Sunday, October 31, 2010

Puma Shoes

Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport, officially branded as PUMA, is a major German multinational company that produces high-end athletic shoes, lifestyle footwear and other sportswear. Formed in 1924 as Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik by Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, relationships between the two brothers deteriorated until the two agreed to split in 1948, forming two separate entities, Adidas and Puma. Puma is currently based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Elegant Black and White Puma

The company is known for its football shoes and has sponsored acclaimed footballers, including Pelé, Eusébio, Johan Cruijff, Enzo Francescoli, Diego Maradona, Lothar Matthäus, Kenny Dalglish, Didier Deschamps and Gianluigi Buffon. Puma is also the sponsor of the Jamaican track athlete Usain Bolt. In the United States, the company is probably best known for the suede basketball shoe it introduced in 1968, which eventually bore the name of New York Knicks basketball star Walt "Clyde" Frazier, and for its endorsement partnership with Joe Namath.

Puma Shoes Black and White Edition

Following the split from his brother, Rudolf Dassler originally registered the new-established company as Ruda, but later changed to Puma.[3]:31 Puma's earliest logo consisted of a square and beast jumping through a D, which was registered, along with the company's name, in 1948. Puma's shoe designs feature the distinctive "Formstripe",[3]:33 with clothing and other products having the logo printed on them.

Black and White Puma Shoes
Puma Shoes for Girls

The company also offers lines shoes and sports clothing, designed by Lamine Kouyate, Amy Garbers and others. Since 1996 Puma has intensified its activities in the United States. Puma owns 25% of American brand sports clothing maker Logo Athletic, which is licensed by American professional basketball and association football leagues. Since 2007 Puma AG has been part of the French luxury group PPR.

Red and White Puma Shoes

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)

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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Striking, Reading, Working and Shopping

Really I wonder, when do the French get to the point of saying enough is enough?
The above photo isn't recent, it is from March 2009 telling us that if there is one thing that the French do with consistency, it is protesting, something, anything, everything...
OK, we've all know that this latest month of protest has been about raising the retirement age, for public workers, (about 1 in every 4 works for the State in some form or another) from 60 to 62. 
So if you are French, after 35 hour work weeks, and 6 weeks off for vacation, retirement should start at 60.

As Guy Sorman wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "The French have a long tradition of taking to the streets as an irrational answer to economic reforms." Sorman goes on to remind us that "Alexis de Tocqueville, then a member of parliament, wrote in his "Memoires" that the French knew a lot about politics and understood nothing about economics".
And it isn't just the public workers who are protesting.  High school and university students have gotten in on the fun too. " For the young, street riots are a sort of generational rite of passage.  They replay the Revolution as their parents did in May 1968"
In disagreement with Sorman I will say this.  There is a huge economic and societal problem with France when the French are unemployed at 30 and expected to work at 62.  Since there is virtually no new job growth in the private sector, the older workers need to retire to make jobs available for the young.
Still, the State needs to be fed if government pension accounts are going to have enough to pay for retirement benefits.

Here in the US, our middle aged managers have suffered for years from rampant age discrimination.  How often do we read about the 50 something year old manager who has gotten downsized and replaced with a younger and cheaper employee. That 50 year old is never going to get that level of job back.  And now with record high unemployment, many are only so happy to still have a job at 60 years old. 

In addition, many workers who have formally retired from decades of work at their career jobs, desire to continue working in related fields or to go into some new field altogether.  And before our recent economic boondogle, people could do this.  Jobs were available. Who knows now.

Recently, I've been reading the books of Elizabeth Gaskell, the female Dickens, who wrote novels dealing with the conditions of factory workers during the Industrial Revolution. A key element in her books, aside from the extraordinarily harsh conditions of life where people lived at the edge and poverty was the norm, was the desire to work.  At that time when workers went on strike or factories cut back production, people death.

Thankfully today, striking workers are not going to starve in France, the UK or in the US.

I'm very glad that at least today we live with an abundance of goods that can tide us over in bad economic times.
discusses this phenomenon.
Americans have a lot of stuff—so much, in fact, that getting it under control has become a major cultural fantasy. Witness the Container Store, whose aisles of closet systems and colorful boxes peddle dreams as seductive as any fashion shoot.
Over the past few decades, as businesses have learned to streamline their inventories, American households have done just the opposite, accumulating ever more linens and kitchen gadgets, toys and TV sets, sporting goods and crafts supplies. "Because of all the shopping we've done, many of us now own lots of great stuff we never use anymore.
Because of our rampant consumerism in the past, we don't live on the edge anymore.
In today's sour economy, however, what once seemed like waste is starting to look like wealth: assets to draw on when times get tough (and not just because of all those ads promising top dollar for your gold jewelry). Material abundance, it turns out, produces economic resilience. Even if today's recession approached Great Depression levels of unemployment, the hardship wouldn't be as severe, because today's consumers aren't living as close to the edge.

Reading so much in the blogosphere questioning can we get by with less and can we survive on a wardrobe of 15 items or less for a month or some such challenge, I am very thankful that I don't have to because I have a closet, or three, full of clothes. 
And I'm also thankful that I have a job that I'm passionate about.  I can only hope that at the age of 60 I am still doing what I am doing now.

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.

La France Profonde in Fall

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

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".

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.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Get The Look - Nightlife

It's the season to dance, party, and let loose with close
friends and the new ones you meet along the way.
Spice up your look with elaborate jewelry to set
out a personal fashion statement.

I love this look for going out!! If you like it you can buy it here Free shipping over $50!

Cardigan - $31.10
liquid finish cropped cardigan

Strapless Dress - $25
pleated detail belted strapless dress

Boots - $43
shearing lined buckle strap bootie

Necklace - $15.60
layered beaded necklace set

Tell me what do you think about this look!

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.




lanvin @ h&m #2


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.

2011 Spring/Summer Fashion Week

2011 Spring Summer Fashion Week

Day-2 for New York Fashion Week and I do not know about you, but I really feel about all frenziness the coming month. New York became the last weekend a hive of activity with designers, stylists, models and PR are everywhere to bring their show ready and looking for luxury. As the tension continues to rise until the first collections open and reveal new designs and trends from the Spring & Summer 2011 season, I could not wait, but to play Madame Soleil (a famous French psychic). Okay, I can not have her super powers to the new collections to guess, but all I can say from the Resort 2011 collections is that nostalgia never looked so good. The sixties were a clear trend with a healthy dose of femininity and elegance.

New York Spring Summer Fashion

Trends Spring Summer Fashion Week

Spring Summer Fashion Week 2011

Saturday, October 23, 2010

wedding fashion clothing and models

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