Saturday, January 30, 2010

Film - The Young Victoria

I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to go see 'The Young Victoria' in a theater or not. It seemed, at least from the trailer, more like a Masterpiece Theater production, something that I would rather order on Netflix. But since I'm fascinated with 18th and 19th Century history especially the art, architecture, furniture, clothing and jewelry of those periods, I thought that this was certainly a film to see on a big least on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Emily Blunt's performance in 'The Young Victoria' didn't have the fire of Kate Blanchett in 'Elizabeth', the gravitas of Judi Dench in 'Mrs. Brown' or the purposefulness of Helen Miren in 'The Queen' but that was due more to the script than to her acting.

And I felt that the script was incomplete in the sense that there wasn't enough back story explaining the situation in England. How many people today have an understanding of this historical period and the fragility of the British monarchy after the Revolutionary War, the madness of King George, the French Revolution, the years of war with Napoleon and the pressures of an expanding empire. The film didn't give us any of this historical context.

But what the film did give us was the importance of royal marriages in terms of strategic alliances, and what made this story extraordinary was the fact that the marriage of Victoria and Albert, was not only a brilliant strategic alliance, but a true love match.

Historical and Romantical!

But let's face it, I really saw the film for the costumes and the jewelry like these silver gilt (silver and gold) diamond earrings and diamond riviere necklace.
And what isn't seen in this photo was Victoria's wedding ring, a gold snake symbolizing eternal love. Something similar to this.

Here we have the riviere again

The swagged necklace and hair ornament

The earrings either in pietra dura or cameo, I can't tell from this photo

The gemstone necklace and earrings with gold cannetille

And the all important wedding parure

The wonderful thing about well made Victorian jewelry is that much of it is wearable today, particularly the earrings and the bracelets. A week ago in Miami I was going to purchase a Victorian suite, in the original box, with natural pearls in a pair of bracelets, a necklace and a tiara...the perfect gift for a bride, but I hesitated. But now after watching 'The Young Victoria' I'd like to have more Victorian jewelry not just because it is rich in history but because it is beautiful.
For more about Victorian and other period jewelry take a look at Danielle, I snagged the photos from your post!
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Dior Couture Spring/Summer 2010 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

John Galliano for Dior Couture is always a master of the narrative
And I'm certainly loving his Belle Epoque Equestrienne narrative for 2010

Seriously...what's not to love here

and here

and here
These gorgeous riding habits make me think of Sher and her sidesaddle!

But with the good comes the bad

and the ugly

but Galliano as Cavalier is always part of the narrative
Doesn't he look like he just stepped away from his four in hand?
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recession Dressing - Designer Denim

Can someone please explain to me this whole designer denim trend?

It's not just the gorgeous Jessica Biel modeling designer denim by Ralph Lauren on the front cover of Vogue.
She models depression era worthy Ralph Lauren denim patchwork overalls in the feature article.
We are seeing more denim patchwork clothes on the runway with a distinct lowbrow look.

On the high end we've got Dolce & Gabbana denim handbags at Neiman Marcus for $1295

Is this some kind nostalgia for the great depression or some kind of 1970's recession based style signifying that we are ready to go to work?
What's your theory?
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

OMG - The Oprah Magazine and Patti Smith!

Things have been busy these last couple of weeks chez Beladora.
Between the red carpets, travel and sending out jewelry for photography
I've barely had time to catch up will all of your blogs.
Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with all my bloggy reading this weekend.

One thing I've been busy working on is loaning jewelry for major magazines
like the February issue of The Oprah Magazine.

I don't know how the O magazine stylists do it, but they make Oprah look not just fresh but absolutely stunning on every single cover shot.
Can those people come over to my place and dress me every morning.
But I digress...
The magazine had the Coming Into Their Own feature with Vanessa Williams, Rachel Roy, Brook Shields, Kelly Wearstler and Patti Smith.
From the magazine
"These five striking - and strikingly different- women have never looked better. Here they reveal how they sidestepped the unfortunate trends and nagging insecurities of youth to arrive at their celebrated personal styles."

So here is Patti Smith rocking an antique Edwardian diamond horseshoe brooch from
How cool is that?

And here is the detail shot of the brooch
which was one of my favorite antique brooches with 5 carats of old cut diamonds
Luckily, a Beladora client is now happily wearing it!
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Jewelry Biz - The Miami Beach Estate Jewelry Show

Happily I'm home for the Miami Beach Antiques and Estate Jewelry Show
and I do now understand the appeal of Miami

the weather was warm and tropical
the beaches were white and the water was turquoise

I was sorely tempted to spend my days in a chaise lounge next to the pool at the Loews Hotel or on lying on the sand on the adjacent beach
but this is what I was up to

looking at piece after piece of estate jewelry like this David Webb gold link bracelet with diamonds
and this Tiffany gemstone bracelet by Paloma Picasso

and this Tiffany "XO" cuff bracelet

So did I buy any of these gorgeous bracelets?
No I did not.
Prices were ridiculously high at this show
to the point where dealer to dealer trade prices were in most cases higher than what Beladora charges for the same jewelry.
For example, this Retro gold bracelet priced at $4650 on would have cost me at least $2000 more to buy with a trade price from a NY dealer at the show.

But overall the trip wasn't a loss
I did manage to find a few nice pieces and I reconnected with some of the dealers that I like to do business with.
And I got to see the fabulous South Beach scene and Art Deco architecture at night

and have drinks in a poolside cabana at the way hip Delano Hotel

But mostly it was long days at the show and then early dinners at the Loews hotel followed by discussion of the day's events with cognac and cigars for the gentlemen and a glass of Cabernet for me outside on the terrace where the palms were swaying in the tropical wind.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

In Sunny South Beach

Being from Southern California I never understood the whole Miami Beach thing. It is so built up and crowded and just not my idea of a vacation destination. I had never been particularly impressed by the few times that I had been in Florida before. But now that I realize how nice the weather is in mid-winter, I would so want to vacation here if I lived in the snowy North East.
And today after staying out a little too late last night I would just love to lie on the beach and sleep in the sun....but it's back to a day spent indoors at the antique and estate jewelry show.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shopping Spree Miami Style

And I'm off today to Miami Beach to shop but with prices so prices not retail prices...I'm probably going to come home empty handed. The usual gang will be there, the 47th street guys, the Europeans and the South Americans...all with overpriced stuff.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Golden Globes - The Bling

The Golden Girl wearing vintage gold earrings.

Seriously...does this woman not have the most incredible genes
She's something like 75 years old and wearing a diamond dominatrix choker!
One online commenter called her a GILF!

Mariah should know better than to wear earrings that balance on her shoulders

I don't know what these are but I think that they are just wrong

I ADORE this vintage VCA piece but not with this dress or for this event

These earrings are competing with the neckline of this dress

These simple emerald and diamond dangle earrings are lovely

Hair them! and those Georgian diamond dangle earrings I would die for

Courtney Cox = Cougarlicious

In my opinion, this was the best jewelry look of the red carpet. These diamond and pearl tassel earrings fit her dress and her proportion perfectly.

Now here's the official run down of who wore what from National Jeweler
Sandra Bullock, who grabbed a Golden Globe for best actress in a drama for her role in The Blind Side, was hard to miss in her deep purple gown and jewelry that was no less dramatic. She wore Lorraine Schwartz's gray diamond earrings, weighing 40 carats, which she paired with a white and yellow diamond ring in blackened gold.
Vintage jewels were a popular choice this year. The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies, who won for best actress in a television drama, went for a timeless look in Fred Leighton's 19th century, pear-shaped diamond drop earrings. Also dipping into Leighton's vaults was A-lister Nicole Kidman who broke from the crowd in the brand's 19th century diamond bow brooch, plus platinum bracelets with diamonds and emeralds.
In its roundup of the most dramatic diamond looks, the Diamond Information Center called out the retro look worn by Carey Mulligan (a best actress nominee for the film An Education) who donned Fred Leighton jewelry, including 3.5-carat, pear-shaped, old-mine-cut diamond drop earrings; a 19th century diamond riviere necklace with 20 carats of diamonds, which she opted to wear in her hair; a 19th century, pear-shaped diamond crown ring; and a 19th century diamond swallow cuff bracelet.

Golden Globe best supporting actress winner Mo'Nique, who won for her star turn as the mother in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, and chose Everlon Diamond Knot Jewelry, including drop earrings and a pavé diamond circle link bracelet featuring 15 carats of diamonds.
Actress Marion Cotillard must have kept the jewelry security transportation team on its toes with her ensemble: She wore a pair of 53-carat, trillion-cut diamond bracelets, an Asscher-cut diamond bracelet, an emerald-cut diamond ring, and 12 carat trillion-cut diamond hair clips, all from Chopard.
Many actress went for modern diamond looks set in platinum, including Drew Barrymore, who won best actress in mini-series/motion picture for her role in HBO's Grey Gardens. She chose 20-carat diamond stud earrings and a diamond and moonstone ring, 80 carats total, by red-carpet regular Lorraine Schwartz.
Big Love actress Chloë Sevigny, who won for best supporting role in a TV series, broke the mostly white metal trend by wearing diamond and 18-karat yellow gold ear clips by Buccellati and the brand's marquis-shaped diamond ring.

Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, co-stars and supporting actress nominees for Up in the Air, also seemed to be dueling with diamonds: Farmiga opted for a diamond cuff bracelet and diamond flower earrings by Chanel, while Kendrick chose Cartier's "Triple Orchid" diamond drop earrings.
United States of Tara star Toni Collette was one of two actresses that wore one of designer Neil Lane's "million-dollar looks"--although for Collette, it was actually $1.5 million. The winner of the best actress in a television series award for her role in the Showtime series, Collette was aglow in Lane's diamond and platinum drop earrings, two wide diamond and platinum bracelets, and three colored diamond and platinum rings.
January Jones, nominated for best actress in a drama for her role in the award-winning Mad Men, wore a "one million dollar look," by Lane, which included two huge diamond and platinum bracelets, which she paired with a black gown and a black headband. Neil Lane also equipped Big Love actress
Ginnifer Goodwin, who has frequently scored points for her sense of style, with red-carpet jewelry. Accenting a vibrant blue dress, she chose Lane's big ruffle and diamond and platinum cuff, diamond and platinum ring and diamond and platinum chandelier earrings.
Screen newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, who starred in the movie Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, wore a green gown, and platinum jewels by Kwiat, including the brand's diamond "Legacy" necklace, its "American Beauty" diamond bracelets, and diamond studs, all of which totaled 100 carats of diamonds. Breaking from the diamond-centric looks were several actresses who donned colored stones.
Emily Blunt, a nominee for her role in the film The Young Victoria, wore blackened platinum and colored diamond bracelets and earrings totaling 30 carats by Lorraine Schwartz plus a platinum and diamond engagement ring by Neil Lane. (Blunt is engaged to John Krasinski, who stars in The Office.) Similarly, several actresses broke from the crowd with colorful vintage looks from Van Cleef and Arpels.
Julia Roberts, a best actress in a comedy nominee for her starring role in Duplicity, wore a black cocktail dress that she paired with a long, vintage necklace plucked from the vaults of Van Cleef and Arpels Private Collection. Dating back to 1972, the sautoir with statement pendant features 29 citrines surrounded by diamonds and is set in 18-karat yellow gold--a rare departure from the staggering quantity of platinum jewelry that prevailed on the red carpet. Although strapless gowns seemed to be everywhere,
Kristen Bell, a presenter at the show, was one of the few stars to accent her exposed neckline with a necklace. She wore Van Cleef and Arpels' "Folie de Pres" necklace of blue sapphires and diamonds, diamond cluster ear studs and a "Cosmos" diamond ring. Among the men, jeweled cuff links abounded.

As usual, Lorraine Schwartz and Neil Lane were the big jewelers on the red carpet
And what happened to the Beladora bling?
Well...the talent chose Chopard over Beladora
and that's the way these things go
I stepped into Chopard yesterday to see the necklace and bracelet, and they were indeed stunning
There is still the Oscars coming up....
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Tag You're It

So many questions, so little time
Last week by Wildernesschic at Life the universe and all thats in it
so voila
1. Your Hair? ...... Long, unruly, naturally mousy brown but dyed dark blond to cover some gray.
2. Your Favourite Food......Cuisine Francais, bien sur.
3. Your Dream From Last Night?....something lovely but I don’t remember the details
4. Your Favourite Drink? depends on the occasion, a glass of champagne for cocktails, a fine red Burgundy with dinner.
5. What Room Are You In? home away from home, aka my office.
6. What Is Your Hobby?......does blogging qualify as a hobby?
7. What Is Your Fear?...any type of sickness for those I love.
8. Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years Time? a place with a slower pace.
9. Where Were You Last Night? home listening to the rain.
10. Muffins? Never!
11. Last Thing You Did?.....solved a problem.
12. What Are You Wearing?......brown cords, plaid shirt, brown cardigan…hey I’m don't have any appointments today, I don’t need to impress anyone.
13. Your TV In Your House? works and is best for recording movies and watching them later.
14. Vehicle?.......small German, charcoal gray, and very basic.
15. Your Favourite Store?, Neiman Marcus and any book store.
16. Your Favourite Colour? of all shades.
17. When Was The Last Time You Laughed?....yesterday afternoon, at myself of course!
18. When Was The Last Time You Cried?...during the movie “Up” which I saw last week.
19. Your Best Friend?....someone I’ve known from my earlier life and who is still there for me even though my life has changed entirely.
20. Favourite Place To Eat?.....California: at my mother's house. Abroad: Geneva Switzerland, the cites and mountains surrounding Lac Lehman in the winter and Aix en Provence at the house of friends in the summer. I'm sending out the love to Just Another American In Paris, Inspiration in Italy, Savvy Mode, Miss Cavendish, Miss Cavendish, and My Style Thrifting.
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Golden Globes - The Gowns

Golden Globes wrap up....yeah, everyone has opinion

Sandy Bullock looks like the star that she is...after so long, this is her definitely her year

For some reason I adore Tea Leoni's outfit
I don't have much good to say about her recovering man whore husband
but she looks very happy
Given the fact that Julianne Moore is styled by Tom Ford
I'm a little confused about what is going on here
Does the dress not hang like a sack
and what the hell is hanging from her ears?
Zoe Saldana looks zany in something that looks like
a discarded table cloth that got soaked in wine

Patricia Arquette sadly attired in the worst gown on the red carpet

Strange that I find Tracy Morgan's white dinner jacket to be so wrong in February

Yet I think that Kate Hudson was the best dressed at the event
Why do I find a white gown in February to be correct
and a white dinner jacket to be gauche
Despite the buff guns, I think that Glenn Close should have gone for covered arms
a la Meryl Streep.
She just seems a t'wee bit old to be going strapless
Cougerlicious Courtney Cox, on the other hand, can still rock a strapless gown

Unfortunately her friend Jennifer Aniston looked like a hot mess

Penelope Cruz dressed appropriately dramatic

and Cameron Diaz couldn't have been cuter

I'll leave the jewelry for another post
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