Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Selby Project

I have so much blogging and business to catch up with after a week away from the internet and the office.
Hopefully I will get back to reading the bazillion or so blogs that I follow in the next day or two. 

In the meantime I leave you this video from Vanity Fair with portrait, interior and fashion photographer Todd Selby who shoots creative people in their natural habitats. The video focuses on his collaboration with Louis Vuitton but check out his website The Selby if, like me, you love interior design and are just a t'wee bit voyeuristic.
Yes, I admit it, I love to see how the creative hipsters from London to Los Angeles, from Milan to Mexico, live.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Palmilla - The One and Only Way to Vacation in Cabo San Lucas

Have I ever mentioned to you that I love Cabo San Lucas?
With only a short 2 hour flight from noisy, cold and traffic bound Los Angeles you arrive in a quiet, warm and calm paradise at the tip of Baja California where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.
It's magical, it really is.
I have vacationed along the Cabo Corridor several times before but this was the first time that I stayed at the magnificent Palmilla, part of the outstanding One and Only group of resorts where attention to detail, customer service and quality of experience reign.
The resort is situated on the edge of the Punta Palmilla on the coast where each room has a blue water view.
The overall design I would describe as Hacienda 'lite' with classic Mexican style elements such as dark wood furniture against white walls and Mexican tile and stone work.  My room was a spacious 2nd floor suite with high ceilings, a step down sitting room and large terrace.

The grounds are lush with tropical landscaping, green lawns and palm trees are everywhere.
Except for the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks the resort has an overall sense of quietness. The staff is dressed in muted off white Mexican style outfits that evoke more of a spa-like ambiance than that of a busy international hotel.
The Palmilla welcomes families yet the resort doesn't feel overrun by unruly kids.  By providing both a family pool and an adult pool you can choose your level of ambient activity.

But wherever you decide to place yourself, the pool, the beach, the spa, the gym, the restaurant, the library, your room, you will be amazed by the service of the staff. For example, whenever you sit by the pool or under a palapa on the beach, you will be brought an ice bucket with bottles of water.  Sitting by the pool you will be offered homemade fruit popsicles and frozen yogurt. Your room will be restocked everyday with water bottles, fresh fruit, snacks...and a special tequila. You will be offered water, lemonade, coffee in the library. Your treadmill in the gym will be equipped with a fresh towel and water. There is wireless service throughout, and even the palapas have electrical outlets so that you can plug in your laptop...if you are insane enough to take your computer to the beach.

Did I mention that a butler that comes with your room.  I had the fabulous Isaac Armentilla who was there to take care of whatever I needed.  I offered to take him home with me but he preferred to stay at the Palmilla...who wouldn't.
The service just goes on and on and on.
The food...well it is everything that you would expect.  Not that I would go all the way to Mexico to go to Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market restaurant or Larbi Dahrouch's Mexican-Medeterranean restaurant, Agua, or to have incredible sashimi and ceviche at Nobuo Iwaseya's sushi bar, Suviche, but it is nice to have that choice of cuisine.  My Mexico style is more margaritas and guacamole while looking at the view from the outdoor Aqua bar.
For me the decision to go to the Palmilla rather than to any of the other spa/resorts along the Cabo Corridor was the fact that it had a swimmable beach.  So instead of lounging around the pretty pool, I was more than happy to stay on the beach and swim in the warm clean water of the Sea of Cortez.
While I enjoyed my vacation in Aix-en-Provence last summer because I spent time with friends who are dear to me, I have to admit that the One and Only Palmilla resort was so much better than the Aquabella hotel/spa in Aix and surprisingly priced about the same or even less.  Not only was it off season in Cabo when rates are down there was a terrific 4 nights for the price of 3 package which you would never find in France.
I totally recommend the Palmilla and would happily stay there again...anytime.
And if I ever find myself on the other side of the world I will try the One and Only resorts in Dubai and the Maldives

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday In The Sun

As I get ready to fly off to this place for a few days
I feel blessed to be able to take a break from the decline of western civilization
a culture that brings us
the Jersey Shore
the People of Walmart (warning...these photos are not for the timid)

I will be taking my laptop with me so that I can hopefully catch up on my email...how does it get away from me in a few short months...and my reading.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Afternoon Rant

I saw this yesterday on a post from Corporette
A silly glass bead necklace by Adesso from Revolve Clothing as an alternative to a classic pearl strand.
The price on this art project necklace you ask
Is that not insane?
The intrinsic value of this nonsense necklace is maybe, and I'm being generous with my maybe,
about $30
Who would buy this...no really I want to know, who?
It pisses me off that women are constantly being encouraged to spend money on utterly ridiculous, trendy and overpriced jewelry, shoes, bags, clothes, etc.
Here is my alternative

Too staid you suggest, not trendy enough
Well I beg to differ
The classic, timeless Grace Kelly look in pearls is actually on trend

And how do I know this you wonder
I know this because fashion editors and stylists are requesting this type of thing for the fashion shoots.  In fact this very necklace was requested for the Steven Meisel - Christy Turlington photo shoot for Italian Vogue.  It was also requested for a cover shoot by Vanity Fair.
And...it just went out yesterday to a hot star for a red carpet appearance.  She may wear it or one of the other pearl necklaces that we loaned. We shall see.

So to anyone who is considering buying the glass bead necklace for $632
can I suggest a fashion intervention by your friends and family
Because friends don't let friends waste money on fashion jewelry.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

Lots of stuff to do this week because next week I'm off to this place
where I plan to do some of this

and some of this

and spend some downtime away from the computer...although I'm taking my laptop of course.

But even away from the keyboard I will be reevaluating business, blogging and all things Beladora, like adding new features, redecorating the site, and starting a corporate blog like the competition, who shall not be named.
I will also be considering a road trip to New York and maybe one to London/Paris sometime in the Fall.  (And jesus Jill, if you'd ever invite me to El Paso, I'd plan a trip there too)
Books to read on the beach are on my mind too, but it is too late for me to order from Amazon, biographies from Antonia Fraiser (thank you tabitha) and novels from Anthony Powell (thank you LBT).  I shall be reduced to finding an actual bookstore or worse, buying cheesy paperbacks at the airport. 
This is what happens when I wait until the last minute...
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Waisted On Wednesday

I thought that I would show you something that I think is fabulous

Solid 18K Gold Belt with Diamonds

Here's the detail shot

From what I have gathered in terms of provenance, this belt was a gift from the King of Morocco to the client that we purchased it from. 

And what do you wear with a diamond belt, you ask
Why Tiffany diamond Atlas jewelry from Beladora.com of course!
(The retail price at Tiffany is $19,500)
(The retail price at Tiffany is $10,700)

I just love having an asset class in my portfolio that I can wear.

Oh and yeah, I know, that was a pretty lame post title.  Fortunately for everyone, I'm not giving up my day job for full time writing.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fall Fashion 2010 - Not Feeling The Faux

I just received the new designer collection catalog from Nordstrom and I wanted to ask when did reliable, affordable and yes, slightly boring Nordstrom turn into Bergdorf Goodman?
I thought that Nordstorm was where you went to shop for Tahari and Calvin Klein not Proenza Schouler and Balmain.
Well anyhoo the new designer catalog is out there and I don't mean in terms of design.
Take this Chanel coat, for example

Tweed coat with faux-fur trim, acrylic/cotton $8,555
OK, so add sales tax and you are north of $9,000 for a faux-fur coat
and let's not forget the matching bag
Faux-fur clutch with tweed detail, wool/acrylic/calfskin $2,795
Once again, add sales tax and this faux-fur clutch is north of $3,000
Who would pay these prices...no really I want to know....who?

My world is all about intrinsic value not ephemeral fashion meaning I break things down into the cost of the materials, how much did it cost to manufacture, etc.
and let's just say that I don't see $9,000 worth of intrinsic value in this coat.
Do you?
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Monday, August 16, 2010

OMG!!!! - So Bananas - I Could Die

Was yesterday the best day ever....the sun came out and I think that the summer finally started
I went down to Laguna Beach to spend the day with the family and
at my mother's house I saw the finally saw the print issue of ELLE magazine
the one with the Julia Roberts photos
and then surprise of all surprises
There was a fashion spread with Kim Kardashian (OMG!!!) and Justin Bieber ( double OMG!!!!!)
and Kim was frolicking in the water in Jean Mahie jewelry from you know where
here's the video from ELLE.com

Isn't Kim pretty...she has some serious assets.
OK...full disclosure here...I basically have no idea who Justin Bieber is
but I know that he is very high up on constellation the celebrity hierarchy
so I am pleased.
And today, it is 6:40 am and the sun is out this morning for the first time in months.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ralph Lauren's Next top Model

Ralph Lauren, I've found your perfect model!

perfect proportions...her actual waist is smaller than her head!

No need for thanks Ralph...we're here to help!
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Maybe Not Like A Virgin - Mais Pas Mal

Like a virgin?
I think not
But Madonna does look rocking good on her 52nd birthday.
Just more proof that 50 is the new 30
(God... if only I could schedule in that 7 hours a day of exercise like Madonna...)
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Wanna Buy A Watch?

Anyone looking for a pre-owned Hermes Kelly watch with snappy red leather band in excellent condition?

Just the usual stuff that falls on my desk on a Friday afternoon.
Email me at belledeville@gmail.com if you are interested.
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Around Town - Beverly Hills Summer - Bring A Blanket

Seriously, where else would you find movies projected poolside where you can relax in a chaise lounge and sip mai tais from Trader Vics.
Dive-In Movies

Tue & Thu through Sep 2, 8:15 - The Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Dive into family classics and romantic comedies projected on a 60 foot diagonal backdrop all the while lounging in barefoot elegance. Admission is free and seating is on a first come, first serve basis. . So, choose a chaise lounge before the sun sets in the west and after the reel rolls, simply go with the flow, while cabana servers cater to movie concession cravings which are available for purchase.
and if movies and mai tais aren't for you
maybe this is your cup of tea

Afternoon tea on the terrace of Greystone
Sat, Aug 14, 4 pm - Historic Greystone Estate, 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills
Enjoy delicious assorted teas, tea sandwiches, petit desserts and more while viewing the Los Angeles basin from the Mansion's Terrace. Each Tea includes musical entertainment and the rare opportunity to tour the Mansion's first floor. Ticket Information: BH Residents: $40 / Non-Residents: $50

Admittedly, you will not find me at any outdoor event because the weather is too damn cold!
Weekend Forecast for Beverly Hills Area

~ Friday - Partly Cloudy - 77°/60°
~ Saturday - AM Clouds/PM Sun - 77°/62°
~ Sunday - Partly Cloudy - 80°/64°
~ Monday - AM Clouds/PM Sun - 81°/65°
~ Tuesday - AM Clouds/PM Sun - 80°/65°
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

How To Wear Estate Jewelry - Carolina Herrera Style

Carolina Herrera is on my mind today.  I've always admired her chic pared back style with few, the great white shirt with the cuffs and collar turned up, the straightforward black skirt and most importantly, the few but standout jewelry pieces. 
I've been wanting to post this fabulous photo by Douglas Freidman for a while.  Doesn't she look fierce in her Verdura watch, Verdura bracelet, gold signet ring, south sea pearl earrings and vintage antique watch fob necklace.  I would so wear this outfit.

If the full on watch fob necklace is too Grande Dame for you (and not to mention too expensive...lots of gold weight in that necklace), here's the younger version with a single fob pendant on an antique chain.

here's the detail

Also, don't miss today's Privilege with Carolina Herrera black tie style on a budget.
We're going Grande Dame all the way today
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Vanity Fair - The International Best Dressed List

Well, I finally received my copy of the September issue...no, not Vogue but Vanity Fair with the 2010 International Best Dressed List
While as usual I didn't agree with all of the choices on their list I couldn't argue with
Princess Mary of Denmark

Jay Penske

Ed Burns and Christy Turlington

I would have liked to have seen Victoria Beckham, Tilda Swinton, blogger Metscan, Nick Cannon and blogger James Andrew.
Who would you have added to the list?
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This and That

I've been unusually busy today with all kinds of nonsense but I wanted to post about a couple of things this week.

Patricia Neal, R.I.P.  What an incredible Greek tragedy of a life this woman led, from her affairs with Ronald Reagan and Gary Cooper to her marriage to the philandering Roald Dahl, to the deaths of two of her children to her untimely stroke and subsequent recuperation.  The Mail Online has the story

Then there is the whole Naomi Campbell-Charles Taylor-Blood Diamonds story.  From texting to sexting, did she or didn't she flirt for the diamonds
And in a strange 6 degrees of separation story, two of Charles Taylor's daughters by his American ex-wife, were at boarding school with my son and daughter.  In fact my daughter might have even been roommates with one of them.  I remember how great these girls were and my daughter remembers them fondly.  Luckily they were raised in the US and Switzerland, far away from their father.

Out in bloggerland one of our favorite UK blogger babes, Tabitha, has posted that she is taking a break from her Bourbon and Pearls blog.
If you haven't read her blog, check it out. I assure you that you will be impressed with her writing.

Then another great writer, LPC, at her Privilege blog, had an interesting post on the writing that goes into product branding, specifically the writing for high end shoe designer n.d.c.  One of her commenters suggested that n.d.c. should have hired a professional copywriter for their website, and perhaps she was correct.
But then it brought to mind that here at Beladora HQ we do all of the writing in house because we can't afford to hire a professional writer.

Writing product descriptions is seriously dull work, honestly it is brain numbing.
So naturally we try to have a little fun with it when we can like with the descriptions from these vintage charm pendants from Beladora2.com.
Here are a few examples
Vintage Feelin' Pharaoh-cious Charm Necklace in 14K

Take a float down the Nile of style in this vintage charm necklace. Featuring a pair of profile charms on of an Egyptian Pharaoh and the other of an Egyptian queen, this charm necklace is hotter than hieroglyphics
Think Tink Charm Necklace in 14K

Why not take a little bit of 'The Happiest Place In The World" with you wherever your go. Featuring a Tinkerbell charm and a "Disneyland" logo charm, this vintage charm necklace is your way to add the wonderful world of Disney to your wardrobe.
Vintage Thar She Blows Charm Necklace in 14K

Tell the world a whale of a tale with this adorable vintage charm necklace. A smiling whale charm is complemented by a ship steering wheel charm for a look that's as modern chic as it is Moby Dick!

OK, so we aren't going to win any literary prizes but an important part of our brand message is that estate jewelry isn't only about the serious and expensive stuff of your Grand Dame great aunt
it is young and fun and reasonably priced too.
I hope that we've made our point.
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