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Archive for July, 2007

Cute Website

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I’ve been doing a little bit of blog hopping today and I found the site of Alena Hennessy. She designs cute, simple prints that have a whimsical feel. I like her whole site because you can see Alena’s simple design style throughout. Products range from tapestries to paintings to clothing, each one made with her simple motifs such as deer, flowers, or birds. My favorite print above is called “Day-Glow” and comes from the “Garden Whimsy Collection” (how cute!?!). Even though Alena Hennessy has appeared in a lot of press and on many design blogs, I just discovered this cool designer with this unique site today and I am already a huge fan.

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M&J Trimming

One of my favorite stores in New York City is M&J Trimming, located on Sixth Ave., between 37th and 38th Streets. If you can’t make it to the store, their site is www.mjtrim.com. The website is good, but the store is one of the most user-friendly stores I have encountered in the city. There are sales people all around, but as you walk around, you can see all of the products, which makes browsing easy and fun. I love looking at all of the ribbons and buttons and checking out their trend boards, which never cease to inspire me. My favorite find is M&J’s inventory of Swarovski crystals. I totally plan on buying some and stitching them onto an old cashmere sweater this fall.

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Black and White Guess Ads

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I’ve been noticing the ads for Guess clothing on the sides of lots of emails lately, so I went to their site to check out some more of the ad photos. I do have a special place in my heart for Guess because it was the first brand of clothing that I became obsessed with. Starting in the 2nd grade with a simple white tee that said Guess in brown letters, my obsession became apparent when I was known as the girl with lots of Guess clothing. I wore shirts of my mom’s, had several of my own gingham check shirts, had several pairs of jeans in different colors (including dark denim, light blue denim, black, and a dirty gold), shorts that varied from indigo blue short-shorts to a longer faded denim version, several sweatshirts, boots, socks, underwear, bedding (I still have the duvet cover-it is a cute floral classic), the fragrance, a backpack, several tote bags, and even a basketball that was free with the purchase of the men’s fragrance.

By the time I was in the 6th grade in the mid 90s, I was moving on to other brands, but I have always remembered how their sexy ads with people like Anna Nicole Smith made me want their clothing. Their newest ad series has the same classic/sexy/exotic look that Guess is known for. Visit their site at www.guess.com and click on the US and then go to Advertising. The Fall 2007 ads can be found there along with an ad history slide show.

I had a hard time copying photos-I had to print these and then scan them in, so this is just a taste of what is on the site. All of the ad photos have models with cute hair, bold eyeliner, and updated wardrobe staples, such as leopard print. It is so fun to look at art and shop at the same time! The image of a modern pinup that they create with their ads makes any girl want to become a Guess girl. Or maybe it is just me who has been wanting to look like Marilyn Monroe lately. Whatever it is, I think that it is great that Guess is known just as much for their ads as they are their clothing.

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Louis Ghost Chairs

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In our new house, I want to use the Philippe Starck ghost chairs at my dining room table. I noticed these chairs this past spring in several decor magazines and think that the ironic mix of the traditional Louis XV shape with the transparent polycarbonate material will complete the look I am going for. Made by the Italian company Kartell, these chairs cost a little over three hundred dollars, which isn’t too bad for the chair that is being called “the chair of the decade”.

Ivan Luini, who was the founder and president of Kartell U.S. Inc., died in September 2006 in a small plane crash. Mr. Luini helped to rebrand plastic and bring high design to the United States, while opening Kartell stores in NYC, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles.

I read on the internet that there are plans to add “Kartell’s plastic chairs, storage units and lighting to a new chain of hotels and restaurants designed by Philippe Starck, which are expected to open next year, according to Michele Caniato, Mr. Starck’s agent”. I can’t wait to see that!

Besides dining chairs, the Louis Ghost can be used as a side chair, stackable outdoor chair, or at a desk or vanity. Now my only problem is deciding if I want all four chairs to have arms, or if I want to purchase a couple of the armless Victoria version…

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History of Philanthropy

Last week was an exciting one! I was in Las Vegas with my boyfriend for the final table of the World Series of Poker. I got to enjoy some fun parties, hang out at the company’s rental home, and drink a glass of Dom Perignon (which was given to me by a stranger…) The winner, Jerry Yang, gave a short speech where he spoke of his life and the charities that he was donating some of his winnings to.

I got to wondering about the history of philanthropy in the United States and found this article on the Arizona Grantmakers Forum website. Andrew Carnegie wrote an essay titled “The Gospel of Wealth” in 1889 saying that the rich should instead of “leaving their wealth to their families, administer it as a public trust during life.” In 1891, John D. Rockefeller, Sr. hired a staff to help manage his dontating enterprises. Legislation in 1921 helped a charitable America have tax relief in exchange for personal giving and since then, giving has become a growing trend.

It was refreshing to hear Jerry talk about his giving, and, after learning about his life, it makes anyone want to be more thankful and help the less fortunate.

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While in Las Vegas this year for the World Series of Poker, I was excited to see the championship bracelets, which were made by the watch company Corum for the first time this year. The winner of the WSOP Main Event won a bracelet made of 136 grams of white gold and 120 diamonds. The winner of the Ladies World Champion received a bracelet that is adorned with four black diamonds, two rubies, and eighty seven blue sapphires. The winner of the HORSE Championship now owns a bracelet with 91 black diamonds and two rubies. A standard version with 53 diamonds was given to the 53 winners of preliminary tournaments. You can visit Wikipedia’s site like I did to see how the bracelets have changed overtime in appearance and meaning.

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This evening, I watched the NBC one hour special “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America”. I am staying with my boyfriend in Las Vegas while he is working at the annual World Series of Poker. It is quite exciting, but I was more than happy to indulge myself in a show where the main topics were house shopping and shoes and not poker. I read some not very nice reviews about the show and Victoria herself, but we were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked her. The special showed Victoria planning her move to LA with her soccer star husband David Beckham. Victoria wears cute, sophisticated clothes, has a great sense of humor, and has tons of fun. I know that our world can be a little bit celebrity obsessed, but this has always gone on with famous ladies of society (think of Cleopatra).

Upon looking into Victoria’s life on Wikipedia, I found out that she has written two books, including a fashion book that includes work by some high-profile individuals. Victoria is the fifty-second richest woman in Britain. After being in the group Spice Girls, she had a successful solo career. Victoria is considered a style icon and has received numerous awards for it. These photo, from People.com, show Victoria’s style.  To me, her style is an updated version of classics.

I think the show was a success because now Victoria and her family have at least two new fans in me and my boyfriend. She has had about five reality shows, so it just shows that she likes creating this image and showing off, but what is wrong with that? We like their style and find them entertaining.

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