Monday, May 31, 2010

Dress Whites - Rota Command Change 2008

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How To Handle the Recession - Riga Style

Global rebound anemic: Roubini
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Advanced economies face years of anemic growth and the risk of a double-dip recession as their citizens cope with sluggish employment and highly indebted governments, economist Nouriel Roubini said on Monday.
A sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone has rattled financial markets in recent weeks as investors worry that fiscal austerity measures dictated by a $1 trillion European Union-International Monetary Fund rescue plan could stifle already hobbled global growth.

So what can you do when the news is bad and it is just so ugly out there...well in true European fashion you can always take to the streets as these luscious Latvian blonde barbies did.
Latvia blondes hold festival to beat recession blues

Hundreds of blonde Latvian women have been marching through the capital Riga to try to bolster the national spirit in time of recession.
Most of the participants dressed in pink and wore high heels.
The blonde parade began last year and was planned as a one-off but it is back by popular demand and is now a two-day festival.
Latvia has been hit badly by recession. Its economy shrank by 18% in 2009 and it has Europe's highest unemployment.

Yeah, those blonde babes really know how to rip it up in Riga!

Marika Gederte, president of the Latvian Association of Blondes, told the BBC the idea came out of the economic gloom.
"I was so tired, you know, every day opening the computer and reading the newspapers and just reading about problems. We decided... let's do something nice. And I asked myself the question: what can I do for my country? And this is what I did... We are very proud to be blonde."

Proud to be blonde? She's got to be kidding.
Obviously she has having a 'blonde moment" when she said that.
No wonder we have so many blonde jokes.

On a plane flight from Seattle to Chicago, a blonde was sitting in economy class. About half way through the flight, she got up and moved to an empty seat in first class. A flight attendant who observed this, went over to her and politely explained that she had to move back to economy class because that was what her ticket was for. The blonde replied, "I'm blonde, I'm beautiful, I'm going to Chicago and I'm staying right here."

After several attempts to explain to the blonde why she had to return to economy class, the flight attendant gave up. She went to the cockpit and explained the situation to the pilot and co-pilot. The co-pilot said, "Let me try." He went up to the blonde and politely tried to explain to her why she needed to return to her seat in economy class.

But the blonde only replied, "I'm blonde, I'm beautiful, I'm going to Chicago and I'm staying right here." Frustrated, the co-pilot returned to the cockpit. He suggested that perhaps they should have the airline call the police and have her arrested when they land.

"Wait a minute," said the pilot. "Did you say she's blonde? I can handle this. My wife is a blonde. I speak Blonde." So he went up to the woman sitting in first class and whispered something in her ear.
"I'm sorry," said the blonde, and she promptly got up and returned to her seat in economy class.

"What did you say to her?" ask the astonished flight attendant and co-pilot.
To which the pilot replied, "I just told her that first class isn't going to Chicago."

Happy Monday
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sex And The City 2 vs Ab Fab

Not being a fan of chic flicks in general and Sex And The City in particular, I won't be rushing out to see this film. Even with the 1970s vibe clothes and Wendy's fabulous Cleopatra earrings, I will probably wait till this comes out on netflix.

The whole idea of the SATC women off to Morocco reminds of one of my favorite episodes of AB FAB when Patsy and Eddie go off to Morocco and Saffy gets left behind or sold into the white slave trade or something like that.

I kind of wish that the SATC women would just get left in Morocco and never come back.
Don't hate me.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Appropriate Appreciation For The Preppy Princess

My thanks to the Princess of Pink and Green for linking to
Like all my blogging friends who link to Beladora, the Preppy Princess will get a permanent backlink from
So, if you've linked please let me know so that I can do the same for your blog or website!
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Vintage Value Venture - Hot Colors For Cold Spring Nights

After looking at Tish's town & country photos I'm pretty sure that it is colder here in Los Angeles than it is in Paris....and not just because it is raining outside. For the last week or two I've noticed the temperatures at 64 the sun at mid day! Unheard of for this time of year here. And of course the nights are downright cold.

So...if I had anywhere to go...on a cold spring night...I'd mix it up with hot colors like cherry red and fuchsia pink. Probably too matchy-matchy for all all of you but I'd totally wear this ensemble.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's All About US...Sort Of

Just showing you a little "look for less" love from US Magazine print edition.
The ring on the left side of the page,
the "less" look Sapphire and Diamond Ring in Platinum from Beladora
for a ridiculously low price of $3650
is shown as an alternative to Penelope Cruz's sapphire $40,000 sapphire and diamond ring.

Our thanks to Niki Ostin of PRlab
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Business Development At Windsor Inc.

If I was the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, I would settle down in a little manor house in the countrywith my children
and my horses and dogs
and my country kitchen with an aga
and my cozy library with a fireplace
and my afternoon tea on the terrace
and my garden full of flowers and long lawns

I would live a happy life worthy of a James Herriot novel
except for the addition of a really hot polo playing lover

But what I wouldn't be doing is selling access to my children's father

which makes me wonder
why did she need the money so badly that she had to stoop to such deplorable behavior?

Don't get me wrong, the royal family is really Windsor Inc and certainly money passes hands all the time, perhaps in the form of donations to certain charities, or investments in certain funds.
But her blatant selling out was just in such bad form.
She should retire to the Falklands.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Wherever You Go - There You Are

Yesterday, a happy Sunday
Racing down the 405 freeway in the morning to get to Laguna Beach where the sky was blue and the tide was crazy high
Cafe creme and croissants at Jean Paul's bakery
Later lunch with an ocean view at the Coyote Grill
And then a quiet afternoon, sitting in the sun in my mother's spring garden
admiring her rosesand her blackberries
and her lavender
My mother had just returned from her vacation in Europe and she had a bunch of French magazines that she had bought for the flight home from Paris.
You know the usual Marie Claire, Vogue etc.
But in the group was a magazine that I had never seen before
with the tag line
Toutes Vos Envies Sont dans Envy
Sadly, it was frenchified version of OK or US magazine, complete with the usual celebrity nonsense....Kim Kardashian, Rachel Bilson, Victoria Beckham, Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston,Tori Spelling, Lindsey Lohan, Jessica al.
Kate Hudson & Cameron Diaz
La guerre est déclarée!
Belles et célibattantes: elles ont beaucoup en commun. Sûrement même un peu trop! Car depuis que Cameron sort avec l’ex de Kate, rien ne va plus...
So even France is polluted with B and C list American celebrities.
Wherever you to...there you are. You can't escape the cult of celebrity worship.
Sad, non?
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lusting After Lower Heels

From the Wall Street Journal
so do serious times call for serious shoes?
That leads some to speculate whether there's a relationship between a sinking heel and the stock market. Gary Loveman, CEO of Harrah's Entertainment Inc., was reported saying earlier this year that he likes seeing women wearing stilettos in his casinos because he believes it means guests are more likely to spend more.
on the other hand
But not everyone thinks the kitten heel means bad times. Shorter shoes might be "an indication of the recession we've just been through," suggests Jeffrey Hirsch, editor of the Stock Trader's Almanac, adding that such correlations have "not so much" validity anymore.
Good market, bad market, I don't care. But enough already with the 6 inch stilettos.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

If Only - En Vacance à Villeneuve-les-Avignon

Something strange always happens at this time of personal space-time continuum seems to go into warp speed.
I have so much to do to get ready for the Antique and Estate Jewelry Show in Las Vegas, which is coming up in a matter of days, yet my mind keeps lingering on the idea of getting away from it all and relaxing in a peaceful pretty place.

And then there is the matter of the Euro. Will it finally fall enough against the dollar so that I can start planning a summer vacation in France?

Because I would like to visit the Fort Saint Andre in Villeneuve-les-Avignon
Because the history of Avignon is fascinating

and because Vicky Archer posted these enticing photos on her beautiful blog French Essence

which of course I have shamelessly stolen and posted here

Yes I know that wisteria and iris season will be long over by summer, but the green in this garden will still evoke a serene oasis, the perfect antidote to a busy business life.

OK...enough of the dream...Vicky has already monopolized it at her Mas de Berard which I enjoy vicariously through her blog...and back to the reality of current projects at Beladora.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Weekend Indian Wells Fantasy

It has been such a long cold winter and spring that I just want to jump start summer
with a little weekend getaway to Indian Wells
where I would lay by the pool with a good book
and wear something like this.

Milly Floral Bikini at Neiman Marcus
(is it just me or didn't we all have a bikini like this at summer camp when we were 11?)
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Desperately Seeking Sunshine

Why is it cold, dark, damp and gloomy in mid May in LA?
I'm trying hard to figure out how justify a business retreat for Team Beladora to a spa in Indian Wells.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Road Trip - Stanford Style

It's rare that I would take a weekend road trip, because there is so much to do here in LA. But last weekend I had the opportunity to attend an event in Nor Cal in the Palo Alto area, an area which I haven't visited since I was a sophomore in college, decades ago. I was curious to see how much it had changed, especially after the rise of tech power in Silicon Valley and the uber wealth of Sand Hill Road. Surprisingly, Palo Alto hasn't changed much. It is still a charming little town nestled against the foothills and dominated by the amazing Stanford campus.

Is Stanford the most beautiful school in California? Probably. Planned by the great Frederick Law Olmstead, the Italianate architecture with it's open colonnades, carved arches, balustrades and tiled roofs, makes you think more of Renaissance Italy, than post gold rush California.

And, unlike Southern California which is infected with urban sprawl, pretty much wherever you look you find a verdant view. It's a little hard to imagine the enormous advances in science and technology that have come out of such a peaceful pastoral place.

I'm still not sure what's up with the the need to put a giant bell tower on what seems, every college and university campus in Northern California.
Mills has its elegantly simple campanile designed by the brilliant Julia Morgan in 1904.
Berkeley has its beautiful Beaux-Art Sather Tower constructed in 1914.
So of course Stanford has its "mine is bigger and better than yours" fabulously phallic Hoover Tower built in 1941.
(Yes, I could make some inappropriate architectural double entendre remarks here but I'm just going to let it go)
From the architectural to the political, has anyone besides me wondered what happens to all that brain power that emanates from Stanford? Why are the highest offices in our federal government disproportionately stocked with Harvard and Yale grads? Is there something specific about Stanford that sends graduates off to do, or to create, rather than to govern? I'm just curious.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Always Classy - Cary Grant

For a classic Cary Grant story that will make you smile take a gander at Reggie Darling's blog
And be sure to check out the photos of his gorgeous house and garden.
Happy Friday
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Around Town - More Capital Than Venture

Last night another event that I was excited to attend
but not because it was a gathering of venture capitalists
I just really wanted to see the venue because the party was held here
The CAA building in Century City aka The Death Star
And what do you wear to hang out with the money guys...I figured big gold and diamond jewelry the size of Texas.

Diamond Necklace with Doorknocker Pendant in 18K

Diamond Doorknocker Earrings in 18K

Diamond Dome Ring in 14K and Platinum

Ruser Diamond Ring in 18K and Platinum

The gold group

The bling rings
OK, so I looked like more Capital than Venture in all this gold
but right now I'd rather invest in gold than a start up tech business.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Around Town - Renoir versus American Stories at LACMA

Another week started with total craziness...goods going here and there and now the need to gear up for the Antique and Estate Jewelry Show in Las Vegas which is coming up in a couple of weeks.
At least I had the perfect Mother's Day: two art exhibits, an exquisite afternoon in the sun and an early dinner with the kids.
Happily, I made it to the last day of the Renoir in the 20th Century exhibit at LACMA.
With the entire 2nd floor of the Broad building filled with Renoir, I can say that a huge effort was made to, as the LA Times review states, overturn the conventional wisdom. that late Renoir was bad art.
Here's the contested rap on Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Following success at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, when he was 33, plus another decade's worth of heady achievement, his paintings went steadily downhill. After his death in 1919, conventional wisdom began to solidify: Late Renoir is bad Renoir.
After seeing this show my opinion remains conventional, Renoir's late works were pretty bad except perhaps for the influence that they had on other artists such as Bonnard and Maillol.

Bathing Girl by Renoir
Don't get me wrong, I loved the early work by Renoir, all lightness and froth and luminosity, but the late work of fleshy females and wanna be Titianesque classicism I found to be trite. Furthermore, I particularly disliked the way that Renoir, who had earlier created portraiture with specific character definition in the faces of his subjects, reverted to a style where the faces of many of his females were undefined and childlike and totally without individualization.
Where others might have looked at the expressions on the faces of the females and found them contemplative or perhaps seen a intimate glimpse of girls caught in their own dream world, I found the expressions to be unaware to the point of being catatonic.
So for me the late Renoir paintings just became a bevy of interchangeable buxom, big bottomed, pretty soft pastel colors....kind of like soft core porn early 20th Century about the objectification of women!

The Serenade by Renoir
Much more exciting to see was American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life 1765-1915 featuring works from Peele, Copley, Sargent, Chase, Homer, Eakins, Cassatt and many more. The exhibit featured a small but astounding group of American masterpieces, including five great paintings by Homer, which the LA Times review describes as almost worth the cost of the ticket alone.
But I was particularly impressed with this portrait.
Portrait of Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley
From the Times review an excellent description:
A few portraits also make an appearance. They include Copley's classic 1768 depiction of Paul Revere, silversmith and Revolutionary War hero, in shirtsleeves. His chin is contemplatively held in his right hand, a handsomely crafted silver teapot cradled in his left.
The teapot of course nods toward the critical role of tea in the New World's economy. A year before, Britain's Parliament fiddled with the tea tax; results were devastating for colonists. (Witness Revere's grim, shadowed face.) The subsequent Boston Tea Party was an insurrection against a corporate stranglehold on trade, held by the British East India Company working with George III. Copley's brilliant image fuses head and hand as tools for thought, labor and moral action. The portrait describes a person, but it places him in the context of an epic story.

The painting -- as sleek and elegantly crafted as Revere's light-reflective silver -- puts artists in that developing story too. Copley is as much an agent of thought, labor and action as Revere is, and his work speaks to the present as much as to history.
Boys in a Pasture by Winslow Homer
And then there were the Homers, the famous ones including the carefree Breezing Up and the menacing Gulf Stream. I think that my favorite was Eagle Head, Manchester, Massachusetts (High Tide) which depicted three young women drying their long bathing dresses on the beach after swimming. It was certainly not one of Homer's best, but it had the promise of a story not yet told of the activities of women during the 1870s.
The American Stories show will be at LACMA through May 23rd and I highly recommend that you see it.
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I would love to spend time with ma mere today
but she is off on vacation comme d'hab
in this pretty place
Happy Mother's Day maman!
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Around Town - The VRG Patron Gala

Every year I always try to attend the VRG patron gala at the Virginia Robinson estate in Beverly Hills because it is one of the most beautiful events in Los Angeles. This year's "Jewels and All That Jazz" gala was stepped up a notch because the "Spirit of Beverly Hills" award was presented to the Kazanjian family for their years of philanthropy through their Kazanjian Family Foundation and their "Jewels for Charity" program.

So in addition to the usual cocktails and silent auction prior to the dinner, the Kazanjian group had set up a special display in the pool house of some of the pieces from Foundation Collection as well as some stunning estate jewelry that was being offered for sale with the proceeds going to benefit the VRG group.

After drinks on the sunken tennis court at the back of the estate, the dinner was served in a huge tent on the lawn. The party was elegant, especially given the well heeled patrician patrons of the group. The tables were lovely with centerpieces with yes...even more jewelry....because you can never have enough.
And that wasn't all. During dinner there were gorgeous models traipsing around the room in couture evening gowns by designer David Tupaz and bedecked with estate jewels from Kazanjian.
After dinner there was a live auction by Ryan Kavanaugh
who could easily go into the auction business if he ever decided to give up his day job.
Finally, there was dancing...with a band that gave us some seriously bad cover music. Really, there's like nothing more pathetic than seeing a group of middle aged white people, clad in their black tie best, dancing to "Play That Funky Music White Boy"...and yes, I was one of those pathetic people.
So what did I wear...I thought you'd never ask.
Well primarily I wore big hair...thanks to Miguel at the Lab Salon in BH who put so much product and spray in my hair that if I had been anywhere near an open flame there would have been spontaneous combustion on my head.

And, I wore a few simple diamond pieces, including a big diamond brooch in my big hair.

The outfit was a larkspur blue BCBG silk gown ($325) with simple black mules with crystal accents and my vintage Martin van Schaack evening bag. Oh, and a borrowed black mink jacket because it is cold at night at this time of the year. Hey, I figured that if I wore $300,000 in diamond jewelry, I could pull off a $300 dress!
So here's the post party, after midnight, still a little tipsy, photo...big hair and all.

The organizing for this event has been going on for weeks by Kazanjian, which of course is our partner business. Liz, Renee and Stephanie, from team Beladora, stepped up to help at the party with the baubles, and they did an amazing job. Nice work team!
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