Thursday, September 30, 2010

Metal Matters

I was going to post this week about  the price of gold reaching $1300...again
but on the topic of metal this great post from Privilege is much more interesting 
A Master Craftsman's Secrets to Buying, Maintaining and Fixing Your Silver

Digg this

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hot Town Summer In The City

Yeah, it really was hot yesterday. Palm Springs or Las Vegas style hot. After one of the coolest summers on record we finally got the big heat. Officially it reached 113 degrees although this photo from the LA Times shows 121 degrees.
Obviously there were a couple of options for staying cool
And no this wasn't my option
(picture snagged from google, I only wish that this was me frolicking on the beach)
The other option was to dress in summer clothes and stay inside an air conditioned office,
which I happily did.
Here's the photo that I tried to post yesterday but my computer was having no part of it. (Ah... little does my hijacked virus ridden hard drive know, but it is being replaced by a newer, faster, and more powerful hard drive this coming weekend, my new trophy computer if you will)
But I digress.
Here is the estate jewelry that I wanted to show you.

I love this necklace because it is reversible, so in the photo I was wearing it on the reverse side with white enamel instead of the dressier sapphires.  This is a great piece because it can be worn with both casual and dressier styles. And, did I mention that it is Garrard.
And, a gold wire bracelet, a vintage classic from Gucci. 
I'm pretty sure that I had the exact same style bracelet made out of elephant hair when I was 11 years old and the epitome of all things cool, or so I thought. I like it better in 18K.
The weather has changed already. There are clouds from the ocean this morning and our dry burning heat is over.  We are expecting only 90 degrees today.

Keep cool out there

Digg this

Monday, September 27, 2010

Estate Jewelry Look Of The Day or What To Wear When It Is 110 Degrees In The Shade

Yes, summer has arrived and it is way over 100 degrees. In fact I heard that it was 110 degrees in Malibu of all places earlier today!
Excellent for me, who loves the heat.  Not so excellent for a friend whose air conditioning has been off for 2 hours.  Luckily the air conditioner at the office is at the usual sub arctic temperatures and I'm dressed in my summer casual clothes.

Well...I was going to show you the Garrard dangle necklace and the Gucci gold wire bracelet that I was wearing...but blogger and/or my computer are giving me attitude.  Apparently no photo uploads from this computer.
No, I'm not annoyed...not really not at all.
Digg this

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Music - Axis of Awesome

Sunday morning, while I decide whether to go to the gym or go to the office before settling down with a book by the pool, I leave you these four chords to contemplate.

Digg this

Around Town - Saturday Night Glow In Santa Monica

Well the fog off of the ocean has disappeared and summer it seems has finally arrived in Los Angeles with clear blue skies, hot sunny days and warm evenings.
Last night was the perfect temperature for Glow and a walk on the Santa Monica beach.
What is glow, you ask?
Glow is an all-night cultural experience featuring original commissions by artists that re-imagine Santa Monica Beach as a playground for thoughtful and participatory temporary artworks.
Glow is a production of the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Foundation. 
Having not seen Glow before I was expecting something like this
Well the crowds on the beach scenario was about right, but sadly the the temporary art wasn't exactly this interesting.
Instead, I saw this
Which was a film of a pitbull training class, filmed from the dog's eye view, projected on a wall.  So unimpressive that I didn't even bother to take a photograph.
I admit that I was way too unsophisticated to appreciate the artistic relevance of this and the other art installations that I saw at Glow. 
But there was a huge crowd on the pier and on the boardwalk with everything from young hipsters to street people mixing it up.  And other than the crowds of people that make me bristle, I was happy to enjoy a warm evening stroll and a stop at the bar at the Casa Del Mar for a margarita and a plate of sashimi (channelling the warm nights from my trip to Cabo San Lucas a month ago)
and from the quiet of my table an amazing view of the pier and the rather hypnotizing light show on the ferris wheel.
Note:  Even though Glow was a late night event from 7:00pm-3:00am, Santa Monica restaurants were on their usual time schedule with the kitchens closing at 10:00pm. I would have thought that they would have stayed open until at least 10:30pm (yes Fig and Fraiche, I'm talking about you)  to accommodate the people who had been at Glow.
Digg this

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lara Stone In Vogue - The Naughty and The Nice

The lovely Lara Stone seems to be everywhere these days and she is most definitely the current darling of Vogue. Christina at Fashion's Most Wanted posted this oh la la image of Lara by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for the cover of French Vogue for the 90th anniversary issue. This sexy strong image doesn't actually scream fashion to me, but what do I know, I'm not French.
I'm guessing that you might not go for the full on 'Eyes Wide Shut' (a la Dash) style topless, lace masked look, but the cameo choker is doable, non?
Just buy a wide black velvet ribbon and add this.

American Vogue leaving the naughty to the French, because they do it so well, instead gave us the nice, with Lara as the girl next door in an editorial also photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
Well coiffed and cashmere covered, we get the good girl ingenue complete with a diamond cross from Tiffany & Co. Perhaps the full on 1950's style Nina Ricci sweater and skirt are too much coverage for you, consider instead the diamond cross because it is a classic.
Of course you could go to Tiffany's and buy it for $8750 with the in store experience and the little blue box. Or you could skip the hassle of going to the store because Beladora has the same diamond cross for you for $3500 less than the Tiffany store price.

et voila

Digg this

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's Up With Blogger?

And why can't I upload my images?
Digg this

Prada Spring 2011 - Sending Out The Stripes

Photo from The Sartorialist

Is there anyone besides me who is totally confused by this collection.
I like color and I like stripes but this Prada Spring 2011 collection is just all over the place.
Would you buy these clothes?
Digg this

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If This Box Could Talk - The Stories It Could Tell

Have I mentioned that I love all kinds of history including military history.
And, I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to work in a business where everything that I touch, wear, appraise and sell, has a history.  Of course I don't always know the provenance of a piece of estate jewelry or object d'art, but I appreciate the fact that every piece has a story behind it.
Take this sterling silver cigarette case for example.
I am rarely enamored with inanimate objects but there is something about this specific item that moves me.
Let's start with the top.  You can see from the photo that the case is engraved with a map of Burma with the names of the major cities. Ten of those cities, including Rangoon and Mandalay, are emphasized by flush set Burma rubies. 
The back of the case is engraved
India 1945
Burma 43-44-45
China 45
Obviously, we all know what was going on in these countries during these years.
Then we have the interior which is engraved
Helen From Jim
Who was Helen? And more importantly, who was Jim?  Was he an Aussi, an American or a Brit?  Was he an officer, a diplomat, a businessman, a reporter or a spy?  Who did he know? What did he witness during the war years?
When I hold this case in my hand I have the inexplicable feeling that there is a Somerset Maugham quality story of love and loss connected with it.
So much happened in Burma during 1943,1944 and 1945
and of course so much has happened since.
And on the topic, last weekend's Wall Street Journal listed five of the best books with first hand accounts of WW2 and Quartered Safe Out There: A Harrowing Tale Of World War II by George Macdonald Fraser was on their list.
Here's what WSJ reviewer Andrew Roberts had to say about the book.
George MacDonald Fraser, British author of the Flashman series of novels, fought in the 17th (Black Cat) Indian Division of the 14th Army during the siege of Meiktila and the battle of Pyawbwe in Burma. He believed, probably correctly, that soldiering in Burma rivaled flying in the RAF's Bomber Command as "the worst ticket you could draw in the lottery of active service." This was so not just because of the Japanese enemy; there were also 15-inch poisonous centipedes, malaria, "spiders the size of plates," typhus, jungle sores on the wrists and ankles, dysentery, and leeches. In terse, unsentimental language, Fraser's superb war memoir, "Quartered Safe Out Here," relates how the soldiers in his close-knit company fought their battles, mourned their friends and simply tried to survive from day to day.

Perhaps Jim fought with 17th Black Cat Indian Division.
I wish that I knew.
Digg this

Monday, September 20, 2010

America's Got Talent - Black Diamond Bling While Sarah Brightman Sings

Oh...I forgot to tell you about this little performance by vocal prodigy Jackie Evancho and Sarah Brightman on the finals of America's Got Talent.
Check out that black and white diamond necklace on Sarah Brightman's neck.
Yeah, you know where it came from.

Isn't this young Jackie Evancho incredible?
Digg this

September Sundays In Southern California

Southern California Sundays
A week ago at Dana Point Harbor in Orange County
Watching the J24's come back into the harbor from their regatta while sipping one of these
Then yesterday back to the hiking trail in the Santa Monica Mountains
From Brentwood, four miles predominantly up to the ranger station on Mulholland Drive where you can see from the north San Fernando Valley to the peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Then four miles predominantly down...thank god.
There's not much to admire in the landscape of the late California summer. Most of the green is gone.  Which is just as well, because I'm not admiring the view. I hike mostly with my eyes focused on the trail, on the lookout for snakes, dodging out of control mountain bikers, ipod on listening to an audio book.
Digg this

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Young and The Coiffed

While Vogue's September issue came off as trying to be everything to everybody, there were a couple of editorials that caught my eye.
The Sweater Girl layout featuring the lovely Lara Stone, edited by Grace Coddington and photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, stood out for its High Wasp style.
There was something so all American "girl next door" in these photos
And I appreciated the simplicity in the way that she was styled
and the fact that she was not over accessorized
Above all, I loved her carefully coiffed hair.
The well groomed look appeals to my inner trad attraction to orderliness.
So I give you fashion vanguards, the Olsen twins, also in the September issue of Vogue, with their overly dyed straggly rats nest boho hair
and the very obviously coiffed Lara Stone
Which look do you prefer?

Also, in the same issue there was a Grace Kelly inspired editorial, shot by Steven Meisel and edited by Camilla Nickerson, with amazingly elaborate high hair, similar to the recent Steven Meisel shoot with Christy Turlington in Italian Vogue. 

Are we seeing a hair trend here?
Digg this

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Delivering Happiness or How To Succeed In Business

Yes, we all know about Zappos, that "little online company that could".
Really, how else do you describe a start-up business that went from zero to 1 billion dollars in merchandise sales in less than 10 years.
Delivering Happiness , by Zappos CEO and biggest investor Tony Hsieh, is a great business book. 
Tony takes us through his upper middle class upbringing to his Harvard graduation in 1995, to his co-founding of Link Exchange in 1996 and its subsequent sale to Mircrosoft for $265 billion in 1998, to his joining Zappos in 1999 and selling Zappos in a stock deal to Amazon in 2009.
Talk about a career on steroids.
But more than a book about Tony's personal success, this book is a guide to building a better business by having a succinct corporate culture and committed core values.
Here are the Zappos core values:
1.  Deliver WOW Through Service
2.  Embrace and Drive Change
3.  Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
4.  Be Adventurous, Creative and Open Minded
5.  Pursue Growth and Learning
6.  Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
7.  Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8.  Do More with Less
9.  Be Passionate and Determined
10.  Be Humble
At we know all about doing more with less, being humble, being passionate and determined  and most importantly delivering WOW service. Maybe we need to create some fun and a little weirdness too.

Even if you don't have any specific interest in business, I recommend that you read this book.  It is a great American story of how ideas, capital, expertise, hard work and a sense of humor come together to make something great.
Digg this

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tiffany Takes On Ebay... And Ebay Wins

Don't mess with Ebay
(no really, don't mess with Ebay)
After a 6 years of litigation, the Federal court just ruled against Tiffany & Co. on all counts in their lawsuit against Ebay.
From National Jewlery
Ebay Prevails on Final Claim in Tiffany Lawsuit

New York—A federal judge has again ruled in eBay's favor in its ongoing legal battle with luxury retailer Tiffany & Co., rejecting the latter's false advertising claim against the online auction site.

The Tiffany-eBay case dates back to 2004, when Tiffany first filed suit against eBay charging it with trademark infringement, unfair competition, false advertising and trademark dilution. The allegations arose from the jewelry retailer's own investigations of "Tiffany" pieces sold on eBay in 2004 and 2005. Those surveys found that between 73 and 75 percent of items listed as genuine Tiffany merchandise were counterfeits.

I can certainly understand why Tiffany initiated the lawsuit, but really, did they really think that they could stop the Tiffany name from being used on Ebay?  That would have been like stopping a volcano from erupting.

Still, I do think that when it comes to jewelry on Ebay, caveat emptor.
There are lots of fakes on Ebay. 

And on the subject of Tiffany, do you like the new line of Tiffany leather goods?
This clutch is nice, as it should be for $1,195. 
Of course if I needed this type of look I would buy a much less expensive bag 
and then add a vintage brooch  from Beladora.
But that's just moi
Digg this

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sharing The Love or Savoring A Little Savoir Faire

For your reading pleasure I bring you the Savoir Faire blog written by David Toms, my favorite Aussie in Canada.
Go ahead and read his fabulous posts on An American In Paris about the incredibly talented Mainbocher
Worth A Second Look about the rebirth of the House of Worth.
David has a amazing eye for not just couture fashion but all things stylish in design, decor, antiques, architecture and travel.
What's not to love.
Digg this

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Estate Jewelry Look Of The Day or I'm Too Busy To Write A Real Post

Yes, here I am again...product testing.
This is one of my very favorite sets
Moonstone and Diamond Necklace
Here's the detail shot
and look what comes with the necklace
a matching bracelet and earrings
It's not too early to start planning your Christmas wish list, is it?
Digg this

Monday, September 13, 2010

Estate Jewelry Look Of The Day or Horsing Around In The Office

Believe it or not part of my job is to wear jewelry.  If you want to sell estate jewelry, or any other accessory, you have to know how it fits and how it feels while you wear it. So, you could say that I get to product test my stock on a daily basis.

I'm happy to report that this French (which in jewelry terminology means really well made) Horse head choker necklace fits well...and is comfortable.
( unattractive is my huge hand holding that camera in the you know why I leave the photography to professionals!)
Pretty isn't it?
The necklace is crafted in18K yellow gold and horn and I think that it is the perfect piece for a fall wardrobe of tweedy horse and hounds looks.
Tally Ho!
Digg this

When She's 64 - Cher Style Then And Now

Only a 64 year old Cher could get away with wearing this outfit at the MTV Music Video Awards
Tasteful no, but hilarious yes
And at least she has a since of humor about it
From the Daily Mail
'I have shoes older than most of these nominees,' she told a cheering audience. 'I'm the oldest chick with the biggest hair in the littlest costume.
'Back in the day, I used to get thrown off MTV for wearing things like this that seem so tame now,' she added. 'That's when Lady Gaga was Baby Gaga.'
I've been thinking about 1970s Cher style recently because of this vintage turquoise jewelry on Beladora2.
The client that we bought the jewelry from was kind enough to provide us with a copy of this actual People Magazine cover from 1975 featuring Cher in all of her turquoise splendor.
I love the headlines
Donald Rumsfeld Ford's 'No' Man
Led Zeppelin Bigger Than The Beatles
I will admit that in 1975 I had zero idea who Donald Rumsfeld was 
but I did listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin.
Digg this

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Simple September Weekend - Fashion, Football, Flowers and Family

Last Friday night I strolled up and down Rodeo Drive for Fashion's Night Out and this is what I saw
The Prada store photographed from my office with a modicum of people in the street.  There was certainly more than the average daily pedestrian traffic but nothing looked overcrowded. Cool the way that Prada could project images on the panel above the storefront.
The Ferris wheel which was carefully constructed on the first block of Rodeo Drive between Tiffany & Co. and Bvlgari.
And my favorite image of the evening, a Beverly Hills police officer on a segway parked on the street between Chanel and De Beers because this is how our cops roll in BH.
What I did not see was any actual shopping and nor people carrying shopping bags. Still, it was well attended and a good event for the city of Beverly Hills. I think that there is certain amount of pent up demand and that street will have action when the holiday$ arrive. We shall see.
Saturday I headed off to the Eastside of Los Angeles, you know the place where the sun actually shines.  And shine it did at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  Being the sports enthusiast that I am (not) I was at the UCLA-Stanford foot ball game where UCLA got thoroughly trounced.
In deference to the Stanford people around me, I wore a little red on my cuffs.
(Yes, I wore a white button down french cuffed shirt to a football game, doesn't everyone?)
Stanford had a great defensive game and a good running game and UCLA, well what can I say, they were an embarrassment. And speaking of embarrassments
What is up with Stanford's pathetic excuse of a marching band?  Seriously, they are so bad that they've lost their funding.  Thankfully, we fled at the end of the 3rd quarter, because really how much college football can anyone take.
Sunday morning on the Westside of town, where the sun hasn't deigned to come out I've been arranging  flowers.  Here's the result.
 and the close up shot
Pretty aren't they?
Now, it's off to the OC to take my father and stepmother out to lunch to celebrate my father's birthday.
Hopefully the fog will lift and we will find some sun in Dana Point Harbor.
Enjoy your Sunday.

Digg this
Add to Technorati Favorites