Friday, July 3, 2015

Princess Beatrice and Her Edie Parker Clutch

Princess Beatrice at Royal Ascot 2015. Photo by

I thought Princess Beatrice, oldest daughter of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York, looked so pretty at Day 3, Ladies’ Day, of Royal Ascot 2015 last month in this Beulah London white dress, requisite hat, orange heels by Gianvito Rossi, and a personalized clutch by Edie Parker that simply says, “Bea.” What a great ensemble on her!

I love the cut and simplicity of this dress. Photo by

Detail of the clutch. Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe.

I got pictures of Edie Parker clutches last November in my Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows post. They are lovely and whimsical little bags, how fun for Bea to have one with her name on it!

Edie Parker clutches, Bergdorf Goodman, November 2014.

I also love Bea’s hat and shoes!

Let Bea’s feminine and fresh look featuring a clutch be your friendly reminder that Adrienne and I are focusing on clutches for the July installment of “How I Wear My.” We would love to see what your clutch looks like and how you carry it! Send photos to us at by July 6, 2015.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Vanessa Paradis’s Costumes in Heartbreaker

Not long ago, I typed “Hermès Red Kelly” into a Google search, as one does from time to time (if you are me), and came across pictures featuring Vanessa Paradis—Johnny Depp’s former partner and mother of his two children—and Romain Duris, who played Yves in the film Le Divorce (which also features a red Kelly, are you noticing a pattern here?). They starred together in a movie from 2010 called Heartbreaker, which I had never even heard of before, and it could not have been more perfect for me to see right about now! It was honestly like a little vacation since it is set in Monaco, which I have had on my mind for a year now, after hearing that my grandparents went there in the mid-1970s as part of a tour of France and Italy and won big at the Casino de Monte-Carlo!

I loved this street shot, as well as the yellow dress on Vanessa.

Heartbreaker (in French, L’arnacoeur) is a very fun and escapist film and perfect for summer viewing. Romain Duris plays a man named Alex who breaks up couples for a living, with the help of his sister and brother-in-law. The team have 10 days to break up the wedding of Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) and Jonathan (played by Andrew Lincoln, you will recognize him). I especially loved the antics between Romain Duris and Julie Ferrier, who played his sister, Mélanie, and the hilarious François Damiens, who plays his brother-in-law, Marc. The three of them had great chemistry together and gave the film a lot of its zip and energy. What I also loved, beyond the scenes on the streets in glamorous Monaco (J’adore!), were the costumes!

Detail of the dress bodice and I concur with Romain’s sentiments about the bag!

In a Chanel jacket, one that I adore!

The costume designer was Charlotte Betaillole and I think she did an amazing job striking the right balance between a wardrobe a rich girl would have—lots of Chanel, Céline, Hermès, and Lolita Lempicka here—but making it believable—the Kelly is not out-of-the-box new, it looks lived-in and slouchy, which is just perfection. What she also did well is really suit the coloring and fine-boned features of Vanessa Paradis, who is very striking and ethereal-looking, almost as if she is from another time. I had never seen her in a film before so this was a nice introduction to her work. Charlotte dressed Vanessa in interesting colors and with a mix of floaty and feminine blouses and dresses in some scenes, and more tailored and masculine looks in others.

In Chanel sunglasses and an Hermès scarf.

This blouse is quite flowy and draped. It goes so well with cropped pants!

I have a pet theory that costuming a modern film is the hardest work of all for a costume designer but Charlotte shows us that in the right hands it can be done and done well!

This was such a good evening gown for Vanessa, she looked so sophisticated and beautiful in it.

A great bodice on this gown!

I loved the back details of the gown too.

I’ve screencapped some of my favorite costumes in the movie, with other pictures coming from IMDB and a Vogue UK article I found on Vanessa’s film wardrobe. My favorite outfit of hers in the movie, hands down, is the cropped black pants, spectator pumps, jacket with draped sleeveless blouse underneath and the red Kelly. Such a great combination!

My favorite look on Vanessa.

Another shot of the Kelly.

Another perfect costume on Vanessa.

Such a lovely feminine sweater. And the dialogue makes me laugh!

Vanessa in a gorgeous Lolita Lempicka wedding gown, with, L to R, Romain Duris, Julie Ferrier, and François Damiens.

The wedding dress Vanessa wears in the film is lovely combination of romantic, antique-looking, and beachy, all at once. It makes perfect sense against the background of Monaco’s pale blue water and sky.

With Jacques Frantz as her father.

A side view of the dreamy wedding gown against a lovely view of the water!

I read somewhere that there is a plan to make a U.S. version of this movie. I told this to my husband, who watched it with me and actually enjoyed it, and we agreed—they will ruin it if they try to make an American version! Hey American film producers, leave this one alone!

If you need a trip to Monaco (don’t we all?), a few laughs, and great modern costumes, add Heartbreaker to your Netflix list!

I am joining the foxes over at Happiness at Mid-Life for Alice's weekly roundup, Throwback Thursday. Check it out to see what other bloggers are up to! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Uptown Accessories Auction at Paddle8

A stunning David Webb snake ring.

Some gorgeous vintage and contemporary jewelry, bags and objects are up for auction right now over at Paddle8, through July 10. The auction is called “Uptown Accessories,” is curated by everyone’s favorite senior style blogger, Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style, and includes pieces by David Webb, Fred Leighton, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Céline. Here are a few of my favorites!

I love the David Webb snake ring above, of green enamel scales set in yellow gold and inlaid with rubies and diamonds. What an amazing ring!

A 2003 Hermès Kelly 35 in Rouge Vif Epsom leather with gold hardware. Rouge Vif is the best red!

I think Hermès anything in Rouge Vif is beautiful, since Rouge Vif is such a heart-stopping red, so you can imagine how much I love this retourné Kelly 35 with gold hardware.

A stunning chalcedony and pavé diamond cocktail ring by Fred Leighton.

I am crazy for this Fred Leighton “Celestial Cocktail Ring” of chalcedony inlaid with diamonds and set atop a pavé mount. Wouldn’t this ring be perfect to wear to a swanky summer cocktail party, paired with a simple white dress?

A glorious 1960s Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. gold shell pillbox.

As much as I have had vintage jewelry on my mind I fell instantly in love with not only the solid gold shell pillbox by Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. from the 1960s, above, but the gold scarf slide from the 19th century, as well as the emerald and diamond pendant earrings from 1957.

A gold scarf slide from the 19th century. Amazing!

These emerald and diamond stunners are from 1957.

A Victorian-era hidden message ring.

As for this Victorian ring from the 1860s, with its ivy pattern and inlay of three diamonds, this beauty is the height of romance, in my opinion. The hinge opens to reveal the words “Ever Thine” inside. What an amazing wedding band this would make for a lucky bride, don’t you think?

A view of the hinge.

Head over to Paddle8 to see even more beautiful things and do tell which one of the above items is your favorite. I’d love to know!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eyelet, Lace, Tulle and Embroidery at Bergdorf Goodman

Clothes and shoes all by Valentino.

After the L’École Van Cleef & Arpels evening discussion “Great American Collectors, Then & Now” at the Cooper-Hewitt, I stopped by Bergdorf Goodman to have a look at their windows. The backgrounds were totally bare on the 58th Street side of the store, allowing the focus to be on the glamorous dresses, which were pastel confections of eyelet, lace, tulle, and embroidery. I loved these very feminine looks, especially with the cotton candy hair on the mannequins!

I love this multicolored eyelet dress by Valentino.

Side details of the Valentino dresses and skirt.
Is it just me or does that Valentino skirt, above, seem like it is made of suede?

L to R: Dresses by Burberry Prorsum, Julien Macdonald, and Monique L’huillier.

L to R: Dresses by Delpozo, Balenciaga, and Self-Portrait.

Detail of the upper back of the dress. And note that huge bracelet!

Detail of the lower half of the dress. I love the mixture of textures!

The Balenciaga dress on the right has stunning details.

I love the pleating in the bodice and the texture of the skirt.

The Fifth Avenue side of the store featured one-of-a-kind tapestry sculptures by Frederique Morrel. My favorite looks there were the embroidered dress by Valentino and the shift by Andrew Gn.

I loved this unusual window on the 5th Avenue side of the store.

Amazing dresses by Valentino, left, and Andrew Gn, right.

A great sequined version of the Lady Dior bag! Sculpture by Frederique Morrel.

Let me know which of these fancy little summer numbers is your favorite!

Friday, June 19, 2015

L’École Van Cleef & Arpels: Great American Jewelry Collectors, Then & Now

I was lucky enough to attend two of the evening discussions that were part of the L’École Van Cleef & Arpels which was held at the Cooper-Hewitt museum from June 4-18, 2015.

Both evenings were as wonderful as I hoped they’d be. Before the discussions there were glasses of champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and because space was limited, the events had an intimate feel. Everyone there clearly loved fine jewelry and it was like being among friends!

A glass of champagne and a Van Cleef & Arpels catalog about L’École in New York.

The lecture room prior to the discussion.

Great jewelry tomes on display in the bookcases!

The first evening discussion I attended was “Great American Collectors, Then & Now.” It was moderated by the noted jewelry writer Ruth Peltason, who worked with Elizabeth Taylor to create the 2002 book Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry. The two panelists were Fiona Druckenmiller, owner of the vintage jewelry boutique FD Gallery and jewelry collector in her own right, and Van Cleef & Arpels’ Nicholas Luchsinger. The talk was attended by representatives from VCA, as well as Cartier, and the jeweler Fred Leighton was also there!

In the photos, Ruth is on the far left, in a periwinkle blouse and pants, Fiona is the blonde in the center, and Nicholas is on the right.

Who else to get the slide show started but Liz and Dick?

In honor of it being the first time L’École was in New York, the focus was on American collectors such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Duchess of Windsor, Daisy Fellowes, Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke, Babe Paley, and Ellen Barkin, among others. I thought it was very interesting that Ruth, Fiona and Nicholas did not limit the discussion to VCA jewelry. Other houses talked about were Bulgari, Cartier, JAR, Boivin, Belperron, Verdura, and Schlumberger’s work for Tiffany. There was a great slide show that featured both the jewels and the collector and you won’t be surprised when I tell you that the biggest number of slides were devoted to Elizabeth Taylor! Ruth told us a great story that Richard Burton once quipped that he introduced Liz to beer and she introduced him to Bulgari!

Barbara Hutton and her jade necklace with ruby clasp. The slide reads “Quality at any price.”

The DoW in her Cartier bib necklace. The first slide of her read “Little Woman, Big Stones.”

One interesting thing Ruth pointed out was that collectors like those mentioned above were interested in being seen with their pieces—whether they were being photographed incessantly, like Liz Taylor or the Duchess of Windsor, or wanted to wear their jewels in portrait paintings of themselves, as Marjorie Merriweather Post often did. Fiona and Nicholas said today’s collectors are sometimes shy about being seen too much in public with their major jewelry and if a piece has been lent to an exhibition, the owner will often then put it “back in the vault,” as Nicholas said, for several years.

Marjorie Merriweather Post and her Cartier pendant brooch. Look at the size of it!

MMP with a stunning Cartier necklace made from two bracelets.

Mrs. Sybil Harrington and her glorious VCA emerald and diamond brooch.

Something else I found fascinating was talk of how serious collectors often repurposed their jewelry—taking stones out of a piece or reworking something in order to “suit their taste,” as Ruth remarked. One piece they discussed that featured this particular kind of jewelry-making was an amazing 1967 Van Cleef & Arpels emerald and diamond brooch once owned by Mrs. Sybil Harrington (sold at a Christie’s auction last year for $425,000), with a center emerald that had originally been set in a diadem owned by Empress Marie-Louise, Napoleon’s second wife. VCA had acquired the diadem, removed the emeralds, and used them to create other pieces. Mrs. Harrington’s beyond-gorgeous brooch, featuring one of these historic emeralds, was a special order!

The Prince of Wales Brooch: From the DoW to Elizabeth Taylor!

Ruth asked Fiona when is the point at which someone knows they are a collector. Fiona said she thinks it’s very individual, sometimes people know early on that they want to collect jewelry, but that she herself fell into it. She noted that “for most, it’s a process,” and that some collectors need more guidance than others.

When the question was posed about how a jewelry collection is shaped, if a collector thinks with her purse or her heart, an audience member shouted out, “With your eye!” And I have to agree.

JAR pavé earrings created for Elizabeth Taylor. The colors are amazing!

Ellen Barkin and her JAR topaz earrings sold at auction. She should have kept them!

It may have been the first time L’École Van Cleef & Arpels, which is based in Paris and started three years ago, has been in New York City, but I hope it won’t be the last! The discussion was one of the most interesting events on the fashion or jewelry front I’ve been to in awhile. If you are going to be in Paris and would like to attend one of L’École’s discussions, check their website, as they hold them frequently, the topic always changes, and they provide simultaneous translations from French to English!

If you attended one of the other evening discussions at the Cooper-Hewitt, or took one of the VCA jewelry classes while they were in New York, I’d love to hear all about it!

I will post soon about the other VCA lecture I attended on jewelry in film, which was another fascinating evening.