Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Little More Beladora That J'Adore

Thanks Jill for the link. I thought that I would add another photo so that you could get a better idea of the size of this pendant so here is Miss de Ville modelling it! Note the modern chain with the one bezel set diamond which is the perfect complement to the pendant.
Since the Retro snake necklace featured by Elle.com is probably just a little above our budget at $14,250
here's a beautiful Victorian snake at a somewhat more affordable price

Antique Victorian Diamond Crescent and Emerald and Ruby Snake Pendant $2450

This is an outstanding Victorian piece because it joins the two major Victorian jewelry motifs, the crescent and the snake into one design. Also the stones are really vibrant.

It always amazes me that a piece with so much intricacy was crafted completely by hand without the use of modern machinery.
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J'Adore Beladora Snake Jewelry And So Does Elle.Com

While googling around the other day I happened to see that the utterly gorgeous Kate Davidson Hudson, accessories editor for Elle Magazine, is swooning over this sexy sapphire serpent.

I met Kate last Fall in New York and she truly is as nice and as smart as she is beautiful. Seriously, this woman won the jackpot in the great gene lottery.
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Fashion Photography - Donna Trope

I met fashion photographer Donna Trope last week and I wanted to show you some of her jewelry photography.

She does really interesting work
You can check her website to see more of her work
Note: there might be some images in the Polaroid section on her site that are NSFW
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Vintage Fashion Photography

I am loving the vintage photo contest at The Sartorialist
There is so something lovely about a time when both women and men dressed up to do basic activities, including riding bikes.
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Blogger must be having a glitch because the photos in my last post magically disappeared.
Why, I ask you, why?
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Hiking With My Hero

Perfect weather seems to have finally arrived.
Yesterday it was about 85 degrees with a cloudless sky, perfect for a hike in the hills.
Since my hiking partner was busy I was happy go alone with my ipod and finish listening to the last chapter and epilogue of "Churchill" by Paul Johnson.
I am fascinated by Winston Churchill and all that he accomplished. Fifty-five years in the House of Commons, 9 years as Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, soldier, war correspondent, polo player, orator, painter, historian, whiskey drinker, savior of the Western World.
Seriously, is there anything this man couldn't do?

I stopped a few times to look at the wild flowers in bloom

Strangely, I only saw one California poppy plant, the flower that California is famous for.

Because it was so clear, the view was outstanding, from Catalina island, to Palos Verdes, to Long Beach, to Saddleback Mountain, to downtown LA. I could even see the snow capped mountains.
Yesterday was literally one of those days where you could have surfed in the morning in Malibu and skied in the afternoon at Mountain High.
Yeah, LA is a pretty amazing place.

This is the nicest time to hike in the hills because soon it will be too hot and dry

and fire weather will be upon us.
Paul Johnson's Churchill, like all of Johnson's books, was excellent and I recommend it to you. Also, if you haven't already read it, I suggest that you read the two volume "The Last Lion" by William Manchester.
And, if you don't have the time or inclination to read the Manchester oeuvre, at least read these famous Churchill quotes because he said so many brilliant things.

"Lady Astor: Winston, if you were my husband I would poison your tea
Churchill: Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it."
I have more to write about Churchill, but I'll save that for a future post.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Air - The Best Concert That I'm Not Going To See

Tickets for today's Air concert at Disney Concert Hall at the Music Center in Los Angeles sold out within a few hours.
Air - ultimate in Lounge musique à la Francaise
Here is the Air youtube channel
Luckily, I can listen to Air on my ipod and avoid the crowd.
Here's a little Air for you

Happy Sunday
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Around Town - Slumming It At The SLS

After hearing for months about the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
I finally got around to seeing what all the buzz is about
It was indeed way hip
and the public/private division gave it that one extra level of exclusivity
The decor was exceptional with calculated coolness by designer Philippe Starck
I had dinner in one of the private dinning rooms
which was just a little too starkly Starck for my taste
Fortunately, it was vastly improved by the color, the candlelight and the company
The food at Tres which I had heard so much about was what I would have expected,
good but not exceptional
Next time, I would like to try the main restaurant Bazaar
Or, instead of waiting in a long line for my car with the usual actors and other industry types, get to the SLS early in the evening and have dinner at Altitude on rooftop pool deck and enjoy the view.
If you haven't already tried the SLS I recommend that you do, if only just to have a drink and to bask in the vibe.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Savvy Shopping - Gearing Up For The Gala

One of the most beautiful events that I attend every spring is the Patron Gala for the Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens. Every year this organization honors a special person who has had a history of contributions to the community. This year is particularly special because they are honoring the Michael Kazanjian and his family's philanthropic organization, the Kazanjian Foundation and the Jewels for Charity program.
So now the party isn't going to be until the first week of May, I don't want to wait until two days before and make a rushed decision and end up spending too much. Like I wrote about earlier this week, I hate making shopping decisions with a time constraint. So if I start thinking about it now, I have a month or so to find the right thing.
I'd love an Andrew Gn or a Jenny Packham gown but I'd also like to just order something less expensive over the internet and be done with it
like this gown from Bergdorf Goodman
Diane Von Furstenberg gown at Bergdorf Goodman $825

the price is right, the color is gorgeous and it has such pretty detail on the back
I love this color. DVF calls it Indian Jade but since I've never seen actual jade in that color it looks more like teal to me
or better yet the color one of my favorite gemstones
Mozambique or Paraiba tourmaline
here is a Mozambique tourmaline, I love that teal blue hue
and here is a mother of all tourmalines, the Paraiba tourmaline with that magnificent electric blue color.
These stones are so rare and expensive in large sizes that it's difficult to find jewelry made with them...but if I could get my hands on a suite or a demi-parure in Mozambique or Paraiba, or even just one statement ring I would definitely buy the DVF dress.

Another option, sans tourmalines, would be a few Art Deco diamond bracelets and these earrings, which just scream Spring to me.
Well that's one option and luckily, I have plenty of time to consider other outfits.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Best Books I've Never Read - Until Now

Do you sometimes wonder how it is that after spending a lifetime of reading, you have still missed so many great books. And isn't it a pleasure to finally read them.

Snobbery has been on my mind this week, especially with the two extraordinary posts written by the Duchesse and the fact that I just finished reading Evelina by the incomparable and groundbreaking Fanny Burney. (Seriously, what is all the fuss about Jane Austin? Next to Fanny Burney, and Maria Edgeworth, she is a second rate author.)

I don't consider myself to be an anti-intellectual reverse snob, I see myself as much more of an anti-snob. In terms of material goods, I'm the first one to brag about the fact that I almost never pay retail....and why would I when I work in a wholesale business. Sitting with a stylist from CBS who was on her way to pick up a Kevin Hall dress, I was only so happy to tell her that I just bought a Kevin Hall dress for $19.99 at Ross! Whether with clothes, handbags or jewelry, I do appreciate quality, but I'm not going to overpay just to be able to own a status brand that is overpriced to begin with. My self worth isn't tied up in what I own or where I shop, as it is with materially oriented snobs.

About snobbery as it relates to attitudes, I put little stock in what socio-economic class one was born into, and what schools one attended. Like with the characters in Evelina, I've known people from the wealthiest caste who were unbearable boors and lower middle class people who were equally as bad. I've seen serious snobs in action...and walked away amused thinking that they only impressed themselves, their peers and their sycophants, but not me.

One has to belong to an exclusive group to be a snob, say a group like upper echelon private school graduates or country club members or even members of a royal family. One has to be born into, married into or moneyed into those exclusive groups. But membership in such groups only matters if a person wants to included. Fortunately, after spending time around people with real money, new and old, private island-private jet-private bank account kind of money, I've learned to be an unimpressed anti-snob.

What does impress me is education, achievement, taste and character and those attributes can exist with people across class lines. A little humility isn't bad too.

If you haven't read Evelina, I encourage you to. You will see all kinds of snobs and reverse snobs in that book and enjoy it immensely.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kazanjian & Fogarty -Launching The Buy Site

I just wanted to let you know that we finally got around to launching a website for Kazanjian & Fogarty, which is the parent firm of Beladora.com.
Kazanjian & Fogarty, led by the intrepid Russell Fogarty, estate jewelry and gemstone guru, formerly of Christie's Auction House, has been a jewelry buying office on Rodeo Drive for some 20 years.
Typically, the jewelry purchased by K&F was wholesaled out to other dealers and to retail jewelry stores until someone had the bright idea to take the estate jewelry direct to the public via the Beladora.com website.
The website is brand new so it's not showing up on Google, Bing and the rest of the search engines yet. But you can take a look at it here
We are buying everyday. Maybe you have something to sell?
Oh, and one more thing...no item is too expensive for Kazanjian & Fogarty to purchase...so if you have a 10 carat pink diamond to sell, bring it on!
Conversely, if you have vintage fine jewelry and watches that you never wear and would like to sell give us a call at (800) 680-9569.
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Around Town - Just Another Day On Rodeo Drive

A little more than your usual mayhem on Rodeo Drive today. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston have been filming something that must include shopping. Yesterday they shut down 2 Rodeo and today they are shooting at Gucci.
The paparazzi are everywhere, even on the opposite side of the street. What kind of photo do they think they are going to get? Are they expecting Angelina to show up for a cat fight?
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Spending Your Cash In A Flash

In my inbox today
a notification of a 2 hour sale at Neiman Marcus.

I am just curious
Does a flash sale (2 hour, 2 day, whatever) tend to make you more likely to make a purchase?

I view these sales by Neimans as manufactured scarcity making you assume that you will have no other time to purchase this item at this price. This isn't Haute Look where they are selling the last of the stock, this is a sale with current merchandise.
Since I'm not an impulse shopper these sales don't appeal to me, but obviously they must appeal to many others or we wouldn't see so many of these flash sale sites out there.

My daughter loves Haute Look, and I'm wondering if these flash sale sites are training a new generation of shoppers to indulge in instant gratification rather than making thoughtful decisions about how they choose to spend their money.

What do you think?
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Skankdom In Training

More proof of the end of Western Civilization as we know it
I wonder if any of the adults are in the least bit shocked at this child's t-shirt?
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To Read And Enjoy

Tessa Scoffs has recommended what has become my new favorite boy blog
Admiral Cod written by Laguna Beach Trad

Why do I adore this blog?
Maybe it's because of the multi-lingual posts
or the interesting choice of music videos
or the unabashed anglo-german-franco-philia
or the attitude about the investment business

or maybe it's because the blogger, so very un-Laguna like, wears the full on prep attire of rep ties, alden shoes, pink shirts, topsiders and madras shorts like my ex-fiance wore when we both lived Laguna Beach.
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Now I Know Why I Avoid Stores And Shop Online

I went to Ikea yesterday
Now I know why Sweden has the highest rate of suicide
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Around Town - Denali Quartet At Greystone

So many choices, so little time
with the Denali Quartet performing at the beautiful Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills on Sunday at 2:00 or the weekly hike in the hills above Brentwood
With the start of Spring this weekend, I'm opting for the hike
Perhaps I will listen to progressive chamber music on my ipod while I hike...
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Craving The Collection

I know that everybody is raving about Phoebe Philo's Fall collection for Celine
but I'm totally enamored with Marc Jacobs Fall RTW collection for Louis Vuitton.
If I buy anything new and wonderful this year it will be from this collection.

Here's the link to the video from NY Magazine if the video can be embedded here
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Skankdom Rules!

So, let me get this straight you are married to this goddess

extremely talented, successful and not exactly a sight for sore eyes
and while she's off doing her job making movies for which she gets paid a fortune

you just can't help but to tap into some of this

because what man wouldn't want to have an 11 month affair with this lovely creature?

Yep, she definitely looks like she was worth that one day a week private time that you shared
Oh...you were lonely because your wife was off filming 'The Blind Side'?
You say your wife wasn't giving you the attention you deserved?

Well, you know it's not as though you were strapped for money and couldn't afford to, you know, to go and visit her. God knows you it's not like you couldn't afford a private friggin jet to fly back east to visit your wife every single weekend that she away working.

And on the topic of skankdom
Is this the video that we want all 10 year olds to watch?
It's not that I object to the song, it's the imagery
especially the Tarentino-esque scene where Lady Gaga and her homegirl Beyonce
murder an entire diner full of people...and a dog

Watch the whole thing and tell me what you think
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day Treat

I thought that I'd be spending St. Patrick's Day chasing down a rainbow and finding a pot of gold, but it's 85 degrees in Beverly Hills, no rainbows in sight and I'm not delving into the Irish Whiskey...yet.
But almost as good as finding a pot of gold is the fact that Beladora.com estate jewelry was featured in 7 pages of fashion editorial shots in the April issue of Elle Magazine.
Here's a really cool period piece, a French Retro Bracelet in Rose Gold

and here is the big sculptural gold bracelet that I posted about two days ago. It looks so much better being worn than in a photograph.
I'll post more photos when I get them.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!
Erin Go Bragh
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Jewelry Trends - It's All About The Animals

Another trend mentioned by Vogue.com is jewelry with an animal inspired accent.

So, keeping with a high/low idea
since I already posted the high end for the sculptural bracelets
I thought that I'd post some of the less expensive animal motif pieces from Beladora2.com.

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