spanish are so much more effortlessly sensual than their French and Italian counterparts. Far less label conscious and not uptight about looking thin, they are happy just to look hot.
Her simple black Dior sheath in velvet would have looked lovely on someone as gamine as the actress Natalie Portman, but against the Princess it looked as if she had pulled on a pair of curtains - particularly as she did not seem to be wearing a bra.
Letizia wore a stunning dove grey satin gown with a full, beaded skirt and a tiara atop her carefully tousled hair.
and insights into Carla's psyche
The trouble is that you can see Carla cares she has been usurped. A lot. Oh really? To me she looks bien dans sa peau as the wife of the President of France.
Despite all those years as a clothes horse, she often feels outclassed and has no innate sense of what is right in society. And when exactly did Liz Jones become Carla Bruni's fashion therapist?
Before every official engagement, her personal secretary will glean as much information about the dress code as possible: is it long or short, gloves and hats, are trousers allowed?
Carla lacks confidence, so will never go wild and wear something a bit dashing or daring. She needs to let go a little. Let go? Her job as the wife of the head of state is to promote French Fashion, and she does it flawlessly.
Letizia wins hands down in the battle of the style stakes, but it has nothing to do with age - she is 36, Carla is 41 - it has more to do with attitude. yeah...whatever
The Princess looks like a woman who is vital and interested, who is unafraid to experiment and to laugh.
The article goes on to compare the women by dress, shoes, sleeves, bottom, bags and legs...because let's face it, women, no matter if they are a princess or a prole, are judged only as a sum of their parts.
And as for the comment about Carla's need to "let go a little"...oh the irony when we all know that this is a woman who has "let go" plenty in the past...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
It not only was a bad batch of drugs
It was a bad batch of drugs that are not legal in the US
I'm not surprised
Whatever the reality there is a huge sense of loss.
Here is the email that I received from a friend in the Palm Beach Polo world.
Our Black Sunday
By Sam Morton
“Nothing really prepares you for what happened Sunday; the horror of overt twenty horses dropping at our biggest polo tournament of the year. Young athletes cut down in their prime.. It is our Black Sunday or 9/11 in polo.
There are lots of rumors running around which doesn’t really change the end result. Lots of horsemen who happened to be there scrambled over to help but there was nothing they could do. One witness told me it looked like there were twenty people around each horse trying to do something,anything.
“People who work behind the scenes in polo learn to work fast. We pride ourselves on it. Horses are tacked up, stripped, and washed in minutes. At the U.S. Open Sunday, and at any Florida function all winter, there are people from all over the world in the polo community. For over an hour,South Africans, Argentines, French, Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Cubans, and several other countries, worked shoulder to shoulder with the best horse vets in the world to save lives. They were scrambling as one, at a moment’s notice. I can tell you no one could have worked faster in any sport, equestrian or human, and for that I am extremely proud to be part of it. The polo team, Isla Carol mounted a substitute team in little over an hour. I’m not sure people realize what went into that.
“Grooms, sponsors, vets, players, photographers and spectators are all bonded by a passion for horses. It’s who we are as a community. The last time we were brought together was the herpes virus scare a few years back. I sat in a room and looked at pros, blacksmiths, grooms, vets, owners and fans of polo that pulled together for the love of our horses and I think it was probably the first time I truly thought about being part of a community. I was proud then and I am proud now.
“In Plains Indian society, less than two hundred years ago, it was believed that when a man dies, his horse would accompany him in the next life.That’s how much horses were deeply involved in their life, and in a way they are that much a part of our lives in polo. I can tell you every polo player, groom, owner, trainer and fan of the game fells the pain right now. We are deeply hurt and saddened as a people over the loss of our horses.
To Lechuza we send our condolences.“God bless the souls of our horses that run with the angels now."Gotta go."“My horse fights with me and fasts with me because if he is to carry me into battle, he must know my heart and I must know his or we shall never become brothers. I have been told that the white man who is almost a god, and yet a great fool, does not believe the horse has a soul. This cannot be true. I have many times seen my horse’s soul in his eyes.-Plenty Coups Chief of the Crow”
You may or not be a fan of Polo as a sport but the spirit and the heart displayed by polo horses is beyond description.
First we get the most marvellous hot weather and now it's cold, gray and gloomy.
So much to do this week...so little time.
I need a little chill music.
Maybe you do too.
And how lovely are these lyrics?
Do you applaud fear
Do you hold it near
Are you afraid to live your life
The way I perceive
In my arms Ill catch you
Do you mind If I always love you
Heavens gonna burn your eyes
Youll see In my dream
Ill catch you Into my arms I
ll catch you
Do you mind if I always love you
Heavens gonna burn your eyes
Because even grown up girls like to play dress up
Pink and Blue Sapphire Pendant
Beladora2.com = Beladora on a Budget!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
No less than brilliant.
Example, Hedy Lamarr to Tori Amos.
If you enjoy film, fashion and art history you should take a look at his blog.
Also, you can become a fan of The Fashioniste on Facebook.
Check out this video from Style.com
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
At the highly competitive level of the Wellington tournament, distributing "cocktails" to horses prior to matches to enhance their performance is a common practice, said several polo experts. The steroid-like chemicals are given to horses mixed with their water or can be administered by needle, the sources said.
Monday, April 20, 2009
In the 4-6 weeks that I was on Match, I met a total of three men, all bright, funny, attractive, successful and age appropriate (well in the case of 2 out of the 3...the third was waaaay too young but hey...he contacted me...and he had a cute accent) The whole thing just seemed too contrived and forced and let's face it, I didn't have the energy or the enthusiasm to market myself properly.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
ROME – Rita Levi Montalcini, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, said Saturday that even though she is about to turn 100, her mind is sharper than it was she when she was 20.
Levi Montalcini, who also serves as a senator for life in Italy, celebrates her 100th birthday on Wednesday, and she spoke at a ceremony held in her honor by the European Brain Research Institute.
She shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine with American Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate the growth of cells and organs.
"At 100, I have a mind that is superior — thanks to experience — than when I was 20," she told the party, complete with a large cake for her.
Wow...a brilliant woman with such a sense of style.
Check out the big bracelet....and the booze!
and God do I wish that I could say that I am as sharp as I was at age 20....
Buy this yacht and get a second one for free.
The Newport Boat Show in Newport Beach, California takes place this week and the biggest yacht at the show will be the 103-foot Princess Yoli Ni. The yacht is listed at $1.75 million through Northrop and Johnson. She was built in 1993 and has four staterooms. The listing states that the Princess Yoli Ni is a bargain not just because the current owner purchased the yacht in 2008 for close to $2 million but because the new owner will also get Jo-Jo, a 60-foot Tempest with purchase which is listed separately for $199,000. The Princess Yoli Ni has a full galley, dining room, master bedroom with his and hers bathroom and a living room with a granite-topped bar. The current owner is upsizing to a 125-foot yacht.
It amuses that the sales spiel is something like this
"These tickets are selling out quickly to international buyers so you've got to buy your tickets now...blah, blah, blah"
Given the fact that this production won't be staged until May-June 2010
not to mention that the price is over $2000
I'm just not all that worried that the tickets will be sold out any time soon.
On the other hand perhaps it's true that tickets are selling to international opera fans,
because no matter how beautiful the music, powerful the voices or poignant the story, nobody in Los Angeles wants to see Freyer's operatic equivalent of singing teletubbies on the stage
Maybe they wouldn't have a problem selling tickets if the staging looked more like the floating harem in this production of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Naples Teatro San Carlo.
My suggestion to the LA Opera
Stage a Ring with Valkyries and Rheinmaidens costumed by Agent Provocateur
Friday, April 17, 2009
Heidi Klum Jewelry
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I love the comments by the children in this video
especially "it makes me happy"
If you happen to be at the Natural History Museum check out the Kazanjian Red Diamond in the Gem Vault.
Monday, April 13, 2009
No church, no brunch with friends....not even a hike in the hills.
I suspect that my miserable mood had something to do with a trip to my accountant on Saturday to go over my taxes all the while knowing that Federal bailout money is going to complete nonsense like the Italian American Museum and vintage street lights for the city of Alameda...not to mention the the bonuses paid to Wall Street executives.
Yep, I was bummed out all weekend until about noon on Sunday when I rallied and decided to put together a little Easter dinner for the de Ville kids.
So, yes I did the marketing, arranged the flowers and set the table with the Queen Victoria china and got to the cooking.
The menu was rather yummy and luckily I had a little help from Miss de Ville.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Especially when there's a spring sale.
Posh Vintage 25% Discount - use code - posh 25
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Now it appears the kindness and patience shown to her has rubbed off - for the rescue dog has become a surrogate mother for the 50th time.
Seven-year-old Jasmine is currently caring for tiny Bramble, an 11-week-old roe deer fawn found semi-conscious in a nearby field.
She cuddles up to her to keep her warm, showers her with affection and makes sure nothing is matted in her fur. In short, the perfect foster mum.
But then again, she has had plenty of practice, having cared for five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and even 15 rabbits.
Jasmine was brought to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary by the police in 2003, having been found dumped in a garden shed.
She was cold, filthy and malnourished. It took a few weeks for her to fully trust staff at the centre but with tender loving care she was nursed back to full fitness.
Five years on, Jasmine is now the one looking after stray waifs.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
After an hour spent on the phone this morning with a heavily accented customer support person, I finally got them to agree to send me what I need and hopefully I will be back online tomorrow.
So until the new stuff arrives I'm en vacance chez moi, at least in terms of blogging.
In the meantime...I've been so impressed with the style selections of Jill's Shopstyle "look of the day" posts that I did a search on Polyvore for Beladora and came up with pages and pages of gorgeous ensembles.
This particular one caught my eye....obviously I'm desperately in need of a real vacation and right now a Roman Holiday would suit me just fine.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Recently I attended a memorial service for an elderly woman who I didn't really know very well.
I can best describe her as a "lady" in the sort of old fashion sense of the term. To begin with she was Southern, from that generation where sensibility and good manners were the norm. I always knew of her as a housewife and mother, later a grandmother. She was a stay at home mom who concerned herself with taking care of her husband and raising her children, creating a lovely home and garden, entertaining her friends, charity work, and being involved with her church.
You get the picture.
What I didn't know was that way back in the day she majored in mathematics and then after college worked in Washington DC as a codebreaker for the NSA.
Code breaking for the NSA....I never would have guessed it.
So much for my assumptions about other people's lives.
And why the margaritas?
The family of this lady didn't go for a whiskey sodden wake in a sad wood paneled room.
Instead it was an afternoon and evening in the garden in 80 plus degree weather with margaritas and some very funny family stories...much laughter and many happy memories.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Hard-Driving Executives Worry Wrong Choices Can Still Trip Them Up; the Symbolism of an Hermès Scarf
But those dress codes don't apply to their female colleagues. It's a measure of the tremendous scrutiny that hedge-fund women face that they can't confidently imitate the men's "power casual" style.
For women, who have more clothing choices than men, the risk of a mistake is magnified. Just ask Michelle Obama about the peril of bare arms. There's a steady debate about whether former Lehman executive Erin Callan's heels were too sexy.