Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spy vs Spy Shoes

While combing the internet looking for a pair of Ferragamo boots I came across these innovative shoes.  Designed by Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg, they remind me somehow of the old Mad Magazine cartoon, Spy vs. Spy.  Now my Ferragamo boot idea just seems lame.

What is it with the Dutch people?  Is it because they smoke a lot of pot, is it the wooden shoes, the cold weather?  What makes them design torture devices like these shoes?  Check out the video below of the model trying to walk in these (how does she keep a straight face).  I look the same way when dragging myself to the wine refrigerator at the end of a long day. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Diana Nyad...Please Stop Swimming to Cuba

A coach seat on US Air is better than this.
Diana Nyad...please take up another sport.  At least, for the love of God, please stop swimming to Cuba every year.  I think we will be able to travel there by plane in the next year or two so stop trying to get into the country via the water. 

Every time she tries (this was her fourth attempt) she has been pulled back by her team.  She needs to listen to the jellyfish.  The only thing Nyad has really achieved are some awesome tan lines.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Brooke Astor's Auction Will Keep The Ghostbuster Library Open A Little Longer

Commissioned by her third husband, Vincent, who died in 1959
before the piece was completed.
Mrs. Astor decided to keep it because "it is pretty and not ostentatious".
On September 24th and 25th, Sotheby's will auction 901 lots of furnishing, art and jewelry from the estate of socialite, Brooke Astor, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 105.  Included will be the last gift her husband, real estate tycoon, Vincent Astor, ever gave her...a custom designed platinum and 18K gold Bulgari emerald and diamond necklace.  Auction estimates are between $250,00 - $350,00, but as we all know these things go for two to three times the initial price tags.  There is also a matching 23 carat emerald ring with an auction estimate of $150,000.

It appears Brooke Astor did not read my blogs on bangs or blue eyeshadow.
Brooke is lucky to even have these things left to auction since her only son, Anthony Marshall, a US ambassador and a Tony winning producer, was convicted of stealing million of dollars from his mother in 2009.  Sentenced to up to three years in prison, Marshall remains out on bail pending the outcome of his appeal.  No wonder she decided to bequeath the proceeds of her belongings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Animal Medical Center, the Central Park Conservancy, New York City schools and the New York Public Ghostbuster Library.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Beyonce Is Singlehandedly Bringing Back The 80's With Her Gigantic Earrings

Those of us who are a certain age (you know who you are) remember the 80's as the next best thing since the 60's.  We were still young, but old enough to enjoy the loads of money we made, loved our big hair, shoulder pads, Princess Diana and cell phones that were as big as shoes.  Now, I see that Beyonce is a one woman diesel fashion train driving a jewelry statement back to the 80's by wearing some of the most outrageous earrings ever seen on a human.

Beyonce hangs Oscars on either side of her head when meeting Ban Ki-moon as they join forces to launch a campaign in honor of World Humanitarian Day.
This is a close up.  Yes, they are her earrings...or a pair of those yellow Nike Volts, I'm not sure.

Here is Beyonce holding up two worlds on either side of her head.  Who needs Atlas.

Diamond dusters - always acceptable.

One thing I learned from the 80's is that it's hard on your lobes to wear ear muffs like this.  However, you won't know it for 30 years or so.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More Watch News - This Time From The Sportsworld

Color coordinated all the way.
There is controversy swirling around the IOC due to Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake's decision to wear a one of a kind, custom made, Jamaican flag rendition, Richard Mille tourbillon prototype watch valued at $500,000 during the semi-finals and finals of the 100 meter dash.  There are strict regulations and subsequent fines regarding allowable apparel, which is limited to country sponsored items only.  If it is a non-clothing item, athletes are required to use Olympic sponsored merchandise.  Therefore, Blake should have been wearing a $500,000 Omega - as they are the official timekeeper of the Games.

Let's stay tuned to see if Blake wears the watch during the 200 meter final Thursday night.
Yeah man, you heard me - the guy behind us is the Timex ambassador!

However, Blake is not the first athlete to sport this exclusive watch.  Richard Mille worked with Rafael Nadal to create a watch light enough (20 grams) to withstand the rigors of a tennis swing.  Nadal was seen sporting the $525,000 RM027 at Wimbeldon in 2010 and again at the French Open in June.  Interesting note, during the Open, Nadal had his Mille stolen from his hotel room.  This time it was found.  A few years ago, he had another half-million dollar Mille stolen from his locker at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.  Not sure if he ever got that one back.
Bubba Watson incurred grief when he wore his custom made, $525,000, super-light Richard Mille RM038 tourbillon at this years Masters.  A fan negatively tweeted that he was wearing a watch that cost more than some people made in a lifetime.  Another wished Bubba would pay off his mortgage with the money instead.

The front of Bubba's watch.

The back of Bubba's Richard Mille - sweat goobers and all.

Luxury watches and sports have gone hand in hand for years.  Many of today's top athletes wear Rolex, Tag Heuer, Audemars Piguet, Omega, and more.  They are paid to wear these watches much like they are paid to wear hats, clubs, shirts, pants, shoes, underwear...whatever.  The pro's are lucky enough to wear this schwag in return for some of the best, yet subtle advertising out there.  And, as long as their star shines, they will be courted as brand ambassadors.  Even Tiger Woods is wiping the tarnish off his star as we speak.  He recently re-signed with Rolex who believe strongly in their international clients who, unlike Americans, forgave Tiger for his infidelities a long time ago.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Leave Gabby Douglas' Hair Alone

OK...not the best look.

This is a departure from jewelry but I think it qualifies as public interest.  Leave Gabby Douglas' damn hair alone.  As one who spends serious money on hair, i.e., bi-weekly touch-up, trim every 6 weeks, highlights every 6-8 weeks, keratin blow-outs every 10 weeks...retroactively to past pre-historic eras...I'm afraid to even add this shit up.  She's the smart one...just let her pull her hair back in a damn pony tail.

She is adorable, talented and will be super rich.  Is the hair all you can pick on you schadenfreudatics.

Spoiler Alert! Angelina Jolie Is Getting A Watch As Her Wedding Gift

Reportedly, Brad Pitt has purchased a Patek Philippe Minute Repeater as a wedding gift for Angelina Jolie because soon they will have a wedding that will be so ordinary/incredible; low-key/mind-blowing; understated/over-the-top that you won't believe it until you read it in Us Weekly.

A Patek Philippe Minute Repeater is rare in the watch world.  Basically, a repeater is a watch that sounds on the hour, which is how often Jolie does a child count to make sure she has not misplaced one of her brood.  Jolie's Patek will reportedly sound chimes based on Big Ben (of course it will).  Like the guy version of the Berkin Bag waiting list, it can take up to two years to get one of these watches.  The classically beautiful watch is custom made, 18K rose gold, mother of pearl dial and a leather strap and costs in the neighborhood of $400,000.  Every one is checked by a member of the Stern family (owner's of Patek) at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The company said in a statement: “The Patek Philippe Ladies Minute Repeater has a two year waiting list and is only granted to those who apply for the watch and meet the required criteria to own it."  I guess Brad and Angelina qualify.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Big Old Oyster Found With Suspected Enormous Pearl Inside

An oyster believed to possibly be 150 million years old was recently found near the Solent strait, which separates mainland England from the Isle of Wight.  Discovered in the nets of a fishing boat, after the mud and dirt was washed off they realized it was not a rock but a large, solid, fossilized oyster shell which had turned to stone.  Given to the nearby Blue Reef Aquarium, they estimated the age based on the 200 annual growth rings found on the shell. The Aquarium recently performed an MRI on the oyster and found a golf ball sized object inside which experts believe could be one of the largest gem quality pearls in the world.  However, it is not expected to be larger than the clam produced, fourteen pound, uglier than hell Pearl of Allah (estimated worth of $60 million).

However pearl lovers...this oyster will not be opened anytime soon.  Experts are taking the high road on this one and preserving the integrity of the ancient find so anyone interested in the pearl as will have to wear this entire nasty thing around your neck along with the MRI results nailed so your forehead to everyone can see.

Abnormal MRI showing huge growth inside the oyster.  So glad this is not of my brain.

Contrary to popular belief, one should eat this oyster in months without "R"'s.

The Boris Karloff pearl...I mean the Pearl of Allah.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Katie Holmes Independence Day

On the run...a real life scary movie.
I have to say I'm relieved Katie Holmes left Tom Cruise during the 4th of July holiday.  It is a true Independence Day for her.  Fleeing with her daughter, Suri, from what many people felt was a weird arranged marriage, she reportedly split before Suri was subjected to intense Scientology training during a time when most little girls should be in training to be little girls. 


Klaatu, Barada, Nikto

Ms. Holmes was seen this week without her wedding ring and I don't blame her for removing it.  I'd suspect that's where the Scientologists implanted the listening devices and mind control equipment.  It looks like this, BTW...

Katie Holmes Edwardian-style oval-
shaped diamond ring of about 5 carats in a pave setting. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Kate - The Girl with a Fake Pearl Earring

Would someone please tell the new royals
 they do not have to wear paper bags on their heads all the time?
What did you think about the Duchess of Cambridge's faux pearl earrings?  I don't know about you but her frugal nature is beginning to get a tinkly bit old.  She must have access to some of the most amazing jewels in the world and, dammit, I want her to wear them.  I know she's trying hard to fit in with the Royal family's desire to be seen as non-squandering leeches by wearing the same schmatta more than once and by recycling those L. K. Bennett shoes until the heels are scuffed, but come on, they are one of the world's wealthier couples. Don't you miss Princess Diana's pearls, sapphire and diamonds? 

Remember the jeweled headband she wore that night?  Where did that come from?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Angelina Jolie's New Jewelry Line Is As Bland As She Appears To Be

Superfierce enough already.  
Angelina Jolie is partnering with Robert Procop, the designer who worked with Brad Pitt to make her engagement ring, to exhibit a jewelry collection bearing her name, Style of Jolie, at the Grand Hotel in Cap Ferrat and Monaco's Hotel de Paris from July 15 through August 15, with proceeds from sales going to a charity of Jolie's choice.

Take a look at the jewelry, along with her engagement ring.  Jewelry supposedly reflects your personality and Jolie's pieces seem to be as blank as she is.  She rarely smiles in photos, afraid to project any aspect of what's really going on in her life lest she be judged or revealed.

Jolie seldom wears jewelry that sparkles.  She seems so serious all the time.  I wonder if she's ever been one of those crazy moms who rolls around on the floor with her children, build forts out of blankets over chairs, makes baking soda volcanoes, lets her daughters into her makeup, or allow her kids to eat chocolate for breakfast?  Someone needs to give Jolie a zzuugghh.

Emeralds...said to be Jolie's favorite.
Matching emerald bracelet.

Looks like Pier 1 jewelry but is actually a 27 carat emerald ring.

Green quartz tablet earrings.

Emerald cut diamonds have fewer facets so they're don't have the sparkle of other cuts, but that also means that they need to be the best quality.  Jolie's ring was designed by Brad Pitt and is thought to be 17 carats made from the finest diamonds available.  But even it is flat.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

People Forgot Where They Put Their Jewelry Even in 1100 BC

Hidden pictures.
There are goats on this solid gold earring somewhere.
Archaeologists from Tel Aviv University uncovered a vase wrapped in cloth at an archeological dig of a private Canaanite home. Inside they found jewelry dating back to 1100 BC. The assortment was well preserved and included carnelian beads consistent with Egyptian designs from the same period. Several of the pieces were solid gold, and one specific piece appears to be decorated with molded goats. This tells me that nothing in fashion is new, and the styles from the 80's were not original.

I always encouraged my clients to secure their jewelry in a safe that has been drilled into the floor in an accessible area in your home. My mother would have wrapped her jewelry in cloth and put it in a vase, but in today's "I'm gonna be in and out of your house and steal your shit in under one minute," that doesn't work. I remember a customer's classic story about hiding their jewelry in the rod of an old pull down movie screen that was attached to their ceiling (remember movie screens). When they moved out of that home, they forgot they had ever hidden the jewelry. A year later, they received a call from the people who bought their home. After they finally got settled, they decided to watch a movie. They heard a noise when they pulled down the screen, and imagine their surprise when a diamond ring, sapphire earring, and diamond tennis bracelet tumbled out of the thing. 

My point: just remember, if you don't have a safe, at least write down where your secret hiding spots are.

Actual Kenneth J. Lane goat earrings from the 80's.  They're baaaahhhhdddd.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

April Showers Bring May...Diamonds?

Apparently it's raining (or reigning, as many of these amazing stones come from royal houses) diamonds during the busy gem auction month of May.  Some of the most important diamonds in history have come upon the auction block and have passed into the hands of individuals whose wealth is so stealth they have 10 million dollars of disposable income budgeted just for baubles.

First we have the Beau Sancy diamond, purchased yesterday for $9.7 million dollars by an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva.  Remaining anonymous is important because the buyer is thought to be European and they are supposed to be poor these days and behaving themselves with all kinds of austerity.  The oldest diamond to ever land on the auction block, the 400 year old, 34.98 carat Beau Sancy, was worn by Marie de Medici during her coronation as queen consort to Henri IV in France in 1610.  Apparently the story goes that once Marie saw the diamond she had to have it and nagged the philandering Henri until he bought it for her.  This tells us that nagging one's spouse for special favors remains an extremely successful technique some 400 years later. 

By 1631, crippled with debt, Marie, now the widowed Queen Mother of France, sold the Beau Sancy to a royal Dutch family where it was used to seal the wedding of William II of Orange to Mary Stuart, daughter of King Charles I.  After William's death, Stuart returned to England and sold the diamond to fund her brother's, Charles II, fight for the throne.

Passed among the royal families in France, England, Prussia and the Netherlands, the stone was sold by the Royal House of Prussia, the line of descendants that once ruled Prussia.

Next blog...for all of the Jamie Fraser, "Outlander" freaks out there, a historic diamond once owned by Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, who owned the stone when the Jacobite Rebellion was crushed at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Watches and Athletes

Had to show Fletcher Cox, my hometown Eagles pick.

I was at Iron Hill Brewery the other night watching young men win the instant lottery...I mean the NFL draft picks...with my husband and my son.  You know Iron Hill...that's the restaurant where they sit you at those really high tables so everyone walking on the floor looks like some weird suburban version of Toulouse-Lautrec. I thought it interesting in a time when watch sales are way down, most of these athletes were wearing them.  Try as I may to see what brand would emerge as the most popular, most appeared to be "no brand big sporty cheapo watches".  But the real money is just beginning to roll in...give these guys time...soon will come the cars, the houses and the Brietling's, the Omegas, the Panerai's and the Rolex's...and, unfortunately for some, the bad behavior. 

It seems the watches we associate with athletes are the brands they are paid to wear.  The industry refers to these individuals as their "ambassadors".  Sounds like a really easy job, right?  Just wear a luxury watch worth thousands and you'll earn millions as you go about your daily business.  The thing is, once in a while, some of that business isn't fit for publication.  It would seem Rolex played that card smartly by associating their brand with golf.  Golfers are the usually the gentlemen and gentlewomen of the sports arena and one would wonder what inside info Rolex had on Tiger Woods that allowed them to dodge a vampire bullet by signing almost every other golfer in the history of the game except him.  Tag Heuer must still be kicking themselves in the ass for trying to stay with Tiger as long as they could.  But, in the end, they had to let him go because they knew the brand was more important than their amb"ass"ador. 

Tiger has been one of the best examples of schadenfreude known to man in the history of the world.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Opals As A Birthstone...

Opals are the worst birthstone possible.  They are fragile, bad luck, and mostly colorless booger looking things.  Unless they look like these...
(clockwise from top left) Judy Geib Machu Picchu Opal Cuff Bracelet with Enamel Mosaic Back, $14,680, | Monique Péan Peruvian Opal and White Diamond Necklace, 18K Recycled White Gold, $15,820, | Moonstone, Platinum and Diamond 'Cluster' Ear Clips, $29,500, Verdura, 212-758-33884. | Irene Neuwirth, One-of-a-Kind 18K White and Yellow Gold Earrings Set with Boulder Opals, Crystal Opals and Mixed Shape Rose Cut Diamonds, $57,820, Barneys, 212-826-89005. | 'Liberty Island' Ring Featuring Black Opal, Diamonds and Black Spinels Set in 18K White Gold, price upon request, Van Cleef & Arpels, 877-826-2533.  How nice of VC&A to provide their phone number!

These are magnificent examples of opals.  With my October birthday, I received many opals over the years and absolutely none of them looked like the above.  All are broken and many are missing...I have no clue where most of them are.  And that's OK as they supposedly reek with bad luck.  However, I was recently organizing my jewelry and found a memorable opal ring I received when I was around 13 or so.  The mounting was marquise shaped with multiple small, round opals on top rather than one large stone.  I remember losing one of the little opals right away and my mother, ever resourceful and crafty, actually dropped a dollop of Elmer's Glue into the missing hole, allowed it to set, and voila!, fake stand in opal at your disposal. I wore the ring like that, passing the glue off for an opal, for years.  And, guess what...although the drop of glue shrunk and hardened a little over the years, it was still there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The New Storage Wars & Hoarders Show, or...Huguette Clark's Safety Deposit Box Is Opened

Score another one for Christie's.  Still recovering from their record setting auction of Elizabeth Taylor's personal jewel collection, on April 17th, Christie's will handle the disposition of the rare and outstanding gems and jewelry recently found when late copper mining heiress, Huguette Clark's, safety deposit box was opened.  Sealed for more than seven decades, head of jewelry for Christie's, Rahul Kadakia, said it was like "chasing a rainbow" when he finally saw the gems.  I agree with Mr. Kadakia,who further said, "Opening the vault to find this treasure trove of period jewels from the best French houses of the early 1900's has certainly been one of the most extraordinary moments in my 15 year career here at Christie's."  However I keep thinking this was some kind of A&E's Storage Wars for the rich.

Every piece was still in it's original, vintage box and includes this Cartier 19.86 carat, D, potentially internally flawless, diamond ring from the 1930's, with an estimated value of $2 to $3 million dollars...which seems low to me. 
And then there was the extremely rare Belle Epoque, 9 carat, fancy, vivid purple-pink, diamond by Dreicer & Co., circa 1910, valued at $6 to $8 million dollars, which she inherited from her mother.

Among the 17 items found were two unbelievable Cartier bracelets.  This one is an art deco diamond and emerald piece valued at $50,000 to $70,000.
And the other is this all diamond bracelet which has been estimated at $300,000 to $500,000. Seen wearing them in the photo above, this was one of the last known images of Clark, which was taken after she signed her divorce papers and right before she went into seclusion. 

Not to mention the real estate.  Clark left three New York apartments which overlook Central Park and are believed to be the biggest in the city.  Two occupy the entire 8th floor of a Fifth Avenue address.  The third unit takes up one half of the 12th floor at the same address and was used to store her doll collection.  Cue the tinkly, creepy "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" music.  The real estate is estimated to fetch in the neighborhood of $55 million dollars.

Of course there are two wills, and the contesting will go on for years. Huguette had no children and reportedly left the bulk of her $400 million fortune to her nurse.  This person should look both ways before she crosses those busy New York streets.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Three New Celebrity Engagement Rings

There are more pictures of Jessica Biel without her new ring than there are with.  Why the mystery?  In case Justin Timberlake cheats on her again, she can say they were never really engaged.  Although specifics are hard to find, the ring appears to have a large square stone with vintage elements.

I'm really surprised that people aren't talking about what looks a baby bump. 
Next is Drew Barrymore.  She recently became engaged to "art consultant", Will Koppleman.  He presented her with a four carat radiant cut diamond from Graff reportedly valued at $80,000.  Like a good Jewish boy - he gave good diamond.  Barrymore said, "He's just got lovely taste, and it's really fancy.  I'm sort of like funky, eclectic girl, so I feel like this is very fancy and I'm trying to like, you know, feel comfortable with it." 

I could, like you know, get comfortable with a ring like that.  Like, you know.

And last but not least, there is Snooki.  Presented with a true jersey girl ring, it's a custom made three carat princess cut diamond sitting on top of a two carat eternity band.  Of course it is.  I'd reserve the eternity band part as my wedding ring and have a plain mounting for the princess cut stone.  Wait until those diamonds start popping out when she hits it against beer cans.

Pregnancy rumors swirled around Drew and Snooki with only Snooki confirming she is expecting.  I bet their girlgyna-cologists will have front row seats at the weddings.

This looks like an x-ray of something retrieved from a stomach, but it's really a close up of Snooki's ring.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Academy Awards Jewelry - Cuffs

There were so many beautiful jewels on the red carpet last night along with a few trends and some very special pieces.  First...diamond cuffs and wide diamond bracelets.

Do you think photographers don't remove the stunned background humans on purpose as a way to get  back at celebrities for being such assholes.  Could this woman possibly think this was her photo op?  Regardless, you know right now she's wishing she spent that extra time at the gym.

Gwyneth wears Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie Hearts of Winter cuff bracelet made of 2,368 rose-cut, round brilliant diamonds weighing 163 carats and valued at $1 million; and the double hoop Duchess Hibiscus Ring made of rose cut and round diamonds with purple sapphires set in 18-karat white gold and valued at $160,000.  Ahhhmaazing.

Viola Davis looked lovely, if not a little "from the valley of the jolly....ho, ho, ho, " in Vera Wang and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.

Viola recycling Lorraine Schwartz's wide champagne and white diamond cuff.  It seems to be the "go to" bracelet because it has also been worn by Taylor Swift and Ashley Green at events earlier in the year.  See below...
Taylor Swift - not making an odd face for a change.
Ashley Green - not sure who she is but she nailed the look.
Penelope Ann Miller from "The Artist" wears a rare three-carat pink radiant diamond ring, surrounded by pink and white diamonds; an art-deco 24-carat diamond encrusted cuff bracelet; and 11-carat halo drop diamond earrings, all from Blue Nile.  Blue Nile is one of the best on-line resources for diamond knowledge.
These are Kristin Wiig's hands showing off three wide platinum and diamond bracelets along with a platinum, emerald, ruby and diamond ring by Neil Lane.  Since she usually wears flesh-tone on the red carpet she should have lost that dark nail polish.  Every time I see a woman wearing it I know her nails are skoovatch underneath.
Nina Garcia from "Project Runway" wearing a vintage Fred Leighton platinum ring set with a 14 carat rose cut diamond and a 1950's platinum bracelet.  

Miss Piggy, also wearing Fred Leighton.  Oh... wait, is that a nipple slip?