Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Unbearable Shortness Of Being

When my husband died he was in his mid fifties and I was in my early thirties.  At that time I thought that the age of fifty something was unfathomably old.  Naturally my perspective on the matter has changed greatly. At least, when he died, I could say that he had lived a rich and full life. Strangely knowing that he had five decades to live up to his potential, including having two marriages, five children, a successful business and a multitude of friends, made his death less traumatic.

But how does anyone deal with the death of a young adult.  There is no way to put an ameliorating layer of "he lived a full life" on the comprehension of death.  The death of the young is so very sad because it is also the death of potential.  Who would this young man have become if he had lived out his life?  What would he have brought to the world?
In this particular situation there are even more questions about how a strapping young man of 20 could disappear on his way home from a friend's house in Bel Air a mile away from his home in Brentwood.  How the police and coroner could mistake the identity of a hit and run victim for two days after the family had filed a missing persons report, searched the neighborhoods and trails of western Bel Air by foot, hired a private investigator and searched by bloodhound and helicopter.

A rather amazing thing came out of the senselessness of this situation.  Through the use of Facebook and Twitter, the news of his disappearance spread quickly and many more people than just the immediate family and friends could be on the lookout for him.  Unfortunately, by then it was too late but it was an important reminder of how technology can help in times of crisis. 

Jamie O'Connell, had your grandfather lived to have seen the fine young man that you became, he would have been very proud.  
Jamie O'Connell, R.I.P.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Veuve Clicquot Classic - Go Polo!

Forgetting about the World (snore) Cup action in South Africa
Heather Clawson over at Habitually Chic blogged last week about this new book Polo: The Nomadic Tribe
and last weekends Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic starring Prince Harry and polo superstar and face of Ralph Lauren Black, Nacho Figueras.

Harry had a little tumble, ouch
but Nacho was a suave as ever... and Black Watch won the match...of course.
More on polo out in blogland
The Trad has been weighing in on the the lack of spectator chic at Palm Beach Polo compared to how the polo crowd dressed for the games back in the 1980s.
Having seen these photos of the 2009 Westchester Cup  I can report that there are still plenty of well turned out fans at Palm Beach.
But no matter how the fans dress, the game is still the most elegant professional sport out there even if the life is nomadic....and it is. 
And it's not all champagne and caviar because you don't get to be a top American polo player like this talented horseman and to play on the team that won the Triple Crown of Polo without years of hard work and training.  Yes, the Argentine players like Nacho add the sexiness and excitement, but the American players like Julio add the goals.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Make Mine Mid-Century

If you haven't seen this month's Vogue editorial with a homage to Mid-Century Style
with Ewan McGregor and Natalia Vodianova
You can view the slide show here
Could this be the beginning of the end for oversized handbags and sky high heels?
I can only hope so

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Mid-Century Going Mainstream and A Little Music

 Marella Agnelli

Ah Friday, finally
It's been such a busy week, mostly taken up by getting product organized for magazine photo shoots which of course I can't write about yet...
I can tell you this though, there is a definite a trend toward Mid-Century style.  We saw the beginning of that trend a couple of years ago with Mad Men, now it is going more mainstream with extrapolations of it in Vogue, Elle and W magazines.  And I couldn't be more pleased because I appreciate that aesthetic, that distinct look of sleek understated chic of Audrey Hepburn, Babe Paley, Marella Agnelli, Jean Seaberg, Diane Carroll, Grace Kelly and the Hitchcock heroines.
The look is all about quality, not quantity and it need not be expensive. It doesn't have to be all about Harry Winston style diamond cluster earrings, A single strand of cultured pearlsA bracelet with a single charm, A pearl circle brooch, A pair of pearl earrings that sit on the ear, will do.

Diane Carroll

Happy Friday

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Showing The Love By Linking

Don't be shy people.
Go over and congratulate Wendy Brandes for her Washington Post video interview

Also, Lisa has an inspiring post on how and why we should all have a cottage garden.
Check out her fabulous photos too.

The Duchesse has discussed the perceived sexiness of Canadians
On this topic I have two words for you, Ryan Reynolds

Uber kool Keith is showing us some urban swagger

And Jill is wondering why the price differencial and plotting her way into inheriting a yacht

Christina is giving us our Thursday quotes

Metscan is mixing it up with her bangles

Happy Reading!
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So Money - A Player Pendant For Laguna Beach Trad

Laguna Beach Trad, raconteur and bon vivant of the Admiral Cod blog, asked if I had a 'Player' pendant to go along with the 'Gold Digger' pendant...
Well, it just so happens that I have one 
And is so money!
(and for your information, I'm not at all shy about wearing this pendant when I am in Las Vegas)

Speaking about money...specifically the money that belongs to the tax payers of the State of California
While the State goes broke
California welfare cards can be used in many casino ATMs 
 Reporting from Sacramento —
California welfare recipients are able to use state-issued debit cards to withdraw cash on gaming floors in more than half of the casinos in the state, a Los Angeles Times review of records found.

The cards, provided by the Department of Social Services to help recipients feed and clothe their families, work in automated teller machines at 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms, the review found.

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Downsizing - The Bel Air Way

Well this is good to know
Mohamed Haddid the former owner of the Ritz Carlton Hotels was asking a mere $72 million for Le Belvedere, his 48,000 square foot pied a terre in the hills of Bel Air. The actual sale price is unknown but it had to be north of $50 million.

In addition to its 10 bedrooms and 14 bath rooms, the little country cottage boasts a gym, a 20 car garage, an indoor theater that seats 50
and a Moroccan room with a Turkish bath because what fine Bel Air home doesn't need that!
Hadid says he chose to sell because he is "downsizing" his life. He's also confident that the properties he builds are unique enough to lure buyers, even in a down market.
"These are very special homes. I can pretty much ask for anything I want," he says. "There are certain properties that are so unusual, people are afraid they will lose the opportunity to buy them. Even if the market is 5% or 10% below, people with substantial funds will come in and say, 'let's do this now.'"
Over at Drudge Millionaire's Riches are Returning to Pre-Crises Levels
Ultra-high-net-worth individuals with more than $30 million to invest saw their wealth rise by almost 22 percent in 2009, faster than other millionaires, according to the report, which attributed the gain to a “more effective re-allocation of assets.” 

It's good to know that everything is back to pre-crises status quo...except of course for the 2.3 million jobs that have been shed since 2009.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gold Diggers of 2010

Another reason to love my job....where else would I come across a gold digger pendant?
With gold reaching up to the stratosphere, this might become my new signature piece!
OK...technically it is a gold miner pendant but I like the gold digger description better.


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Summer Reading - Music, History and Joy

On my summer reading list...if I can ever find the time to just relax and read.
From the review in the WSJ by Norman Lebrecht
Of all Beethoven's works, the Ninth Symphony is the least explicable. What on Earth was he doing decorating its finale with a chorus and soloists singing an ode of Schiller's, ostensibly about joy but in reality about brotherhood and liberation? What is the Ninth about? Is it a charter for social reform or for individual rights? A religious ecstasy? Does the symphony mean to us what it meant to Beethoven? Does it mean anything useful at all?
These are some of the questions that set Harvey Sachs off on a painstaking search to discover the roots of Beethoven's last symphony in the time of its creation. The year was 1824, and the Congress of Vienna had turned Europe back to a network of despotic monarchies, as if the Enlightenment and French Revolution had never happened.

Perhaps the Ninth was all some sort of musical Masonic code.
I shall have to read the book and find out. 

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Monday, June 21, 2010

She Sells Sea Shells

Happy Summer!
Tish, over at A Femme d'un Certain Age is not only is celebrating her anniversary with her "reason for living in France", she has posted some must have pieces for the summer including some shell jewelry.

Well, I'm not celebrating any anniversary...although I'd like come up with a reason to celebrate the first day of summer but it is cold I thought that I'd show you my kind of vintage shell jewelry with high-low options Beladora style.
Here is the low option

and here is the high option

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cameos and Crowns - Princess Victoria's Royal Wedding

The trad in me loves to see royal tradition at its best, especially in the ceremonious elegance of Crown Princess Victoria's wedding to commoner Daniel Westling.  Certainly it was a fairy tale wedding, she a Crown Princess from the venerable Swedish royal family and he a fitness trainer with finesse.  After eight years together it appears to be a love match.
Helena Halme and the Preppy Princess have covered the big event in their blogs.

As expected it was a great gathering of royals in full regalia, including sashes and stomacher brooches not to mention some tremendous tiaras. Here we have Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

And here we have Princess Mathilda of Belgium and Princess Letizia of Spain.

The glowing bride wore an extraordinary antique crown of Neo-Classical cameos with an interesting provenance
Once owned by Napoleon’s Empress Josephine, it came to the Swedish royal family when Josephine’s granddaughter Josefina married the future King Oscar I in 1823. The pearl-covered diadem, heightened by seven cameos depicting mythological figures, has become traditional bridal headgear in the House of Bernadotte. Victoria’s mother, Queen Silvia, wore it on her own wedding day on June 19, 1976.”
Note her cameo earrings too.
I've seen cameos used in antique necklaces, earrings, rings and brooches but never before in a tiara. 

Like me you probably aren't particularly impressed with the type of cameo jewelry that shows a female silhouette.  What does impress me  is a cameo with a Neo-Classical or historical motif like this antique Victorian Bacchante Cameo Brooch . Not only is it lovely with highly detailed carving, I love the theme because liking good wine, I'm a bit of a bacchante myself.

And, since it is highly unlikely that I will ever have the need to sport a cameo crown, I prefer something more wearable such as this antique Victorian Dionysus Cameo Pendant, another interesting piece for oenophiles.

Have a great weekend everyone and I hope that you get to enjoy spending time with your fathers for Father's Day.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Around Town - Bel Air Magazine Event For Children's Hospital

I totally feel like I've had an all media week...first an interview with an accessories editor of a local luxe magazine, then a meeting with the managing director of a major Asian newspaper, rounded out by last night's party-fundraiser hosted by Bel Air Magazine for Children's Hospital. 
I didn't even know that there was a Bel Air Magazine...I mean seriously, how many high end luxe magazines can the city of Los Angeles support between Angelino, LA Confidential, Genlux, C, and the rest of the high end group.  Well anyhoo, the magazine does exist, and as you can imagine it is full of high end real estate and luxe travel and product ads.  
The event was held at a swanky Bel Air estate which also just happens to be on the market 
for the very small sum of $26 million.  Here's a photo of the house from the MLS.

And here are a couple of photos from my iPhone.  
The views from the veranda and the sunken pool were magnificent but it was all rather surreal and deja-vu-ish as the house was a couple of houses down the hill from my first house in Bel Air, and few houses up the hill from my last house in Bel Air.  And looking around at the items at the silent auction, and then at the majority of the crowd at the party, platinum blonded mini skirted twenty something girls, euro types and associated wanna be's, all I could think of was "there goes the neighborhood"...but you know, in a good way, as it was all for charity.

Naturally, I had no idea what to wear to this type of event, so I stuck with my stalwart Kevan Hall dress from 2 seasons ago, simple black mules, a Karen Millen jacket and vintage Gucci snakeskin bag.
And for jewelry I opted
for yellow and blackened gold flexible tubogas choker necklace and matching bracelets with diamonds, and a big pair of diamond earrings.

Thankfully the weekend is finally here, with no more events planned except for a family barbecue for Father's Day, and I can spend it dressed in my cargo shorts, birkenstocks and t-shirt!
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is Luxe Shopping Over?

Is Luxe out?
From New York Magazine
Kelly Cutrone: ‘Fashion Luxury, Forget It. It’s Over.’

Here is her you agree?

Here is what I think is the future: Street life and
life style. Style is in; fashion luxury, forget it. It's over. Gucci, Vuitton,
Hermes ... all those places are really great, go for it. That business exists in
a city called Paris, France. That's where that is. Those businesses will
continue. Retail business, pretty much over. I think people who sell to retail
companies are people who can't afford their own stores. The poor boys — Old
Navy, J.Crew, Gap ... they already knew that and aren't wholesaling. Editorial,
magazine, we are going to say buh-bye to them as we know them. They will still
exist but everything is on the internet.

Meanwhile over at 24/7 wall street we've got an article on 10 brands that will disappear. The demise of Zales has been predicted for years but Moodys?

Will luxe brands be next?

(and why do I have problems with the block quote function)

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Savvy Shopping - BCBG and Beladora

Chanel 'Coco' Earrings for $6950 at

Having been asked to show a little love to BCBG
I found a pretty little print dress at an affordable price at
that will go perfectly with the Chanel 'Coco' jewelry
If the BCBG brand is too ingenue for you, click through to their other brand Hervé Léger
where you can find a classic bandage dress on sale for under $1,000.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Savvy Shopping - Classy Cufflinks

For your father on Father's Day
or maybe just for the special man in your life...and then you can borrow them
Sapphire Cabochon Cufflinks in 18K
Sapphire Cufflinks in 18K

just because I love french cuffs, interesting cufflinks, and all things blue
More choices in Sapphire Cufflinks from

Don't forget your BHB discount code

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