Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Elizabeth Taylor and Her Night of the Iguana Brooch by Jean Schlumberger

This brooch takes up the better part of a hand!

Last fall on eBay I was able to purchase a sealed package of the paper jewelry offered by Christie’s, in connection with the Elizabeth Taylor jewelry auction back in December 2011. I believe the reproductions of the jewels they included are life-size so it’s fun to get a sense of just how big they are and to see the intensity of the colors. In this post I want to highlight one of the pieces from Liz’s collection that I just love, her “The Night of the Iguana Brooch” by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., of diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds set in 18k gold and platinum, circa 1962 (or 1964, depending on whether you trust Liz’s book or Christie’s more).

No one can say it better than Liz herself, so this quote is directly from her tome Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, which she co-wrote with the wonderful Ruth Peltason:

“Richard gave me this pin to wear for the opening of The Night of the Iguana, which forever symbolized the early days of our marriage when we lived in Puerto Vallarta, while Richard was working on the Tennessee Williams film. To me, this is one of the most extravagant pieces that Schlumberger ever designed. The timing was fortuitous.”

Liz wearing the brooch. Getty Images Photo.

Jean Schlumberger. Photo courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

I found this quote too, also straight from Liz, and originally from the book Brooches: Timeless Adornment, that the author Lori Ettlinger Gross shared in a blog post at the news of Liz’s death in 2011:

“Richard (Burton) had just finished shooting Night of the Iguana in Mexico, and we took a trip to New York to let our tans fade. We happened to go to Tiffany & Co. to cruise around and we went to the top floor where they kept Mr. Schlumberger’s staggering collection. They brought out a gold and diamond brooch and we looked at each other. I said, ‘It’s the iguana.’ Well, it was just too much of a coincidence - one that Richard could not resist.”

The brooch is both stunning and huge! It is approximately 4 1/2 inches long. I bet it’s heavy too. Even though Burton nicknamed it the Iguana, Schlumberger actually designed it to be a dolphin. On an estimate of $200,000-300,000, the price realized at the auction in December 2011 was $1,202,500. Wowza! I hope whoever shelled out that much cash for it WEARS IT and doesn’t let it sit in a vault.

The brooch as shown in the paper jewelry set. You know I could not leave it there...

Couldn’t resist putting the brooch cut-out under Liz’s own words!

Let me know what you think of this brooch, or any piece from Liz’s collection!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Museum Mile Festival 2016

The scene outside the Met at Museum Mile last year.

I read that the 38th annual Museum Mile Festival in Manhattan happens on Tuesday, June 14 this year, from 6-9pm (rain or shine!), and I thought I’d share my photos from this event last year, when I inadvertently attended it, while on my way to the Cooper Hewitt Museum for the “Great American Jewelry Collectors, Then and Now” conversation hosted by L’École Van Cleef & Arpels.

The Museum Mile Festival is a giant block party devoted to art, running from 82nd Street to 105th Street on Fifth Avenue and includes free admission to the Met, the Cooper Hewitt, the Guggenheim, and every other art museum up and down the street! There are also bands that will play and parts of the street that will be given over to kids and adults doing chalk drawings.

Look left: kids get to chalk draw on the street wherever they like on Museum Mile night.

It is a treat to walk along Fifth Avenue when it is traffic free! The weather was drop-dead gorgeous for this event last year and if you can, you should go. It can be a bit crowded around some of the museum entrances, so I’d suggest comfortable walking shoes, patience, and being willing to change your plans at the last minute. Everyone I saw—and I walked from the Met at 82nd Street to the Cooper Hewitt at 91st—was in a good mood and the crowd was a true mix of people from all the boroughs as well as tourists. It was one of those magical nights in Manhattan when you know you are so lucky to be there and you never want it to end; one of those nights when you are sure that New York City is the best city in the world!

The Marymount School across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

(Side note: Above is one of the three buildings that houses the Marymount School in Manhattan, across from the Met. It is not open on Museum Mile night but I took the photo because of the building itself, as well as the street signs. If you would like to see what this private mansion-turned-girls-school looks like inside, click here for a terrific post about it by John Foreman. Mr. Foreman sadly passed away this past April, but I hope his blog will stay on the Internet. Every post he wrote about old mansions is important for New York City lovers and cultural and architectural historians alike!)

Outside the Guggenheim.

I think the Guggenheim had the biggest line to get in!

The Cooper Hewitt.

The Museum Mile Festival was made all the more special for me since I got to attend a Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry lecture (is there anything better?), but even without that happening this year, I highly recommend the Museum Mile event!

I got to go into a separate entrance only for Van Cleef & Arpels lecture attendees.

It is was not a bad way to end my Museum Mile walk by going into a side entrance of the Cooper Hewitt and then finding myself in a small group of people being handed hors d’oeuvres and Champagne. In fact, it was the best!

My Museum Mile ended this way. Whee!

Ruth Peltason (with mic) leading the discussion, which kicked off with Liz of course!

You can read more about the Museum Mile Festival here.

Let me know if you have attended it before, and if so, what you liked best about it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How I Wear My: Vacation or Resort Look

Can you believe summer is nearly here? With the official start of the season only days away, Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country thought it was a great time to focus this month’s “How I Wear My” on vacation or resort looks.

This was one of those posts that was a pleasure to put together because of all the photos that were sent in, featuring so much color! I hope you get a lot of ideas for looks that are ready to take a trip this summer. I know I did. Enjoy!

Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country.

Adrienne, above, of The Rich Life in Wine Country (do note her new blog name!) writes, “I am wearing a navy blue and white drop waist dress from Banana Republic with my most comfortable sandals - black sandals with a short heel and two ankle straps. I love this dress because it’s a “throw on and go” kind of frock. I don’t need to think much about how to style it or wear it. It doesn’t need much else besides a colorful bag and a pair of shoes!”

I love this kind of easy summertime style on Adrienne, a season that definitely calls for throw on and go outfits. I especially like that she paired this look with a yellow bag!

April of Ms. B in the Bay Area.

April of Ms. B in the Bay Area writes, “This is currently my favorite piece of resort wear that I’m wearing a lot! It is a Trina Turk piece that doubles as a cover up and a dress. I love pieces that can do double duty! I recently wore it in Cabo and plan to wear it many more times this summer!”

What a great look on April. I like that she added a hat and bold silver jewelry.

Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style.

Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style decided to mimic getting ready for a Hawaiian getaway. She writes, “I put on my flowy maxi dress that a wonderful friend gifted to me. It’s something I would never have bought for myself, but now that I have it, I really love it and have worn it numerous times! It brings up images of frolicking on a beach somewhere. I added my thrifted Stuart Weitzman sandals that I picked up at Goodwill for $7—I didn’t even know the brand until I got home and Googled it because I thought it sounded familiar! I even braided the front portion of my hair (not easily seen in all of those unruly curls). I added a lightweight cardigan because, you know, when you’re strolling the beach, the wind can be chilly! Alas...I forgot my sunglasses!! (I always forget something, don’t you?).”

I love this dreamy look on Jodie (she looks so beautiful!) and I love that the whole thing was made up! I hope she gets to go to Hawaii for real and packs this exact ensemble. Hello, Island Hottie!

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style.

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style sent in photos from a recent trip to England. She says, “This dress is ideal for a holiday in the UK because of the weather.”

I love the mix of patterns and that she added leggings, a leather jacket, a leopard scarf, and white sneakers.

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun.

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun says, “This outfit is from Coldwater Creek’s Destinations line and is made just for traveling so it’s wrinkle free and packable.”

I love turquoise in summer so I think it’s great that Dawn Lucy mixed the top with a black skirt. The multicolor bag, hat and jewelry add a wonderful beachy vibe!

Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb.

If you are wondering who the poolside babe is, it’s our friend Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb, looking so glamorous in a print caftan by Asos and a white bikini just visible underneath. Wowza! She wore this look in Greece last year and I can imagine that she turned many heads with it! Just gorgeous.

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life.

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life says, “I bought this J. Crew dress last year thinking it would be a perfect summer work dress. I gave it a vacation vibe by wearing a hat and sandals. I feel like I am ready to have a nice lunch at a beach resort.”

Such a great print on Alice and I am especially loving her jewelry and embellished sandals!

Trina of Tea Time With Trina.

Trina of Tea Time With Trina says, “This is a great traveling outfit featuring basic black leggings and a long white tunic. I simply added a lightweight kimono-style vest, pulled my hair up in a top knot and slipped on some sliders. Good for a date night at the beach.”

I love that this is a basic look that Trina has amped up with jewel-toned leopard print!

Nicole of High Latitude Style.

Nicole of High Latitude Style writes, “After having lost my baggage twice in Seattle, and having had to pick it up a couple of days later, I don’t like to check my baggage anymore. Thus, I try to pack light so my bag is so small that it even fits under the seat in front of me. When I go on vacation I always try to color coordinate everything so I can combine nearly everything with everything. Do I have to say that the heaviest items are the ones I wear on the plane? In this example, I knotted the tails of my plaid shirt over a sun dress.”

Nicole brings up a great point about keeping a vacation wardrobe simple and 100% mixable—and keep it close at hand! I love that she went for some major print mixing here. And hello legs!

Ana of Mrs. American Made.

Speaking of legs, those Betty Grable-like gams above belong to our friend Ana of Mrs. American Made who says her resort look “starts with some comfy and cool but casual chambray shorts by Trina Turk worn with a bright colorful silk top by Nanette Lepore. Both American-made. And I like to accessorize with the orange suede tote I made and these orange Calleen Cordero heels (But I also wear this look with some more sensible heels if I will be doing serious walking).”

I really like this mix of colors on Ana and if I had legs like hers I would be wearing shorts everywhere, all the time!

Linda of A Labour of Life.

Linda of A Labour of Life says, “Miami in October can still be hot, hot, hot so a fun Old Navy linen dress with a fedora is perfect for touring the city. Paired with Converse sneakers and I can walk for miles. I always carry a fun tote filled with sunscreen, water and the ever-present camera.”

This is a look I’d like to try this summer. I am especially crazy for Linda’s popcorn tote, it’s so cool and I would want to take it with me to the movies and everywhere else!

Rena of Fine, Whatever.

Rena of Fine, Whatever writes, “Back in early April, I was in New Jersey at the perfect time of the year to see the forsythia in bloom. Being a west coast gal, I’d never seen it before and was stunned by all the gorgeous yellow at a time when it was still very cold. In fact, if you look closely, you can see the flurries of snow that were happening when this picture was taken. I was so happy that we got to see it snowing. When I packed for this trip, I grossly underestimated the weather but fortunately I had brought enough layering items to get me through. And luckily, I had packed a pair of boots.”

Oh I know the weekend Rena is talking about, it was snowing here in Brooklyn too, and I found it extremely annoying. My first thought was that the cold would kill all the flowers, especially the forsythia! I love this shot of a happy Rena surrounded by all this lovely yellow and her traveling outfit was ideal for both April and the tri-state area!

Shelbee of Shelbee On the Edge.

Shelbee of Shelbee On the Edge writes, “I would wear these pastel floral pixie pants, lavender peplum tank top, and gold wedges for traveling to my vacation destination. The pants and top are from Old Navy and the wedges are from Payless (I paid $1.50 for these beauties on a BOGO sale and they were already marked down to $3!). It is a soft, lightweight, and comfortable outfit, great for travel!”

I love these pale colors on Shelbee, especially that she paired them with an unusual pearl necklace, and I am so glad to see I am not the only one still thinking about metallic shoes! I like these in gold (with a lovely shimmery neutral pedicure) and wow, $1.50? What a steal.

Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen.

Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen writes, “I’ve just got back from a glorious week in Copenhagen, Denmark, celebrating my 50th birthday. I call this look City Break Chic. It’s perfect for a day of sightseeing whilst avoiding standing out like an obvious tourist, yet remaining comfortable! A broderie anglaise top is a stylish alternative to a T-shirt and doesn’t cling if it gets hot. I went for summer pastel colours in yellow and pink. A winged tote carried the essentials of guide book and sunglasses—its colours tying in with the yellow and white of my cardigan and top. A colourful necklace added some glamour. My padded silver slip-ons coped with all the cobblestones there were and kept my feet happy, as there’s nothing worse than tired, achy feet when sightseeing.”

How lucky Jacqueline is to be able to go on an amazing trip for her 50th. Happy Birthday, Jacqueline! You know we are obsessed with jewelry these days here at EJS, so I wanted to include a detailed shot of Jacqueline’s necklace, which I am crazy for, especially against pale yellow and the delicate broderie anglaise blouse, which I adore.

I love this necklace on Jacqueline!

Maryna of Dragonfly’s Heart.

Maryna of Dragonfly’s Heart says, “Here is my take on a vacation or resort look. I love wearing dresses, and even though during last three years, full of travel and moving from country to country, I became a real minimalist and an advocate for having separates rather than anything else, I still love and wear dresses anytime I can. So my vacation look is a nice simple dress, preferably with pockets, that is both comfortable, pretty and immediately makes me feel put together, comfy ballerinas, and a bag that is small enough to be cute, but big enough to fit my essentials (especially my camera, as I am a photographer). I’d probably add a straw fedora and a pair of oversized sunnies also.”

Maryna shares another photo of herself in Italy (so lucky!) and I really like this palm tree print on her. I hope she gets to travel through more of Italy this summer and brings this dress with her!

My good friend Rosie.

My good friend Rosie enjoyed cocktails earlier this week in Manhattan at the Grand Banks Barge in SoHo, right on the Hudson River. Lucky lady! She is wearing white cropped Eileen Fisher pants, a Uniqlo black cotton top with eyelet sleeves, a small black & white Hermès scarf (love it), and white agate and mother-of-pearl earrings. Her handbag is by Coach. I never get tired of black and white and I especially love it in the city in summer, particularly in this way—black top, white pants. The locale looks so refreshing, don’t you think, with the striped yellow umbrella, and the boats in the background. I need to check this place out myself!

Susan of Une femme d’un certain âge.

Susan of Une femme d’un certain âge writes, “For a getaway weekend during a heat wave last fall, I relied on my white jeans and this tie-dye tunic to stay cool.”

I never think I like tie-dye and then I see a top like this and know I need to rethink my position! I love the casual glamour of this look on Susan, amplified by the big gold cuff and earrings (love). The lush background suggests she was at a museum and I would love to know which one since I like that sculpture behind her!

Nora of Jacket Society.

Nora of Jacket Society says, “I am wearing our Turquoise Shawl Vest which can be worn in so many different ways—I am showing four looks in this pic—with my white Zara skinny jeans, brown gladiator sandals, belt and clutch. The Turquoise Shawl Vest has been a best seller but we still have a few on our website.”

I am crazy for turquoise any time of the year, but particularly in summer and especially with white! I love that Nora has shown us four different ways to style the same item. My favorite is the top right, as a shawl. Which one do you like best?

Michelle of RetroChicMama. This photo belongs in Vogue!

Michelle of RetroChicMama writes, “This maxi shirt dress is from Hope Sweden. I’m wearing it here in the Villa we stayed in when we went to Tuscany last Summer. It’s a real favourite of mine, the dress and the place.”

I love the ethereal quality of both the photos and the dress, don’t you? They seem like something straight out of Vogue!

I love the clean aesthetic and delicate details of this dress.

Greetje of No Fear of Fashion.

Greetje of No Fear of Fashion says, “The cream top with blue capris is a no-brainer. Always stylish and very good in warm weather. The back has a lovely twist. And I have added red accessories (bag and necklace) for a pop of colour.”

I love the back of Greetje’s blouse, which you can see below, and I also like her necklace and red bag!

The back of Greetje’s blouse provides great visual interest!

Time to get out of the house!

My vacation plans are usually thrown together at the last minute, and going to a resort does not seem like it will happen anytime soon, but one of the advantages of living in NYC is knowing I can always get away to places like the Met or the New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show. For those times, I like a casual but polished look. I’m wearing Old Navy white jeans, a striped top from Target, Kelly & Katie sandals, a Duchessa Jewels necklace and the Elizabeth Taylor bag I first showed for “How I Wear My: Tote.” I can’t wait to hit the road with Liz soon!

I love this Duchessa Jewels necklace with navy and white!

My eBay special featuring Elizabeth Taylor.

Liz and I have places to go!

Happy travels to you this summer, no matter where you are headed!

For July, Adrienne and I chose Tunic as the “How I Wear My” theme. Show us how you style a tunic top or tunic dress. Whether it’s long or short-sleeved, with a collar or without, and includes lace, embroidery, embellishment or is a solid color, we can’t wait to see what you’ll do with your tunic! Send photos to us at howiwearmy@yahoo.com by July 11, 2016 and be sure to tell us a bit about your outfit.

Do swing by Adrienne’s to see the other glamorous vacation or resort looks.

And THANK YOU to all the fine foxes who participated this month!