Sunday, January 30, 2011

Loveliness From Lebanon - Elie Saab Spring 2011 Collection

From the worst to the best of what can come out of the Middle East
The Spring 2011 Collection of Beirut based designer Elie Saab
He never disappoints.

Will a new and improved Egypt bring us a designer with this level of artistry?
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Friday, January 28, 2011

In My Dreams - Luscious Luberon

I just read on the Provence Post that "A Year In Provence" author Peter Mayles has put his house up for sale.
Sud Luberon. A 30 minutes d’Aix-en-Provence, à deux pas d’un des plus beaux villages classés de France. Dans un lieu très privé au cœur d’un environnement rare et intact, au plus grand calme, majestueuse Demeure provençale des XVII et XVIIIème siècles s’articulant autour d’une cour intérieure. Elle comprend 600 m² habitables dont un logement d’amis et diverses dépendances sur 5,7 hectares de parc avec une magnifique oliveraie, potager, roseraie, fruitiers, étangs ainsi qu’une piscine à débordement et son pool house. Beaucoup de charme et de quiétude.
I love this lush little oasis in Luberon.
This gorgeous French Country house just seems to have BHB written all over it, don't you think?
The real estate ad shows 5 chateaux in the price category...I believe that means that it is above my budget.
But I wonder, where does one move to after living in such a beautiful place?
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Modernist Maharajas

This book is definitely on my recommended reading list. 
It was a fun read and an excellent resource for images and information for my presentation on 'Jewels of the Maharajas: The Splendor of the Indian Royal Courts'. My talk focused on how Moghul jewelry styles influenced European jewelry design, specifically that of the Art Deco Period.

But what was particularly interesting in the book was the cross cultural exchange that occured between the wealthy Maharajas and the Europeans in terms of design. A select group of  sophisticated Maharajas came to appreciate the Art Deco aesthetic and used it in their custom made clothes, yachts, cars, and palaces.

The Umaid Bhawan Palace, built in 1929 for the Maharaja  Umaid Singh of Jodhpur and the Manik Bagh Palace, built in 1932 for the Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar, are two superlative examples of Art Deco architecture and interior design in India. 
Art Deco Pool at the Umaid Bhawan Palace

Art Deco Streamline Modern Bath at the Umaid Bhawan Palace

The First Modernist Maharaja
Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar II by Bernard de Monvel 1929

Manik Bagh, the Modernist Palace of Holkar built 1930 -1932
Holkar's miminalist structure was filled with amazing furniture and fixtures by European designers Louis Sognot, Charlotte Alix, George Djo-Bourgois or France and the great Eckart Muthesius of Berlin.

Holkar's office at Manik Bagh

I like the fact that these uber wealthy Maharajas brought Modernist design to India through their commissioned Palaces.  Today this tradition continues with the world's largest house in Mumbai, built by the Mukesh Ambani, an industrial Moghul worth an estimated $27 Billion.
I wonder, if Holkar were alive today, would he have built something like this 27 story house, with a theater, ballroom, garden, swimming pool, salon, health club, three helipads and an air traffic control station on the roof, requiring 600 in staff?
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Off My High Horse

It's Friday, the sky is blue and the sun is shining and I'm off my high horse.
Hopefully, this weekend I will have time to check in on everyone's blogs and see what I've missed during my hiatus.
Inspired by the posts about India at Amid Privilege, I've delved into a stack of books about Moghul jewelry. It's a big subject but a beautiful one because bright color and rich ornamentation was so important in the Moghul culture. 
Amazing isn't it?
Hopefully the weather will stay nice and I can continue my reading poolside this weekend.

On the opposite end of the artistic spectrum we've got the exhibition of paintings by Salvatore Rosa at the Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Worth.

A contemporary of Lorraine and Poussin, Rosa created works in the mid 17th Century that melded elements of Classicism with Romanticism.
From the WSJ review
Whatever he was like in real life (apparently he was a combative, rebellious prototype of the bohemian artist), Rosa is not a painter you fall in love with. The first things you notice are what he does not have. There is little playfulness or joie de vivre. He was a contemporary, and knew the work, of Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin, but he lacks the gentle softness of the former and the impeccable coloring of the latter, although his mythological scenes often replicate Poussin's neoclassical geometry. His unsettling landscapes move beyond Claude's pastoral harmonies, replacing them with dangerous, wind-swept, "sublime" ravines and crags, gloom and doom.

The Kimbell's silvery light allows us to see the somberness up close. The pictures here are, by and large, dark: They have little bright color. Some come close to Goya's horrifying late black paintings. Shades of brown and other earth tones predominate even in the landscapes. The sun seldom shines. Rosa brings the underworld up to the surface. He is both classical and (pre-) Romantic.

Unfortunately, there won't be time to see the Rosa exhibit on my trip to Texas next month.
I wonder, why isn't this exhibit coming to the Getty, LACMA or the Norton Simon Museum?
That is just wrong.

Sent goods off yesterday for a Mert and Marcus cover shoot with Gisele for Vogue Turkey.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that the bad weather conditions in Louisville and New York didn't keep the goods from getting to the shoot...because you never know with snow.
We shall see.

Happy Friday everyone!
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Taking A Break

Blogging has been curtained recently because life has been busy. 
I was hoping to action a little hiking today or a trip to the gym but I've got 6 auction catalogs and 2 books to peruse today for a lecture on Indian Mughal jewelry that I'm giving next week.
Besides that, I've got the upcoming antique and estate jewelry show in Miami Beach to prepare for, some technical and graphic spiffing up to do on both websites, and you know, a life.

I started this blog for the purpose of SEO and branding because I didn't have the funds to hire a big NY firm to do those things for me.  And, I admired Wendy B's hands on approach to blogging for her business. (btw, congrats Wendy on the new site and the FGI rising star nomination) Originally I planned to post only about estate jewelry and vintage fashion.  Later BHB morphed into something else entirely, because I have trouble staying on topic and keeping my opinions to myself. Today BHB is all over the place, sort of everywhere and nowhere at the same time. 

So, I'm going to take a break from blogging for a while to concentrate on my "tacky online jewelry business" as a fellow blogger described Beladora in a personal email to me.  I'm aware of the fact that I'm not curing cancer but my little business provides gainful employment, brings value to the customer and is green....and yes, I'm proud of it.

I will of course keep up with the many blogs that I read and stay in touch.
à bientôt
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Red Carpet Days On Rodeo Drive

There's a lot going on out there in the world.
The US is losing its AAA credit rating.
Eastern Australia is under water.
Oil is nearing $100.
The government in Lebanon is failing.
Brazil is having landslides.

But let's talk about something really important...awards season has started in Beverly Hills!
Stylists are rushing up and down Rodeo Drive collecting gowns and goods.
We've got the Golden Globe awards this weekend and the crush for red carpet looks will be ongoing until the Oscars in March. 

The beautiful stylist, Anya Sarre, stopped by our office this week to get goods for the gorgeous women at Entertainment tonight who will be working the red carpet. 
Anya is a busy babe.  Not only is she a professional stylist with her own website, she produces "Look for Less" segments for ET and she styles weddings and other events. 
Now her wedding picks are featured in Inside Weddings magazine.
She even twittered about Beladora.
Seriously, does this woman ever take a break?


We are anxiously waiting for the mail man to show up with the February issue of ELLE Magazine because we want to get a good look at the cover shot with Katie Holmes. 
We love the fact that Mrs. Cruise is wearing this Beladora bangle in the cover shot.


A new blog that I've been reading Collecting Fine Jewelry has some of the most beautiful jewelry from auctions, museum exhibits and the regular gang of estate jewelers.  There are lots of pretty pieces to admire on this blog including this one of a kind piece from

Finally, spring has arrived in Los Angeles.  It is sunny and hot today.
But we haven't forgotten our friends in the frosty east.
Designer/blogger Tartanscott has posted beautiful photos of Central Park in the snow.
I'll leave you with this pretty picture. 
Be sure to check out his blog to see the rest of his images.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

The 4 Hour Body and The 4 Month Face

Even though I wasn't raised by a superior Chinese mother, I still make an effort at self improvement, especially at the start of a new year.

So high on my list is reading this book....although probably the only progress that I can make in 4 hours is to get the book read.  And if I am sedentary for the 4 hours that it will take for me to read this book, I'm not sure exactly what kind of self improvement I will actually be making.

But any book that tempts me with rapid fat loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman is worth reading when self improvement is the goal.
The 4 Hour Body

A more realistic goal in my quest for self improvement than becoming superhuman is taking better care of my skin.  While not a product person per se, I do see the need to do something besides injections and laser to cope with ageing.

A very nice person sent me an article about the Lifeline products and their near miraculous results. 
All kinds of stem cell biotechnology has gone into creating these serums and they affect the skin by using messaging molecules or proteins.

Basically a bunch of smarty pants research scientists came up with this.

Another long story short, they came up with two solutions. One, they started using a technique from a Japanese nanotechnology firm that enabled them to encapsulate the proteins from stem cell extract inside a nanovessicle in order to keep them stable and give them the ability to penetrate the upper layer of the skin, and then they figured out how to "blow up" the cells in order to harvest the other 90% of the messaging proteins. That is very important, because cultivating stem cells is not easy-it takes time, some very expensive equipment, and cleanrooms. The cells are cultured in numerous batches, because if a batch goes bad it must be thrown out.


And then they started rigorously, indefatigably testing it to get the right mix that produced just the effect they wanted. They conducted all official safety and efficacy tests according to the highest FDA standards, with independent laboratories and physicians. They confirmed the following anti-aging claims: moisture effect, increased skin elasticity, sun protection, decreased fine lines and wrinkles, improved skin tone.

This product doesn't claim to give you great skin overnight, but with consistent usage for at least 4 months one should be able to see positive results.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but I'm committed to giving it at least 6 months, alternating usage with Atralin, which is the latest and greatest of the new Retin A products. 

Very cleverly the makers of Lifeline, the International Stem Cell Corporation, have stated that the production is limited so only a very fortunate 4000 people will be able to try the product until manufacturing gets ramped up. 
Smart marketing...there's nothing like claiming scarcity to promote demand and justify higher prices. 

But it if works, I'm certainly willing to pay the price...god knows it's cheaper than the laser.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Found Objects

I love this story .
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beladora on Youtube...Who Knew?

I just saw this nice little video on youtube made by the Platinum Guild in 2009. get's a mention at about the 5th minute.
This makes me so happy...
Obviously, I should have been watching more jewlery videos and fewer music videos.

We love the Platinum Guild people and Niki Ostin at Prlab.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pausing To Catch Our Breath

The year of the Metal Rabbit promises to bring some much-needed peace and tranquility. If you are like most people, you probably feel like you were on a roller coaster in 2010, the year of the Tiger. That will generally not be the case in 2011, as the Rabbit is everything the Tiger is not.

“Let there be peace -- and let it begin with me” is the Rabbit motto. The Tiger makes waves, but the Rabbit mends fences. Diplomacy reigns. If you want to improve your chances of success, negotiate and cooperate rather than force your ideas on others. It’s also a time to kiss and make up. Forgive and forget. Let’s all get along. Make love not war. If last year the emphasis was on excitement, it’s now is on harmony.

The Rabbit should give most of us an opportunity to pause and catch our breath after a hectic 2010.

Not that I believe in Chinese astrology...or any other type of astrology.
Still, I like the idea of a year of peace and tranquility after a year of turbulence and turmoil.

Having woken up New Year's Day happy, for no particular reason, and then in this first few days of 2011, one friend became a grandmother, another friend is due to have her third child in two days, and another friend just got engaged, I just get the feeling that this year is going to be focused on family and friends.

Other changes in 2011, La Belette Rouge has retired from blogging.  I shall miss her writing and I hope that this year brings her happiness and healing and a house on the North Shore of Chicago.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 - A Good Start

I'm really not one for partying it up on New Year's Eve and I generally prefer to stay home with champagne and caviar, but this year Miss de Ville and I were invited out so we put on our fancy duds and made a night of it.
Miss de Ville New Year's Eve 2010 in her mom's Oscar de la Renta
It was cold, really cold for Los Angeles, so I went in full Dr. Zhivago mode and wore my vintage swakara coat with the fox collar and my mink head band. And I'm glad that I did because it was 42 degrees outside. That is like sub arctic temperatures for Los Angeles.
(blurry photo thanks to iPhone)
After surviving the night with controlled alcohol consumption...I was designated driver....I slept late and woke up happy on New Year's Day.  The sun was shining brightly through my window and I just felt that 2011 was going to be a great year.

Resolutions? Yes, I have them.
They are always the same.
Will I keep them? I hope so.
I will try.

New Year's Day was full of friends and football. 
A comfortable and low key way to start the year.

Then today, rain again.

In August 2008 I blogged about the beautiful wedding of my dear friend's daughter in Napa Valley.  It seems like not so long ago that this girl was a student at John Thomas Dye with my children.  Today this young lady is having her first child, and my friend will become a grandmother.
For some reason, like the sunshine on New Years Day, it is a good omen to me. 
Kids get older, life goes on, one becomes a grandmother.

On the agenda for 2011. 
Work, work and more work.

And some travel. 
I'll be off to the antiques and estate jewelry show in Miami Beach in February with a side trip to Palm Beach to visit friends in the polo world.
In the spring I should like to take a trip to the UK and France to visit the blogger babes.  You know who you are.
Also, I should like to work in a trip to Germany to visit friends.
I shall certainly go to Spain at the end of June to see my brother finish up his command and then I would like to go to either Sicily, Majorca, Corsica or the Swiss Alps.  I haven't decided yet.
Oh yeah, Oz is on my short list too. Can I tie that into the Hong Kong show?
(I'm terribly afraid that if I take a trip to Oz, I won't want to come back to the US.)

Last year I didn't see much of my friends. This year I would like to change that.

Cooking.  I need to do more of that.  Perhaps I will start cooking Sunday dinners for my family.

Working out with the wonder woman trainer, that's on the agenda too.

This is enough.
I don't like to make too many plans, because you know happens when you do that. 
Yes, god laughs.

I'll leave you with a song.
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