Friday, April 30, 2010

Least Influential List of 2010

I am cracking up over this list from
Here are a few of the entries

Dmitri Medvedev President of Russia
Yeah, sure he is.

Giorgio Napolitano President of Italy
He makes decisions, and Silvio Berlusconi ignores them. It's pretty funny.

Toll Brothers Homebuilders
That was a lot of McMansions you built. You'll totally get a segment on I Love the 2000s.

European country Hairy-chested, aggressive with women, charmingly backward — you briefly charmed us with that big, fat wedding. Then you spent so much more money than you made, you forced the E.U. to bail you out. It will be a long time before we watch a movie about you again.

Dick Fuld
The last CEO of Lehman Brothers ever That has to be hard to explain on a résumé.

Happy Friday
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Horse Sense From Winston Churchill

In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby this weekend
a little horse sense from Winston Churchill

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"

"It is not enough for a man to know how to ride, he must know how to fall"
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Neiman Marcus - Is This Any Way To Market?

I have to say that in terms of marketing Neiman Marcus does just about everything right.
They have the stores, they have the goods and they have the sales staff.

Of course being too busy to go into the store, try on the goods and deal with the sales staff
I ordered this evening gown off of the Neiman Marcus website for the VRG gala.

On the website they had only one left in a size 4 and I snapped it up. I'd never bought an eveing gown online before but since I've worn Carmen Marc Valvo dresses in the past, I assumed it would fit. As it turns out the gown was cut a little large and I decided to return it.

Instead of sticking it back in the box and shipping it I decided to quickly pop into Neimans and return it in person and maybe see if there were any other dresses that I absolutely could not live without.

So there I was in the dress department waiting for someone to help me for more than 15 minutes. OK, so what's a little wait. I perused the racks and found a few fancy little cocktail dresses that had my name all over them...and god knows...I have the opportunity to wear fancy little cocktail dresses so often (not) but I am partial to them.

When a saleslady was finally available to help me she told me that because I had purchased the dress online I had to go to the top floor and return the dress to customer service. I was like really?

At any rate I trudged up the escalator with my long gown and returned it and then left the store to go back to my office.

So what's the issue?
If I had been able to return it in the fancy schmancy dress department, chances are that the sales lady would have been able to talk me into buying at least one other dress, and probably three, because there was an awesome sale and as I said before, I wear fancy little cocktail dresses so often, you know because my lifestyle calls for it...(not)
and because I just can't resist them at a good price.

Instead, she didn't didn't get the opportunity to up-sell me and Neiman's missed my business.

I ask you, is this any way to market?
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Fancy Enough For You?

Well, since the Hermes cuff was such a hit
I thought that I would take it up a notch with this 20.36 Fancy Yellow diamond ring GIA VVS2 priced very well
Any takers?
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hermes for Une Femme

I do like to know that our jewelry is going to a good home were it will be appropriately worn and appreciated.
Happily, the Hermes Collier de Chien bracelet (aka the bondage bracelet) has gone to a good home with our blogger friend Deja Pseu at Une Femme D'un Certain Age.
Hopefully she will post a photo of it on her wrist!
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Monday, April 26, 2010

How About A Little Hermes maybe it's not fine jewelry...but we think it's fine anyway.
The Hermes price new is $1200
Just add your own thigh high black boots and think of it as dominatrix at a discount!
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Around Town - The Stigmatized at the LA Opera

Overall opera is a difficult art to appreciate. While some opera's are easily watched and enjoyed, such as Butterfly and Turandot, more often than not they are challenging, complicated, hours long and require simultaneous reading while watching the events on stage if you aren't familiar with the story or fluent in multiple languages. James Conlon's production of Franz Schreker's 'The Stigmatized' was one of these difficult operas but definitely worth seeing.

The story is set in fin-de-siecle Genoa with a plot that is marked by the Freudian undertones of the outside appearances and the internal decadence of the characters. There is ugliness and beauty and lust in the story, and of course a completely naked girl in a simulated rape scene on stage....because this is the LA Opera, and there are always naked girls and sex on the LA Opera stage.
The score is rich and romantic and sounds more like a film score than an opera. There are no snappy arias that you can hum to yourself later. While the Viennese Schreker is compared mostly to Strauss, I felt that his music was more akin to that of Korngold whose work was used both in opera and in film. Certainly Korngold must have been influenced by Schreker.

The singing by German soprano Anja Kampe, as the artist Carlotta, was extraordinary. She blew everyone away, including the lead tenor Robert Brubaker, as the crippled aristocrat. The set design was kept purposely simple in order to act as a background for a rich lighting design with elaborate projections. It was very beautiful production visually.

Here's the description from the LA Opera.
World-renowned conductor James Conlon continues the critically lauded, groundbreaking Recovered Voices series with the first-ever production in the Western hemisphere of any opera of Franz Schreker. The New Yorker commented that the work "vacillates between melodies of Mediterranean grace and textures of otherworldly complexity...One scene melts into another with cinematic ease."

Sadly, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center wasn't full and the average age of the audience was about 65. For a new generation raised on film, video games, twitter and instant gratification, I'm afraid that opera will be a lost art.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

France as Viewed by the French

I tried to embed this slide show but it took to long to load
so instead
go here and enjoy

h/t Just Another American In Paris
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

How To Wear Vintage Estate Jewelry - The Gold Statement Necklace

Well, once I get on a topic I just keep going on and how to wear Beladora vintage estate jewelry. I'm making this my BHB least until the ADD hits in and I go off on some other tangent.
Of course I love to wear Georgian and Art Deco diamonds...who doesn't
But more often I go for big bold statement pieces from the 1960's and 1970's.
Such as this gold and diamond necklace with pendant that was worn this week by Faith Hill
Here I am wearing the exact same necklace. It can be worn long as on Faith Hill or short, as I am wearing it here in this photo. I used the second half of the necklace to wrap double around my wrist as a bracelet. Might I add that the necklace also fits perfectly as a belt.
Here's he detail from
Why so expensive you ask? Simply because there is a lot of gold weight in this piece.
Oh...and did you notice that fox throw that I am leaning against in the photo?
It is the same one from this famous va-va-voom photo of Kate Winslet from Vanity Fair.
Naturally, like the necklace the silver fox made by Frette is for sale...with a matching pillow.
Any offers?
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Georgian London Through The Art of Paul Sanby

If, like me, you have an interest in 18th and 19th Century history and art, check out the podcast on the Georgian London blog about 18th Century water colorist Paul Sanby at the Royal Academy
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Around Town - The Los Angeles Antiques Show

Last night I was out and about with my fabulous client Sherry. Sherry is a major Beverly Hills party girl with a connoisseur's eye for fine estate jewelry. Basically she took me along as her chaperon, to keep her from getting into trouble with the all the bling and the boys at the opening night party at the Los Angeles Antiques Show.

The event was a super chic benefit to raise money for P.S. Arts which supports arts programs in the public school system.

P.S. Arts is supported primarily by the entertainment industry so no matter how impressive the antiques were, the people at the party were waaaay more gorgeous.
There was a nice celebrity turnout with Courtney Cox, Amber Valleta, Dita von Teese, Alexandra von Furstenberg, Marcia Cross, Lilly Collins and lots more.
(I was introduced to Lilly Collins last night by her mother Jill who I know through VRG and BHWC and I thought to myself what a lovely young girl. I had no idea that she played the role of the daughter in 'The Blind Side". If you haven't seen "The Blind Side" netflix it.)
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beladora Vintage Jewelry - How To Wear It

I realize that many fashion forward women think that antique estate jewelry is too old fashioned and frumpy for our contemporary lifestyle. I beg to differ. Not only is it easy to wear estate jewelry with current clothing styles, it adds visual interest to mix up the old with the new, especially if you mix up jewelry from different decorative periods. Today I'm wearing Georgian, Edwardian, Art Deco and Contemporary diamond jewelry...and it works.
Antique Georgian Diamond Brooch and Antique Edwardian Diamond Earrings
Here's the detail on the brooch

Vintage Harry Winston Diamond and Sapphire Watch and Art Deco Diamond Ring
also added to the mix is an Art Deco Diamond Bracelet

OK, it won't always be the big diamond stuff...I have a couple of appointments today that call for it, but I will wear something vintage every day....whether big bold Retro brooches and bracelets, funky 1970's rings or a Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra pendant that is less than 5 years old.
Whatever your style, vintage jewelry will work for you too.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strict, Sotto Voce or Just Plain Anti Diva Armor

Considering the Duchesse's post today on "Sotto Voce" style and her previous post on "Strict" style, I thought that I would show you what shoes I am wearing today. Purchased at Barney's many years ago these Italian fatta a mano shoes are a little bit beat up... but they are finally worn in and comfortable. I also have matching pairs in camel and black suede.
I don't know if these fall into the "Sotto Voce" or the "Strict" category in terms of style.
But I will say that my environment is fraught with Divas and I don't deal well with the whole Diva thing. So I just consider these shoes as part of my "Anti-Diva Don't F**k With Me" style.
Someday we can have a further discussion on the semiotics of shoes...
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hanging Out With Lady G

Alex and the lovely Laura are in Coachella this weekend for the mother of all music festivals. When you are 26 I can see why a weekend concert would be fun, but at my age, I can't imagine having to going there just because I wanted to see Julian Casablancas, Faith No More and MGMT.
Happily, I'm not at the concert and I get to take care of Alex and Laura's miniature dachshund, Lady G, aka "the ween".
Here's a photo of Laura holding Lady G. For some reason the dogs eyes always turn turquoise in photos. It's a little like a demon dog, don't you think?
I've always been a big dog person, dobermans, labs, golden retrievers, newfoundlands, ridgebacks, etc...but I'm starting to see the fun in having a little dog.
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Ebay For Jewelry - Why?

Ebay can be awesome, for all kinds of vintage (and new) stuff, right Sher?
But I really do wonder who is buying jewelry on Ebay.

This vintage Hermes gold choker/tiara sold for $2950 on
The same exact piece is up for sale on Ebay for $17,500

So yeah...who is buying jewelry on Ebay and why?
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Playing With Polyvore - Classically Cartier

Miss de Ville has been cranking up the Cartier on Polyvore

I am looking to buy a Cartier Perruque ring. If anyone has one for sale please email me.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vintage Value Venture - The Best On Beladora

I'm kind of on a blogging roll today...because I just have lots to say.
This Van Cleef and Arpels diamond brooch was $7550 on
Another online estate jewelry dealer,on 1st Dibs is selling the same item for $12,500.
The VCA retail price was $20,000.

Seriously, who shows you the love?
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Celtic Chic or Viking Style

Sometimes things like this unusual gold pendant come into the office.It's big, it's beautifully crafted, it's heavy. But what is it? Celtic? Nordic?
And what do we do with it?
Miss de Ville has decided that she is all over this pendant.
Worn with a long chain, she has dubbed it "Ghetto Viking" style.
Yeah, it's definitely Viking-esque.
Maybe if I hang it from some multi-colored gemstone beads and attach long boho tassels with feathers, Jill will covet it.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Music For My Mood

How is it that in a few short days my mood has gone from this

to this
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Friday, April 9, 2010

Pretty Pearls for a Sunny Spring Evening

Maybe it was because I was inspired by the post on pearls this week at Passage des Perles, or maybe it was because it has finally gotten sunny and warm here in LA
that I decided that these are my new favorite earrings. Here's the detail shot

And what's not to love about these 3.53 carats of yellow diamonds and 16mm gold South Sea pearls for just a t'wee bit less than of $10,000. I wonder, where should I go tonight to wear these pretty baubles?
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Sadly, a short day at the office today because we lost one of our team this week and the memorial service is this afternoon.
So, having no time to come up with an original idea to post about, I'm sending you off to LPC's guest post at Already Pretty for her ideas on subversive fashion or measured rebellion in the workplace wardrobe
to that Wildernesschic woman in Wales who writes about the most fabulous products that I've never heard of
this link because we need to have something to laugh about today.
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Music - The Magnetic Fields

RIP - Sandra Weinberg Judakin
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Luxe Biz - Richemont Offers On Net-A-Porter

From National Jeweler
Geneva--Swiss luxury goods conglomerate Richemont Group--owner of longtime high-end stalwarts such as Cartier, Piaget and Van Cleef and Arpels--has made an offer to acquire a relative newcomer to the land of luxe: United Kingdom-based online retailer Net-a-Porter.

Richemont currently holds 33 percent of the issued share capital of Net-a-Porter Limited and says the purchase offer--valued at 350 million pounds or about $534 million-- has the support of both Net-A-Porter's senior management and the founder of the company, Natalie Massenet, who established Net-A-Porter in 2000.

$534 million, wow. Not only did I not know how successful Net-A-Porter was, I didn't realize that it had 600 employees which is a huge number for an internet retail business.

Richemont also sees value in the online market for vintage/pre-owned jewelry, watches and other luxury goods.
The deal would not be Richemont's only alliance with a luxury online retailer. Although its merchandise is independently curated, is backed financially by Richemont. Portero deals in certified pre-owned, vintage and collectible merchandise--including handbags, watches, jewelry and accessories--and has been actively pursuing new business with high-end jewelry retailers that are looking for a market for pre-owned luxury timepieces.

So Richemont...have you ever heard of a little business called Beladora?
We're ready to take your call....
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Just Another Easter Dinner At Home

I woke up early today to the sound of rain. So unusual for this time of year. It fit my mood.

Yesterday an earthquake that I didn't feel. The day spent preparing for an early Easter dinner with Stephanie, Alex and his girlfriend, the lovely Laura. Listening to quiet music all day while cooking and cleaning, The Magnetic Fields, Zero 7, Air, Belle and Sebastian, Interpol, Beirut, etc.

A fun dinner with amusing conversation that you can only have with a table of twenty-something year olds. Conversation about law, politics and finance, the California elections, piigs, brics, the end of Mexico and the coming collapse of the euro. None of these topics optimistic but we laughed anyway.

Then the big news...Alex wants to move to New York.
Even though his office is a block from mine, and he lives close to where I live, I don't actually see him that often. But it comforts me to know that he is nearby. But to be 26 years old and in the investment business, he needs to have experience in NY working on a trading desk, or something like that. I understand it, but I'm not happy about it.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Glamour And The Power To Persuade

From author Virginia Postel on her Deep Glamour blog

Glamour, in short, is serious stuff. It can alter life plans, even change history. And as a broad psychological phenomenon, it holds intrinsic interest. While rarely addressed in C-SPAN discussions, glamour is the sort of topic to which such 18th-century titans as Adam Smith and David Hume often turned their attention. It spans culture and commerce, psychology and art.

Here's the entire article
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