Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hermes 2011

What an amazing runway show
from the clothes, to the music to the dressage horses
totally Hermes
(ignore the obligatory commercial at the beginning of the video)

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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Sparklefication of Halloween

From Deep Glamour
Remember when Halloween was scary?
I barely do. These days, it's all "sexy" costumes for the ladies and decidedly un-sexy, not-even-funny joke costumes for the guys. And on the decorating front, instead of ghoulish graveyards or even dark and mysterious haunted houses, those of us trying to deck out our houses for the holiday get...glitter.

A clever post by Kit Pollard of the transformation of Halloween from the dark and daunting to the bright and sparkly.
For this phenomenon, I blame Stephenie Meyer and her band of chaste, "vegetarian" vampires who, instead of burning up in the sun, sparkle like a fleet of immortals dressed for a night out at Studio 54.*

The sparkle is just one more way that vampires - who used to be a genuinely scary staple of the Halloween season - have been softened. Last year on Slate, Grady Hendrix wrote a great summary of the evolution of the vampire from bloodthirsty killer to emo virgin.

The sparklefication of Halloween is not a surprise, though - it's mostly a matter of supply and demand. With Twilight moms holding a whole lot of purchasing power, it's only natural that the glitter goods would fly off the shelves. I can't blame product designers and stores for delivering what the people want.

For some reason, I don't really know why, I have never been a fan of Halloween. The dressing up part was fine, it was the overabundance of candy that I didn't care for.
Now, it has evolved from a children's holiday to every woman's excuse for wearing the slutty-est outfit she can get away with
and of course glitter galore.
I shall ignore the whole thing as I do every year.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jewelry Biz - Oh La La - An Afternoon With Lorenz Baumer

After an online discussion about who is glamorous over at Tish Jett's blog A Femme D'un Certain Age
I thought that I would weigh in on the subject.
I am not a big fan of glamour because I believe that above all it is built on artifice.
Take most film stars and celebrities.  Can they even be described as glamorous if in actuality they rely entirely on stylists to put together their public looks? 
So instead I look for elegance and accomplishment.
Yesterday I was very pleased to spend several hours with Lorenz Baumer, who is the epitiome of both elegance and accomplishment.
Lorenz Baumer is one of the world's premier jewelry designers.  He has designed for Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and not the costume fashion nonsense stuff either.  He designs Haute Joaillerie.  Here's an example of his work.
Now he has a boutique and atelier located at the Place Vendome in Paris where he creates exciting, colorful and clever pieces based on his view of nature, poetry and architecture.
Like this
and this

I just fell in love with his pieces yesterday...
and a little bit in love with him too because he was so elegant in that unique way that french men are.
And accomplished.
Next month he is going to receive the Legion D'Honneur in Paris.
So check out his website and the next time that you are in Paris, be sure to visit his boutique.
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La France Profonde in Fall

Pretty pictures of La France Profonde shamelessly stolen from a friend on Facebook.
Pretty aren't they?
Happy Wednesday!
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rodeo Drive - There Goes The Neighborhood

Look who's moving in next door...or actually a couple of doors down.
Solange Azagury Partridge
They've been setting up for the big opening night party for days now...and borrowing our parking spaces.  The parking lot behind the store is fully tented and decorated with a giant disco ball.
I'm trying to action an invitation to this little shindig...somehow I don't think that I'm on the VIP list.

Now, at almost 7:30 pm the party is in full on happening mode with disco music wafting into our office.
Any minute now I sure that I'm going to hear Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby".
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La Niña or Something Wicked This Way Comes

Well the sun finally came out yesterday after almost a month of cold, foggy and drizzly weather.
Why is this notable? 
Because after the coldest summer on record I was looking forward to the typically mild months of September and October.
Not, this year it seems.
Except for one super hot week in September, the last two months have been unusually cold and now I know why.
The Super La Nina and the Coming Winter
La Nina is the lesser-known colder sister of El Nino. La Nina chills the waters of the tropical Pacific Ocean, and in turn cools the entire planet for one to two years or more. This chilling has the potential to bring bone-numbing cold to many parts of the world for this and the following winter.
Oh...lucky us, not only do we get La Nina we get a special La Nina!
This La Nina appears to be special, at least so far. It is well on its way to being the strongest of these events since the super La Nina of 1955-1956. During that powerful La Nina that lasted two years, the global average temperature fell nearly one degree Fahrenheit from 1953 to 1956.

Those of us who are affected by seasonal affective disorder, take note.
Things might get real cold.
Last Sunday was so drizzly and dreary that I opted for the next best thing to a winter holiday on a sunny beach for cheering me up, yes you guessed it, cooking a yummy dinner.
(Admittedly, I was highly inspired by the fabulous meals prepared by Faux Fuchsia and Tabitha)
So I went to my usual source for all things wonderful in the kitchen.

(Yes peeps, I was cooking recipes from these books long before that silly girl from that movie blogged about them. My books date to 1983)
Well anyway, I thought that I would make a Coq au Vin, but all the wine and brandy and bacon seemed too heavy so I decided on Poulet Poché Au Vin Blanc or Coq au Vin lite, if you will.
Super easy, super fast, super healthy
Here's the recipe (actually out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 2)

Grab your big (blue) Le Creuset cocotte and sauté your basic mirepoix ( 2 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1 onion, chopped or julienned) in 3 tablespoons of butter....or for a lighter version use chicken stock instead of butter...but what's the point of that.
Add an already cut frying chicken 2 1/2 lbs (I used the organic, no growth hormone kind from Trader Joe's) and cook for 10 minutes turning once.
Pour in 1 1/2 cups of white wine or dry white vermouth (I used vermouth and saved the wine for drinking.  Note: vermouth is also great to cook with and less expensive than wine...and available for your martinis)
Add enough chicken stock to barely cover the chicken.
Add a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
Cover and cook either in a 350 degree oven or on top of the stove for 25-30 minutes.
(I served it with asparagus and hot french bread, but you might want to serve it over rice)

For a super easy dessert
Apple and Berry Compote (my recipe)
Take left over granny smith apples from the fridge and peel, core and cut them into chunks.
Lightly poach in a small amount of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Add dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds or dried berries of your choice.
Cook for about 10 minutes or until apples begin to soften but aren't mushy.
Serve warm with low carb vanilla ice cream.

Unfortunately, after all this effort I didn't have the energy to plate it artfully and photograph it for BHB.
You'll just have to take my word that it looked yummy and tasted delicious, because it did.
So brace yourself for a cold winter
This La Nina is coming on very fast and very strong. Already it is colder than the six coldest La Ninas of the last 60 years when they were at a similar stage of development.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Jewelry Biz - Big Bucks For The Bulgari Blue

OK, so I admit it...I was a little disappointed that the powers that be at Beladora didn't buy the Bulgari Blue last week at auction. It would have matched my outfit perfectly, don't you think?

The Bulgari Blue Diamond, the largest triangular Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever offered at auction, sold for $15.7 million on Wednesday at Christie's New York, setting a new world record for the price paid per carat for such a stone in open bidding
The 10.95 carat blue diamond is set opposite a matching 9.87 carat colorless diamond in a ring purchased in 1972 for $1 million. The record price amounts to $1.5 million per carat.
Bidding started at $8 million and quickly became a contest between a client in the room and two on the phone, before the gavel fell to a private Asian collector. 
And what are the chances that the buyer was from China... 

The original owner, who bought the ring at the Bulgari flagship store in Rome as a gift for his wife on the birth of their first son, kept it in the family for four decades until yesterday's sale.




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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Around Town - The Beverly Hills Women's Club 85th Anniversary Gala

It probably wouldn't surprise you that I'm a big believer in community based organizations, like The Beverly Hills Women's Club.
Yes, I know the very idea of a 'women's club' is indeed old fashioned, bringing to mind afternoon tea and bridge.  Well yes the BHWC is a bit old fashioned and proud of it's nearly 100 year old heritage.
And yes there really are teas and bridge and book clubs and mahjong and cotillion. But there are also, lectures and concerts and private tours and cooking classes.
Most importantly, the club also supports children in need by providing such things as school supplies to kids in a local homeless shelter and sponsoring events for Aviva Family and Children's Services which works with abused and neglected children.
This year was the 85th anniversary of the actual club house, built in 1925 by noted architects Gable and Lyons. Over the last five years, under the leadership of club president Claudia Deutsch, the building has been carefully restored, with respect to the architectural heritage.  Hopefully the club will continue to be a thriving part of the community with ongoing philanthropic service for another 85 years.
And I dressed up complete with partial up-do and other fripperies....but alas, no diamond brooch in my hair.
So here's the look...dark navy blue taffeta dress, navy blue satin shoes, sapphire and diamond estate jewelry, a mink coat (vintage) and a happy disposition.
Yes, I know...not the most attractive of photos, but that was the best that I could do with my iphone.
But I was especially happy with the Fred Leighton diamond bow brooch.
Yes, I'm posing in front of my bicycle which is parked in front a painting. 
I know, awesome decorating skillz.
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why Blogger...Why?

It must be the beginning of the end. 
You know that feeling when you make a big effort on your part to say something clever or charming and you are met with total nonchalance on the other side.
And you ask yourself what did I do wrong? 
I was there faithfully everyday, giving it my all.  But as the years and the posts passed, little issues started cropping up between us that just couldn't be corrected.
How many times, like yesterday, can I allow myself to spend an hour scanning photos, uploading images, writing commentary and inserting links only to have you be completely unresponsive to my needs.
Oh I admit it, I blamed it first on my computer.  But now that I have my new super computer I have to face the fact that the problem is with you.
OK, I get it.  The relationship was always one sided anyway.
Somehow it all makes sense, especially knowing that you come from a family where long standing relationships weren't truly valued. After all, your parents moved to Bermuda to avoid paying taxes...and you know they say about the apple not falling far from the tree...or at least I think that's what they say.

Blogger, I hope that you treat your other bloggers better than you have treated me!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Everything Old Is New Again

Anne Hathaway photographed by Mario Testino for Vogue

I'm rather loving this photo of Anne Hathaway a la Holly Golightly in Vogue, and not so much for the jewelry.  I'm rather enamored of the updo.  It's a such a clean classic look and particularly flattering if you want to emphasize your clothes, your jewelry or your swan like neck....on second thought maybe this look needs to be reserved for those under 30.
Still, I would love to get all dressed up this weekend with big blingy brooch in my hair.
like this Mid-Century Chaumet Diamond Brooch in Platinum
You don't think that the diamond hair ornament would be over the top for a Saturday night soiree, do you?
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jewelry Biz - It Takes A Thief...Or Two

Amazing is correct.
In the news
Ring worth nearly $700,000 taken by savvy thieves
Police are trying to track down two men who stole a Cartier store's most expensive ring, but one thing is clear: the bilingual, elegantly attired thieves were savvy. 
Without pulling a weapon, the two men walked off with a 500,000 euro ($693,000) diamond-encrusted ring Tuesday evening from Cartier's store on Via Condotti, a toney shopping street near Rome's Spanish Steps, police said.
Talk about messing up the 'Know Your Client' rule!
But I truly do feel sorry for the poor saleswoman who got totally bamboozled by these elegantly attired gentlemen I mean cheeky thieves, speaking Arabic and French.  
She probably thought that they were Saudi royals and that she was on to making the big sale of her year.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Around Town - The Santa Monica Vintage Expo

After years of following Mary Kincaid's Zuburbia blog, I was pleased to finally get a chance to meet Mary last weekend at the Vintage Clothing Expo show in Santa Monica. 
Mary is a specialist in vintage clothing with the eye of a museum curator.  She can spot a Lilly Ann, a Suzy Perette, a Galanos, a Ceil Chapman or just about any other classic American fashion designer at a distance.  Her blog is highly informative with posts about vintage designers, where to shop for vintage items, vintage picks of the week and a weekly eBay round up. 

So, not only does does this busy woman blog, she has an online boutique where each item in her vintage collection is hand picked for its special design aesthetic. 

I'm really excited for Mary because she will soon have her vintage clothes featured on 1stDibs...and if that isn't a recipe for success, then I don't know what is.
(perhaps Beladora will be invited to join the 1stDibs crew one of these days...........)

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Around Town - Dinner and the Scene at BOA Steakhouse

So where do you go for a family dinner on a drizzling Saturday night to soak up the LA scene?
The answer of course is the sleek and sexy BOA Steakhouse on Sunset Boulevard
The menu was basic and straightforward, american cuts of steak and potato type of side dishes, except of course for the de rigueur Kobe and Waygu beef, which all respectable restaurants seem to have to serve now.  The wine list was extensive.  The service was helpful and friendly.

But let's face it, you don't go there for the food.  You go there for the scene
and sitting at the front table, there was quite a scene to be seen especially in the loungy bar.
Would I go back there, probably not except maybe for the chocolate hazelnut cake, which was delicious.As
Also, it might be nice in the summer months, when you can sit outside on the terrace.
But I could happily skip the bar scene which seemed to consist mostly of hipsters and hookers.
The LA demimonde, if you will.
(I wish that I had taken a photo of that not so young curvy brunette in the turquoise sequin halter style top, uncovered midriff and white jeans with sparkle playboy bunny logos on the back pockets, I kid you not.  Who wears that on a rainy October night?)
As usual I wore my typical conservative outfit of which nothing was new and most was really old.
A Ralph Lauren black label long cashmere long sweater and matching shell in chocolate brown over a Michael Kors wool pencil skirt in heather brown, all purchased 3 years ago (on sale) at Neiman Marcus.
A pair of Patrick Cox pumps purchased in Paris 12 years ago but seldom worn due to the high 4 inch heels.
An alligator belt that had belonged to my husband, and that I had shortened, which had to be close to 20 years old and a vintage alligator clutch by Kleinberg Sherrill that was 25 years old.
Oh, and the scarf, which I believe I bought last winter fact it is very likely that I picked it up at Walgreens for maybe $7.99.

Naturally, I wore some old jewelry too.

I'm glad that I went to BOA, just to see what all the hype was about. 
But now it's been there, done that.
I can move on.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Estate Jewelry Look Of The Day - The Victorian Locket

I know that you think that it is all champagne, caviar and chicness chez Beladora.  But some Friday afternoons it is so cold in the office that I just end up with my scarf wrapped turban style around my head.
Don't ask why, it's just how I roll.
OK, enough about is what I wanted to show you.
Antique Victorian Locket Pendant with Amethyst in Silver and Gold from $395

What is really cool about this locket,
aside from the unbelievable price (and don't forget your BHB discount code)
is the fact that it has two Victorian photos on the interior
and the woman in the photo appears to be wearing this very locket.  Click on my link to see the details.
A little bit of living history, non?
OK peeps, have a great weekend.
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Business As Usual In France

For a while now I've been thinking that I wanted to sneak in a little vacation this month, after all, I've only taken one week off during the last 12 months.  For some reason, this particular Autumn, I've been thinking of travelling to Paris for a little antique shopping and museum going.

But, Paris as the rest of France, is on strike.
This isn't a little greve where the metro shuts down for 6 hours, this is a major strike.

Don't the French do this about once every decade or so?
I understand that a big part what this is about is the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62.
Yes, that is certainly devastating, for the French.
And as we all know France, the idea if not the actual country, is all about quality of life.
Who wouldn't want to retire to a life of pastis and tarot at their country house at the age of 60?

Last night I had dinner with a group of  friends who travel often.  One was just back from Paris, another from London, and another had just returned from two months in Australia. She raved about how wonderful the quality of life is there. 
So now I'm starting to think to myself, maybe that 20 hour plane ride over the Pacific wouldn't be so bad, if Australia was on the other side of it....
And on that topic, thank you to Faux Fuchsia my favorite Australian blogger for mentioning BHB on her blog. If you are not already reading her blog, you need to start reading it today. As she would say, run don't walk.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Blogger Goes Bad

Why have I been having problems uploading my images...and where did the rest of my posts disappear to?
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Credit Where Credit Is Due or We Heart

I take back my little rant from a previous post.
The very busy women at ELLE were off in Paris and there was a change in the NY staff,
thus the credit oversight.
Everything is as it should be now credit wise
We heart
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Estate Jewelry Look Of The Day - The Arts & Crafts Amethyst Necklace

You know, it's not just all about parures of precious gems around the office we love our period jewelry too
especially the pieces which are both historical and romantical
such as this handcrafted antique Arts and Crafts silver necklace with amethysts and freshwater pearls

I would totally wear this piece

Here it is in the original length but I would probably prefer to wear it a bit shorter

Arts & Crafts jewelry design, like its stylistic sister Art Nouveau jewelry, was heavily influenced by the neo Gothic and Romantic images of the Pre-Raphaelite painters, Rossetti, Millais, Burne-Jones, Hunt et. al.

Tassels, swagging, opaque stones and intricate metalwork are all aspects of Arts & Crafts style.
Sadly, so much of Arts & Crafts jewelry has disappeared over the last 100 years or so.
I am always happy when I can find an authentic piece, especially one that is as detailed as this necklace.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paris 2010 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

New York Magazine has compiled the 17 Best Looks from Paris Fashion Week
So we have the good such as this Betty Page style 1940's glamour girl look by Dior
I always appreciate Galiano's historical references and his fashion in jokes
and the dress is actually wearable
And the bias cut beaded 1920s Flapper Style dress by Louis Vuitton was fun too
But what was going on at Chanel and how did these outfits come off as being in the Best list?
If they aren't bad then I'm blind
And I'm also not too impressed with Pilati's pieces for YSL
But getting to the downright ugly we've got Lanvin
OK, the navy blue dress on the left is totally minimalist chic and I would wear it any day (if I could afford it)
But what is going on with that outfit on the right, I can't even figure out what the material is
It is as though Lanvin's 'art project' jewelry from a few seasons ago has been morphed into 'art project' clothes
And this look is supposed to be one of the best of the Paris 2010 season?

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