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Papillon Pups Work their Doggie Couture His-N-Her Outfits

6 Jan

Text, Vivian Kelly

Introducing… Phoebe and Pepito!

I used to be one of those people who did some major eyerolling when I read in WWD that fashion designer x, and fashion designer y were expanding their global brands to include doggie couture. Really? A bleu marine [navy blue] leather Hermes collar with palladium hardware sells for $390 on luxury-shops.com. It’s beautiful yes, but rather austere, and not to mention, expensive.

My attitude adjusted after doing some shopping with my Mother for her 1st dog, a sweet black Pomeranian named ‘Mona’. She had an outfit for every occasion. There were even mini Wellington boots, but my favorite was a hand knit shocking pink sweater which looked Steven Sprouse-ish.

That was nothing. The REALLY fashionable dog wears made to measure couture. Shockingly, it’s not nose-bleedingly expensive. This weekend, after a couple of cups of java, watch my interview with Wendy Curran and her two Papillons, Phoebe and Pepito aka Pete. In it, Wendy discusses the history of the breed and reveals a few of her sources to get adorable outfits for the duo. Wendy sourced Phoebe’s flirty dress on Ebay [@ $30] and Pepito’s Country Squire coat is from Fox&Hounds [$40]. The theme for the gear they’re wearing in tomorrow’s video is “holiday” but it could also work beautifully for Valentine’s Day next month.

Warning: Once you start cruising Fox&Hounds, you may get sucked-in as it’s part of the Sherpa Pet Group, which consists of 8 collections.

In case the sky’s the limit, you could look into the $3million+ necklace featured in The National Enquirer, modeled by a very lucky Papillon pup. As someone who follows the ‘Columbo’ [Peter Falk’s iconic detective], I’ve got “just another question, please”. HOW, does a tiny dog wear this 52-carat necklace that consists of 1,600 hand-set diamonds AND a 7 -carat centerpiece stone without toppling over on his/her little nose? If money is no object, as it was [not] for Marie Antoinette, and you and your Papillon pup can share, then maybe Ava’s necklace is something your precious needs to have too.

* Check-in tomorrow for my video interview with Wendy, featuring Phoebe and Pepito featuring their chic yet eminently accessible couture duds.

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STylish Books Accessories to Have and to Hold in 2012

2 Jan

Text and Images, Vivian Kelly

NEw Year’s Day was a day to trawl through my iphoto library to gather inspiration for the year ahead. Lots of cool fashion items, namely ACCESSORIES and BOOKS. Jan 1 was all about reveling in sloth-dom: an SVU Marathon, followed by Cameron Diaz in “Bad Teacher”. Self-imposed nactivity WILL get the creative juices flowing!

Happy New Year!

1. My close friend, Demi Schimenti, totally rocked these Jack Wills pink and navy socks. I have to have them and the argyle ones too! They’re part of the “wear more skirts and dresses this year” resolution and my continuing love affair with PREP.

2. Rings as a self-defense weapon – I remember these from the Capsule Trade Show post spring NYFW in September. What jogged my memory were some similar rings worn by Rooney Mara in “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” , a not to be missed movie, for the clothes alone! Two thumbs way up.

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - style!

3. Another coffee table book – I’ve already gobbled up my last second purchase of Jeffrey Banks’ PREPPY Cultivating Ivy Style while in the insanely long line at American Eagle yesterday afternoon.

This year’s MUST have is Assouline’s BALS: Legendary Balls of the Twentieth Century, by Nicholas Foulkes. It’s $175, but it’s SUBSTANTIAL, and with a blurb like this by Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley, the “maybe” turned into “order it now” for me.

Item Quote

Cover Shot of Bals, Possibly Vicomtesse Jacqueline de Ribes

4. My first official HUNT item is for a vintage airline bag. It’s actually an item I didn’t get to last year that made the list after attending a LaForce & Stevens Party for the cast of Pan Am at the gorgeous Lisa Perry store uptown which will be moving to the corner this March. The new addy – 988 Madison at 77th Street. Put that in your calendar p/s!

Stocking Stuffers for Eleventh Hour Shoppers

22 Dec

Text, Vivian Kelly

I’m an eleventh hour shopper and d–n proud of it. Gal Pal, Demi Schimenti and I agreed that one of the funnest parts of the Holidays is that Christmas Eve visit to the Mall to grab stocking stuffers. I do it every year but  this year, I’ve got a list prepared before-hand.

THe Stocking – One of Lady Gaga‘s “Gaga’s Workshop” alternative stockings, currently on the 5th Floor at Barneys NY.

One of Lady Gaga's Xmas Stockings, at Barneys NY 5th Floor

Price: $45

For the Beauty Addicts in your life: Shiseido’s Honey Cake Translucent Soap. They come in my two favorite colors – Lilly Pulitzer pink and green. Available exclusively during the holiday season,  for a limited time only at www.shiseido.com .  A cult classic since its launch in 1956, these luxurious French-milled soaps are made from honey . $7.50

Grab a few at Lord & Taylor.

Nicole Lynn Cardillo, the company’s Executive Director of Public Relations told me that it ‘s also a good shampoo. Perfect – for those of us who like to travel light.

Stay at Lord & Taylor or hit Sephora and splurge on some NARS eyeshadow duos. Last night, I picked up Kalahari – a color that goes with everything, chosen and demoed for me by Courtney Ferris, who used to work for NARS. She’s currently the Laura Mercier Counter Manager, but as the NARS rep was gone for the day,  she obliged, and we bonded over her iphone pic of her prize possessions – a pair of   Louboutin peep-toes, that only come out for really big occassions.

Hop over to the Accessories counter at L&T and pick up one of Carolee’s limited edition icon pins – the Wallis or Elizabeth Taylor ones give a swank touch to the standard issue black sweater. If you can’t spring for Cartier, this one is the solution, at $75.

At Sephora – Warning- DO NOT dawdle! Get a couple of  sets of FRESH’s brown sugar exfoliator and lip balm stick. The set is on special for $22.50 and both are unisex. Sign your special someone up for the Sephora rewards program starting with the points you get for this purchase.

Techie lovers – Jog over to Brookstone. I picked up the video spy pen for the James Bond wanna be in my life for $79.99, mostly because I’m dying to try it out too.

For the foodies, it’s off to Williams -Sonoma. Their red velvet cupcake mix is THE best out there for the Cake Boss fans on your list. If you have time, get them one from Crumbs or Junior’s so they have a model to emulate.

William-Sonoma's goof-proof Red Velvet Cake Mix

IF you have time  and can order online:

Alexis Studio Design’s Asian Moonlight Earrings $45

Wear these in good company; they’re going in the Golden Globe Gift Bags.

Coffee hounds – you’re going to LOVE Organo Gold – coffees which are  really healthy because of the Ganoderma herb they are infused with*.My favorite is the latte, it’s just sweet enough. Fashion Publicist-Friend, Dana Bethune, turned me on to it and like a true addict, I’m Jonesing for the next shipment of the latte packets to come in!

Accessories – IMAN Global Chic. Here’s bling without going bust. The Holiday Glam Crystal and Pave  Knockout Ring is perfect for cocktail parties when you want to show off your holiday mani.

HSN is on it when it comes to deliveries.

Go to my favorite apothecary, MIN New York and pick up  Acqua Di Parma’s Blue Mediterraneo Shower Cream or Shower Gel. After one too many rounds of battling for possession, I gave up and bought the “Mandorlo Di Sicilia” scented one so there’s one for each shower in the house.

And lastly for the bookish person on your list, Rizzoli’s MM-Personal, From The Private Archives of Marilyn Monroe

ENDNOTES

**About Ganoderma – that key ingredient in Organo coffee

Ganoderma an ancient Chinese herb revered for over 5,000 years as the world’s ‘superior’ herb. 100% ORGANIC GANODERMA LUCIDUM is also scientifically proven worldwide as one of nature’s most potent health boosters. It is associated with longevity, youthfulness, and vitality. “Often used as an immune stimulant by people with cancer (as well as HIV), Ganoderma has been shown to strengthen immunity as well as combat cancer-cell proliferation.”

Rambo’s Picks: Diamonds For the Holidays!

6 Dec

Text, Rambo Kelly

Transcribed by Vivian Kelly

I’m under pressure – I have to come up with a big theme for the Holidays.  Okay  here goes – DIAMONDS.

I found my theme after knocking over one of the books in the FE Library. It’s title was Elizabeth Taylor – my Love Affair With Jewelry. I really REALLY LIKE “LA LIZ” because she wore her diamonds for everyday. Why have something pretty if you don’t wear it? Dumb, huh?

We read in the LA Times that  Thomas W. Burstein of Christie’s said the only time the famous ring left Taylor’s hand was when she offered it up to friends to try on. “She really had this notion that the jewelry should be shared and loved by everybody.” Nice lady, I bet she liked cats too.

My 5 Reasons to Give Diamonds

1. You don’t HAVE to give the real ice. There’s great stuff that looks like it – Carolee has a pretty version of Liz’s Prince of Wales pin they’re calling the “Triple Feather Plume Pin” for $95 that squeaks under that $100 or less budget range.

2. Another of my faves, Marilyn Monroe said that Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. I look really good sitting next to the giant poster we have of MM in a red dress – shows off my platinum colored fur.

3. Our jeweler friend, Renato of New England Jewelers pointed out that “diamonds go with everything, unlike rubies, sapphires or emeralds”.

4. A little sparkle perks up a blah rainy day like today.

5. That  33.19-carat, emerald cut diamond ring would look great in my Xmas Stocking and Ollie and me could have hours of fun playing soccer with it…

Last Thoughts:

HURRY to Christie’s! Go and see this exhibit, before it shuts-down Dec. 12th. The auction starts Dec. 13th. If I can get through security, I’ll be there. Too bad I can’t hold a bidding paddle!

Fun Fact: The estimated worth of the Taylor- Burton diamond ring he gave ET in 1968 is $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
Ta ta, R-A-M-B-O

Unique Jewelry at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Store: Heidi Design

2 Dec

Text, Vivian Kelly

I’ve belonged to the Aldrich off and on over the years. I’m in an “on” period now and suspect it’s going to last this time, largely due to my meeting with the Museum’s Gift Store Manager/Curator, Lise Sharfin.

Lise is a talented curator and tastemaker who selects the most compelling collections.She has a BFA and an MFA and is a studio artist herself with an extensive retail management background, which combines both sensibilities. This positions her to inform her selections in the most interesting way possible.

She’s got a knack for selecting the unusual and there’s the jewelry, that’s got interesting historical references attached to it.

 Some examples Lise gives to illustrate her point include: Judith Ripka =classism,  Temple St Claire =Florentine Renaissance, and Eddie Borgo = Punk.”

This does not mean that if you can’t afford the above there aren’t other great options if you don’t want to spend thousands. There are collections such as Leslie Janson‘s repurposed vintage line and Bay Area based Heidi Metal Design, in the $200-400 range that are unique and bold and keepers in your jewelry box. The designer, Heidi Nahser Fink is the Jewelry Designer, her Design Studio is Heidi Metal Design is a consummate craftsman in  who’s studied goldsmithing and a self-taught silversmith. Her designs are inspired by Medieval and Elizabethan jewelry. She created the Scepter and Ring for the “Red Queen” in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonder Land.

Lise is always sourcing for new and interesting additions for the Museum Store, but you can be sure that the jewelry selected will reintroduce different areas within a contemporary context, which is an entry point for the audience to understand the jewelry. Secondary to that it’s all about their beauty, their craftsmanship, and the price point.”

Watch the video below, in which Lise talks about some of the jewelry she has selected for the Aldrich’s Store, and don’t forget to jump on line and knock-off  some Holiday Shopping!

For more information about the Museum Store, contact Lise Sharfin at lsharfin@aldrichart.org

To learn more about the Aldrich, visit aldrichart.org

H&M + Versace = The Second Coming of Versace

20 Nov

Text, Vivian Kelly

Gianni must be laughing from his grave in Cernobbio, Italy..

I’d received the advance media press kit, complete with images, way back, from TJ Allers, of Paul Wilmot PR, one of the most on-point PR guys I’ve ever worked with.

Yet, I waited, as day after day, the Internet was deluged with posts about the most anticipated Hi-low collaboration to date – Versace for H&M.

I went through all the images and cherry picked the ones that were most faithful to the Versace brand as it was at its Apex of glory in the early 1990’s.  Gianni’s Versace and the excessive lifestyle and legendary parties at his Miami home, Casa Casaurina, were one of those “right time, right place” moments, I would have killed to have been at.

Gianni and Donatella, at Casa Causarina

Who could ever forget those shows and ad campaigns featuring the impossibly gorgeous Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Stephanie Seymour?

Gianni's Girls: Nadia, Carla, Claudia, Christy and Stephanie

Below, a few of the Versace for H&M items I crave – Donatella, you’ve done your Brother proud on this one!

Wish List: the Faux Fur Vest and Bag

J-Lo Palm Tree Print

As far as scoring some of these one-offs, it’s unlikely, unless you’re willing to pay the price – the one on ebay, that is. I’m participating from my comfy office chair watching a pair of black leggings with the gold Greek Key motif running down the side. I’ve been at it for two days now and the current bid is £41 [$64.78] – eek.

Black Legging on ebay

Scanning the pages and pages of items that hit ebay BEFORE the official Nov. 19 launch, I felt a few sour grapes, thinking of a caustic piece on a blog [can’t recall which] that remarked that celebrities and high level fashion editors who’d attended the pre-launch parties were not above scoring some dosh on ebay. On the other hand, well, it’s hard times for everyone, right?

Below, the video of the November 8th fashion show in New York with Donatella on a loop saying, “My house, my rules, my pleasure”. Repetitious, yes, but Versace, all the way. because pre-Andrew Cunanan, that’s what the House of V. was all about and I’m glad to have a little bit of this brand’s luxuriously decadent brand back.

*Thx to Sachin Bhola of AskMen.com for posting the Video and witty write-up.

The Lumete EyeWear Collection – Glasses as Unique as Fine Jewelry

30 Oct

Text, Vivian Kelly

Right after NYFW, there are the trade shows, the big ones at the Piers and Javitz and the smaller Capsule show, staged in an art gallery in the West Twenties. I made the trek with new fashion friend, LA based Nathaniel Smith. We’d met at the BING Lounge in the sumptuous Mandarin Oriental Hotel, after I admired his unique custom handbag on display there. His new label is called Tradesrogue, an artisan leather house.

That Saturday at Capsule, we talked with and saw a few dozen vendors and their collections. One of our outstanding finds was the Lumete EyeWear line. There was a swirl of activity around their table so we went to investigate.

Lumete is an interesting name so is their mission statement.

“Lumete (prounounced “lou-met”) is derived from the words lumen and amulet. The Renaissance alchemical concept of Lumen Naturae refers to the light hidden in all matter, which alchemists believed could be released and transformed through their work. An amulet is an object used for protection and luck. Eyeglasses are beautiful amulets that adorn your face, protect your eyes, and help you see clearly. Metaphorically, they connect your inner vision and your perception of the world.” 

The two -woman team [Clara Herrera and Barbara Warren] we met, combine two key elements – art and commerce. Clara [the creative’s ] resume includes working as Creative Director and product designer for The Sarut Group, and photography editor for MTV Networks and The New York Sun.

Barbara [the business brains], worked as a hedge fund attorney for Wall Street law firms Fried Frank and White & Case. The two happened to be  neighbors, and decided to collaborate on something they were both passionate about.

A few questions we got answered were: How Do you know a pair of frames are really handmade?

Answer: Look for a core wire in the stems. If you see the wire, you know that they are handmade.

This is important because you’d THINK that if you pay upwards of $350 for a pair of designer frames, that of COURSE they are handmade. Wrong, they are not, and buyer beware. Some big names who license out to eyewear conglomerates don’t always deliver the quality you’d expect at the prices they charge.

Although Clara and Barbara seem low key, they’ve made impressive progress with their fledgling line. At the time of the show, their innovative but practical frames are available in 18 doors, thanks to support from some blogging heavy hitters such as The Cherry blossom girl, Gala Darling and support from style maker Dita Von Teese and a following of  indie bands, who like to wear their Lumets while performing.

These frames are not for you if you tend to toss your glasses carelessly on the counter or the floor of your car. Buy a pair of these and as the Lumete girls said, “you’ll come to consider them to be like jewelry”.

Lumete Eyewear Co Contact info:

tel:  212 477 8066

119 Mott St., Ste. 4, New York, NY 10013