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Nominees in major categories for the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards:PHOTOS: DRAMA SERIES:"Big Love," HBO "Breaking Bad," AMC "Damages," FX "Dexter," Showtime "House," Fox "Lost," ABC "Mad Men," AMC (Winner) COMEDY SERIES:"Entourage," HBO "Family Guy," Fox "How I Met Your Mother," CBS "Flight of the Conchords," HBO "The Office," NBC"30 Rock," NBC (Winner)"Weeds," Showtime ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES:Simon Baker, "The Mentalist" Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (Winner)Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" Hugh Laurie, "House" ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES:Glenn Close, "Damages" (Winner)Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters" Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace" Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men" Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES:Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" Toni Collette, "United States of Tara" (Winner)Tina Fey, "30 Rock"Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES:Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" (Winner)Steve Carell, "The Office" Jemaine Clement, "Flight of the Conchords" Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES:Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" (Winner)Kevin Dillon, "Entourage" Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother" Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock"Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock"Rainn Wilson, "The Office" SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES:Christian Clemenson, "Boston Legal" Michael Emerson, "Lost" (Winner)William Hurt, "Damages" Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad" William Shatner, "Boston Legal" John Slattery, "Mad Men" SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES:Rose Byrne, "Damages" Hope Davis, "In Treatment" Cherry Jones, "24" (Winner)Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy" Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment" Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy" SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES:Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies" (Winner)Amy Poehler, "Saturday Night Live" Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock" Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds" Kristin Wiig, "Saturday Night Live" Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty" REALITY HOST:Tom Bergeron, "Dancing With The Stars" Phil Keoghan, "The Amazing Race" Heidi Klum, "Project Runway"Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, "Top Chef" Jeff Probst, "Survivor" (Winner)Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol" REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM:"The Amazing Race," CBS (Winner)"American Idol," FOX "Dancing With The Stars," ABC"Project Runway," Bravo"Top Chef," Bravo REALITY PROGRAM:"Antiques Roadshow," PBS"Dirty Jobs," Discovery Channel"Dog Whisperer," National Geographic"Intervention," A&E (Winner)"Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List," Bravo "Mythbusters," DiscoveryMINISERIES:"Generation Kill," HBO "Little Dorrit," PBS (Winner) ACTOR, MINISERIES OR A MOVIE:Kevin Bacon, "Taking Chance"Kenneth Branagh, "Wallander: One Step Behind" Brendan Gleeson, "Into the Storm" (Winner)Kevin Kline, "Cyrano de Bergerac"Ian McKellen, "King Lear"Kiefer Sutherland, "24: Redemption"ACTRESS, MINISERIES OR A MOVIE:Drew Barrymore, "Grey Gardens" Jessica Lange, "Grey Gardens" (Winner)Shirley MacLaine, "Coco Chanel"Sigourney Weaver, "Prayers for Bobby"Chandra Wilson, "Accidental Friendship" SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MINISERIES OR A MOVIE:Shohreh Aghdashloo, "House of Saddam" (Winner)Marcia Gay Harden, "The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler" Janet McTeer, "Into the Storm"Jeanne Tripplehorn, "Grey Gardens"Cicely Tyson, "Relative Stranger" SUPPORTING ACTOR, MINISERIES OR A MOVIE:Len Cariou, "Into the Storm"Tom Courtenay, "Little Dorrit"Ken Howard, "Grey Gardens" (Winner)Bob Newhart, "The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice"Andy Serkis, "Little Dorrit" GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:Alan Alda, "30 Rock"Beau Bridges, "Desperate Housewives"Jon Hamm, "30 Rock"Steve Martin, "30 Rock"Justin Timberlake, "Saturday Night Live" (Winner)GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:Edward Asner, "CSI: NY" Ernest Borgnine, "ER" Ted Danson, "Damages" Michael J. Fox, "Rescue Me" (Winner)Jimmy Smits, "Dexter" GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:Jennifer Aniston, "30 Rock" Christine Baranski, "The Big Bang Theory" Tina Fey, "Saturday Night Live" (Winner)Gena Rowlands, "Monk" Elaine Stritch, "30 Rock" Betty White, "My Name Is Earl" GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:Brenda Blethyn, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Carol Burnett, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Ellen Burstyn, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Winner) Sharon Lawrence, "Grey's Anatomy" CCH Pounder, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL :Andrew Davies, "Little Dorrit" (Winner) Lt. Col Michael R. Strobl, USMC (Ret.) and Ross Katz, "Taking Chance" Michael Sucsy and Patricia Rozema, "Grey Gardens" David Simon, "Generation Kill" Hugh Whitemore, "Into the Storm"DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL:Susanna White, "Generation Kill"Michael Sucsy, "Grey Gardens"Thaddeus O'Sullivan, "Into the Storm"Dearbhla Walsh, "Little Dorrit" (Winner)Ross Katz, "Taking Chance" Philip Martin, "Wallander: One Step Behind" MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE:"Prayers for Bobby," Lifetime "Coco Chanel," Lifetime "Grey Gardens," (Winner)"Into the Storm," HBO "Taking Chance," HBO DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES:Bruce Gowers, "American Idol" (Winner) Jim Hoskinson, "The Colbert Report" Chuck O'Neil, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" Jerry Foley, "Late Show with David Letterman" Hal Grant, "Real Time with Bill Maher" Don Roy King, "Saturday Night Live" (Host: Justin Timberlake) WRITING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES:"The Colbert Report" "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (Winner)"Late Night With Conan O'Brien""Late Show With David Letterman""Saturday Night Live"DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL:Roger Goodman, "81st Annual Academy Awards" Bucky Gunts, "Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony" (Winner)Don Mischer, "Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Halftime Show"Glenn Weiss, "The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration"Marty Callner, "Will Ferrell: You're Welcome America"WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, "Lost"Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men"Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men" Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men"Kater Gordon, Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men" (Winner)DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:Michael Rymer, "Battlestar Galactica"Bill D'Elia, "Boston Legal"Todd A. Kessler, "Damages"Rod Holcomb, "ER" (Winner)Phil Abraham, "Mad Men" WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES:James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, "Flight of the Conchords" Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, "30 Rock"Robert Carlock, "30 Rock"Matt Hubbard, "30 Rock" (Winner)Ron Weiner, "30 Rock" DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES:Julian Farino, "Entourage" James Bobin, "Flight of the Conchords" Jeff Blitz, "The Office" (Winner) Millicent Shelton, "30 Rock" Beth McCarthy, "30 Rock" Todd Holland, "30 Rock"VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES:"The Colbert Report," Comedy Central "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Comedy Central (Winner)"Late Show With David Letterman," CBS"Real Time With Bill Maher," HBO"Saturday Night Live," NBCVARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL:"Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger," HBO "Kathy Griffin: She'll Cut a Bitch," Bravo "The Kennedy Center Honors," CBS (Winner)"Ricky Gervais: Out of England," HBO"Will Ferrell: You're Welcome America," HBO ANIMATED PROGRAM (FOR PROGRAMMING LESS THAN ONE HOUR):"American Dad," Fox"Robot Chicken," Cartoon Network "The Simpsons," Fox"South Park," Comedy Central (Winner)ANIMATED PROGRAM (FOR PROGRAMMING ONE HOUR OR MORE):"Afro Samurai: Resurrection," Spike TV "Destination Imagination," Cartoon Network (Winner) ART DIRECTION FOR A MULTI-CAMERA SERIES:John Shaffner, Ann Margaret Shea, "The Big Bang Theory" John Robert Janavs, Robert Frye, Stephen Paul Fackrell, "Hell's Kitchen" Stephan Olson, Susan Eschelbach, "How I Met Your Mother" (Winner)Cabot McMullen, Amy Feldman, "The New Adventures of Old Christine"Eugene Lee, Akira Yoshimura, Keith Ian Raywood, Joe DuTullio, "Saturday Night Live"ART DIRECTION FOR A SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES:Michael Mayer, Gregory Richman, Kimberly Wannop, "Bones"Ruth Ammon, Sandy Getzler, Ron Franco, "Heroes"Dan Bishop, Christopher Brown, Amy Wells, "Mad Men"Michael Wylie, Ken Creber, Halina Siwolop, "Pushing Daisies" (Winner)Suzuki Ingerslev, Cat Smith, Rusty Lipscomb, "True Blood"Tom Conroy, Colman Corish, Crispian Sallis, "The Tudors"ART DIRECTION FOR A MINISERIES, OR MOVIE:Luciana Arrighi, Paul Ghirardani, Ian Whittaker, "Into the Storm" Rob Harris, Mickey Lennon, Emelia Weavind, "Generation Kill"Kalina Ivanov, Brandt Gordon, Norma Jean Sanders, "Grey Gardens" (Winner)Dan Leigh, James Donahue, Ron Von Blomberg, "Taking Chance" James Merifield, Paul Ghirardani, Deborah Wilson, "Little Dorrit" (Winner)ART DIRECTION FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING:David Rockwell, Joe Celli, David Edwards, "81st Annual Academy Awards" Andy Walmsley, James Yarnell, "American Idol"Ellen Waggett, Jo Winiarski, Kelly Hanson, "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All"Steve Bass, Brian Stonestreet, Alana Billingsley, "The 51st Annual Grammy Awards"Keith Ian Raywood, Scott Storey, Star Theodus Kahn, James Pearse Connelly, "2008 MTV Video Music Awards" (Winner) CASTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES:"Californication" "30 Rock" (Winner)"The office" "United States of Tara" "Weeds" CASTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:"Damages" "Friday Night Lights" "Mad Men" "True Blood" (Winner)"The Tudors" CASTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL:"Generation Kill" "Grey Gardens" "House of Saddam""Into the Storm" "Little Dorrit" (Winner) CHOREOGRAPHY:"81st Annual Academy Awards" Musicals Are Back (Winner)"Dancing with the Stars" Jive/Great Balls of Fire"So You Think You Can Dance" Routine: Bleeding Love "So You Think You Can Dance" Routine: Mercy "So You Think You Can Dance" Routine: Adam and Eve "So You Think You Can Dance" Routine: A Los Amigos CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR A HALF-HOUR SERIES:George Mooradian, "According To Jim"Michael Weaver, "Californication" (Winner)Mark Doering-Powell, "Everybody Hates Chris"Matthew Clark, "30 Rock"Michael Trim, "Weeds"CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR A ONE-HOUR SERIES:Michael Slovis, "Breaking Bad"James L. Carter, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"Kramer Morgenthau, "Life on Mars"Christopher Manley, "Mad Men"Ousama Rawi, "The Tudors" (Winner) CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:Ivan Strasburg, "Generation Kill"John Aronson, "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story"Mike Eley, "Grey Gardens"Michael Amathieu, "Into the Storm"Lukas Strebel, "Little Dorrit" (Winner) CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING:Todd Liebler and Zach Zamboni, "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" (Winner)"Deadliest Catch" "Expedition Africa" Adam Beckman, "This American Life"Robert C. Case, "Whale Wars" CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR REALITY PROGRAMMING:"The Amazing Race ⢠Don't Let a Cheese Hit Me," CBS "Intervention ⢠Chad," A&E "Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment ⢠What Did I Sign Up For?," Discover Channel (Winner) "Survivor ⢠The Camp is Cursed," CBS "Top Chef ⢠The Last Supper," BravoOUTSTANDING CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA - NONFICTION:"Bravo Digital Media: Top Chef," Bravo.com "The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Digital Experience," NBC.com (Winner) "The Saturday Night Live Digital Experience," NBC.comOUTSTANDING CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA - FICTION:"The Dharma Initiative," ABC.com (Winner) "The Office Digital Experience," NBC.com "The 30 Rock Digital Experience," NBC.com COMMERCIAL:"Airport Lounge" - Amex/Platinum Card"Alec in Huluwood" - Hulu"Bottled Courage" - Nike"Circus" - Anheuser-Busch Budweiser"Heist" - Coca-Cola (Winner)"Magazine Buyer" - Anheuser-Busch Bud Light"Tips" - Career Builder"Wedding" - Sprint NextelCOSTUMES FOR A SERIES:"Mad Men" "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency""Pushing Daisies" (Winner)"The Tudors" "Ugly Betty" COSTUMES FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL:"Grey Gardens" "House of Saddam," Part 1 "Into the Storm," "The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice,""Little Dorrit," Part 3 (Winner) DIRECTING FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING:Bertram van Munster, "The Amazing Race"Paul Starkman, "Project Runway" Marina Zenovich, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" (Winner)Christopher Wilcha, Adam Beckman, "This American Life" Steve Hrynewicz, "Top Chef"SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:Julius Ramsay, Andrew Seklir, Michael O'Halloran, "Battlestar Galactica"Lynne Willingham, "Breaking Bad" (Winner)Mark Goldman, Stephen Semel, Chris Nelson, "Lost"Cindy Mollo, "Mad Men"Scott Powell, "24" SINGLE OR MULTI-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES:Sue Federman, "How I Met Your Mother"Stuart Bass, "The Office"Claire Scanlon, "The Office"David Rogers and Dean Holland, "The Office"Ken Eluto, "30 Rock" (Winner) SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:Jason Krasucki, "Generation Kill"Oral Norrie Ottey, "Generation Kill"Alan Heim, Lee Percy, "Grey Gardens"Lee Percy, Brian Kates, "Taking Chance" (Winner)Scott Powell, "24: Redemption"PICTURE EDITING FOR A SPECIAL (SINGLE OR MULTI-CAMERA):"The AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute To Warren Beatty""Chris Rock - Kill the Messenger" (Winner)"A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All" "The Kennedy Center Honors""Ricky Gervais: Out of England"PICTURE EDITING FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING:"Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" "Deadliest Catch""102 Minutes That Changed America" "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" "This American Life" (Winner)PICTURE EDITING FOR REALITY PROGRAMMING:"The Amazing Race""The Celebrity Apprentice""Extreme Makeover Home Edition""Penn & Teller: Bullshit!""Project Runway" (Winner)"Top Chef" HAIRSTYLING FOR A SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES:"Desperate Housewives""Mad Men" (Winner)"Pushing Daisies""Tracey Ullman's State Of The Union""The Tudors"HAIRSTYLING FOR A MULTI-CAMERA SERIES OR A SPECIAL:"Dancing with the Stars" (Winner)"MADtv""Saturday Night Live""Two and a Half Men"HAIRSTYLING FOR A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE:"Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story""Grey Gardens" (Winner)"House of Saddam" "Into the Storm" "Little Dorrit"LIGHTING DIRECTION (ELECTRONIC, MULTI-CAMERA) FOR VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY PROGRAMMING:"81st Annual Academy Awards" "American Idol" (Winner)"Dancing with the Stars" "Jimmy Kimmel Live""Late Show With David Letterman""Saturday Night Live"MAIN TITLE DESIGN:"Lie to Me" "Storymakers" "Taking Chance" "True Blood" "United States of Tara" (Winner) MAKEUP FOR A SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES (NON-PROSTHETIC):"Grey's Anatomy""Little Britain USA""Mad Men""Nip/Tuck""Pushing Daisies" (Winner)MAKEUP FOR A MULTI-CAMERA SERIES OR SPECIAL (NON-PROSTHETIC):"Dancing With The Stars" "MADtv" (Winner)"Saturday Night Live" "So You Think You Can Dance"MAKEUP FOR A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE (NON-PROSTHETIC):"The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler" (Winner)"Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story""Grey Gardens""Maneater" PROSTHETIC MAKEUP FOR A SERIES, MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL:"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation""Grey Gardens" (Winner)"Grey's Anatomy""Little Britain USA""Nip/Tuck""Tracey Ullman's State of the Union"MUSIC COMPOSITITION FOR A SERIES (DRAMATIC SCORE):Robert Duncan, "Castle"Mark Snow, "Ghost Whisperer"Joe LoDuca, "Legend of the Seeker" (Winner)Gabriel Yared, "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency"Alf H. Clausen, "The Simpsons" Sean P. Callery, "24"MUSIC COMPOSITITION FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL (DRAMATIC SCORE): Rachel Portman, "Grey Gardens" Howard Goodall, "Into the Storm" (Winner) John Lunn, "Little Dorrit" Jeff Beal, "Loving Leah" Marcelo Zarvos, "Taking Chance" Sean P. Callery, "24: Redemption" MUSIC DIRECTION:Ian Fraser, "Christmas in Washington"Harold Wheeler, "Dancing with the Stars" Rickey Minor, "51st Annual Grammy Awards" Rob Mathes, Rob Berman, "The Kennedy Center Honors"William Ross, "Streisand: The Concert" (Winner) ORIGINAL MUSIC AND LYRICS:"81st Annual Academy Awards" ⢠Song: "Hugh Jackman Opening Number" (Winner) "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All" ⢠Song: "Much Worse Things" "The 2008 ESPYS" ⢠Song: "I Love Sports" "Flight of the Conchords" ⢠Song: "Carol Brown" "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" ⢠Song: "I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus" "Saturday Night Live" ⢠Song: "Motherlover"ORIGINAL MAIN TITLE THEME MUSIC:"Great Performances," PBS (Winner) "The Mole," ABC "Sons of Anarchy," FX Network "Storymakers," AMC "United States of Tara," Showtime SPECIAL CLASS - SHORT-FORMAT LIVE-ACTION ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMS:"Battlestar Galactica, The Face of the Enemy," Syfy.com "Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Halftime Show," NBC "The Daily Show: The Daily Show Correspondents on Jon Stewart," ComedyCentral.com "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," drhorrible.com (Winner)"30 Rock: Kenneth The Web Page," NBC.com SPECIAL CLASS - SHORT-FORMAT NONFICTION PROGRAMS:"Jay Leno's Garage," Jaylenosgarage.com, NBC "Writer's Draft," Fox Movie Channel (Winner)SPECIAL CLASS PROGRAMS:"81st Annual Academy Awards," ABC "Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony," NBC (Winner)"Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2008: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein," PBS "George Carlin: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize ," PBS "The 62nd Annual Tony Awards ," CBS CHILDREN'S PROGRAM:"Hannah Montana," Disney Channel "iCarly," Nickelodeon "Wizards of Waverly Place," Disney Channel (Winner)CHILDREN'S NONFICTION PROGRAM:"Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?," HBO "Nick News With Linda Ellerbee Coming Home: When Parents Return from War," Nickelodeon (Winner)NONFICTION SPECIAL:"The Alzheimer's Project: Momentum In Science," HBO "Farrah's Story," NBC "Michael J. Fox: Adventures Of An Incurable Optimist," ABC "102 Minutes That Changed America," History (Winner) "Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired," BBC NONFICTION SERIES:"American Experience," PBS "American Masters," PBS (Winner) "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations," Travel Channel "Biography," Biography Channel "Deadliest Catch," Discovery Channel "This American Life," Showtime EXCEPTIONAL MERIT IN NONFICTION FILMMAKING:"The Memory Loss Tapes," HBO (Winner) "Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery," HBO WRITING FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING:David Grubin, "American Experience"Amanda Vaill, "American Masters"Joe Bini, P.G. Morgan, Marina Zenovich, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" (Winner)Penn Jillette, Teller, Star Price, Rich Nathanson, Michael Goudeau, David Wechter, Cliff Schoenberg, Sheryl Zohn, "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!"Michael Kantor, Laurence Maslon, "Make 'Em Laugh" SOUND EDITING IN A SERIES:"Battlestar Galactica" (Winner)"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation""Smallville""Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" "24" SOUND EDITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL:"The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler" "Generation Kill" (Winner) "Into the Storm" "The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice" "Taking Chance" "24: Redemption"SOUND EDITING FOR A NONFICTION PROGRAMMING (SINGLE OR MULTI-CAMERA):"The Amazing Race," CBS"American Masters," PBS "China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province," HBO "102 Minutes That Changed America," History (Winner)"Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," HBO SOUND MIXING FOR A COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES (ONE-HOUR):"Battlestar Galactica""Boston Legal""House" (Winner)"Lost""24" SOUND MIXING FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:"Generation Kill" (Winner) "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story" "Grey Gardens" "Taking Chance" "24: Redemption" SOUND MIXING FOR A COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES (HALF-HOUR) AND ANIMATION:"Entourage" (Winner) "Flight of the Conchords" "The Office" "Scrubs" "30 Rock" "Weeds" SOUND MIXING FOR A VARIETY OR MUSIC SERIES OR SPECIAL OR ANIMATION:"81st Annual Academy Awards" (Winner)"American Idol: Finale""Beijing 2008 Olympic Games" "Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Halftime Show""Dancing with the Stars""The 51st Annual Grammy Awards" SOUND MIXING FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING (SINGLE OR MULTI-CAMERA):"The Amazing Race" "American Idol" "Deadliest Catch""102 Minutes That Changed America" (Winner)"Survivor" SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS FOR A SERIES:"Battlestar Galactica" "Fringe""Ghost Whisperer""Heroes" (Winner)"Sanctuary""Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL:"Generation Kill: The Cradle of Civilization" (Winner)"Into the Storm: Scott Free" STUNT COORDINATION:"Burn Notice" "Chuck" (Winner)"Criminal Minds""My Name Is Earl""24"TECHNICAL DIRECTION, CAMERAWORK, VIDEO FOR A SERIES:"American Idol" (Winner)"Jimmy Kimmel Live""Dancing with the Stars""Late Show With David Letterman""Saturday Night Live" TECHNICAL DIRECTION, CAMERAWORK, VIDEO FOR A MINISERIES MOVIE OR SPECIAL:"81st Annual Academy Awards" "Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony" (Winner) "Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Halftime Show" "The 51st Annual Grammy Awards" "The 62nd Annual Tony Awards" OUTSTANDING VOICE-OVER PERFORMANCE:Hank Azaria, "The Simpsons"Fox Dan Castellaneta, "The Simpsons"Fox (Winner)Seth Green, "Robot Chicken"Cartoon NetworkSeth MacFarlane, "Family Guy"FoxRon Rifkin, "American Masters"PBSHarry Shearer, "The Simpsons"FoxTHE editorial cartoon pictures two tourists being ejected from Hanauma Bay State Beach Park, one of Hawaii's most beautiful strips of sea and sand. One tourist dejectedly tells the other, "I didn't know about the test." The illustration plays off a year-old get-tough policy that requires all visitors to watch a nine-minute educational film before they're allowed on the beach. There isn't actually a test, but woe to the tourist who ignores the film and feeds the fish, drops cigarette butts on the beach or walks on the delicate reef. "This is a nature preserve," park manager Alan Hong said when I visited in August. "People who are looking for a beach where they can play Frisbee are going to find this isn't it." There's change afoot on Oahu, from the stunning reefs of Hanauma Bay to the strip of tourist hotels lining Waikiki Beach, where, it's hoped, an infusion of $1 billion will revitalize an area that was showing its age. At Hanauma Bay, about 10 miles southeast of Waikiki, change has meant a cleaner beach and clearer water. Empty plastic bread bags no longer litter the area jetsam once left by tourists who were handed loaves of bread to feed the fish as they exited tour buses. The mandatory film is one several measures to protect Hanauma Bay often listed as one of America's top 10 beaches from visitors who were loving it to death. Tour buses no longer can enter; they're allowed to stop on a bluff overlooking the park so passengers can take a quick look from afar. And only 300 cars are allowed into the parking lot each morning, so if you don't arrive before 8 or 8:30 a.m. on busy summer days, you may be out of luck. If you do find a place to park, you'll be charged $5 to visit the beach. (Kids and local residents are admitted free.) I hadn't been to Hanauma for a dozen years or more. On my last visit, people were parked helter-skelter, but this time, Times photographer Gail Fisher and I arrived at 8:10 a.m. and parked in an orderly fashion in one of the last spaces in the lot. The gate closed shortly thereafter. "We used to get 3 million visitors a year on the beach," Hong told us. "We've reduced that to 1 million. People look at it as very poor customer service, but we do what we have to do to protect this resource." We watched the film which explains that the reef is a fragile, living thing and saw beautiful footage of the creatures we would encounter if we went snorkeling: yellow tangs, black-and-white Moorish idols, bright green sea turtles. "Look but don't touch," the film cautioned viewers. Cleared as beachgoers, we were allowed to ride a tram down to the crescent-shaped bay in the crater of a long-extinct volcano. The water was a brilliant turquoise, with a labyrinth of coral fingers stretching from the reef almost to the shoreline. Visitors could rent snorkel gear for $6, but there were no food stands on the beach. "Cuts down on trash," Hong said. "It's in keeping with the way a nature preserve should look."Changing its imageWhile Hanauma Bay is improving its appearance by limiting visitors, Waikiki is improving itself in hopes of increasing visitors. They'll find new upscale shopping centers and broad landscaped walkways. Aging hotels have been renovated, and the shrinking beach is being widened. "We needed to change the perception of Waikiki as a mature, aging resort area," said Rick Egged, president of the Waikiki Improvement Assn. "There's no denying the product was slipping. Everybody knew it, but no one did anything about it. Honolulu was a cash cow. All the business community had to do was manage the cash registers. There were decades of neglect." The bubble burst when the Japanese economy crashed in the 1990s. "We were being held afloat by Japanese tourism," Egged said. "People realized we needed to do something so we wouldn't be so dependent." Other changes weren't helping. New resorts were being built on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, and airlines were increasingly bypassing Oahu and delivering visitors directly to the other islands. A revitalization project, which got underway in the late '90s, gained momentum after Sept. 11. Nearly half a billion dollars has been pumped into Waikiki. Another half a billion has been committed to future projects. The investment shows. As we walked along Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki's main thoroughfare, we saw that the street had been narrowed to create wide, inviting pedestrian walkways. Sidewalks were newly tiled, flowers spilled out of lamppost baskets and waterfalls splashed. Members of the Aloha Patrol, a security and information service, were standing watch and answering tourists' questions.During , trend-setting French designer , who extolled the virtues of simplicity -- albeit very expensive simplicity -- had a love affair with a German officer. She was once arrested on war crime charges but was set free through the intervention of the British royal family.But don't look for that controversial chapter of her life in the new French film which opens Friday. The lavish two-hour biopic concentrates on her life before she became famous. "I didn't want to go into the 1930s and '40s," says writer-director Anne Fontaine ("The Girl From Monaco"). "I wanted to be free. I didn't want to be controlled by any Chanel house. I could do the script the way I wanted. I also think it makes sense to start when she was very young and let it go at the beginning of her fame." Fontaine was surprised that so many of her fellow countrymen didn't know about Chanel's history. "They didn't know about her youth at all," she says. "They thought she was kind of bourgeoise and very tough, of course, which was true. And they had the last part of her life in their minds because it is not too far from today." (Coco Chanel died in 1971 at the age of 87.)Part of the reason even French people didn't know about Chanel's past is that she made up a fanciful history for herself and continued embellishing it for years to come. She extolled the fact that her father had sailed to America to strike it rich after her mother had died and she was forced to live with her two spinster aunts.In reality, Chanel was abandoned as a youngster by her father at an orphanage at a Roman Catholic monastery, where she learned to be a seamstress. She got a taste of the good life when she became the mistress of millionaire playboy tienne Balsan and then fell in love for the first time with the self-made and very married Arthur "Boy" Capel. Through Capel she was able to get the financing to open her millinery shop. "She wants to forget this very big depression and to invent a new life, to be able to live and go forward," Fontaine says. "She had this incredible determination and ambition to be somebody someday. She wanted to become some sort of artist."Fontaine didn't even begin writing the script until she met with actress Audrey Tautou, who has played child-women in such films as "Amlie" and "A Very Long Engagement." Physically, Tautou would be perfect for the part because she had the same diminutive, boyish build as Chanel. But Fontaine didn't know if she was going to be tough enough. Ten minutes into their meeting, she realized that Tautou had the grit it would take to play Chanel."I don't think anybody else in France could have played that part," Fontaine says. "I think what she has is the charisma and determination for Chanel. This is the first time she's played the part of a real adult woman."Tautou was more than ready to play a grown-up."It was great to play such a complex woman," the actress says. "It was new for me to experiment with the authority and the rudeness and the severity and the strength of Chanel."Tautou became confused during research on the designer because Chanel kept embellishing her life story. So Tautou turned instead to photographs of the designer as a young woman to gain insights."You would immediately see how charismatic she was and how elegant, even if she was wearing a completely common dress," Tautou says. "She had a way of standing with a lot of elegance and class and charm. You could see she was very intense and concentrated. You could also see that she had a kind of melancholy."For Tautou, the key challenge was maintaining Chanel's strong, often abrasive personality throughout the shoot "because I am not like that. I am much more sweet. I needed to have this authority even if I didn't have to express it in each scene."Chanel, she says, was not happy because she was in chaos. "I don't think she knew who she was. She wanted to be different and was waiting for something to happen. It's scary and frightening to be a rebel."I ASKED the clothing store clerk if she had anything to make me look thinner and she said, 'How about a week in Bangladesh?' wisecracked .I WANT to complain bitterly about something. Maybe nobody cares but me, however, I consider myself to be an ardent fan of , constantly correcting my overly-critical friends who think the nation's premier newspaper has fallen on bad times. I am forever boasting of its record, its dedication and the fact that it would be an enormous loss to this country should it ever change radically and maybe, go under. (The contrary is certainly the hope of and his Wall Street Journal. But I want both of these great newspapers of record to thrive.)Still, they are doing something in the Times on Sundays that is almost incomprehensible.They have a column called What I Wore, a kind of diary of consumerism with actresses, models, social climbers and charitable women. Last Sunday, on Dec. 4, they featured an actress I really admire. She is , an Emmy-winning actress on the successful series The Good Wife. As the character Kalinda Sharma, she is the deus ex machina of what happens in this legal , sleeping with men and women, too, in order to gain her ends -- which are usually (but not always) good causes engaged in by her law firm.Ms. Panjabi appeared in the Times pages in a beautiful dress by and I liked knowing what great designer she was wearing as this is information we all need about a real art form, couture, and how the other half lives. I like to know who designed what.But the newspaper article about a week in Ms. Panjabi's life was absurdly ridiculous in its fashionista overkill. On Monday, she wore J Brand dark boot-cut denim. She boasted she has about 10 pairs of them. Then she went on about her Vince oversize sweater, a black wool and black boots. When I gave this article to my associate Denis Ferrara to read, he gagged and said it destroyed his remaining brain cells.The rest of the week, Ms. Panjabi told us everything she was wearing every day, mentioning 55 separate clothing and design names plus a few restaurants. (What a treat for the unemployed and underpaid wannabes whose mouths were watering.)Is it the Times way to dispatch advertising people to show retailers that they are mentioning them, or is it just left to Ms. Panjabi to make a fool of herself for doing it for them? Such an excess of consumerism and conspicuous consumption I have seldom seen. Or is it part of the Times editing way to try to completely identify every part of everything any of these celebrities wear? To give all the facts? Or news fit to print? (I am surprised they didn't give the cost of the items and exactly where one could buy each and every item if only one had the means.)I HAVE done my share of touting favorite places, favorite people and favorite retail and wholesale names in the dozens of celebrity columns I have written over almost 50 years covering entertainment. But What I Wore is a nasty excess in these particular times. Maybe it's just the Times point of view to create desire and envy and to show how superficial people can be. No wonder every kid you know wants to get in show business where the chance of becoming a millionaire is so appealing.Maybe the Times will find some poor schoolteachers in the Bronx to tell us what they are wearing and how we can aspire to same.Or maybe Ms. Panjabi's press agent wrote this ridiculous piece of fluff. She remains one of my favorite actors on television and perhaps she is not to blame for such excess.(E-mail at , or write to her c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207.)It was fair to consider Tuesday night's matchup with a midterm exam for the volleyball team.Sure, the Wildcats are only 12 matches into a 31-match season, but, at 8-3 entering Tuesday's match against the Sun Devils, coach Dave Rubio needed a true test to see where his team was.He got one, and his squad passed with flying colors. The Wildcats topped the rival Sun Devils in four sets (25-20, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21) in front of 1,623 fans at McKale Center Tuesday night in the conference openers for both teams."Getting a win in this conference is really hard," Rubio said. "You really savor it. I've been in this league 21 years, and I can tell you it's so hard to get a win. You have to work hard and play every single point. I thought we did that tonight."Madi Kingdon led the way for Arizona with 20 kills and 11 digs. Chanel Brown and Lauren Fuller combined for 50 assists, and libero Candace Nicholson added a team-high 21 digsThe Wildcats entered the match not having dropped a set since Sept. 7 when they lost to TCU 3-1. Total, Rubio's squad had lost just five sets entering Wednesday's match and had won 29.With no seniors and seven freshmen on his roster, Rubio wanted to put together a nonconference schedule that had a few challenges but also had a lot of winnable matches at home."I knew we were going to be really, really young," Rubio said. "I wanted three tournaments at home, and I wanted to be 10-1 or 9-2, and we ended up at 8-3, which is fine."This year, I just wanted to be above .500 (at the end of the season). Next year, we will go for a top-16 seed (in the tournament), and we'll have to go play some teams and beat some teams."That's next year.This year, Rubio wanted his young team to learn how to win, and it seems like they are accomplishing that.There were a couple of disappointing losses in nonconference play including a 3-2 setback to Cal State-Northridge and the loss to TCU. But, Rubio is OK with those -- for now."The thing that was disappointing but expected was every match we lost, I felt like we were the better team," Rubio said. "We were in position to win every single one of those games. I think the lack of maturity in those matches came out, and we learned from them, evidenced by how we played tonight."I knew we were going to experience and suffer some losses we shouldn't, but my hope is that we're going to beat some people going forward that we aren't supposed to."Arizona can begin testing that theory Saturday.Washington, ranked No. 5 in the AVCA Top 25 at 10-0, comes to McKale Center to start a stretch in which the Wildcats will see four teams (Washington, Stanford, USC and UCLA) ranked in the top six over their next five matches."Going out there and playing some of the best teams in the country night in and night out is really exciting for us," Kingdon said. "It's a great experience for us to grow."I thought we played really well tonight against ASU, and I'm excited now to see how we do against the rest of the conference."Rubio added: "We better strap it up and get ready. It's great we got a win, but we have a lot of work and a lot of season ahead of us."Extra points-- Saturday's match against Washington has been moved to a 5 p.m., start. It was originally scheduled for 7 but was moved so it would not interfere with the football team's game at Oregon, which starts at 7:30.Up next-- What: Washington at Arizona-- Where: McKale Center-- When: 5 p.m. Saturday ___(c)2012 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)Visit The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.) at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesA frightening jolted Baltimore and much of the East Coast on Tuesday, shaking buildings and rattling nerves. Thousands of people streamed from offices and homes into the afternoon sunshine, stunned by a phenomenon more commonly associated with seismic hot spots like California and Japan.Area officials reported that the quake caused only pockets of significant damage, and there were no known deaths or serious injuries, locally or nationwide. But the sense of alarm was widespread as mystified residents jammed phone networks trying to reach loved ones and officials scrambled to assess the fallout. And humans weren't the only ones feeling anxiety: Vibration-sensitive elephants at the reacted by linking trunks and clustering together.After the ground shook for several seconds, buildings were evacuated, pushing workers into the streets, and some businesses and agencies shut down for the afternoon. Rail travel was interrupted, and many commuters faced an early, congested rush hour.Building inspectors quickly fanned out in Baltimore and around the state to check for structural damage, and authorities urged homeowners to look for foundation cracks and other signs of the quake's effects.The gave the quake a preliminary magnitude of 5.8, making it one of the strongest on record for Virginia, and one of the strongest ever felt in .The quake, centered 35 miles northwest ofRichmond, was felt from theGeorgia to Canada. It struck at 1:51 p.m. The geological survey reported several aftershocks.While smaller temblors are hardly unheard of in the region, most go unnoticed. Jeffrey Halka, at the Maryland Geological Survey, said the state typically gets two a year that people can feel. Tuesday's was among the few times anyone now alive has ever felt the ground in Baltimore shake that violently.The thought of an earthquake did not even initially occur to many. Some at first feared terrorism, while others jumped to more mundane conclusions. Chanel Jenkins figured she was just having mechanical trouble when her car began shaking as she hunted for parking downtown."I just had work on the car, so I was a little annoyed," said Jenkins, a day care provider and nurse. She was astounded when she saw people pouring out of buildings as she was driving in downtown Baltimore. "I couldn't figure out what happened," she said.Some workers in Baltimore's World Trade Center said when the waterfront tower began to rock, they feared the worst. "The windows were buckling," said Deborah Harris, who works on the 10th floor. "My first thought was and the fact that we work in the World Trade Center.""Everybody hurried to get to the stairwell. We didn't know what had happened," said Deborah Hawkins-Epps, an administrative assistant who was in her seventh-floor office.Others missed the excitement altogether. "We didn't feel a thing," said Tennessee resident Sarah Vos, who was inside The Gallery mall downtown at the time with her husband and their two children.In Baltimore, the earthquake badly damaged the steeple and bell tower at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in . A spokesman for the archdiocese said the church was unsafe to occupy, and he encouraged worshippers to go to nearby Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in instead.Farther east in Highlandtown, the Order of the Sons of Italy building on Gough Street partially collapsed onto an adjacent doctor's office, leaving piles of brick in the front yard.In , where the historic district dates to Colonial times, several old buildings reported possible damage, including loose or fallen bricks, said Rhonda Wardlaw, a city spokeswoman. Plaster fell off the ceiling in parts of the State House.In theDistrict of Columbia, a pinnacle at the National Cathedral the highest point in Washington sustained significant damage, according to cathedral officials.The National Mall was closed for a time, and workers evacuated the House and Senate office buildings.Baltimore City officials warned residents at an afternoon news conference to prepare for aftershocks and to exercise caution around damaged buildings.Amanda Ritchey is an artist who followed her passion in life. She confesses that since her aunts were speech pathologists and her mother was a social worker, Amanda had always thought she would follow in their professional footsteps. But when she graduated from , she didnt know exactly what she wanted to do in graduate school, so she decided to take a job behind the makeup counter at Nordstrom in Towson.It was a life-altering decision. It was during that time at Nordstrom that I found I had a gift for makeup and sales. People would request me, and I just got busier and busier, says Ritchie.During her years with Nordstrom she was trained in many different makeup lines including Bobbi Brown, MAC, Stila and . Each company had their own schools and professional trainers who taught Ritchie the tricks of the trade. What I learned during those early years is that makeup artistry comes from within. You have to see what is beautiful in people to be a good makeup artist, reveals Ritchie.In 2004, Ritchie left Nordstrom and opened up her own business at the time called Makeup Artistry by Amanda and created her own cosmetic line, Amanda Ritchie Beauty, which is what she uses on clients today. Having the experience of working with so many makeup lines, colors, and pigments, I was inspired to find my own line of cosmetics. Ritchies makeup line has no oils, dyes or fragrance and is hypoallergenic. As her career began to soar, she began to diversify her experience by doing corrective cosmetics for as well as weddings and social events. By 2009, Ritchie opened up Amanda Ritchey Bridal Beauty in Bel Air. I wanted to get more involved in the bridal business. I wanted to have a bridal suite where women could come to on the day of their wedding and prepare for their special day. The salon is a one-stop-shop for brides from trying on gowns and jewelry to giving makeup and hair trials for the big day. And just recently, Ritchie opened up another store that is strictly dedicated to her makeup studio. This 5,400-square-foot space is where brides and potential clients come for makeup trials. We not only do weddings and special events, but we help people who need to learn how to apply makeup correctly. Knowing the right way to enhance your best qualities makes people feel better and boosts their confidence.But Ritchie doesnt do it all alone anymore, she has a team of eight artists and hairdressers who can do up to 10 events in a one week and, in effect, brings the salon experience to their clients front door. We come to you on your wedding day. We do on-location hair and makeup serviceswe are a traveling beauty team. Every Saturday and Sundaysometimes Thursdays and Fridays. The regular fee for brides is $125 and the bridesmaids are $75; flower girls are free.Ritchie is supported by a talented staff and the support of her family. Husband, Chad, and her three children, Sabrina, 13, Troy, 11 and Charlotte, 4 help Ritchie find the balance to keep this busy operation going. Harford County is a great place to raise a family. Everyone in this community has been welcoming and supportive. I continue to get well wishes and repeat business, she says. I have only been open three years, and people continue to bring back friends and family. Its wonderful.Thursday is the 40th anniversary of an event that has reverberated up and down Main Street in Bel Air to this day.What some in town still refer to as the Great Bel Air Fire raged for more than four hours on Wednesday morning, Feb. 2, 1972 Groundhog Day.The fire resulted in the loss of six businesses and more than $2 million in damage. Miraculously, no one was killed or seriously injured. The three buildings where the fire was confined, one an imposing three-story structure known as the Vaughn Hotel just north and across Main Street from the Harford County Courthouse, had to be demolished shortly after the fire. Some 255 "men" fought the fire, according to one of the newspaper headlines of the day. The Aegis edition of Feb. 3, 1972, called the fire the worst in 's history the town was incorporated in 1874, became the county seat of Harford County in 1782 and has existed in some form since 1731. There's been no fire in or close to Bel Air since that has matched its intensity or size.The fire also came at a time when Main Street was starting to make a transition from a traditional small town business and retail center to a more specialty, professional center.Raced down blockThe fire started in the basement of the Red Fox Restaurant on the east side of the first block of South Main Street and quickly raced north down the block, destroying businesses in three adjacent buildings before firefighters contained it. They saved the Boyd and Fulford Drug Store building which was next in the fire's path.Boyd and Fulford continues to operate 40 years later.Boyd and Fulford co-owner Marytherese Street says she and her husband, Eugene, woke to the news of the fire that morning and were quite lucky.Schools were closed that day for snow, she said Monday, so many of the high school teenagers involved with the 11 volunteer fire companies that fought the fire were able to help out."The high school kids are what saved us, because they all belonged to the fire company," she said.Even with the additional help and venting on their roof to deter smoke damage, Boyd and Fulford sustained severe smoke and heat damage and even now is still recovering, Streett joked.According to the account in The Aegis, the fire started in the Red Fox Restaurant, after a fuel tank in the basement of Bel Air Office Products that was being filled overflowed and the oil was ignited by the gas-fired water heater in the restaurant.The restaurant, Bel Air Recreation Center, Bel Air Office Products, Main Street Market, Talles Jewelry Store and Smithson's Barber Shop were all destroyed.Smell of smoke rememberedFor Marytherese Streett, the smell of the smoke that day is one of her strongest memories."I remember the smell," she said. "I remember it like it was just yesterday."Both she and Eugene Streett said they remember the firefighters telling them Boyd and Fulford was next and to evacuate the building. It was through that process, however, that the couple got a glimpse of the kindness of people."The whole place was filled with smoke," Marytherese Streett said, "but what I remember most is how kind people were." Now in its 50th year, Bernie Robbins Jewelers has a history as richly varied as it is long.In the beginning, the business wasn't a seller of quality, exclusive jewelry and watches -- it wasn't a jeweler at all, but a major appliance dealer in Philadelphia, said owner Harvey Rovinsky, who has been with Bernie Robbins since 1966 and headed it since 1996.Then the family business became a lower-end jewelry store that still sold appliances, and then added a catalog showroom, he said. Rovinsky, 65, is a third-generation jeweler, and when he married Maddy, his wife of 43 years and the daughter of founder Bernie Robbins, the trend toward retail jewelry probably become inevitable.The watershed moment for the business came in 1992 when the family members realized the market was filled with mid-range jewelers, leaving an opportunity for a seller of famous name luxury jewelry."We were resourceful and insightful enough to realize that was the wave of the future, so early on we started acquiring the brands of the future," said Rovinsky, who has homes in Longport and Huntington Valley, Pa., and spends "probably 250 days a year" at the company's flagship store and headquarters on New Road here.Those leading global brands included Rolex, Cartier and -- famous firms that choose their exclusive dealers carefully."We've been a Rolex jeweler for 20 years, and before that it took me eight years of phone calls and letter writing to get them to allow me to sell their brand," he said. "We have to continue to meet high standards to remain a Rolex jeweler."Rolex lists Bernie Robbins as one of its dozen Rolex dealers in New Jersey, and the only one in this region. Cartier says the company is one of 10 in the state, and likewise exclusive in Atlantic and Cape May counties.The second pillar of the company's business is diamonds.Rovinsky said he's been going to Antwerp, Belgium, for 25 years to purchase stones directly in "the diamond capital of the world. About 80 percent of polished and rough diamonds pass through Antwerp to the rest of the world." Nowadays he brings an experienced buyer with the younger and better eyes needed to choose the most beautiful gems.Bernie Robbins buys and offers larger diamonds than most jewelers, he said, occasionally larger than 20 carats. In stock currently are 3- and 5-carat diamonds. The starting price for "a beautiful 5-carat diamond is somewhere in the $50,000-plus category."The third pillar is fashion jewelry, especially the exclusive Bernie Robbins Collection, largely the work of Maddy Rovinsky.Harvey Rovinsky said his wife has the best fashion sense of anyone he's met. "We travel the world and she picks out the best jewelry I've ever seen."This three-part business was growing great until 2008 "and basically the world collapsed," he said of the severe recession.That was a learning experience, despite 40 years in the business, and required changes. "Some people have a Wharton School MBA. I have a recession MBA," he said.Among the changes:n "Our buying is strategic and very focused, and our expenses are under control."n "We stopped hiring good people and only hire great people."n "Things we took for granted and let other people look at them, now Madeline and I watch every aspect of what goes on in our company."Brad Pitt is going to have new swag to bring home to fiancee : He's been named the new face of No. 5.The company behind the iconic fragrance, famous since suggested it was all she wore to bed, has tapped the leading man to be the face of its new international campaign.Pitt, the first male tapped to head Chanel No. 5 print and commercial advertisements, follows previous spokesfolks including , and Lauren Hutton. He's doing it for a paycheck estimated to be in the seven figures, E! News ; the first ad will be shot in London sometime next week.Pitt's endorsement history is pretty lean, existing mostly in foreign markets for entities including SoftBank. Partner Jolie has had more experience, repping fashion house St. John domestically and, overseas, cosmetics company Shiseido.Back in the world of his day job, Pitt will release "World War Z" come Christmas and might on screen with Jolie for 's "The Counselor."RELATED:Follow Matt Donnelly on Twitter PARIS -- French paybox has ordered the first season of Haut et Court-produced series Les Revenants, a E11.4 million ($15 million) skein with strong international potential.Scribe-helmer Fabrice Gobert, whose feature debut Lights Out preemed in Cannes' Un Certain Regard, loosely adapted the series from Robin Campillo's 2004 movie Les Revenant (They Came Back). The skein, which had been in development for over four years, comprises eight one-hour episodes. Co-helmed by Gobert and Frederic Mermout, the French-language Les Revenants turns on a group of people of different ages and backgrounds who died years ago and mysteriously return home, determined to resume their lives, without realizing they've been gone for a while.Gobert collaborated with several high-profile scribes, including Celine Sciamma (Tomboy), Emmanuel Carrere (La Moustache), Nicolas Peufaillit (A Prophet) and Camille Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel).Cast boasts several up-and-coming thesps, notably Clotilde Hesme and Gregory Gadebois, who both nabbed Cesar nods for their breakthrough perf in Angele and Tony, as well as Cesar-nommed Guillaume Gouix (Jimmy Riviere), Celine Sallette (House of Tolerance) and Frederic Pierrot (Polisse). 'Les Revenants' marks one of rare homegrown fantasy TV productions, said Jimmy Desmarais, who is producing the skein with Benjo.It's not a show about zombies: Fabrice Gobert depicts the complexity of each character with genre atmosphere and a realistic approach; and as the series advances the plot turns supernatural.Founded by Caroline Benjo and Carole Scotta, Haut et Court is a leading independent shingle, which has produced such critically acclaimed arthouse pics as Palme d'Or winning The Class and starrer Coco Before Chanel.Canal Plus' fiction department, headed by Fabrice de la Patelliere, has been powering up with original French shows -- for instance Braquo, Spiral, Pigalle La Nuit and Hard -- which have scored hit ratings on the paybox, sold to major international territories and helped increase the net's subscription basis.Click for more articles on Variety.com. designer is known for his stoic demeanor, white mane and whimsical fashion shows. Now he's acquired a reputation as a zany cat lover, setting off a mild frenzy among Internet denizens.Lagerfeld gushed about his 9-month-old kitten Choupette this week in an interview with Women's Wear Daily. The proud papa alternately referred to the Siamese cat as "a famous beauty" and "a kept woman."The German-born Lagerfeld, who has also designed for HM and Fendi, baby-sat the kitten during Christmas for model Baptiste Giaconi but then refused to give her back. "I thought she was too cute," he told WWD. Now the pampered feline lives the high life. Choupette dines with Lagerfeld for lunch and dinner ("She doesn't want to eat on the floor," he noted). She knows her way around an . And she has two "personal maids" who cater to her every whim "both night and day," he said. "She is beyond spoiled."If you're scratching your head wondering what the two kitten minders do all day, Lagerfeld goes on to explain:"We do keep a diary. When I am not there, the maids take down, in little books, everything she did, from what she ate, to how she behaved, if she was tired, and if she wasnt sleeping," he said. "In the nine months, we already have almost 600 pages.""I think it could be funny to make a little book of Choupettes diary," he added.All this material was, well, catnip for the Internet. Almost immediately, someone created a fake account , which has racked up more than 4,000 followers."s dog knows nothing about how to model clothing," goes one tweet. "Leave it to the real catwalkers: the ."Another tweet: "Do I look like a feline that would drink LAGER?! It may be the beginning of Daddy's name but it is not my drink of choice."We assume she sips only the finest Champagne-laced milk. RELATED:Follow Shan Li on Our waiter was staring at us in disbelief. Finally, he leaned forward and, ever so politely, asked my husband to repeat himself.Although we had just ordered three appetizers, a soup and two main courses (we did eat every bite), my husband was, indeed, inquiring about where we might go later that evening to try more of Charleston's culinary delicacies. Most tourists are drawn to Charleston for its graceful, grand homes and hauntingly beautiful gardens. But an increasing number are going for the food, as the rich and varied cuisine of the region undergoes a renaissance propelled by an interest in locally grown ingredients and an influx of new chefs.During a late-spring trip to South Carolina to visit family, my husband and I sneaked away for a few days to taste what all the fuss was about.Our mission was to eat our way across the city and a few of its neighboring islands, sampling traditional favorites such as fried chicken and grits, along with fancier fare in restaurants where chefs are experimenting with specialized ingredients.WHERE TO EATFig, 232 Meeting St., Charleston; (843) 805-5900, . Closed Sunday. Open for dinner Monday-Thursday, 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m. Entrees from $26.In between meals, we strolled, taking in the gardens and trying to catch an ocean breeze. I was delighted to discover another feature of Charleston that pleased me almost as much as the food and the sights: The city boasts an unusual number of upscale consignment stores, where Chanel suits and designer clothes, many of them lovingly cared for and beautifully presented, can be had for a song.But a quick tip: Before embarking on a venture of this kind, it is crucial to don comfortable shoes, so as to be able to walk off what you do to yourself. This is not the time believe me because I know for the new sandals purchased at said thrift shop, no matter how cute they are.We began our feasting with some history and tradition. On the advice of Ted and Matt Lee, friends of a friend as well as Charleston residents and authors of two cookbooks about Southern cooking, we headed to Po Pigs Bo-B-Q.I was skeptical at first. Po Pigs is a roadside joint next to a gas station on an empty stretch of Highway 174 on Edisto Island south of Charleston. We had visited an old plantation in the morning, and I was wilting in the heat, smarting from insect bites, limping from my inappropriate footwear and wondering what we were doing here in the sticks when we could be inside with air-conditioning.My heart sank further when we walked in the door. I beheld a simple room, clean but nothing special, holding a few tables and, at the front, a steam table. I am from the West Coast, and steam tables signify to me congealed school-cafeteria food. I tried to send my husband a disapproving look, but I could not catch his eye.He was staring at the buffet with a look of wonder and joy usually reserved for our children. I followed him to get a closer look.How to describe what I saw? Tray after tray of things I had only read about in books or seen in movies: chicken stew, pork hash, red rice, lima beans, and yes, of course, hush puppies.Now, I realize these are not rare foods. Anyone who has spent even five minutes in the South I had not before this trip has eaten them.But not like this. The overall effect was that of a potluck with dozens of guests, each of them an accomplished cook who had brought along his or her best dish.My favorite was the fried chicken, a dish I eat every chance I get. But never have I had it so perfectly prepared, the skin so crispy and salty, the meat so tender.Remember when a walk-in closet was considered a luxury item in a home? Now, what makes any fashion fan salivate is the idea of a closet room. Baltimore interior designer Amanda Austin says more and more homeowners are converting a room to a closet."No one likes to dig for things; having things stashed underneath the bed," says Austin, who has created her own closet room. "I do think people are willing to have a smaller bedroom for a larger closet. ... I think everybody wishes to live in a state of convenience and bliss." Having a big room in which to hang and organize your wardrobe is the obvious convenience. But the bliss for many closet lovers doesn't come just from the clothes. It comes from the design features, favorite collections and keepsakes in those rooms.Amanda AustinAmanda Austin, owner of Amanda Austin Interiors, loves living in airy openness. Just because she lives in doesn't mean she has to feel confined. She says natural lighting is her "oxygen."To that end, Austin has made sure her closet has plenty of that element, with windows on two sides one with a window seat that she sometimes uses for reading. Shelves next to it hold some precious mementos.There's a practical side for her very open closet, as well. She needs to see everything in it."If I don't see it, then I don't know I have it," she says.That means seeing clothes for all seasons. In her work, Austin travels a lot for business, going to warmer or colder climates and needing to pack appropriately.Shelves above the clothing reveal some of her favorite collections. "I love wraps, pashminas and purses. I want them to be easily accessible."Austin also loves color, which is why she likes to set out all of her multihued shoes. Those shoes seem to reflect her dislike for confinement: Nearly all of them are open-toed.There's another kind of openness to her closet. Austin likes to share her clothes with her girlfriends."When they go out or are going to a special event, they always say they're going to 'shop at Amanda's boutique,'" she says. "But sharing brings me great happiness."Austin says she's not the trendy type, preferring clothes that have a certain effortless function and timeless look."One needs to know how to spend your money. So, it's knowing how to invest and when. And knowing when not to."Chuck NabitChuck Nabit is known for his fun sense of style. When out on the town, the CEO of Group, a diversified investment company, is not afraid to have fun with colorful shirts and sports jackets. It's a trait he believes is inherited."It's a statement; a way to express yourself," he says. "I grew up with a mother who had great flair. I saw how she expressed her own sense of self and creativity in what she wore. I guess it's in the ."Another strong fashion influence comes from Nabit's second home in Miami's South Beach.LANDLORD Capital Counties is set to pump another pounds sterling 200 million into its transformation of Covent Garden after raising more than pounds sterling 140 million from investors today.The firm, whose overhaul of the area has seen giants such as Apple move in, is eyeing a new acquisition spree and stepping up plans for luxury flats on the upper floors of its buildings. It will spend about pounds sterling 30 million on its two residential schemes which have planning permission, The Beecham and 30-32 Southampton Street.Capco began work on its second office-to-residential conversion project, the Russell, this year after finishing its first, the Henrietta. The Henrietta's penthouse was sold for pounds sterling 6.2 million in April. Since its demerger from Liberty International in 2010, the value of Capco's Covent Garden estate has jumped by more than pounds sterling 300 million to pounds sterling 856 million, with pounds sterling 127 million spent on acquisitions.Fashionable restaurants and retailers such as Chanel, Jo Malone, Melissa Shoes, Jamie's Union Jacks and Brasserie Blanc are the latest to open for business this year.Such is the demand that Capco is raising its rental targets from the current pounds sterling 47.1 million to pounds sterling 60 million or pounds sterling 65 million by the end of 2015.___(c)2012 London Evening StandardVisit the London Evening Standard at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesIn a city that hangs its hat on big money, a flashy skyline and well-heeled locals, a visit on the cheap might seem unlikely. But residents know that it doesn't take a trust fund to have a good time here. For starters, sit down to a plate of cheap tacos and start people-watching.Dallasites take their shopping seriously, so spending some time wandering the city's malls and shopping areas is a must. But if tempting yourself with shiny new things doesn't appeal, there are plenty of other options like visiting museums, the Memorial or the Katy Trail. GETTING AROUND: Visitors should rent a car while in Dallas, a city more known for eight-lane interstates than for being pedestrian-friendly. A public transportation system with buses and light rail, the , http://www.dart.org, offers $3 all-day passes, but check first to see how close it goes to your destination.McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, http://www.mata.org, runs a free trolley through Dallas' trendy Uptown area, lined with restaurants and bars. The trolley takes riders from near the Museum of Art to , a development filled with restaurants, shops and a movie theater.FAMOUS PLACES: With its catchy opening tune, the television series "Dallas," about a wealthy Texas oil family, brought the city international attention in the late '70s and 1980s. Drive about 40 minutes north of downtown and tour the Ewings' fictional home, , for $9.50, http://www.southfork.com.The chronicles the , who was shot while riding through Dallas in a motorcade on Nov. 22, 1963. Evidence showed that shots came from the sixth floor of the museum building, a former warehouse known as the . Depository worker was arrested in the assassination the day Kennedy was killed, but was shot to death two days later by nightclub owner .Admission to the museum is $13.50 for adults, but the Dealey Plaza district is a National Historic Landmark and you can join other tourists checking out the area around the museum for free. Sites include a nearby memorial to Kennedy as well as the infamous "grassy knoll," a spot from which some witnesses thought gunfire emanated.For an old-school shopping experience, go to downtown to ' flagship store.Want to check out the new where the will be playing this fall, but don't want to buy a game ticket? Take a tour of the retractable-roof stadium in nearby Arlington, for $15 for adults.ENTERTAINMENT: Laid-back bars line Greenville Avenue starting just south of Mockingbird Lane. For a little boot-scootin', , offers a chance to try out your two-step and hear some live music. Cover is $8 on Fridays and ranges from $10-$15 on Saturdays. Free dance lessons are offered Saturdays, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., an Irish bar, serves everything from beer to wine to whiskey and also has live music. It's located in Mockingbird Station, an outdoor shopping development filled with restaurants, shops and a movie theater not far from Southern Methodist University.Aside from lots of shopping, Galleria Dallas has an indoor ice skating rink for those looking to cool off a bit. Admission is $8, skate rental is $3.A stroll east of Dallas' museum district offers a glimpse of the city's new performing arts district, which will open in October. The $354 million, a venue for music, , theater and dance, has added striking new buildings and outdoor areas to downtown.To get a little exercise and a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, go hiking or biking just northeast of downtown at, http://www.dallasparks.org/Parks/whiterock.aspx. Or bike, jog or Rollerblade down the , which runs from just south of Southern Methodist University to downtown.SHOPPING AND EATING: For those thinking that shopping and sticking to a budget don't mesh, window-shopping is always free and in this economy, you never know when you'll run into a really good sale. Besides, NorthPark Center, a sleek mall featuring stores ranging from the Gap to , also provides a little culture as works from artists including are displayed throughout. And on Saturday mornings, the mall offers a free yoga session in its landscaped garden.In a city that enjoys sunny skies and warm weather for much of the year, Dallasites love outdoor dining. Even if temperatures soar to 100, patios are packed.In the development, http://www.westvil.com, several restaurants feature a fun patio atmosphere and cheap eats. Taco Diner has plates with four tacos just under $10 while its sister restaurant across the street, Mi Cocina, has Tex-Mex plates with everything from enchiladas to tamales for about the same price. Village Burger Bar around the corner offers $6 burgers. There's plenty of good people-watching to be had throughout West Village, not to mention good dog-watching with adorable pooches trailing behind their owners. -- http://www.hpvillage.com -- nestled among multi-million-dollar homes in the swanky enclave of Highland Park, is an outdoor shopping area known for high-end merchandise -- think Chanel and Hermes. But it is also a lovely place to stroll on tree-lined sidewalks, grab a coffee at or a meal at Mi Cocina, where patrons carrying purses that easily cost $1,000 can be spotted tearing into a plate of $10 enchiladas. The Italian Patrizio Restaurant offers a shady patio with many dishes under $10. Opened in 1931, the Mediterranean Spanish-style shopping area, which also has a small movie theater, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.For a funkier shopping experience, head to the, http://www.bishopartsdistrict.com, which includes Make, featuring items made by local artists and designers.MUSEUMS: , http://www.dm-art.org, is free the first Tuesday of each month and Thursdays 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; otherwise $10 for adults. The museum is also free the weekend of Aug. 29-30., http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org, is free 10 a.m.-2 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, when the museum also puts on various activities; other times $10 for adults. The Nasher will also have free admission on Sept. 26. On the first Thursday of each month, the center is free 5 p.m.-9 p.m. with free American movie classics at 7 p.m.The two museums offer a combination ticket for $16. Local metered parking can be hard to find; parking is $10 in the Dallas Museum of Art's lot.Across the street, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, http://www.crowcollection.org, is free., which has a collection of Spanish art, is free on Thursdays after 5 p.m.; otherwise $8 for adults.ACCOMMODATIONS: Compared to other big U.S. cities, even some of Dallas' fancier hotels are a bargain. The downtown , for instance, founded in 1912 by beer baron Adolphus Busch, http://www.hoteladolphus.com, features an elegant wood-paneled lobby and has room rates starting at $149.There are also several chains with reasonable rates. La Quinta Inn and Suites Dallas North Central, for instance, located near NorthPark and about seven miles from downtown, has rooms from $79 to $99 and as low as $59 for early booking for the fall.From corsets to sky-high stilettos, women have been suffering in the name of fashion for years. Thanks to the Beverly Hills-based footwear line Dana Davis, named for its founder and chief executive, high-heeled- lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. In its third season and selling well locally at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza and at , the label features chic styles with invisible comfort technology such as customized arch supports and strategic cushioning. Imagine heels that may actually be good for you.FOR THE RECORD: Dana Davis: An article in today's Image section about shoemaker Dana Davis identifies her mother as Nancy Davis. Her mother is Barbara Davis; Nancy Davis is her sister. With designs including embellished flat sandals, driving moccasins and the 41/2-inch platform heels she introduced for spring-summer 2010, Dana Davis just might be the brand to make a comfort shoe go mainstream in the fashion world. "These aren't two-hour shoes, they are eight- to 10-hour shoes," says Davis, 41, who resides in Brentwood with her Jack Russell terrier, Spike. "You can wear them to an event and still walk home."Although such as Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole have comfort lines, Davis' is the first to feature built-in orthotics (developed with patent-pending technology) in a high-fashion shoe, particularly heels. Her styles, priced at about $275 to $450, are designed so that you can also easily put in your own orthotic if needed. "Previously, there was no dress shoe you could put an orthotic into, so this is a big step," says podiatric surgeon Dr. Robert K. Lee, who says his patients like to wear high-fashion shoes but can develop problems as a result. "Current styles tend to be far too narrow, which can lead to bunions, hammer toes or other foot conditions. As the heel gets higher, that's more load on the balls of your feet, which can lead to stress fractures or tendinitis."He notes that the distribution of weight is key to preventing injury. Davis' shoes create a tripod between the first and fifth metatarsals the long bones of the foot and the heel to displace weight. Her heels feature platforms and cushions, whereas most lines have a single sole. There is not a single skinny stiletto heel in the group.It's no surprise that Dana Davis shoes have ended up on the red carpet. , , Carrie Ann Inaba and (who wore a pair when she danced across the stage with at 2009's ) are all fans of the shoes. Vivica A. Fox wore them to this year's Academy Awards."I love the Primrose; it's a very evocative shoe style," says celebrity stylist Elizabeth Stewart, of the soft knotted peep-toe in satin and patent leather. "They remind me of dancers backstage in 30s-era cabaret shoes and make me want to wear back-seamed stockings at all times."Many of Davis' customers don't realize that her shoes may have health benefits for the foot; they are simply attracted to the design. "There's such a negative connotation when you say the word comfort,'" Davis notes. "I like to say that we are a fashion company that happens to be comfortable."Davis' inspiration came from her own experience as both a socialite (she's the youngest daughter of the late mogul Marvin Davis and philanthropist Nancy Davis) and working woman. Diagnosed with Type 1 at age 7, she became an elementary school teacher after getting a master's degree in education from . Long hours on her feet combined with diabetes-related foot problems led to eight corrective foot surgeries; she eventually had to stop teaching."For 20 years, I destroyed my feet because I wanted to wear pretty shoes," Davis says. "I was supposed to wear these really unattractive shoes while still wearing a Chanel suit, and that just didn't work." Davis began to search for comfortable shoes that looked luxurious and chic but failed to find any she liked. Two years ago, she attended her first footwear trade show to start researching and networking. It took another year to find the right factories in Italy and to team up with podiatrists, pedorthists and foot and ankle surgeons to help engineer each style."Once we get the shoes on a woman's feet, that's all it takes," says Davis, who regularly travels around the country for trunk shows and industry events. "When the woman realizes she's comfortable and stable, she feels stronger and more stately." In other words, the wobble is gone. Davis says that shoe salespeople are some of the biggest fans because they see what regular high-fashion shoes have done to women's feet over the years."I was so terrified because you think, in fashion, people might be snobby or mean, but I have been fortunate to come across people who have really embraced me and been so supportive," Davis says. "I still get nervous, but I find that I have a classic sense of style with a little edge, and people are responding to it, so my confidence is growing. I can't imagine not doing this now; it's too fun."Some may wonder if this is just another fleeting business from a famous name. "You would never start a shoe line for fun," she says with a laugh. "If I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn't have done it, but now I can't imagine doing anything else."The shoes range in price from about $260 to $450.In addition to running her company of four employees, Davis sits on the board at Mattel Children's Hospital at , the Nancy Davis Foundation for Center Without Walls and the Children's Diabetes Foundation. The latter, founded by her parents, has raised more than $75 million for diabetes research and care. Their Carousel of Hope biennial fundraiser (held in October) is one of L.A.'s most notable social events, and you can bet Davis will be wearing her own heels that night. "You want something attractive because nothing makes you feel worse than dumpy shoes," she says. "It's possible to make shoes much better for women, so why not?"Bride-to-be was spotted with pal leaving Chanel in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, where Barrymore reportedly had the final fittings for her wedding gown.According to , Barrymore's fiance, art world player Will Kopelman, was also seen doing Chanel shopping of his own and left the store with a black garment bag.The Chanel connection should come as no surprise, because Kopelman is the son of former Chanel CEO Arie Kopelman. Barrymore and the junior Kopelman in January after a year or so of dating. Kopelman popped the question in Idaho with a 4-carat ring. And to think none of this might ever have happened if things had worked out years ago between Barrymore and the man who would be Batman, .The notoriously private English actor recently to GQ Australia that he and Barrymore went on a date when they were both precocious teenage stars."We went to see some bloody awful horror film, and that was the end of it," Bale told the magazine. "She never called again."In the end, things seem to have worked out for all parties. Bale has been married to Sandra Blazic since 2000, and the two have a 7-year-old daughter together.[For the record, 12:10 p.m. May 31: An earlier version of this post stated that Bale is Australian. He is English.]RELATED: is a newly married lady the actress tied the knot to art dealer Will Kopelman at her Montecito estate Saturday.Beneath a custom chuppa a service was performed by Kopelman's rabbi, while guests such as , and Jim Toth, and looked on.The affair was "a classic, simple, very pretty, garden-inspired wedding," to , that also featured a well-attended rehearsal dinner followed by a lively cocktail party on Friday. Additional guests included and , Us Weekly, and actress Busy Phillips. The wedding party snacked on lobster rolls before the service, which included a reading of the poem "I Carry Your Heart" by E.E. Cummings.Barrymore, pregnant with her and Kopelman's first child, wore a bridal gown by Chanel. The couple shared their first dance to "Nobody's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses.They drove off into the night, away from their famous guests, in a vintage Mercedes.RELATED:Follow Matt Donnelly on Twitter It was cold and very breezy on the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton, even before the sun went down. What's a girl headed for the to do? Wear her strapless, backless dress and bare sandals anyway, and instruct her hairstylist to pin up her tresses so securely that even gale-force winds can't ruffle them. The Globes are the statuette season's opening act. That can mean the Big Gown will be saved for later, for the Academy Awards or a black tie bar mitzvah party at the Peninsula. The result is often a winning look, courtesy of not trying so hard. This year, all the gals who jumped into little black dresses, like winner , gave some zest to the old evening standby. With her fetching pixie haircut, looked very (never a bad thing) in a vintage Chanel tea-length dress. More ladies in black were in a narrow strapless by Rochas, Rene Zellweger in ebony silk chiffon by Carolina Herrera, successfully backless again, in a strapless column accessorized with a rope of pearls and jet black, and , managing one of the many long trains. 's short Dior, a confection of tulle layers, was the antithesis of an overwrought awards-show gown. Unfortunately, the quality of the red carpet was below par, leaving a layer of crimson fuzz on the bottoms of many gowns. Nadine Velazquez, the gorgeous motel maid of "My Name Is Earl," said, "I think I'll auction the fuzz on EBay." White gowns were a popular choice too 's strapless Valentino, 's fluffy Balenciaga maternity frock, 's short vintage Chanel dress with silver paillettes, and the high-waisted numbers on Felicity Huffman, and . The evening's ubiquitous up-dos, including 's Tippi Hedrenesque French twist and Sarah Jessica Parker's Grecian beehive, ranged from sleek to wispy. Better a soft bun at the nape of the neck, as Paltrow, Zellweger and Jaime Pressly chose, than big hair that droops (take note, Penlope Cruz). Hair swept off the face showcased lots of long, dangly earrings. wore what looked like the heaviest pair emerald drops that could double as door knockers. If jewelry was occasionally bombastic, makeup was subtle hardly natural, but soft, at least. , and , in bright red lipstick, were exceptions. Some of the many scruffy-faced men , , , and Ethan Suplee of "My Name Is Earl" probably had an excuse: shooting the next day. Maybe a few days' growth goes better with the ties and shirts so many guys chose over traditional tuxedo trappings. And now for the evening's surprises and questionable calls. Surprises: Nicolette Sheridan looked as elegant as a Hitchcock heroine in navy jersey and sapphires, and Davis decided an old Escada gown was worth reviving. Questionable calls: fake tans (so 2004), and and Marcia Cross going without what used to be called "foundation garments."NOBODY, but nobody, could touch the hem of her caftan!That's what one bedazzled fan remarked Sunday at the final Christie's exhibition of 's mammoth collection of jewels, clothes, accessories (shoes, scarves, handbags) luggage, art, various figurines, ornate vases, frames, sculptures -- you name it! All the trappings of her fabulous public life. (Tonight, the auction begins.) What was not there? Kept personal were letters, diaries -- well, there was one funny note to -- and anything else that told more than Elizabeth ever wanted to tell about herself. (This was unlike Marilyn's auction, which contained little of value and exploited her private life with abandon.)I had waited till the last minute to attend here in . The show has toured the world and drawn thousands of people. This was to be a more private, casual affair on Sunday, attended by friends, and family -- and, of course, friends of friends. These always grow exponentially. But it was still a much less frenzied evening, overseen by Stephen Lash, the head of Christie's.Tim Mendelson, Elizabeth's personal aide of 20 years, and Sally Morrison, Elizabeth's press rep and cohort from the old AmfAR days were there. The display was as opulent, as dazzling, colorful, over the top as the star of stars herself. Mr. Lash admitted that Christie's has never ever devoted itself to one person on such a scale as this tribute to La Liz.WHAT WAS it like to wander from room to room? Overwhelming. And not simply because Elizabeth had saved so much, and almost all of it in pristine condition. To fans who never met her, the show was a confirmation of her grand life, that she was indeed the female movie star spectacle of the 20th century -- and despite drastically declining health, held power over the media to the very end.To those of us who knew her, it was something else altogether. I thought the memorial in Hollywood was it -- the last goodbye. But seeing her items, beautifully lit, masterfully arranged, I was dragged back to the wonderful madness/earthiness of her. It was the final irrevocable farewell, and one that Elizabeth herself would have adored. For one thing, all the mannequins were exactly as Elizabeth always described herself as wishing to resemble -- tall, slender, willowy. So the clothes looked truly remarkable. Of course, had Taylor been here for it, she would have changed everything and cost Christie's millions more -- and they would have gladly done it, just as everybody was always happy -- or at least terrified into -- doing as she wished.But what struck me most forcefully was how totally Elizabeth inhabited her mammoth jewels and wildly colorful clothes. With the exception of the Elizabeth Taylor Ring (once known as The Krupp Diamond, a great brute of a thing), which she always wore, and the exquisite La Peregrina Pearl necklace -- I remembered it dangling from her famous cleavage in Maxims in 1968 -- I couldn't recall most of the incredible baubles. Or the more wonderful (or amusingly terrible) clothes. Because everything Elizabeth wore, all the finery, and elaborate hairstyles seemed to have melded to her. She wore it; it did not wear her. When Elizabeth walked into a room, time stopped. She dragged her history with her. You were agog, one way or another. During her Mrs. John Warner period, people would riot just to see if she really was as fat as newspaper pictures indicated. But draped in caftans, cut perilously low and slit up the front so high you could see all the way to Virginia, she was still every inch -- and ever other inch -- LIZ.The amount of stuff in the auction is mind-blowing. There is so much that Christie's launched a special online auction of more jewelry and accessories. It is still ongoing. But to have truly appreciated what Christie's managed to display, would have taken several visits. There were Cleopatra negligees by Irene Sharaff, mini-dresses from X,Y and Zee, the famous Boom! kabuki getup, her Louis Vuitton luggage with her own tags, Mine! attached, seemingly hundreds of heavily embroidered Thea Porter and Michael Vollbracht caftans, all the she wore in the early '90s when she was so tiny, handbags and evening clutches galore, whimsical animal-themed jewels from , absolutely exquisite Arnold Scaasi gowns, scarves, bangles, beads, shoes, clanking charm bracelets by the score, the wonderful bracelet from , fashioned of ivory opera passes, wonderfully preserved costumes from Secret Ceremony and Night Watch and two of her wedding dresses -- a yellow scoop-necked (her first marriage to Richard) and the diaphanous blue and green number, festooned with tiny partridge feathers from her second African wedding to Burton -- her art collection, which is not major, but important enough -- there is a Degas and Van Gogh -- lots of crystal knickknacks, sculptures, wildly ornate baroque picture frames. It was brain-boggling! (Interestingly, I didn't spot any of Elizabeth's many fur coats. Well, who needs complaining?)The jewels, of course, have to go, though it is difficult to imagine them being worn by others. However, it's a pity the clothes couldn't be preserved for a fashion museum. Quality couture in great condition -- fashion history spanning decades. There are some boxy little numbers from the early '60s included, and Puccis you would wear out on the street right now.Maybe it disappeared into the online auction, but I looked in vain for the jeweled bird pin Elizabeth had shown me while making The Sandpiper in Paris. We were waiting, sitting on the set. She said, This was given to me by the producer -- Marty Ransohoff -- and though I don't really care about it; it cost $25,000!I gulped. She gestured at the pin, removing it from her sweater and handed it to me to examine. I just wanted to see if I could make him buy it for me.AND WHILE it was slightly bittersweet, I could still hear Elizabeth's wild cackle every so often, raucously enjoying life and love and sex and excess, the eating, the drinking, the drama -- madly devoted to her children, loyal to a fault to her friends.While one could make a fairly good case for Dietrich or Crawford, given their longevity, they fall short of ultimate stardom. (Marlene's seclusion, Crawford's monster movie choices.) Marilyn became a tragic myth, an entirely different entity. La Liz was never tragic, despite her dramas, illnesses and multiple marriages. The closest to Taylor might be , who kept up a public image even toward the last -- the ultimate egomaniac.But Elizabeth lived the life of what a real movie queen was supposed to be. A throwback to the opulence of -- only Taylor never faded. She teased her audience and the media by stepping close to the abyss time and again, only to rise like a great violet-eyed phoenix, more beautiful, more determined and more surprising. (Whoever could have imagined her bravery and dedication?)Elizabeth Taylor was IT. The greatest star, by far. I miss her. But I have so many wonderful, funny memories. She lived again on Sunday, as I gaped over her possessions. She will always live, onscreen, and in my heart.(E-mail at , or write to her c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207.)When Juicy Couture announced it had tapped Erin Fetherston as a guest designer for the brand this year, it initially felt like a mismatch of epic proportions.Juicy is a quintessential California brand its laid-back, casual DNA took shape in sunny Southern California. Fetherston is a New York-based designer known for her tailored cocktail dresses. But it didn't take long to discover the pair's commonalities. The 29-year-old designer is actually a California girl, born and bred in the Bay Area. And the two brands share a hyper-feminine vibe as distinctive as Fetherston's famously stick-straight platinum bangs."I felt that my own design aesthetic and Juicy Couture's had a good amount in common in terms of having a fun-loving, feminine spirit," said Fetherston, sitting down recently at Juicy Couture's headquarters in Arleta. "And I loved the idea of coming home a little bit through this project."Edgar Huber, chief executive of Juicy Couture, said the company zeroed in on Fetherston after Juicy founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor stopped designing for the label early this year. Fetherston was chosen because of her "fashion knowledge and experience, her California roots and her individual sense of style."As a guest designer and consultant, Fetherston is charged with creating collections that bear her youthful, fashion-forward mark for the sporty brand, which was bought by Liz Claiborne in 2003. The partnership is open-ended, and Fetherston declined to forecast how long she'll be on board.The designer's first foray for the brand a holiday capsule collection of chic-but-comfy eveningwear called Juicy Loves Glamour Girls by Erin Fetherston debuts in stores and online Monday.Taking the brand's signature tracksuit head-on (remember all those bums that read "Juicy"?), Fetherston employed the brand's weighty velour in new and wondrous ways most notably in a draped, dolman-sleeved dress (available in short and floor lengths) modeled after the high-shine velour gown she whipped up to wear to this year's Met Ball, mere days after starting her tenure at Juicy."I challenged myself to make a gown that would be appropriate for the Met Ball that would also be Juicy Couture," Fetherston said. "I used that gown as the starting point for the collection."Velour isn't the only Juicy hallmark in the line. A washed silk tuxedo jumpsuit boasts a sporty ribbed waistband, and dresses feature the brand's signature draw-cords, only braided and embellished.Other looks include short velvet dresses with halter and bustier bodices, black jewel-embellished velvet evening jackets, washed black silk pants and sculptural skirt and a viscose T-shirt embellished with satin bows and rhinestones. Prices range from $158 for the gussied-up tee to $378 for the maxi-length, dolman-sleeve dress."Casual, chic elegance perfectly complementing the Juicy Couture heritage," is how Huber described Fetherston's initial collection."This is my first time working with sweats and T-shirts and super casual looks, and I love that," said the bicoastal Fetherston, who rents a house in Los Feliz and maintains a residence in New York. "When you are a designer with a strong point of view, it's really fun to go into different arenas to express it. It's interesting for me as a designer to think, 'What does Erin Fetherston wallpaper look like?' In this case it was, 'How am I going to bring my aesthetic to Juicy's core casual product?'"Fetherston's aesthetic has been crystal clear since she launched her eponymous collection fresh out of Parsons School of Design in Paris in 2005. She readily acknowledges that her designs are a direct reflection of her personal style."My [namesake] collection is an autobiographical reflection of what my experiences are, manifested through a fashion collection," said Fetherston, clad in a pair of dark, unembellished fitted jeans, a gauzy cream-colored button-up blouse of her own design and Chanel two-tone ballet wedges. "And I like working like that. I feel like that's what gives it authenticity. I need things to be close to my heart."After her Paris debut collection in 2005, the statuesque designer was instantly pegged by the media and the fashion flock as the perfect model for her girlish, almost doll-like dresses.She's since moved on from overtly girly looks (she doesn't even like to use the word "girlish") into more sophisticated territory, but her pulled-together personal style remains integral to her brand's image."I think that for a long time I was almost a dress-only girl," said Fetherston, who primarily wears her own designs. "So my style was very dress-centric. But in the past year and half I've started to get into pants and great blouses. I think my style is feminine, it's romantic. I do love clothes that have an airiness to them. I love wearing the color white all year round."Daily work wear often consists of an easy-fitting dress paired with flats or sandals. A night out at the Tower Bar or Chateau Marmont two of her favorite haunts usually means slipping into a cocktail dress and sky-high heels. "I'm 5 feet, 10 inches, but I will definitely wear a 6-inch heel."Vintage fashion is another passion. Fetherston is a devotee of local secondhand shop Shareen Vintage and hits up L.A's flea markets for retro treasures. "I love to mix my own designs with vintage," she said, adding, "The whole vintage scene in L.A. is really fun."When it comes to beauty, "I'm more of a naturalist," said Fetherston. "So I'm a lot more interested in skin care than makeup. To me, skin is really more important."She takes an equally low-maintenance approach to her famously blunt bangs she cuts them herself. "One could seriously cut them every other day because I just cut them a millimeter here and there," she noted. "But if you're really busy, you could go every two weeks."For a fun-loving, feminine spirit, every two weeks might be just uncomplicated enough.The two best field hockey teams never met at the Archbishop Spalding Invitational on Saturday.No. 5 Broadneck (5-1) and host No. 11 Cavaliers (5-2) both went 2-0 on shutouts.The Bruins beat Seton Keough, 1-0, and Chesapeake-AA, 2-0. And Spalding beat the same two opponents, Chesapeake-AA, 5-0, and Seton Keough, 1-0. Spalding's Anna Kennedy scored twice against the Cougars and Katie Kreis had the game-winner against the Gators. SoccerMeade 1, Long Reach 0, OT: Freshman Colette Pierce scored the game-winner to lift the host Mustangs (3-0) over the Lightning.Meade earned its second shutout of the season.Chanel Viator beat two defenders and made a 30-yard pass to Pierce for the golden goal.Friday's soccerNo. 5 John Carroll 2, Severn 0: The host Patriots (4-2-0, 1-1-0) rebounded from their loss to No. 2 Archbishop Spalding.Nicole Wojcik had a goal and an assist for John Carroll for a 2-0 halftime lead.The Patriots controlled the tempo in the second half to complete the shutout.Did you know that Halston's famous 1970s era Ultrasuede dresses are not biodegradable? Talk about timeless fashion.Or that Madame Grs was using faux fur way back in 1942, to get around real fur shortages during the German occupation of Paris during ? Or that the democratization of fashion didn't begin at Target and HM, but at 's 19th century shirtwaist factories, which produced affordable styles that allowed more women to participate in fashion, but at the cost of fair labor practices?These are just a few of the fascinating tidbits from the exhibition "Eco Fashion: Going Green," on view at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City through Nov. 13.The term eco-fashion is at odds with the nature of an industry that thrives on churning through styles. But over the last decade, there has been a growing movement of designers and brands using, producing or promoting sustainable and ethical products, in a new kind of couture. They include and Ali Hewson, whose Edun label focuses on creating sustainable economies in Africa, and Alabama Chanin, who champions fair labor practices by employing 80 women to hand-stitch and paint garments.There's a rising consciousness among more mainstream fashion designers too. At Paris Fashion Week in October, the Chanel runway show was set against the backdrop of a gigantic melting iceberg, and fast-fashion giant HM recently launched an organic cotton collection.But eco-fashion, as defined by the curators Colleen Hill and Jennifer Farley, includes industry examples of both good and bad environmental practices. Their exhibit provides 150 years of historical context on animal rights, labor and manufacturing issues to add to the discussion.The exhibit is organized chronologically, beginning in the mid-18th century, when fine silk brocades were so rare and cherished that their repurposing was its own kind of conservation.A pale green silk dress from 1840 is an early example of multifunctionality. To get more out of a dress made of high-cost fabric, it has a removable capelet and sleeves to take a woman from day to night.At the same time, the Industrial Revolution was changing patterns of consumption. Women and children as young as 8 went to work in cotton mills to produce fabric for dresses such as the 1818 white cotton gown on display. Roller-printed fabrics replaced handprinted ones, and jacquard silk production was mechanized, decreasing the need for skilled labor."In more recent years, sweatshop labor has been on our minds," Farley says. "These aren't really new problems, they're just manifesting themselves in different ways."Mass production of ready-to-wear pieces such as the 1894 Stanley shirtwaist helped break down social barriers by allowing more women to dress stylishly, but at a cost, as evidenced by the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, which claimed the lives of 146 workers in 1911.New synthetic dyes brought exciting colors to apparel, but there were health ramifications, as an 1865 two-piece "poison green" silk tulle dress dyed with arsenic attests. "We tried not to breathe in while we were handling it," Hill says.One of the most surprising things the curators discovered was that the idea of celebrity animal rights activism was much older than they had thought. In the 1920s, when raccoon fur coats were all the rage among collegiates, Broadway actress Minnie Maddern Fiske was a vocal opponent.Rayon was the first man-made fiber, seen on a 1926 orange knit rayon shift dress. Recent evidence shows that rayon, which is chemically produced from cellulose, may biodegrade faster than cotton, according to the curators.Eco-fashion is complicated because it is often a trade-off of positives and negatives, as illustrated by a wrinkle-resistant cotton nylon seersucker wash and wear men's suit from 1959. "It was intended to minimize ironing, which shows evidence of saving energy over the garment's lifetime," Farley says. "But it's made from nylon, and nylon production is concerning because it produces nitrous oxide gas, which stays in the environment 120 years."While mass consumerism was spreading across postwar America in the 1950s, in Europe it was the golden age of haute couture, epitomized by a stunning, handmade-to-measure 1957 black silk chiffon crepe cocktail dress by Cristobal Balenciaga. The piece stands in contrast to a mass-produced dress from 1950 in a black floral made from extremely hazardous discharge printing.In the 1960s, plastic clothing was part of the futuristic Space Age look, even though the materials the clothes were made of were carcinogenic and harmful to the environment. A 1968 Courrges dress juxtaposes the old and the new, with vinyl details on elegant silk chiffon.At the same time, hippies were anti-fashion, embracing handicrafts instead of mass-produced goods as part of the blossoming environmental movement. A 1968 cotton patchwork skirt, created by Appalachian women's cooperative Mountain Artisans, illustrates the trend.The 1970s ushered in a more nostalgic mood, a reaction against so much futurism in the '60s. A 1971 Harriet Winter dress in vintage Art Deco rayon fabric was an example of recycling that hinted at the vintage fashion craze to come.In the 1990s, conceptual designers revolted against '80s excess by doing some repurposing of their own, as seen in Martin Margiela's 1991 sweater made from old Army socks.Today, eco-fashion varies from glamorous (the bamboo fleece and printed silk chiffon "cloud dress" by L.A.-based Linda Loudermilk, who pioneered an eco-labeling system called the Luxury Eco Stamp of Approval), to sophisticated (John Patrick's organic cotton mesh top and skirt in a handpainted pattern inspired by butterflies), to sporty (Stella McCartney's 2008 organic wool alpaca sweater dress).In a culture addicted to disposable fashion, the obstacle all these designers face is public perception."Designers want to rid themselves of the stigma that hemp is ugly," says Farley, who is confident the eco-fashion movement will continue to pick up steam. "Even if people aren't participating yet, they are becoming more conscious."IPads, Nooks and Kindles may be topping wish lists this holiday season, but when it comes to reading about fashion, nothing beats the glossy, full-color grandeur of a coffee-table book.This season's crop of oversized style tomes is especially alluring. Among them are memoir-esque reads, playfully pedantic books on how to hone personal style and a pair of opulent tomes focusing on men's fashion, encompassing styles from cowboy chic to Savile Row sleek. Of course, you won't be packing these biceps-building books for your next red eye. But then not all reading has to be on the run. Curling up in front of the fire with a big juicy traditional book is a great way to take a break from the holiday season hubbub. Here are some of our picks for giving or for savoring yourself.The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration From the Costume Designer of Mad MenBy Janie Bryant with Monica Corcoran Harel. $26.99"Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant is a master of optimizing a woman's figure through wardrobe just look at what she's done with curvy . And in "The Fashion File," co-written by veteran L.A. style writer Monica Corcoran Harel, she offers a bevy of helpful style tips that neither condescend nor confuse. Ideas include picking the right colors for your skin tone, adding drama to any outfit via strategic accessories such as opera-length gloves, and figuring out if you're a Betty [Draper] or a Joan [Holloway]; the book encourages women to find their inner leading ladies and then festoon them with abandon.Anna SuiBy Andrew Bolton. Chronicle Books. $60Legendary New York designer Anna Sui has been melding girlish whimsy with rock 'n' roll attitude in her collections for more than 20 years. And in "Anna Sui," writer Andrew Bolton chronicles the inspiration behind every collection she's sent down the runway starting with fall 1991, which featured then-baby-faced models Linda Evangelista and decked out in prep-school plaids. The book features a flattering forward by photographer Steven Meisel, along with vintage magazine spreads, ads and portraits of celebrities including , and . And while a few of Sui's vintage collections seem cringe-worthy today (fall '92's pirate-themed collection comes to mind), Meisel elucidates, "Anna will always gild the lily, and I'll be the one saying, 'Anna, does that outfit really need a birthday cake on the shoulder?'"Isabella BlowBy Martina Rink. Thames Hudson. $50Isabella Blow, the famous stylist, editor and muse who nurtured the considerable talents of and Philip Treacy, committed suicide in 2007. "Isabella Blow," written by her former personal assistant, says goodbye to the fashion provocateur through heartfelt letters written by industry and celebrity friends, including Paul Smith, Valentino Garavani, , Manolo Blahnik, and . A true original, she "had no time for anything humdrum, banal or mundane," writes Wintour, who hired Blow to be her assistant at Vogue in the 1980s, "to the extent that the task of cleaning her desk every night had to be done with a bottle of Perrier water and No.5."The World's Most Influential Fashion DesignersBy Noel Palomo-Lovinski. Barron's Educational Series Inc. $29.99In fashion, what goes around inevitably comes around again. "The World's Most Influential Fashion Designers" shows us exactly how that ebb and flow works. Through linear graphs detailing 50 major designers beginning with Parisian pioneer Paul Poiret the author details who inspired, and was inspired by, each. Miuccia Prada, for example, was influenced by Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo, who also challenged the notion of femininity being "contingent on coquetry"; and labels she's inspired include Phillip Lim and Proenza Schouler. Exhaustively assembled by Palomo-Lovinski, an assistant fashion design professor at Kent State University, the book is full of "aha" moments (how did we ever miss the shared sensibilities between Stella McCartney and sharp-line-loving '80s designer Claude Montana?). And it connects the dots in a smart, style-savvy way.Harper's Bazaar Fashion: Your Guide to Personal StyleBy Lisa Armstrong. Hearst Books. $24.95Fashion books on achieving personal style seem antithetical. After all, how can so many general rules apply to creating an individual wardrobe? Which is why "Your Guide to Personal Style," a metallic gold-covered tome written by fashion journalist Lisa Armstrong, doesn't delve too much into fashion do's and don'ts. Instead, it offers tips on how to choose the best looks for your shape (for instance, curvy girls shouldn't wear voluminous looks), how to buy accessories (invest in that Cartier Tank watch it will gussy up every outfit, every day) and the kind of garb to don for a night out, a daytime party and even a backwoods cabin getaway.Bespoke: The Men's Style of Savile RowBy James Sherwood. Rizzoli. $65"Bespoke," a fully illustrated history of bespoke (or custom) tailoring, charts the ascendance of Savile Row, a small street in that's known globally as the epicenter of men's tailoring. Moving chronologically from the late 1700s onward, the book tells the story in part through profiles of 26 master tailors and tailoring firms from Savile Row including stalwarts such as Gieves Hawkes and relative newbies including Ozwald Boateng. Chapters such as "Savile Row at War: Tailoring for Heroes" and "Savile Row in Hollywood" cover wide swaths of eras, adding richness to an already storied subject.American Fashion MenswearBy Robert E. Bryan. Assouline. $50The third volume in the Council of Fashion Designer's American Fashion series, "American Fashion Menswear" tackles men's fashion by movement, such as Ivy League style and Western wear, and by archetype, such as "the dandy" (think rock star Prince or Vogue's Andre Leon Talley). There are also lengthy chapters on Hollywood actors and musical artists, featuring a phenomenal collection of historic photographs of , , and (among others). The history of American menswear is told in short essay format in between the book's splashy photos, but the real story here is told visually.Louis Vuitton: 100 Legendary TrunksBy Pierre Lonforte and ric Pujalet-Pla. Preface by Patrick-Louis Vuitton. Abrams Books. $125It stands to reason that the first book about Louis Vuitton trunks would be sturdy-yet-luxurious, like the very luggage it chronicles. And despite its hyper-niche focus, the 496-page book is actually a delightful read, imparting short stories about very personal pieces of luggage. Standouts among the custom-made trunks (and other cases) include a suitcase especially made for the dolls of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret of England in 1938; monogrammed trunks for the movie "The Darjeeling Limited," in 2007; a trunk that pops open into a cot-like bed made for Italian-French adventurer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza; and a trunk that turns into a shower, specially made by the company for an invention competition in 2004.As thousands of needy students sit on waiting lists for financial aid, legislators are handing out nearly $11 million a year intaxpayer-funded college scholarships to almost anybody they want - includingtheir colleagues' children.Defenders of the legislative scholarship program, which has survivedrepeated attempts to abolish it, say the absence of rules lets lawmakers grantmoney to deserving students who might otherwise fall through bureaucraticcracks. But a review by The Sun shows that political considerations sometimesappear to play a role. Examples of scholarships given to families withpolitical ties since 2000 include:Then-Sen. , a Baltimore Democrat, gave a scholarship worth$4,000 over four years to Wanda Irby, daughter-in-law of former state Sen.Nathan C. Irby Jr., now head of the Baltimore liquor board.Senate President gave a total of $2,600 to the twosons of Robert J. Antonetti Sr., the former electionssupervisor. Miller, a Prince George's Democrat, has been a top defender of thelegislative scholarships.Sen. gave $2,100 to Chanel Branch, daughter of afellow Baltimore Democrat, Del. Talmadge Branch.Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier, a Democrat, gave $200 to theson of then-Del. Alfred W. Redmer Jr., a Republican who shared her district. Ayear later, Redmer, now the state insurance commissioner, gave $300 toKlausmeier's daughter.Klausmeier defended the awards last week. "My daughter applied, and she waslucky enough to get it," she said. "There was no, `Hey, just give it to me.'... Should she have been penalized because of who I was? It wasn't like it wasan astronomical amount of money."Although the scholarships are sometimes relatively small, the nearly $11million total amounts to 14 percent of the $76 million the state is spendingon financial aid this year. With tuition at public colleges skyrocketing,about 5,000 students are on a waiting list for the state's main needs-basedaid program.For legislators, the scholarships are a substantial source of patronage.Maryland's 47 senators get $138,000 each to distribute annually in theirdistricts, and the 141 delegates each get about $24,000.In one of the few rules governing the program, the scholarships are limitedto $200 to $2,000 a year and generally must be used at a two- or four-yearcollege in Maryland, public or private.The law encourages senators to consider need, but that is not defined.Students often get awards from more than one legislator, and the scholarshipsare renewable, as long a student stays in good academic standing.The only similar program in the country is in , where legislatorsgive out about $6 million in tuition waivers at state colleges. That programhas also survived repeated attempts to do away with it.Critics of Maryland's program, which dates back more than a century,acknowledge that some recipients from connected families might be deservingstudents. But they argue that letting lawmakers distribute aid tilts the oddstoward people inside the political loop who know about the program and whosechildren inevitably benefit from name recognition.In effect, the program gives each legislator a taxpayer-funded way to gainthe favor of up to several hundred families in the legislator's district everyyear."It's wrong from every standpoint," said Sen. Robert H. Kittleman, a Republican who has long opposed the program. "It's a way of givingpower to incumbents. It buys a lot of votes."Miller, the Senate president, defended the scholarships, saying they allowlegislators to take individual circumstances into account in a way that theformulas of other financial aid programs don't allow."There is a human side that faceless, nameless bureaucrats are incapable ofaddressing," he said. "A computer could do their job."Miller acknowledged that the program is susceptible to misuse, but he saidthat is not sufficient reason to do away with it. "All in all, when you lookat the program, its value over the years outweighs ... any potentiality forabuse," he said.Having been a fashion model back in the day, my ever-stylish mom gave me a subscription to Vogue, the magazine she calls "the bible of the fashion world."Her gift is probably a subtle hint to dress up a little so we won't have to ask for a booth in the back when we go to lunch. But ever since I was knee-high to a clothing rack, I've been mostly jeans and sneakers, not dresses and pumps.Vogue is like a train wreck: too terrifying to look at, yet I can't tear my eyes away. I try to imagine myself in thousand-dollar blouses that look like a shredded kite draped over a biology-class skeleton oops, that's a fashion model with a blank facial expression and pink hair. Not gonna happen. Besides, why spend for couture clothing? If can go to without make-up, looking like a slob, then so can I. Yet, somehow, Vogue and my mom make me feel like I should at least covet and , or long to carry a Louis Vuitton handbag and limp around in Jimmy Choo shoes. (Have you seen those things? The toes are so sharp, you could use one to dig an escape tunnel out of a maximum security prison; and the 5-inch spike heels should be registered as deadly weapons.)I know my mom loves me. At, least, I'm pretty sure she does. But somewhere deep inside, I get the feeling she'd love me a little more in or Dior. I truly believe if my poor mother were to go to her grave never having seen me in designer jeans, it would kill her (if she wasn't already dead, that is).At this point, though, I think she'd settle for me wearing an tank top from Target. Anything but my usual aging-hippie attire torn jeans (bought that way, which I think counts as "designer"); peasant blouses; Indian toe-loop sandals; and a Bolivian cloth bag slung over my shoulder. (The outfit wouldn't work without the bag!)So, driven by a daughter's biological need to please a mother who puts on lipstick to take out the trash as well as to entice Doug to take me somewhere besides the Taco Bell drive-through I finally caved. I bought a department-store, off-the-rack animal-print dress from a subdivision of a subdivision of a design house, and a pair of sky-high platform sandal-booties with straps and buckles all the way up.When I modeled the outfit for Doug, I didn't so much walk into the room as lurch in on those platform shoes, arms outstretched for balance. The air must be thin up that high up, or maybe the dress was too tight, because I was having trouble breathing.It felt like I was walking on stilts. I can't walk on stilts.Using the fashion-model tricks I learned at my mother's knee ("If the shoes hurt, suck it up."), I twirled around for Doug slowly, so I wouldn't fall off my shoes.Then I did the fashion model one-foot-directly-in-front-of-the-other walk, the No. 1 reason runway models fall over, and landed in Doug's lap. "Well?" I asked. "Be honest.""Maybe it's the leopard print," Doug said, "but you look like .""I thought so," I said sadly before wobbling back upstairs to find the receipt.Apparently, mom and I were cut from different cloth: Hers was a designer print, and mine was denim and it came off the remnant pile.Email Cathy Drinkwater Better at . PARIS (Reuters) - Fashion changes as quickly as the wind, and maybe that's what Karl Lagerfeld had in mind on Tuesday at , where enormous wind turbines greeted guests at his spring/summer 2013 show in Paris. But with the floors of the expansive Grand Palais made to resemble solar panels, one might have thought the prolific German designer was instead making a statement on going green. "I started to sketch in St. Tropez over the summer and it was so hot I wanted some fresh air," Lagerfeld explained after the show. Voila. Whatever the reasoning, Lagerfeld presented a wide-ranging readywear collection that occasionally incorporated synthetic fabric, but one in which classic Chanel looks using nubby wool, tweed and pearls were reworked for warm weather - all without one camellia in sight. , wearing a cream lace thigh-baring dress, was surrounded by a phalanx of cameras in the front row, where rapper and model-come-actress Laeticia Casta also held court. "It's so chic, it's so French, it's like a monument today," Casta said of Chanel, which has managed to keep its fashion clout and mighty branding power under the watchful eye of Lagerfeld more than 40 years after the death of founder Coco Chanel. The first look down the runway was, unsurprisingly, a little black suit, but its kicky leather skirt imparted an edgy flair and Chanel's beloved pearls, surrounded by rhinestones, dotted the boxy jacket in a whimsical polka dot pattern. A semi-sheer synthetic ribbed fabric was worked into slim black trousers paired with short-sleeved bolero jackets with pearl buttons, or used for body-hugging minidresses worn with cropped knit jackets. Lagerfeld worked the solar panel pattern into various tweeds and into a bold graphic in red and blue that popped on sweaters and jackets. Stunning in its simplicity was a column dress cut mid-thigh with a severe straight neckline that shimmered from tiny beads in twilight blue, silver and black. But, always curious, the designer played with the concept of air and wind, presenting floaty black dresses in sheer silk chiffon structured by a quilted panel bodice and adorned with tufts of multi-colored fabric that fluttered like feathers. More classically Chanel was a slim black evening gown with exaggerated Peter Pan collar and white cuffs. Its puritan simplicity fell by the wayside when the model moved, exposing a leg-baring split up the front and a shimmery fabric that lent elegance and sparkle. Lagerfeld may have been day-dreaming in St. Tropez of a pleasant, cool garden when he sketched the closing dresses in the collection, columns of white in a cotton and linen netting fabric elaborately embroidered with peonies and ivy vines. Accessories were big and bold, whether the sunhats with broad brims that resembled wheels, the chunky lace-up heels, or the faux-pearl chokers whose beads resembled Christmas ornaments. After the show, Lagerfeld, wearing a candy-cane stripe cravat and signature fingerless gloves, was asked what his secret was. "There is none," he replied, looking perplexed. "Work." FASHION BUZZ While Lagerfeld was busy musing on the wind, designer Sarah Burton must have been thinking about those hard workers who fly in it - namely bees. In her show late Tuesday on the eve of the close of Fashion Week, Burton presented an extravagant collection constructed from hive-like fabrics. The ornate, immaculately tailored garments, mostly jackets with pants or hotpants, all came cinched at the waist, and all imparted Queen Bee status on their wearer. In the amber and gold hues of a beehive, a bustier whose pattern resembled an armadillo hide was paired with black cropped pants, their hive pattern revealing skin underneath in a dazzling juxtaposition of armour and exposure. The reptilian fabric on another dress, a dramatic tight column of black with a vampish flounce below the knee, was so tactile, it begged to be touched. Burton - who received international acclaim after designing 's wedding gown - also showed a dozen or so hoop-skirt looks that managed to remain both elegant and avant-garde at the same time. Part Can-Can, part Madonna in the 1980s, the dresses in cream, pale yellow, gold and black were corseted, a favourite motif of Burton, and the exposed tiered hoop skirt recalled the segmentation on the abdomen of a bee. And lest we forget that bees can sting, Burton obscured her models' faces with inky black hats that evoked apiarists' headgear. Beekeepers never looked so good. (Additional Reporting by Leona Liu, editing by Paul Casciato)LOOK, I'M 26, and I want to make records and party and sc--w around and wear fake and do what every other 26-year-old wants to do. I don't want to settle down and live in a house yet or anything.That's talking to Vogue's Jonathan van Meter in the September issue of the fashion magazine. It's a good piece, with a lot of info and insight into the professional side of Gaga, the phenomenon of her epic shows, her perfectionism (I've never seen her miss her mark. I've never heard her sing a bad note. I have seen the technology fail her, but she has never let us down, says one insider.) I must say, however, it took me 20 minutes to find the Gaga story. The September issue of Vogue celebrates the magazine's 120th anniversary. It is massive. One of -- if not the biggest -- fashion issues I've ever attempted to pick up! (916 pages) Great for Vogue, but if you've skipped the gym lately, beware.Gaga is on the cover, but at first I didn't recognize her. I thought it was -- no kidding -- . I had to find the cover info on page 194. It's Gaga, dressed in and photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Inside the issue she looks more like herself, and quite lovely, especially the nude with the giant pink feathered hat.IN RECENT years, Hollywood has made big bucks out of turning literary series such as , Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games into mega-movies. Even TV has gotten in on the act, with HBO's Game of Thrones.Now Hollywood is planning to movie-ize another trilogy, I do mean E.L. James' erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Focus Features/Universal Pictures have optioned all three books. The other two volumes are titled Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.Well, this tale of sexual adventure, which includes sadomasochism, is a long way from child wizards or Hobbits, though there was violence and scary situations in the Potter and Rings movies. But nobody got tied up or tied down for kicks.It will be interesting who will be chosen to play Anastasia Steele, the 22-year-old protagonist of Fifty Shades of Grey. This role is going to require a lot of intensity and, no doubt, at least some nudity. Who is available in that age range, more or less? ? ? ? ? ? ? (Since Miss Stewart, who is 22, is getting all the media blame for her indiscretion with director Rupert Sanders, while supposedly attached to , she might as well capitalize on her newly sexualized image.)Of course, the character doesn't have to be 22, which opens it up for the likes of , , or even -- Katie Holmes. Holmes is 33 but looks considerably younger now that she is no longer Mrs. .OK -- this is not exactly the search for Scarlett O'Hara, but in 2012 Hollywood, finding Ana will be a big deal.I AM late in congratulating one of my favorite Hollywood stars, whom I don't know, but like a lot. I do mean , newly engaged to hot, hot, hot actor . Best wishes to both of you. Ignore the media. Even me. Unless you'd like to give me your first post-engagement interview! I'm all ears then, Jen.I NEVER RAN into anyone in show business who didn't like/love . Her raucous comedy wasn't really mean, just absurd. She kept the largest Christmas card list in history. She was always thrilled to meet the press and every utterance of hers was followed by a cackling laugh. She was her own best audience.I will miss her incredible costumes, her laugh at herself and receiving the inevitable Yule greeting. She was irrepressible at 95. Harmless. A real professional who had enjoyed her life as comedy.GOOD GRIEF! The death count for 2012 just keeps mounting. Within a week, we lost the abovementioned Miss Diller, the great character actor William Windom and actress . Miss Thaxter's obits all mentioned her role as 's adoptive mom in the 1978 version of the Man of Steel's adventures, but she was well known as one of the most dependable actors in the biz, usually playing the patient wife or girlfriend. She was, by all accounts, a lovely woman.And, of course, Hollywood is truly stunned over the apparent suicide of director/producer , who jumped from a Los Angeles bridge.I hope somebody has a baby soon, this constant mourning is depressing!IT'S JUST THE opposite of Samson of Samson and Delilah fame. That's my local neighborhood hairdresser Lolita Gomez, a cute little blonde bombshell, who operates out of the Bon Bon Salon on Third Avenue at 38th Street.She just happened to be in New Jersey recently and cut the hair of brand-new Yankee . Derek pitched his first game for the New York Yankees on Aug. 13. The Yankees won, despite Derek being shorn.(E-mail at .)Pallotti coach Paul Billingsley said he had never seen anything like his team's 21-20 victory over host Beth Tfiloh Tuesday. It's the most combined goals scored in a Panthers game this season and only the second time the total has gone over 35."It's the craziest and longest game I have been part of in three years at Pallotti," Billingsley said of contest that lasted one hour and 45 minutes. "To have such a high-scoring game like that was unexpected."The outcome was up for grabs until the final seconds in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference game. Beth Tfiloh attacker Jenna Baverman (3 goals) scored with 12 seconds remaining to trim the lead to 21-20. Then on the ensuing faceoff, Chanel Sparks flipped the ball up and it grabbed by Ashley Wilkinson, who ran out the clock."That was crucial," Billingsley said. "We knew it would come down to whoever got the draw controls. Possession of the ball was going to win the game. That's why I tried stalling at the end when I had a two-goal lead."Pallotti's biggest lead in the second half was four goals. The Panthers (10-8 overall, 8-4 league) had to hold off late-charging Warriors.The visitors went ahead 21-18 on Spark's low shot that beat goalie Karla Gutierrez (8 saves) with 2:29 remaining, but Baverman scored 51 seconds later.The Panthers, who led by as many as five goals in the first half, attempted to stall for the next minute or so before the Warriors (9-4, 9-2) trimmed the lead to one.Beth Tfiloh coach Alexa Eckley wished more time had remained on the clock with the way her team peaked at the end."We didn't give up even when they had a couple of runs," Eckley said. "I was very pleased with the way we played. The first time we played them in the beginning of the season (10-7 loss) we were not in the game."Carissa Hill and Ashley Wilkinson led Pallotti with six goals apiece. Teammate Jill Pavlacka contributed five.Sara Beth Adler and Arielle Hamburg paced Beth Tfiloh with six goals each. Tali Vogelstein and Oliva Mauer finished with two goals and an assist.The Warriors' Isabella Shapiro stopped 15 shots.This season's beachwear will be dominated by retro pinup girl silhouettes, tribal prints, nautical stripes, flashy coverups even rompers.Step back, string bikinis. Swimwear this summer is more about modesty and style rather than skin. Top designers such as , and are producing one-piece suits that are perfect for frolicking on the beach. And other designers have created stunning coverups, scarves and separates perfect to help beach-goers transition from the sun to evening fun.Taylor Schlette, marketing coordinator for South Moon Under, says a major trend this summer will be fashionable coverups that allow beachgoers to transition easily from day to night."It's all about wearing something sheer and sexy over a bathing suit," she said. "Pair wide-leg pants with bathing suits. These coverups transition to going out. They are that cool."Among Schlette's other must-haves of the season are swimsuits in neon, fringe and prints."I just bought the most amazing pinup-style bikini," Schlette said. "It has a high-waisted bottom with a bra top but in an updated neon pink and peach color block."Tinsley Mortimer, handbag designer and author of the beach read "Southern Charm," suggests that beachgoers go with swimsuits that play to their strengths. That means lots of bold colors and those stylish retro suits that have dominated resort collections of the world's top designers."You want to feel the most confident," Mortimer said. "It's about enjoying yourself."She advises women to gravitate toward bright colors avoid black, she says and wear accessories that shield skin from the sun."Do not be afraid of color," said the New York Fashion Week front-row fixture. ""Wear a cute, beachy coverup, short shorts, strapless sundresses, big sunglasses and big floppy hats. Wear sunscreen. Protect your skin."Mortimer says she's a big fan of the popular retro swimsuits and nautical patterns this season."I think they are cute," she said. "I like the ones with the little skirts on them."Hair and makeup are as important as the right summer swimsuit, according to experts.Stephanie Chervenkov, Miss Maryland Teen USA 2012, knows a thing or two about wearing winning makeup."You don't have to follow your full makeup regimen, simply focus on SPF protection, minimal beauty steps and, most importantly, have fun with it," Chervenkov said. "Don't be afraid to try something new after all, you are at the beach. If a basic lip tint is too boring, amp up your lips with cool pops of color in a fun, trendy hue of pretty pinks or even orange lipsticks, but overall, remember to make your makeup appear effortless."Chervenkov also advises that beachgoers strive for a "fresh, luminous look" by adding a pearlized pink shadow or a shimmering gold shade with nude or pale matte lips. She also recommended using a coral eye shadow her favorite."It captures the essence of a summer at the beach, accents most skin tones and is on-trend this season," she said.When it comes to hair, it's important to keep it protected and looking moisturized, says Brian Oliver, a hairstylist at Salon Ipsa in Georgetown, whose clients have included , Emma Stone and Brook Shields."You should always use a protective, moisturizing cream before going in the sun or swimming in salt or chlorine water," Oliver said.The stylist recommends using Keratase moisturizing cream for short to long hair and Hair Rules for extra curly, wavy hair."Always use a conditioner with sunscreen," he said. "It will protect you hair color and keep it from fading. If you have heavily highlighted hair, wear a hair cover or wide-brimmed hat. That gives you total protection. It will keep the hair moist and supple."Beach essentialsA big hat and big sunglassesNatural looking make-upScarfWedgesA light beach read  sheriff's deputies and Maryland State Police report:AberdeenWillie Lee Gordon, 40, of the 800 block of Avenue, was arrested Wednesday on two bench warrants in cases in which he was charged with alcoholic beverage in prohibited place and trespassing. Mary Eileen Schmidt, 27, of the first block of South Law Street, was arrested Tuesday on a bench warrant in a case in which she was charged with theft more than $500. Christopher Michael McFarlin, 27, of the 400 block of South Stepney Road, was charged Tuesday with attempted second-degree burglary, two counts of attempted fourth-degree burglary and vandalism less than $500.Marcus A. Johnson, 20, of the 200 block of Forest Green, was arrested Tuesday on a bench warrant in a case in which he was charged with possession of marijuana.James J. Dillon, 27, of the 600 block of South Philadelphia Boulevard, was arrested Tuesday on a bench warrant in a case in which he was charged with vandalism more than $500 and possession of marijuana.Rekna Wesley, 35, of the first block of East Avenue, was arrested Monday on a bench warrant in a case in which she was charged with second-degree assault.Virginia Pitts, 54, of the first block of East Bel Air Avenue, was arrested Monday on a bench warrant in a case in which she was charged with second-degree assault.Sonya Nicole Risby, 19, of the first block of East Bel Air Avenue, was charged Monday with possession of a narcotic with intent to distribute and possession of a drug other than marijuana.A caller in the 800 block of Gilbert Road reported Aug. 17 someone stole property and vandalized a vehicle.Aberdeen police report:Scott Anthony Thomas, 41, of the 300 block of Graceford Drive, was charged Wednesday with second-degree assault. He allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend. No major injuries were reported.A caller in the 1000 block of South Philadelphia Boulevard, in Hickory Ridge Business Park, told police Wednesday someone broke into a trailer.A caller in the 700 block of Battle Avenue told police Wednesday someone stole a stove and refrigerator.A caller in the 300 block of Graceford Drive told police Tuesday someone damaged a pick-up truck and an SUV.A caller in the first block of Green Ave told police Tuesday a girl stole his ID.The sheriff's office and state police report:AbingdonEugene Walter Zacerous, 37, of the 3700 block of Paca Avenue, was charged Wednesday with failure to maintain required security for vehicle, driving with suspended registration, driving while his out of state license was suspended, driving while suspended and possession a suspended license.We sure don't like our wrinkles! After the onanti- goos, readers want to join the conversation. Thanks foryour suggestions on other things to try (or reject). In theinterest of all of us who want to remain young, here you go:Anna Gunter Kaplan, Rockford, Ill.: I enjoyed your column as I'vebeen searching for new products this past year as my skin hasbecome dry and those signs of aging, fine lines and creases haveincreased. I have auburn hair and pale, easily irritated skin. I'ma basic soap-water-go person so I wasn't enthusiastic approachingthe too many products on the shop shelves. These were myexperiences, much like your intrepid team. I tried L'OrealRevitalift at night. There was some skin irritation and temporarytightening. I finished the bottle and haven't replaced it. OlayTotal Effects 7 Signs Serum: it temporarily smoothed fine lines(2-3 hours). I finished the bottle and haven't replaced it.Strivectin: A friend tried it and saw no difference. I thought herunder-eye skin looked much firmer but she disagreed. ... Andfriendship is more important. There were other products like thoseabove I also tried and saw no difference, i.e. I spent too muchmoney this past year trying new products and none seemed toactually change the skin. Thus far, for maintaining skin my bestcombination for simply looking better is: Wash skin with Cetaphil,nothing else. Olay Daily Regenerating Serum, Fragrance-free: Iapply liberally after each face washing and reapply it if I'moutdoors. My skin absorbs it no matter how much I apply which is alittle scary as I wonder what's going on inside my skin. :) Itprovides a smooth skin base for applying my make-up. Age-Defying Makeup: This I endorse as it applies smoothly andlightly to dry skin and I found a shade that matches my complexion.It temporarily masks fine lines. So ... if I removed and reappliedmake-up at the morning and afternoon coffee break, I'd look"smoother" most of the workday. That's far too much maintenanceeffort for my taste. To reduce dryness, at night I apply KY Jellyto my skin around my mouth, chin, and around my eyes. The gel holdswater against the skin and the skin absorbs it and it's completelynon-irritating. Yes, it looks odd but who cares at night. If thisidea seems wacko, it was told to me by a hospital dietician; Inever would have thought of it myself! For overall dry skin, AvonSilicon Cream is the most effective and soothing cream I've found.And I try to drink lots of water. After this year ofexperimentation: my skin is softer, more moisturized but lines andcreases are still present! As Spring begins, I need to find a highSPF lotion that is non-gooey and non-irritating. I may have to calla for that info. If you consider non-surgical medicaldermatology procedures, write a column about your team'sexperiences. Hope your intrepid team of explorers finds at least asmall, trickling fountain of youth. Let us know if you do!Patrice Carden: I read your article "Fountain of Truth"in yesterday's paper and am compelled to write to you because I'vebeen in the same boat where "nothing works" %u2013 no matter howmuch you spend %u2013 and feel as if I could have written thearticle myself with the money I've wasted on bad products. I'm alegal secretary in the Loop and have no affiliation with skin carecompanies. I'm 47 and have been buying literally everything new inthe department stores for years, trying to find skin care thatmakes a difference. I'm providing you and your lady testers thename of the best product line I've found: "Juvenesse by ElaineGayle". I have been using her skin care for the past five yearsand, believe me, I wouldn't be going back to her if she didn't meanbusiness. My skin looks better than it did 10 years ago. She islocated on North Michigan Avenue and does not sell in thedepartment stores, but does have a large clientele ofdermatologists, and is very successful, I believe, in China. Herproducts range from about $40 to $70, but she does not advertise soyour money is all in the product. When I run out of something,after two days I notice a considerable change in my skin'sappearance and have to buy her products again %u2013 they are thebest. You will not be sorry with the results. If you're interested,her number is 800-949-1211. I have numerous friends who now use herline, and have a relative in Florida who actually calls Chicago forher products. I think I'd like to give up my day job and get intoher business because she makes a great product. She has a hugeselection of things, but I personally like these the best. 1. XLfirming serum (goes on like a liquid and totally firms and tightensyour skin in minutes -- the stuff is great) 2. XL co-Q10 wrinkleserum (lightweight cream %u2013 smooths out skin noticeably) 3.Creme de le Creme (great lightweight moisturizer, non-greasy,quick-absorbing, works great) 4. Microdermabrasion scrub (the BESTone-step scrub I've tried anywhere -- non-irritating %u2013 skinwill look wonderful when you're finished %u2013 I've tried lots andlots of scrubs similar to this) 5. Gelee (undereye gel thattightens and lifts) I hope I've contributed something worthwhile toyour study and hope you'll try these products. Would like to hearback from you ! (P.S. On another note, 's mascara"primer" I've just discovered, and it is the greatest thing sincesliced bread. Never thought I'd want to do TWO steps for mascara,but makes a huge difference, and you spend half the time actuallyapplying your mascara (use "More than Mascara" with it)! The primermakes the mascara just glide on beautifully and your lashes areliterally twice as long! Trust me on this one too.) (P.S. Maybe wecan get those cellulite creams to work now - eh???) Mary: Just wondering if you've checked out Ahava'sTimeline line of products -- these are made with Seaminerals and salts. I love the face moisturizer and the eyemoisturizer. I can tell you that some eye creams definitely,absolutely work to keep the eye area moisturized while others donot. I actually started getting cracked skin under my eyes whenusing products I had used for a long time, like Aveda's eye cream.Clinique's moisture surge eye gel was the only thing I found for along time that prevented that cracking. I think this is unusual . .. I don't know why this happens to me, but the Ahava eye cream alsoworks well for me and I like it better. My skin is actually verywrinkle free and youthful at 52 -- which I think is genes, notnecessarily creams, but I've always moisturized well and stay outof the sun, never smoked, etc. But these Dead Sea products arereally different, and they really do have therapeutic results forpeople with and other . I think only time willtell with some of these products if they make a difference. But theminerals and salts are unique and medicinal . . . so I think theremay be something really genuinely good here. What do you think? Youcan even smell the sea in the face moisturizer. I'd like to knowwhat people think about Ahava or similar products with Dead Seasalts and minerals. AAlice Alekman, Inverness, Ill.: I read your column todaywith a bit of interest. I have used Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv and alsoPerfectionist, both quite expensive, but I went back to -- andstayed with -- Olay total effects 7x. But I don't use the serum.What I use is just called "visible anti-aging vitamin complex" --it's a creamy liquid that comes in a squat bottle, rather than thetall serum bottle pictured. It's the same 1.7 fluid ounces, though,and while it seems to be "officially" priced at $18.99 (I think),it's often sold for a dollar or two off at , Walgreens, andsometimes the supermarket. It certainly doesn't feel "too thick,"or make my face feel "weighted down," as Cassandra West said inyour article. And - here's the best part for you yourconcerns -- it contains "broad spectrum UA/UVB sunscreen." I don'trecall ever seeing the serum. Maybe it's only sold at Wal-Marts andI don't shop there.Leslie Hilmer, Stevensville, Ill.: I really enjoyed yourpage in the paper today. (Especially that you got Phil toparticipate!) If you want to see a nice difference in the looks ofyour skin I can recommend a few easy products that you didn't try.First Joey NY Collagen Boosting Moisturizer (there are day andnight formulas) give that a couple of minutes to be absorbed.Follow with Joey Line Up. You just need a little bit dotted on yourlines and give that a few minutes, too. Then, use some I.D. BareMinerals make up. Just buff it on and your skin will look fab! Onlytakes about 5 to 10 minutes total. I am 51 and these three productshave made an enormous difference. You can get them at Ulta.Lauret MacLennan: Dear Wrinkleless Ellen(From Ellen: I wish) To look younger I date veryold men. It's less expensive than the products and they pay fordinner.Leon Greenberg, Chicago: As a man, I really don't paymuch attention to all the junk women insist on putting on theirfaces. However, after looking at the prices of these anti-agingwonder products, I must say women are absolutely nuts! $285 for alittle bottle f face cream? I think you'd be better off spendingthat on a massage and facial. Also, just wondering if (Tribunerestaurant critic Phil) Vettel was tasting the samples or wearingthem?Baiba Kahn, Vernon Hills, Ill.: I read with interest yourtesting of the various products for anti-aging. I've tried a lot ofthem over the course of my life, but my all time favorite, and theone that I return to year after year for at least 15 years now, hasbeen the AVON line called "Anew". It is truly a miracle in a jar. Iam 61 years old and my face is quite smooth and wrinkle free. Ofcourse you can tell that I am an older person. When I first startedusing it years ago, even my husband noticed a difference afterabout a week or so of my using the products. He is not veryobservant like that. Anyway, I thought you might like to know.Candy Renwall: LOVED your article in the Trib today(especially Phil V. as resident male tester) and ran to thecomputer to share my thoughts before my biz day got away from me.Timing of your article just had to be fate because yesterday I gotan email from a colleague of mine who pitched me on an idea she hasfor a new business called "The Makeover Store" : A one-stop shoplocation providing "vendor neutral" recommendations/guidance on thehundreds of products being marketed for skin and hair (a take offon Sephora's concept but with professionally trained staff and nocosmetics for sale). What obviously is driving the venture iswithout a doubt the biggest challenge these days for women youngand old, and just what your article drilled down to: Wading thruthe massive onslaught of new miracle claims for anti-aging, tryingto figure out a) what the ingredients are; b) what the ingredientsdo/don't do; c) what they'll do to your skin; and d) all of theabove%u2026and then some. InStyle's annual best beauty products hitthe newsstands yesterday so that might be worth looking at for afollow up article. Another source that would be worth looking atwould be Paula Begoin, the so-called "Beauty Cop". She wrote thebook called "Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me"%u2026 itwas great but she lost a bit of her "neutrality" when she latercame out with her own cosmetics product line. Nevertheless, heronline newsletter still gives in-depth, biting analysis of whatproducts will and won't do for women. Worth a look!Inez Yablong, Wilmette: I have something that will work.My dermatologist recommended ROC which I buy at Walgreens and Ilove it. My grandson said, "Grammy you used ot have 1,00 wrinklesand now you only have 900." I do not have as many deep wrinkles onmy forehead. Tell your readers about this. Also, just wondering if(Tribune restaurant critic Phil) Vettel was tasting the samples orwearing them?Cherre Neitzka: I did not see that you rated UniversityMedical's Freeze Cream. This product's advertising indicates thatit works in minutes. I was intrigued that they would claim this soI tried it. Yes, it works in minutes. My 60 year old face withlines and creases experienced major improvement in minutes. Myco-workers did double-takes. They were amazed. I am amazed andstill use the product. It can be found in most stores for$18.00.Thea Potanos, Oak Park, Ill.: Fun column, but you didn'ttest some of the anti-aging products that DO work - Retin A andantioxidants like Prevage (prescription strength, not the stuffEstee Lauder sells) and Skinceuticals Vit C AHA serum. Generally Idon't waste my money on pricey (over the counter) OTC stuff aftertrying La Mer, which I found out is just a really nice, expensivemoisturizer, nothing more. Instead, I go to a cosmeticdermatologist. No Botox yet. I use a prescription skincare linecalled Obagi NuDerm which incorporates Retin A, and for me it hasworked wonders. Generally it takes about 6 months before you seemaximum improvement with stuff like Retin A, Obagi and goodanti-oxidants. Another good (pricey and SMELLY) product that worksis TNS recovery complex.JC, Chicago: Contrary to your findings, I've usedStiVectin for 2-3 yrs and it DOES work for me.Cynthia Pike-Fuentes: I LOVED your article today and itcould not have been more timely. Just this morning, I was wonderingif the $100 bottle of Skinceuticals firming cream really did morethan the Olay Regenerist or the Revlon with botafirm or the Roc"serious wrinkle" cream (not that any of them did much). A coupleof months ago, Fox Chicago did a comparison between Roc and LaPrarie (about $200) and two out of the three testimonials said LaPrairie did a better job (and it sure looked that way on camera!)So I suppose I'll keep trying. Like you, being an "aging" (and Ican barely admit that) Baby Boomer in a youth obsessed culture isquite a challenge. I am 46 and have two children, ages five andthree. And I will NOT allow anyone to think that I am a younggrandmother! So the quest in haircolor, anti-aging serums and agood diet and exercise program continues. I look forward to yourfuture columns.Ann Baker: I enjoy you column - you remind me of one ofmy high school friends - a compliment! Anyhow, this week's was veryinteresting. Women of all generations have spent inordinate amountsof money and time fighting the natural aging process. There is somuch money to be made with the "I deserve to have it all" BabyBoomers it is frightening. I was blessed to have grown up knowingmy grandmother and mother who both embraced aging as a god-given,hard earned time to reap the benefits of a life well lived. Neitherwore makeup except on special occasions, both lived the "everythingin moderation" credo, and used common sense for every decision.They were spiritual, funny and lots of interests to keep them busy.Everyone commented on how beautiful they were - their inner beautyradiating. Granted, I wish my mother was a little better aboutexplaining some things (shaving legs, tampons, etc) but I realizeas I head into my 42nd year (and am struggling with the haircoloring decision) and my shelves are not lined with age-defyinglies that hopefully I will slip through middle age and beyondeating right, doing yoga, enjoying life and hope for the best! PS.I was carded at Dominick's a few weeks ago! - although my husband,always the skeptic, questioned the IQ and visual abilities of theperson.Eric Smith, Chicago: I use Iman skin care products dailyto maintain my youthful look. She has a multi-step program thatincludes a soap, toner and moisturizer. And I have to say, it keepsme looking 7-10 younger than the rest!From Ellen: I usually don't post obviously commercialpitches but thought these two were worth telling readers about incase they want to branch out in your search for the Fountain ofYouth.Linda M. Davis: Wheaton, Ill. Found your article onage-defying products very informative. Seems to be all the ragelately. I am a Skin Care Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics andwondered if you have had the pleasure of experiencing ourage-defying skin care products? The Mary Kay experience is designedfor each product to work together with each other. Reasonablypriced, our program is a PH-balanced one that is quick and easywith wonderful results. Of course, consistency is necessary. Eventhe overnight miracles need to be repeated every day! Once in thehabit of the Mary Kay routine, you will be very pleased. We can saythat because if you are not completely satisfied, we offer a 100%money-back guarantee. I am trying to make this short...I am sureyou are receiving lots of e-mails. I would like to add that I am 53years old and have used Mary Kay Cosmetics since I was 28! Peoplehave never guessed my age correctly. I am faithful to my programand because of that I feel I am fighting the aging process everyinch of the way! If you are have tried Mary Kay in the past, butjust wasn't completely convinced, please give it another chance.Our program has changed dramatically in the past few years. Ourproducts are better than ever and easier to apply. Whether is bewrinkles, or just needing a special 'glow', we have something foreveryone. My daughters are ages 24 and 11 and they are both MaryKay girls with beautiful complexions. My website:www.marykay.com/lindadavisAcross most of the nation, Americans are wincing at soaring gasoline prices, struggling with rising food costs, worrying over collapsing real estate values and staring into the abyss of a looming recession.Here in Houston, Maserati sales are up 86 percent so far this year, according to the TexAuto Facts Report. Chanel and are expanding their luxury stores at the Galleria shopping mall. New construction permits in the city have jumped by almost 30 percent. The region added more than 100,000 jobs last year. And the mayor just proposed a dream budget for next year featuring more cops and lower property taxes.The city's rather bland official slogan is "Opportunity Houston: All the world in one region."Perhaps city leaders should change it to "What, me worry?" Or maybe "America's pain: Houston's gain."Thanks mostly to skyrocketing prices for Houston's central commoditiesoil and natural gasthis sprawling headquarters city for the nation's energy industry is living even larger than usual these days. At nearly $135 a barrel, the tide of windfall oil profits is not only raising boats in Houston, but selling more toodealers report that sales of luxury million-dollar yachts are up this year."There aren't very many reasons for Houstonians to feel anything but positive about the economic outlook right now," said Mike Inselmann, president of Metrostudy, a Houston housing consulting firm. "Nobody's expecting oil to go back to $20 a barrel."Energy cityThe energy industry accounts for fully 48 percent of Houston's jobs, and the city is home to 43 of the nation's 144 publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production firms, according to the Greater Houston Partnership, the city's business promotion agency. The newfound prosperity from all those well-paying energy jobs is washing through the rest of the area's economy."When you are talking about adding 100,000 jobs per year, it trickles down pretty well," said Bill Gilmer, senior economist and vice president at the of Houston. "That's like growing a whole new metropolitan areayou not only create those jobs directly, there are all of the secondary benefits in terms of new retail establishments, new car dealerships, everything you need to stock a new metro area inside the Houston area."Which means, quite simply, that even though Houstonians dislike paying more than $4 a gallon for gas as much as the rest of the nation, many have much fatter wallets from which to extract the cash."Our luxury retailers and higher moderate stores are doing really well and continue to see a great amount of foot traffic," said Nicole Davis, director of marketing at the Galleria. "We just opened a brand-new store, Tory Burch, a couple weeks agoit's an upper-end clothing store for women. The store manager said a couple of days ago business is off to a big boom."Houston's newfound energy prosperity comes on top of other economic advantages the nation's fourth-largest city has long possessed. Tax rates are low, as is the cost of living, and the city's political climate is aggressively pro-businessofficials steadfastly resist imposing zoning laws, for example, because they could crimp development.Economic diversityThe local economy, though still largely dependent on the energy industry, is growing more diversified, with the city's health-care sector growing rapidly. And while Houston's home-sales figures have softened and mortgage foreclosures are rising as they are elsewhere in the country, the ever-expanding housing market here never blew up into the kind of speculative real estate bubbles that are now deflating in so many other large American cities. That means houses are taking longer to sell, but they are generally holding their value."You do see a decline in existing home sales," said Gilmer. "But if you've got a rapidly growing market, that can quickly cover up a lot of past sins. That's the problem in a lot of the rest of the country, employment has slowed to standstill. Houston is enjoying both strong population and housing growth."Little wonder that Kiplinger's magazine just rated Houston the best city in America "to live, work and play."Stephen Klineberg, a sociology professor at Rice University, takes the pulse of Houstonians in an annual survey about their attitudes on a wide range of subjects. This year, Klineberg said, the percentage of respondents expressing optimism about their own financial situation and the city as a whole jumped from 35 percent to 50 percent."People say they expect Houston will do even better in the future, but that's accompanied by deepening pessimism about the prospects for the rest of the country," Klineberg said. "There's a perception in Houston that we're doing pretty well but the country is going to hell in a handbasket."No gloatingYet Houstonians are resisting the temptation to gloat about their good fortune. For one thing, the city's poorest residents, squeezed hardest by rising food and energy prices, do not read Kiplinger's magazine and have seen little benefit from the local economy's good fortunes.What's more, longtime Houston residents recall the last oil boom, in the early 1980s. By the end of that decade, after world oil prices collapsed, the city saw a quarter of a million jobs evaporate."There's a lot more balance now," said Walter Wainwright, president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association. "It's not the swaggering days of big money like it used to be. People learned a lesson from the last time oil was headed up and then we got whacked."Given rising world demand for oil and natural gas amid diminishing supplies, most experts here anticipate that oil will stay expensive for a very long time.But some savvy companies are hedging their bets, just in case. At the busy Port of Houston, cargo ships offloading the giant blades of wind-power turbines are now a regular sight.The uniforms may have been handed down from the varsity, the games aren't played in prime time, the skills might not be as flashy and no official county champion is declared, but that doesn't mean that junior varsity sports are any less team oriented or competitive.The JV team is where fundamental skills and game concepts are taught. Skills that hopefully will eventually land the athlete a spot on the varsity.No matter if the team went 20-0 or 0-20, lessons were learned, friendships forged and memories made. We contacted each school's athletic director and asked that the JV coaches email us a wrap-up of their team's season, including some of the outstanding players and some of the highlights. This is what we heard. Boys basketballAtholton finished 10-6-3 in county play and 13-6-3 overall, putting it among the county's upper echelon. But, according to coach Jared Albert, getting there took battling through some heartbreak.The lost an early-season game to River Hill at the buzzer that served as a tremendous motivator. "I feel like that was the turning point in our season," Albert said. "Our practices became more intense and competitive, which is what you want them to be as a coach."On the season, sophomore forward Michael Bernetti ended up leading the team in total points and rebounds. Using his body well in the post and also hitting shots from long range, he finished with 279 points to go with 157 rebounds. He was named the team's most valuable player.Sophomore forward Anthony Moore (108 points, 99 rebounds) was second on the team in points and rebounds, while sophomore point guard Jordan Mason led the team with 50 assists. Other key players were sophomore Ross Perdue (85 points, 85 rebounds, 45 steals and 17 blocks) and sophomore Marc Fleming, who did a little bit of everything as a key part of the team's chemistry.Centennial, put together a second-straight 16-4 record with a squad that included 11 newcomers. "The real enjoyment comes from coaching a relatively new team with many question marks and seeing them turn steadily into a strong team," coach said.The Eagles won 12 of their first 13 games to set the tone for a campaign where they outscored the opposition by more than 250 points, shot 72 percent from the free-throw line and out-rebounded opponents by an average of nine a game.Chase Conley (15 points, 10 rebounds a game), Walter Fletcher (17 points, five steals, five assists a game) and Logan Tignall (seven points, eight rebounds a game) provided the sophomore leadership from day one. They also set the tone defensively.Sophomores Stephen Driscoll (six points a game) and Matt Ung chipped in with timely shooting, ball handling and floor vision, especially once Fletcher was called up to varsity late in the year. Other contributors were freshmen Chad Strothers, Nick Benavides, Eli Geist and Isaiah White.After somewhat of a rough beginning to the season, Howard closed by winning three of its last four to finish with a 7-13 record. For a team that played a large contingent of freshmen, it was a great sign for the future. "We started to come together as a team and really improved our play," coach Nils Schroder said.One of those key freshmen was point guard Kyle Lowenkron. He was the team's biggest threat from long range, making an average of 2.1 threes per game and helped the team decrease its turnovers down the stretch. Sophomore Neil Caruso finished as the team's top rebounder (8.2 per game), while Mat Von Neida was also a terrific presence in the paint. He finished averaging nine points a night and had several games of 15 points or more.It was a culture-changing year for Marriotts Ridge, according to coach Ian Pope. A team primarily made up of guards thrived on pressuring opponents on its way to a 12-7-1 record. "During the course of the season, JV and varsity thrived off of one another's energy," Pope said. "Our JV crowds grew and this helped to build community, confidence and overall performance of the team."Freshman Alex Caffes was a "flat out scorer" according to his coach and finished averaging 14 points and four steals per game. Sophomore Jake Bender (12 points, three steals per game) served as "the vocal leader" and sophomore Amir Najib (10 points, five assists game) brought a winning mentality after playing for the Mustangs' state championship soccer team.Among the memorable moments was the team's win late in the season over a Centennial team that had beaten them earlier in the year.Mt. Hebron finished the year strong by winning its last six games for a 16-4-2 overall record. During that closing stretch, the team avenged one of its ties and one of its losses from earlier in the year.Dave Herlihy (15 points per game), Mike Duan (six), Zach Andreas (five) and Ben Kalra (three) provided sophomore leadership on a team that got contributions from everyone. Connor Maloney, Joey Trapuzzano, Mark Smith, Josh Bryant, Justin Burk, Ian Reid, , Alex McKenzie, Jovon Harris, Aaren Smith and Alec Vaughan all played key roles at different points of the year.- The Musee du Louvre is ornate, palatial and extremely large. The sprawling art museum on the Right Bank of the Seine River was one of our first stops on our Paris visit. It is home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the No. 1 attraction in the museum. The most common tour of the Louvre is: Let's see what we can see going to and from the Mona Lisa. Wife Pat, expatriate daughter Caitlin and I were soon part of the never-ending parade heading toward the image of a Florentine noblewoman, known as La Gioconda. The painting, done about 1504, is not big: about 30 by 20 inches. Your viewing will be shared with countless others. The Louvre is described as the largest and most-visited museum in the world, and is arguably the most famous. It gets 15,000 visitors a day, 5 million a year, 65 percent of whom are foreign tourists. The Louvre is a vast complex: 380,000 objects, of which about 35,000 are on display over more than 652,000 square feet. I was as impressed by the building as I was by the artwork. It is an awesome one-time fortress and palace that shouts Paris. With its 2.2 million residents, Paris is a city with a flair, style, exclusivity and sophistication. It is the world capital of elegance with sidewalk cafes, museums, shops, parks and palaces. It is known for its wide avenues, rich fashion houses and opulent mansions. It is the No. 1 city for international visitors, 15.6 million in 2011. Paris has been called the most beautiful city in the world, the City of Lights, the City of Daily Delights. Its history goes back 2,000 years to the Romans. It is a rich and varied city that covers 40 square miles with 400 parks, gardens and squares. Visitors openly gawk at buildings that are just ultra-cool with balconies, railings and striking above-the-ground features. Paris is known for celebrated visitors and residents: Vincent Van Gogh, Rudolf Nureyev, , Oscar Wilde, Richard Wagner, Henri Matisse, , Gertrude Stein, , Jean-Paul Sartre, and Leon Trotsky. You can sample museums of Pablo Picasso, Salvadore Dali and Auguste Rodin. Paris has an attitude all its own. We saw a bit of that in surly waiters and drivers. Some proclaim Paris the food capital of the world with its breads, pastries, 400 kinds of cheese, bistros, patisseries, and of course those magnificent French wines. It was the home of the first restaurant in 1785. Today it has an estimated 40,000 restaurants, more than most cities of its size. It offers 75,000 hotel rooms at 2,000 locations. Paris, arranged in 20 districts or arrondissements, is linked by its Metro subway with 185 miles of track and 429 stops. Nothing says Paris more than the Louvre. It dates back to medieval times and is known for its European paintings, Middle East art dating back to 7000 B.C., Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art, sculptures, decorative arts, prints and drawings and Islamic art. It is easy to get lost in the interconnected galleries. Surprisingly, you are welcome to take digital pictures. Just no flash. It was one of the first museums I've ever seen where the walls and ceilings themselves are ornately painted. It was constructed as a fortress in 1190 by King Phillippe-Auguste to protect Paris from Viking raiders. The trouble unfolded in different ways for passengers riding the No. 15 bus up Belair Road on April 19.Seated near the rear with her sleeping 22-month-old son, Dajun, on her lap, Erica Smith first spotted the thick smoke funneling up outside the windows. To Norma Powell, the trouble began when the bus abruptly lurched. And Chanel Harrison heard it as a muffled explosion. Flat tire? Mechanical breakdown? Those were their first guesses.But, for Catherine Cody, waiting in her Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle at the nearby intersection, there was no mistaking what was going on.We heard a little grunty noise, and then we saw the tire, she said. It was hurtling through the air, and I just knew it was going to break out a window.Cody is a praying woman. I put up my hand and said, Oh Jesus, she remembers.Maryland Transit Administration Bus 9417 became the ninth to lose a set of rear wheels since August. The next day, wheels came off a 10th bus, and acting MTA Administrator Virginia White began an investigation. She said she was unaware of the pattern of failures until that day.Since then, seven more buses have lost wheels, the most recent on Friday.State Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari has sent an independent investigative team into the MTA garages and administrative offices to identify the cause, as well as the reason why an aggressive investigation didnt begin sooner into a problem that is extremely rare and dangerous. On Saturday, White began an indefinite leave of absence as Porcaris team moved forward.Not all of the buses fell apart as spectacularly as Bus 9417, which propelled two 200-pound wheels and a hefty brake assembly through the intersection of Belair Road and Elmora Avenue.On Feb. 21, when the right rear wheels fell off a bus at York Road and Belvedere Avenue about noon, bystanders considered it more amusing than dangerous. Instead of rolling away, the wheels fell over by the curb, attracting chuckles from the lunchtime crowd.We heard the sound -- it was a loud noise like a screeching, said Allfirst Bank branch manager Carolyn Valentine, whose desk overlooks the intersection. No one was hurt in the accident. It was so funny, the wheels just flopped over, Valentine said.But Cody wasnt nearly as amused when Bus 9417 passed in front of her. It was 4 p.m., and she was carpooling with three co-workers to their night cleaning jobs at . Waiting at the stop sign at Elmora Avenue, she prepared to turn south onto Belair Road.When I looked to the left, I could not believe this tire was coming, said Cody. The first wheel hit the drivers door of her SUV.It rocked the truck and then bounced back up the street, she said. Then here came the brake drum rolling up. Then here come another tire and it hit me across the front of my truck, and that rocked us also.The bad news: $1,742.60 in damage to her two-year-old, champagne-colored SUV.The good news: Neither wheel struck the car windows. Cody says she believes her prayer worked.I said, Thank you, dear Lord, for that, she said. I knew if it hit that glass, I wouldnt have been here today.In the Toyota Corolla to Codys right, 27-year-old Richard Matthews had his cars speakers cranked up as he prepared to turn right onto Belair Road. He didnt hear the screech or see objects flying. But he felt the impact. might have the most enviable celebrity-kid closet, but Emme Maribel Muiz, daughter of and , had a front row seat for .Indeed, J.Lo brought some mommy glamor Tuesday while viewing's spring/summer 2013 collection, designed by the distinct Karl Lagerfeld, at Paris' Grand Palais.With dancer boyfriend Casper Smart in their party, both mother and daughter caused a photographer frenzy in soft and feminine lace-detail dresses. All the better to be admired by row-mates including and frequent Vogue photographer Patrick Demarchelier.Following Emme's fashion week debut (get Image's take on the Chanel show ), Jennifer and Casper hit up the presentation as a couple, chatting with the designer in their seats before the show began.J.Lo isn't the only celeb playing in the City of Light: Kristen Stewart showed up last week at 's runway, rapper MIA came to , and stunned in support of .ALSO:Follow Matt Donnelly onand.Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitterand on Facebook.Need a beauty gift that will light up her face on Christmas morning? Don't confound her with bath and perfume products that have the aroma of foods she'd rather eat than smell like. And sidestep the generic, yet expensive, eye shadow quad whose choices are so limited that selecting the wrong palette could mean it sits in her makeup drawer unused. Instead, make her merry this holiday season with beauty gifts she'll love.The Spa Lover Best of Bliss set 2009, $45, Bring the spa experience into her everyday routine. This paraben- and sulfate-free set includes the brand's popular Lemon Sage Body Butter, Lemon Sage Soapy Suds body wash and bubble bath,Triple Oxygen face mask, foaming face wash and SPF 15 daily moisturizer.The ScentualistChanel Fragrance Wardrobe, $105, Just one gift from classic Chanel is bound to make any woman feel cherished. With the several gifts contained in this Chanel all-in-one set, you've hit a home run. Or instead of the Chanel set, go for her favorite perfume and find a set with multiple products in the same fragrance so she can have a body lotion that doesn't clash with her perfume.The NesterApothia Wave Aromatic Diffuser, $78; Wave Candle, $46, You may not have a home by the ocean (yet), but close your eyes and the Apothia diffuser and candle will transport you to your own personal beachfront property. Looking for something a bit darker and more sensual? Joya's candles and diffusers in black or white faceted porcelain in scents such as "Blue Lotus and Wild Grass" are narcotic, $48 to $76 at .The Bath and Body BeautyKiehl's Limited Holiday Edition KAWS Creme de Corps, $44.50, Designed by graffiti artist Brian Donnelly (a.k.a. KAWS), this is a feel-good gift in more ways than one since sales proceeds go to RxArt, a nonprofit organization that brings art to pediatric hospitals. Kiehl's Deluxe Grapefruit Set for $60 is a nice choice if she likes to be invigorated in the shower. Philosophy's Silent Night Lavender all-in-one high foaming shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath is perfect if she prefers a relaxing scent, $16 at the Philosophy Store at 1329 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. (310) 395-6500. If she lives life on the sweeter side, Fresh's Brown Sugar Gift Set for $75 at is a delicious treat.The Green GoddessKorres Never Too Many Gift Set, $39.50, Gift the naturalist on your list with a cornucopia of shower gels without paraben, synthetic dyes or petrochemicals in scents such as jasmine, clementine and mint.The Mane AttractionT3 Bespoke Labs Featherweight Valedictorian: Stephanie J. VillaltaSalutatorian: Maury A. QuijadaMaria Adali Shelby Nicole Addison Folasade Aderem AdegbiteOluwatomide Kolapo AdeosunLeah Inez Afadi-YomedanAdedolapo Qudus AgiriKaren Isela Aguilar InocenteJessica Serwaah AgyemanAlexcia Nicole AkaMonica Achankeng AkatehEldrick Jelani AlexanderBrianne Renee AllenMieke Renee AllenJason Vinicio Aloyo GarciaValentina Amaris-VillaSabia AminCindy Ekeoma AmunekeJohn Ellis AnandrajBill Vaughan, of North Laurel, has gone from being part of the excitement to watching it through a camera lens.The son of a firefighter, Vaughan spent 28 years with the Montgomery County Fire Department and reached the level of master firefighter before retiring in 1996.Looking for a new challenge, Vaughan turned to photography and became a contract photographer, or free-lancer, with a focus on sports. "It is my own personality. You shoot something and from there you can say this is my work," Vaughan said in explaining what he loves about photography. "It is no different from cooking a meal. It is your own personality. It is like writing a story. It is yours." He has done work for the University of athletics department, the Washington Redskins and the Bowie Baysox, a minor league farm team of the . For several years he made the drive to to take photos of the Richmond Renegades, a minor league hockey team.His non-sports work, including shots from during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have been featured at the Newseum in Washington.He was also the lead photographer for the Million Mom March, and his work has been featured for nine years in Brady Campaign materials. His clientele has included and the Discovery Chanel and his photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, National Geographic and .Vaughan first took photos of Biden when the then-senator spoke to the International Association of Firefighters."I started talking to his aide and became buddies with them," said Vaughan, who also took photos of Biden when he spoke to the group in Washington as a candidate for vice president.He also took photos of then-presidential candidate when he spoke to the same group.On the Republican side of the ledger, the Laurel resident snapped images of President when he welcomed the University of Maryland men's basketball to the after the Terps won the national title in 2002.One veteran photographer who helped Vaughan get started in sports was the late Jerry Wachter, the former team photographer of the Orioles who also worked for Sports Illustrated."I was his assistant for two years. I learned a lot from him," Vaughan said of Wachter, who died in 2005.In the late 1990s Wachter was able to get an extra credential for Vaughan to shoot the at MT Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Vaughan said one of his early challenges was to not get caught up in the action on the field and to focus on taking solid photos.That was the case in 2001 when Vaughan, who had become good friends with then-Maryland football coach , was the photographer for the Terps as they won the title. He was also at the Final Four in Atlanta in 2002 as Maryland won its first-ever national title in men's basketball."You have to shoot, shoot, shoot and hope you get everything," said Vaughan.One of his long-standing assignments as a contract photographer has been with the Baysox, a Class AA farm team in the Eastern League. He began work with the team in the late 1990s and one of his first contacts with the team was through Dave Collins, who was then the public relations director and the team's radio announcer."We had a contract with him and he went above and beyond the contract," said Collins, now the radio voice of baseball's Lancaster (Pa.) Barnstormers in the independent Atlantic League.Vaughan tries to attend every Bowie home game in April in order to get photos of every player for the team. His contact with the Baysox these days is Phil Wrye, the Bowie assistant general manager and a long-time team employee."The toughest pictures to get is of our relief pitchers because you never know when they will get into a game," Wrye said. "Bill is respectful to the (players) on the field and with our staff and tries not to be in the way (during games). He is a pleasure to work with."In her final race for Pallotti Prep's girls cross country team, senior Ruthie Heying set a school record, finishing the IAAM Championships race in 21:18.Heying's record finish for the girls cross country team was good for eighth place in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference and 28th overall in the 163-member race that covered all three conferences. Pallotti, as a team, finished eighth in the B Conference standings.Heying received an all-star medal for her top-10 finish and was also named the winner of the 2011 Jim McCoach Leader of the Pack Award. The award is given annually to a graduating senior who has competed for four years, is a positive role model and is an ambassador for the sport. It is voted upon by a committee of cross-country coaches from across the conference. Pallotti girls soccer Pallotti Prep finished the season on a winning note, dominating Beth Tfiloh, 5-0, to finish the season 3-8."Team Pallotti came together as one this season, doing an outstanding job in leadership and sportsmanship," said head coach John Russo.For the season, senior Anne Marie Dinsmore was the top scorer with four goals. Juniors Brittney Brown and Chanel Sparks, and sophomores Alyssa Winegar and Chauntese Gary each contributed one goal.Russo also credited sophomore goalkeeper Marissa Guzman for her efforts this year. "She did an outstanding job as a sophomore playing at a varsity level."Russo said the team will be going through some turnover next year as he loses seven seniors to graduation, including captains Dinsmore, Erica Banchini and Katie McAllister.Laurel girls soccerBowie scored two quick goals halfway through in the first half en route to a 4-0 victory over the Lady Spartans to end their season in the state semifinals.Laurel held Bowie scoreless with a strong defense early in the game. But Bowie scored at the 15-minute mark and tacked on another goal three minutes later for a 2-0 halftime lead..Laurel advanced to the quarterfinals after an opening round, 1-0, win over DuVal.Head coach Laura Barrett said Gislaine Hoyah, Jamie Snider and Jennifer Dewitt finished the season as the team's top scorers.The Lady Spartans return of all but four of their players, include nine of the team's 11 starters this year. Barrett said the team will lose its top two defenders to graduation but will get back one of its top scorers when Divina St. Peter returns from a torn ACL."We certainly had a building season, as more than half our team had not played soccer before," Barrett said. "We were also able to field a JV team for the first time in who knows how many years. We are extremely optimistic and excited for next year."Roundup: Pallotti Prep football fell to 2-7 with a 27-6 loss at Boys Latin in Baltimore. The Panthers close their season at home against Annapolis Area Christian School Friday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m., at Fairland Regional Park. Pallotti Prep's boys soccer team was blanked, 2-0, by Park to finish the season 6-7-1. Pallotti Prep field hockey lost a hard-fought match, 1-0, to St. Timothy's in the quarterfinals of the IAAM C Conference tournament to end their season at 1-11-1. ... Laurel volleyball finished the season 8-5 to earn the eighth seed in the 4A South region in the state playoffs. Laurel will host Bladensburg Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. The winner will travel to top-seeded Bowie Monday, Nov. 7.Simon Vaughan, CEO of -based production-distribution outfit Lookout Point, represents television's new breed of financing specialists who are prospering amid the growing global demand for high-end programming. Lookout Point is among the co-producers of the -scripted mega-mini Titanic, set to air in April on , ITV and in a host of other countries to coincide with the 100th ann of the nautical disaster. Lookout was also behind the Canuck series Combat Hospital that aired on ABC last summer, and it is one of several mounting Parade's End, a -set mini penned by for , and Oz's Nine Network. Vaughan has been in the business of assembling international co-productions for years. The marketplace for the glossy fare he's most drawn to has never been stronger, thanks in large part to the growth of commercial TV outlets in Europe and key emerging territories, as well as the openness among major U.S. broadcasters and cablers to international partnerships. But in Vaughan's view, one of the drivers of new business in the past few years is the sea-change in the attitude in his native country toward co-productions. Of the 10 projects he helped shepherd prior to last year (a list that includes made-fors Ben Hur, The Company and and the CTV/ITV/CBS drama skein Flashpoint), Vaughan calculated that all of them had Canadian financing, nine of them had U.S. bucks but only three of them had any money. During the past year, three of the four projects he's been involved in greenlighting have significant British coin behind them. It's become more viable to co-produce in the U.K. than ever before, Vaughan says. There's never been a better time for British drama, helped along by shows like And we've gone through a learning curve of figuring out how to use co-productions in a way that doesn't compromise the creative integrity of the show. With Lookout Point, which opened its doors in the fall of 2009, Vaughan's strategy has been to attract marquee creative names and properties that have built-in awareness. And once the financing partners are in place his job becomes protecting the writers from pressure to add elements that might make it more appealing to viewers in one of the territories chipping in on the budget. In the past, co-productions had a bad rap because they'd been quite cynically engineered to have a little bit of this and a little bit of that, Vaughan says. What Lookout Point has done is to really put the creative first, not the deal first. We have a self-assured sense of what we want to create rather than something that is designed to please everybody who's putting financing in. Lookout has been fortified by its first-look distribution deal with BBC Worldwide, which has been expanded to include the two companies developing projects together from scratch. The company is also repped by CAA. Among other projects, Vaughan and BBC Worldwide are developing a five-hour adaptation of (based on the novel, not the tuner), with on board to write the teleplay (though the project has not formally been greenlit). Separately, Lookout is working with Brit shingle Tiger Aspect on revisiting Lawrence of Arabia as an ambitious mini, with scribe on board to bring some entertainment value into the historical tale. Tiger Aspect and Lookout are already partnered on a procedural drama series, Ripper Street, set in the late 1880s during the period of the Jack the Ripper murders. Ripper Street is set to bow on the BBC in the fall, and Vaughan has been fielding interest from U.S. nets. Lookout is by design what Vaughan calls a boutique business that turns on his long-established relationships with key foreign buyers. Before Lookout, Vaughan was a partner in Alchemy Television, which became a victim of its own early success. We got a bit overcommitted during the economic crisis. We borrowed too much, we grew too fast, Vaughan said. But we did a lot of things right. The bits that I took with me were that I didn't need to be all things to all projects. Alchemy ended up developing, producing, distributing, financing, deficiting, hiring the stand at Cannes. Now our model is much simpler. You learn a lot more from the things that don't quite go right than you do from things that do. A lot of those experiences, although they were bruising at the time, you take with you.Click for more international news on Variety.com.A 47-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after he was found guilty of selling counterfeit luxury apparel and accessories.Marvin Johnson of Baltimore owned a store called "Prestigious Fashions" in the 500 block of Pennsylvania Ave. and two sales booths, "Marvin's Prestigious" at the North Point Flea Market in Baltimore County and Hunter's Sales Barn in Cecil County.Federal prosecutor said Johnson sold clothing and accessories bearing trademarks identical to those used by Coach, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana, , , , Polo and . He sold numerous items at all three of these locations between July and Sept. 3, 2010, when police arrested him after searching his properties and cars. Prosecutors said they found 3,600 counterfeit items and $23,957 in cash."Counterfeiters like Mr. Johnson rip off customers by selling substandard products," William Winter, the special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Baltimore office, said in a statement.Prosecutors estimated that the total retail value lost by the legitimate companies in relation to Johnson's sales was between $400,000 and $1 million.In short (because they sure won't grow long anymore), your nails stop behaving after you turn 40. So here are some helpful short- and long-term solutions for younger looking hands and nails, from MORE magazine.10-Minute Solutions 1. File tips into a "squoval" (square with rounded corners), the most youthful shape, says Lisa Logan, a celebrity manicurist. Because nails tear easily after 40, wet a glass file and use it for shaping. Try Swissco Emery Glass ($7). For unruly cuticles, soak your tips in water for a minute, then scrape any dead skin off the nail bed with a tool like Apt 5 Cuticle Pusher ($5).2. Smooth out ridges by lightly sanding the nail surface with a buffer. But do this only once a week; excessive buffing will eventually thin and weaken the nails. For already thin nails, skip the buffing and try this ridge-filling base coat, Essie Fill the Gap ($11).3. After applying a base coat, brush on a pale polish in soft pink, cream or sheer white: The light color cancels out the yellow tones in our nails and brightens the look of your hands. More recommends Chanel Nail Colour in Allegoria ($23). Finish with a clear topcoat.4. Apply hand cream with SPF 15 or higher to plump skin and block . A sheer, slightly tinted face primer like Smashbox Photo Finish SPF 15 ($42) also helps even out skin tone. Don't worry about staining your shirt cuffs -- the primer is water-resistant and virtually clear.Long Term Solutions1. Exfoliate daily with a body or face scrub to avoid that dull, flaky look. For sensitive skin, use a formula that's sugar-based rather than salt-infused. Pay extra attention to the rough areas around each nail. Try Healing Garden Sugar Cane Body Scrub ($8).2. To heal cracked, parched nails and cuticles, slather them with nail oil before you go to bed, then top with an occlusive balm such as Aquaphor ($6). Olive oil provides instant results, but for long-term benefits try Jojoba oil.3. The key to preventing ridges is surprisingly simple: polish. Ridges are a sign of sun damage, so keeping your tips covered blocks the harmful rays and prevents splitting and breaking. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Color in a Rose-a-Go-Go ($5) has an extra wide brush for easy application and dries in just 60 seconds.4. If splitting nails are a big problem, try a nail-hardening product. Just skip anything that contains formaldehyde, which dries nails out. One formaldehyde-free hardener: Citra by Nail Tek Nail Strengthener 2 for Soft, Peeling Nails ($15).Chandeliers were the first thing Joe Niermann designed. And it was five years before he sold one. Now the bejeweled iron and crystal silhouettes are his signature."I don't really care for the crystals, one way or the other," said Niermann, though millions of them are stored in large paint buckets in the Millersville strip mall he converted into the Niermann Weeks company factory. "I want the design to be strong enough so that it doesn't need crystals." But it is the crystals from tiny, man-made beads imported from the to the fist-sized rock crystals found in nature that identify Niermann's light fixtures, some as small as a wall sconce and others 6 feet tall and 6 feet across and weighing 300 pounds.The crystals give each piece a delicate and magical character. And because a chandelier can be seen from so many different angles from the side, from above, from below they give each of those points of view a different complexity and offer fresh surprises."I see the designs that come out of my husband and my children's brains, and I wonder, 'Where did that come from?'" says Eleanor McKay, who shepherds this family-owned business. Both daughters, Eleanor Niermann, 40, and Claire Niermann, 37, have worked in the shop since they were youngsters and now share design duties with their father.McKay met Niermann while curating exhibits for the Wisconsin Historical Society. Though he was in the insurance business, he was fascinated by the finishes on fine antiques, and he volunteered to help with restoration. Soon enough, people were asking Niermann to repair their antiques or to copy a piece or make a second one.The couple married, and she used her education in library science and history to gather the research that helped him ground his early designs. They moved to Memphis, Tenn., where she continued to curate at the and he continued to restore furniture. It turned out to be more lucrative than staging exhibits."It was the early '70s, and the funding from the outside work was so much steadier," said McKay. She and her husband teamed with Mike Weeks, a Memphis blacksmith and metal sculptor, and the partners began the business by specializing in metal tables and chandeliers."I didn't have a job when we moved to Memphis, so I walked into a consignment shop," said Niermann. "And they asked me if I could repair this iron-and-crystal chandelier. It was like a whole world opened up to me."When the business began in 1978, the partners were operating out of a Memphis mansion they were in the process of restoring, selling out of a back room. The first thing Niermann designed was his own iron-and-crystal chandelier, but nobody wanted to buy it at first. Today, it is his biggest seller. For years, it was his reproduction English country furniture that kept the company afloat. It was slow going, but soon the designs drew the attention of affluent homeowners and influential designersThe firm relocated to in 1984. McKay and Niermann had been married in Bowie and her parents lived there, so it was home. In addition, McKay had gotten a job with the , and her husband followed her.Meanwhile, Niermann's design business had grown to 35 people and the first-month sales reached $40,000. "It was such a fabulous amount of money," said McKay. "We couldn't believe it. And it supported us all."McKay and Niermann bought out Weeks in the mid-1990s and today, despite a rough ride through the recession, the Millersville factory produces 1,600 to 1,700 chandeliers and light fixtures a year, at prices from $2,000 to $25,000. And that doesn't include the metal and glass tables or the wood furniture."We get knocked off a lot," said McKay, and the company has resorted to patenting some of its designs. But the flip side is, the company must "sign" each piece because they so closely resemble their Classic (1770 to 1840) antecedents that they often end up in antique sales.Niermann's designs are inspired by what he sees when he and his wife travel. He makes sketches, and she takes pictures. The curves in the dome of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, for example, inspired the Crevecoeur chandelier.McKay calls her husband's chandeliers "architectural jewelry," and says that customers often save up to be able to purchase a luxury piece of lighting that will set the tone for a room, staircase or foyer."We are a fashion industry, there is no question about it," said McKay. Claire Niermann describes one of her father's chandeliers, the Avignon, as "a woman in a simple dress, wearing a string of pearls."The chandeliers, along with the metal and glass tables and the wood furniture, are all crafted in the converted strip mall where about 50 employees, some former art students, bring their special craft to the fabrication processes. Most of the finishes are "distressed" in such a way as to appear that the mirrored surface or the ironwork has been rescued from castle ruins.While both daughters participate in design, Eleanor Niermann is also in charge of marketing, while her sister's role is much more practical.One of the men charged with killing two Hamtramck women was sentenced Friday to 28 to 50 years in prison for his part in shooting at them a few weeks before they disappeared.Brandon Cain, 27, told Wayne County Circuit Judge Vonda Evans on Friday to "have a nice day" and waved after she shushed him for grumbling to his lawyer as the sentence was announced.Cain and codefendant Brian Lee were charged with assault with intent to murder for shooting at Abreeya Brown, 18, and Ashley Conaway, 22, on Feb. 8. In court, Lee, the triggerman, was called Cain's pawn. On Friday, Lee received a 13- to 30-year sentence and received an additional two years for using a gun.Both men now face trial on charges that they murdered the two women, whose bodies were found in shallow graves in a wooded area on Detroit's west side a few weeks later. Also charged are Miguel Rodriguez and cousins Reginald Brown and Jeremy Brown (no relation to Abreeya Brown). Prosecutors contend the five men killed and buried the women after they refused $5,000 in hush money to drop the assault case."These were young women who stood for truth, and they believed in the criminal justice system, and their character was unshakable," Evans told Cain, calling Abreeya Brown and Conaway "she-roes." "They ultimately paid the cost with their lives."Conaway was romantically involved with Cain and was out with him and his friends Feb. 8. But when he refused to take her home, she called Brown to pick her up from a home where the group was hanging out.Those there said Cain ordered Lee to "shoot the (expletive) up" if the women pulled away in Brown's car. Evidence showed Lee pulled the trigger nine times, with one bullet grazing Conaway's head.Lee denied he shot at the car, while apologizing to the women's families for the tragedy."I am an innocent man," he said. "I forgive the prosecutors for what they are doing to me."Cain also denied involvement, saying he came from a good home."I am not the criminal thug I have been portrayed as," he said. "I never forced a woman to do anything."Evans responded by listing years of Cain's criminal convictions, including bringing a gun to school, intimidating a witness, felonious assault -- along with seven citations for misconduct while he was in prison."What that shows, Mr. Cain, is you don't have respect for authority," Evans said. "The one thing you want to do is what you want to do."The women's families spoke briefly in their first chance to address the men linked to the pair's disappearance.Lisa Howard, Brown's aunt, asked the judge to be strict with sentencing."Truth be told, I cannot begin to tell you what this has done to me and my family," she said. "We relive this every day she's been gone. She did not deserve what happened to her. She was a beautiful young lady starting her adult life. She was practically a baby. These people didn't show her any mercy, and we would like you to not show them mercy."Conaway's older sister, Chanel Conaway, the head of their family with both parents deceased, also spoke."I know God wants me to forgive them, but I'll leave that up to God," she said.Contact Tammy Stables Battaglia: 313-949-7291 or . Follow her on Twitter @tammybattaglia ___(c)2012 the Visit the Detroit Free Press at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesDefiant and mouthy as he was led away, the man charged with killing two Hamtramck women was sentenced to 28 to 50 years in prison for his part in shooting at them a few weeks before they disappeared.Brandon Cain, 27, told Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans to "Have a nice day" and waved after she shushed him for grumbling to his lawyer while the sentence was announced.Cain and codefendant Brian Lee were both charged with assault with intent to murder for shooting at Abreeya Brown, 18, and Ashley Conaway, 22, on Feb. 8. Lee, the triggerman called Cain's "pawn" in court, received a 13- 30-year sentence. Lee also received an additional two years for using a gun.Both men now face an upcoming trial on charges they and three other men murdered the two women, whose bodies were found in shallow graves a few weeks later."These were young women who stood for truth, and they believed in the criminal justice system, and their character was unshakable," Evans told Cain, calling Brown and Conaway "she-roes." "They ultimately paid the cost with their lives."Conaway was romantically involved with Cain and was out with him and his friends on Feb. 8. But when he refused to take her home, she called Brown to pick her up from a home on Glastonbury.Those there said Cain ordered Lee to "Shoot the (expletive) up," if they pulled away in Brown's car. Evidence showed Lee pulled the trigger nine times, one bullet grazing Conaway in the head."What was so telling was you said, 'Are you for real, man?'," Evans said to Lee. "I think you realized this man who you thought was a king was a coward. But because you took his lead, you did as he said."Lee denied it was him, while apologizing to the girls' families for the tragedy."I am an innocent man," he said. "I forgive the prosecutors for what they are doing to me."Cain also denied his involvement, saying he came from a good home."I have been painted as source of danger to this community," he said. "I am not the criminal thug I have been portrayed as. I never forced a woman to do anything."The pair still faces a pending murder trial. Prosecutors contend the pair and three other men killed and buried the women after they refused $5,000 in hush money to drop the assault case.The women's families spoke briefly in their first chance to address men linked to the pair's disappearance.Lisa Howard, Brown's aunt, called the situation "a nightmare" as she asked the judge to be strict with sentencing."Truth be told, I cannot begin to tell you what this has done to me and my family," she said. "We re-live this every day she's been gone. She did not deserve what happened to her. She was a beautiful young lady starting her adult life. She was practically a baby. These people didn't show her any mercy and we would like you to not show them mercy."Conaway's older sister, Chanel Conaway, the head of their family with both their parents deceased, found herself unable to speak when she stood up to address Cain."I know God wants me to forgive them, but I'll leave that up to God," she said in court after a sob, asking why the men couldn't just let them go home."How dare you take that from me and my family!" she then yelled, before Evans stopped her from speaking and court officers forced her to sit down. "How dare you!"Howard said after the sentencing that she's grateful for police and prosecutors aggressiveness."She didn't deserve this -- this was such a senseless crime," Howard said, walking to her car. "We have more to go. There's more justice to come." ___(c)2012 the Visit the Detroit Free Press at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesPARIS -- Ben Mendelsohn and James Frecheville, two of the topliners in 2010 breakout Australian thriller Animal Kingdom, have joined the cast of Anne Fontaine's untitled English-language debut, which starts to lense Wednesday. Aussie up-and-comers Sophie Lowe (The Slap) and Xavier Samuel (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), and vet thesp Gary Sweet (Small Time Gangster) also feature in the cast. As previously announced, and Robin Wright topline in the -set drama romance, which is based on 's novel The Grandmothers. Watts and Wright star as two lifelong friends who embark on a forbidden and passionate affair with each other's sons. British scribe Christopher Hampton, whose credits include Atonement and Dangerous Liaisons, penned the adaptation. Pic is produced by Cine@ and MonVoisin, and Australian shingle Hopscotch Features, which is owned by eOne. France's Gaumont is a co-producer. Gaumont's international sales team, headed by Cecile Gaget, will be shopping the pic to buyers at Berlin. Gaumont started pre-selling the pic at the AFM, and has already closed Switzerland (Pathe) and Canada (Remstar). Gaget said her team was in discussion with Italian and German buyers. Hopscotch will release the pic in Australia. Fontaine's 2009 Audrey Tautou starrer Coco Before Chanel was nommed for one Oscar and four BAFTAs. John Hopewell contributed to this report.Click for more articles on Variety.com.Jessica Casey got the battle she was looking for.Her Merced College women's volleyball team was coming off of a three-game sweep in which it was overmatched against defending conference champ Fresno City. She didn't want to see a repeat performance against an equally formidable Taft team.On Wednesday night, the Lady Devils rose to the challenge, splitting the first two sets and keeping things tight in the third and fourth. Unfortunately, MC could never string together a run when it needed it, and the Cougars pulled away for a 25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 25-18 victory at Court. "We came out and competed with them point for point," Casey said. "But we need to start telling ourselves we can win these games."I don't know that they actually believed it was there for the taking and Taft pulled away."Taft (2-2 Central Valley Conference) used its size and strength advantage to take set one, riding Chanel Cantere (match-high 22 kills) to an early lead.Merced College countered with a Hawaiian punch of their own. Kuuipolani Braceros paced the Lady Devils with a team-high 12 kills and four blocks, while Jaclyn Frank and Jenna Fournier each chipped in 10 kills.The Lady Devils (1-3 CVC, 6-6) squandered an early lead in set two, but recovered. A Fournier kill gave MC a 22-21 lead that it would never relinquish."I told the girls we have to come out and fight from point one," Braceros said. "We have to have maximum intensity from the beginning and never look back. It's hard, because we could have won tonight."Taft's size began to take over in the third set. Sina Mauga had five of her match-high seven blocks, including a stuff block to finish the 25-16 win.The Cougars raced out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth set, but MC hung tough. The Lady Devils whittled the lead to 14-13, but could never seem to get ahead.Taft answered with a 5-0 run and never looked back.Serryna Gonzalez led the Lady Devils with 38 assists in the loss and Noelle Granado had a team-high 16 digs. ___(c)2012 the Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.)Visit the Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesMercy High School conducted its 2012 graduation ceremony on June 6 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore. The following are members of the Class of 2012:Brooke Nicole Agenllo, Danielle Rae Agnello, Shannon Leigh Aikens, Karley Elizabeth Ames, Ty'Aunna Trevae Dennis Armstead, Jasmine Tamera Armstrong, Faryn Nikole AshAbigail Christine Baker, Emily Taylor Borkowski, Margaret Irene Bortner, Rachel Nicole Bourne, Caroline Ross Buxenstein Taylor Nicole Cannella, Gabriella Maria Capobianco, Sarah Lynn Cavagna, Ayanna Nicole Cobbs, Sofia Maria Colvin, Maura Elizabeth Commodari, Jessica Jarima Cordova, Megan Anna Critzman, Carmen Daniela Cuestas Jaen Ariel Taylor Davis-Gilmore, Alessia Gabrielle DeCarlo, Veronica Marie Diaz, Jennifer Lynn DiNotoJada Danielle Ector, Sarah Alice Elliott, Nicole Marie EllisKelsey Anna Fiddes, Katelyn Augusta Fischer, Krista Jacqueline Fisher, Melissa Marie Flaherty, Megan Nicole Fogelsanger, Kelly Ann FrankMich'a Emarie Gary, Kelly Anne Gesswein, Juliana Marie Goldsborough, Shimyra Nicole Griffin, Erin Nicole Griffith, Melissa Leanne Grimmel, Jennifer Anne Gring, Margaret Mary GrossNicole Louise Hahn, Nicole Danielle Hardesty, Kayla Imani Hicks, Taylor Antoinette Hicks, Iris Lea HolbackNicole Summer Kacher, Angela Dorothy Taylor Kastrunes, Brianna Rose King, Anne Marie Theresa KotlarElizabeth Ann Lauf, Margaret Anna Lauf, Margaret Ann LawderLauren Mae Maddox, Chanel Denise Magruder, Rebecca Ann Malkowski, Britney Marie Malone, Angela Marie Marinelli, Gracie Summerfield Martz, Margaret Elizabeth McCleary, Kierra Kecha McCollum, Michaela Patricia McDonnell, Ira Bernice Mercado, Michaela Marie Moore, Rebecca Marie Moreland, Allison Christine MullinixRebekah Lynn Newton, Gloria Emily Ngo, Alexandra Rene NiedobaMary Elizabeth Oakey, Jessica Falynn O'DonnellMonica Denise Page, Megan Ann Pietruszka, Katy Tao Pineda, Ivy Rose Brooke Plotts, Helena Elyse Preis, Megan Elizabeth Price, Alexis Maureen Prior-BrownEileen Cochrun QuinnTaylor Maureen Radden, Camisha Angela Robinson, Samantha Nicole Roche, Allison Frances Ruddy, Megan Elizabeth Russell, Margaret Regina RyanAlexa Marie Sabie, Esta A. Said, Kristina Katherine Schafer, Kelly Allen Schevitz, Tara Jacard Schmidt, Taylor Serena Schott, Emily Lynn Schreiber, Alyssa Marie Smith, Chenira Chadon Smith, Shakiarah Deon Danielle Smith, Timara Danielle Smith, Paige Elizabeth Solesky, Emily Mary Stump, Olivia Louise SweeneySierra Lynn Tamberino, Michaela Leanne ThessGrace Edwards Vandegrift, Taylor Nicole Villarreal, Stephanie Anne VoithNatalia Angelique White, Carmen Carey Williams, Taylor Ann WilsonAll information in this section appears as provided by the schools indicated. Because of publication deadlines, in some instances students' names might have been provided prior to final review of requirements. Some students listed might not have completed all requirements to graduate.Changing into an elegant black-and-white dress from springy J.Crew pieces Wednesday in London, First Lady showcased her versatility and officially became one of the fab four of the political fashion world in the modern erajoining , French first lady and .Worn to Buckingham Palace on the Obamas' first overseas visit since occupying the , her Toledo dress with full skirt and tulle underlay earned plaudits precisely for its understatement. For her first meeting with , she topped the sleeveless dress with a black cardigan and a duchess-satin opera coat on the way in. For dinner later, the cardigan came offno international incident. (Kennedy and the queen wore sleeveless gowns with gloves for their dinner in 1961.) Nor would it have been scandalous for the Obamas' informal meeting with the queen, for that matter."There really aren't the same conservative old rules now," British-born Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor at Harper's Bazaar, said.Earlier in the day, at 10 Downing St., exuded youthful cheer in a J.Crew sparkling beaded cardigan and skirt in icy-mint dotted jacquard that subliminally reinforced the administration's message of "America's forward-thinking dynamism."The quoted words, it must be said, are borrowed from an account of one of the other first ladies' visits to Londonin 1961, as written in "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years."But the consensus among Obama fashion pundits is that the kitten-heeled shoe fits.Drawing parallels, however, is not the same as equating. Obama already has established her individuality through her fashion choices, but with a self-assurance and far-reaching influence similar to her predecessors'.Kennedy occasionally wore acid yellow, notably in where sun-drenched colors reign. But what dignitary besides Obama has successfully adopted the treacherous shade as a signature, including in the Wu chartreuse silk crepe short-sleeve sheath she wore upon arrival Tuesday in England for the summit?Pearls are part of the job description of just about every first wife. But on Tuesday, Obama paired hers with another of her signature accessories, a brooch, on the ivory tweed grosgrain-trimmed coat she wore before her costume change aboard Air Force One. Some have said who advised "before you leave the house, remove one thing"would frown on this as excess. On the contrary, Graham says that Chanel pioneered the wearing of costume jewelry in just this sort of fun, creative way.In a stroke of designer diplomacy last year at Buckingham Palace, Bruni-Sarkozy wore dignified Dioran established French label headed by a Brit, John Galliano. Advancing her own domestic causes at Buckingham Palace, Obama chose the Taiwan-born Wu and Cuban-born Toledo, designers who embody both the entrepreneurial and multicultural spirit of America. The J.Crew ensemble showed her support of more affordable American fashion and the masses who wear it.Like Princess Diana, Obama has become a fashion superstar in a realm not known for trend setting, though it's worth noting this:"The queen is also regarded as a bit of a fashion icon herself, someone who's kept her style conservative but elegant," Graham said, which may be one reason Obama chose black for their introduction, to let the queen's pink stand out, in deference.The younger Princess Diana, like Obama now, broke the mold and had a sense of humor about her choices. "She defined the glamor of that era," Graham said.Obama's on the same track, epitomizing the high-low stylishness that many women aspire to right now.For the real showcase showdown in fashion this week, check in Saturday, when the and American first ladies visit Strasbourg Cathedral in France. Bruni-Sarkozy didn't go to London, so Saturday offers the first glimpse of the two fashion darlings together.Will one outshine the other, in the way that both tend to upstage their husbands at public appearances (as did Kennedy and Diana)?Former supermodel Bruni-Sarkozy can be expected to look stunning in just about anything. But if only one contemporary first lady can win a fashion-revolutionary war, we're siding with Michelle Obama.has renewed Ridiculousness for a third season.Series features and co-hosts Chanel West Coast and Sterling Steelo Brim as they break down popular viral videos from the internet. Cabler ordered 20 new episodes after season two proved to be one of MTV's top series with males and teens,averaging 1.3 million total viewers each week during its second season run. Ridiculousness is produced by Dickhouse and exec produced by Dyrdek along with Jeff Tremaine, Shane Nickerson and Christian Duguay.Click for more television news on Variety.com.The MOHIGANS' boys' soccer team beat Preston, 5-0, on its Senior Night. Prep roundup Page 4-B.Last Saturday's high noon showdown between No. 1 Morgantown and No. 3 Winfield was everything expected between last year's girls' soccer state finalists.The last four meetings between the two powerhouse programs have ended in ties (including the most recent, a bruising, ultra-competitive 1-1 affair), and only the barest margin of victory on penalty kicks earned the Mohigans their monumental state title last year. Now, after such an intense, measuring-stick type of rivalry game, it's sometimes a given that a team's execution and energy level can take a hit their next time out.However, anyone involved with the Mohigans' program the last two years could predict coach Ashley Neal's views on that tendency.Not happening. Not with her team.On Senior Night, Morgantown dominated play from the opening whistle to the final horn, extending their seasonlong unbeaten streak to twelve by cruis- ing to a 4-0 win."Senior Night is always a big, emotional game, so you never know what you're going to get out of the girls," Neal said, "but I thought we possessed the ball well, finished our opportunities, were rock solid on defense, and were especially crisp in the second half. We took care of business."The Mohigans (11-0-1) played the vast majority of the match in their attacking end, with literally dozens of great scoring chances, and only the tremendous work of Preston keeper Aubrey Hall, who was credited with an amazing 28 saves, kept the Knights (3-4-1) as close as they were.After two early shots off the crossbar from seniors Natasha Trott and Sydney Lavengood, sophomore Karina Collins gathered the rebound off a strong shot at the top of the box from junior Maggie Snively in the 21st minute and buried it behind Hall to break the ice.Six minutes later, Trott, playing in just her second game this season after suffering an off-season fractured toe injury in a motorcycle accident, slipped past the defense, headed a bouncing pass that was partially blocked by Hall, then followed up the rebound with another header that found the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage."I was so excited to score on Senior Night," Trott said with a grin. "My fitness level is pretty good, but I guess I'm still a little rusty on my ball skills, because I had so many chances today that I didn't take advantage of. Plus, I put two off the crossbar. But it felt good to be back out there, running painfree, and now I just need to get my goal game up to speed."Ten minutes into the second half, with a starting eleven that included all eight seniors (Trott, Lavengood, Tyler Jordan, Charlotte Vester, Chanel Burner, Hannah Steketee, Rosie McGonigle and Payton Southall), the Mohigans struck again with a pretty goal off the right foot of Makayla Schmidt, who boomed a shot into the left corner from the right point of the 18-yard box. Kelsie Hibbs capped the night six minutes later with a wellstruck header off a corner feed from Southall."I didn't think we had a letdown at all after Winfield," Neal said. "I told them that we have a schedule to play, that not every game is gonna be against a Winfield, and every game gives us an opportunity to improve. And we have to get better if we want to get where we want to go. That's our goal, to get better every time out, to get ready for the OVAC tournament, and for sectional and regionals. Tonight, we did that." ___(c)2012 The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.)Visit The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.) at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesKeenan Ellsberry said the last thing he expected when he drove to his ex-wife's house in the wee hours of May 2, 2011, was to be mistaken for a drug dealer and beaten by police."I thought I was going to die," the 36-year-old advertising executive from West Bloomfield said of the events that morning in Detroit.Ellsberry, who is black, said two white officers savagely attacked him in front of his ex-wife and two of his children and then falsely accused him of assaulting the officers and trying to grab one of their guns. The criminal charges were dropped after Officer Steve Posey, who also is black, told internal affairs investigators that the other officers used excessive force.Ellsberry says he suffered long-term injuries and is suing the officers and the city. His ex-wife, Chanel Smith, a vice president of a suburban bank branch, filed a separate suit on behalf of their children, saying they are getting therapy for trauma."None of this surprises me -- we see it every day," Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality said of the Ellsberry case.Scott's group has complained for years about police brutality in Detroit. Its efforts helped spark an investigation by the , which forced the Police Department in 2003 to adopt policies to reduce use of force, curtail mistreatment of prisoners and end the practice of dragnet arrests of potential homicide witnesses.The department is years behind schedule in carrying out the reforms. But under Mayor Dave Bing, the department has made an all-out push to comply and is nearing the 90% mark.Though use-of-force complaints have dropped -- there were 1,369 complaints in 2011 and 1,421 in 2010 -- critics say the department still has a costly brutality problem.Nearly half of the $57.4 million the cash-strapped city has paid out in lawsuits since July 2009 was in police cases, many involving excessive force and false arrest, records show."We're making headway because people aren't being killed," Scott said. "But the beatings, the verbal abuse and the racist remarks have not gone away."Scott said the Ellsberry case is a good example of that.Refusing to cover up"The hero of this story is Steve Posey," said Ellsberry's lawyer, David A. Robinson of Southfield. "Posey saw something wrong and put his career on the line by following policy, not the Blue Code" -- an unwritten policy of police officers covering for each other.Robinson, a former Detroit police officer, said it's one of the few times he has seen an officer break ranks with comrades.Posey declined to comment for this report.The department's internal affairs section presented Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy with a warrant request for criminal charges against three officers. But after several months, the department still is waiting for a response.Worthy's office said it hopes to decide soon.The officers, who have been involved in other excessive-force lawsuits that collectively have cost the city $660,000 in settlements, didn't respond to a Free Press interview request. The lawsuits alleged unprovoked beatings and trumped-up charges to justify the officers' conduct. It's unclear if they were disciplined in those cases.City lawyers wouldn't comment on the Ellsberry case, but said in court papers that the officers had probable cause for the arrest and acted in self-defense.The idea of orange makeup may conjure up images of circus clowns or overly tanned women sporting neon coral lipstick on a sweltering day. But this spring, orange and coral hues are looking fresh, modern and totally wearable.From highly pigmented poppy lip lacquer to sheer and lightly sparkled coral blush, orange and coral beauty products are everywhere. Bobbi Brown has a coral collection that includes numerous variations of the hue, from earthy to ultra-feminine sheer with a pink cast. Make Up Forever's orange lip gloss and lipstick are an extreme take on the trend but can be diluted with softer shades or used as is to make a real statement. For an example of how orange is making a splash this spring, just peek inside the front pages of a fashion magazine and you can't miss the electric orange pouts on the models in Prada's current advertisements. With the season's minimalist nude and white clothing trend, a vibrant orange lip or nail polish provides a nice balance between subtle and strong color.But slapping on some opaque orange gloss and coral highlighter isn't going to get you the right look. It's about picking the right shade and applying it sparingly when choosing to wear these juicy colors.Chanel celebrity makeup artist Kara Yoshimoto Bua breaks down the tricks and techniques for wearing the season's hottest makeup shades."The easiest way to work with orange and coral tones is by using it as blush," she says, noting that she likes the way coral can bring out blue eyes and also flatter olive and tan skin. "Corals on the lips are also really nice to brighten the skin, but make sure the gloss is more sheer and not something with too much shimmer."Focusing on the cheeks and lips, Bua gave a step-by-step lesson on how to wear coral in a soft and everyday way and also how to pump up the lip color to a bolder shade if you're looking for more impact.For a peachy-coral glow, Bua starts with a clean face consisting of natural, "everyday" foundation, a light application of brown eyeliner in the outer corners of the eye for definition and brown mascara applied sparingly to lashes for a clean look.Using a nude lip liner pencil, she defines the outer rim of the lip and then fills in the entire lip with the pencil to create a base that makes lipstick and gloss last longer.Bua is a big fan of mixing colors. "I'm an artist. I like to mix things like paint," she says, combining two colors of lip gloss a sheer pink-peach and coral to get the right shade. Bua uses the back of her hand as a palette and dabs the combined colors in the center of the lip, patting and working the gloss onto the lips lightly with her finger. "You want the color to start from the center and work out to the edges of the mouth," she says. "This way, excess gloss doesn't gather at the edge of the lips."On the cheeks, Bua first contours with an earth-toned bronzer that contains no shine or shimmer. She hits the cheekbone area but also swipes the bronze hue across the eyelids and down the nose to add more warmth to the face. Then, using a coral blush with hints of gold flecks, Bua brushes the apples of the cheeks to get a pop of coral that complements the lips and gives an overall sheer coral glow.To pump up the lip color to a juicy orange stain, Bua mixes two lip colors, using a strong coral-pink Rouge Allure lipstick in Genial and a Gloss Fluo de Chanel in Pop. Again using the back of her hand to get a perfect shade, she dips a lip brush into the color and applies it directly to the center of the mouth. Patting the color out from the center to edges of the lips works especially well with a brighter color to ensure the lips aren't just one solid block of orange. Instead, the technique gives them a glowing, romantic stain that stands out much more than the average lip color.For the second straight game, Archbishop Spalding defense held St. Vincent Pallotti to 34 points.But, unlike the late regular-season meeting, when Pallotti prevailed, 34-29, at home, the host Cavaliers won 61-34 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinals.Spalding moves on to the championship game at UMBC against top-seeded McDonogh at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18. Pallotti ended its season, but coach Josh Pratt was encouraged by his team's progress and optimistic about the future. "We handled ourselves all year with a lot of class and we had a great year," said Pratt, whose squad finished 17-8. "We will we back. We have eight girls returning and we had six sophomores on varsity."Spalding's defense was again stellar as the second-seeded Cavaliers (19-8) forced third-seeded Pallotti (17-8) into 32 turnovers."On defense, we knew we were there," said Pallotti coach Bookie Rosemond, whose squad also beat the Panthers 73-38 in December.They stuck to the Panthers like duct tape with a straight man-to-man defense and dominated the boards by outrebounding them, 48-25.Spalding's offense struggled in the first quarter, but they still led 7-4 at the break.In the second quarter, junior Aleah Epps hit two three-pointers and scored 10 of her game-high 18 points as the Cavaliers took a 23-19 lead into halftime."Aleah Epps came up huge tonight with some big buckets," Redmond said. "She played a great game."Epps sensed the offensive sluggishness in the first quarter and took matters into her own shooting hands."I knew if I pushed it and kept shooting, it would open it up for my teammates," Epps said.Foul trouble to Pallotti's interior players, Beverly Ogunride (11 rebounds, 4 blocked) and Tiffany Padgett (team-high 17 points, 9 rebounds) limited their aggressiveness.Ogunde had three at the break and Padgett had four, but the Panthers got a lift from Natalie Harrison who scored five points in the second quarter."Getting their big girls in foul trouble was a big help for us because they were the dominant ones the last time we played them," Spalding junior forward Camille Calhoun said.Calhoun finished with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds."We made an effort to pound the ball down low offensively and we got them in foul trouble and we packed the rim," Rosemond said.Spalding's defense forced 10 Pallotti turnovers in the third quarter and they finished at the other end with fast breaks and penetration, while building a 37-25 lead after three quarters that they expanded in the fourth."We get really turned up by our defense," Calhoun said. "We feed off each other's ability."Despite the loss, Pallotti coach Josh Pratt was pleased with the way his team progressed this season."The girls have worked extremely hard and there is nothing to hang our heads about," Pratt said. "We lost to a really good team. They are a top team in the area and its seems like they are peaking at the right time."Scoring summarySpalding 61, Pallotti 34Spalding Aleah Epps 18, Camille Calhoun 11, Jade Scaife 11, Myka Johnson 8, Kaila Clark 7, Torri Chestnut 6.Pallotti Tiffany Padgett 17, Natalie Harrison 9, Brittney Davis 5, Chanel Sparks 3.St. Vincent Pallotti played a game Wednesday night that coach Josh Pratt would like to bottle and bring out every night.Seton Keough coach Jody Powell would like to bottle the 49-17 loss and bury it in a time machine, never to be opened again.The host Gators shot just 11 percent from the floor (6-for-52) and never recovered from an early 7-0 deficit, that included three-pointers from seniors Tiffany Padgett and Brittney Davis. "They are a good team and you can't make six baskets and expect to stay with them," Powell said. "Defensively, my kids never gave up and I didn't expect them to give up." Pratt could sympathize with the Gator coach after his Panthers only made 11 field goals in a loss to Roland Park (a team Seton Keough defeated 55-25)."It took that type of game in order for us to recognize that we need to be ready to play at all times and be ready to go," Pratt said.The Panthers (13-6 overall, 7-3 league) were definitely charged to go on both sides of the ball.Defensively, they forced 22 turnovers and intimidated the Gators into poor shot selection at the start of every quarterThe Gators missed their first nine field goals in the first quarter; first seven in the second; first 12 in the third and first nine in the fourth.Pallotti led 26-10 at the half and 35-13 after three periods."The one thing I was worried about with Seton Keough is they play hard and the best thing we did was handle the physicality part of the game," Pratt said. "We were able to rebound and hold them to one or two shots."Padgett (8 points, 10 rebounds) and sophomore Beverly Ogunrinde (10 points, 8 rebounds) controlled the interior.Senior Natalie Harrison and sophomore D.J. Johnson (6 points each), sophomore Kaiya Coleman (5 points) and junior Chanel Sparks (4 points) contributed to the balanced scoring attack."They didn't shoot the ball great so that was to our advantage," Pratt said. "We were able to get the ball out and get it up. We're athletic so when we have our chances, we need to be able to execute and score and win and get buckets."Seton Keough, who was missing top player Stixz Wilson (concussion), was led by Brooke Fields (5 points), Karigan Awkward (4) and Kayla McCormick (3).Defensively, the Gators got six steals from Miracle Davis and four from Hollie Booker, who also had a team-high seven rebounds."I felt like we were turning the corner, but this was a step back," Powell said.The Gators dropped to 8-11 overall and 4-6 in the league. They are currently fifth in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.The Panthers stayed in third place in the league behind McDonogh (10-0) and Archbishop Spalding (7-2).For the first time in her memory, Jessica Long dreaded swimming. With high school coming to an end, her friends cut loose -- bonfires, movie nights. It all sounded so fun and Long, a seven-time Paralympic gold medalist, had to skip out so she could hit the pool at the crack of dawn. "It was bad," she recalls two years later. "I wasn't happy." Few could have guessed it given her bounty of medals, but Long felt she had failed at the 2008 in Beijing. She had promised seven gold medals to anyone who would listen, plastering the number all over her bedroom in Middle River. So four golds, one silver and a bronze just didn't cut it. On top of that, she was stagnating at her swim club in Towson, surrounded by younger, less competitive swimmers and a longtime coach who no longer knew how to push her. So Long did what many teenagers do when they're ready to come of age: She left home. Long, who had both lower legs amputated before age 2, moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where she could practice with top-level swimmers and coaches sans distraction. Now on the cusp of her third Paralympics, which began Wednesday in London, she says the decision ended her malaise. "The first week of training there," she says, "I fell in love with swimming all over again." The results speak for themselves. Long, 20, set four world records in 2011 and was named female disabled swimmer of the year by Swimming World magazine At the same time, she became one of the country's leading faces for the Paralympic movement, securing an endorsement deal with and winning an award at 's ESPY ceremony. In London, she'll swim as many as nine events, beginning with Thursday's 400-meter freestyle. Long learned her lesson in 2008 and hasn't publicly shared her goals for the meet. "I'll just say I plan to bring home a lot of hardware," she says. Long's mother, Beth, says there's little doubt Jessica wants gold in each and every race. It has always been that way, ever since the Longs flew to Russia to pick up their adopted daughter when she was 13 months old. Long was born without ankles, heels and most of her foot bones. To give her a shot at walking with prosthetics, doctors told the Longs they would have to amputate her legs below the knees. "We were worried what capabilities she would be left with," says her father, Steve, a supervisor at Baltimore Gas Electric. As soon as the toddler was fitted with prosthetics, however, she stood and tried to walk. As she grew older, God forbid one of her five siblings try to beat her out the front door for a family outing. "She just likes to win," Beth says. "A lot." "She always wanted to be up to par with the able-bodied kids," adds Steve. The Longs first put Jessica in the water at her grandmother's backyard pool in Rosedale. She never wanted to get out. She felt a physical freedom that she couldn't replicate on land. The Longs had never heard of the Paralympics when Jessica started to take the sport more seriously at age 10. She didn't always win her races against able-bodied peers, so they had no idea she might be world class until an onlooker mentioned that her times might make her a Paralympic contender. Neither she nor her parents could quite believe it when two years later, at age 12, she won three gold medals at the Athens Paralympics. LOS ANGELES -- They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for , it may be worth about a thousand days in prison.Las Vegas police arrested the heiress last weekend after they saw what they suspected to be marijuana smoke coming from an SUV driven by her boyfriend, Cy Waits. Cops stopped the SUV on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Wynn hotel.Hilton pulled a tube of lip balm out of her purse, and with it fell a bundle of cocaine in a plastic bag right into plain view of officers, police Sgt. John Sheahan saidHilton was booked on drug possession charges.She claimed she borrowed the purse from a friend, and said the drugs were not hers.But Paris a picture of herself holding what looks like the same purse on July 15.She captioned the photo: "Love my new Chanel purse I got today :)".The drug charge could land the socialite in prison for up to four years.Waits is facing misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to his attorney.In the wake of her arrest, Hilton has been banned from two Wynn resorts in Las Vegas, according to a Wynn spokesperson. Waits has been dismissed as the nightclub manager at the Tryst Nightclub at Wynn and XS the Nightclub at Encore.Last month's raid on the Flea Market in Southwest Baltimore netted $47.3 million worth of counterfeit luxury goods, the largest seizure at a flea market in the United States, federal authorities announced Thursday.U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations also confiscated $1.5 million in cash, which it described as "suspected criminal proceeds." Federal officials released new details of the April 22 raid on the bazaar, where authorities say vendors sold counterfeit and pirated goods with the market owner's knowledge. The raid came after a 21/2 -year sting targeting merchants selling fake and pirated goods at the popular market, which has a history of similar seizures, according to federal documents. Over four days, agents confiscated nearly 220,000 counterfeit items that were found at the market. They included luxury labels such as MAC Cosmetics, Louis Vuitton, , and Tiffany Co. Also included were , Apple and Baltimore apparel maker .Besides clothes, agents confiscated shoes, perfume, personal care items, and pirated DVDs and CDs.While federal authorities released the value of the items seized based on the manufacturer's suggested retail price for the genuine articles no charges were announced.On April 25, in a separate case, a federal grand jury in Baltimore indicted five men for violating trademark laws by selling counterfeit merchandise around the region, including at the flea market.Nicole A. Navas, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the flea market investigation was continuing., Maryland's U.S. attorney, acknowledged the case but said little about it in an April 26 op/ed column in The Baltimore Sun for World Intellectual Property Day."Sellers of counterfeit and pirated goods cheat the people who invested time and money to create the authentic versions," Rosenstein wrote. "A simple word describes what it means when you take something that someone else owns and sell it without permission. Intellectual property fraud is theft."Rosenstein, who serves as vice chairman of the U.S. Attorney General's Subcommittee on Cybercrime and Intellectual Property, has prosecuted several prominent cases of counterfeit and pirated goods.In 2010, federal authorities indicted nine people for smuggling counterfeit shoes, handbags and watches manufactured in Asia through the , an investigation that led to the seizure of $250 million worth of fake goods. That case included 500,000 fake Coach handbags, 120,000 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes and samples of counterfeit pills, Rosenstein wrote in his op/ed column.Homeland Security Investigations said the recent raid was the agency's largest counterfeit seizure at a flea market."It was definitely a significant raid," said Ned T. Himmelrich, who heads the intellectual property and technology practice group at the Baltimore law firm Gordon Feinblatt. "The fact that they spent two years looking into it before they did it shows that authorities thought it was significant, and the value bears that out."The number of items seized, Himmelrich said, is just as significant as the value, which can be subjective."It must have taken a long time for them to put that in the van," he said.The flea market reopened the weekend after the raid. On Saturday, customers returned to the market, where they snapped up toiletries, laundry detergent and other items.Martin S. Himeles Jr., an attorney for the market, told The Baltimore Sun that the flea market has had and still has a policy against the sale of counterfeit merchandise. Himeles could not be reached for comment Thursday.Besides the raid at the flea market, federal agents also searched the residence of Joseph Brzuchalski, who is listed as the resident agent of Management Inc., which owns the flea market, as well as his business account with Bank.Federal authorities said the bank account held "illicit funds" from the sale of counterfeit merchandise, which was then paid to management through vendor rents and fees, according to an affidavit.During the investigation that began in November 2009, agents with Homeland Security Investigations alleged that 70 percent of booths selling items were counterfeit. The agents purchased some of the fake items and also rented a booth to gain access to the market's management.Agents said in the affidavit that the flea market's management was aware of the illegal practice.The Grand Island girls soccer team remained unbeaten in Niagara Frontier League play with a 4-0 win over Kenmore East on Tuesday.Madisyn Peczino scored two goals for Grand Island (5-1, 5-0 ) and Julia Kelly and Marcy Barbaric scored one goal each."They played well. We moved the ball around and I was happy with most parts of the game," coach Dave Bowman said. "When we attacked we did it as a team and they took advantage of opportunities." Meaghan O'Leary earned the shutout for Grand Island.Nia.-Wheatfield 8, Niagara Falls 0Melissa Smith scored three goals and Angela Coulter scored two goals for the (4-2, 4-1 NFL). Emily Velote, Danielle Chatten and Tera Beach also scored. Danielle Crocoll made four saves to earn her first shutout on the season. Niagara Falls is now 0-4-1 and 0-3-1 in the NFL.Tonawanda 4, City Honors 0Paula Pinkert, Kalyn Compaeu, Jordan Johnson and Grace Stranahan each scored one goal for the Warriors (4-3, 2-1 ECIC). Alanna Herne made five saves and earned her second shutout on the season. Kristin Carson had three assists for Tonawanda.Lew-Port 2, North Tonawanda 1Megan Rogers and Chelsea Gunderson scored for Lew-Port (1-3). Chanel Nkounkou netted the lone goal for the Lady Jacks (0-4). Erin Kinz was in goal for Lew-Port and had 15 saves. Allie Smyth had 13 saves for North Tonawanda.BOYS SOCCERNia.-Wheatfield, 5, Niagara Falls 0Chris Galvano and Noah Asklar each scored two goals to lead the Falcons (1-4) to their first win. Edwin Leone also scored and Tom ModicAmore got the shutout.Grand Island 3, Ken East 2Aaron Cook scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Joe Farrell with five minutes left. Nick Soos and Jake Dixon also scored for the Vikings. Zach Glatsy and Mohammed Abezeid had goals for Ken East.Lew-Port 2, North Tonawanda 0Ross Fruiter scored on a penalty kick and Zach Keegan netted a goal for Lew-Port (3-3, 3-1 NFL). Marcanthony Paonessa faced eight shots to earn the shutout.JV--Jordan Willard had a hat trick and Ben Hastings got the shutout as Lew-Port beat North Tonawanda 6-0.BOYS VOLLEYBALL"Project Runway" makes it work on the catwalk in March. The new Wii video game (from Atari and The Weinstein Co.) will give at-home contestants a chance to design fierce fashion, style their models, strut the runway on the Wii balance board and face judgment from , and Nina Garcia.The game, based on the sixth season, includes feedback from Tim Gunn and that season's designers, including winner Irina Shabayeva. In addition to the core competition, family-friendly content will include an interactive garment studio, a fashion career mode, hair and makeup studios, a catwalk game and a photo-shoot scenario. $39.99 at . Also see atari.com. Tattoos at ChanelThink tattoos are tacky? Tell Chanel. The creme de la creme of French chic has introduced temporary tattoos. (Chanel calls them "skin art.") First seen at the Chanel spring-summer fashion show last fall, tattoos of Chanel iconography pearls, chains, double C's and wheat twined like jewelry around the necks and wrists of models. Now, Les Trompe L'Oeil de Chanel temporary skin art is available at chanel.com and Chanel boutiques. $75 for a package of five sheets, including 55 designs.A curvier Vogue ItaliaVogue Italy has launched three Web sites touching hot buttons in fashion. Vogue Black caters to women of color with "Know Your Fro" and a profile of . Vogue Curvy spotlights curvy women, with Christina Hendricks as one role model. Vogue Talents looks at up-and-coming designers. Stephanie Sobel, president of OneStopPlus.com Group, a plus-size Web mall, called Vogue Curvy an important move that "could be the catalyst for higher-end designers and media to cater to real women." The Vogue.it site is the portal for all three.Calgon, give me an active sensual experience!The brand immortalized for its "Calgon, take me away" slogan has come up with a slightly less memorable line to market its expanded assortment of bath products. The new Calgon, its marketing folks say, is targeting women looking for "Active Sensual Experiences in the Bath Category." Just what does that mean? A colleague said she's not sure, but she thinks it happens every week on "The Bachelor."[email protected]She inspired women across the country to rock supersized gold earrings and combat boots in the early '90s. Later, she showed African-American women that it was OK to have a short blond 'do.As she matured, her style evolved into classic, and elegant, with a twist of urban chic. knows style. Now the songstress, who has been dubbed the queen of hip-hop, soul and RB, has launched Melodies by MJB sunglasses.Fans lined up Wednesday evening at Nordstrom in Towson Town Center for an opportunity to have their photograph taken with Blige after purchasing the glasses, which range from $165 to $225.This is Blige's second product donning her name. In July, she launched "My Life," a fragrance packaged in a frosted, heart-shaped bottle, that is distributed by Carol's Daughter.In addition to promoting her new line, Blige was in the area as part of a musical tour with Jazmine Sullivan, El DeBarge and Miguel. The four will perform Thursday at Live in Bristow, Va.Blige spoke with The Baltimore Sun about her sense of style, beauty regimen and dream musical collaborators:Question: Why did you launch an eyewear line?Answer: I've been wearing sunglasses throughout my career, if you look back. It's just an extension of mejust like my fragrancethat I wanted to share with my people.Q: How did you develop your sense of style/fashion?A: I just kind of do what's comfortable for me and I grow from there. Then it becomes a trend or whatever it may be.Q: Tell me a little bit about your makeup. Who does it? What brand do you wear?A: D'Andre Michaels [from Los Angeles] does my makeup. I don't know what he uses. It just works.Q: Any plans for you to come out with your own makeup line?A: I don't think I'll be coming out with anything like that. But D'Andre is coming out with his own makeup line.Q: What are your favorite and least favorite hairdos you've had over the years?A: [Laughing] Whew. Too many of those.Q: What were you wearing before your eyewear line came out?A: I was wearing a lot of Olive Peoples, Chanel, a lot of them. I can't even think of all the names right now.Q: Who is your dream musical collaborator?A: Wow! So many people. That's always a tough question for me. I would say out of the gate, and [email protected]Red was a distinct note on the fall runways, and plenty of red accessories are turning up in stores this season, adding a punch of color to wardrobe staples.It's a longtime "power" color (remember the power tie? red?) and is traditionally believed to be stimulating and energizing. It's a hue associated with anger, sin, sex and virility. (Red-blooded anyone?) Red is especially complementary to all of the camel hues and leopard prints seen in stores at almost every price this season. Try winding a skinny red belt around dark blue jeans and pairing both with a leopard print blouse. Or slip on some red ballet flats with a leopard print cashmere sweater and cropped black pants.Need specifics? For daytime, Tod's red suede slip-on oxfords ($525) look good with dark cuffed jeans, a charcoal cashmere sweater and some layered gold necklaces.A new pair of eyeglasses can incorporate red into a daily routine as well. Square frames from Prada ($220) are much more sleek and sexy than they are and could become a signature accessory. If eyeglasses are too much of a commitment, there are plenty of red sunglass frames that add warmth to the face in addition to being a nice, unexpected pop of color. Ray-Ban's new twist on its classic aviator is a red-piped frame called the "Road Spirit" ($149.95). For something more va-va-voom, try Chanel's oversized red frames with smoky lenses ($320).Jewelry designers are using red in interesting and exotic ways. Kara Ross' "Eclipse" red python pendant ($360) could add a little 1970s glam to an outfit, and Isharya's red turquoise ($180) ring can be worn every day or donned to spice up a special look.For those who really want to make a statement, fall offerings include the head-turning Sigerson Morrison two-piece buckled suede pumps ($595). They're pointy and sexy without looking over the top. Another strong red accessory is the felt Trilby hat from Reiss ($90). And for evening, try a pleated leather clutch from Tiffany Co. ($995).Finally, what's more classic than a good red lipstick? Chanel's new Rouge Allure shade titled "Excessive" ($32) is a true pop of red that will put a feminine spin on the season's military trend and camo colors or bring drama to an all-black evening look.Red catches our attention, whether it takes the form of a stop sign or a scarlet letter or a Kardinal rose. It's the color of Valentine's Day and the color associated with heat. Who knows what will happen when you make it your own?LOS ANGELES - Glamour. Glamour. More Glamour.The red carpet fashions at Sunday's were a throwback to Oscars past as stars wore sophisticated and classy gowns, such as ' stunning nude-colored Versace dress. The gown was adorned with huge teardrop-shaped crystals. "It's the Oscars and there's so much tradition, I wanted to go old-school glamour," said Watts, who wore her in an updo and simple, dewy makeup.Her accessories? Dainty drop earrings and boyfriend , who wore a tuxedo and oversized sunglasses. went with a sentimental favorite: a nude beaded Gucci gown by Tom Ford, who just showed his last collection for the label."I've always been a huge fan of his work. I thought if he's leaving, I want to wear one more dress," Theron said.Theron's silver purse was done by a fellow South African, Lana Marks, and her drop earrings by Chopard featured 46 diamonds and were nicknamed "The Shooting Star."Many stars seemed to go for neutral colors as a way to show respect for the Oscars, said Cindi Leive, Glamour magazine's editor in chief."It's kind of incredible how retro glam the whole thing is. ... There was nothing rock 'n' roll," Leive said.Scarlett Johannson's green Alberto Ferretti gown was "apropos for her moment in time," said Reeve Chace, author of "The Complete Book of Oscar Fashion" (Reed Press). again looked to Carolina Herrera, wearing a white strapless column gown with a draped bodice and back bow. She also wore almost $1 million worth of Cartier jewels, including a 73-carat oval and pear-shaped diamond necklace with a 35-carat diamond bracelet."I loved the elegant and regal look of white on Renee," said Tom Julian, fashion commentator for the Web site Oscar.com. Julian also praised 's black cap-sleeve, silk satin Gucci dress and 's sea foam green wrap gown by Gianfranco Ferre.But Julian said the exotic and ethnic look of 's white layered gown with a bolero jacket and colored sash "wasn't exactly right on."Keisha Castle-Hughes, 13-year-old star of "Whale Rider," wore a beaded whale barrette in her hair. She also gave a boost to designer Liz Mitchell from her native in a classy, age-appropriate pink dress with Swarovski crystals in the shape of a New Zealand fern on the bodice. A sheer pink capelet was the perfect topper."I feel like I'm floating. It's like I'm having a total out-of-body experience," said Castle-Hughes.Veteran Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo wore a red lace gown with a train by Iranian designer Simin. "I did this on purpose. My heart belongs to ."The embroidery on the bottom of 's light green satin Chanel gown took more than 400 hours to do. The top of the strapless dress was simple, with just a touch of lace at the top of the bodice, allowing a necklace of 195 carats of natural green diamonds custom designed by L'Wren Scott for Bulgari to really shine.'s ivory silk faille gown was based on a design shown in a recent fashion show. It featured bows on the pockets and two tiers of ivory feathers."I love the feathers! It was a very easy decision," Bullock said. Following is a summary of current entertainment newsbriefs. Video shows new judge in heated exchange at auditions LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The controversial rap star NickiMinaj, who recently joined the "American Idol" judging panel,is shown yelling and making heated comments toward her fellowjudge , in a video posted to celebrity website TMZon Tuesday. The release of the video, which TMZ reported wasrecorded during an audition of "Idol" hopefuls in Charlotte,North Carolina, follows rumors that Minaj and Carey had beenfeuding. Grohl says not splitting, on hiatus LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lead singer ofGrammy-winning rock band Foo Fighters said on Tuesday the bandwas not splitting up but was taking a break. Grohl, 43, fueledspeculation about a split by telling fans at a New Yorkfestival on Saturday that "this is the show where we come outand we play as many songs as we can ... I don't know when we're (Sunday at ) Tracy Reese received a last-minute major endorsement by way of , when the first lady worean iridescent brocade dress by the designerduring her speech at the . As a result, the Tracy Reese show at became one of the most sought-after tickets of the season. Thankfully, the designer did not disappoint. Reese focused on bold colors (orange, purple, yellow, green and aqua); animal and African prints and plenty of metallics to craft together a very wearable collection. Layers were key, using pieces like lightweight sheer blouses in beige, pink and neons and lace black blouses, which she paired with a black jacket and lime green pants. My favorite came in the form of Reese's metallic offerings. Her color-blocked pants in blackorredwith metallic horizontal stripes were todie for.She also appliedmetallics successfully todresses, Reese also threw a lot of patterns into the collection. They came in separates -- stunning blouses,flirty skirts. She also had a number of long sleeveless dresses,jumpers, andsleeveless tunics that will become go-to's this spring. Overall, I think Reese did more than enough to justify why she's been a go-to for the first lady. Those unfamiliar with her brand will definitely be impressed by her latest offerings. Zang Toi (Sunday at Lincoln Center) If there were one designer who captured the feel of of old, it had to be Zang Toi. Toi said that the collection was inspired by the romantic French Riviera. The famed designer put on quite a production for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week standards. His models -- both men and women -- would interact with one another inthe former of sheepishly looking back at one another on the runway. It added another level of romanticism. It's rare for designers to have both menswear and womenswear collections and to excel at both, but that's precisely what Toi did. His suits and tuxedos for men were flawless. His dresses, gowns and separates for women were equally as stunning. Toi's show was arguably one of the best of the season. While had a stronger collection top to bottom, Toi threw in more show-stopping pieces. He received three separate rounds of applause while his show was in full swing, which is something that I have not seen at this level. His gowns were simply first class. Accents such as crystal caplets androse bouquets made of rich fabrics were in abundance and added to the opulence of the garments. Thursday, New York attracted aslew of celebrities -- especially at Fashion's Night Out events held throughout the city.NBA player Tyson Chandler, RB singer Olivia from "Love Hip Hop," and stylist June Ambrose with her daughterallfront row at Arise Magazine Presents "African Icons." Actor Bradley Cooper and star Victor Cruz were spotted seated front row at Tommy Hilfiger.Later in the evening, "It girl" rapper Azealia Banks rocked the house during her performance at MAC's Sohostore.American icon designer signed flip-flops for throngs of fans at flagship store during Fashion's Night Out. A few floors up, Albie Manzo from "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" was promoting a new bottled water called "Blk." True to it's name, the water is dark black butdoesn't taste any different from regular water.Top designer Oscar de la Renta was spotted at Saks.Anna Wintour seemed to be everywhere during Fashion's Night Out. She stopped at CalvinKlein. She was at Bergdorf Goodman with and Rachel Zoe and her husband, Rodger Berman.Karen Garalde, a Baltimore-based designer said she was able to meet the fashionable foursome while standingin line at the iconic store. "It was amazing they were really nice," Garalde said. "Rodger was really cool."But what about the clothes?"Rachel Zoe was wearing a long-sleeve blue jumpsuit," Garalde says. "Victoria wore an orange dress! It's unusual because she is always in black. Anna was very polished in a cream blazer with a dress suit. There was not one piece of hair sticking out."LOS ANGELES -- A suspected member of the burglary ring that targeted several celebrity homes in Los Angeles pleaded not guilty to felony burglary charges Monday.Alexis Neirs, 18, is accused of burglarizing 's home on July 15. , Brian Austin Green, , , and were also among the celebrities allegedly victimized by the group.A search warrant shows that the so-called "Burglar Bunch" allegedly stole dozens of diamond rings, money and a gun during the reported heists.The handgun belonged to actor Brian Austin Green, according to the search warrant.Other items seized at the suspects' homes included drugs, electronics, perfume, high-end makeup and Louis Vuitton and Chanel purses.A preliminary hearing for Neirs is scheduled for December 1st .She remains free on bail. If convicted, she could face up to six years in state prison.Police in Los Angeles and Las Vegas say the burglars used the Internet to find the locations of celebrity homes and information about when their owners were away.Earlier this month, fugitive and convicted drug dealer Jonathan "Johnny Dangerous" Ajar, 27, turned himself in to police in connection with the burglaries.An arrest warrant had been issued for Ajar on charges that included sale and possession of drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon, possession of body armor and receiving stolen property.Detectives say he's suspected of selling some of the stolen goods in the alleged burglary ring.Ajar has served five years in federal prison for drug trafficking.A search of his apartment Oct. 22 turned up multiple weapons, stashes of cocaine and body armor, officials said.Ajar is a former promoter at the Club Les Deux.Nicholas Frank Prugo, 18, Courtney Ames, 18, Diana Tamayo, 19, and 27-year-old Roy Lopez Jr. have also been charged in the case.Another suspect, 18-year-old Rachel Lee, was arrested in Las Vegas but prosecutors have declined to file charges, pending further investigation.Photos of Paris Hilton and more than $20,000 in cash were found inside Lee's home, a search warrant showed.Investigators say Prugo broke into 's home on Feb. 23 and took more than $43,000 in jewelry and designer clothes.He's also accused of burglarizing Lindsay Lohan's home on Aug. 23, when an estimated $128,000 in jewelry and designer clothes and accessories were stolen, officials said.Surveillance footage from the the burglary of Patridge's home, which she posted on the Internet, showed a male and female walking near her home, then breaking in and leaving with two bags.Surveillance video from Lohan's home showed a male and two females with their faces covered by scarves walking through a gate and into the courtyard near her home.The ring pulled off at least 10 burglaries from October 2008 to September, stealing millions of dollars in designer duds, jewelry and accessories, police said. Investigators are still piecing together the case, but said the women attended Indian Hills Continuation High School in Agoura Hills and had a taste for the luxury goods and accessories young celebrities wore."All of these suspects had aspirations of working in the entertainment industry but did not have the skill set or connections to do so," Goodkin said. "None of these suspects have any connections to the victims. They've never met these people, they never worked with them."Wasn't it just a few days ago we were partying with these peaches? For some reason, Bravo aired another episode today. Divorce, baby poo and sex were the topics tonight. Read on for the deets! Last episode, Sheree was served with some pretty shocking news. Bob wants a decrease in his child support order, claiming he doesn't make enough to foot that bill (and that's the reason he isn't paying). Phaedra takes on the challenge to represent Sheree, for a small fee of course. They spend the next few minutes looking for something fly for Sheree to wear. This comes after she pulled up in a Porsche. Guess Sheree is really the rich one? When they finally get to court, Bob has a plan of his own that makes Phaedra look a bit incompetent. He claims that he was to get the furniture after the split, and since he didn't he is filing for contempt of court. Looks as if Phaedra isn't the only one who googled their law degree. I kid! Kandi was hard at work setting up the new scenery for her late-night web show, Kandi Koated. Have you watched? I am almost afraid -- she can be a bit reckless. After setup, she chats about landing a baller and how to keep him. Her guests are Charles, a football player who supposedly got busy with NeNe, and his girlfriend Marlo. NeNe and Charles have denied that, but blogs say otherwise. And we all know blogs speak the truth. Kim and Kroy get to take baby KJ home. And what's the first thing he does? Poops all over Kim's fancy sheet. Poor Chanel, the dog, is quite uneasy about the family new arrival. She pees on the floor! The grandparents stop by, and Brielle becomes a perfect nanny. I really hope they filmed her doing some of her gossipy, drama queen antics because Mommy Kim is boring! OK, enough motherhood. Back to how we get there in the first place: sex. Kandi has a business meeting to discuss her new product, a vibrator that syncs with your . Hmmm, great idea or no? Let's hope we can program our playlists. Kandi, Phaedra and Sheree meet for lunch, and the divorce hearing comes up. Sheree is appalled that Phaedra let Bob play her -- especially as he represented himself. I bet she's thinking she should have saved her money and done the same. Phaedra is standing by her knowledge of the law and assures Sheree that she's just seeing a stall tactic on Bob's part. Totally missed NeNe and Cynthia, but I think Bravo is setting us up for a good cat fight. It won't be long before the truth about NeNe and Charles surface. And I can almost bet Cynthia is busy training those models -- she's got a bar to fund. Catch me on twitter (@ohmyTy) and follow me during next week's show.Nothing goes out of fashion sooner than a long dress with a very low neck, said .Shades of the awards season on the red carpet! AND here are just a few other quotes, since we are in for fashion on television, at least through the on Feb. 26.Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics, said ...The origins of clothing are not practical. They are mystical and exotic. The primitive man in the wolf-pelt was not keeping dry; he was saying, 'Look what I killed!' said Katharine Hamnett. (Shades of the current movie hit Coriolanus.)Fashion is more powerful than any tyrant, goes the Latin proverb.But quotes and proverbs aside, I still think has the best dresses. Her blue costume at the was staggering. And she looked great at the , as well.SPEAKING of fashion, the funniest charity event turns out to be the grand actress 's sixth Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant featuring the theater's current crop of leading men.These males have to compete through their talent, what they say in interviews and they'll also do a swimsuit competition. Judges have included some of the drama world's most astute people like , Michael Musto, , , , , , Beth Leavel and Seth Rudetsky. The audience is the final judge.Tickets run between $25 and $150 and are available at , or by calling 212-864-5400.EVERYTHING old is new again, including feuds along what is laughingly called The Great White Way and you won't be surprised to know this time it's between Andrew Lloyd-Webber and .Once collaborators -- their big hit was Jesus Christ Superstar -- they are now at odds over a new production of same.Sir Tim is angry that there'll be a TV show to find the next man who'll play Jesus. He thinks that such casting is tacky ... tasteless ... relentlessly down market.Lord Lloyd Webber says he had found stars in this manner for a number of West End musicals. He is evidently proceeding without Tim's help or approval.Tim responds: It's just possible that it might be the most sophisticated, tasteful show hosted by the archbishop of , but I doubt it ... and I really don't think Andrew should do it. ... They can't cast the show without my approval.THERE IS a most fascinating woman, without much on, hanging around Britain's National Portrait Gallery. She is Nell Gwyn, lover of King Charles II, seen in a painting by Simon Vereist, which has been hidden from public view for almost 50 years. The 17th-century actress shows her charming bosoms with only a lacy blouse totally slipped down to totally expose them.SPEAKING of nudity, it's never been a problem for , according to reporter John Hiscock.But she did balk at some scenes director wanted her to do for A Dangerous Method. She thought what he desired was too explicit. In the end, he persuaded her and 'tis said the beautiful actress was helped through by inhibition-easing shots of vodka.SOME folks are up in arms over the new James Bond movie Skyfall because director makes use of military funeral repatriations for fallen soldiers. He is accused of not being aware of proper protocol in setting up a big scene with as M and as many as 400 movie extras.THE ACTOR , who played in the 2006 Film Infamous, is taking on another great figure of the past; none other than director .I'm researching the character at the moment. It's fascinating. I don't want to say too much but he is a complex character and I am working to get to grips with it. I am very excited by the challenge.As you know, Hitchcock -- a master of suspense -- always appeared briefly in his movies, unidentified. Fans began to watch for him. The best instance of this was on Broadway in the fascinating little farce that ran several years ago -- The 39 Steps. Hitchcock appeared herein as a tiny miniature drawn figure.REMEMBER balancing a globe in The Great Dictator, which was a send-up of Hitler? is coming in May in a film titled just The Dictator in which he makes a mockery of a lunatic tyrant. He wears a huge beard and fuzzy hair and affects the ribbons, medals and absurd uniforms fancied by the late Col. Gadhafi.ENDQUOTE: The admired reporter Jacob Bernstein writes in The Daily Beast that I, your own Liz, am not afraid to be a rare unabashed supporter of in the press.Well, that's true. I am usually on Madonna's side. But I don't believe anyone can rise above ridicule at the 's halftime. Still, I have my fingers crossed. If anyone can pull this off, it's Madonna. (But she herself admits to being a nervous wreck over one of the most daunting performances of her career.)And I loved Madonna's quote to someone who asked if she'd be happy if she were married to a royal? The star said, Why don't you ask me that when I marry a royal!(E-mail at , or write to her c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207.)The second week of battle rounds on s The Voice brought a slew of questionable fashion decisions and equally questionable song choices. But questionable doesnt always mean less delightful.Twelve contestants went head-to-head tonight, with six moving on to the live shows; all told, Christinas nearly whittled her team in half (shes at eight) while Blake and Cee Lo have cut only three contestants total. Adams pulling up the rear with only two battle rounds so far, but Im sure hell catch up.Heres what happened tonight. Team ChristinaGeoff McBride versus Sera Hill: s Chain of FoolsGreat song, great voices, and some sage advice from at least one of the guest coaches, as assures Sera that sincerity outweighs volume in any battle. s advice for Geoff? Its all about the eye contact, urging him to remove his sunglasses you know, the ones that allow him to see. Vanity is poor advice, and in the end, it didnt really matter.Christinas Pick: Sera HillLee Koch versus Lindsey Pavao: Nirvanas Heart-Shaped BoxEesh, I forgot about hipster Lindsey, with her adorable half-shaved head and weird, wicked vocals. Pairing her up against Lee the baker and cover-er is just plain mean. The song was solid, and truthfully, Lindsey had a much better grasp of it. Lee was told during coaching that he needed more conviction well, how could one sing the words I wish I could eat your and NOT feel conviction? He needed to enunciate more clearly, too, Christina told him, but if he did work on that, it didnt come through in the performance. He was nearly as inarticulate a singer as was.Christinas Pick: Lindsey PavaoTeam BlakeCharlotte Sometimes versus Lex Land: s Pumped Up KicksCharlotte had the better stage presence, but Lex had the better voice; its a matter of personal preference, admittedly, but Lexs soft-spoken breathiness is calming and sexy at the same time. Charlottes voice is strong and interesting, but downright irksome. And I say again, what the hell kind of name is Charlotte Sometimes? Lex took risks with her range and runs, but Charlotte was more consistent, and ultimately, I disagree with Blake on this one. Want to know when I like Charlotte Sometimes? None of the times.Blakes Pick: Charlotte SometimesTeam Cee LoSarah Golden versus Juliet Simms: s Stay With MeHeavens, this song was basically written for Juliet, with her raspy, gravelly voice. This was an awful match she and Sarah have such different styles, sounds and approaches. The song choice just seemed like an unfair tipping of the scales in Juliets favor, because she absolutely killed it, and poor Sarah didnt seem to stand a chance. This song didnt do your voice justice, Christina told Sarah, before weighing in that Juliet should win.Cee Los Pick: Juliet SimmsJamie Lono versus Jamar Rogers: Foreigners I Want to Know What Love IsPoor Jamie. What a voice, and what a bad song choice for it. He was out of his element, and while Jamar took off into the power-ballad stratosphere, Jamie just kind of died on the runway. His performance was meh, but maybe it was just meh in comparison to Jamars work on this epicness. I want to go see Jamie in a coffeehouse. I want to go see Jamar in an arena. And holy crap, the waterworks. Tears and emotions were flying around that studio like no ones business, most of the glorious mess hinging on Jamars struggle with and Jamie sobbing how wonderful it was to see his friend succeed.Cee Los Pick: Jamar RogersTeam AdamWhitney Myer versus Kim Yarbrough: s No More DramaOh, but this was in fact dramatic! What a song, and what a great pairing with -esque Kim against curls-and-feathers Whitney. Adam urged Whitney not to try to outsing Kim, because what a fools errand that would be! This was a powerhouse of a performance, with each killing it in her own way. Cee Lo noted that the song was about acceptance, growth and maturity, and contrasted Kims seniority (shes 50, remember?) with Whitneys underclassmen, and upperclassmen always have the upper hand.Adams Pick: Kim YarbroughStupid Outfit of the Night: What the fresh crap was Juliet wearing? Oh, lets put on some leather cuffs. And some leather shorts. And over-the-knee boots. And patterned tights. And a headband. Lets talk fashion for a second. Since my outfits always seem to fall into the androgynous chic, drifter bum or colorful classicism camps, I am immediately disqualified from offering any fashion criticism. But really, didnt once say that before you leave the house, you should take one thing off? Its advice against over-accessorizing Juliet should have heeded.Awesome Outfit of the Night: That delightful sweater Jamie Lono was rockin. He out-sweatered , and thats saying a lot. And red glasses look good on everyone, but especially Jamie.In order to take a break from speculating on what exactly is on Christinas head, lets take wild guesses as to what sports Cee Lo could have possibly played in high school he does look as if hes wearing a varsity jacket, no? I can see him participating in some track and field events, like the discus throw or something, what with his girth. Maybe golf? Or, lets be honest, my high school gave out varsity jackets for being in band. Cee Lo was totally on the drum line.The most important takeaway here is that Blake Shelton is a Foster the People fan, and that hed never heard of Nirvanas Heart-Shaped Box. If I wanted creepy, Id have gone with Monster Mash, he said. Ladies and gentleman, the precious conundrum that is Blake Shelton continues.I MARRIED David for better, for worse; but not for lunch! said the Duchess of Windsor whenever she turned up at the famous Ritz Hotel in Place Vendome, Paris. (She was speaking of an abdicated king of England.)Vanity Fair magazine presents in its July issue, popular writer A. E. Hotchner's history of this famous hotel that is closing on July 31 for a two-year makeover. Sob! Gasp! And what's more, the great Hotel de Crillon with its view of where Marie Antoinette was beheaded will also soon close down for a total facelift.Mr. Hotchner manages to run down memory lane from to Proust to Hemingway to and -- all at the Ritz -- but the article doesn't note that Pamela Harriman, the American ambassador to France, died after a swim in the Ritz's pool. It does note that spent the last safe moments of her life there.In the front of my daily calendar is pasted a very old, very famous photo from 's Galaxy of Film Stars from the 1940s, with actors from Kate Hepburn to to to to in the front row.Now Vanity Fair has done this artifact one better, showing today's stars, producers and directors marking the 100th anniversary of Paramount Pictures.Who's smack dab in the center of this huge three-page gathering? Why, , of course.And she has Jack, Dustin, George, Tom, Don, Billy Dee, Harrison, John, Kirk, Michael, Richard, Billy Bob, Adam, Jon, Chris, Bobby, Josh, Jimmy, Antonio, Sean, Leonardo, Morgan, Eddie, and assorted famous females surrounding her.I think -- although I am not absolutely sure -- that in both these epic photographs of the stars in alignment only the great Mickey Rooney is in both of these unusual movie museum pieces!Thank you, Vanity Fair, for another classic Art Streiber photo. It's definitely a collector's item.And I have to admit it; there are a few new faces in this mass pose that I have never seen before.FIRST OF all, I'm glad , her assistant, and the driver of the truck Lindsay rear-ended late last week, are all OK. (The truck driver is more than OK, already claiming injuries and looking for a settlement.)Naturally, the first words out of Lindsay's mouth were, It wasn't my fault. Maybe it wasn't, but here's some advice. Don't drive. Clearly, all this young woman has to do is look at a car, and that vehicle is history, one way or another.Lindsay, you are currently playing . Do you think the star of stars ever got behind the wheel of a car and drove herself around? Where's the driver? fell from her lips as often as Where's my present? Onscreen, she famously crashed her little sports car in Butterfield 8, fleeing the attentions of Laurence Harvey.After a brief visit to the emergency room, Lohan returned to the set of Liz and Dick covered her bruises with makeup and carried on with professional aplomb. But I'm sure producer Larry Thompson has bitten his nails to the quick. And there are weeks more filming to go.Maybe he'd better get himself a pair of thick gloves!CHARLIZE THERON is certainly having a good year. Her personal reviews for and the Huntsman are credited with having propelled that mess of a movie to box office success. Now she is co-starring in 's metaphysical sci-fi epic, Prometheus along with , one of Hollywood's biggest leading men. The movie took a whopping $50 million over the weekend (and almost as much overseas) but was edged out by the animated . The success of the latter film is proof positive that if there are family-friendly movies audiences will flock to them.As to Prometheus, most critics are dazzled by the film's beauty and left pondering its complex/muddled messages. It ain't Alien, which is what many people -- especially fans -- were expecting. Although it does a few bows in that direction; one being the most gruesome thing I ever sat through. As for Charlize, it never hurts to be associated with a hit. And there'll be a sequel to Prometheus. This move already has almost a thousand reviews on IMDB! For all the expressed disappointment, these critics would certainly go see Prometheus 2, or whatever director Scott might title it.And, I can promise you Mr. Fassbender, at least, will be coming back. (Maybe even Miss Theron, movies being movies.)P.S. I've seen the revived Dallas, which starts on TNT tomorrow night and it is hilarious fun. Every scene is one of outrageous, over-the-top betrayal. Don't miss it!Almost all the old-timers are back and there are some excellent new-timers.(E-mail at .)Don't want to stumble through the sand on laser-cut platforms at a Malibu beach party? Rubber flip-flops too casual? Tkees, a collection of dressy leather sandals, are a beachy choice with an interesting slogan: Cosmetics for your feet.Tkees were introduced in 2009 as foundation-matching flip-flops for a barefoot effect. The basic "nude" colors range from the lightest Seashell to the darkest Mocha. Last summer, the brand expanded the makeup concept to include other cosmetic-inspired shades in different leathers such as patent for glosses, soft suede for creams, shimmery-finishes for eye shadows and matte leathers to match lipstick and eyeliners.Tkees are all handmade in Brazil, a country famous for flip-flops.Carly and Jesse Burnett, Tkees' New York-based founders and designers, based their sandal concept on slender flip-flops that Carly bought in St. Barts, French West Indies, that could easily transition from dressy to day-to-day."Tkees are very refreshing compared to what's out there," says Carly Burnett, 30, who recently married Jesse. "The sandals come in over 40 different shades, so they can go with everything. People have worn them to wedding parties, even the brides themselves. My sister is wearing hers to her wedding, and the wedding party is as well." , who effortlessly mixes high-end and casual fashion, is a big fan of the flip-flops.New sandal colors this season include Sorbet, a fuchsia lipstick hue; Ivy, a green eyeliner color; and eye shadow shades Bluebird, a creamy blue, and Angel Dust, a metallic gold.And to keep up with makeup trends, Tkees is introducing a nail polish-inspired collection in spring 2011 that will include neon hues.Tkees sell for $44 to $48 and are available at .EVENTSFriendship Love Peace by Nicole Murphy Trunk Show Tuesday: Jami Lyn boutique hosts a trunk show for FLP by Nicole Murphy. Murphy and Yolanda Braddy's necklaces and bracelets for men and women employ materials including lava stone, ebony word beads, agate and diamonds. Jewelry will be 20% off that evening FLP by Nicole Murphy pieces range in price from $100 to $6,000. Beverages and nibbles served to guests. To RSVP, call (310) 854-2088 or e-mail [email protected] S. Robertson Blvd., . (310) 657-5887.6 to 9 p.m.EcoStiletto Wednesday: EcoStiletto, the green beauty website, celebrates its second anniversary by throwing a party at Rolling Greens Nursery. Guests will be treated to eco-makeovers by Jane Iredale cosmetics and complimentary Eco-Brow eyebrow threading. Also enjoy vegan appetizers and eco-friendly product raffles. Donate a purse to Dress for Success, a nonprofit that helps low-income women obtain employment, and receive a swag bag. Valet parking provided. To attend, RSVP to [email protected] Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 694-0698. 7 to 10 p.m.HOW TO describe ? She was not a movie star; she was the entire galaxy of stars in one package. That was the energy she emitted when she walked into a room. People froze. When they spoke to her, they stuttered.That's designer Vicky Tiel describing her friend and frequent client Miss Taylor, in Tiel's book, It's All About the Dress. This is a delicious, sexy, gossip-heavy memoir of Vicky's rise as a designer in the Swinging '60s. It's a lot of fun. It is dotted with little essays on wisdom she learned from the likes of , , and , along with recipes she picked up along the way. She is candid about affairs with such disparate types as and , as well as her own extramarital affair with Elizabeth and Richard's makeup man, Ron Berkeley, which eventually led to a marriage -- one not fated to last forever. If you are at all interested in fashion and how it morphed so drastically in the '60s, side-by-side (thigh-by-thigh!) with a new liberated society, this book will dazzle. Sometimes, Vicky's adventures become exhausting. Too much of a good thing can be enough, with apologies to . But readers will adore snippets such as her erotic encounter with Warren. During the (expert) lovemaking, Warren took a phone call from an ex, sensitively talking her down from some emotional extremity. Fun, sexy, gossipy. A good solid, witty read. (That Vicky and her partner Mia Fonssagrives' creations for Elizabeth were riotously inappropriate, hardly matters. Elizabeth never gave a d--n. She was always over the top.) HOWEVER, I really was most interested in Vicky's observations on the Burtons with whom she was close for years, joining at times, Elizabeth's cacophonous entourage. It reminded me of my most extreme times with the couple. She makes some startlingly astute observations of Elizabeth and Richard and their strange, fabulous relationship.Some various snippets: Elizabeth's eyes were dark navy blue, like the deep sea, with an indigo light some people might call violet. ... Did she like being holed up in an enormous hotel suite with all her favorite food and wine and her favorite people flown in from all over the world? She loved it! ... The things that mattered most to Elizabeth were being Earth Mother to her loved ones, sex, food and drink, helping the unfortunate (humans and animals). ... Her fame and beauty did not matter much to her. ... She hated snobs almost as much as she hated cheap producers. ... She loved losers as friends. The bigger the loser, the more she loved him. She was a sucker for a sob story, she believed everyone. ... Her generosity was her foremost quality.Burton, whom Vicky clearly adored as well, was a different breed. Although he and Elizabeth were always deeply connected, they had little in common. Richard hated almost everything that Elizabeth loved. He preferred solitude, quiet, reading. And he was jealous. Tiel believes the night he lost for Virginia Woolf, but Elizabeth won, Richard never got over the loss, or his childish jealously. (For her part, Elizabeth was devastated by Richard's loss.)But there is one more Taylor story that is so her. After Burton's death, after being barred from by Richard's last wife, Sally Hay, Vicky -- who still designed for Richard's subsequent wives -- was called by Sally to help her dress for the service. To Vicky's shock, Sally also tried on three elaborate evening gowns. Now I'll finally be able to go and wear smart things, she said. Tiel immediately called Elizabeth, distraught in L.A. Can you believe she is so cold? Vicky exclaimed. Elizabeth quietly replied, Oh, no, Vicky. She must be in shock.Immediately following this book, I read the complete diaries of , soon due. Fascinating and rather melancholy. I tell all that, later in the week.VERY INTERESTING piece in a New York tabloid the other day, attempting to explain why , who always tried to keep herself above and away from her wildly dysfunctional family, became embroiled in the matter of overturning Michael's will. She is terribly worried that she will have to end up supporting the Jacksons, depleting her own fortune. Especially as her career, like that of so many others who were big in the '80s and '90s, is no longer red hot.Unfortunately the plan backfired, and not only is Janet still worried about having to boost the finances of the other Jacksons, she has damaged her public image, although this might not be fatal. Miss Jackson has a wildly devoted fan base. Many of them think Michael's daughter Paris deserved a slap-down (literally or figuratively.)The real singer in trouble is who went on The Talk and said that had Paris called HER the B-word, an epithet she reportedly hurled at her aunt Janet, she wouldn't have any teeth. Support for this was not overwhelming.It's all pretty trashy, but when was it not?ENDTHOUGHT: Boy, some things never change. I do mean the public's ferocious desire to build up celebrities only to tear them down with ferocity. I was struck over the weekend by near-gleeful coverage of Olympian ' loss to competitor Ryan Lochte. Loser! Disaster! Pholp! went the website and newspaper headlines about this young man with 14 gold medals to his credit. Aside from a little bong-smoking, I wondered what innocents Phelps had killed to engender such satisfaction over his loss?Well, now that Lochte came up short in the anchor leg of the 400-meter freestyle relay, he's not the golden boy (with that vulgar diamond grill in his mouth) that he was just 72 hours ago. See, how fleeting adoration can be, Ryan?I've never met either athlete, but Phelps comes across in a more appealing manner. Lochte expresses his confidence with, well -- too much confidence. Humility -- even if it is false -- is not to be despised.As Phelps has announced his retirement after the London Olympics, it would be nice for him to collect a little gold. And Mr. Lochte, too. The latter just needs a slight attitude adjustment. As does the ravening media. The people who write these headlines and stories -- what have they won in life?(E-mail Liz Smith at .) Katie Onushko and Tania Tauiliili carried Valdosta State's volleyball team to a 3-1 victory over West Alabama (19-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21) on Friday.The win improved VSU's record to 10-5 and 4-3 in the Gulf South Conference. With the loss, West Alabama drops to 9-8 and 2-6.Onushko put up 19 kills on the Tigers with a .333 attacking percentage, while Tauiliili continued the onslaught with 14 kills on a .360 percentage. Nikki McDaniel joined the action for 12 more kills. Meanwhile, Ashley Lala gave out 37 assists in the match, playing the role of lone setter. She doubled up with 13 digs, while Chelsea Luttfring led the team with 15.Valdosta State was also tough at the net, tallying 11 blocks to just two for West Alabama. Tauiliili was there for three solo blocks and two assists, while Destiny Berry was in on four assists, with two solos. Valdosta State notched six blocks in the final frame to secure the victory.The Blazers fell behind early in the first set, but bounced back in the second to hold off the Tigers, 25-23. Valdosta State was strongest in the last three sets, hitting .317 in the second set, .258 in the fourth and an eye-popping .483 with just one error in the third set.Four Tigers reached double-digit kills, led by Chanel Davis. Chelsea Payne gave out 52 assists and Cynthia Smith had 14 digs.Valdosta State will look to continue its winning ways on Monday at Albany State. ___(c)2012 The Valdosta Daily Times (Valdosta, Ga.)Visit The Valdosta Daily Times (Valdosta, Ga.) at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesLONDON -- has joined to star in 's second feature, The Double.Pic, inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's book of the same name, is co-penned by Ayoade and Avi Korine, and follows the story of an insignificant man driven to a near breakdown by the appearance of his doppelganger. Protagonist Pictures is selling the pic internationally and will launch sales at the European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival next week.Amina Dasmal and Robin of Alcove Entertainment produce while Andy Stebbing will co-produce. The project was co-developed and co-financed by Film4.Ayoade made his directorial debut last year with Brit pic Submarine, an adaptation of Joe Dunthorne's Welsh coming-of-age tale, and has acted in TV comedy shows including BBC3's The Mighty Boosh and Chanel 4's The IT Crowd.Click for more international news on Variety.com.In years past, Sima Blue would never have dreamed of stocking her Green Spring Station boutique with ivory sheath dresses, cream lace blazers and eggshell pleated skirts this late in the season.But times are changing. With major designers including and showcasing white frocks and accessories for their fall collections, white will not only be accepted after this season it will be considered fashion-forward. The trend starts now and will lead up through more traditional "winter" whites."I've never seen as much white as I've been seeing this season," said Blue, as she pointed to a rack filled with pieces from designers such as and . "It used to be you put white away after Labor Day and didn't bring it back until , but those days are over. White is like black you can wear it all year round."For decades, many Americans have followed the unwritten rule of fashion to steer clear of white after Labor Day. White has been considered a summer color, said Latease T. Lashley, founder of Creatively Speaking, a Baltimore-based public speaking company specializing in fashion commentary. "The rule may have originated from the Victorian echelon under the notion that the color white was ... a status symbol for new members of the upper and middle classes in the late 19th and early 20th century," Lashley said. "But whoever is responsible for this rule, it is clearly dated."This spring, in shows from New York to Paris, popular designers peppered their coming autumn collections with an array of white, including shades such as ash, eggshell, creme, pearl, bone and bleach. For example, "Project Runway" alum featured a sheer ivory ball gown skirt and chalk-colored trench-dress. And 's Paris show helmed by designer Karl Lagerfeld was highlighted by a military-inspired chalk jacket and flared skirt, a sheer feather-adorned blouse and wide-leg crepe pants.Celebrities have also been leading the charge some well before this season.At February's , turned heads dressed in a white Tom Ford dress with a cape. Two years before, Paltrow wore white during the December screening of her movie at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts Sciences.Singer Mary J. Bligeappeared at the in Los Angeles last November with a low-plunging ivory suit. A month later, she arrived at the "VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul" show in in a sparkling, beaded, sleeveless white dress.And who could forget at the 2009 inaugural balls in her white chiffon one-shoulder gown adorned with beading and snowy appliques by designer ?"The color white works on most skin types and always reads 'pure, timeless' and always comes across chic if you know how to pull it off," Lashley said. "White is a great transitional color that crosses seasons seamlessly. Break the rules wear white trousers with a navy blazer or pair white jeans with a jewel tone. Wearing white after Labor Day is like wearing black to a wedding. Everyone is afraid to do it, but you will stand out in a good way if it's done right."At local boutiques, owners have noticed a recent shift in attitude and acceptance of the white trend."You can see it especially with the younger shoppers," Blue said. "People want to be creative and individualistic."Blue said white has appeared in fall before, but it has mostly been relegated to flannel or crepe pants. Now, she said, it's being shown in September to be worn in September. "It's in dresses," she said. "It's not just in pants. It's in complete pieces."Jones Jones, the Cross Keys boutique, has a number of white-hued options this season, including a cream petal dress from Theia and a slick off-white raincoat from Creenstone."White is no longer seasonal," said Florence Sokol, owner of Jones Jones. "It can be worn all year round. It's the new black."Nancy Lattman, owner of L'Apparenza in the Lake Falls Village shopping center, is expecting a majority of her customers to start purchasing white clothes in the coming weeks."Some people already have," she said.Lattman loves that designers have offered a number of what she considers "stunning" pieces this season. Her favorites? A Theory pants suit in pearl, anAlice +Oliviawhite leather laser-cut sleeveless dress and a cream and metallic gold sheath dress also from Alice + Olivia.But one note of caution before you pull on those white cotton pants: Just because it's white doesn't necessarily mean its right for the season, said Karen Ciurca-Weiner, buyer and manager at Jones Jones. Ciurca-Weiner warns fashionistas about the type of fabrics they purchase during the colder months."It should be a fall fabric and weather-appropriate," she said. "Don't drag your summer clothes in white into fall."Say "so long" to short skirts and hello (again) to the 1970s. Get ready to banish black from your wardrobe and get creative with color.Now that the spring runway shows are over in New York, Milan and Paris, it's up to department store fashion directors and boutique owners to package the big ideas. Chanel's garden party, Balenciaga's punk brigade and Marc Jacobs' 1970s show were all memorable on the runways, but will they make it to store racks? Here, retailers offer their takeaways from the season, and ideas about how the trends might trickle down to you.Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director, Big idea: The vintage effect, fueled by the major YSL retrospective exhibition that just closed in August in Paris. On the runway, designers nodded to Saint Laurent's rich peasant look, Orientalism and "le smoking" [his signature tuxedo].Must haves: Fluid, sheer fabrics and longer hemlines (just above the ankle or to the floor) as we saw at Lanvin, and wide-leg trousers and a white pantsuit with Bianca Jagger swagger. The tuxedo jacket, it's not just evening wear anymore. For accessories, it's all about flat sandals because as a woman begins to add longer hemlines to her wardrobe, flat sandals work best with the new proportion.I'm also loving what I'm calling the "Helmut language" [a reference to Helmut Lang's utilitarian designs from the early 1990s], and the idea of adding a sporty attitude to dressed-up clothing using color-blocking, buckles, straps or parachute fabrics.Will punk take to the streets? Not now. We just cycled through a moment when the 1980s were really influential, along with strong shoulders, so punk doesn't look new to me. But where it ends up, we'll have to watch the runways to find out.Colleen Sherin, fashion market director, Saks Fifth AvenueBig idea: The color story. Bold, bright, vibrant color worked into color-blocked effects and combining colors in unexpected ways.Must haves: A longer-length skirt or dress as seen at and Proenza Schouler in New York, DG and Fendi in Milan and Chanel in Paris. Open-weave knitwear in natural white, ivory or beige crochet, macram, mesh or fishnet, as seen at Rag Bone, Alexander Wang, for Tse, Alberta Ferretti and Celine. And a crisp poplin shirt. We saw it with slouchy wide-leg trousers and skirts for a pared-down look. We also saw it as a play on masculine and feminine at Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Celine. A trench coat looks great with a longer hemline peeking out. I love the sheer organza ones at Phillip Lim and Christian Cota, and the matte python trench at Emilio Pucci.In terms of accessories, fringe is everywhere on handbags, jewelry and scarves. A shoulder or flap bag is key because it fits into the 1970s trend, as does a pair of platform wedges.Will punk take to the streets? Not in a big way. We've done that trend recently with leathers and studs and grommets, and not enough time has passed to go back. But it may be something we will touch on in our contemporary department.Stephanie Solomon, fashion director, Big idea: Color and print. And this is a serious shift because we've been in love with black for so long.Must haves: A dress or skirt with a hemline hovering around the knees or below. In New York, Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs, and Rebecca Taylor all had great longer lengths. In Milan, we saw it at Versace, Dolce Gabbana, Jil Sander and Roberto Cavalli. Sometimes these longer skirts have asymmetrical hems or slits, which we saw at Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Stella McCartney.It sounds like a myth that hemlines matter, but they do because when you go longer, you have to change your shoes and you have to change your coat. You need flat, wedge or platform sandals. And the long trench coat is chicest with this length. I'm also liking boyfriend jackets over longer skirts.Will punk take to the streets? In a way. You have to have the rock 'n' roll element, otherwise it would get too boring. I would take a studded leather jacket, something that looks worn and torn and ragged from Burberry Prorsum or Givenchy, and put it over a really frothy feminine dress like we saw at Dior. That dichotomy looks right. Or you can be a punk one day and a virgin the next!For the second time in less than a year, 's and Frango mints have been caught up in a wave of consolidation sweeping the nation's struggling department stores. This time, the Chicago icon, known for its distinctive green bags and its elaborate Christmas windows, will become a piece of , if the Cincinnati-based retailer's $11 billion deal to acquire May Department Stores Co. is approved. May beat out Federated in a $3 billion bidding war for Field's valuable franchise last July. But this time, the ownership change raises the prospect the respected Marshall Field's name may not endure. Federated is intent on building a national chain of department stores under two banners-- and Bloomingdale's-- in order to cut costs and more efficiently buy advertising. Even Chicago's long-standing attachment to Field's may not be enough to save the name, retail experts said. "Federated won't do something dumb like change the name next month. But long term, we will see Marshall Field's become Macy's," predicts Neil Stern, a retail consultant with Chicago's McMillan/Doolittle. "Long term could mean three or four years out." On Monday, Federated Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said no decision has been made on the fate of Field's nameplate. But Chicago without Field's is something many shoppers like Nancy Safron don't want to think about. Safron, who grew up with Field's, still loves shopping there. She can quickly survey new fashion offerings, pick up a gift of Frango mints and grab lunch in the food court. "I never walk out of the store without finding something I need," said Safron, a teacher who lives in south suburban Flossmoor. "If there were no Marshall Field's, what would people do?" Lincoln Park resident Anne Roche agrees that Field's represents "quintessential Chicago" as she was shopping for athletic gear Monday at its State Street flagship. She heads to Field's when she is looking for a "one-stop shopping place." Such loyal shoppers are a shrinking group, however, and department stores have been combining at a rapid pace, hoping to gain cost advantages that will help them stay in the game. The merger of Federated and St. Louis-based May can be viewed as either a last stand or a new offensive. For Cynthia Cohen, president of retail consulting firm Strategic Mindshare, the right answer is the second one. "I'm optimistic" about the future of department stores, she said Monday. "When you throw these two together, you save a lot of money, which should enable you to invest in the future. The future is a new invigorated department store." These new department stores need to edit their fashion more tightly, creating a cohesive assortment of contemporary apparel and housewares. They will need enough salespeople on the floor to offer advice that department stores were once known for. "Even old ladies don't want to look like old ladies anymore," Cohen said. "Boomer women want age-appropriate sexy apparel. They're desperate to be desperate housewives. The days of the house dress are gone." Some department stores have gotten the message. Lord Taylor, one of May's chains, is a year into a major makeover intended to upgrade its fashion quotient and the appearance of its stores. Macy's has invested resources and advertising dollars into private-label apparel lines such as I.N.C., which consumers recognize as a real brand in surveys. Marshall Field's has turned the first floor of its State Street store into an emporium of boutiques ranging from Levenger, the leather goods retailer, to Thomas Pink, a luxury shirt-maker from London. Its fashion offerings have gotten a little edgier, reflecting the urban tastes of its core Chicago customers.has inked a development pact with , which aims to develop a series with the alum. The one-year pact calls for Valderrama to serve as a producer on any projects he develops with the studio. If nothing materializes during this pilot season, he may join the cast of another 20th production. He's about to begin lensing a guest arc on 20th's laffer Raising Hope. Valderrama has been fielding a range of TV, film and digital projects in recent yeas as a thesp and producer. He's creator and exec producer of Tres' Ricardo Laguna Project and created the Web series King of the Floor for Electus' Chanel NuevOn. He'll be seen in 's upcoming pic The Girl is in Trouble. He's repped by UTA, the Collective and attorney Michael Gendler of Gendler Kelly.Click for more television news on Variety.com.Question: What is the best movie for tech entrepreneurs to watch?1. 'Wall Street' With Michael Douglas"The original "Wall Street" (1987) movie is a classic, as is "Scarface" (watch your ego!), and "The Corporation"a documentary that chronicles what happens when you give a corporation the same legal rights as a person, but none of the same responsibilities or accountability." Co-Founder, 2. 'Lorenzo's Oil'""Lorenzo's Oil" is an incredibly inspirational true story about two parents who find the cure to their son's rare disease with no background in medicine whatsoever, while struggling with scorn and skepticism from the mainstream scientific community. Innovation, perseverance and unreasonable clarity of vision in the face of adversity are the hallmarks of the true entrepreneur." Founder @ CEO, 3. 'The Matrix'"This movie is iconic among technologists and entrepreneurs. It is a film that celebrates futuristic technologies, and there are abstract parallels between "The One" and being a fearless entrepreneur. Both lead a company along the right path and must bob in and out of dangers in the "matrix" of the (business) world." CEO / Founder, 4. 'Working Girl'"Don't let the '80s hair and a young Harrison fool you: "Working Girl" is the movie for anyone who has ever felt that playing by the rules won't get you ahead. This movie really does show what happens when you have the strength of character to break the rulesand take the consequences. It's a lesson every entrepreneur needs to learn." Consultant, 5. 'Swiss Family Robinson'"Tech entrepreneurs need to look outside of their environment for inspiration. This movie encompasses the resourcefulness, tenacity, and willingness to experiment needed to lead a successful venture. While this classic isn't a Silicon Valley thriller, there is something to be said about surviving against the odds in uncharted territorysound familiar?" Founder and CEO, 6. 'Startup.com'"Check out this 2001 documentary that traces the birth and failure of government streamlining startup GovWorks.com. This movie provides a great perspective on what it's really like to start a business and the numerous intangibles that are never taught in college. From clashing business partners, to rounds of capital investment, to intense marketplace competition, this flick has it all." Founder, 7. 'The Social Network'"I find the movie "The Social Network" a great inspiration for tech entrepreneurs. From generating the original business idea, determining what features it may include, applying for funding, hiring a staff, etc., this story breaks down many of the natural growth phases that a tech startup experiences throughout their lifecycle. "Pirates of Silicon Valley" is also fun." CEO, 8. 'Ghostbusters'"Secretly, the movie "Ghostbusters" is all about being an entrepreneur. From starting your company to finding your first customer to marketing your business, "Ghostbusters" is chock full of business lessons with a side of great entertainment." Co-Founder, 9. 'Middle Men'""Middle" stars Luke Wilson and takes your on an exciting journey through the late '90s, when the Internet began as a new means of commerce. This movie is highly entertaining and provides insight on the "Wild West" days of the Internet, perfect for any tech entrepreneur." Co-Founder CEO, 10. 'Coco Before Chanel'"If you want to bring some inspired ideas to your business you need to look outside the tech world. What better place than one of the most interesting stories in fashion, Coco Chanel herself? Learn from her ability to manage her personal life with her business, and get a glimpse into the past. You'll be grateful at how easy tech can be." Founder, CEO, The(YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the worlds most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published, a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.Read more posts on Follow 10 Things Before the Opening Bell and never miss an update! Please Note: Business Insider will never share your information with any other companies. You also have the ability to unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time simply by following the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of each email Chinese citizens are up in arms after --including an $8,300 diamond-encrusted Cartier watch, Miu Miu purse and Chanel shoes--appeared on the blog of a local government office worker, ChinaSmack reports.It's the third time in recent memory that the lavish spending habits of a government employee (or their children) have caused an uproar in China, where accusations of government corruption are rampant.Over the summer 20-year-old of her cars and purses online and created a scandal for China's Red Cross, and months later by flaunting her wealth online.In the latest case, "Jilin City Beijing Liaison Office worker Gao Yueer" posted photos of a shopping spree in Macao on her microblog, ChinaSmack says.Once exposed, Gao deleted her microblog, and the Jilin Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department has said that there is no such person at their Beijing Liaison Office, according to ChinaSmack.Below, some screenshots of Gao's blog from a Chinese TV news report about the incident:DON'T MISS:When most of the world thinks of luxury brands, they think of Dior, and Chanel. European brands with a history of luxury and a high-class heritage. has taken a look at the top 100 luxury brands in the world and examined at their retail locations in Europe.Now, by looking at the density of high-end brands, we can get an idea of the different levels of luxury in Western Europe.These Wall Street dating debates get pretty heated on , we must say.Earlier this week we brought you a well researched just trying to find her Wall Street man. Of all the guys in the industry, she determined, traders are the best.Her words definitely caused quite a stir. And that is why WSO user King Kong, an investment banker and self proclaimed "Life and Dating Coach" (it's a hobby he works mostly with fellow Asian investment bankers), wrote his own post as a response.In it, he described a typical Wall Street girl 1. Predominately most banker chicks that I have been has been Asians and Eastern Europeans who came to US for school and got recruited into doing FO roles at various financial institutions including investment banks, consulting at McKinsey, or Corporate Strategy at Avon/ and so forth.2. Most banker chicks I have met are hardcore nerds. They went to the best high schools in their respective countries. They are top 10% of their class. If they were here for their MBA, they went to top notch undergraduates either in the US or in their home countries. I haven't forgotten about American born Chinese (). All of these banker chicks went to Ivy League.3. They are currently in age between 22-29 with a six figures taxable income (at least $100,000 base plus bonus).4. They are extremely delusional: they think that their Ivy League education combined with their high paying job place them in a different level in the dating scene. I have met a girl at who works in their Quant group. She always wears Chanel, head to toe for every networking events and always give off condescending attitude.Obviously, he's not impressed. Perhaps because these are the things he hears from these typical Wall Street women:1. "I want to date someone at my level. My current boyfriend is only an Analyst at a BB. I need to at least date someone who is at the VP level." This actually happened to one of my best friends.2. "Do I look like a handout? I am independent woman and I expect men to pay for dates and I also want someone who can take care of me, if I choose to be a full-time housewife." This is one of the most common lines that I have heard. I am always confused what does this actually mean. Do you want to be a full time housewife or not? How can you claim to be independent while expecting men to pay? No, I am not kidding.3. "I like my current boyfriend but I am not attracted to him. I have been seeing a few other men on the side whom I find pretty attractive and excited to be with." I knew a couple of banker chicks in NYC, who are doing exactly this. They feel that their current boyfriends are beta-males (good providers) while they look for fun with alpha-males.Note: The newest member of King Kong's family is a four month old Pomeranian. That said: refuses to call a winner in this debate.orApple has lost another advertiser for its "" mobile advertising business -- this time Adidas, the athletic apparel giant -- according to scuttlebutt we have heard from two mobile industry execs.Adidas supposedly pulled its $10+ million ad campaign from the iAd program because Apple CEO was being too much of a control freak. According to one industry exec, Adidas decided to cancel its iAds after Apple rejected its creative concept for the third time.In an effort to dial up ad quality, Apple has taken more control over iAds than any other program in the industry, including making the actual ads themselves. As the , this has and ad agencies.This has contributed to a very slow rollout of iAds -- good luck finding many premium brand ads in iAd inventory.In addition to Apple's unusual control over the ad creation process, advertisers complain about the lack of control over and visibility into where their ads appear, lack of third-party ad serving tools, and other issues. Apple plans to open up the process once it's more comfortable with the program, but it appears some advertisers have lost their patience.As the , at least one advertiser before Adidas has pulled out of the iAd program -- Chanel.An Apple rep did not comment, but has not denied that Adidas has pulled out of the iAd program. (And, to be sure, perhaps Adidas had really lame ideas, and Apple was right to reject them.) Adidas declined to comment on "rumors or speculations" and refused to deny this story. But via email, a rep said, "we explore all mobile channels that will help us to tell our brand and product stories and naturally iAds is one of them. Mobile is an important part of our media strategy and the success of our micoach Application for iPhone and Blackberry shows that we are on a good way in."Know more? Let us know at [email protected]. Anonymity guaranteed.Read: Business InsiderFor a certain breed of New York tourist, picking up a knockoff Chanel bag in Chinatown is a trip highlight.But that could soon change.The city councilwoman whose district includes Chinatown making the purchase of counterfeit goods a crime, punishable by a $1,000 fine and a jail term of up to a year.The legislator, Margaret Chin, says the law is necessary to deter counterfeiters, and that buyers of counterfeit goods cost the city around $1 billion in tax revenue annually.Unsurprisingly, the backlash from Canal Street shoppers has been huge.We decided to venture down to Chinatown for ourselves to survey the counterfeit scene.Bottom line: it was sketchy, the knockoffs kind of sucked, and we came away empty handed. But at least we learned the right way to score an "A quality" Chanel bag for 1/50 the sticker price of the real thing.Apple is notoriously obsessed with details. Apple iPhone software exec Scott Forstall is no exception. "I actually have a photographer's loupe that I use to make sure every pixel is right," he once Time magazine. "We will argue over literally a single pixel."So there's no way the 35 apps pictured in four of Apple's (AAPL) recent iPhone TV commercials are there by accident -- even the ones that aren't in focus. Whether Apple and its ad agency are fond of the apps' icons, design, names, features, or developers, we're confident the apps are there on purpose.The big winners: The four companies whose apps are demoed -- embedded below:The runners up: The other 31 companies whose apps are pictured -- but not featured -- in the TV spots, some more visible than others. In the apps' alphabetical order:Why so many food and music apps? The apps in a few of the commercials keep a loose theme -- music apps in the Shazam spot, food apps in the Urbanspoon spot, etc. Likewise, what's missing? More games! But Apple has promoted many of those in a separate commercial for the iPod touch, including "Tap Tap Revenge" and "Labyrinth."See Also:Apple today that its iAd mobile advertising program, which launched this past summer, has already signed on "over half of the top 25 leading US national advertisers in just four months."The important question is, are these big advertisers only buying iAds as science projects or ? Or will they actually come back to buy more ads after their initial experimentation?It does sound impressive either way -- Apple was supposed to be terrible at advertising, remember?Instead, it already has "a projected 21 percent share of US mobile display advertising revenue for 2010," according to IDC.Though it doesn't mean the iAd service doesn't have plenty of problems. Corner most any ad exec and they'll whine and moan about the iAd for ages, but then also admit that theand that Apple has.Apple is certainly hoping the iAd business can actually become legitimate. The company is around the world, and is to accommodate its growing iAd team there.This announcement was made in conjunction with saying that the iAd would launch in the UK and France in December, and in Germany in January, with advertisers includingLOral, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio.Not listed: Adidas, which we because of disagreements over ad creative, and Chanel, which the WSJ has reported has also ditched Apple .Read: Today's that Apple's iAd program is actually boosting Apple's competitors too, as brands -- -- are focusing more attention on mobile ads in general, all over the industry.Here's one specific example that actually worked out great for , a NYC-based mobile ad tech startup, which can serve iAd-like ads across multiple platforms, including Google , plus Apple's and . (The iAd is currently only for the iPhone and iPod touch, not the iPad. Though, presumably, iAds for the iPad can't be far away.)As the , when Chanel decided to pull out of the iAd program, it actually went ahead with a multimedia campaign in the New York Times' iPad app instead, powered by Medialets.The , "The ads promoted Chanel's J12 watch. Users could tap the ads in the campaign, which ran through June, to explored the watch collection or expand it across a full screen and display a film. A spokeswoman for Chanel said it was 'very happy with the experience'."Here's a video of that ad in action.Don't miss: Unilever's Dove for Men iAd includes a few videos. Last week we brought you some , including advertisers and developers happy with early ad performance.Now some less encouraging anecdotes, :The WSJ also confirmed that the cheaper "iAd for Developers" ads, which let iPhone developers promote their apps within other apps, cost 25 cents per click, which .Here's what we wrote when we :After a quick burst of launch activity, some developers tell us they're surprised how slowly the iAd rollout is going; that they only see the two companies' iAds running; and that fill rates hover in the single-digits to around 10%.But it appears (and makes sense) that Apple is actually rolling out iAd slowly on purpose, to make sure it doesn't unleash a monster before it's happy with the way everything works.After asking Apple when more iAd campaigns would roll out, one developer tells us that Apple said, "We will ramp up the number of ads served in the weeks and months ahead."Important to note: Besides the deliberately slow rollout, it's also a slow advertising period. We'll be able to really judge the iAd program -- for developers relying on it for ad income, and for Apple's prospects in the mobile ad industry -- closer to the holidays.See Also: We're now less than a month away from what some consider the social and sporting event of the year: the Monaco Grand Prix.This Formula One car race through the winding, ridiculously picturesque streets of the capital Monte-Carlo brings the world's richest people together with Formula One's biggest fans and best drivers for a weekend in the Mediterranean sun.There will be yachts and there will be caviar and champagne will all the exhaust, but there will also be airfare/hotel deals, too.Specifically we found some combo trips that is doing, which start at 1360 per person if you're cool with sleeping at the Holiday Inn over in Nice, France. For 4 nights at the , plan on something closer to 3000 per person. Luckily these prices include grandstand tickets for the races from March 27-30, Paddock Club passes, helicopter or boat transfers, "hospitality" at the Hotel de Paris and Amber lounge party tickets.The only catch is that the price doesn't include an Emirates flight, and to get these packages you must book an Emirates flight. A trip to the Monaco Grand Prix begins to add up quite quickly, so we'd recommend going with a reputable package to keep the travel planning and paying headaches minimal. No matter where you stay or how you get to Monte-Carlo, just remember the big rule of the Grand Prix: dress like you came in on your private yacht. Nobody cares that you're at the Holiday Inn if your belt is by Chanel, duh.Find more info and book the Emirates deals .This originally appeared at .Subway in Puerto Rico has officially missed the mark in its campaign, in which the food supplier created Subway-branded garbage trucks and trash cans that look like children. So the kids' mouths are actually consuming garbage. Because it's always a great idea to associate a food chain with trash. According to the press release,"In order to dramatize the bad eating habits in children, we designed child-shaped trash cans and placed them in shopping malls and food courts across 10 cities. (They) were also placed in parks, schools, and high-traffic streets. A child-shaped garbage truck also drove across 55 cities in Puerto Rico." DDB Latina is responsible for this stinker.Brad Pitt is the new face of Chanel No. 5. This is the Here are that we learned fromPulp Fiction.Thisis the "It's amazing what you can do with a finger and a thumb."Volkswagen just released two new ads: one for the and the other for the . Created by Deutsch LA.At 2pm PDT, Deutsch LA will be live-streaming a speech byJoe Pytka, who has directed over 5,000 commercials and 80 spots. Gaston Serpenti is Brad Pitt has been chosen to front the forthcoming campaign for perhaps the most famous perfume in the world, making him the first man to promote Chanel N°5. A Tweet and Facebook post was sent out by Chanel earlier today, confirming rumours that the 48-year-old actor was about to become the face of the perfume, with a picture of the actor himself in a white shirt (below). And thats it. The campaign is scheduled to shoot in London this week, and were interested to see Karl Lagerfeld work his magic on Brad. No word from team Brangelina on exactly why hes taken on the duty of embodying the couture houses best-selling fragrance, but the couple will reportedly take home a seven-figure paycheck from the modeling gig. Read more posts on Brazil may be a land of huge opportunity for luxury retailers, but any company looking to enter the Brazilian market should tread with care."Brazil is very expensive, very bureaucratic, and there are not a lot of retail opportunities," said - Carlos Ferreirinha, head of Brazil-based luxury brands marketing agency MCF Consultoria e Conhecimento. "The market demands a lot of interpretation and planning."Even so, for companies willing to make the effort, the payoff can be huge.The country's luxury market was growing at a rate of around 17% a year prior to the 2008 financial crisis, and after a slight dip during the recession, growth in 2010 was over 22%, said Ferreirinha, who previously managed Latin American markets for Louis Vuitton.Brazilians are unique when it comes to luxury consumption; unlike other emerging markets, the nation has an impressive number of domestic luxury brands, like Brastemp and Daslu.But consumers who can afford luxury goods -- a number that's rising quickly throughout the country -- still prefer classic European brands, Ferreirinha said.And Brazil is uniquely situated for growth compared to its Latin American counterparts."Brazil is the only country in Latin America that has show that it will be able to have larger distribution in multiple cities," Ferreirinha said, explaining that while 90 percent of international luxury brands are currently based in Sao Paulo, momentum was building for such brands in both Rio de Janeiro and the capital city of Brasilia.While European brands like Gucci and Chanel have the advantage of name recognition among Brazilian consumers, American brands are also becoming increasingly popular, Ferreirinha said. Ralph Lauren is a favorite among shoppers, Calvin Klein was recently reintroduced to the market, and Coach has also recently started operations in Brazil, he said.One challenge luxury brands should keep in mind: while most luxury markets around the globe cater to a mix locals and foreigners, consumers in Brazil are likely to be strictly Brazilian.Explained Ferreirinha, "It's because Brazil is so expensive, no tourists would ever go there to shop."Even companies at the top of the retail food chain are suffering. Luxury brand Burberry is cutting up to 540 jobs (roughly 9% of its workforce) in Great Britain and Spain, despite a 30% rise in revenue at the end of 2008. The fashion label hopes that the cuts will save as much as $50 million a year.: Burberry's decision to cut staff reflects broader troubles among makers of luxury goods, which had hoped to be safe from the hardship elsewhere because of their affluent clientele. But while some, such as Compagnie Financire Richemont SA, owner of glamorous brands such as Cartier and Chlo, have reported sales declines or laid off temporary staff, Burberry is the first to announce cuts to its permanent workers.Analysts say they expect more cuts to come at other luxury-goods companies. "In the same way that we see a trickle-down effect, in retail, we also see a trickle-up effect," said Bryan Roberts, global research director at consultancy Planet Retail in London. "High-end players are less vulnerable to the downturn, but that doesn't mean they are not affected."See Also: This might be the best custom cake company ever! A CHANEL cake and cupcakes, anyone? Cake Couture Marbella will create a customized cake based on your favorite designer. The boutique bakery, based in Spains Costa del Sol, prides itself on creating intricate cake constructions using only edible ingredients no plastic whatsoever! No request is [...]Read more posts on iframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=4e97609485b582211100001camp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframeNo word yet on whether the pink slips were quilted and monogrammed. (The workers can only hope they were on backorder.): The company is taking the measure after a slump in demand, the French daily La Tribune said, citing unions.Chanel's move raises fears that the usually resilient luxury market is falling victim to the global credit crisis.The job cuts follow last week's announcement by Chanel that it had halted a mobile art exhibition featuring its iconic quilted handbag and chain in order to refocus on strategic investments in troubled economic times.The handbag show, recently in New York's Central Park and due to have travelled on to London, was housed in a white spaceship-like mobile art gallery designed by Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid, and included works by 15 artists inspired by the purse created in 1955.Luxury goods companies have started to feel the current economic crisis. Last week LVMH, the French group behind Vuitton and Givenchy, scrapped plans to open a 12-story Tokyo store after it failed to reach an agreement with a developer amid slumping demand for luxury goods.Total sales of luxury goods in the US - defined as the highest priced tenth of jewelry, clothing and leather goods - fell 34.5pc, according to preliminary data from SpendingPulse, a division of MasterCard Advisors that tracks total sales paid for by credit card, checks and cash.See Also: Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld turned heads when he sent this bizarre shoulder bag down the runway during this morning's show at Paris Fashion Week. It appears to be made of white quilted leather suspended between two black hula hoops.While there's no price on this lookand no official word about if and when it will actually hit shelveswe're secretly hoping to see someone smashing into fellow subway passengers with it sometime this spring.SEE ALSO: Pascal Le Segretain/ Getty Images Karl Lagerfeld aboard the jet he showed the Chanel collection on.Designers will often try to outshine their collections from previous years with risky prints, bold colors or sky-high hair on the runway.But Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel decided to bring attention to his Chanel Haute-Couture Spring/Summer 2012 collection during Paris Fashion Week by showing it on an airplane (via ). Derek Blasberg tweeted that Lagerfeld wanted to show his collection on a plane instead of "," Fashionista reported.Alas, the plane was non-functional: set designers spent five days constructing the interior, which had "an extra-wide 164-foot aisle, 180-degree swivel seats for 250 high-profile guests, double-C monogrammed carpet, a holographic cockpit, and a slatted roof that revealed a vista of clouds," according to .Heres the first look at Chanel’s new “Le Coton” beauty product, which costs $20.According , “CHANEL brings the highest-quality cosmetic cotton pads to the U.S., lending pure luxury to a woman’s daily cleansing and toning ritual. LE COTON is an exquisitely soft tri-layer pad developed in Japan: its outer lining, made from delicate, handpicked Egyptian cotton, and its inner filling, comprised of lightly entwined, elastic Australian fibers. Combined, this ultra-absorbent, lint-free composition increases the effectiveness of CHANEL Cleansers and Toners, treating even the most sensitive skin to unparalleled gentleness. Each LE COTON pad is generously sized and delicately embossed with the world-renowned CHANEL logo.”Read more posts on Heres the first look at the Chanel Spring/Summer 2012 Ready-to-Wear ad campaign photographed by Karl Lagerfeld. The campaign was styled by Carine Roitfeld, and features models Saskia de Brauw and Joan Smalls at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France.Read more posts on Chanel has released a mini silent film “My New Friend Boy” featuring Alice Dellal, promoting the new Chanel Boy handbag collection, directed by Karl Lagerfeld.Continuing the buzz surrounding silent movie The Artist the only sound accompanying Dellal’s quest for her Boy bag is the dramatic sound of a piano.As expected, the British model/rocker has brought her rockier edge to the campaign too, as she sports dreadlocks and her trademark ripped tights and leather.This follows from the more traditional front women Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld has selected for campaigns in the past, with all-American actress Blake Lively fronting the Mademoiselle handbag campaign last year.Read more posts on As precarious as the New York Times' financial situation is, we can't say enough about the company's willingness to invest in, and experiment with, electronic technologies.A few months ago, we got a tour of the inventing room on top of the NYT's shimmering HQ, and it's as cool as the Googleplexes (with a far better view). We were also impressed with some of the electronic delivery stuff the paper is working on, as well as the folks who are working on it.The Nieman Journalism Lab recently took a tour of the place, too, and produced a few short videos. from on .As impressed as we are by the NYT's willingness to invest in this stuff, we still haven't seen a technology that will allow it to preserve the economics of the current print-based business model. The next time we get a tour, we'll focus on that question.Watch Excerpt from transcript of Nick Bilton: This is the core RD group, and these are just some of the projects were working on. This is what we call the newspaper 2.0 table, and its looking at these next generation of reader devices and really trying to stay ahead of the curve with these devices.Theres two things that we are doing here. One is trying to educate the company on where these devices are going, but the other thing is actually prototyping content on them. So this is an development kit that actually was broken in transit from Vegas last week. Its a little chipped, but this was a device that we got from E Ink where we prototyped what content would look like on an E-Ink device that didnt exist yet. And so we have the full layout with the typography and different user interactions that we can experiment with. And so this is really trying to prototype and understand where these devices are before they even exist and what our content will look like and how it will translate.This is just some flexible e-ink. There is a big push for flexible displays and devices and where theyll be. Theres been some breakthroughs in the past six months that will allow devices to become more flexible with the being more flexible, the chips are going to start to become more flexible over the next few years. And thats really going to change these devices. The one question is: How do you tell someone that its bendable but not foldable? So.Josh Benton: Gotta educate the customer.Bilton: Gotta educate the customer. And then, you know, a lot of it is just trying to understand the user interaction and really trying to work with the manufacturers. We work with Sony and Kindle and all these guys. We work with this guy , who is the project manager at nytimes.com for these devices, and were trying to work with all the device manufacturers to say, you know, this is how our content should work and how it should follow through.Another big thing that we always explore are the . These put a whole different generation of people online, and weve been looking at how you tell stories on these machines. You know, some of them have foldable screens, some of the are touchscreen, theyre all different sizes, and we really have to understand how our content, the stories are told on there.An interesting technology that is going to affect the e-book reader industry in the next year or so is the screen from the . came from One Laptop Per Child. She invented the screen, which is actually called Pixel Q-I. Its based off the E-Ink technology and , and its mashed together, and it creates a that you can actually switch between this LCD with full movement to E-Ink in low-light situations and low power and things like that. So shes going to be shipping those devices, the screens in November or so which means that well probably start seeing them in the market place in the next year or year and a half, which should be really interesting.We talk a bit about making the paper more interactive and adding functionality. This is just a chip, and so here is an ad for Chanel. So if I could put this on my computer, it will go off and get the appropriate ad that goes along with that. So it automatically knows because its RFID, its connected that its Chanel ad that goes along with this experience.So its just really trying to explore and understand where RFIDs theres this company in Boston thats starting to explore at a penny to five cents a piece, which could really open up different areas for advertising. As far as working with reporters, these are different GPS devices that weve been playing around with. Weve given some to some reporters, and it actually automatically geocodes where they are, and whenever the time stamp of the story is uploaded. It then cross-correlates it and says, this is where this story or this photo has been filed from, or this photo, and it automatically puts it on the map. And its a whole different method of story-telling that nobody is really required to get involved with. It does it automatically. So we did this with the and a couple of other reporters, and its been pretty interesting to see that happen.Another application, going back to these news reader devices is, I mean, were looking at touchscreen constantly. [Dialog box appears on screen.] Thank you, Windows. [Laughter] This is the that weve been working on with Adobe, and its built on .And one of the really interesting features of it is that it can reformat and re-lay itself out accordingly depending on what size display its in. So if Im on a screen this big, it will format and lay itself out. If Im on a screen the size of one of those little notebooks it will, itll re-lay itself out that way. It does the same thing on the article level if I want to resize the font, I can go smaller and it reformats itself and fits in that thing. Youve got the crossword that you can do. Its got all the features from the web and even more like we have the news in video and the news in pictures that can become full screen. I can navigate through this way. And then another interesting feature is this browse feature where it sits back and it says, let me navigate the content just by flicking through, and I can go from section to section and article to article, and then just jump right in. So its a really interesting visual way of navigating this content.Bloomberg PursuitsYesterday, Clusterstock's monthly Bloomberg Markets magazine subscription came with an extra treatthe inaugural issue of the Bloomberg Pursuits magazine. The publication is spun off from Bloomberg Markets, a magazine that goes to every Bloomberg terminal subscriber, and will focus on the lifestyle of the rich and luxury goods.We flipped through the magazine, and it certainly stays on point with feature stories on artistic diamond brooches, rare Picasso pieces and Ferraris. We also found advertisements for Chanel watches and private jets inside. Bloomberg has said .Didn't get a copy? We compiled a sneak peek here, so let us know what you think.iframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=4e8b097b85b582667f000019amp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframeIn his new book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War, author Hal Vaughan claims that Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy, reports .The book describes in detail how she became a Nazi operative, her missions, and how she managed to escape arrest after the war.It also discusses her relationship with Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage -- a spy so successful that he operated rings in France and the Mediterranean reporting directly to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.A book by Lisa Chaney, Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life, also due out later this year, supports Vaughan's claims about von Dincklage, .The question remains as to why Chanel would want to spy for the Germans? According to Vaughan, .Cond Nast just named former People StyleWatch and Star publisher Michelle Myers as vice president and publisher of Lucky magazine, one of their most profitable titles.Myers was named the first publisher of Time Inc.'s in 2007, bringing in advertisers like Citibank, Chanel and Clinique, . By 2008, ad pages increased by 38%.She replaces Gina Sanders, who switched from Lucky to lead the Fairchild Fashion Group, which publishes Women's Wear Daily.Myers is returning to Conde. She previously served as the associate publisher of Allure (2000-2004) where she helped to increase ad pages by 8% and revenue by $28 million, according to the company. Previously, Myers was the associate publisher of Shape.Here is her picture, via her StyleWatch bio:iframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=097a6c79ab0aef49d33a0200amp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframeGrowing up in Manhattan's hustle and bustle, Dany Levy delighted in discovering new things. Armed with sheer curiosity and an apparent love of show and tell, she became that girl you turned to for advice on everything from birthday gifts to restaurants. It's a talent Levy would ultimately bank on when founding in 2000 as an email newsletter that dishes up witty bites of insider information on everything from fashion to food.Levy, now 38, started out as a mostly "goofy" kid, until entering the ranks of the "cool-girls clique" as a teen. She loved to write and has boxes of diaries that served her need for self-expression over the years. Her passion for writing continued at Brown University, where she studied creative writing.After graduation, she landed an internship at New York magazine and went on to write about style and bargains. But she was miserable."I was being edited so heavily," Levy says, "I had a total crisis of confidence and I quit [in 1998]."After freelancing and brief stints with other magazines, Levy's voice finally found a home when she founded . The New York-based email newsletter was ultimately sold to in 2008 for a reported $125 million. Levy, who lives in Los Angeles but expects to move back to New York this fall, remains chairman of the 115-employee company that now reaches 3.5 million subscribers through 26 editions worldwide.In an interview with 'Trep Talk, Levy spoke about her effective bill-collection technique, a curious contradiction, and a "gene" she looks for in new hires. Edited interview excerpts follow.On thinking big: I definitely took the initiative to do my own thing early on, but I wasn't entrepreneurial in a black-and-white sense. In third grade, my best friend and I decided to write a screenplay and spent an hour every day working on it. My stepmother typed it up, and it was 15 pages. was in it, that's what I remember.On creating a character: I realized soon after launching DailyCandy that people did respond to my voice. It was a nice moment because I found a place for it. I was developing a voice with its own personality: It was the DailyCandy girl. It was like character acting.Vintage viral marketing: When I first started promoting DailyCandy, I put postcards in every restroom I went to, put stickers in airplane bathrooms. I almost got arrested for putting a sticker on a mailbox in New York City. I would chat up my company in elevators. I was shameless.Low Point: In 2000, around the time of the dot-com bust, it was a crunch period. We'd call [past-due advertisers], be transferred around and never get anywhere, so I made a handful of collection calls in person. I'd show up and sit in the waiting room until they cut the check. Some were fairly large corporations making small ad buys, so I knew they had the money.I'm inspired by Tina Fey. I love her take on life, her attitude, her voice -- it's funny, wry and intelligent. She's got just the right balance of self-deprecation and confidence. And she's a creator.Hiring tactic: I always joked that I look for people who have the 'figure it the f--- out' gene. There are people you can throw a task at and they figure it out, then there are the people who ask a million questions. I like people who are good at problem-solving.Stress-taming tune: Public Enemy's '.' It puts me in a really great mood, lifts my spirits.On staying competitive: People said, 'You should do DailyCandy for men.' I said, 'Why? We're really good at speaking to women and so why try to be something else.' It's the pure focus that I think made DailyCandy the clear leader.Three people I'd most like to shop with: The late Coco Chanel for her impeccable taste, 'Snooki' [Nicole Polizzi] for her lack thereof and the DailyCandy editors because they surprise me every day.Curious contradiction: For someone who writes about all the new hot spots, I have just my handful of restaurants I go to over and over again and order the same thing. When I come in they'll say, 'The usual?' They just know.My usual (dining) suspects: In and around L.A.,, , , and .Startup tip: Don't spend money until you have money. When we used to put candy in our media kits, I would go to the Duane Reade store the day after Easter because the candy was on sale. Of course, it's important to spend on certain things in the beginning. You need good servers but you don't need Aeron desk chairs.Advice I follow: 'It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.' I can be impatient, so that's good to remember.Favorite book: 'The Giving Tree' by .Latest candy crush: Caramel Pops by Tootsie. It's green apple on the inside and chewy caramel on the outside. It's like a Daddy meets a Sour Apple Blow Pop.This originally appeared at .Are you upset that Goldman Sachs (GS) stands to collect big time if CIT goes under? Don't be. As the pseudonymous Wall Street pro anal_yst over at reminds us, this is what's known as prudent, responsible business.Henry Blodget has a expressing outrage that if CIT goes the bankruptcy route, the "evil vampire squids" at Goldman Sachs will reap a $1 billion payment before taxpayers. To clarify, this is a $1 billion "make-whole" payment (similar to a lump-sum payment, where the borrower pays off all future interest after a bond is called early) and would cover a 20-year deal in which CIT had agreed to pay Goldman about $85 million annually for ten years, according to . So sayeth Blodget:The U.S. taxpayer, meanwhile, who should have been entitled to the usual last-in-first-out protection any private investor would have demanded (as Goldman did), will lose $2.3 billion.Note the key phrase there, in bold (my emphasis). As I commented on the story, no one should be attacking Goldman for exercising prudent lending practices. If there is anyone to be outraged at, its the brain trust at the Treasury for extending rescue financing to CIT without exercising similar prudence.Ever opened a fashion magazine likeorGQ, and wonder, "who can afford to buy this stuff?" For example, here's a shot ofabout linen suits. And here's aVoguepiece aboutlike a black Victor Rolf dress for $970, or a $495 leather bag by Alexander Wang.Most people use these spreads as inspiration, then turn to affordable stores likefor items that can pass for being straight off the runway. Others find designer items at outlets or discount stores like."I think there are a lot of fast fashion brands like,and Forever 21 that are so quick to copy what's on the runway and into their stores," says Nikki Martinez, an assistant buyer for the cosmetics chain. "As soon as I see a magazine spread, I can buy an iteration of that trend at Zara for a tenth of the price."And then there are people who walk straight into a designer's store and buy garments with jaw-dropping price tags at full price. They are the ones who can afford "this stuff", and shop at the most expensive shops in America with famous names: Chanel, Dolce Gabbana and Oscar de la Renta the latter of which just so happens to be the most expensive clothing shop in the U.S.To come up with our list of the most expensive shops in America, we looked at proprietary data from 20 million and Mastercard holders, and looked at average receipt amounts based on millions of transactions done in clothing stores across the U.S from April 2010 to May 2011. We filtered out places like wholesalers, manufacturers and big department stores, and then ranked the most expensive shops by average receipt sizes.De la Renta's eponymous store on New York City's Madison Avenue had well-to-do shoppers spending $3,217 on average during each shopping trip to the high end store. This isn't atypical consideringhave price tags from $1,890 to $4,790 (his cocktail dresses can go as high as $10,690).The other stores in the top 5 most expensive shops:, located just half a block from Oscar de la Renta, ranked second with an average receipt of $2,881;in Boston ranked third with $2,818, the very high end womenswear shopalso found on Madison Ave ranked fourth with $2,818; West Hollywood's, which sells clothing from designers like Chanel and Balmain, rounded the top 5 with an average receipt of $2,258.About half of the shops on our list are from New York City, with Los Angeles coming in a distant second and cities like Naples, Fla., Chevy Chase, Md. and Chicago making appearances. Though most stores were from well known designers like(ranked 10th),(ranked 11th) and(ranked 16th), prominent bridal shops like the, and the famed, the setting for the TLC show "Say Yes to the Dress" made the list and ranked 22nd and 19th respectively."A very small population of the community even fashion community are able to wear head to toe designer on a regular basis," Martinez says. "Fashion spreads are meant to be aspirational, fantasy, even escapist if they're done well."But some pieces of clothing can be worth the cost."I personally shop less frequently than I used to because I'd rather invest in better quality, longer lasting pieces," Martinez says. "The older I've gotten, the more I value things like fabric, well constructed pieces, and investing in designers. These clothes just look and feel better."This originally appeared on.Florence and the Machine just announced that they are teaming up with Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld to release a limited-edition vinyl of the latest single, Shake It Out, due out October 31.The band is set to release a series of limited-edition singles in the coming months via The Vinyl Factory, and only 500 of the Lagerfeld collaboration will be up for grabs for 50£ a pop.Each cover has been screen printed, silver foiled and hand numbered on a white card and features a series of photographic portraits of fashion icon Florence Welch taken by Lagerfeld.According to the release, each sleeve houses a 180-gram white vinyl contained in a silver inner bag. The record is the only physical release of Shake It Out and includes a remix by Canadian RB star The Weeknd on the B-side. Lagerfeld chose Welch as his muse for his collection at Paris Fashion Week last month. The band is set to officially release its 12-track sophomore album, Ceremonials, also due out on October 31 in the UK/November 1 in the US.The new album is the follow-up to the chart-topping 2009 debut Lungs, which scored the band a Brit Award. A deluxe edition will feature additional tracks as well as demos and acoustic versions of select tracks on the new album. Read more posts on The French aren't really sure how they should handle this economy's effect on the luxury goods business. After all, France's luxury goods biz, which employs 200,000 people and is perhaps the business that most defines France.One paper, Le Parisien, called it a "bombshell" when Chanel laid off 200 out of its 16,000 staff. TV channel LCI compared it to when Coco Chanel canned everyone and shut the doors during WWII.The French are trying really, really hard to play it as kind of a good thing, like a return to values. But that whole push sort of reminds us when someone is insisting that they're absolutely over an ex.: A recent issue of Le Figaro Magazine featured a 12-page guide to scaled-down living in 2009, with predictions that people will work less and put family (even in-laws) first. A French trend expert quoted in the magazine dramatically described the changes as nothing less than a revolution in values....Some French intellectuals want to go much further, calling for the death of the entire luxury industry as a sort of national ritual of purification.Since the ancient Greeks, luxury goods have always been stamped with the seal of immorality, said Gilles Lipovetsky, a sociologist who has written several books about consumerism. They represent waste, the superficial, the inequality of wealth. They have no need to exist.Even Sarkozy who came in as President Bling-Bling" wanting the French to embrace capitalism, to work more to earn more. Now he talks of things being perverted by amoral capitalism, complaining that the signs of wealth count more than wealth itself.This whole crisis is like a big spring housecleaning both moral and physical, , the designer for Chanel, said in an interview. There is no creative evolution if you dont have dramatic moments like this. Bling is over. Red carpety covered with rhinestones is out. I call it the new modesty.But when you really press, the French (including German transplants like Lagerfeld) are still the French.And for Mr. Lagerfeld, cutting back his own spending at Chanel is not part of his new modesty strategy. He said he is not being forced by the private companys owners to bend or adapt because of financial constraints. We have no budget, we do what we want and throwing money out the window brings money back in through the front door, he said. The bottom line is that I dont deal with the bottom line. The luxury in my life is I never have to think about it.See Also: If youve ever been a tourist in Paris, youve probably been to (and if you havent, well, shame on you!).If there was a Silicon Valley for famous European artists, Montmartre would be it. Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso all lived or worked there at some point in time.Today it is known as the principal artistic district of Paris and its streets are flooded with artists and caricaturists trying to tempt tourists with a portrait.But now you can visit Montmartre without leaving your home. Well, almost.Anyone can jump on or Street View and of the area but would miss out on experiencing the live, artist community. And while its unlikely that any digital product could ever truly replicate the experience, French startup is an interesting first step in that direction.Street artists get digital.Cleverly calling itself the Montmartre of the web, the startup born out of a in February 2011 may look a lot like California-based caricaturist community . Artistoon, which officially launched its platform in November 2011, allows anyone to order a personalized portrait or caricature from those very same artists that you would find on the streets of Montmartre.The company currently works with 15 different artists all selected through a process based on their portfolio quality and/or an actual portrait test and is actively developing its artist base.Click, send, draw.When a user arrives on the site, there are a variety of different portrait and caricature styles to choose from, which range anywhere from 18 to 400 in price depending on the style, medium, size and artist. Users simply select the style they want, send over their digital photo (after payment) and wait to receive their portrait (the time estimation is oh-so-nicely displayed before ordering, unlike evil online food-delivery services!!). Users can choose to have up to 6 faces featured in a single portrait *for the same price* and can send in additional image personalization requests during check out.Hello, America.For the moment, Artistoon is only shipping in France but the team has definitely expressed an interest in shipping to English-speaking markets especially to the US, where the founders believe European art is well appreciated. Hmm, maybe art will be on this years list alongside food, fashion and flirting? After all, the image of the passionate French artist complete with beret, mustache and paintbrush-in-hand is almost as iconic as the baguette, the Chanel bag or even the French kiss. If Artistoon also sold original, romantic poems, it would be like receiving a little piece of personalized 19th century France by post.(Not really sure what this is about but you get the point.)Art: digital yet not so digital?Artists are often the last people anyone would ever expect to go digital (but wait, then again even has a website). Traditional art forms are getting their own digital make-overs, with photo potentially leading the way. Yet, marketplaces for quality handmade products (like or French equivalent ) also provide a channel for individuals to request personalized creations from people around the globe.In the meantime, for anyone who is too impatient and too poor for an Artistoon portrait, I recommend that you simply upload and remake a silly photo of yourself using Turkish-made.This originally appeared at .By Frazier Moore, AP's national television columnist.NEW YORK Thank Bernie Madoff.After two seasons plumbing other areas of sin and corporate corruption, the new season of FX's legal thriller "Damages" stands to make a killing in investment rip-offs.Why not? A Bernie Madoff-scope Ponzi scheme destroys people while driving some of them to destroy others. It exposes dreadful secrets: Some people discover they're not rich, but broke, while others are revealed to be morally bankrupt.This becomes a perfect showcase for drama, especially through the dark lens of "Damages." Its Madoff-inspired story line is guaranteeing viewers a rich payoff.The 13-hour season airs its third episode Monday at 10 p.m. EST, and already it's delivering dividends.We already know that high-stakes litigator Patty Hewes (series star Glenn Close) is mounting a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the victims of financier Louis Tobin, whose fund everyone in New York wanted to get in, and who bilked his investors for billions of dollars.We know that Patty's one-time protege, Ellen Parsons, has left Hewes Associates for a job in the New York district attorney's office, where she, too, will have Tobin in her sights.But we know that Ellen (co-star Rose Byrne) will re-ignite her complicated, even toxic, relationship with Patty, who, after months with no contact, sends Ellen a peace offering a $3,000 Chanel handbag that leaves her perplexed. And disturbingly pleased.We know that Tom Shayes, Patty's loyal law-firm lieutenant who is helping her build the case against Tobin, has been granted partner status by Patty in her firm.Shockingly, we also know that Shayes (Tate Donovan, an original cast member) will be dead six months from now. We've seen the body, recovered by detectives from a riverside trash container. And we know bad things led up to it: He, too, was one of Tobin's investors. Shayes, his wife and their extended family all of whom trusted in Tobin's Midas touch lost everything.Also looming ahead: Someone seems to be trying to kill Patty.How does all this add up?"Damages," which from its start was a jagged thriller mixed with a plush melodrama, has sometimes seemed a tease in how it parcels out clues to what's going on. But the truth is, the answers come thick and fast. The challenge for a viewer and it's thoroughly pleasurable, once you're hooked is to puzzle out what the "answers" mean."Damages" has always been sly in its use of flashbacks and flash-forwards. This season, temporal polarities jockey between the here-and-now and what the show's title card identifies as "6 MONTHS LATER."So, OK, the narrative is a bit fragmented, toggling back and forth a few times per episode. For example, the season premiere's final moments deftly juxtaposed the sight of Shayes' corpse in a body bag ("6 MONTHS LATER") with his proud supervision at the office, in the present, as workmen hang the law firm's new shingle: "Hewes Shayes Associates.""Perfect," he declares, looking on with satisfaction.Dizzying? Just keep your eyes on the screen. Addictive? Just you wait.As in past seasons, the cast is splendid.Both Close and Byrne make good use of their respective character's complexities and contradictions.It's Patty Hewes' nature and professional style to keep everyone around her guessing. She can be silky and seductive, cold and ruthless. She can sweet-talk or threaten with equal finesse.Meanwhile, Ellen, who first arrived at Hewes Associates as a wide-eyed law-school grad in awe of Patty, has steadily, traumatically, emerged as a shrewd, even diabolical protege, despite her efforts to mark a safe distance between them.The show's crack ensemble is further nourished this season by new members of its supporting cast. Campbell Scott plays Joe Tobin, the tormented, straight-arrow-ish son of the con man, who himself is played by the distinguished stage and screen actor Len Cariou. In a sleek, sharklike performance, comedian Martin Short is the family's attorney.As the wife of Louis Tobin, Lily Tomlin is steely, self-possessed and unbowed by the scandal. Declaring that her legal deposition went well, she sums up Patty, her interrogator, as "not particularly sharp, that woman."She couldn't be more wrong.Patty Hewes is many things, sharp being paramount among them. Same for her evolving nemesis Ellen.As "Damages" rips into a new season, Patty and Ellen clinch what is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the series. This is a show about two enigmatic, powerful women who alternately go head-to-head while finding themselves in tandem against other, even more menacing threats.A generation ago, the groundbreaking cop drama "Cagney Lacey" was saluted for pairing two women as its series leads. Here were NYPD detectives as sisters who solved the crimes.These days, "Damages" ups the ante in ways unpredictable and wily: two women who collaborate while, as the situation warrants, trying to bring each other down. A viewer gets in on a deal like this and can't lose.___FX is owned by News Corp.___On the Net:__EDITOR'S NOTE Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.orgAs a recession-ridden 2011 comes to a close, a few men stand and whisper the word luxury. The bold souls Im referring to not only don fine fabric ties and crocodile satchels, but they also advise companies that produce these costly goods. Each of these men has climbed the luxury ladder for over a decade, and each has earned a rightful place at the head of luxe markets table. So, what insights can our experts offer on the industrys present state? Have the rules changed since 2010? Will luxury reclaim its glistening throne in 2012? Stay tuned, as a mixed field of industry elites share secrets of luxury, today and tomorrow.MILTON PEDRAZA: CEO, Luxury InstituteThe Luxury Institute is recognized as a global leader in CRM and luxury research. The company works closely with respected high-end brands, engaging in new and innovative methods to enhance customer-based brand experience.My Company: My company helps facilitate deeper relationships between luxury brands and consumers. We increase the retention rate between luxury companies and their customers, create targeted referrals and provide insight into the components that make up todays luxury culture.How the Luxe Market is Changing: The global recession has affected customers, making them more discerning now. Developed nations have seen hard times causing them to weaken, while developing markets continue to thrive. These developing countries have experienced increased demand because they offer more value. They are gaining a wider consumer base, as they have prompted more to become interested in luxury.The Future of Luxury: Brands will begin to further differentiate products in the coming years. Products themselves, such as handbags, will become more unique in design, though Im not necessarily talking about logos. Also, brands that find success will have enhanced consumer relations. They will become a trustworthy provider that makes your customer experience easier. Customers will be won over by out-behaving not outperforming.. On : @VENANZIO CIAMPA: Founder, The Promotion FactoryThe Promotion Factory serves as a top-tier communications firm specializing in luxury, fashion, entertainment and lifestyle. The company offers a strong blend of creativity and veteran understanding to help empower renowned names like Gucci, Hublot, and .My Company: We dont aim to follow demand, but to serve the ideal of luxury. We are placing more focus on content-related activity, which is becoming increasingly important. This is great for someone like me, who comes from media and communications, because it allows for more creating and not just distributing.How the Luxe Market is Changing: I think the Web, e-tail and social media are playing a big role. Ten years ago luxury was afraid of the Web it approached it like an enemy but today companies are investing more time and frankly passion in the Internet because it allows direct communication with clients. With the Web 2 phase, luxury companies will soon be forced to become more editorial in nature and not simply function as an online catalogue.The Future of Luxury: The how we buy is already being shaped by technology, but I believe we will still need to touch and feel. You can tell that by visiting Saks on a Sunday and seeing how women buy shoes. Also, I foresee a peculiar blending of the editorial and the commercial. Retailers will play editors and vice-versa, and this could be good or somewhat perverse. Luxury companies will look to improve the multimedia content of their brands on social media platforms. They will need to understand their audiences desires and respond in a flash.. On Twitter: @RICHARD CHRISTIANSEN: Founder, Chandelier CreativeIn a world leaking imagination, ideas float Chandelier Creative to the top. The company was built on the crux that curiosity lends superior answers. And Chandelier loans their passionate intrigue to some of the biggest names around: Givenchy, Versace and , to name a few.My Company: We are content creators. Our specialty is cross-channel development, bridging the gap between digital and social media and more traditional forms of marketing. What our clients all have in common is a desire to gain a fresh, modern perspective that respects and leverages their heritage or brand values. We believe in telling stories and creating experiences to connect people to the product.How the Luxe Market is Changing: There is a new customer profile, the mass luxury shopper, that has created an interesting marketing challenge how do you appeal to 2 sets of consumers of different income levels and lifestyles without devaluing the brand or destroying the heritage? The core, upper-class shoppers have brand loyalty and make consistent purchases for all aspects of their lives clothes, furniture, food and wine, cars and hotels. The emerging middle-class shoppers spend relatively small amounts in less consistent patterns, but have the possibility of long-term brand loyalty.The Future of Luxury: The word technology had nerdy, undesirable connotations for years. It was seen as a hobby and something that only few people could utilize and understand. Then came along and redefined it in a matter of a few years. Technology now means enabling desirable tools to millions of people. Its easy to forget that a combination lock on a briefcase was once considered hi-tech. Will Vuitton develop fingerprint scanner locks on their trunks? Luxury brands will have to continue to find ways to communicate to customers and fans alike. Having a social media presence makes them fair game for scrutiny, so they can no longer distance themselves from the masses. They will have to stand for something and deliver on the promise.. On Twitter: @JOSEPH JANUS: Creative Director, BOHDIWhile many handbag companies can boast handcrafted clutches and Italian leathers, few can also match BOHDIs design sensibility. The bag specialists outshine competitors with a passionate eye for detail and craftsmanship.My Company: I think its the responsibility of companies like BODHI to keep making luxury more affordable but to maintain the quality, the functionality and the beauty of luxury pieces.How the Luxe Market is Changing: The luxury market has changed a lot in the past decade and is changing more and more every day. Internet membership sale sites like Gilt have really changed the game. You can buy bags from Chanel, Chloe, BODHI and more at a discount price, and you no longer have to shop on Madison Avenue to find quality luxury products. Luxury products have a much farther reach now, not only in the United States but all around the world in places like China.The Future of Luxury: This is the Age of Technology. There really is a lifestyle change going on, driven by tech and the way we live, work, play, socialize and conduct our everyday lives. For the past 5 years I have been introducing tech accessories into our line, and retailers that carry my bags have finally taken notice of the lifestyle change, demanding more of our tech accessories on their sales floors. I think the luxury market will continue to reinvent itself in the next decade. Companies will continue reaching more people by marketing affordable luxury in their product lines.. On Twitter: @This originally appeared on .While luxury shopping might be slumping here (), its booming in Brazil! Might be something for those of you still with money to consider for your next holiday...: Brazil has experienced an economic boom that has created thousands of millionaires, more than 20,000 in 2007 alone. That rapid and substantial increase in disposable income is obvious in Sao Paulo, Brazil's most cosmopolitan city. Shopping malls with Hermes and Giorgio Armani boutiques have sprouted up all over the city. "It's not there yet, but Brazil is on its way to becoming a priority market for luxury brand names," said Carlos Ferreirinha, a former president of Louis Vuitton in Brazil.See Also: Don't be mistaken; you're not in Paris, but this Parisian palace in Texas is a close second.The Champ d'Or, a magnificent work of art, took a total of five years to plan, build, and perfect--and it's just 40 minutes from Dallas.The house is extremely opulent, from the crystal chandeliers to the Chanel carpets.Not only does the palace have 35,000 square feet, there's also a backyard veranda that can seat up to 450 people, a one and a half acre lake, a steam room, a private salon, a ballroom, a bowling alley, a 15 car-garage, and two elevators.Courtesy of Sotheby's RealtyCoco Chanel's summer home on the French Riviera.The has hit the market for a whopping $50 million (via ).Famed architect Robert Streitz designed the residence for Mademoiselle Chanel and the Duke of Westminster. The pair kept the home as their French residence from 1929 to 1953.The home is located on the heights of La Toracca, with sea views over Menton on the east side, the sea to the south and some views to Monaco in the west.The house itself features seven bedrooms, most of which are suites.The listing admits the house needs some restoration and renovation, but with the history it has, that large price tag is understandable.Besides Chanel, the house was a "social destination" of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the Duke of Windsor, Noel Coward, Aristotle Onassis, Greta Garbo, Rose Kennedy, as well as Graham Sutherland, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, Konrad Adenauer, Anthony Eden, and Paul Reynaud.Even Karl Lagerfeld feels the need to cut back because of the recession. Much , Lagerfeld has axed most of his staff (everyone except for the maid, chef,and chauffeurjust the necessary servants). Fortunately Lagerfeld doesn't have kids so . Also, even though he's moved to smaller, mroe puritanical houses, he refuses to part with his three Hummers. Won't GM be happy? Even larger-than-live Chanel kingpin is scaling down - sort of - during these straitened economic times. For one thing, "I have moved to a smaller house in Paris, and I don't fancy having so much staff now," he to German weekly Die Zeit. However, "The chambermaid, chauffeur and chef are still musts," he says, "around the clock."His passion for gas-guzzling Hummers - the largest model, H1 - continues unabated. "I have three of them," Lagerfeld tells the mag. "Two here in Paris and one in .... The Hummer is like a tank and gives me a feeling of security. I don't want to drive at the same level as the others." He also weighs in on his new house in Vermont, which we've extensively, noting, "It's very Emily Dickinson. In fact it's almost Puritanical. For me it's a new form of modesty."See Also: Members-only shopping is one of the best ways to find amazing deals on the hottest designers.As a member of sample sale sites, you can find designer clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags and more at discounts of up to 80 percent.Sound too good to be true? The catch is timing.Like an eBay item up for bid, the discounted items are flash sales, meaning theyre only available for a small window of time (usually between 12 and 72 hours).This means that it takes some flash sale skills to know what to look for and where to find it. Lucky for you, CitySwag is here to give you some insider advice on the art of members-only shopping.Start with aggregator sitesBefore you can start shopping, you need to become a member!The best way to start searching for members-only sites is by visiting a sample sale aggregator site. Not only will you discover various sample sale sites, but youll also find out what sites are best for you, depending on brands, styles and types (which can include everything from vintage Chanel to dog carriers).Focus on niche sitesMany sample sale sites sell a little bit of everything and others target specific niches like product lines, cultural groups or fashion tastes.If youre not sure what youre looking for, then a general sample sale site is your go-to destination. However, if youd rather focus on your individual tastes, then a niche site will help you weed out what you dont want and help you find what you do want.For example, you can find top designer styles geared toward the urban fashionista at CitySwag.Sign up for remindersWe all hate spam mail, but if theres one email from which you wont unsubscribe, its the reminder alerts from members-only shopping sites. Many sites will send emails on sales theyll be featuring for the week and when they begin.Because new sales pop up and disappear within a matter of days, its important to know whats on the weekly menu. Sign up for reminder emails or text alerts so you dont miss out on the best deals.Shop earlyThe early bird gets the worm and the early shopper gets the right size. Like any sale, the best things are the first to go, and with a sample sale theres a limited amount of items.The only way to make sure you get what you want in the size you want is to start shopping as soon as the sale begins. Signing up for sale alerts will remind you when to log on so you can be one of the first to snag that pesky shoe size that everyone else also seems to have.Organize and prioritizeLike a bookshelf, arranging sample sites by your tastes will help you keep your memberships organized.Try creating a bookmark folder on your web browser with all the shopping sites of which youre a member and prioritize them based on your interests, be it vintage accessories or contemporary labels. If you have a specific style in mind, keep niche sites as your top picks.By mastering the art of sample sales, you can always be in style for less!Vintage SeekersWatching from the front row, the fashion editors attending Yves St Laurents "Pop Art" collection in August 1966 werent overtly enamored with what they saw.Influential critic Gloria Emerson, suggested the designer strains too hard to convince the world he is hand-in-hand and eye-to-eye with the very young, and deemed the collection lumpy and outdated."The slim-line fur coats and dresses inspired by the contemporaneous art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol drew the most attention with a lukewarm response. Fast-forward 45 years, and its clear that what was actually unveiled that day at 5 Avenue Marceau, Paris was one of the most influential and iconic designs in 20th century fashion history.Were talking about Le Smoking, the first tuxedo for women. It consisted of a classic dinner jacket in black grain de poudre wool or satin and trousers with a satin side-stripe with a ruffled white shirt, black bow tie and a wide cummerbund of satin.This was a bold evening wear alternative to the little black dress by the Algerian-born designer. Despite the so-called "second-wave feminism" of the 60s, encouraged by developments like the availability of the contraceptive pill, well into the decade it was still controversial for a woman to wear trousers in public.Few respectable restaurants or hotels allowed female guests to wear them inside. Nan Kempner was famously turned away from Le Cte Basque in New York while wearing her YSL tuxedo suit. Yet in the defiant style befitting of this androgynous, no-nonsense look, she removed the bottom half and waltzed into the restaurant wearing the jacket as a thigh-skimming mini dress instead. The manager later said that for formal dining attire trousers were as unsuitable as a bathing suit.So, dressing in a YSL trouser suit declared the wearer was irreverent, daring and on the cutting of fashion, whilst suggesting their alignment with burgeoning feminist politicsle smoking effectively demanded: "If men can wear this, why cant I?"Saint Laurent was influenced by the avant-garde style of artist Niki de Saint-Phalle, who reportedly often wore mens suits with heels, as had Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich in the 30s.Coco Chanel memorably designed loose trousers for women in the early 20th century, while during the Second World War they were widely worn while taking on manual labour in their husbands absence. However, Saint Laurent was the first high profile couturierthe designer who had taken the reigns great House of Dior, no lessto promote this aesthetic for high fashion evening wear and heightened the impact by offering not just trousers but a slick, monochrome take on the classic tuxedo, usually worn to the most formal black-tie events.The fashion buyers and editors may have missed a trick in 1966, but a handful of chic female stars in Saint Laurents milieu, such as Catherine Deneuve, Liza Minnelli, Lauren Bacall and Bianca Jagger, instantly took to this daring new silhouette. Models photographed by Helmut Newton in 1975, styling Le Smoking with slicked back hair and masculine posture, helped disseminate Saint Laurents creation and engrain it as an iconic image in the public imagination.Le Smoking became such an icon that the brand ensured that some manifestation of it was included in every subsequent fashion collection, continuing up to present day with the YSLs current head designer, Stefano Pilati. Over the years, the tuxedo suit has reappeared in a huge variety of guises and fabrics: reworked as a dress or trench coat, given a bolero in place of a jacket and shorts instead of trousers, incarnated in velvet, silk or leather.It was the original 1966 Le Smoking that remained the designers personal favorite, though. At the close of his haute couture atelier in Avenue Marceau in 2002, this version was the very last piece to be made there (ordered by Sir Paul Smith for his wife Pauline, in fact).Saint Laurent himself attributed the enduring appeal and iconic status of Le Smoking to the fact it encapsulated an attitude or mode, rather than any particular details of the garment. For a woman, le smoking is an indispensable garment with which she finds herself continually in fashion, because it is about style, not fashion. Fashions come and go, but style is forever.Le Smoking was just one of the many iconic, original looks pioneered by Yves Saint Laurent; here are four more of his greatest fashion moments...The Safari JacketIn 1968 the supermodel Veruschka posed in a beige cotton jacket, with a seductive lace up bodice and a silver loop belt. Another signature look was born, which, like Le Smoking, he reinvented again over the ensuing decades, including the 1982 version with a longer peplum and heavier gabardine.The Mondrian DressThe classic 60s shift with its simple, planar form was an ideal blank canvas for Saint Laurent to play with bold block prints in the same vein as modern constructivist artists like Pierre Mondrian. The beguiling jersey dress hid its structural tailoring inside the colorful grid of seams. Straddling the fields of fashion and painting as it does, the dress features in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.Haute Peasant/EthnicBeaded raffia dresses, tribal-style prints and a variety of fringed, woven and tressed pieces in his preceding 1967 collection revealed the deep influence of African art on his imagination. Before long, mainstream stores were awash with ethic-inspired fashion. His haute peasant look of the mid-70s, inspired by eastern folk art and labeled the Ballet Russe collection, similarly had affluent fashionistas coveting the embroideries, full skirts, heavy costume jewelery and beading of Bohemia.The See-Through BlouseCharacteristic of Saint Laurents titillating, insouciant approach to fashion design, he debuted risqu transparent fabrics in his 1966 collection. In keeping with the new mood of sexual freedom and playfulness of the 60s, the sheer organza dress revealed the models breasts.MANILA, Philippines (AP) Termites, storms and neglect have damaged part of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos' legendary collection of shoes and other possessions left behind after she and her dictator husband were driven into U.S. exile by a 1986 popular revolt.Hundreds of pieces of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos' clothing, including the formal native see-through barong shirts he wore during his two-decade rule, have also begun to gather mold and fray after being stored for years without protection at the presidential palace and later at Manila's National Museum, officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.The Marcoses fled the Philippines at the climax of an army-backed "people power" revolt which became a harbinger of change in authoritarian regimes worldwide. Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 and his widow and children returned home years later.They left staggering amounts of personal belongings, clothes and art objects at the palace, including at least 1,220 pairs of Imelda Marcos' shoes.More than 150 cartons of clothes, dress accessories and shoes of the Marcoses were transferred to the National Museum for safekeeping two years ago after termites, humidity and mold threatened the apparel at the riverside palace. They deteriorated further at the museum after the fragile boxes were abandoned in a padlocked hall that had no facilities to protect such relics and was inundated by tropical rains last month due to a gushing leak in the ceiling, museum officials said.Museum staffers, who were not aware the boxes contained precious mementoes from the Marcoses, opened the hall on the fourth floor of the building after noticing water pouring out below the door. They were shocked to see Marcos' shoes and gowns when they opened the wet boxes, officials said.Workers hurriedly moved the boxes to a dry room and some were later brought to a museum laboratory, where a small team of curators scrambled to assess the extent of the damage, a process that may take months given the huge volume of the apparel. Some items have been damaged by termites and mold beyond repair, according to museum curator Orlando Abinion, who is heading the effort."We're doing a conservation rescue," Abinion told the AP. "There was termite infestation and mold in past years, and these were aggravated by last month's storm.""It's unfortunate because Imelda may have worn some of these clothes in major official events and as such have an important place in our history," he said.AP journalists saw a badly tattered box at the museum filled with damaged and soiled leather bags and designer shoes belonging to Imelda Marcos. Termites had damaged the heel and sole of a white Pierre Cardin shoe. Other shoes were warped out of shape or badly stained.About 100 of Ferdinand Marcos' barong shirts were squeezed tightly into another box, some still attached to plastic hangers. A white barong shirt on top, with the presidential seal emblazoned on its pocket, had reddish stains and a sleeve was nearly torn off.Imelda Marcos, now a member of the House of Representatives, was not available for comment Sunday.Her massive shoe collection, including top U.S. and European brands, astounded the world and became a symbol of excess in the Southeast Asian nation, where many still walked barefoot out of abject poverty.Ferdinand Marcos' successor, democracy icon Corazon Aquino, accused him of stealing billions of dollars during his 20-year rule and ordered many of his assets seized.The clothes and shoes of the Marcoses were not among the assets allegedly stolen by them and sequestered by the government following the dictator's fall, according to Presidential Commission on Good Government official Maita Gonzaga. The government has so far recovered $2.24 billion worth of cash, bank accounts and prime real estate from the Marcoses and their cronies, she said.After the 1986 revolt, Aquino had Imelda Marcos' shoes displayed at the presidential palace as a symbol of the former first lady's lavish lifestyle. The shoes were then removed from public view and stored in the palace basement when Aquino stepped down in 1992.Mrs. Marcos once claimed most of her foreign-branded shoes were fake, though that has never been independently verified. But the world's fascination with her footwear, including a battery-operated pair that blinked when she danced, has ensured a hefty price tag. A 1990 U.S. charity auction of one pair donated by her fetched $10,000.Imelda Marcos claimed many of the shoes were gifts from Filipino shoemakers in suburban Marikina city, the country's shoemaking capital. Marikina officials borrowed 800 pairs of her shoes in 2001 for a shoe museum, which has become a tourist spot.Unapologetic about the past, Mrs. Marcos said her shoes became her best defense."They went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes," she told reporters when she inaugurated the shoe museum.Massive flooding, however, damaged dozens of pairs of Marcos' shoes in Marikina in 2009.About 765 pairs, including famous brands like Gucci, Charles Jourdan, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Chanel and Prada, survived the Marikina floods. The shoes, size 8 1/2 to 9, still look remarkably new due to meticulous museum care, which includes displaying them in airtight and dust-free glass cabinets in an air-conditioned gallery, away from direct sunlight. The shoe collection draws a daily crowd of 50 to 100 Philippine and foreign tourists, who almost always leave in awe, museum manager Jane Ballesteros said."The first word they utter is 'Wow,' followed by the question, 'Was she able to wear all of these?'" Ballesteros said. "When I say, yes, look at the scratches on the soles, the next reaction is, 'Really?'""It's amusing," Ballesteros said. "Her shoes never fail to astound people years after."As a recession-ridden 2011 comes to a close, a few men stand and whisper the word “luxury.” The bold souls I’m referring to not only don fine fabric ties and crocodile satchels, but they also advise companies that produce these costly goods. Each of these men has climbed the luxury ladder for over a decade, and each has earned a rightful place at the head of luxe market’s table. So, what insights can our experts offer on the industry’s present state? Have the rules changed since 2010? Will luxury reclaim its glistening throne in 2012? Stay tuned, as a mixed field of industry elites share secrets of luxury, today and tomorrow.MILTON PEDRAZA: CEO, Luxury InstituteThe Luxury Institute is recognized as a global leader in CRM and luxury research. The company works closely with respected high-end brands, engaging in new and innovative methods to enhance customer-based brand experience. My Company: “My company helps facilitate deeper relationships between luxury brands and consumers. We increase the retention rate between luxury companies and their customers, create targeted referrals and provide insight into the components that make up today’s luxury culture.”How the Luxe Market is Changing: “The global recession has affected customers, making them more discerning now. Developed nations have seen hard times causing them to weaken, while developing markets continue to thrive. These developing countries have experienced increased demand because they offer more value. They are gaining a wider consumer base, as they have prompted more to become interested in luxury.”The Future of Luxury: “Brands will begin to further differentiate products in the coming years. Products themselves, such as handbags, will become more unique in design, though I’m not necessarily talking about logos. Also, brands that find success will have enhanced consumer relations. They will become a trustworthy provider that makes your customer experience easier. Customers will be won over by out-behaving –– not outperforming.”. On Twitter: @VENANZIO CIAMPA: Founder, The Promotion FactoryThe Promotion Factory serves as a top-tier communications firm specializing in luxury, fashion, entertainment and lifestyle. The company offers a strong blend of creativity and veteran understanding to help empower renowned names like Gucci, Hublot, and Kenneth Cole.My Company: “We don’t aim to follow demand, but to serve the ideal of luxury. We are placing more focus on content-related activity, which is becoming increasingly important. This is great for someone like me, who comes from media and communications, because it allows for more creating and not just distributing.”How the Luxe Market is Changing: “I think the Web, e-tail and social media are playing a big role. Ten years ago luxury was afraid of the Web — it approached it like an enemy — but today companies are investing more time and frankly passion in the Internet because it allows direct communication with clients. With the Web 2 phase, luxury companies will soon be forced to become more editorial in nature and not simply function as an online catalogue.”The Future of Luxury: “The how’ we buy is already being shaped by technology, but I believe we will still need to touch and feel. You can tell that by visiting Saks on a Sunday and seeing how women buy shoes. Also, I foresee a peculiar blending of the editorial and the commercial. Retailers will play editors and vice-versa, and this could be good or somewhat perverse. Luxury companies will look to improve the multimedia content of their brands on social media platforms. They will need to understand their audiences’ desires and respond in a flash.”. On Twitter: @RICHARD CHRISTIANSEN: Founder, Chandelier CreativeIn a world leaking imagination, ideas float Chandelier Creative to the top. The company was built on the crux that curiosity lends superior answers. And Chandelier loans their passionate intrigue to some of the biggest names around: Givenchy, Versace and Bulgari, to name a few.My Company: “We are content creators. Our specialty is cross-channel development, bridging the gap between digital and social media and more traditional forms of marketing. What our clients all have in common is a desire to gain a fresh, modern perspective that respects and leverages their heritage or brand values. We believe in telling stories and creating experiences to connect people to the product.”How the Luxe Market is Changing: “There is a new customer profile, the mass luxury shopper, that has created an interesting marketing challenge –– how do you appeal to 2 sets of consumers of different income levels and lifestyles without devaluing the brand or destroying the heritage? The core, upper-class shoppers have brand loyalty and make consistent purchases for all aspects of their lives –– clothes, furniture, food and wine, cars and hotels. The emerging middle-class shoppers spend relatively small amounts in less consistent patterns, but have the possibility of long-term brand loyalty.”The Future of Luxury: “The word ‘technology’ had nerdy, undesirable connotations for years. It was seen as a hobby and something that only few people could utilize and understand. Then Apple came along and redefined it in a matter of a few years. Technology now means enabling desirable tools to millions of people. It’s easy to forget that a combination lock on a briefcase was once considered hi-tech. Will Vuitton develop fingerprint scanner locks on their trunks? Luxury brands will have to continue to find ways to communicate to customers and fans alike. Having a social media presence makes them fair game for scrutiny, so they can no longer distance themselves from the masses. They will have to stand for something and deliver on the promise.”. On Twitter: @JOSEPH JANUS: Creative Director, BODHIWhile many handbag companies can boast handcrafted clutches and Italian leathers, few can also match BODHI’s design sensibility. The bag specialists outshine competitors with a passionate eye for detail and craftsmanship.My Company: “I think it’s the responsibility of companies like BODHI to keep making luxury more affordable but to maintain the quality, the functionality and the beauty of luxury pieces.”How the Luxe Market is Changing: “The luxury market has changed a lot in the past decade and is changing more and more every day. Internet membership sale sites like Gilt have really changed the game. You can buy bags from Chanel, Chloe, BODHI and more at a discount price, and you no longer have to shop on Madison Avenue to find quality luxury products. Luxury products have a much farther reach now, not only in the United States but all around the world in places like China.”The Future of Luxury: “This is the Age of Technology. There really is a lifestyle change going on, driven by tech and the way we live, work, play, socialize and conduct our everyday lives. For the past 5 years I have been introducing tech accessories into our line, and retailers that carry my bags have finally taken notice of the lifestyle change, demanding more of our tech accessories on their sales floors. I think the luxury market will continue to reinvent itself in the next decade. Companies will continue reaching more people by marketing affordable luxury in their product lines.”. On Twitter: @Read more posts on In March, the gained unprecedented access to Anna Wintour, the most powerful woman in a $350 billion fashion industry, known for hiding behind her Chanel sunglasses.Vogue's editor-in-chief climbed her way to the top: by befriending people across all industries, from film (the Weinsteins) to sports () to government (the Obamas).She is also credited with merging Hollywood and the high-fashion industry, by first placing celebrities on the cover of (Kim Basinger, 1991). "Her genius," Marc Jacobs told the Journal, "is picking people very astutely, whether in politics, movies, sports or fashion."Wintour is a dealmaker with an instinctive ability to seat the right people next to one another at a party.After designer Michael Kors filed for bankruptcy in the 90s, she talked him up toSilas Chou and Lawrence Stroll of Sportswear Holdings, who invested around $100 million in his brand in 2003. Now Kors' clothes are bringing in nearly $1 billion.Wintour's celebrity rose with the 2008 documentary, "The September Issue," which chronicled the making of Vogue's biggest issue. Filmmaker R. J. Cutler once said,"You can make a film in Hollywood without Steven Spielberg's blessing, and you can publish software in Silicon Valley without Bill Gates's blessing, but it's pretty clear to me you can't succeed in the fashion industry without Anna Wintour's blessing."A bottle of the iconic Chanel No. 5 fragrance costs $98.A bottle of Creed? .Positioned as an ultra-luxury brand, Creed's philosophy is to be as exclusive as possible. Don't advertise, make the product hard to find, and price it obscenely high, and people will crave it.And they do -- there's already a waiting list for Creed's new Royal-Oud fragrance which won't be released until next month, .The brand has been popular amongst the rich and famous for centuries; in 1781 England's King George III commissioned its Royal English Leather scent, which is still in production. Other well-known Creed wearers include Michelle Obama, Audrey Hepburn, George Clooney and Saudi Arabia's King Faisal.Apple CEO Steve Jobs just unveiled the company's new at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.It goes on sale June 24, starting at $199.LIVE coverage follows. We're not in San Francisco from the event, but instead, we're pulling in the best information from all the journalists who are there, summarizing it in clean sentences, and offering live analysis.Click or refresh for the latest. (Or if you want the absolute fastest live coverage, we recommend and .)12:55 The keynote will begin around 1 p.m. ET or 10 a.m. PT. In the meantime, check out our preview: .12:56 Announcer asks everyone to turn off their cellphones "and PDAs," .1:01 Steve Jobs gets a standing ovation as he takes the stage, .1:03 Jobs is talking up the iPad, but no update to the "over 2 million" sales figure, . One sold every 3 seconds, now in 10 countries. iPad will be in 19 countries by the end of July.1:06 iPad users have downloaded 35 million iPad apps, or 17 apps per user, .Here's Apple's first slap at Google: The guy who made an iPad app called The Elements made more on the first day of iPad app sales than 5 years of Google ads on Periodictable.com, .1:09 iPad users have downloaded more than 5 million books, or 2.5 books per iPad, . "5 of the 6 biggest publisher in the US say share of eBooks on iBook Store is now 22%.," .1:11 Apple will now let you read PDFs in iBooks, . Who says all Adobe products are useless?This just killed the 99-cent PDF "GoodReader" app. We've been using Dropbox for this feature, and won't be anymore.1:14 Wardrobe note: Steve Jobs is wearing a belt on stage, . He usually tucks his mock turtleneck into his Levi's with no belt.1:16 Netflix CEO (and Microsoft board member) Reed Hastings is coming on stage to talk about Netflix on the iPhone, . App is coming this summer. You can start watching a movie on one device and continue on another. Sounds cool, but . Save this one mostly for wi-fi.1:19 Zynga CEO Mark Pincus takes the stage to introduce "farming for the iPhone," . Coming in June for the one-year anniversary of Farmville. This is a smart (if late) move because iPhone gaming startup Ngmoco has been doing well with its Farmville clone, "We Rule."1:25 Activision is on stage showing off Guitar Hero update, . Sorry, "Tap Tap Revenge" guys.1:27 Apple passed 5 billion total apps downloaded, with over $1 billion paid out to developers, . That means Apple has brought in more than $400 million in revenue from the 30% cut it takes from apps.1:30 Jobs is getting into the iPhone stuff now. First touting favorable market share statistics and browser usage stats.1:31 The new iPhone is called , . (Not iPhone HD.) It has more than 100 new features and is the thinnest smartphone on the market. Those seams from the leaked prototype are part of the antenna system. iPhone 4 supports UMTS and GSM -- no CDMA (Verizon).1:37 Steve is talking up the new display with four times the pixel density, . This will make text and vector-based graphics incredibly sharper. It's called "retina display" because its pixel density is finer than the limits of the human retina can see, . This should make books and web pages look especially beautiful."We had to get special projectors" for the demo, Steve said. Side-by-side .1:44 Apple is having technical difficulties -- wifi not working, cell network not working in the demos. Any suggestions? Someone yells "Verizon!"1:47 Jobs thinks new iPhone display will set the standard for the next 7 years. This is funny, in context. When Steve introduced the first iPhone, he said the software was at least 5 years ahead of any other phone. Well, 3 years later, that's simply not true -- Android has arguably caught up with it and has surpassed it in many ways. So this 7 years forecast is just showmanship.1:49 The new iPhone battery sounds pretty sick. : "Bigger battery plus A4 processor, 40% more talk time. 7 hours talk time. 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video. 40 hours of music. 300 hours of standby."1:50 New iPhone has a gyroscope, . This is going to be most useful for gaming, and will put Apple even further ahead of Google Android in mobile gaming. (Will help in war vs. Nintendo and Sony, too.) Everyone on Twitter is saying this thing is very cool.1:55 The new iPhone camera is a big improvement: 5 megapixels, LED flash, 5x digital zoom, new sensors, . And it records HD (720p) video. New $4.99 iMovie app will be a big help, too -- getting great initial reviews.2:02 "I don't see how Flip stays in business after this new video app," Slate's Farhad Manjoo .2:05 Steve Jobs is desperately trying to get his demos under control: Asking people to turn off their phones, wifi, shut laptops, etc. to free up Internet bandwidth. It seems Steve is trying to stop all the live blogs. "This is really awkward," .2:07 Apple is renaming iPhone OS to iOS 4. That's because it powers a lot more than the iPhone -- the iPod touch, the iPad, and soon the Apple TV.2:08 Apple's second jab at Google, : Running a quote from Google's Larry Page talking about how software running in the background "exhausts the battery quickly."2:09 Interesting : Cisco already uses the "iOS" name. Wonder if that was part of Apple's settlement with Cisco in 2007? If you recall, Cisco also owned the "iPhone" name and Apple made a deal with Cisco to use it.2:14 Microsoft Bing is now an option for the iPhone's search engine, . Google will stay the default. "Bing on iOS shows just how the industry has moved. MSFT is the new Switzerland. Google alienating partners," .2:15 Developers will get access to iOS 4 today.2:15 This month, Apple will sell the 100 millionth iOS device.2:18 Jobs is showing off iBooks for the iPhone, which supports all the features you'd expect from an e-book app -- syncing books across devices like the Kindle app does, etc.2:24 Jobs now showing off iAds mobile ads. "Look very similar to AdMob," , which also says they "seem surprisingly cool." Initial advertisers: Nissan, Citi, Unilever, ATT, Chanel, GE, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Campbell's Soup, Sears, JCPenney, Target, Best Buy, DirecTV, TBS, Disney and Geico. That's what you get for shelling out $1 million! (Where's Nike? That's the only one Apple made a fake ad for in April who isn't listed. Also, no Starbucks.)2:30 $60 million committed to second half of the year for iAds, . That's very impressive -- and $24 million for Apple's 40% cut.2:31 One more thing... as Steve harasses everyone to turn off their wifi devices... FaceTime video calling. "Crowd goes nuts," . Oops, guess this isn't why ATT killed all-you-can-eat 3G access -- it's a wifi-only feature. iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 -- doesn't appear to work with Mac yet.2:41 So, how much will this cost? $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB. Same as 3GS costs today. iPhone 3GS moves to $99, as we had predicted. ATT making "incredibly generous" upgrade offer, up to 6 months of early eligibility. (Must mean a Verizon version is coming eventually.) On sale June 24, pre-orders start June 15, .2:44 Here's how Apple is going to sell more colors of iPhones -- it's making its own cases in many of the original colors of the iMac and iPod mini: Pink, orange, green, blue, white, and black.2:48 This all looks very nice. The new iPhone looks great, and I'll be in line to get one (my iPhone 3G is on its last legs). But Apple didn't do anything to counter Google's assault with cloud services. Full post coming soon.2:55 Jobs thanks his team, including Mark Papermaster, the guy he hired away from IBM. "This is our new baby," he says, . That's about it. Thanks for tuning in, everyone!Zynga's made a $400 million profit on $850 million revenues in 2010, If that's true, that's an astounding 47% profit margin.47%!By way of comparison, 's profit margin is is 29% and 's is 28%, and both of those are considered fantastically profitable. had a profit margin as well in 2010. and by contrast, also very respected companies, have profit margins closer to 5%.In fact, tech companies might not be the best comparison. Herms, the world's most lauded luxury brand -- a company whose business is selling $20,000 handbags -- has a profit margin around 30%. When one of your writers was in business school, a professor with extensive experience in the luxury industry told us that Chanel, a private company which doesn't report financials, was rumored to be the most profitable company in Europe with profit margins of 45%.Again 47%!And this after pays taxes in the form of advertising to acquire users and 30% of virtual goods sales. is either the most profitable company ever or it's very close to it.The main reason this kind of profitability is possible is that Zynga sells "virtual goods." They don't cost much of anything to make, don't need to be shipped to shelves, and don't need any kind of sales force to be sold.So the real question is: How does Zynga's virtual goods business work?The easiest way to understand it is to remember the the videogame arcades of the 1980s.Back then, arcade games made money by addicting people to simple games (like Pacman), introducing "friction" into these games (by making them harder after each level), and then charging small amounts of money to ease that friction (by allowing gamers to buy "lives.")That's what Zynga's social games do charge people small amounts of money to reduce friction in games they are addicted to. Only, instead of paying another quarter for another life, social gamers buy sub-machine guns in "Mafia Wars," and new farmland in "."Another big similarity: Arcade games were usually played in a social environment. Zynga games are played on , a virtual social environment.If this answer leaves you cold it's probably because you've never actually seen a Facebook game. Or maybe you have looked at Zynga game say, FishVille and said to yourself: Really?We felt much the same way until we decided to suck it up and get addicted to one.We picked FishVille, an early hit from Zynga. It came out in November 2009 and its simple mechanics best demonstrate how Zynga works.The object of FishVille is to build a magnificent virtual aquarium, full of spectacular fish and designer decorations. The way you do it is spending fake money to buy small fish for one price, and then, after tending to them for a few hours or days, selling them for more fake money then you paid. Then you use that money to buy more fish. If you want to speed your progress, you buy fake money with real money.We'd explain more, but it's really just easier to show you how it works.As inspiration for the , a demonstration of pure stop motion genius: Gisele Kerozene, the tale of four extremely odd witches "flying" on motorized brooms. If has to jump 200 times to get the perfect shot, imagine how many times these four guys had to jump to get a full 4 minutes and 30 seconds of stop motion magic.Warning, mild violence.In France, a director has the final cut by law. In Hollywood it is very difficult to have a certain respect when you are doing the film. I prefer to do small things in Europe and have a cool life.-Kounen, .Kounen is as he describesan undeniably cool filmmaker. The Dutch-born French director has a to his name, a disinterest in international fame, and a penchant for shamanism(while on location in Mexico and Peru, Kounen became enthralled with the Shipibo-Conibo people, and spent several months in 2004 shooting a feature-length documentary on the culture, titled Other Worlds).You may have seen Kounen's latest film, Coco Chanel Igor Stravinsky, which was selected as the Closing Film of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, but unless you're an avid fan, odds are you've missed out on the short above. Pretty amazing.Via on .Read more posts on iframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=6d7a6c792cb7bf49932dd900amp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframeIf, like me, youre an adult, then you reacted to the ad for the new Justin Bieber fragrance Someday with a derisive chuckle. Go ahead, yuk it up, because Bieber will be withering from your collective scorn all the way to the bank.The spot which logged nearly on YouTube, haters! wears its manipulation on its sleeve: In it, an attractive girl of indeterminate age sits in her bedroom, squirting herself with Someday. Then Bieber magically appears to sniff her neck. The pair are whisked up to the clouds, where Bieber/Peter Pan gives her an awkward piggyback ride. (The piggyback motif appears to have been stolen from the .) Its not entirely clear if Bieber actually kisses the girl or merely nuzzles her, and theres a brief frame in which he looks really uncomfortable as the girl pulls him to her chest as if hes a small child or a teddy bear. When they land, hes wearing purple shoes:Strictly from a creative viewpoint, the ad (by HOWL group) is a mess and would have made a good first cut if it had come from Coty or Chanel. But thats the wrong viewpoint. The ad promises everything Biebers teenage fans could ever want: If they wear his scent while thinking about him in their bedrooms, he might show up someday. if you buy it, in his press release:SOMEDAY is the idea that we can change the world, make our dreams come true, and even be with the one person that means everythingI wanted to create a fragrance for my female fans that I cant get enough of that I want to get next to and I cant stay away from.The packaging is genius too: The bottle comes with a removable crystal heart lock and key, so fans can carry his heart around with them wherever they go. Doesnt sound like much, but this totem which will probably be worn on a chain by fans allows Beliebers to identify each other at the mall without the need for a T- shirt. Its a community building device, in other words.The economics of the fragrance world are murky. Many of the top companies are privately held and the public ones often only contain fragrances as a sub-unit of their main business. Still, Coty which makes celebrity smells for Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, reports it this year. , per Mintel.But heres the real proof: Assume that behavior is a symptom of results, and that companies dont launch new products if they dont sell. Now consider that . Its bewildering, but it works.This originally appeared at .Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has courted controversy once again after saying he does not like Pippa Middletons face, it has emerged.Pippa MiddletonLagerfeld, 78, said Pippa Middleton should only show her back, saying she struggles with her looks.The Chanel creative director, who had to apologise to singer Adele earlier this year after condemning her as too fat, has given a harsh critique of the Duchess of Cambridges sister saying: "I don't like the sister's [Pippa] face."In contrast, he praised the Duchess for her romantic beauty and nice silhouette. He has also given his approval for her marriage to the Duke of Cambridge, conceding she was the right girl for that boy.Lagerfeld's comments, disclosed by newspaper, appear to have been made during a discussion of the Middleton sisters styles.He appears to be referencing the now-famous photograph of the younger Miss Middleton from behind, as she took the role of bridesmaid at the Duchess wedding.The image was beamed around the globe and led Miss Middleton to being nicknamed Her Royal Hotness by some in honour of her posterior.Lagerfeld reserved praise for former Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria Beckham for her slim figure, saying they had the same eating habits."She is great. I like her a lot. I have known her for many years, he said."And that body, after four children. There are not so many who have a body like that. She is very disciplined.It's not the first time the designer has criticised a fellow famous figure. In February this year, Lagerfeld said of Adele: She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice. He later apologised for his comments.Gramercy Park real estate is coveted in New York Cityespecially when a celebrity used to own the pad.One would think Karl Lagerfeld, the famed German fashion designer who is the creative director at Chanel, would have no problem selling his apartment. But the place has been on and off the market the past year, with no real prospective buyers.It's now , according to .Lagerfeld purchased the stark white, 2,200-square-foot apartment in 2006 for $6.575 million. Rumor has it he never even actually moved in.After debating whether to sell or not, he listed the apartment last summer for $6.5 million. After no bites, he dropped the price to $5.2 million. As the listing grew cold, the apartment was pulled from the market until this week.The apartment features three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths.Lagerfeld gained notoriety from his work at Chanel, where he has been since 1983, and is also known for his work at the Italian fashion house, Fendi, as well as his fashion photography.Karl Lagerfeld, the creative force behind Chanel, has a newfound love for cats.The glove-loving designer with Women's Wear Daily's Marc Karimzadeh ahead of The Little Black Jacket tour a traveling exhibition of images he collaborated on with Carine Roitfeld, the former editor-in-chief of Paris.By far the best part was the end, where Lagerfeld talked about his nine-month old Siamese cat, Choupette.Here's what he had to say about his pet (emphasis ours): "She is like a kept woman. She has a strong personality. She has lunch and dinner with me on the table, with her own food. She doesnt touch my food. She doesnt want to eat on the floor. She sleeps under a pillow and she even knows how to use an . She has two personal maids, for both night and day. She is beyond spoiled."Choupette's two maids also keep a diary about everything she does, from what she eats to when she sleeps. In just nine months they already have nearly 600 pages, Lagerfeld reveals.The Chanel designer on how dressing celebrities in couture has caused some clients to cancel their orders: “It’s not a red-carpet opportunity,” Karl Lagerfeld said last week in the Chanel studio. He paused to look at a model in a silver-sequined gown dotted with fluffy white balls, like the tails of Playboy bunnies. It was pure silliness. “We’ve had clients cancel an order after seeing their dress on a celebrity,” he said, .Read more posts on Karl Lagerfeld seems to be searching for the silver lining to the current economic malaise. We can't blame him, given that luxury goods aren't doing very well and . So keep telling yourself whatever you need to believe, Karl. Lagerfeld sounds, in fact, quite chipper. The economic downturn was needed, he says, it had gone too far. "I see it like a cleaning up - it was too rotten anyway - so it had to be cleaned up...I see it like a healthy thing - horrible but healthy, like some miracle treatment of the world."...We think people who've had their 40l(k)s wiped clean might disagree with you.Will it be harder to sell handbags? Or are his products dreams - expensive dreams, to be sure - but dreams to aspire to?"People have different kinds of dreams. After all, people need a handbag, there are cheaper handbags. But if you can buy a beautiful one and if that's your dream to buy, why not?"His is a robust defence of elitism and capitalism. "I can be interested in a $20m diamond I will never buy, without desiring the diamond. If you want only things you can afford, it's boring too."It's great to see things you may not buy - because you don't have the money - but it is very ugly to think they shouldn't exist because you can not buy them."So keep lusting after those Chanel handbags even if you can't buy them, which means the company can't sell them; that's what Karl wants.See Also: When you think of Karl Lagerfeld, what comes to mind?Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is his signature hair style or his incredible fashion designing talents that have led him to fame. Or possibly its the fact that you know his home is on the market and you are very interested in this stellar property with unbeatable New York location. Regardless of what you first think when you hear , the man truly has been successful in the fashion arena and believe it or not his New York pad is on the market and has recently taken a $1.3 million price cut.Karl Lagerfeld is German and is best known for being the creative director as well as the head designer for none other than , while also owning his own fashion house. However, recently Lagerfeld even entered the music scene when he filmed a with rapper Snoop Dogg. In short, Karl Lagerfeld is incredibly famous and if youre a fan then heres your chance to purchase his New York apartment.The just over 2,000 square-feet apartment has been owned by Lagerfeld since 2006; however, apparently he rarely (if ever) used the pad and therefore listed it on the market for $6.5 million. After sitting on the market without many hits, Lagerfeld recently decided to drop the asking price to a mere .This could actually be an incredible deal for anyone with the spare cash to splurge on this New York Pad, which is located in . The home features an incredible floor plan complete with an office, foyer, and incredibly large great room. Plus, the location is absolutely incredible. Anyone wanting to take advantage of the $1.3 million price cut will definitely be getting a great deal on this New York apartment.However, there are other apartments on the market in this complex as well, including the pad below Lagerfelds that is listed for only $4.95 million. Anyone desiring to invest in this property may want to take a deeper look into the matter and ensure that the reason these apartments are vacant is not due to some underlying issue(s).In the end, this is a great property that definitely has its ties to fame, with a decent deal becoming even better with the $1.3 million price cut. If youre a fan of Lagerfeld or an investor looking for a great New York pad, this is the perfect opportunity to get a great deal on an apartment with an incredible location.I’m not an employee who goes to the office every morning at the same time. Then, vacations are needed. I’m like a rock singer with one-night stands on the road. I’m here for two days in New York; I leave in the morning early. I come back for Anna Wintour’s party at the Met, then again at the end of May for a prize I get from the Gordon Parks Foundation. I’m lucky that I can do all these things in the best conditions. I don’t have to struggle for that. I don’t have to discuss budgets. I don’t do meetings. At Chanel, there are no meetings. At Chanel, we do what we want, whenever we want and it works. And Fendi is the same. Read more posts on iframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=5021757f69bedd1529000007amp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframeSix of the Real Housewives of Orange County have faced real estate foreclosures, eviction or other problems with their homes. At first glance, it doesnt seem like there are many money lessons to learn from the Real Housewives.One spent a season building a $1.8 million mansion and driving around a $1,280-per-month Escalade, only to file for bankruptcy with almost $11 million in debt.Shortly post-bankruptcy, she dropped another $60,000 on a shopping spree so she could continue to fit in with those in her social circle.Even if you dont end up with millions of dollars in debtor have friends who are millionairestrying to keep up with the Joneses (or the Gorgas,in this case) can not only make you feel lousy about yourself, but also inspire bad spending decisions.We call this phenomenon money comparisonitis.How Having Comparisonitis Affects UsIn our own lives, the dangers of gazing enviously at the Housewives spending sprees, our neighbors new car or that family down the street who can send their kids to private school is not only the fact that it makes us feel bad, but that it literally distorts our view of reality.In other words, we look at celebrities like the Kardashians or the wealthier people weknow, and we try to emulate their spending habits. Youre not being truthful with yourself, saysSusan L. Hirshman, President of She Ltd., a consulting firm focused on enhancing womens wealth and author of Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?. As they make more money, that allows them to live a certain lifestyle.In other words, you have to face facts and spend in accordance with your own budget, rather than feeling entitled to live a certain way just because other people do.But its not just about spending to keep up with the 1%: Hirshman says that comparing yourself to the people who are worse than you at managing their money can also be damaging.If you have $5,000 in debt, and you compare yourself to a friend who has $15,000 in debt, you might feel like you have the right to treat yourself or splurge, because youre so much better off than she is, says Hirshman.But once again, she cautions, youre engaging in a skewed version of reality.So, how can you stop looking at yourself in the funhouse mirror and learn to live your richest life within your means?1. Forgive YourselfFirst you need to accept that comparing yourself to othersthough not always the best thing for your well-being (or your bottom line)is totally normal. In fact, aof data collected since 1970 has shown that we base our self-esteem more on the money we make compared to others, or ourrelativefinancial status, than on our actual financial picture.As Hirshman puts it, Its human nature to compare yourself to the people around you, and to always want the biggest house, the nicest car, the most expensive clothes, etc. Everyone does it.So dont feel bad for comparing yourself to your neighbors. You (and your pet green-eyed monster) are not alone.2. Identify What Youre CovetingTake a look at what youre jealous ofit may not be what you first think. Are you actually envious of your sisters six-figure incomeor is it the fact that she can afford to travel frequently, which is something youve always wanted to do? Taking a moment to indulge in your comparisonitis can help you identify yourrealgoals in life.If you feel like youre too fixated on what someone else has to figure out whatyoureally want, one fun way to identify your top money priorities is to.Once youve identified your goals, you can start making them a priority in your life.If you want a raise or a promotion, read our(or take our).If you want to save up for a big purchase, do some research on how much it will cost and decide how much you can save each month.Create a Savings Goal in LearnVests, and youll be on your way!3. Neutralize CompetitorsThere will always be people in your life who inspire money comparisonitis by bragging about their luxurious vacation to Tahiti, impressive salary or apartment you could never afford. While you cant tell them point-blank to shut it, you can handle them in a way that leaves bad feelings by the wayside and lets you concentrate on working toward your goals.Here are three ways to deal effectively with the people who tend to make your case of comparisonitis worse.4. Love What Youve GotThe thing about money comparisonitis is that, no matter how much you make, it never ends. In a recent survey, four out of ten American millionaires said they didnt feel rich. (To bethat, they said, theyd need to have an average of $7.5 million dollars.) Thats because, the head of the study said, How Is That Resolution Going?Fact is, theres always going to be someone with a bigger house, a nicer car and the list goes on and on. But you can never know someones complete financial pictureor what sort of sacrifices they make to get the things you covet.Maybe they work 80-hour weeks, damaging their relationships. Maybe they appear to live lavishly but are actually sinking into credit card debt. Maybe their parents or siblings are helping them out financially.Be grateful for the things you already have, whether that means your health, close friendships, the love of your family or your fulfilling career. As Hirshman says, We look at celebrities and reality TV stars, and we envy the materialistic things that they flaunt.But at the same time, we selectively ignore the fact that they have to be followed around by television crews all day long, their marriages break up, they live life on the road, etc. Would you want to deal with that for the sake of five Chanel bags?One way to better appreciate the good things is toevery day, which will remind you of everything in your life youre already grateful for. And, ultimately, thats the best way to keep comparisonitis at bay.SHANGHAI () - Louis Vuitton is courting China's wealthy with one-of-a-kind shoes and bags it is branding as unique works of art to reclaim its exclusive cachet in the luxury market.The French luxury brand, a unit of , is set to open its largest China store in Shanghai on Saturday, complete with a gilded spiral staircase and an invitation-only private floor where big spenders can get their hair done while dreaming up designs for custom bags."The made-to-order concept is the ultimate luxury," Louis Vuitton Chief Executive told Reuters during a tour of the store, which the company calls a "maison"."It's the same with art. If you are interested in art, the ultimate is to commission an artist rather than buy a piece that is already done," Carcelle said.Louis Vuitton routinely ranks among the most admired brands in surveys of Chinese consumers. But ultra-luxury names such as Hermes are making inroads, and some top-tier consumers now look down on Louis Vuitton as too common.The company hopes to cement its exclusive luxury status with the new Shanghai store, which boasts steel sculptures and carries a wide array of goods ranging from chic coats and hats to brightly colored bags made from python or alligator skin.It also sells carrying cases for tiles used to play the Chinese game mahjong and made-to-order trunks for tea sets.China is the world's third biggest market for personal luxury goods, worth at least 160 billion yuan ($25 billion). In the next three years, it is expected to leapfrog over Japan and the United States to take the top spot, with the luxury segment expanding to 180 billion yuan ($28 billion).BAD TIMING?The Louis Vuitton maison, one of 16 similar boutiques in the world, is located in Shanghai's address for luxury goods: the swanky Plaza 66 mall, where rival brands such as Chanel and Prada also have stores.Spanning four levels and with more than 100 staff, the store is currently the only one in China that offers custom bags and shoes. The company declined to say how much it spent on the boutique."Being in this made-to-order market needs sophisticated customers who know what they are talking about and own several bags, if not dozens of bags," Carcelle said."That's why the haute maroquinerie and made-to-order-shoes... are important to demonstrate in China," he said, using the French word for luxury leather crafts."As long as we didn't have this space to show them to our clients, in a world that is changing fast, we were missing our weapons," he said.Louis Vuitton's timing, however, may be less than ideal.Luxury spending is softening in China as the economy weakens. Economic growth slowed to its lowest level in three years last quarter. Britain's Burberry said last week its sales had been hit by the slowdown in China.Carcelle declined to comment on the state of the Chinese economy or its impact on luxury spending, but said he sees more "maisons" opening up in the capital Beijing and Hangzhou, a thriving trade hub in eastern China.He said Chinese consumers had rapidly matured into luxury connoisseurs, and the company needed to cater to both first-time buyers and sophisticated shoppers."Maybe in the West, this trend took 20 years but here it takes 5 years from the first purchase to the willingness to have more sophisticated products and services," Carcelle said.($1 = 6.3729 Chinese yuan)(Editing by Emily Kaiser and Miral Fahmy)Officers Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy TricheFive people have been charged with attempted first-degree murder after shootings yesterday in Louisiana killed two officers and injured two others.And an additional suspect was charged with being an , The Associated Press reported Friday.Terry Smith, Derrick Smith, Kyle David Joekel, Teniecha Bright, Brian Lyn Smith, and Chanel Skains are all facing charges stemming from the two early-morning shootouts in St. John the Baptist Parish.In the first incident, a gunman shot an officer who was working traffic duty at a Valero plant parking lot in the area. In the second, while investigating the first shooting, Sheriff Mike Tregre said.Officers Brandon Nielson and Jeremy Triche died in yesterday's second shooting.Two of the suspects were injured when they were arrested.Law enforcement would not go into detail about the suspects' criminal backgrounds or their injuries. Police also would not disclose any other details about the shooting, the AP reported.Chinese luxury consumers have faced rising prices once again this year, especially in the areas of travel, liquor, and education, according to the latest Luxury Consumer Price Index from the .HuRun, which calculates an alternative luxury price index for a basket of 62 high-end goods and services (32 of which are imported), said that while its index was down 2.79 percent from 2011, it was still 2.74 percent higher than China's national consumer price index.And over the past six years, HuRun's luxury price index has outpaced the national consumer price index by 38 percent.Of the nine categories measured by HuRun, luxury travel prices increased the most in 2012, up 11.92 percent from the previous year. Only one category, jets and yachts, grew slower than the national CPI. Luxury property was the only sector to see a drop in prices, but they have still doubled over a four-year period.Two factors have played a significant role in the price increasesdepreciated currency exchange rates and changes to import duties, HuRun said.China's millionaire population continues to boom and seems largely unaffected by the luxury price increases. There are now 271 billionaires (in U.S. dollars) across mainland China, up from 189 the previous year. And , an increase of 6.3 percent over the previous year.More and more luxury brands are arriving in China, and have thrived despite major price hikes. The price of a classic Chanel bag has doubled between 2007 and 2012, and a Piaget Polo watch now costs 40 percent more than it did in 2008, according to HuRun.Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him , his family is featured in , , and Milton Pedraza, CEO, Luxury Institute, calls him One of the top expert practitioners in global luxury in marketing with a particular expertise in marketing, selling and engaging customers in the digital world. He is one of those professionals who executes brilliantly. He is innovative while looking out for the return on investmentIn 1996, Michael Wolffs NetGuide named s inaugural online magazine as The Best Site of the Year at MacWorld. He holds a MFA from Brandeis and a BA from Viterbo. Heres a QA with as he shares his digital strategy behind creating an authentic luxury platform to engage affluent readers and connect with luxury brands. Its a new age of blogging and editorial intersecting with digital luxury marketing and social media to create online buzz for the worlds best luxury brands. Can you talk a little bit about where you got the idea to start Pursuitist.com?The idea of Pursuitist.com was to create a travel, style and leisure destination for affluent consumers. For readers pursuing amazing fashion brands, hotels, restaurants, gadgets, experiences, and autos – Pursuitist is a destination site that curates the good things in life. We’ve brought in world-class content producers — remarkable writers sharing remarkable experiences. How has the experience of the site differed from what you expected it would become?It’s been a blast. As I tell my writers — write about remarkable people, products and experiences. We aspire to go beyond the bling – Pursuitist is luxury redefined. We focus on the artisans that make amazing handcrafted products – from a designer at Louis Vuitton to a 2nd generation organic winemaker in Napa. We pursue to tell the story and go behind the scenes. We officially launched in July. While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include remarkable writers.How does the site plan to attract affluent individuals?To build awareness, we’re launching a 360-degree advertising campaign. To attract and keep the right readers, our strategy includes word-of-month, PR, campaigns with Facebook, Twitter, banner ads on other affluent websites, and email marketing. Facebook integration is also a major tactic – the sharing, liking, and commenting is exclusively powered by Facebook to help us go viral and obtain more likeminded readers.What is your relationship to the brands you write about?As we’re able to serve up a targeted audience, luxury brands love our platform. We’re also very selective of the advertisers that appear on our site. Pursuitist is truly a targeted online destination for luxury advertisers to connect and engage with affluent consumers. Advertisers have included Burberry, Coach, Intel, BMW, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Broadmoor Hotel and Cosmopolitan Hotel. The Pursuitist is a great place to be seen – as our readers are affluent (65% with an annual income of $75k and up) and influencers.How do you keep your content authentic?There’s a shortage of online destinations for affluent consumers seeking authentic experiences. Plenty of cold bling sites exist, focusing on editorial content with ultra premium and inaccessible luxuries. That’s the void, and why Pursuitist was created — there’s not another site like us. Pursuitist is one destination site with 9 targeted sections (Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel) – best described as an online mashup of The Huffington Post and Conde Nast.Our editorial is also different — from our travel journals to our features on amazing artisans and clever destinations. With friendlier and accessible narratives – our readers tell us they feel like insiders, along for the ride.In general, what kind of lift can this kind of content offer brands? Is this something they should focus on getting more of?We’ve also worked quite closely with other luxury brands to organically integrate and feature their products – from Four Seasons, Hermes, Patron, Gucci, Prada, Robert Mondavi Wine, Ralph Lauren, Lobel Steaks of New York, to Chanel. As we only focus on premier brands and destinations, we are selective of the brands we feature. It’s a terrific halo effect – to be “Pursuitist Recommended.”Do most brands react to what you write? How do they respond to your content?They love it. The brands, from Marc Jacobs, Land Rover to Viking Range prefer to re-tweet and link to our editorial on their social media channels. (See an example of Marc Jacobs leveraging Pursuitist’s editorial .)Also read, Luxury Daily News: Read more posts on - A curated list of the good things in life- Contributors from Forbes, TechCrunch, Condé Nast Traveler, Mashable and Luxist- Advertising managed by Halogen Media Group, with initial advertisers including BMW, Coach and Burberry- Upcoming functionality will include community reviews, luxury ranking and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone AppPursuitist, the premiere luxury lifestyle blog, has officially launched at While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. With categories that include Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel, the Pursuitist aspires to be the Huffington Post for Luxury. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include Carrie Coolidge (Luxist, Forbes), Paul Carr (Techcrunch, The Guardian), Gretchen Kelly (New York Post), Erica Swallow (Mashable, CosmoGirl.com), Shandana Durrani (Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Saveur).International contributors include Holly Boyle in London and Vilte S. Holstad in Paris, capturing the excitement and pulse of fashion, art and life in these vibrant cities.“Pursuitist is luxury redefined. It’s about finding and sharing the good things in life. To inspire, educate and be relevant. Pursuitists are ahead of the curve and authentic,” said Christopher Parr, CEO and Publisher of Pursuitist. Parr is an award-winning 10-year luxury online marketing veteran, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. In 1996, Michael Wolff’s NetGuide named Parr’s inaugural online magazine as “The Best Site of the Year” at MacWorld.The Pursuitist is also a targeted advertising platform for luxury brands to connect with affluent readers. While in beta, advertisers on the site have included Burberry, BMW, Coach, Broadmoor Hotel, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Cosmopolitan Hotel and Effen Vodka. Halogen Media Group, with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, manages advertising for the site.Bringing on world class content producers exemplifies Pursuitists understanding of influencer media and the importance of providing brand advertisers with an environment where they can interact with consumers alongside relevant content. Were thrilled to bring branded content from the worlds best brands to Pursuitist and its loyal readers, said Greg Shove, CEO of Halogen Media Group.Luxury fashion brands featured on the site include Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana, Hermès, Gucci, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Dior, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli. The editors have also highlighted amazing luxury destinations, including Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Disneyworld’s Grand Floridian, InterContinental Resorts, Conrad Hotels, The Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria. Bentley, BMW, Lexus, Bugatti, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Audi, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz are a few of the luxury auto brands that have been spotlighted on the blog.Upcoming functionality to the site will include community reviews, luxury ranking, flash sales, Facebook integration and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone App.On the web at: Read below Christopher Parrs interview with Luxury Daily, regarding working with BMW, Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo:Read more posts on - A curated list of the good things in life- Contributors from Forbes, TechCrunch, Condé Nast Traveler, Mashable and Luxist- Advertising managed by Halogen Media Group, with initial advertisers including BMW, Coach and Burberry- Upcoming functionality will include community reviews, luxury ranking and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone AppPursuitist, the premiere luxury lifestyle blog, has officially launched at While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. With categories that include Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel, the Pursuitist aspires to be the Huffington Post for Luxury. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include Carrie Coolidge (Luxist, Forbes), Paul Carr (Techcrunch, The Guardian), Gretchen Kelly (New York Post), Erica Swallow (Mashable, CosmoGirl.com), Shandana Durrani (Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Saveur).International contributors include Holly Boyle in London and Vilte S. Holstad in Paris, capturing the excitement and pulse of fashion, art and life in these vibrant cities.“Pursuitist is luxury redefined. It’s about finding and sharing the good things in life. To inspire, educate and be relevant. Pursuitists are ahead of the curve and authentic,” said Christopher Parr, CEO and Publisher of Pursuitist. Parr is an award-winning 10-year luxury online marketing veteran, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. In 1996, Michael Wolff’s NetGuide named Parr’s inaugural online magazine as “The Best Site of the Year” at MacWorld.The Pursuitist is also a targeted advertising platform for luxury brands to connect with affluent readers. While in beta, advertisers on the site have included Burberry, BMW, Coach, Broadmoor Hotel, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Cosmopolitan Hotel and Effen Vodka. Halogen Media Group, with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, manages advertising for the site.Bringing on world class content producers exemplifies Pursuitists understanding of influencer media and the importance of providing brand advertisers with an environment where they can interact with consumers alongside relevant content. Were thrilled to bring branded content from the worlds best brands to Pursuitist and its loyal readers, said Greg Shove, CEO of Halogen Media Group.Luxury fashion brands featured on the site include Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana, Hermès, Gucci, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Dior, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli. The editors have also highlighted amazing luxury destinations, including Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Disneyworld’s Grand Floridian, InterContinental Resorts, Conrad Hotels, The Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria. Bentley, BMW, Lexus, Bugatti, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Audi, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz are a few of the luxury auto brands that have been spotlighted on the blog.Upcoming functionality to the site will include community reviews, luxury ranking, flash sales, Facebook integration and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone App.On the web at: Read below Christopher Parrs interview with Luxury Daily, regarding working with BMW, Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo:Read more posts on To be sure, we live in interesting times. Statistics have proven what we already knew: An increasing number of people are spending even more time on the internet each year. The net (remember the days when we called it the world wide web?), which was accessed almost exclusively from desktop computers just over a decade ago, is now almost ever-present.Laptops, smartphones, and tablets have allowed users to bring the web with them wherever they have cellphone reception or wi-fi (even on buses, trains, and airplanes!). The current generation of videogame consoles ( 360, Playstation 3, ), Blu-ray players, and TVs now come with seamless internet integration, which will help get internet media, such as , , and , off of small laptops and tablets and onto much larger displays.These tech marvels are continuing to change the way that people interact with and absorb media and information. This, in turn, has opened the floodgates of new and innovative advertising and marketing strategies.One of the most successful ad models over the past decade has been the online display and targeted search ad models dominated by , !, and . More recently, Hulu has been able to capitalize on ad-sponsored online TV, has revolutionized local coupon advertising, and has tried selling ad-subsidized versions of their popular eReader.Online advertising innovation will continue as the internet becomes more ubiquitous (more smartphone users, possible mobile phone payment systems, etc). Here are things to look forward to (or not, depending on your appetite for advertising) according to:Internet advertising is currently a $30B game in the US, which accounts for 15% of all advertising (excluding political spending), and is about.Interested in finding the best and most creative ad agencies? Here is a list of the ten largest ad agencies listed on American stock exchanges.Analyze These Ideas (Tools Will Open In A New Window)1. of all companies mentioned2. mentioned below3. mentionedList sorted by market cap.1. WPP PLC (): Market cap of $15.49B. Major clients of its subsidiaries include the , , , , , Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, , , , , Heineken, Unilever, Barbie, Cable, , , the , Rolex, , and Jaguar. 2. Inc. (): Market cap of $13.65B. Major clients of its subsidiaries include ATT, , , Snickers, , MMs, , Pepsi, Lays, , Philips, AB/InBev, Volkswagen, , Gatorade, the Grammys, and Absolut 3. The of Companies, Inc. (): Market cap of $6.15B. Its largest clients include General Motors, Johnson Johnson, Microsoft, Unilever and . Other clients include Microsoft, Subaru, Harley-Davidson, , , Oreo, and Taco . 4. Focus Media Holding Ltd. (): Market cap of $4.28B. Clients include China Mobile, , , , Canon, Sony, Braun, , , Nissan, Honda, , , Audi, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola, , , and Bank of China. 5. Worldwide, Inc. (): Market cap of $1.9B. It provides global online employment solution. Through online media sites and services, it delivers targeted audiences to advertisers. It works by connecting employers with job seekers at all levels and by providing searchable jobs and career management resources online. 6. ValueClick, Inc. (): Market cap of $1.36B. It is an online marketing services company. In addition to providing marketing and branding services to the general public, it also provides technology solutions for online advertisers, and online advertising and marketing solutions for advertising and marketing agencies. 7. , Inc. (): Market cap of $611.55M. It offers online marketing and reporting solutions, including search engine marketing, display advertising, remarketing and online marketing analytics, each targeted to the small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) market. It creates advertising campaigns for SMBs to target potential customers in their geographic area, optimize those campaigns in real time and track tangible results. 8. , Inc. (): Market cap of $610.09M. It generates revenue by delivering measurable online marketing results to its clients. These results are typically in the form of qualified leads or clicks. These qualified leads or clicks are generated from its marketing activities on its Websites or on third-party Websites with whom it has relationships. 9. Charm Communications Inc. (): Market cap of $462.63M. It is a television advertising agency in Peoples Republic of China. Clients include Subaru, Ford, , Bank of China, China Telecom, China Mobile, and a host of Chinese brands. 10. MediaMind Technologies Inc. (): Market cap of $418.06M. Its clients include Volkswagen, Chanel, Citroen, Microsoft, Nike, movie franchises (including The Green Lantern, Avatar, and the Hangover 2), Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Tata, HM, Colgate, Katy Perry, and McDonalds.(List compiled by Andrew Dominguez)In 2006, the Wisconsin State Journal interviewed Madison web designer, writer, online marketing and social media professional of about web design and marketing for Madison, Wisconsin businesses. Wisconsin State Journal published the interview in the articles: , and . He recently rediscovered the original QA with the Wisconsin State Journal reporter and is publishing the original interview, in its entirety, as a perspective on the short history of successful online marketing and strategy. Q. Why should a Madison business have a website?A website is a spoke on the communications and branding wheel. It helps to convey a message, along side of TV, print, mobile, point-of-purchase and enewsletters. An effective company utilizes all of these mediums to their advantage. Consumers have many options, so you can’t just rely on TV or the web to get your message out. Some consumers use the web to perform research, some use magazines. A website helps to complete the picture and capture your audience. However, a website is the most engaging medium. TV and print are passive. The consumer can only watch or turn the page. A business can’t tell the whole story with a print ad. Print is great for grabbing attention, but you need to learn more. With a website, on the other hand, consumers can delve further. It’s interactive; they control where to go, what they want to learn. Q. What kinds of businesses need what kinds of websites? Are there specific types of sites that fit specific types of Madison businesses?A. All businesses, large or small, need a website; from a Fortune 100 company, to a coffee house, to a local artist. For a local company, like a restaurant or coffee house, present hours of operation, directions and the menu. And add interactive components, like the ability to create online reservations or sign up for e-coupons. Everyone is busy, so tell the story of why people should go out of their way to visit your store. And personalize it; incorporate humanistic touches to your site. Computers and most websites are cold, you can’t connect. Add in a greeting from the owner or include a picture of the staff. Make it real. In creating an effective website, content is king. Perhaps a coffee house could have a blog; write about new blends or recommendations, stories at the coffee house, feature the baristas. My wife, Alison Relyea-Parr, is a children’s book illustration – she has a website at She no longer needs to be based in New York. Publishers search and find her, which is a reversal on the selection process when artists would take their portfolios door to door to the publishing houses. The editors find her, and browse her work, at their leisure. So from blogs, websites to creating a profile for your business on Facebook, use the web to network with your customers online. The ability to connect to prospects, and nurture your current customer, is key. Q. If you had to categorize different kinds of Madison business websites out there, how would you categorize them?A. There are 100 different web strategies for 100 different Madison companies. Look at your objectives and business plan. What fits, what doesn’t? If you don’t need to go overboard, don’t do it. Some companies create an informational site to educate consumers and capture leads, so they can remarket to them via email or brochures. E-commerce is the way to go with companies offering tangible goods – in creating a national customer base. Q. What are some common mistakes Madison businesses make when theyre trying to get on the web? What do people tend to do wrong when theyre developing a web presence and selecting a Madison web designer?A. There can be many mistakes in creating a website. Speed is an issue, creating a slow site will make your customers quickly click away. Many print designers create all graphic sites that uniformly fail; while they can design fantastic brochures, the web is a totally different medium. Spend time on usability and how people access information. It’s the flow of information, hold the hand of your customer and guide them through your website. Don’t make it a mystery. Know your audience. Create a site for the customer, not what someone in your company or an agency “thinks” the site should say or do. Also, consider the new visitor — look at your site with this fresh perspective — and explain who you are and what you offer at a brief glance.Get the facts. You may go with a Madison web designer or developer because you admire one of the sites they created — but the web designer who created the site is no longer there or it was outsourced. Perhaps they just host the site — and someone else designed it. Ask who’s working on your project; find out skills and experience; call their clients and ask if they delivered as promised.The other mistake is being tied to a proprietary technology which drives your website. You end up getting married to a vendor that will milk the relationship for all it’s worth. Ask for a site that can be completely handed off to your internal staff or to another web firm, if need be. Go open source. Consider WordPress. Q. What is something that all Madison businesses should do with their web presence that not a lot do?Ideally, use your business to add value to my life. Make it worth my time – and be creative about it. Even local companies can get into the game. Great examples include Milios and Klinke Cleaners. At milios.com, customers can order their sandwiches online, for pickup or delivery. Over at klinkecleaners.com, customers can download coupons and can be alerted via email when their garments are ready for pickup.Q. If you dont have an e-commerce section to your website (and youd like one) how do you know youre ready to start it up? And, how do you make that happen?E-commerce can be a blessing and curse. If you begin receiving orders, you need to have the infrastructure in place to handle customer service, order status, product availability and delivery. Everyone wants their stuff fast – you need to meet or exceed their expectations. If you’re a larger company, turn to a web consulting firm to implement an e-commerce solution. Ideally, find a company that’s done this numerous times. They should provide a turn-key solution. Always select a web design and development firm with a track record; otherwise, they’ll stumble and delay the process – which will probably cost you more in the long run.For smaller Madison businesses, or a one-person business, you can also create an inexpensive e-commerce solution offered from Amazon, Yahoo or Ebay. Their “stores” offer low overhead, wide distribution – and you don’t need to be on the Geek Squad to set it up., CEO of , is an award-winning writer and online marketing strategist. Since 1995, the Madison, Wisconsin-based internet pioneer and marketer has launched numerous successful web projects, viral videos and online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. In addition to creating blogging and buzz marketing platforms, services include . In 1996, Michael Wolffs NetGuide named s inaugural online magazine as The Best Site of the Year at MacWorld. He holds a MFA from Brandeis and a BA from Viterbo. Visit to learn more.Does a great job of generating an experience- Douglas Coupland (author of Generation X)Delightfully rich and original- Roger Black (author of Web Sites That Work)Christopher Parr one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison- Madison MagazineLuxury Daily News: Askmen.com names Christopher Parr NYTimes: Wisconsin State Journal: Read more posts on If the top luxury brands collided with McDonalds, youd get a mashup similar to the below. The concepts are created by Access, a design agency from the mind of The Cool Hunters Bill Tikos. Imagine a high-fashion makeover of McDonalds and youd have, ta-da, McFancy Who wouldnt want a Burberry Burger, Gucci Fries, Paul Smith Sundae, or DG water.?Waiters in tuxedos, silver service, private dining areas, and packaging co-created with the fashion brands that present at Fashion Week — Burberry burgers, Chanel fries on black packaging, Paul Smith Sundaes…A bit of fun among the serious business of fashion. A bite of comfort food among all the elaborate cocktail fare, Private dining rooms, a raised catwalk that winds around the perimeter of the space, and with a central bar area providing a dramatic focal point. The ceiling is constructed from stretched fabric, ribbed to provide articulation and define zones. The form of the ceiling is accentuated through the use of LED lighting. Read more posts on APWhen Sardar Biglari pushed his way onto the board of directors of Steak 'N Shake in 2008 with his old college professor as a partner in crime, the restaurant chain had seen years of declining revenues. Now, four years laterthe burger joint saw , according to a DealBook profile of Biglari. He is now the CEO and Chairman of the restaurant chain.Biglari, who allegedly , began honing his business instincts in college when he started an Internet business with a friend. After selling that business, Biglari began investing right out of college, focusing a majority of his projects on the restaurant industry.Currently, he is theowner of Biglari Holdingsa shell company that holds all of his investments.He's seen success with now-bankrupt Friendly'swhich he sold off to a private equity firm in 2008 for a profitand buffet restaurant Western Sizzlin'. But he's also experienced disappointmenthis attempt to shake up Cracker Barrel ran into a block when he was rejected from the board, though he told DealBook that he's His young age (he's only 34) and smart investments has many comparing him to , but his aggressive style and takeover history may also align him next to raiders like in the history books. Biglari also draws inspiration from .Biglari is certainly living the American dream. His family immigrated to America in 1984 from Iran, and ran a rug store in Texas. A QSR report on the young investor , which puts the scope of Biglari's success with the burger joint in perspective. And where does Biglari stand now? A :Mr. Biglari now controls around 15% of Biglari Holdings, where earnings rose 21% to $23.8 million in the nine months ended July, helped by a 4.9% increase in Steak 'n Shake same-store sales.The work has paid handsomely. Mr. Biglari gets a $900,000 salary plus up to $10 million in annual incentive compensation, an arrangement he has said is akin to a hedge fund. Mr. Biglari has kept his fondness for sports cars. Public records show he has owned a Lamborghini, Ferrari and Aston Martin.And Biglari and his family certainly aren't shy about showing off how far he's come and the fruits of his successes. :As rain fell outside the Manhattan Steak n Shake, Mr. Biglari was inside, promoting the new restaurant. He shook hands with customers and bragged about the chains burgers, its wine and beer selection and its touch-screenCoca-Cola machine. His mother, dressed in a full-length fur coat and Chanel earrings, looked on from a sidewalk spot next to his father, who wore a gold tie and beamed with pride.Discovering that there's less demand this year for lavish items like the (pictured below), Neiman Marcus is getting rid of 375 employees, becoming the latest luxury retailer to slash its workforce. Reeling from the sharp drop in sales of luxury goods, upscale retailer Neiman Marcus Group Inc. is laying off 375 people, representing 3% of its work force.The Dallas-based retailer, which operates 40 Neiman Marcus stores and New York luxury emporium Bergdorf Goodman, also said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it will make interest payments for some senior notes due in 2015 by issuing more debt instead of paying cash -- exercising a "payment-in-kind" option to cover interest payments due from Jan. 15 through April 14.We're not investment bankers, but that doesn't sound like the wisest move."The affluent customer, unfortunately, doesn't need anything. They can -- and are -- shopping in their closets and bragging about it to me," [Neiman CEO Burt] Tansky said. "We are bracing ourselves for 2009 and 2010," noting that "none of us knows what the customer will want going forward. We are in a transition period."...The layoffs -- across all divisions of Neiman Marcus, including Bergdorf Goodman, catalog and Internet divisions -- illustrate how the current recession is dealing severe blows to some of the strongest names in the luxury goods industry. Last week, Neiman Marcus reported a 31.2% plunge in December sales at stores open at least a year, excluding its catalog and online division. Its catalog and Internet unit had a 9.2% drop in sales in the five weeks ended Jan. 3. Neiman Marcus' current corporate family rating and probability of default rating stand at "B1," four notches into noninvestment-grade status/See Also: As if the New York Times wasn't having enough trouble keeping up with an ad recession and the Internet crushing its print business. Now the newspaper is facing increasing competition for print ads... from Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.: Saks Inc., a Times advertiser since 1924, recently chose to promote a new Chanel boutique and made-to-measure men's suits in the Journal. Owner Rupert Murdoch's expansion of general news coverage and a new lifestyle magazine are starting to attract wealthy consumers and create ad space for retailers, said Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of Luxury Institute LLC.``They certainly have become a significant part of the advertising mix for luxury brands where they were not before,'' said Pedraza, whose New York research group tracks the market for the most expensive lines of consumer goods and services. ``They're definitely stealing advertising dollars.''And then there's the stats: The WSJ has a paid circulation of 1.4 million, up 2.4% y/y. The NYT: 859,000, down 5.5%. With more readers, the WSJ can charge more for ads, $264,426 for full page color vs. $193,800 at the NYT.See Also:The millions maybe dying of hunger and poverty on the doorsteps of Kim Il Jong , but the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea which is anything but that continues to defy work pressures. North Korea is a totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship, one that keeps its citizens under strict control. Sanctions implemented by the UN against the ruling elite have backfired and have only resulted in poverty and hardship for the masses. The luxury loving ruler of North Korea - Kim Il Jong strives constantly to show that not only is North Korea doing just great, but its doing a better job of catering to its citizens needs then most other nations. After unveiling the and more importantly their (which took all of 24 years to build and is now one of the tallest buildings in the world) the DPRK is all set to unveil its first luxury store to the world.The store which has been named as Potongkang, apparently opened up back in February and manages to sell imported high end brands such as Chanel and Armani as also medicine , furniture and food. It is surprising since this is exactly what the UN sanctions attempt to make impossible for the North Korean ruling elite. However North Korea is in the midst of a redesign (at least of Pyongyang - the capital) as it gears up for the 100th anniversary in April of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung (also the president for eternity of North Korea).Screen shot of the Louis Vuitton condom from the original article on Huffington Post Today everyone was .If you're willing to spend $68 for a twelve pack, you might be disappointed, as they are not actually associated with the company but have been designed by , according to a piece by.This is not the only brand name condom rumor to make it online.A year ago,.Those wanting to "keep it classy," as the Coco Chanel wrapping advised, still can do so with condoms from . According to , Proper Attire condoms have been designed by the likes of Alexander Wang and Charlotte Ronson. And probably the most affordable brand name condoms are those by , which only cost $1.50 a pop.Advertisers to Rupert: "It was nice knowing ya!"Rupert Murdoch has said he's happy with the "" for the online editions of his Times and Sunday Times of London, which went behind a paywall two months ago.But online advertisers aren't happy with him. (emphasis our own):Faced with a collapse in traffic to thetimes.co.uk, some advertisers have simply abandoned the site. Rob Lynam, head of press trading at the media agency MEC, whose clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Orange, Morrisons and Chanel, says, "We are just not advertising on it. If there's no traffic on there, there's no point in advertising on there." Lynam says he has been told by News International insiders that traffic to The Times site has fallen by 90 per cent since the introduction of charges. "That was the same forecast they were giving us prior to registration and the paywall going up, so whether it's a reflection on reality or not, I don't know."He warns that newspaper organisations have less muscle in internet advertising campaigns than they do in print. "Online, we have far more options than just newspaper websites it's not a huge loss to anyone really. If we are considering using some newspaper websites, The Times is just not in consideration."Even publicists don't want to deal with the paper anymore, and its journalists are getting annoyed about losing scoops and readers:Publicists have told me that clients are increasingly reluctant to give interviews or stories to The Times, on the grounds that they would not be made freely available via search engines. Dan Sabbagh, a former media editor at The Times who now runs the media website Beehive City, says News International journalists are frustrated by the decline in their audience.How will Murdoch turn this thing around?Paris may be the city of love and light, but it's also the city of design, where fashion, art and decor are worshiped so devoutly that they're almost a religion of their own.From palaces of fine art, like the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, to modern art galleries, like the Palais de Tokyo, and from the high-fashion temples of Chanel and Louis Vuitton to the funky home-grown boutiques in the Marais, there's something for every design-conscious visitor in Paris. Here, even the food and hotels are stylish.The Parisians, too, are famously fashionable and fastidious in their attention to detail. People in Paris seem to exude style with simple touches, like an Herms scarf tied just right, a perfectly-tailored jacket or elegant red-soled Christian Louboutin pumps.Take a cue from the Parisians, and do like Coco Chanel: "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror andtake one thing off." In Paris, less is more.We've found some of the most fashionable ways to explore this incredibly stylish city.Everyone , but no one seems to want to buy it.The huge 48,000-square-foot mansion cost $46 million to build and was initially listed at $72 million before being price-chopped to $35 million. , is reporting.The home, nicknamed the Champ d'Or, took a total of five years to plan, build, and perfect--and it's just 40 minutes from Dallas. It was conceived by Alan Goldfied, founder of CellStar, and his wife Shirley.Opulent is really the one word to describe the house, from the crystal chandeliers to the Chanel carpets.It also has a backyard veranda that can seat up to 450 people, a one-and-a -half acre lake, a steam room, a private salon, a ballroom, a bowling alley, a 15 car-garage, and two elevators.The home is being sold in a non-distressed auction by .PARIS () - If, like French fashion house Balmain, you can sell a ripped cotton tee-shirt for more than 1,000 euros, you might wonder if there's any price your well-heeled customers won't pay.It's a question the luxury industry has been posing for years as it skipped through the financial crisis in diamond slingbacks - House of Borgezie, 120,000 euros ($148,000)."There is a tendency among the most high-end buyers to forget about cost. They want the best. They want what they want," said Michel Chevalier, author of Luxury Brand Management.It is the most expensive brands, dubbed "absolute" luxury - among them Hermes, Van Cleef Arpels and Bottega Veneta - that are growing the fastest of all, thanks to emerging market demand, particularly from China.According to Bain research, the "absolute" segment has grown 6 percent a year, outperforming the general luxury market, since 2000. It now accounts for 40 billion euros of the 191 billion euro luxury market and is expected to grow faster than other segments through 2014."There is limited supply of these products," said Citigroup luxury analyst Thomas Chauvet of prestige and vintage cognacs and champagnes, which come from just a small region of France. "This is a fantastic opportunity to increase prices."Analysts say prices in the luxury industry have surged from 2001 to 2011 and will keep rising faster than broader prices. Thomas Mesmin at Cheuvreux estimates that prices for fashion and leather goods rose 62 percent in that period, while watches and jewelry have risen 78 percent. Euro zone inflation has totaled just 26 percent over the 11 years.Much of the rise in luxury prices occurred before the 2008 crisis, but prices have been rising again since the second half of 2010. In 2011 Cheuvreux estimates that luxury prices rose 7 percent across the board.Prices for champagne, leather goods, jewelry and the like have been particularly buoyant for the past two years.A Hermes Cape Cod watch that sold for 1,300 euros in 2009 now sells for 2,200. A bottle of Mot Chandon Imperial Ros that sold for $60 in 2010 in the United States now fetches $75.99., the world's largest luxury brand, has been especially assertive, raising prices in its Louis Vuitton and high-prestige champagne lines by up to 15 percent in 2011. Chauvet says systematic price increases at LVMH account for a third of its revenue growth.POWER PRICINGOne analyst noted that LVMH frets over the entry price for Louis Vuitton bags every year, knowing that too high would alienate some customers, but too low would cheapen the brand."The entry price point at Louis Vuitton is agonized over," said the analyst. "I am told it is the single most important decision they make all year."This pricing strategy contrasts sharply with lower-end fashion, where brands such as are offering big discounts to attract bargain hunters and keep revenues up."Top luxury will cost more, while mid-priced fashion will cost less," cashmere specialist Brunello Cucinelli, who floated his eponymous company in June, told Reuters.These prices could go up even more if leather and crocodile prices rise in 2012 due to the drought now affecting the U.S. Midwest, as they did in 2011 when harsh weather in Australia helped push up skin prices.In truth, the rise in commodity prices is likely to be only a small contributor to price rises. The best brands, including Louis Vuitton, many champagne houses, Hermes and Chanel fragrances, have operating margins of 40-50 percent and gross margins well over 60 percent, so they could comfortably absorb cost rises if they were minded to.Margins will instead get wider as more luxury houses pull their products from department stores and set up their own flagship outlets, taking with them retail margins that can be 2.5 times the wholesale price. They can also then shield their brands from the dirty business of regular discount sales."No one wants to buy something rare and expensive and find out three months later it's selling for half off," said Fflur Roberts, head of luxury at Euromonitor. "This doesn't engender respect for a brand. And luxury is about perception."The question that many luxury retailers now face is how quickly to increase prices, especially in emerging markets like China, where prices are already 50 percent higher than in Europe because of taxes and import duties.That gap is not sustainable and could inhibit luxury market growth in China if Chinese customers, who also account for roughly a third of sales in French stores, begin to feel they are being ripped off in their own markets.The answer, it seems, is not to cap prices overseas but to let rip at home.Thus LVMH is likely to raise prices in Europe 10 percent this autumn, says Chauvet, to rebalance the China premium.($1 = 0.8124 euros)(Additional reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Will Waterman)DON'T MISS: Ingrid Lindberg is CIGNAs Customer Experience Officer, where she spearheads the organizations Perhaps revolution is more accurate. For years, health care insurance providers like CIGNA have considered their customers to be employers who purchase insurance for employees. Its only been in the past few years that these organizations have started to realize that the individual consumers they insure are customers too.The shift comes because individuals strongly influence the leaders they work for (who often want to affordably be employers of choice), and more consumers are buying individual plans themselves. In the US certainly, companies like CIGNA are waking up to a powerful but inexperienced group of decision makers.I was lucky enough to snag a few minutes of Ingrids time and asked her a few questions about her work at CIGNA and what it is that drew her the customer experience field. Im sure youll find her answers as insightful and illuminating as I did.What is it about customer experience that energizes you? To answer that, I have to tell you a story. My parents divorced when I was fourteen. I went from being in a comfortable middle class family to one where my mom was raising a family on $12,000 a year. That Christmas my grandparents gave me a $1000 gift certificate to Carson Pirie Scott in Highland Village (Minnesota natives will remember this no-longer-there store in St. Paul). I wanted red Chanel lipstick I was set on it.There I was, 14, in my church coat, trying to buy Chanel lipstick, and no one would wait on me. I waited. No one. When someone finally approached me I simply asked to have my $1000 gift certificate cashed. The man helping me got it. He even went to four or five cash registers to get enough cash. That experience gave me a passion for the underdog. Its all about easy access to getting a need solved.I gave that money to my mom when I got home.What are you working on right now? Were beginning year three of our cultural revolution at CIGNA. When I came in we were very much a B2B business, there was no consumer focus. Now were working on more simplifications things that help make health care simpler for our customers.To that end were focusing on six personas asking What does health care look like for each of these kinds of people?We have to be helpful, understandable, and easy-to-use so people are more likely and willing to participate with us and to become healthier. I keep jumping up and down and asking, why does health care have to be so complex?Many consumers still think health care is simply a benefit. They cant even fathom some of the shifts coming down the road. We are working on helping them be ready.What are the typical challenges you face when it comes to customer experience? To be successful at CIGNA, I had to learn how to help our employees understand what we were doing before wasnt wrong, that we just needed to do things a different way.The process stuff (which initiative or decision would move us closer to our target experience) is the easy part. The hard part is helping thousands of employees understand and feel passion about the customer.Now theres not a person in our organization that cant draw a line between their job and those two things I mentioned earlier [making health care understandable and easy to obtain].Tune in next week when Ingrid tells us about how she quantifies the work she does; how customer experience is viewed within the C-suite at CIGNA; and what will shape business leaders decisions regarding customer experience in 2011.In the mean time, Im curious, what is about customer experience that energizes you?Mario Tama / Getty ImagesNew York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneMayor struck gold to the tune of $10 million a year when he decided to implement the restaurant grading system in New York City.The system did so well in its first year, that the citywillingly reduced its preliminary FY2012 Environmental Health budget presented last Marchby 2.6 percent thanks to "."Data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) shows that after Bloomberg implement the restaurant grading system the annual revenue increased from almost $33 million to more than $42 million."The median fine amount so far this year is $660 per restaurant and a small percentage of restaurants pay the bulk of the fines," DOHMH's Chanel Caraway told us in an email. "Right now, two-thirds of all fines are levied against the worst performing 20 percent of restaurants.The best performing restaurants -60 percent- pay just eight percent of all fines levied against restaurants."The failure to properly display the grade cards alone , according a city report:"As of the end of July, the Department had issued 943 violations to restaurants for failing to post their required grade cards and another 123 violations to restaurants that were not posting the cards in the required location. These violations carry recommended fines of up to $1,000 for the first offense and as much as $2,000 for subsequent offenses."Not surprisingly restaurant owners hate the new system. The City Council found that reported Fred Mogul for WNYC."There seems to be a lack of fairness and an abundance of inconsistency throughout the food inspection process," Speaker Christine Quinn said during a hearing on the grading system. "It really makes you ask yourself: is revenue generation the point here?"This should come as a surprise to exactly no one who has been to a Saks in the past few months. We've heard the store compared to a Loehmann's dressing room. Among those laid off is Michael Fink, the store's fashion director. We guess the only fashion any of the customers are worried about nowadays is the color of the tag.: Saks said it will slash 9 percent of its workforce - or about 1,100 jobs - as it looks to cut costs amid dwindling demand for luxury goods....Fink, a veteran of Bergdorf Goodman, had been a key architect of Saks' efforts to improve its assortment of upscale brands in recent seasons, according to the company....Saks also said yesterday it will cut inventory this year 20 percent, as it expects business in 2009 to remain "extremely challenging."For those of you with any money left this may be the time to shop, before Saks starts carrying the same items one could find at Costco.See Also: It's usually this time of year when the fashionable woman's oversized purse is filled with inches thick, four pounds-plus fall fashion magazines. This year, however, skinny September issues -- and their severely decreased ad pages -- are the new red.Advertising pages for fashion bible Vogue are down 36 percent, to 429, and, as of July 21, the magazine's advertising revenue decreased by 26% from 2008, according to . Just two years ago, the Vogue September issue featured 727 ad pages. Things are even worse at Vogue's sister magazine, W, where ad revenue is down 41%. Elle and Harper's Bazaar are more than as well.A fair amount of the downsizing can be attributed to the recession and lagging advertising revenues industry-wide, but, as the WSJ notes, luxury fashion houses, which depended heavily on magazine advertisements in the past, are beginning to experiment with other forms of Internet-friendly promotions, including Twitter (, 27,000+ followers) and YouTube (see Chanel short starring Audrey Tautou ).: Data from WPP's ad tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence show a significant uptick in the ad spending that fashion marketers are devoting to the Web. Louis Vuitton North America more than doubled its digital ad spending in 2008 to $286,000, from $107,000 in 2007, TNS reports. Diane von Furstenberg boosted its Web spending from nothing to $43,000 last year.It doesn't amount to much yet, but it represents one of the few slices of the industry's marketing budget that are expanding. In addition, the data track spending on display ads but not other types of digital ads, such as search and online video -- and they don't account for the cost of creating a Web site.Though fashion magazines are beginning to realize it may take a little effort to remain the industry standard-bearers, and are revamping their Web sites and working to increase their own web presence accordingly, they are certainly still hoping luxury ad revenue will eventually creep back up. But, for this September at least, they'll have to accept being severely underweight.Chanel Rosario was supposed to be one of the lucky ones. After years of sending and re-sending documents, waiting on hold and attending court hearings to avoid foreclosure on her Staten Island home, she'd finally received a much-needed reduction on her mortgage. Eagerly, she and her husband signed it and mailed it in last September. "We thought it was over."It wasn't. After months of making payments, Rosario called the bank handling her mortgage, Chase Home Finance, and found out Chase was still reporting her as delinquent, damaging her credit score and putting her home in jeopardy. Despite months of trying to get an explanation with the help of a legal-aid attorney, she still doesn't know why Chase isn't abiding by the agreement.It's a disturbingly common occurrence, say consumer advocates: Many homeowners have been granted a only to have their mortgage company effectively pull a bait and switch. The problems range from homeowners being hit with unexpected extra charges to the bank simply ignoring the signed agreement.Handling these types of cases "seems to be our specialty these days," said Noah Zinner, an attorney with the nonprofit Housing and Economic Rights Advocates in Oakland, Calif. In addition to the prospect of losing their homes, homeowners can also see their access to other credit cut or have their interest rates on their credit cards jump as a result of being reported delinquent.To get a sense of how common this problem is, the nonprofit Connecticut Fair Housing Center conducted an informal survey of 16 legal aid organizations and one private attorney. In nearly a quarter of the 655 cases of modifications they reviewed, the mortgage servicer didn't abide by the terms of the agreement. In the worst cases, homeowners who thought they'd successfully run the gauntlet of servicer errors and delays found themselves once again facing foreclosure. Sometimes the house was actually foreclosed on."It's not just one servicer screwing up," said Andrew Neuhauser, an attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality of Toledo, Ohio. "It's industry-wide practice."ProPublica investigated six cases in which banks and other mortgage servicers offered modifications they didn't abide by. In some cases, like Rosario's, the bank was accepting new lower payments but seemed to have no record of the agreement. In another, accounting mistakes resulted in a buildup of arrears and late fees. One homeowner was hit with a bill for more than twice the agreed-upon payment three months into a modification. Another received a foreclosure notice out of the blue. You can see our rundown of these cases and the servicer responses .In general, the servicers contacted by ProPublica either corrected the problems or said they'd work to do so. None responded to a question about what steps the company was taking to prevent these sorts of problems.Attorneys interviewed by ProPublica said that they were usually successful in getting servicers to correct the problem but that it often took the threat of litigation. "It certainly seems that when the servicers have to, they'll fix it," said Zinner, the legal-aid lawyer from Oakland. That may work for those who can afford lawyers or find free legal help, but most homeowners .The frequent errors are par for the course for mortgage servicers, the companies that collect payments from homeowners and handle modifications and foreclosures. From widespread forgery to "" to mistaken foreclosures, have stemmed from the . Those issues, it turns out, can continue to affect borrowers even after a modification has been signed.All this has happened on the watch of federal banking regulators, who only launched an investigation of the servicers' practices when they became front-page news.Bryan Hubbard, a spokesman for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the primary regulator for the country's biggest banks, said regulators were aware of the problems and are putting processes in place to address them. The banks, for instance, will soon be required to provide a ", so that when an error does occur, the homeowner will supposedly be able reach someone knowledgeable about their case.The homeowners interviewed by ProPublica often complained of being unable to get an explanation for why their servicer wasn't following the signed contract. One had even complained to the OCC without any results. Inevitably, they found themselves passed from one servicer employee to another, none of whom seemed to understand the situation."What they did was put blame on me, burden on me to get this straight when they already knew what the mistake was," said Carolyn Chaney of Seattle, Wash., after battling with Bank of America.As , advocates have criticized regulators like the OCC for their poor track record in identifying servicer abuses and are skeptical that the new regulations will substantially improve the experience for homeowners.In April, regulators ordered to make a variety of changes to their servicing operations and to review their foreclosure actions over the past couple years. Servicers violating modification agreements is "among the kinds of issues that the enforcement actions are intended to address and that the foreclosure 'look back' review will help quantify," the OCC's Hubbard said.Under the foreclosure review, homeowners could be reimbursed for "impermissible or excessive penalties, fees, or expenses, or other financial injury suffered," he said, including somehow compensating the homeowner if there was an improper sale of the house. As we've reported, , including how much banks will be compensating wronged homeowners."The biggest factor in determining an appropriate remedy is to determine the actual financial harm suffered by the homeowners as a result of an improper foreclosure action," said Hubbard.Homeowners seeking redress often face an additional hurdle due to the servicer not returning their signed copy of the agreement, said Jeff Gentes of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center. "You're arguing uphill," he said, if you don't have conclusive proof that the servicer agreed.Told of this problem, the OCC's Hubbard said regulators would consider requiring servicers to return the signed agreements to homeowners.This originally appeared on .This story was originally published by.Is your small business marketing to Asian-Americans? If not, you could be missing out on one of the most potentially profitable consumer categories. Data from the Census and the most recent Ipsos Affluent Survey, , show that Asian-Americans are more likely to be affluent than are many other minority consumers.Ipsos defines affluents as households with annual incomes of at least $100,000, and notes that Hispanics make up 14 percent of the general population but only 9 percent of the affluent population; African-Americans make up 12 percent of the general population and only 7 percent of the affluent population. Asian-Americans, however, while they account for just 5 percent of the U.S. population, make up 7 percent of the affluent population, as well as 7 percent of the “ultra-affluent” (household incomes of $250,000 or more).There are some key factors that set Asian-American affluents apart from other affluent consumers in the Ipsos study:Psychographically, Ipsos notes, Asian affluents have some important things in common with Hispanic and African-American affluents. Specifically, they’re more likely to be what Ipsos dubs “StyleSetters.” Stylesetters are very interested in shopping and more likely to engage with brands, and are passionate about fashion and style. Asian affluents in particular are more likely than the average affluent consumer to buy classic high-end luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Armani, Chanel, Rolex and Nordstrom.Where they differ from other ethnic groups is in their “globalist” perspective. Asian affluents are more likely than Hispanic or African-American affluents to travel internationally, appreciate foreign food and support globalization.More than other affluent groups, Asian affluents are heavy Internet users, spending an  average of 43 hours a week online—more than any other ethnic group and more than the 30 hours a week white affluents spend online. They’re the least likely to watch TV.What do these figures mean to you? If you’re trying to reach Asian affluents:Asian affluents aren’t a monolithic group by any means, but understanding a bit about where they’re coming from can help you craft marketing strategies that work for this audience. Photo via ShutterstockFrom Read more posts on Burberry is officially the worlds most popular luxury brand online, having amassed more than 10 million Facebook fans on the social networking site. The London-based fashion house has embraced social media and digital marketing, and theyve been rewarded as their revenue has increased 29%. Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, : “Burberry has delivered a strong first half, reflecting our continued investment in innovative design, digital marketing and retail strategies.”Ten million Facebook fans! Thank you so much for all your incredible support, Christopher Bailey, Burberrys Chief Creative Officer, posted on the Burberry Facebook page (with multiple images and a YouTube video, ). 10 million Facebook fans is a major achievement for Burberry as they take leadership on the social media platform this is almost more than Dior (5,920,960 fans) and Gucci (5,811,295) combined. Chanel is also at 5 million fans, followed by luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Dolce Gabbana. Burberry is regarded as one of the most forward-thinking luxury brands in the world. The New York University think-tank LuxuryLab the Worlds most Digitally Competent Luxury Brand in October. From live streams to runway shows to an arms race on social media platforms, brands are seeking the halo of innovation that comes from inspired online programming, Scott Galloway, professor and co-founder of LuxuryLab, . However, most fashion brands still approach digital as a series of pet projects rather than presenting a coherent multi-platform strategy. Although 94 per cent of brands in the Index have a presence on Facebook, one in five still lacks e-commerce capability.“Almost 100 percent of brands cite Facebook as a source of upstream traffic,” Galloway in August, 2011. “[Burberry] is getting more traffic from Facebook than Google. It’s the largest source of traffic to its site. Brands are transitioning from spending money on Google into Facebook programs. All of this [Facebook] traffic and investment is leading towards commerce.”What can you learn from Burberry?Luxury brands need to be focused and targeted online. On Facebook, they’re unique clubs that discerning fans want to join, the opposite of a Walmart for the masses that offers everything for everyone. The attraction, and connection, to a luxury brand is all about affiliation to a unique experience – it is a dream, a desire and something to aspire to. If you’re a Mercedes-Benz owner, you want to make a connection with that brand on social media channels and share your affiliation. You want to mingle with like-minded friends, share stories and reminisce.Luxury brands need to be on the cutting edge, as the affluent consumer is demanding – and always up on the latest technology, from amazing apps to the latest Apple iPhone. Luxury brands need to create killer content for these devices and social media platforms – from inspiring videos, cool apps, to exclusive content that offers an insider’s look into the brands. Louis Vuitton has numerous travel apps for the iPhone, with city guides for cities like Paris and New York, featuring Sophia Coppola and Rachel Weisz sharing their favorite restaurants and shops. Pull back the curtain and allow customers to have an emotional affinity with the brand. Karl Lagerfeld brilliantly unveils videos on the Chanel Facebook page previewing first with teaser images and videos – and then full-length videos. A luxury brand that basically recycles a TV spot or a magazine ad will ultimately fail at social media and engagement with their fans.Affluent consumers are active and vocal. Never passive. They’re in the know, they’re insiders, they love to be engaged and share their favorite fashions, autos and destinations. It’s all about social, and sharing their favorite things with their friends. As a luxury brand, you need to engage your affluent consumers. Invite them in, inspire them – and in-turn, convert them into brand-advocates.Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him , his family is featured in , and .Read more posts on Burberry is officially the worlds most popular luxury brand online, having amassed more than 10 million Facebook fans on the social networking site. The London-based fashion house has embraced social media and digital marketing, and theyve been rewarded as their revenue has increased 29%. Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, : “Burberry has delivered a strong first half, reflecting our continued investment in innovative design, digital marketing and retail strategies.”Ten million Facebook fans! Thank you so much for all your incredible support, Christopher Bailey, Burberrys Chief Creative Officer, posted on the Burberry Facebook page (with multiple images and a YouTube video, ). 10 million Facebook fans is a major achievement for Burberry as they take leadership on the social media platform this is almost more than Dior (5,920,960 fans) and Gucci (5,811,295) combined. Chanel is also at 5 million fans, followed by luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Dolce Gabbana. Burberry is regarded as one of the most forward-thinking luxury brands in the world. The New York University think-tank LuxuryLab the Worlds most Digitally Competent Luxury Brand in October. From live streams to runway shows to an arms race on social media platforms, brands are seeking the halo of innovation that comes from inspired online programming, Scott Galloway, professor and co-founder of LuxuryLab, . However, most fashion brands still approach digital as a series of pet projects rather than presenting a coherent multi-platform strategy. Although 94 per cent of brands in the Index have a presence on Facebook, one in five still lacks e-commerce capability.“Almost 100 percent of brands cite Facebook as a source of upstream traffic,” Galloway in August, 2011. “[Burberry] is getting more traffic from Facebook than Google. It’s the largest source of traffic to its site. Brands are transitioning from spending money on Google into Facebook programs. All of this [Facebook] traffic and investment is leading towards commerce.”What can you learn from Burberry?Luxury brands need to be focused and targeted online. On Facebook, they’re unique clubs that discerning fans want to join, the opposite of a Walmart for the masses that offers everything for everyone. The attraction, and connection, to a luxury brand is all about affiliation to a unique experience – it is a dream, a desire and something to aspire to. If you’re a Mercedes-Benz owner, you want to make a connection with that brand on social media channels and share your affiliation. You want to mingle with like-minded friends, share stories and reminisce.Luxury brands need to be on the cutting edge, as the affluent consumer is demanding – and always up on the latest technology, from amazing apps to the latest Apple iPhone. Luxury brands need to create killer content for these devices and social media platforms – from inspiring videos, cool apps, to exclusive content that offers an insider’s look into the brands. Louis Vuitton has numerous travel apps for the iPhone, with city guides for cities like Paris and New York, featuring Sophia Coppola and Rachel Weisz sharing their favorite restaurants and shops. Pull back the curtain and allow customers to have an emotional affinity with the brand. Karl Lagerfeld brilliantly unveils videos on the Chanel Facebook page previewing first with teaser images and videos – and then full-length videos. A luxury brand that basically recycles a TV spot or a magazine ad will ultimately fail at social media and engagement with their fans.Affluent consumers are active and vocal. Never passive. They’re in the know, they’re insiders, they love to be engaged and share their favorite fashions, autos and destinations. It’s all about social, and sharing their favorite things with their friends. As a luxury brand, you need to engage your affluent consumers. Invite them in, inspire them – and in-turn, convert them into brand-advocates.Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him , his family is featured in , and .Read more posts on SAINT-TROPEZ, France () -- Like a jet-set version of the hajj, July is the beginning of a Saint-Tropez pilgrimage uniting aristocrats and luminaries along the French Riviera. Every year, the French seaside city becomes the epicenter of celebrities and a CEO elite that hole up for multiweek stays at area hotels or private villas or simply dock at the city's glittery port.The European debt crisis has done little to dissipate the high-season fervor of rich and super-rich that populate Pampelonne Beach for afternoon champagne showers and $5,000 jetpack rides over the sea. But in a notably lazy season compared with hotel and restaurant openings in previous years, Saint-Tropez regulars won't have to search for the latest it-spot. Not much has changed in the past year.With no new nightclubs or hotels to speak of, it's a few much-anticipated arrivals among glossy retail stores making headlines. In the center of town a resort flagship of the Paris-based retailer is set to open, with expanded collections of logo-emblazoned leather goods as well as men and women's apparel. It joins fellow Parisian boutiques such as the newly remodeled and outpost of (recently blessed by Karl Lagerfeld personally).While fancier types such as and Sting come by yacht, everyone else makes the grand attempt to score a room at the city's better hotels, whether they reflect high-end luxury or edgy design. In July, it's not about where you want to stay but more about what hotel you can afford to get into with as few restrictions as possible. continues to be the city's hottest property, and is essentially sold out for July and August. Its Sisley-branded spa is one of the best in the South of France, and its poolside scene is epic and soundtracked with lounge anthems that get you just drunk enough to see the value in a $17,000 jeroboam of Cristal. is the newest hotel in town, a seaside spinoff of the much-loved Paris property that still has that "new hotel smell" as well as an eatery by Pierre Gagnaire and Dom Perignon-branded pool bar, more than making up for being a bit removed from town. Closer to the action of the port, draws the boho and thespian-artiste crowd that prefers to party on premises than be seen at any beach or nightclub. Rooms are comfy chic with a good dose of rustic glamour that's the antithesis of newer, glossy design properties such as the or .At the beach, lunch crowds bicker year after year about which club is the hottest. Usually the competition comes down to a few usual suspects, including with its elevated white terrace, red umbrellas and hip collection of fashionable lunchers. The menu is seafood perfection -- usually over heaping of fresh salad or delicious pastas. Given the $1,445 price tag on a casual wine-fueled lunch for three, it's a blessing the restaurant recently started accepting credit cards.Farther down the sand is , with its pedigree crowd and even tougher lunch reservations. Those that can't get a table should rent a lounger on the beach and make good use of the staff, which brings beachside lunches directly to your chair. Afterward, everyone unites at with its landlocked pool party and tabletop dance scene -- now celebrating its 10th anniversary at Pampelonne Beach and better than ever from 6 p.m. until sunset.After sunset the beach clubs come to an abrupt halt and there's an exodus back into town. For dinner, continues to be the town's top reservation, with one of the city's star chefs creating a dazzling Saint-Tropez menu of locally sourced seafood and vegetables. New this year is , the second installment of a supper club eatery that began in St. Bart's and continues its it-spot status in the center of Saint-Tropez. Part serious dining room and part late-night lounge scene, the chef does fancy French cuisine with a beach twist and DJ backbeat.By night, local hot spots such as lure lounge lovers for early evening cocktails as DJs turn up the volume portside with views of the pedestrian action and dining yachters. has a fancier following, people who aren't shy about sharing their magnums of Dom with lounge guests sprawling out on the sandy-floored front terrace. Two nightclubs rule the city, though, including the perennial and by Jean-Roch. The Paris-based VIP Room club brand offers an incredible summer lineup of celebrity hosts that this year includes P. Diddy and members of the Black Eyed Peas.This originally appeared at .While , at least two other New York companies will be joining on the west coast.Two Dogpatch Labs NYC companies are on their way to . Authy already left, and Shoptiques' founder will be moving to the west coast while her team stays put.Shoptiques was founded by former model and Harvard Business school graduate Olga Vidisheva.It's an e-commerce site that snags inventory from local boutiques and sells it on its site. Unlike , Shoptiques doesn't own the inventory. It's owned by the boutiques but photographed by Shoptiques to keep the right look and feel for the site."At 17, I left Russia speaking no English to join my musician mother in Los Alamos, New Mexico," Vidisheva says in a QA on her site. "In 2007 I graduated Wellesley College with Phi Beta Kappa with Economics degree and math minor. After spending two great years at and realizing that media and fashion will converge long-term, I continued my education at Harvard Business School. I interned at Chanel last summer. And now starting Shoptiques.com has just been an extreme journey for me."Authy was cofounded by Gleb Chuvpilo and Daniel Palacio. It's a solution for easy two-factor authentication -- whatever that means. The site is locked down for now.That makes at least two female-founded startups in the upcoming Y Combinator class. It seems is making a serious attempt to "change the ratio." As , "Out of the 316 companies that have gone through the program over the years, the rate of women founders funded by Y Combinator has Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week officially started today when Champion Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the , cut the ribbon outside the tents at Lincoln Center.Peter Levy, SVP and Managing Director of Fashion, introduced Cruz and told the media to expect him to be sitting in the front row at plenty of shows this week. In addition to the huge win on Sunday, Cruz also scored a contract with mega-agency IMG Worldwide. Expect public experiences, endorsements, commercials, and marketing campaigns in his future.For you fashionistas who don't know who Cruz is: he was the one who after scoring a touchdown for the Giants in the first half of the Super Bowl.Check out some scenes from the ribbon-cutting:Meredith Galante/Business InsiderMeredith Galante/Business InsiderUlysse Nardin's Chairman smart phoneIt's nothing new for a luxury company to put out a watch: we've seen branded timepieces from everyone from to .But now traditional makers of haute horlogerie, at the highest end of the watch market, are , according to the ' Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop.The new products tend to be extensions of the brands, intended to give brand enthusiasts a chance to become return purchasers without having to shell out for a four- or five-figure watch. They range from perfumes to pens.Here are a few of the more innovative spin-offs created by luxury watchmakers:Trademark protection , according to an article in the Financial Times' How to Spend It section. Writes the FT's Nick Foulkes:Take the example of Omega, which, in addition to jewelery and leather goods, sells a fragrance called Aqua Terra. It's not that the brand suddenly thought it could segue into the potentially profitable fragrance business; rather, as Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega puts it, "We never had any intention to make a fragrance, but it is a way of protecting the trademark, and we wanted to do something top of the line, so we took one of the best fragrance designers, Alberto Morillas, and did a very special bottle with a gauge to show how much is left."IWC's flight simulator on display in Geneva, 2012For high-end Swiss watchmaker IWC, expanding product lines was as much about filling retail spaces as it was about extending the brand image.When the company's flagship store in Hong Kong opened in 2009, it was stocked with a huge array of products intended to accompany IWC's watches, from crocodile skin briefcases to a carbon-fiber bicycle, Foulkes writes.But the highlight of the store was the section devoted to Pilot watches, which featured luggage, bomber jackets and even a flight simulator available for purchaseprice upon request.The Apple Investor is a daily report from SAI. . Down As Market Finds FootingThe market is trading sideways as pending home sales homes rose for the second straight month but remained far below last year's pace. Shares of AAPL are off in early trading. Upcoming catalysts include monthly NPD data (Mac / business); holiday sales updates and carrier diversification; holiday sales updates and expansion; new content revenue streams such as video, books and social (); and the uptake of the newly refreshed . AAPL trades at (incl. long-term marketable securities). (MarketWatch) How many markets will double and triple in size in the next three to four years? How many multi-billion dollar markets will grow like that? How many markets tap into what will eventually address two to three billion customers? It's all about the app market. Cody Willard at MarketWatch is advising investors to buy Google and buy Apple because theyve already won a big place the app future by becoming the de facto standard. He believes the "App Revolution" is going to impact every business on the planet similar to how the Internet did over the last fifteen years. (The Street) Should investors be buying Apple because of iPhone 4 adoption in China? Many are saying that the uptake could produce a 2% gain in the stock. That's more than a usual daily gain but the advice is not to make any short term trades in the stock. Apple doesn't have much retail presence in China to make a big splash (yet). The numbers there hardly compares to the millions of shipments in the U.S. and Europe. Analysts continue to see Apple as a long term bet going to $350. The only thing holding it back is Google's Android. However given Google's rocky road in China, Apple may come out the winner there. (9To5Mac) Apple is aggressively expanding the iPad's retail presence in time for the holidays. T and now Amazon is selling the successful tablet online. Amazon is selling the iPad for the same price as Apple, however doesn't charge any tax in most states. Amazon is only carrying the 32GB and 64GB Wifi versions currently but will likely round out its inventory as we get closer to Christmas. Amazon carried the iPad through third party vendors previously but often with over-inflated prices. (Business Insider)Apple has lost another advertiser for its mobile advertising business. Adidas, the athletic apparel giant, has pulled out according to Business Insider. As the , at least one advertiser before Adidas has pulled out of the iAd program, Chanel. Adidas supposedly pulled its $10+ million ad campaign after Apple rejected its creative concept for the third time. In an effort to dial up ad quality, Apple has taken more control over iAds than any other program in the industry, including making the actual ads themselves. (All Things Digital)Netbook sales are in decline, but Apples iPad isnt to blame. Not yet, anyway. According to a , only 13% of iPad owners bought the device in lieu of a PC. For the other 87%, it was an incremental purchase, a luxury purchase. Meaning the reports out that the iPad is cannibalizing the PC market are overblown. However, as Apple increases iPad distribution and consumer interest peaks, other tech products with similar usage profiles (notebooks, netbooks and e-readers) will come under increased pressure.It seems increasingly difficult to find a Hollywood star these days that is equal parts screen icon and fashion muse. There aren’t many Katherine Hepburns or Joan Crawfords running around L.A., which is why the Neiman Marcus Art of Fashion campaign featuring none other than Drew Barrymore is such a breath of fresh air. Rebellious teenager no more, Barrymore is photographed by Norma Jean Ray in the most coveted looks of the season, from Chanel to Valentino. Models like Daria Werbowy and Josephine Skriver are ethereal and gamine beauties to be sure, but there’s something to be said for using a household name in a luxury fashion shoot. Audiences grew up with the Barrymore dynasty and Drew herself has been in the public eye since E.T. Through her film and T.V appearances, people feel as though they know Ms. Barrymore and her quirky personality in a way that few top models are known. Shot over the course of 16 hours, Barrymore donned fur-trimmed Burberry Prorsum, stunning Lanvin, tribal-inspired Etro and a show-stopping emerald green Emilio Pucci cut-out gown. The shoot had the potential to be lifeless, but Barrymore’s presence and the artistic feel of the photographs give the clothing- and the overall campaign- a warm, approachable look that almost comes off as more vignette than photo shoot. And it’s a storyline you’ll want to keep following. For more information regarding the Art of Fashion and the looks featured in the campaign, visit . Read more posts on Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends. Oscar WildeAn article in The last week made note of the lower mobility in the work force: Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe. The mobility gap has been widely discussed in academic circles, but a sour season of mass unemployment and street protests has moved the discussion toward center stage. So add another to the economic woes; not only unemployment, but less mobility if you are employed.There is less mobility in the workforce because the computers are not simply displacing jobs, they are taking out the middle. Computers are good at routine cognitive tasks in the middling white-collar range, the desk jobs, the jobs that require keeping track of things, making arithmetic calculations. They are not so good at motor tasks, the blue collar jobs that require coordination, manual dexterity and sense-of-the-world adjustments. Computers can crunch numbers but they can't drive a truck or make up a hotel room. When it comes to computers taking on human tasks, as notes, the hard problems are easy and the easy problems are hard.Because they take out the middle, it is a lot harder to pursue the American dream by working your way up the ladder. Climbing up rung by rung, you will find a machine staring down. And it won't retire or move up the ladder to make room for you. Once in place, a retirement or promotion is not going to happen, it isn't going to be opening up a spot.Futurists have seen this coming for along time, sort of. As automation got started, they saw robots taking over the manufacturing tasks and our day-to-day activities (serving us our dinner and the like), leaving people to do other things leisure activities or getting jobs making the robots. Futurists always get it wrong because they take the present and multiply it by some number to get the future, and they have the essence of the issue wrong here as well. Although there are robots in industry, the biggest effect of computer technology is in the area no futurist imagined. It is not improving the production of industrial goods, it is supplying the increasing demand for virtual goods. So the picture is not one of producing what we have always produced, but doing it with less labor, it is that we now want things produced that have not been produced in the past, and those things by their nature require less labor. That is, we are meeting the computers halfway by increasing our demand for the very things that they do best.When God closes one door, He opens anotherIronically, even as they affect a widening of economic classes, robots, computers and automation are answering the bane of the industrial revolution, freeing many from the mind-numbing, routine jobs of the specialized factory floor that Marx reviled against as the source of worker subjugation and alienation. (Along with many of the modern-day clerical equivalents). The problem is that we are not seeing enough new, more productive and satisfying jobs rolling down the pike. So we might be seeing an end to worker alienation, but we also are seeing an end to work. We have had an axiomatic view that when technology uproots us from jobs it opens up new ones, and the new ones are even better in pay and in job satisfaction. After all, somebody has to make all those robots. It is a comforting thought, but it is not really an axiom, perhaps just a lucky result that has obtained over the course of the industrial age. There was always a West where the workers could go, an expanding population, undeveloped countries, and new products and demand. The same may continue, but it doesn't look like it is.Which sort of makes sense if we are moving toward living in a virtual world with virtual industry taking on increasing prominence, and with those industries not particularly labor intensive (or for that matter capital intensive at least nothing like the era of steel and railroads), or not labor intensive for those with motor as opposed to cognitive skills. We aren't thinking too much about this right now. We focus on running out of resources, not on running out of new markets, more specifically new markets both of new consumers and new products that bring as many new jobs with them as are being displaced by machines. (Though this is all starting to get attention, for example in recent books by and by ).The Outsourcing MassesThough we are not as unemployed as we might think. We just are not being paid for our work. Much of what we enjoy from our technological progress is a new sort of outsourcing. How much time do you spend on things that are made easier and that you now do for yourself with the help of computers? You do them now because computers have made it possible for you to do them. You take care of your appointments and a lot of the service issues, you get yourself directed via various phone prompts.You don't employ anyone when you do these things.The book The 4-Hour Workweek suggested, among other things, outsourcing day-to-day tasks to people in India. But the largest area of outsourcing is not to India, Sri Lanka or China. Our jobs are being outsourced to us. The jobs are moving from the producer to the consumer side of the ledger. And some of that work comes in the guise of entertainment. How much of your work is being done as you do your e-mails and surf the web, keep yourselves busy with your apps as you commute to work? So it is not only that computers are replacing workers, they are turning consumers into unpaid workers.Bifurcation and classesIn the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. Karl MarxSlave and Master for the Romans, Lord and Vassal in Feudal times, Bourgeoisie and Proletariat for the industrial capitalists. What is emerging now? Because computers allow us to lever our creativity and cognitive work in the same way that capital plant allowed those in the industrial revolution to lever their production of real goods, perhaps, as hypothesized when they proclaimed the emergence of a new cognitive elite, class division will increasingly be based on education and intelligence.But although a bifurcation is occurring in jobs, the opposite is occurring in consumption. Granted those on the lower rungs spend more of their income on the consumption of real goods than do those on the top rungs. And the share of income on goods that by nature are in limited supply, like land, wine and art, even social status, is obviously greater for the top rungs than for the lower. But for both, consumption is increasingly oriented toward virtual goods consuming , tweets and social networks, games and reality TV shows. These take little in terms of labor or for that matter, capital to produce.And the labor that is required is largely supplied by us as the consumers. Another instance of outsourcing.And one notable area of consumption that by definition differentiates the classes, that of conspicuous consumption, is going by the wayside. Yes, I believe we are seeing the twilight of the era of conspicuous consumption. Not that Gucci and Chanel are going to go out of business, but for most people that sort of status statement is increasingly becoming irrelevant. No matter what you are wearing and driving, a far better picture of you and your status is just a few clicks away. You don't have to drive a Ferrari to let everyone know you are rich and successful. If you are driving a Ferrari, what it will convey is that you who as everyone who cares to you knows is running a hedge fund and is worth tons of money must like a Ferrari.This originally appeared at Virgins, sailors and mermaids, combined with elaborate headpieces, over-the-top cancans, and a spirit of true avant-garde genius fill the echoing halls of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. With an invitation to preview The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk and the chance to meet lenfant terrible himself I quickly packed my bags for and was on my way to the UNESCO City of Design. The opened its doors earlier this month to celebrate the life's work of the Parisian courtier with an installation that marks the designer's first international exhibition. The exhibit features six thematic galleries, comprised of 140 carefully-curated pieces, photos, and sketches from 150 collections from the past 35 years. The exhibit opens with The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier, a unique selection of the designer's signature style, including an eclectic mix of nautical stripes and religious stereotypes. Visitors make their way up the museum's grand staircase and are greeted with what at first glance appears to be Jean Paul himself reciting French limerick. The familiar face, along with those of past models and muses, such as Eve Salvail, are in actuality state-of-the-art holograms projected onto delicately casted-mannequins. Curator and former male model, Thierry-Maxime Loriot said the decision to introduce the exhibition with this particular collection was an obvious choice for several reasons. "I think it's one of the most spectacular collections, but also its one of the first dresses he made (the blue one on the left that he made in 1971)," Loriot said. "We use the sailor stripe because it's something that started his career." He adds that Gualtier's interest in sailors, virgins, mermaids stems from his childhood fascinating with Popeye combined with the memory of his beloved grandmother, who often dressed the budding designer in striped sweaters. Finding inspiration from the past, as well as moments of creativity encountered along the way (think, Coco Chanel in sailor stripes), Gaultier fuses two stereotypes of seductions: the corset and the sailor two very powerful elements in his vocabulary, according to Loriot. Stereotypes and sexuality play a very prominent role throughout Gualtier's work, which the designer often associates with his childhood. "When I was little, it happened by accident. The fact that my grandmother allowed me to see everything on the TV. She let me do whatever I wanted, she was fabulous and open-minded," said Gaultier. Gaultier recalls a profound moment from his childhood, a time he describes as being an insightful lesson in self-discovery. "At school I sketched a girl with fish nets and ostrich feathers. The teacher came and she saw me, I was 9-years-old. She saw that sketch and she was furious," said Gaultier. The teacher made him stand up, attached the sketch to his back, and paraded him around each classroom, in what he assumes was her attempt to humiliate him. "For me, it could have been humiliating, it's true, but since I already felt rejected not being good at football, being the fragile one it showed all the others who rejected me that I should do my work as I do," said Gaultier. Many would agree that it was these such defining moments which ultimately propelled a once rejected little boy into one of the most recognizable faces in the world of fashion. Sprinkled with some of his most well-known pieces, including Madonna's cone bras (which she generously lent to the museum), The Boudoir, features an intimate selection of some of Gaultiers most iconic pieces. Raised by strong female figures, Gaultier contradicts oppression through his use of lingerie and corsets, blurring the lines of sexuality and conformity. Underneath his charming smile, Gaultier points out that a traditional men's jacket is usually designed with an extra inside pocket. After all, it is "the chief of the family," who is usually expected to carry the wallet. "I wanted to show that a woman is strong and feminine at the same time like Brigitte Bardot, who was modern and clever at the time. Very avant-garde" said Gaultier. "Some people say be beautiful and shut up, but she was acting like a man in some ways. I try to show the power of the woman, and her femininity. She chooses to have it, but is not obliged to have it." Gaultier jokes that men can also be fragile. "At the time when I did the skirt for men, the ones that bought them more were straight and not gay maybe they were more confident, modern, open-minded. Maybe sometimes some who were gay, were a little more fragile. Always it was clear in my purpose." "I am gay so I choose things that are gay, or sometimes not at all," he adds. One signature piece that's as unique to Gaultier as the iconic cone bra he created for Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour (which is also on display, by the way) is the male skirt. Skin Deep offers a glimpse of the creativity resonating inside the mind of the avant-garde designer. His fascination with the human body is apparent, with ensembles designed to transform fabric into what is best described as second skin. Another key element that lends to the exhibition's appeal is the way Gaultier, who never attended fashion school, draws inspiration from his French heritage. The chic Parisian style and unconventional street fashions found on the Trafalgar Square are revealed in Punk Cancan, a unique display of rebellious garments that circle their way around a moving catwalk. Before Pierre Cardin took him under his wing at the age of 18, Gaultier had never received the formal training that most find attending fashion school. "I was only in my little suburb as a little boy," said Gaultier. "I was dreaming about fashion because I saw movies like Falbalas. The 40s were very romantic and beautiful," said Gaultier. I got interested in the fashion of the time." Another prevalent theme on display is that of ethnicity. Gaultier often drew inspiration from world cultures, and in Urban Jungle, his open-minded philosophy and accepting nature shine. "I like things that are different; people that are different. I realize maybe it's because, I myself, am different." As a self-proclaimed "people-watcher," Gaultier explains the influence behind the collection. "I was in front of a New York library and someone comes walking out in a costume. I thought it was so beautiful and strong." "So I felt that I wanted to show a collection that shows the beauty of the culture. It made me think about minorities in general and some people hide who they are," says Gaultier. Metropolis, the exhibition's final theme, pays homage to Gaultier's exploration into the realm of the unknown, including some of his more futuristic pieces (think back to the days of his British series Eurotrash). Each theme offers a unique glimpse into the fascinating life of Jean Paul Gaultier. Loriot describes the curating process as a "labor of love" but the amount of time and energy that went into both the catalogue and exhibition were well worth the extraordinary effort. "It's fascinating to see it all come to life," Loriot said. "It really gives it another dimension. When you arrive and see all the virgins singing, there is a moment when you don't know what is real and what is not real it's close to Jean Paul Gaultier's work." According to museum director Natatlie Bondi, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk should not be considered "a retrospective, but rather an installation." "What he says really goes beyond fashion," says Bondi, who claims to "not be a fashionista at all," (although it sure is hard to ignore her chic Parisian style). Both Bondi and Loriett agree that fashion influences art, each calling Jean Paul Gaultier "a true artist." I couldn't agree more. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk runs from June 17 until October 2, 2011 and is slated to travel from to Dallas, San Francisco, Madrid, and the Netherlands. After Dominique Strauss-Kahn embarked on a reported culminating in the alleged rape of a hotel maid in New York City, it was Christine LaGarde who picked up the reins at the IMF. She's the first woman to fill that role, a French woman with American ties. So what's she like?If her teeth are gritted, it's impossible to tell. What lovely teeth she has straight and white, they gleam out of a permanently, almost alarmingly, tanned face. Tall - she's 5ft 10in - and slim, the 55-year-old Lagarde dresses with the casual lan of a Parisian, patriotically attired in Chanel suits and Herms scarves, along with jazzy bracelets and fur-lined ponchos. Lagarde softens her rather severe black-and-white outfits with silk scarves, a string of pearls or a brooch. She has widely spaced green eyes framed by a silver bob. She still swims, but not in formation.Well thank goodness she's sexy. Actually, she might even be the World's Sexiest Woman! Hooray!An otherwise excellent portrait of LaGarde in The Guardian is marred by the stereotypical body pan down that so often accompanies profiles of women. The yellow journalism of celebrity reporting has seeped into profiles of powerful women. Rather than being shown her credentials, we're first provided a litany of physical descriptors- her hair color! Clothes! Jewlery! Teeth!When will a woman being conventionally attractive and accomplished cease to be news or comment worthy?Assumption that being physically attractive should be enough for a woman to coast on forever and continues to blow everyone's mind when anyone has decided to be attractive and-. An attractive woman who is also funny? comes every , but single one does, it's almost embarrassing the type of hullabaloo she causes. A smart woman who is conventionally attractive? Stop the presses! A Excuse me while my eyeballs multiply themselves and my heart beats out of my chest before I involuntarily make an AAH-OOH-GAH sound. And everyone knows a woman described as having a "great personality" is actually probably "ugly" because if a woman were beautiful, some complimentary looks-related phrase would be the first thing that would be invoked in describing her.If you're beautiful enough, you shouldn't have to worry your pretty little head about working. Look at and Real Housewives from coast to coast. Why fill your head with useless knowledge when you could just find yourself a nice man and settle down?I'm not trying to make a case that it's so very hard for beautiful women nowadays, but it is a shame that beauty is so highly prized that there always seems to be accompanying befuddlement when a woman decides not to coast on it, to use faculties aside from those genetically (or surgically) bestowed upon her to achieve her kind of success.Imagine that the paragraph about LaGarde were written about newly-elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel-If his teeth are gritted, it's impossible to tell. What lovely teeth he has straight and white, they gleam out of a permanently, almost alarmingly, tanned face. Not very tall, but well-built nonetheless and musclebound, the 51-year-old Emanuel dresses with the casual lan of a Chicagoan, patriotically attired in Brooks Brothers suits and Hugo Boss ties, along with jazzy shoes and fur-lined ponchos. Emanuel softens his rather severe black-and-white outfits with silk pocket squares, pearl cufflinks, or a Rolex watch. He has widely spaced green eyes framed by a silver mane. He still dances, but not in ballet.The piece concludes on the same crappy note on which it started- revisiting LaGarde's looks.She's keen on the feminine virtues, then, without being po-faced. At the finance ministry she used to keep a collection of cartoons. Her favourite shows her in fishnet stockings, whipping a banker.Whether it's coming from a construction worker or a writer from The Guardian, if Christine LaGarde can't escape the male gaze, what hope do the rest of us have?This originally appeared at We know, we know. It's no longer cool to flaunt your wealth with Hermes bags and logo-ed goods. So now that you can no longer decorate your apartment like Donald Trump or paint your fingernails with Chanel logos like Heidi Montag, who should you model your spending behavior after? The Minnesota Star-Tribune, has the answer: look north, to Minnesota.Residents of the northern state are reportedly masters in buying expensive items and not showing them off. Luxury goods are the new porn, things that must be hidden behind plain brown wrappers lest one be viewed as marching down the road to Prada perdition. Chanel and Sotheby's are laying off employees. Louis Vuitton has packed away its plans to open a megastore in Japan. Yacht sales, which have risen every year over the past 10, are approaching dead calm. On the home front, even the Starbucks near 50th and France in Edina recently offered, for the first time, 20 percent off a bag of coffee beans.Conspicuous consumerism has never been in fashion for Minnesota's anti-ostentation old money. Their idea of being flashy is breaking out Grandma's diamond necklace once a year, and then only for a Wayzata fundraiser.Wayzata, for the uninitiated, is a local country club.Word to the wealthy: Just admit you have it, and continue spending it to make up for those who can't. Don't swan around some macrobiotic ashram as if you're learning to live without. And by all means, continue those charitable contributions, knowing they're needed now more than ever.As for the next big thing in designer labels, how about Ponzi? The name has the right ring to it.And that would be a nice way for some of Madoff's victims to make their money back.Hat Tip: Chanel paid Nicole Kidman $3 million to act in this adIt's not a coincidence that only one of the following ads came out after the recession.When the Association of National Advertisers members in 2009, a vast 93 percent of respondents said they had to cut costs. Another later that year, reported that more than half were cutting back on marketing and promotional programs.Before the recession, however, companies like Chanel had no problem paying $33 million for a two-minute commercial in 2004, featuring actress Nicole Kidman and director Baz Lurhrmann.Others big spenders include Guinness, which spent $16 million to create a domino effect through a small town in Argentina, and a British insurance company that paid $13 million for celebrities like Ringo Starr and Bruce Willis.Now sit back and enjoy the most expensive reported production costs in the history of ads.So you can imagine my marvel when I returned to the Islamic republic a few months ago and found it unrecognizably thriving. It was a cinch to get to Grozny, which had graduated to the United Nations list of fastest growing cities. We drove past villages that were once coiled with razor wire and peopled by fear into a rebuilt town that was so pristine it had a theme park feel. I touched the creamy stone of new shops to confirm they were real. A woman fresh from the gym the gym! showed off an Italian bag she had bought for only $200. Then she dashed off to meet someone to discuss whether to get Botox.I counted at least seven salons on one promenade alone and just as many boutiques selling Prada knockoffs. A huge mosque Chechens claim its the largest in Europe shimmered with Swarovski crystals and rare marble trucked in from Turkey. Statues of gilt lions guarded a major drag, as glassy skyscrapers caught the rays of sundown.Two brutal campaigns to quash Islamic separatist uprisings in the 1990s killed anywhere from 63,000 to 370,000. But todays Grozny sparkles with a luxury hotel, expecting a different type of visitor than invading Russian troops, , global soccer legends including Argentine Diego Maradona, Portugals Luis Figo, and Englands Steve McManaman played at the inauguration of the A.A. Kadryov stadium last year. The $280 million investment, unthinkable during wartime, is being followed by the Veduchi ski resort. Costing about double that amount, the resort is due to open in two years in the Itum-Kalin slopes.Most of the money comes from Moscow, with the logic that bankrolling development is more effective than force to quell restive spirits. The Kremlins strategy also includes backing strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, the son of Chechnyas beloved spiritual leader Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in 2004.Russian rubles have poured into Chechen reconstruction. Some government statements indicate $1.5 billion worth, others $21 billion. The citys sewage, water, electricity and heating systems have been repaired, along with 155 miles of roads, 13 bridges and some 900 shops. This is all the more amazing considering that six years ago most Grozny residents lacked heat or running water.The mufti, or spiritual leader, explained the thinking that every man who works is unlikely to strap on a suicide vest. We need to keep the youth busy so they dont become terrorists, said Sultan Mirzayev, nodding towards building cranes outside the window. Yet official unemployment at 50 percent leaves room for much discontent.Much of the construction has arisen under Ramzan Kadryov, and in good dictator fashion, giant portraits of the red-bearded strongman smile across town. (To make clear who is really in charge, though, the central thoroughfare was renamed Putin Prospekt after the Russian premier.) Cult of personality comes with excesses, and Ramzan threw himself a lavish party last October for Grozny Day on his birthday that featured international stars Seal and Hilary Swank. Asked where the money came from, he famously told reporters: Allah gives it to us. I dont know, it comes from somewhere.Making Up for Lost TimeThat display, and his private zoo of tigers, lie far from the reality of thousands of Chechens who lack proper housing. Among them is Bela Khadzimoralova, 51, a university administrator who spent much of the war living in a tent just outside Chechnya. She is finally building a new home. My kids dream was of a house with walls, she said. We lost many years. Now we need to make up time very fast.At least she has somewhere to live in the meantime. Human rights groups report an increasing number of evictions from temporary accommodation of other returnees who lost the rights to their property while seeking refuge outside Chechnya. Many lack documents to prove ownership of homes that were destroyed or occupied by others in their absence.Most of these unfortunates no longer maintain the forced migrant status that gave them the right to city support or housing. They are forced to seek shelter with relatives or leave the city altogether. Russias Faustian pact entails ignoring abuses, such as forcing women to wear veils in public buildings and dragging young men from their homes for suspected terrorism.The men can be shot or disappear, according to human rights activists. To visit Memorial, the leading rights organization, one has to make contact ahead of time and then wade through construction rubble to an unmarked door. There, to the cacophony of drills downstairs, activists ask not to be named, to avoid the fate of their comrade, Natalia Estemirova, who was abducted in 2009, executed and her body dumped in woodlands.Still, Chechnya has registered a dramatic drop in violence. According to Caucasian Knot, last year there were 20 disappearances and 18 killings compared to 186 and 60 respectively in 2009, the year Russian declared the anti-terrorist campaign officially over and withdrew its troops.Islamic militancy simmers higher in neighboring Dagestan and Ingushetia. At the many checkpoints along the shared road, photos of suspected terrorists stare grimly from the walls as security forces brusquely search cars. Out, out, a policeman in camouflage growled at a carload of young men of fighting age. In our taxi, we discretely adjusted head scarves and assumed neutral gazes in order to be waved on.On the comfortable commercial flight back to Moscow, I couldnt ignore the violence, what with a regional security operative sitting behind me who had been shot in the face and was on the way to hospital for treatment. Gripping a bandage over his shattered jaw, the man moaned and groaned as the women around us turned up their iPods and sprayed Chanel to obscure his rotting smell.Indeed, most Chechens want to forget the war, Zalina Utsaeva, 21, spent much of her childhood quivering in a dark cellar, she said, and she named her daughter, now 4, Zhalenia, which means Happiness, to mark the recovery of her city and life as well. Half of her monthly $160 salary goes to kindergarten, and Utsaeva wonders, Who can afford cafes?Yet she has a job, as a nurse, unlike many of her friends who dont. She floats around the apartment like a little girl dancing the traditional Lezginka, her dark eyes sparkling. Utsaevas two room home was toasty with heat and rich with the aroma of meaty soup, unthinkable comforts during wartime.Bullet holes on the walls of buildings here at the edge of town had been plastered over. are getting better, she asserts with inspiring resiliency. During the war and directly after we didnt have anything to enjoy.Chechnya's ProfileChechnya was originally incorporated into the Russian Empire in the late 19thcentury following a lengthy resistance during several wars of expansion in the Caucasus region. Under the Soviet constitution of 1936, the Chechen-Ingush autonomous region was granted special privileges alongside many ethnic republics that facilitated greater autonomy. In 1944, Joseph Stalin deported Chechens en masse to Kazakhstan over accusations of Nazi collaboration during World War II. Nikita Khrushchev subsequently rehabilitated the victims of the purge in the 1950s.During the ensuing chaos of the last months of the Soviet Union in 1991, Chechnya declared national sovereignty under the leadership of former air force general Dzhokhar Dudayev. Following an unsuccessful attempt to restore federal control that year, Russian President Boris Yeltsin sent the army into what became known as the First Chechen War in December 1994. Following thousands of civilian and military casualties on both sides and growing public opposition to the War, Yeltsin was forced to negotiate a treaty granting de-facto independence to Chechnya in 1996.In 1999, after Chechen rebel commanders launched multiple full-scale invasions of a neighboring Russian region, Yeltsin ordered the army back into Chechnya. While large-scale military operations ended in 2000, an insurgency continued into the middle of the decade. A new constitution was adopted in a popular referendum in 2003, and the spiritual leader of Chechnya, Akhmad Kadyrov, was elected Chechnyas President. Several years after his assassination, his son, Ramzan Kadyrov, was elected President.Chechnyas international airport re-opened in 2007, Grozny (once reduced completely to rubble) has largely been rebuilt and President officially ended the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya in 2009 (de-facto ending the War). The region is still struggling with high unemployment.Looking back at the history of the Internet and successful categories emerging, we have always seen a parallel commoditization of pieces in the ecosystem in each of those emerging categories.Instant access to information and ubiquitous connectivity has helped to drive innovation on top of new categories like e-commerce, social networking and within these major categories allowed to establish niche plays.Early entrants in new categories sometimes fail to recognize the power of a network and hold on for too long on the early mover advantages. Trying to defend the inevitable; the democratization through networks, which leads to the building of a level playing field, where connectivity and access is a utility and innovation utilizing the connectivity and the delivery of problem solving solutions become the value drivers.Looking at the Online to Offline Commerce Category from the Daily Deal perspective, we currently have a fairly stale model that is driven by two early entrants ( and ) and you see hundreds of me too's trying to succeed with a business using the same building blocks as the market leaders, who at the same time defend their position vigorously.In contrast, and have recognized the importance of participating in developing an ecosystem and rather than defending data, they started to share data and open up infrastructure.Facebook's core value is derived by the aggregation of connections and the effect created by these social network connections, rather than defending their position and creating a monolithic structure, they created the Facebook platform with Open Graph, APIs to access and utilize the information across any application. In addition Facebook transported the user's identity to other applications. The result after these changes was an accelerated user growths curve across the world. The Facebook Developer Platform was launched on May 27, 2007, a point in time where Facebook had about 30 million users and about a year later we have seen the impact of the open platform with an accelerated user growth for Facebook around the world to today 800 million users.Offline data needs to be freed and turned into a utility to drive more accountable Online to Offline enabled commerce transaction. We will need the current closed structures to change and break them into data consumable bits. Our society has changed perception of what is acceptable private and public information, we will need to get a similar paradigm shift in retail and consumer commerce data provisioning. The democratization in this process has different options, as we have two parties at the table; the merchant and the consumer. We may see some sharing resistance from either party based on the data topic, but the establishment of companies like Offermatic, Truaxis and Cardlytics will drive consumer involvement in providing the sales data stream or purchase data, while merchants opt-in with companies that drive models like Zappedy (acquired by Groupon) to gain more insight on consumers behaviors based on the merchant's processing statements.The beauty in this waltz is the ability to get both sites to dance and contribute, which I believe will ultimately speed up data availability and will make data access a commodity.There is a variety of data sets that need to be freed:1. Data: Consumer DataCredit Card processing companies hold the data of their merchants transactions. The merchant has access to the data and can analyze monthly statements based on customer spend, repeat visits, etc. This data can already be obtained by a merchants marketing partner with the merchants consent from the back end processors like First Data, TSYS, Chase Paymentech and others or can be obtained directly from the consumer gaining access to their statement.2. Data: Level 3 SKU DataToday merchants and retailers point of sale (POS) and business management systems have SKU level data with rich transaction history and inventory levels. This data can be extracted from the POS in most cases, and some systems today provide an actual data feed. has started to attack this problem and has inventory levels online.3. Offer ContentMerchant and Brands create various types of offers, coupons and promotions for a variety of chanels. For each online to offline or offline to offline promotion partner they are working with, they use a different process to set up the promotion, how to settle, track and measure it. Access to the offline retail content and offer content should be standardized and the content should be made readily available.4. RedemptionBrands and merchants use a variety of systems to manage redemption, their existing POS, mobile redemption applications, web enabled redemption and card linked redemption. The access to these redemption methods should be a standardized gateway.Commoditization leads to democratization; some of this data and functionality is already available, other data still needs to be freed. All of the data needs to be normalized, aggregated and made available via a single access point to drive innovation.The point of democratization is not to kill competition, it's usually to enable competition and innovation to take place at a higher level than was previously possible. Utilizing free access to POS data, simplified fully integrated redemption, accessible distribution for offline commerce products and services online will create a level playing field. This will quickly empower application developers and online content providers to increase the discoverability of available offline products, services and events.The Beneficiaries of DemocratizationNew entrants will be able to tap into these data streams as a utility and create new products and services that will help the consumer and merchant to find and transact with each other.Ultimately the readiness of data will bring not only opportunities to new entrants, but will increase the overall market size of online enabled offline commerce and will bring new growths to existing companies ready to help facilitate closer connections between merchants and consumers.One of the many beneficiaries will be Daily Deal White Label Platforms. Companies like Nimble Commerce, Groupcommerce, Blue Label (formerly Townhog) and Dealised will focus on the online commerce capabilities and data intelligence for their publishing partners. These platforms will evolve into very specialized commerce engines that support online publishers to manage online to offline commerce transactions, analyze user data and as full-service providers fill the experience gap that their large publishing partners cant fill on their own. The value proposition here is similar to the one of GSI Commerce, one of the largest e commerce outsourcing firms which helps brick and mortar companies to run their e commerce stores. GSI Commerce was sold to EBay earlier this year for $ 2.4 Billion.Below is a slide from an EBay presentation to Wall Street Analysts and it shows the commerce opportunity at different levels. EBay is preparing to move upstream to large merchants, and the GSI acquisition was just the first step. In order to connect offline and online commerce EBay bought Magento, one of the largest ecommerce platforms today, and Milo a shopping engine that utilizes inventory data from over 140 larger offline retail partners.The group that will benefit directly the most though are application developers, who will gain enormous capabilities with instant available data connections and will be able to focus on extracting value through their applications for their audience, rather than dealing with building diverse connection points into retail on their own.The Developing EcosystemA majority of the ecosystem is already built. Online commerce has led the way and established a surrounding ecosystem that will gravitate to include online to offline commerce. The next phase is the enabling of the ecosystem with a network. There are hundreds of islands out there, retailers, white label providers, e commerce players, merchant dashboards and all are isolated without connections. Finding the common denominator in online to offline enabled commerce and providing a standardized process for communication of the activation, authorization and redemption for these transactions will be the accelerator in overall growth of this category of online to offline commerce that is ripe for the taking. With a size of 1 trillion in online to offline enabled commerce today, it will just be a matter of time that the market will shift, participate and build an ecosystem that will be the foundation of the future of commerce.The Rise of the Commerce NetworkBefore we come to the part where we talk about the tremendous power of the evolving and connected Commerce Network, we have to soften the enthusiasm a little, recognizing the very fragmented network of platforms and systems. This is not another Facebook, this is cross platform connectivity and data exchange at a new level. Now the exciting part, the required data to account for online to offline commerce can be reduced to a single, unique identifier.The Commerce Network will recognize online-to-offline enabled commerce via an equivalent to Credit Card rails, we will see gateways that will slowly connect the commerce islands of the world, one by one.Participation and connectivity will be easier as more and more of the services are moving to the cloud. The first step is the availability of the data in the cloud, the next step is to open up the data across different cloud services and provide nodes.Once these connections aremade, we will see a rise of what I call the Commerce Network, a new infrastructure of rich data for both online and offline transactions. The combination of the social graph with the new Commerce Network will enable marketers to move the purchase closer to the purchase intent, we will have real time accountability of transactions and with that monetization capabilities for any kind of application that helps a consumer to navigate their offline surroundings.Meet Russia's Paris Hilton.Katia Verber is a billionaire heiress whose mother Alla Verber runs the luxury retailer Mercury, which brought Dolce, Gucci, and Prada to Russia in the mid-1990s.In a country with an average monthly wage of $686 and 18.9 million people living below the poverty line, Katia drives around in a $250,000 gold Bentley, chats on a $7,000 titanium Vertu cellphone, and regularly spends thousands of dollars on Balenciaga dresses.Despite Russia's poverty, Moscow, home to 73 billionaire residents, has morphed into party central for the rich.Katia's friends, including Dasha Zhukova who dates billionaire Roman Abramovich, all channel a Sex and the City lifestyle:: I used to think people didn't really dress like Carrie Bradshaw in real life; then I met Katia's friends. It's still daylight, but Raquel is channeling Samantha in a black cutaway Balenciaga dress, a black leather corset by Azzedine Alaa, and black Chanel fingerless gloves. Mira (Charlotte!) is carrying a croc Herms Kelly bag and wearing a leopard-print Louis Vuitton scarf. Vika, a fashion designer, sports an angular haircut that I can only describe as Miranda Deconstructed.Katia also has access in one case the secret password to some of the most exclusive, outrageously expensive clubs, with V.I.P. tables starting at $3,000 and strict, "face control" bouncers who only allow glamazons and millionaires inside.And, of course, at all times regardless of the price.Despite their surreal life, Katia and her friends, all in their early 20s, have just as much of a problem finding Mr. Right as ordinary girls."The dating scene here is tough," Raquel complains. "The men are spoiled because the women are so beautiful and there are, like, 10 women to every one guy." "But we want quality, not quantity," Katia counters....I ask about the successful men what do they do? The ubiquitous answer is "beez-nees." What sort of business? "Just beez-nees," Raquel says coyly. The new generation the jet-set children of the oligarchs and "minigarchs" and politicians has learned never to discuss money.See Also:We know that Yahoo is this month, but have yet to see a list of the pink-listed. Here's what we've been able to compile so far (note that in some cases, there's a question about who left on their own and who got the boot). It's obviously far from complete, so please help us out: Add missing names in comments below, or drop us a line at [email protected]/25 Update: Thanks for your tips and notes, we've updated our list accordingly.Gone:Bradley Horowitz, Head of Advanced Technology Brad Ramsey, Karin Timpone, Susan Mernit, Todd Daum, Denise Iorio, Salim Ismail, Ryan Kuder, Joy Mountford, George John, Subhhash Bhatia, Patrick Houston, Randy Farmer, Chip Morningstar, Jeff Scott, Melissa Rische, Ya-Yung Cheng, Chanel Wheeler, Randy Ksar, from Facebook Group " (via )Jessica Bowman, Jeff Bonforte, , described as Yahoo's "best sales strategist"Lance Nishihira, "UI Rockstar" of Yahoo! HotJobs, who recently joined Leaving voluntarily (via ):Michael Levine, Eric Sternbach, Richard Firminger, Also: ClickZ that 490 of the thousand laid-off employees were from Yahoo's offices. At the time of this report, the NY Department of Labor has not received a layoff notice from Yahoo for any of its New York employees., a sales director last seen .Mitch Aidelbaum, They've 45 employees in their Banglore operation as , one of the co-founders of , a social calendering service acquired by Yahoo., Product Manager, .Maria Hinge, Yahoo!'s See also:By All right, so apparently lots of people in Dallas have totally insane closets. Although the one above is not by Chanel, it's still one of the most impressive we've ever seen, judging by the aisles and aisles of storage shown in the listing photo above.The walk-in wardrobe of dreams is but one small slice of a 7,360-square-foot listing asking $5.75M, which appears to be predominately dressed in faux finishes, mounted heads, and animals prints.Ahem, ahem, "The richness of the materials used creates a magnificent 'work of art' that touches every sense of your being." Truly a godly experience for those who love shoes.Check out the giant closet below as well as a few other interior and exterior shots:This originally appeared at .The Oscar de la Renta boutique on New York's Madison Ave. is the most expensive shop in America, according to a new analysis from (via ).Shoppers at the designer's emporium spend an average of $3,217 per trip, based on spending data provided by , Bundle said, noting that four-figure receipts make sense since dresses in de la Renta's ready-to-wear line go for anywhere from $1,890 to $4,790. else are shoppers dropping big bucks? No surprise here--shops in New York and Los Angeles dominate the rankings.From Bundle:The other stores in the top 5 most expensive shops: Giorgio Armani, located just half a block from Oscar de la Renta, ranked second with an average receipt of $2,881; Loro Piana in Boston ranked third with $2,818, the very high end womenswear shop Akris also found on Madison Ave ranked fourth with $2,818; West Hollywood's Maxfield, which sells clothing from designers like Chanel and Balmain, rounded the top 5 with an average receipt of $2,258.Don't miss the full list and infographic featuring the on Bundle.All pictures from WikipediaWe have compiled a list of 100 amazing degreeless entrepreneurs who have risen to the top.Some high-profile entrepreneurs you will recognize immediately, while others you may be discovering for the first time. Many of them didnt complete elementary school, and still more are considered high school dropouts.Their backgrounds and industries run the gamut. However, they all have at least two things in common: incredible success and no college degree.My brother, Matthew, and I arent on this list (didnt want to toot our own horns well, at least not too loudly); however we count ourselves among the golden many who achieved success without attending college.Entrepreneurs at an early age, Matthew and I had already started six (toot toot) businesses by the time we graduated high school. We were both offered college scholarships, but turned them down it was clear to us that college was not in our future.Within a week of graduating high school, we bought a bar/caf/billiards location, which we overhauled, re-branded, and turned into a hot spot; and on the 12-month we sold it for a great profit. Of course, we have gone on to start several more businesses, both offline and online, and we have never once looked back.While weve listed our Top 100, we know there are hundreds (if not thousands) more entrepreneurs who have achieved success without a college a degree. Are you one of them? Let us know who we forgot by posting your comments belowThe List (In Alphabetical Order), lawyer, U.S. president. Finished one year of formal schooling, self-taught himself trigonometry, and read Blackstone on his own to become a lawyer.Amadeo Peter Giannini, multimillionaire founder of . Dropped out of high school., industrialist and philanthropist, and one of the first mega-billionaires in the US. Elementary school dropout., U.S. president, general, attorney, judge, congressman. Home-schooled. Became a practicing attorney by the age of 35 without a formal education.Andrew Perlman, co-founder of . Dropped out of Washington University to start Cignal Global Communications, an Internet communications company, when he was only 19.Anne Beiler, multimillionaire co-founder of . Dropped out of high school., world-famous photographer. Dropped out of high school.Ashley Qualls, founder of , left high school at the age of 15 to devote herself to building her website business. She was more than a million dollars by 17.Barbara Lynch, chef, owner of a group of restaurants, worth over $10 million, in Boston. Dropped out of high school.Barry Diller, billionaire, Hollywood mogul, Internet maven, founder of Fox Broadcasting Company, chairman of IAC/InterActive Corp (owner of ),Ben Kaufman, 21-year-old serial entrepreneur, founder of . Dropped out of college in his freshman year., inventor, scientist, author, entrepreneur. Primarily home-schooled.Billy Joe (Red) McCombs, billionaire, founder of media, real estate investor. Dropped out of law school to sell cars in 1950.Bob Proctor, motivational speaker, bestselling author, and co-founder of Life Success Publishing. Attended two months of high school.Bram Cohen, developer. Attended State University of New York at Buffalo for a year.Carl Lindner, billionaire investor, founder of . Dropped out of high school at the age of 14.Charles Culpeper, owner and CEO of . Dropped out of high school., explorer, discoverer of new lands. Primarily home-schooled.Coco Chanel, founder of fashion brand . A perfume bearing her name, Chanel No. 5 kept her name famous.Colonel Harlan Sanders, founder of . Dropped out of elementary school, later earned law degree by correspondence.Craig McCaw, billionaire founder of . Did not complete college.Dave Thomas, billionaire founder of . Dropped out of high school at 15.David Geffen, billionaire founder of Geffen Records and co-founder of . Dropped out of college after completing one year.David Green, billionaire founder of . Started the Hobby Lobby chain with only $600. High school graduate.David Karp, founder of . Dropped out of school at 15, then home schooled. Did not attend college.David Neeleman, founder of airlines. Dropped out of college after three years., advertising executive and copywriter . Was expelled from Oxford University at the age of 20.David Oreck, multimillionaire founder of . Quit college to enlist in the Army Air Corps.Debbi Fields, founder of Chocolate Chippery. Later renamed, franchised, then sold Mrs. Fields Cookies.DeWitt Wallace, founder and publisher of . Dropped out of college after one year. Went back, then dropped out again after the second year.Dov Charney, founder of . Started the company in high school, and never attended college.Dustin Moskovitz, multi-millionaire co-founder of . Harvard dropout., the most influential architect of the twentieth century. Never attended high school.Frederick Freddy Laker, billionaire airline entrepreneur. High school dropout.Frederick Henry Royce, auto designer, multimillionaire co-founder of Dropped out of elementary school.George Eastman, multimillionaire inventor, founder. Dropped out of high school.George Naddaff, founder of UFood Grill and Boston Chicken. Did not attend college.Gurbaksh Chahal, multimillionaire founder of BlueLithium and Click Again. Dropped out at 16, when he founded Click Again.H. Wayne Huizenga, founder of WMX garbage company, helped build Blockbuster video chain. Joined the Army out of high school, and later went to college only to drop out during his first year.Henry Ford, billionaire founder of . Did not attend college.Henry J. Kaiser, multimillionaire founder of . Dropped out of high school.Hyman Golden, co-founder of . Dropped out of high school.Ingvar Kamprad, founder of , one of the richest people in the world, dyslexic.Isaac Merrit Singer, sewing machine inventor, founder of . Elementary school dropout.Jack Crawford Taylor, founder of . Dropped out of college to become a WWII fighter pilot in the Navy.Jake Nickell, co-founder and CEO of . Did not graduate from college., Oscar-winning director, screenwriter, and producer. Dropped out of college.Jay Van Andel, billionaire co-founder of . Never attended college.Jeffrey Kalmikoff, co-founder and chief creative officer of . Did not graduate from college.Jerry Yang, co-founder of Dropped out of PhD program.Jimmy Dean, multimillionaire founder of . Dropped out of high school at 16., billionaire founder of Standard Oil. Dropped out of high school just two months before graduating, though later took some courses at a local business school.John Mackey, founder of . Enrolled and dropped out college six times.John Paul DeJoria, billionaire co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, founder of Patron Spirits tequilla. Joined the Navy after high school.Joyce C. Hall, founder of . Started selling greeting cards at the age of 18. Did not attend college.Kemmons Wilson, multimillionaire, founder of . High school dropout.Kenneth Hendricks, billionaire founder of . High school dropout.Kenny Johnson, founder of Dial-A-Waiter restaurant delivery. College dropout.Kevin Rose, founder of . Dropped out of college during his second year.Kirk Kerkorian, billionaire investor, owner of Mandalay Bay and Mirage Resorts, and MGM movie studio. Dropped out eighth-grade.Larry Ellison, billionaire co-founder of software company. Dropped out of two different colleges.Leandro Rizzuto, billionaire founder of . Dropped out of college. Started Conair with $100 and hot-air hair roller invention., commodities investor, billionaire. Founder of Marc Rich Co. Did not finish college.Marcus Loew, multimillionaire founder of Loews theaters, co-founder of MGM movie studio. Elementary school dropout.Mark Ecko, founder of . Dropped out of college.Mary Kay Ash, founder of . Did not attend college.Michael Dell, billionaire founder of , which started out of his college dorm room. Dropped out of college.Michael Rubin, founder of . Dropped out of college in his first year.Micky Jagtiani, billionaire retailer, . Dropped out of accounting school.Milton Hershey, founder of . 4th grade education.Pete Cashmore, founder of at the age of 19.Philip Green, billionaire retail mogul. Dropped out of high school., Food Network cooking show star, food industry entrepreneur, with no formal culinary arts training. Never attended college.Ray Kroc, founder of . Dropped out of high school.Richard Branson, billionaire founder of . Dropped out of high school at 16.Richard DeVos, co-founder of . Served in the Army and did not attend college.Richard Schulze, founder. Did not attend college.Rob Kalin, founder of . Flunked out of high school, enrolled in art school for a time, faked a student ID at MIT so he could take classes. His professors subsequently helped him get into NYU, they were so impressed.Ron Popeil, multimillionaire founder of , inventor, producer, infomercial star. Did not finish college., multi-millionaire media mogul, radio talk show host. Dropped out of college.Russell Simmons, co-founder of records, founder of Russell Simmons Music Group, fashions, bestselling author. Did not finish college.S. Daniel Abraham, founder of , billionaire. Did not attend college., entertainer, producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. Never finished college.Shawn Fanning, developer of . Dropped out of college at the age of 19.Simon Cowell, TV producer, music judge, , The X Factor, and . High school dropout., shoe designer. Dropped out of college.Steve Wozniak, co-founder of , billionaire. Did not complete college.Ted Murphy, founder of social media company . Dropped out of college.Theodore Waitt, billionaire founder of . Dropped out of college to start Gateway one semester before graduating., inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, and more. Primarily home-schooled, then joined the railroad when he was only 12.Tom Anderson, co-founder and friend of . Dropped out of high school.Ty Warner, billionaire developer of , real estate investor, and hotel owner. Dropped out of college.Vidal Sassoon, founder of , multimillionaire. Dropped out of high school.W. Clement Stone, multimillionaire insurance man, author, founder of . Dropped out of elementary school. Later attended high school, graduating. Attended but did not finish college.W.T. Grant, founder of W.T. Grant department stores, multimillionaire. Dropped out of high school.Wally Famous Amos, multimillionaire entrepreneur, author, talent agent, founder of cookies. Left high school at 17 to join the Air Force.Walt Disney, founder of the . Dropped out of high school at 16., chef, owner of 16 restaurants and 80 bistros. Quit school at the age of 14.Y.C. Wang, billionaire founder of . Did not attend high school.The news that Valentino have been bought by Mayhoola, an investment group thought to be backed the Qatari Royal family, is the sign of a trend in fashion finance.It follows recent rumours that Doctor Martens are being bought by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, and his investment fund Pamplona Capital, as well as Cerruti and Gianfranco Ferre being snapped up by retail groups over the last couple of years.The Qatari Royal family might have even started this by buying Harrods from Mohamed Al-Fayed in 2010.This deal certainly makes sense in the fashion world. Valentino is a couture house and so like the rest of couture has a significant proportion of its clientele now in the Middle East. With these buy-outs more and more frequent, some work better than others. Pringle of Scotland, bought by the Hong Kong-based Fang brothers in 2000, posted losses of $7.2 million for 2011, and ex-Balenciaga designer Alistair Carr a much-heralded appointment lasted less than a year as design director.By contrast, Swiss firm Labelux (who also own Bally and Derek Lam) bought Jimmy Choo last year, with figurehead Tamara Mellon stepping down. A 20% profit increase was announced this week.Perhaps it's about how you spin it. While Carr was hardly given time to put his stamp on Pringle, his two shows suggested a vision a bit too fashion-forward for the customer base of a 185-year-old knitwear brand. Valentino like Jimmy Choo is able to appeal across markets. Along with the history of Valentino Garavani himself highly prized in our heritage-hungry culture the brand has been given a boost since design duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Picciolo took over in 2008. Previous design director, Allessandra Facchinetti, was dismissed after less than a year in the job reportedly Garavani was displeased that she didn't reference his past work. Chiuri and Picciolo worked by his side for many years. They have evolved the brand while keeping a balance with the heritage, and brought it to a new audience.Once worn by the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Onassis, it had become a little old-fashioned - for ladies who lunch. Chuir and Picciolo updated it introducing short lengths, flats and interesting new takes on the trademark lace and signature red. Now it is following the Chanel model the likes of Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo and Clemence Poesy wear the brand, making it relevant to a younger generation. While it's sad that such an iconic Italian brand is no longer in Italian hands, fashion knows this is the way of the world. As long as Chiuri and Picciolo are allowed to continue on their promising path, the rave reviews and, presumably, the sales will keep rolling in.The French fashion house has been valued at 16.5 billion ($25.9 billion), making it the most valuable luxury fashion brand.Louis Vuitton has been named the most valuable luxury brand in the world for the seventh year running.The French fashion house, for which Marc Jacobs is the creative director, is worth $25.9 billion (16.5 billion) according to Millward Brown Optimors 2012 .The valuation means that Vuitton accounts for approximately one third of parent company LVMHs market capitalisation, which is estimated at $78 billion (49.7 billion).Vuittons value increased seven per cent from last years valuation - with its positioning appearing even more impressive considering almost half of the 100 brands included in the study have lost value over the last year - a decline that has not been so broadly seen since the recession took grip in 2009.Just yesterday, Vuitton announced its the latest in a number of exclusive artist partnerships which have thus far created some of the brands most iconic, and best-selling, pieces.Herms, in which also owns a stake, secured second place with a valuation of $19.2 billion (12.2 billion), following a huge 61 percent increase over the last year, while Rolex came in third with a valuation of $7.17 billion (4.5 billion) and an increase of 36 percent. Chanel, which ranked fourth in the study, saw its value decrease two percent to $6.68 billion (4.2 billion), while the value of fifth-placed Gucci fell 14 percent to $6.42 billion (4.09 billion)Millward Brown Optimors managing director Nick Cooper, attributed the phenomenal growth of luxury brands to young professionals and unattainable property prices. Luxury is seen as a good investment with people increasingly buying classic pieces rather than high fashion. Those who can afford it indulge, including young professionals who, increasingly unable to buy houses, are spending their disposable income on mid-tier luxury, he said.[This is published with permission from the of Senior Policy Advisor Rick Bookstaber.]Conspicuous leisure, conspicuous waste, conspicuous consumption. Veblen coins these terms in to describe the strategies the noble and priestly classes employ to assert their status. Veblen observes that a life of leisure is the readiest evidence of the superior class, while anything having to do with the work-a-day world of earning a living is the occupation of the inferior class.This argument does not ring true for today's society. If someone gave you the advice, If you want to show that you are better than everyone else, then hang around obviously doing nothing productive, and even better, waste resources, you would think they were utterly pathetic. And the fact that it doesn't ring true means we are different from many societies that have passed before us. We are seeing the twilight of conspicuous leisure, and of conspicuous waste and conspicuous consumption as well. For the first two this is almost immediately evident. Leisure, conspicuous or not, is no longer viewed with envy. Late-night infomercials might depict a life on a yacht free from work and worry as the ideal end result of the various get-rich-quick schemes, but the wealthy in society no longer are a class at leisure. The one-percenters work for a living, and the extremely wealthy who do not work for a living instead work for philanthropy. (So maybe we can add conspicuous philanthropy to the list, though the wealthy could then fairly complain that they can't win no matter what they do). What goes for conspicuous leisure goes even more so for conspicuous waste. In our ecologically-conscious world, the notion of treating resources with disdain no longer signals pecuniary superiority, but rather boorishness and profligacy. Our antipathy towards waste reflects in us being more frugal in what we consume. Veblen made a tight connection between conspicuous consumption and conspicuous waste the former almost necessarily leads to the latter, so an end to the latter cannot help but reduce the former. For conspicuous consumption, all you have to do is look around using a perspective from the consumption and advertising over the past decades when advertising appealed to being the pride of your family and the envy of you neighbors, to projecting success and culture, to commanding respect. In the snails pace of social change, it wasnt so long ago that we had the literal unveiling of the new year's automobiles, the adding and decreasing of chrome bumpers and ornaments, the rising and falling of tail fins, with the conspicuous consumer trading-in for the new model every year.Now, with the exception of a smattering of high-end goods and designer labels, advertising focuses on the qualities of function and design; how much fun you can have with the product, how it will make your life easier or make you more attractive. If it is appealing to any image, it is not the one of If you buy this, people will see that you must be rich and important that was so dominant in the past. The end of the consumption arms raceThe decline in conspicuous leisure knocks at least one leg out of the the relationship between tax breaks for the rich and job creation, because this relationship depends on the notion that if the rich, who are taken to be the job creators, are taxed more they will work less. But if status is evoked through work rather than leisure, then that relationship does not hold. I do not know of the empirical work that has established this link in the past, but even if it exists, I question its relevance today.It is hard for me to imagine a CEO walking away from his job because his $25 million salary payday just nets him $15 million rather than $18 million. Or for that matter not working as hard. But in any case, one reason to walk away, the prestige of conspicuous leisure, has disappeared with the changing ethos of our society. A reduction in the demand for conspicuous consumption also has implications for the economy. A drop in conspicuous consumption, not to mention in conspicuous waste, means a reduced demand for consumption. Even more than that, it means a change in the shape of the demand curve. As Veblen points out, if the incentive to accumulation were the want of subsistence or of physical comfort, then the aggregate economic wants of a community might conceivably be satisfied at some point in the advance of industrial efficiency; but since the struggle is substantially a race for reputability on the basis of an invidious comparison, no approach to a definitive attainment is possible.An end to conspicuous consumption means an end to a consumption arms race where demand can never be sated. There really is only so much you can eat, wear and drive, or click and stream, so if we take the conspicuous out of the equation we have a society going down a much different economic path. I don't know how much of our production was geared toward deliberate but unnecessary discrimination of products, but whatever it was it is lower now. And the higher end meant higher profit margins. As everyone makes do with the functional commodity item, then by the definition of a commodity item the profits shrink. Add to that a reduction in conspicuous leisure, and indeed more than that, having conspicuous work be what matters, and you have both lower demand for products and more people wanting to work. Why Veblen's world is waning Much of what we now demand simply does not fit in the conspicuous consumption equation. In particular, the tools of the virtual world, the iPhones and iMacs, the software and Internet, do not lend themselves to conspicuous consumption, any more than do light bulbs or electric outlets. Granted those on the lower rungs spend more of their income on the consumption of real goods than do those on the top rungs. And the share of income on goods that by nature are in limited supply, private goods, land, wine and art, even social status, is greater for the top rungs than for the lower.But for both, on the margin (and increasingly so over time ) consumption is becoming oriented more toward virtual goods consuming , tweets and social networks, games and reality TV shows and the hardware to access them. I suppose someone could come out with designer label, jewel-encrusted iPhones, but that just doesnt seem to be the way things are heading. And how do you conspicuously consume what isout there for ready for the taking? More important is that we now have better ways of establishing peoples positions in the social or pecuniary pecking order, for example by Googling them. And if you want to make a statement you dont have to do it through invidious consumption of real goods, you can do it more effectively by leveraging the virtual world YouTube, any of the various forms of social media, or a blog.Not that Gucci and Chanel are going to go out of business, but for most people that sort of status statement is becoming increasingly irrelevant. No matter what you are wearing and driving, a far better picture of you and your status is just a few clicks away. You don't have to drive a Ferrari to let everyone know you are rich and successful. If you are driving a Ferrari, what it will convey is that you who as everyone who cares to you knows is worth tons of money must like Ferraris. (And, in any case, is the class distinction today the one that Veblen observed, one of direct overlord and humble worker? Do people give the same deference to those who can demonstrate the ability to indiscriminately buy whatever they want, to hang around the yacht club while others are working, to waste resources without a thought? In some quarters the objective is inconspicuous consumption). The consummation of the industrial ageThis is the way the Industrial Revolution was set up: Mass production of cheap, identical goods replacing the work of the artisan. The entire point of industrialization, and what made the industrial revolution successful, was having production turn from luxury items for the rich to common-day products mass produced for the common masses. As points out, industrialization changes what society values. The industrial society values what is new and fresh. Age goes hand-in-hand with rarity, but the industrial age puts an emphasis on the technologically advanced, the brand-new rather than on the rare. The industrial society also values conformity, (though at the same time decrying conformity and the resulting alienation of the crowd). This is because the industrial process is at its best, with the lowest cost and highest quality, when it is humming along producing many of the same product.There are those who will prefer a Rolls for other than purposes of conspicuous consumption, but even so will have to admit that any number of computer-designed, robot-welded cars rolling off the assembly line and many cars must roll off to amortize the costs of development and production are functionally superior. This is all the more true as we move into the technology space, to computers, phones and software, where newer and conforming products are not only better, but necessary. These are products that simply do not relate to the notions of sentimentality and well-worn comfort. Advertising post-conspicuous consumptionIndustrialization is leading to a continuing convergence between the products that are consumed by the wealthy and the common man. To generate the fodder for conspicuous consumption, advertisers and marketers have waged a valiant battle for several generations against the process of industrialization by maintaining distinctions between functionally equivalent goods. Now advertising is beginning to pick its fights elsewhere.One reason is that increasingly the medium of advertising is the Internet, either directly or because the next stop when an ad catches someones eye is to go to the Internet, and the Internet, and thus the ads, is more about information than about conveying status or image. Another reason is that unless the marketers try very hard, many goods are clearly going to be identical between the very rich and the not so rich. There was a time when cars were the focal point for conspicuous consumption; having a car singled out the wealthy, then having a car with chrome and fins. Now I drive an Acura TSX and so does . Having a refrigerator was once the province of the wealthy, now you and I can have the same kitchen appliances as an ostentatious minus the gold trim. In some areas, most notably and importantly in electronics, the push to spur conspicuous consumption has been given up without a fight. In the sphere of the Internet we are egalitarian. The wealthiest of the one-tenth of the one percent are holding the same and using the same applications as my babysitter.As I write this I am sitting in the walkout basement of my sons house, using a computer that is identical to that of one of my former billionaire bosses. And another of my sons has a big-screen TV and sound system that is indistinguishable from his. Because we spend so much of our time on our phone and in front of out computer and TV, in the new age there is not much difference between how my son spends time versus the very rich, one in a twelve-thousand square foot mansion in Greenwich while the other is in a starter home, both sitting in the corner of some room staring into a 21 screen.So as we spend more and more of our time on the Internet and virtual world, we become accidental egalitarians. As far as this goes, and granted it has not yet gone that far, it is a commendable result for society even it is not so useful for the economy. Taken to its end, industrialization class distinctions as revealed by conspicuous consumption. This points to the objective of industrial production: goods in the realm of common consumption become removed from social distinction. This is what Mumford meant when he stated that the machine is a communist. Products bear the same impersonal imprint. They either function or do not.There is no difference between the light bulb or phone, or computer, or of the common and the wealthy to signal a difference in status. The consummation of the industrial revolution, and insofar as we link the industrial revolution to capitalism, of capitalism as well, will occur when the same can be said in all areas of production.In July of 2011, Parr Interactive, a Madison, Wisconsin-based web design, digital marketing, online strategy and social media marketing company, launched Pursuitist at an online travel, style, food and leisure destination site. Contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include writers from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more. Advertisers on the site have include BMW, Best Buy, Intel, Gucci, Gap, Coach and Burberry. They also kickstarted Intels latest social media campaign featuring the Ultrabook on Intels official YouTube Channel: , CEO of , is an award-winning writer and online marketing strategist. Since 1995, the Madison, Wisconsin-based internet pioneer and marketer has launched numerous successful web projects, viral videos and online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. In addition to creating blogging and buzz marketing platforms, services include . Visit to learn more.Weve created more award-winning web sites, email campaigns, apps, blogs and videos than we can shake a stick at, says Christopher Parr. We know what works and what doesnt. Our projects drive real results. Increase market share, sales and leads. Make an impact.Does a great job of generating an experience- Douglas Coupland (author of Generation X)Delightfully rich and original- Roger Black (author of Web Sites That Work)Christopher Parr one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison- Madison MagazineBio: After working in the TV, film and theatre industry, Christopher founded Parr Interactive in 1995. As Marketing/Creative Director of the award-winning interactive, digital marketing and e-marketing agency, he developed marketing strategies for many clients, included Insinkerator, Musicnotes, Rayovac, John Deere, Looksmart, Sub-Zero, Credit Union Executives, Microsoft, Bizfilings, WPS Insurance Epic Insurance. His projects have been featured in numerous publications, including USA Today, Wired, Ad Age and Entertainment Weekly, and case studies featured in Clear Blogging from Apress, Web Sites That Work from Adobe Press and HTML Unleashed from Macmillan Publishing.He was also a VP, Marketing/Creative Director for an e-commerce company, working with Warner Bros. Pub., BMG, AOL, leading the marketing team, branding and PR. Christopher also financed and co-owned an internet e-commerce startup, featuring luxury home garden goods. Christopher managed global brand communications, brand ID and guidelines, CRM, interactive, media and planning for Sub-Zero and Wolf, maker of luxury kitchen appliances. From product launches to e-commerce, he also managed B2C, B2B touch points and all things internet; social media marketing, interactive, promotions, media, video, branding, e-newsletters, blogging podcasts and developing campaigns with HGTV, New York Times, Food Network, Oprah and Epicurious. For Sub-Zero, Christopher launched an integrated campaign for Sub-Zero Wine Storage, featuring print ads, brochures, e-newsletters, online banners and a new wine blog, including wine events at Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, with magazine support from Conde Nast Traveler, Wine Spectator and Food Wine.Luxury Daily News: Askmen.com names Christopher Parr NYTimes: Wisconsin State Journal: and , and Hes also married to .Read more posts on It's a tough week for retail. Williams-Sonoma announced Wednesday it was cutting 18% of its workforce, which translates to about 1,400 employees. Company execs say they hope the move will reduce costs by $75 million in 2009. But the home company is not alone; several clothing retailers announced major job and price cuts yesterday.: Women's retailer Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. said it was considering a sale of the company.Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., which owns several clothing brands including Calvin Klein, said it would close about 175 stores and eliminate 400 positions...Other cost cutting measures? Price drops.Also on Wednesday, Coach executives announced plans to lower prices as much as 15% on handbags and other accessories. Mike Tucci, president of North American retail, told analysts during a conference call that the company would also bring more of its handbag prices into the "sweet spot below $300."Time will tell whether "below $300" will be enough of a price drop for consumers.See Also: Balance sheets and profit margins are not the first things that come to mind in the glamorous world of high fashion. In an industry where many of the great fashion houses sacrifice profits for prestige, it can be difficult for anyone interested in investing in fashion to make the right decisions.But vintage fashion investment is an increasingly lucrative area, and with substantial public demand for luxury clothes, fashion retail businesses have also seen impressive returnsso is there still room to get money for old rope?William Banks-Blaney, owner ofWilliam Vintagein London, shared his tips with on where to begin in the world of classic couture: "If I was going to start investing in fashion, the key things I would start with would be works by the great masters."Ossie Clarkfor British design,Diorfor French design,Norman Hartnellagain for British design. These are pieces by iconic designers that have a worldwide appeal and audience.""Most pieces appreciate quite substantially," he said. "We are finding there is between a 10 and 20 percent year-on-year uplift in good pieces of vintage."Kerry Taylor, founder ofKerry Taylor Auctions,stressed unprecedented demand: "There arent huge supplies for these things any morethey are running out."Every time I get something special now there is a battle royale between the private collectors, the very rich women who wish to buy to wear, and the museums, and when you get these three different parties all vying for the same lot, the prices escalate."Having the right eye for a collectible item is clearly important, and at a fashion auction, the prospective investor could find some real winners.Taylor told CNBC the three things to look for: "You should look for things with designer labels, you should look for things that are in good condition that dont need repairs. And you should make sure that they have not been altered."A garment with a history is an added bonus. "If it has been owned by someone like Audrey Hepburn or the Duchess of Windsor or Daphne Guinness, that adds a lovely little cachet too and makes it even more desirable and collectible in the future," said Taylor.An Audrey Hepburn gown from the film "Roman Holiday" sold for over $130,000, and Princess Diana's engagement dress went in 2010 for a massive $300,000.Steven Philip, co-owner of vintage clothes shopRellik,also shared his tips: "Look for a garment that kind of associates with the designer and look for labels."If you were going in forChaneland there was an acid green jacket (just) because the acid green is in vogue, avoid buying it. Go for a more classic piece. It will be more of an investment."If it's not vintage fashion investment you're after, business ventures in the retail industry are increasingly taking advantage of the massive boom in e-commerce and sustained public demand for great clothes.Sarah Curran, founder and CEO ofMy-Wardrobe.com, the online luxury fashion retailer, told CNBC what is takes to make online retailing pay."I started originally as a boutique in 2003 when I launched the business, so I understood the bricks-and-mortar model and the online and they are very different. The logistics behind them are very different. It is impossible to compare," she said.Since the launch of the website in 2006, Curran says the online model has gone from strength to strength, and that there are still opportunities for budding online retailers."Naturally because of the sector that we sell which is designers such asBurberry,MulberryandVivienne Westwood, they are very protective about their distribution, so it makes obstacles and barriers to entry quite tough but there is still opportunity."Online retailing can see huge returns, but Curran warned that it takes a sharp attention to detail to make it work. "It is quite a complex model. A lot of people tend to think that e-commerce is the easy option and the easy route to market, but actually it takes a lot of investment."That investment comes in the ease and navigation and performance of the site, but also in terms of the photography of the site. Equally, it's about a strong customer experience and customer service, from entry to the site to delivery to also handling of returns."Curran agreed that prospective investors should be looking to the big fashion houses like Chanel,Dolce and GabbanaandVersacefor those pieces that keep their value. And above all, she said, you shouldn't wear them."It's like if you're going to invest in wine, dont drink it. If you are going to invest in clothing, dont wear it."This originally appeared at .This story was originally published by .Sorry Zooey Deschanel, but your spending habits are so not adorkable.Yesterday of "The New Girl" star's finances. They look solid on the surfaceno debt, a cool $1,578,000 in the bank, $1,645,000 in stocks ... heck, she even donates to charity!but if her career were to go up in smoke (as many in Hollywood do) she'd need to save a pretty penny to keep her $600 a month dry cleaning habit.Your Money spoke to Libertas wealth management adviser Adam Koos to get the scoop on what the twee actress should do to get her finances in check, based on her divorce filing papers. There's probably a lot the actress isn't disclosingclothing campaigns, films and her indie pop project, She Himso we're going by what her attorney said she spends ($22,500!) and earns from "New Girl" ($95,000) per month.Plan for disasterEven though she's young, Deschanel, 31, shouldn't take her success for granted, said Koos."If she read this she'd probably say nothing's going to happen, but Hollywood isn't an easy place to work as you age, and what if disaster struck? She would not be able to sustain the amount of spending she's doing."Especially if she were to become disabled or the hit sitcom mysteriously wasn't renewed. On the surface, Deschanel seems set for the next century. But a little number-crunching tells a different story.Deschanel currently brings in $1,140,000 per year. Let's say she pays 40% in taxes. Her after-tax income would be $684,000 yearly ($1,140,000 x .60), bringing her total net worth, if we added the after-tax income to the $1,578,000 she has in the bank and $1,645,000 in stocks, to a princely sum of nearly $3.8 million dollars.If Deschanel punched out of Hollywood for good, invested her current yearly income and earned an average return of 4 percent, she'd still be making $153,000 or so per year for the rest of her life. That's not shabby. But wait a secondif you divided that number by 12, you'd find she's only taking in $12,800 about month. But the actress spends way more than that: $22,500 per month and $270,000 annually.There's no way she could sustain thisunless she invested $6.75 million in the stock market at a 4 percent return. At an aggressive 5 percent return, that number would be slightly better ($5.4 million), but not by much."You can't spend money on what you expect to make," said Koos. "It should be based on the level of lifestyle you'd be able to retain if the worst were to happen. Sure, if Zooey kept making $95,000 a month, she could spend like that forever, but who knows in Hollywood." Or life.The actress may now be single, but a) don't expect her to be for long and, b) even singles should prepare for the worst. and rising star or not, there will likely be rocky days ahead for the A-lister.Rein in the spendingIt goes without saying, then, that Deschanel needs to get a grip on her spending."Zooey hit the lottery on the acting gig, but I'd tell her, 'Look, you're young, you're successful and you should definitely reward yourself, but these things can change very quickly,'" said Koos. "It would make a lot of sense to rein in some of the exuberant spending on things like dry cleaning ($600) and clothes ($2,000)."Sidenote: How does she spend that on dry cleaning if she's consistently replenishing her wardrobe? We digress.Deschanel could easily adopt a few lifestyle tweaks to change her spending habits. Among them:She could ditch the $600 dry cleaning tab by washing things herself (or paying someone else to do it) and . The latter will help her clothes last as long as those red carpet photos.Rather than drop $500 a month on eating out, Deschanel could ask her friends to split the tab or try skimping on solo meals out when she's too tired to cook. (.)Deschanel might try cutting her $800 utilities tab by calling the service providers to negotiate down the price. Her $300 cell plan could also be slashed if she and big sis Emily, asked for a group or corporate discount if the plan was for business, or switched to making calls from the web using a device like .Spending $1,000 monthly on groceries could easily be changed if the singer and switched where she shops (Whole Foods?) to a . The latter might sound off-putting, but a lot of well-off Americans are flocking to these stores to save big on non-perishables like canned goods and crackers.Finally, the adorkable actress could tear a page out of the Your Money playbook and and think long and hard about why that vintage Chanel frock is calling her name when she already has ten in the closet.Ms. Deschanel, if you're reading this, we love you. Just take these tips as encouragement to plan for the future and keep rocking at your stellar career.A fashion match: Linda Evangelista and Karl Lagerfeld are a double vision in head-to-toe Chanel By PUBLISHED:05:33 GMT, 7 June 2012 UPDATED:05:33 GMT, 7 June 2012She's one of the few original supermodels; he's the revered artistic director of Chanel. Together, Linda Evangelista and Karl Lagerfeld are a fashion force to be reckoned with. But it was their oddly matched ensembles last night that turned heads as the style mavens dressed head-to-toe in the the luxury label as they paid tribute to Chanel's most iconic garment, the little black jacket.Scroll down for videoEvangelista and Lagerfeld were on hand for the launch of the designer's The Little Black Jacket exhibition in New York.The Canadian model, 47, went for a more androgynous look, pairing a black blazer and draped cream skirt with Chanel's classic ballerina flatties. Lagerfeld, 78, dressed in stark opposition to the fashion muse, pairing a cream blazer with a back shirt, tie and pants - and his trademark sunglasses.The pair seemed to enjoy each other's company as they shared laughs on the red carpet.The style set was out in full force for the event, with Zoe Kravitz, her mother, actress Lisa Bonet, models Karolina Kurkova and Dree Hemingway, and Lily Collins all dressing in Chanel's classic black and white. The event follows the launch of Chanel's The Little Black Jacket exhibition in Tokyo in March.The label subsequently unveiled a digital exhibition honouring the garment.The digital exhibition showcases 113 pictures of celebrities and personalities such as Dakota Fanning and Leigh Lezark in black jackets taken by Lagerfeld.The New york exhibition will open to the public on June 8 and run through June 15 in Manhattan's fashionable SoHo district. The French designer is meanwhile preparing for the launch of upcoming book, The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's Classic Revisited, co-authored by former Paris Vogue editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld.The book will feature a host of famous faces wearing various interpretations of Chanel's iconic little black jacket, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Yoko Ono. It is expected to launch later this year. Watch video hereA pocket-sized pooch and a Chanel bag... has Vinnie Jones gone soft?Last updated at 11:48 29 March 2007Is actor and ex-footballer Vinnie Jones trying to shake hishardman image?It begs the question as the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrelsstar has taken to strolling around LA with a pocket-sized poochunder his musclebound arm.Scroll down for moreSwinging a tiny Chanel bag, Jones, 42, is obviously used tocarrying the tiny pup, a must-have accessory for many celebs -mainly female- which nestles comfortably under his arm.Surely, Jones, a veteran of movies such as Snatch, Mean Machineand Gone in 60 Secs, has not become the latest victim of the whimsand pressures of living in La-La land?The former Wimbledon footballer is out in LA with wife Tanya,where he's currently filming the third in the successful Rush Hourblockbusters.Who knows, maybe he's trying out a new, softer character?Share this article: A vision in black and white: Jessica Alba is stunning in two-toned Chanel dress By UPDATED:08:51 GMT, 23 January 2012Jessica Alba was the picture of elegance in a fashion forward black and white silk Chanel dress.The Sin City actress stood out from the well heeled crowd as she walked into a glitzy A-list party on Friday night wearing the two-toned dress from the French fashion house's Resort 2012 collection.The mother of two wore the fashion forward frock to the opening of the Chanel exhibition called Numéros Privés last night at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. The eight day exhibit, which runs until January 28, will look back on Chanel's history.It was attended on opening night by fashion icons including Rachel Zoe.Unfortunately, the exhibition is not open to the public. Guests were treated to a cocktail party and tour of the exhibit.After taking in the exhibition, they enjoyed a dinner party, music and dancing.Among the other guests attending were Jessica's husband Cash Warren, Diane Kruger and Lily Collins. Adele rolling in the designer bags after Karl Lagerfeld sends her coveted Chanel accessories as apology for fat jibes By UPDATED:07:45 GMT, 4 April 2012He has already publicly apologised for his headline-making comments.But Karl Lagerfeld has upped his grovelling privately to Adele, whom he famously called 'a little too fat'.The Chanel Creative director has appealed to the Grammy-winner's love of fashion and sent her a range of the label's coveted handbags.According to The Sun, 'He told his team to send Adele the best the fashion house have to offer after hearing she collected bags.'He's annoyed with himself because he ended up insulting her when he meant to compliment her. He thinks she's beautiful and calls her divine.'Lagerfeld, 78, backtracked on the comments made to a French magazine earlier this year.The jibes caused an uproar from fans, with even Madonna wading into the scandal, calling Lagerfeld's words 'horrible.'Adele chose not to comment directly, but told People magazine in a well-timed interview, 'I represent the majority of women and I'm very proud of that.'Within days, the German designer had issued a grovelling statement to the Someone Like You star. 'Id like to say to Adele that I am your biggest admirer,' he said at the time.'Sometimes when you take a sentence out of the article it changes the meaning of the thought. Adele is my favorite singer and I am agreat admirer of her.'Lagerfeld added that he admired Adele for being so strong in the face of comments regarding her weight.He said: 'I lost over 30 kilos over 10 years ago and have kept it off. I know how it feels when the press is mean to you in regards to your appearance. 'Adele is a beautiful girl. She is the best.And I cant wait for her next CD.'Clearly feeling that he has not done enough to get back in her good graces, Karl is now showering Adele with gifts, including the iconic quilted handbags and totes.'He said he really wanted to make it up to her so they could maybe work together in the future.'From punk pin-up to haute couture: Is Alice Dellal Chanels new girl? By UPDATED:18:25 GMT, 12 December 2011Famed for sporting a shaved head and parading punk-inspired wares, London scenester Alice Dellal is tipped to be Chanel's new girl.The 24-year-old will be following in footsteps of Vanessa Paradis, Claudia Schiffer, Nicole Kidman and Keira Knightley.According to reports she will be promoting the Parisian fashion house's spring / summer 2012 handbag collection. Gossip Girl star Blake Lively is currently the face of the Mademoiselle range,and Lily Allen modelled for the Cocoon bag campaign back in 2009.Now it seems that 5' 5", Brazilian born Dellal has caught the eye of Chanel's creative director Karl Lagerfeld who is known for his eclectic taste when it comes to picking brand ambassadors.Regularly spotted wearing her signature ripped fish nets, jet black leather biker jacket and lashings of liquid eye liner Dellal fist gained exposure after working with Mario Testino on a shoot for French Vogue in 2003.Three years later she signed with a model agency in London after deciding to pursue modeling full-time, and has since worked for labels including Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Agent Provocateur, Alexander Wang, Valentino and Issa.She describes her style icons as Wendy O Williams, the lead singer for the American punk band the Plasmatics, Drew Barrymore in the 1992 thriller Poison Ivy and her mother Andrea, who was a successful Brazilian model. Explaining her fashion influences in an interview with The Telegraph earlier this year she said: 'I wish I was more into clothes. I don't know the current designers.'My style used to be a tame version of me and it's getting more and more drastic, and is probably going to get really really weird towards the end. Be afraid.' Her grandfather Jack is a property tycoon worth around £500 million, while her brother, Alex, runs East London gallery 20 Hoxton Square and her sister, Charlotte, designs shoes for Sienna Miller and Kate Moss under the name Charlotte Oylmpia.When she's not modelling Dellal is a drummer in the controversial all-girl rock group Thrush Metal.On the catwalk, Chanel spring /summer 2012 collection took inspiration from the ocean featuring pearl encrusted sea shells as clutch bags.Lagerfeld's latest 'crush': Alice Dellal is confirmed as new face of Chanel By UPDATED:07:38 GMT, 20 December 2011It was a secret about as well-kept as Jessica Simpson's pregnancy, but Alice Dellal has finally been named as Chanel's latest muse.The tomboy model - who famously sparked the trend for undercuts - will star in a Boy Chanel handbag campaign, shot by Karl Lagerfeld himself.The designer label has also released a photo from the shoot.A Chanel statement read: 'The designer had a crush on this unique, charismatic young lady, who is both a model and musician, during a photo shoot several months ago.'Alice Dellal represents the perfect incarnation of all that is unique about the Boy Chanel handbag collection, which strives far from conformist notions of femininity.'Ultra-modern, refined and mysterious, Alice Dellal is the latest in the line of Chanel muses, each boasting their own inimitable allure.The 24-year-old will be following in Chanel-shaped footsteps of Vanessa Paradis, Claudia Schiffer, Nicole Kidman and Keira Knightley.Gossip Girl star Blake Lively is currently the face of the Mademoiselle range, and Lily Allen modelled for the Cocoon bag campaign back in 2009.Now, 5' 5", Dellal has caught the eye of Chanel's creative director Karl Lagerfeld who is known for his eclectic taste when it comes to picking brand ambassadors.For Dellal is not your average model. She is regularly spotted wearing her signature ripped fish nets, lots of black leather and lashings of liquid eye liner.Dellal first gained exposure after working with Mario Testino on a shoot for French Vogue in 2003.Three years later she signed with a model agency in London after deciding to pursue modeling full-time. The half British, half Brazilian has since worked for labels including Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Agent Provocateur, Alexander Wang, Valentino and Issa.She describes her style icons as Wendy O Williams, the lead singer for the American punk band the Plasmatics, Drew Barrymore in the 1992 thriller Poison Ivy and her mother Andrea, who was a successful Brazilian model. Explaining her fashion influences in an interview with The Telegraph earlier this year she said: 'I wish I was more into clothes. I don't know the current designers.'My style used to be a tame version of me and it's getting more and more drastic, and is probably going to get really really weird towards the end. Be afraid.' Her grandfather Jack is a property tycoon worth around £500 million, while her brother, Alex, runs East London gallery 20 Hoxton Square and her sister, Charlotte, won the Best Accessory Designer at the British Fashion Awards this year under the name Charlotte Olympia.Dellal recently revealed that it was her sister who persuaded her to shave off some of her hair.She said: 'Charlotte actually suggested I have it my hair done like this. My brother and my Dad always used to shave their hair and I remember thinking "Why can't I do the same?"'It's kind of ironic that it was my sister's idea, but I would give her total credit for it. The style's becoming more normal though - I see quite a few girls with similar hair now.'When she's not modelling Dellal is a drummer in the all-girl rock group Thrush Metal.Alicia Keys goes where no woman has gone before with bizarre Star Trek-inspired outfit at Chanel show By UPDATED:14:47 GMT, 7 March 2012It must be difficult to stand out from the crowd at Paris Fashion Week.But that was a feat Alicia Keys most certainly managed as she arrived for the Chanel Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show in the French capital this afternoon.The 31-year-old singer appeared to have taken inspiration from Star Trek with her somewhat bizarre silver headdress as she posed up for photographers before heading inside for the runway display.Scroll down for video Alicia teamed the headdress, which featured a drop cameo detail in the centre of her forehead, with slickedback hair to show off the accessory to its best advantage.In terms of her outfit, Alicia kept things simple in a plunging black satin waistcoat-style top and wide-legtrousers, with black sandals.Alicia wasn't the only famous face at the hotly-anticipated fashion show, as Katy Perry also made an appearance. Famous faces: Poppy Delevigne, Laura Bailey and Chinese actress Zhou Xun all attended the show While Alicia was yesterday spotted at the Stella McCartney show, while Katy went for a mean and moody look at the YSL show.Katy also attended the Viktor and Rolf, while Alicia made an appearance at the Givenchy runway show.Meanwhile, at today's show Miranda Kerr returned to her day job as she walked the catwalk in the show, looking fierce in a variety of fashion-forward ensembles. The most dazzling face-off ever! The designer jewels taking centre stage in Anna Karenina and The Great Gatsby By PUBLISHED:22:27 GMT, 23 July 2012 UPDATED:22:28 GMT, 23 July 2012It is normally a film's stars who steal the limelight but in the case of The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina, it is the jewels that has the fashion set abuzz.While Tiffany and Co served as the 'fine jeweller' for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, Chanel has provided jewels for the forthcoming Anna Karenina film starring Keira Knightley.The prestigious jewellery and fashion brands are facing off against one another as both films, due for release in the final months of 2012, aim to dazzle through dramatic period jewellery. In Anna Karenina, Keira Knightley, who plays the title role, is seen dripping in luxurious accessories such as a diamond necklace adorned with a camellia motif which is part of the French fashion house's Chanel Joaillerie line.Another still from the film reveals an extravagant pearl necklace draped around the actress' neck.The British actress told : 'Seeing as vanity is one of [Anna Karenina's] main personality traits, the symbolic opulence of the pieces nourished that.'The brunette beauty, who is the face of the brand's Coco Mademoiselle fragrance, was lucky enough to wear further extravagant pieces in the film however they are yet to be identified. As lipstick sales soar, we reveal the best selling products of the year so far (and you've got expensive taste) By UPDATED:22:08 GMT, 10 June 2011Bold lipsticks made a dramatic returnto the beauty spotlight last year as women embraced the retro look of Gwen Stefani and Dita Von Teese. And according to new statistics released today, the trend shows no sign of waning. Sales of lip productsin U.S. department stores have risen again by seven per cent this year.The cosmetic category is now worth $185.2 million according to market research firm, NPD Group Inc, which also found that when it comes to lipstick, premium brands rule.It revealed that the best-selling products so far this year were all from high-end companies.The cheapest in the top five, MAC lipstick and Clinique Long Last Soft Shine lipstick, would set you back $15, while the most expensive, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, rings in at $35.So unsurprisingly it was the MAC product, which is endorsed by Lady Gaga, that came out top, followed by Lancome LAbsolu Rouge ($29) in second place. Expensive taste: Clinique Long Last Soft Shine lipstick (left), Chanel's Rouge Coco (centre) and Estee Lauder Pure Color lipstick (right)Clinique Long Last Soft Shine lipstick has proved a huge hit for the brand - though its new Chubby Sticks ($15 each), which launched in January, look set to be its next success storyafter selling out in record time. Other brands rated highly by consumers were Estee Lauder, for which Pure Color lipstick ($22) is a bestseller, while Chanel's Rouge Coco, which is modelled in television ads by Vanessa Paradis, came in at number five, Coco.NPD Group Vice President, Karen Grant, explained: 'Coming out of the recession, it seems that the consumers' thirst for color and play was reawakened. 'In 2010, we saw the preference for rich as well as retro colors and in 2011 we are seeing new neutrals come to the fore. 'As the fashion industry increasingly features bold as well as understated lip statements on the runway and in advertisements, lip color appears to be getting its groove back.'Dancer hit by a rare bone condition chose to have her leg AMPUTATED so she could perform again By UPDATED:16:23 GMT, 27 July 2011A teenage ballerina chose to have her leg AMPUTATED after a huge benign tumour left her with an 'elephant foot' and unable to dance.Chanel Carter, 15, was left devastated when she developed a rare bone condition that left her with a tumour on her right leg - crushing her dreams of becoming a dancer and choreographer.Doctors managed to remove the benign tumour - which left Chanel with what she describes an 'elephant foot' - but within weeks, it had grown back.But the teen, from Coventry, West Mids, made the incredibly brave decision to have her leg removed - as she had a better chance of being able to dance with a prosthetic limb.Now she has made an incredible recovery - and just 11 months after the amputation, has learned to walk with a prosthetic limb - and even entered her school sports day.Chanel, who was first diagnosed with desmoplastic fibroma four years ago, said: 'My foot looked like an elephant's foot and I couldn't do any sport which I loved.'I had a passion for ballet and tap dancing, and I knew I stood no chance of being able to carry on with that if my leg remained the way it was.'It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but I know it would have been so much worse if I had left it.'It was really getting me down that Icouldn't do the things that my friends could do, and I felt embarrassedthat I couldn't keep up with them whenever we went out together.'Butnow I'm so glad I made the choice that I did - I can live the normal life I never would have been able to have if I still had my foot.' Chanel was 12 when she was diagnosed with desmoplastic fibroma, an extremely rare condition that affects the bones.Overtime the aggressive cells had completely destroyed the growth bone in Chanel's right foot leaving her in constant agony and unable to walk.She said: 'They warned me about six months before I had my operation that I might want to consider amputation.'I had had one operation to try to remove the tumour but unfortunately it came back.'I didn't want to have to amputate my leg but I didn't want to live with the tumour either.' InAugust last year Chanel of Canley, Coventry, had the operation to remove part of her lower right leg and foot at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham.She said: 'It was an hour in theatre and an hour and a half in recovery. When I came round it didn't feel strange because I was expecting my leg not to be there.'My mum wanted to see what I looked like straight away, but I wasn't bothered about looking. It was only when I went to take a shower that I started crying.'But I knew that I had to live with my decision, and threw myself into learning to walk again.'I haven't cried since. Now I'm just please to be back on two feet.'When I first had my prosthetic leg fitted I had to go every week to physio every week, but I didn't mind at all, I found learning to walk again quite easy and everyone was so supportive.'It made me want to work with disabled people when I'm older as a physiotherapist.Chanel's mum, June, 40, said: 'It would have been very difficult for any 14-year-old girl to make that decision but she dealt with it brilliantly.'She coped with it so well and she hasn't moaned about it once, she just got on with it.'I'm so proud of her.' Popular Chanel had to spend three months in a wheelchair following her operation while she endured months of gruelling physiotherapy.Chanel is back enjoying exercise again and even took part in her school's sports day, despite teachers trying to stop her.She said: 'They didn't want to let me do the relay race because of health and safety reasons but I convinced them to let me.'It felt really good being part of a team and having fun with my friends.' Chanel's bravery has not gone unnoticed by her peers and on July 11 she was presented with the prestigious Diana Award for courageous citizens.She said: 'My headmaster nominated me without me knowing.'He kept it a secret because he didn't want me to be disappointed if I didn't get it.'Then he called me into his office before the end of term and explained that I had won. I was really pleased, it was such an honour to win.'Behind the scenes of Chanel's sporty seaside spring campaign (even the making-of video is chic and beautiful) By UPDATED:07:58 GMT, 20 January 2012As if Chanel's seaside-themed Spring 2012 campaign wasn't stunning enough, the timeless Parisian fashion house has just released a mesmerising making-of video that further showcases the ethereal beauty of the pictures and the models in them.The short film features sun-drenched shots of Saskia de Brauw and Joan Smalls frolicking around the grounds of the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, and in the nearby Mediterranean waters. In gymnastics-inspired poses, the Dutch newcomer and Puerto Rican hang from bars and drape themselves over a pommel horse for Karl Lagerfeld's camera; their playful antics set to the soundtrack of Andrea Perry's 'If you come over.' The campaign, shot by 'the Kaiser' himself and styled by Carine Roitfeld, shows off Chanel's spring collection in which signature boucle suits and monochromatic colours are photographed in black and white. In the two-minute featurette, however, the pristine white ensembles, sheer pleated skirts and feathered tops contrast elegantly with the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean and turquoise of the hotel pool. Soft, dappled light and a folksy soundtrack create a soft feminine mood that dramatises the impact of the more tailored lines but compliments some of the more floaty pieces.Chanel stylists accessorise the ready-to-wear Spring/Summer line with matching wristbands, bobby socks and high heeled mary janes. Swinging on ladders and abandoned on pontoons in the middle of the sea, the girls seem at ease as they play around with yoga poses and manipulate their bodies into theatrical gestures.During the shoot both models are caught laughing between photographs, clearly enjoying the maritime location. The footage subtly captures the extravagance of the spring collection. Chanel pearls drape around the necks of the girls and in one whimsical picture, Miss Smalls clutches a large bunch of the classic black and white freshwater treasures while dressed in a barely-there black scuba outfit.The glistening waters and French landscape provide a perfect backdrop for a chic spring campaign and the cast and crew look equally enamoured of the location. The heat may have been a bit too much for the Dutch model however. In one shot, while having her makeup touched up, she holds a parasol to shade her fair skin from the sun. Sartorial connoisseurs at website Fashionista.com have pointed out that this is the first advertisement in five years that Karl hasn't used model Freja Beha Erichsen. Every girl's dream! Christian Louboutin takes Blake Lively on a shopping spree in Paris By UPDATED:10:26 GMT, 8 March 2011Blake Lively has made no secret of her obsession with Christian Louboutin shoes having dropped over $9000 on dozens of pairs last year.And now she has gone straight to the man himself and enjoyed an afternoon shopping with the shoe designer at his flagship store in Paris.The Gossip Girl star went for a stroll with the designer of the coveted red-bottomed heels and shopped in the Chanel Store before enjoying a bite to eat at Bistro Volnay.Blake, 23, opted for a pair of flat black boots for their stroll however rather than a pair of the famous heels - which was probably wise as they navigated around cobbled streets during their jaunt.She wore a grey felt floppy hat, a tweed coat and a colourful scarf to keep warm from the Parisian chil. While the actress is clearly a devoted fan of Louboutin, it seems the admiration is mutual. He has designed a shoe - called the 'Blake' - in her honour.She describes the $1,000 multi-coloured stiletto sandal as her 'greatest accomplishment.'Blake was spotted buying 40 pairs of shoes last November at the invitation only Christian Louboutin sample sale in New York.Although the shoes were cheaper than they would normally retail for, sources revealed that she spent over an estimated $9000.Blake is in Paris during the city's fashion week although she will be missing Chanel's runway show tomorrow because of her filming commitment with Gossip Girl.The actress has been named as the face of the Chanel's Mademoiselle bags and has worn little else since.The actress joins an illustrious cast of Chanel 'faces' - among them Vanessa Paradis, Audrey Tatou, Keira Knightley and Georgia May Jagger.Blake, who was in Paris this weekend for a dinner hosted by the label, was forced to deny rumours that she thought it was 'tacky' to sit in the front row of fashion shows.She told Fashionista.com last week: 'Were shooting Gossip Girl, our season finale. Its our final five days. Every single one of the characters is in every scene. Theres no room for them to change the schedule.'Thats why Im going out [to Paris] this weekend for the dinner. Im thrilled. And hopefully Karl will give me a sneak peek of the show beforehand. I love seeing the pieces in person.'Chanel is not the first label to have fallen for the star's charms. But she admitted that she had been waiting for an opportunity from the French fashion powerhouse.'I had other opportunities and I would say, "Thank you so much, but Iam holding out for Chanel,"' she told the New York Times. 'Thats who Iwant to be the face of."'And people would say, "Well, thats unrealistic, they only hire Europeans," and I said: "Well, how great. Ill be the first then."'The actress's co-stars have also appeared in fashion campaigns. Leighton Meester is one of the new faces of Missoni, while Taylor Momsen fronted the first campaign for Madonna's Material Girl line, and appeared in ads for John Galliano's first fragrance. Saucer of milk, Mademoiselles? Fashion's Gossip Girls claim that not everyone at Chanel loves new spokesmodel Blake LivelyBy UPDATED:17:20 GMT, 30 March 2011Karl Lagerfeld called her the 'American dream girl', but apparently not everyone at Chanel is as enamoured with Blake Lively as the label's head designer.According to reports today, the fashion label's office in Miss Lively's native U.S. is less than impressed that the Gossip Girl star has been chosen to represent its Mademoiselle handbag line.A source told the New York Daily News that there were 'internal grumblings' at the Chanel American headquarters.They said that the star was considered 'off-brand' by some U.S. employees, which the paper translated as ' the bitchy fashion industry's clinical way of saying that Lively's contemporary American beauty does not dovetail with Chanel USA's effortsto sell its fashions as the height of European sophistication.'The suggestion was quickly dismissed by Chanel's U.S. press office, which remained full of praise for the actress.A spokeswoman said: 'Blake's spontaneity and fresh youthful image have convinced Chanel that she is the right person to represent the house and this range of bags.'But the rumoured criticism echoes comments made to Miss Lively herself, when she admitted that she had been waiting for an opportunity from the French fashion powerhouse.'I had other opportunities and I would say, "Thank you so much, but I amholding out for Chanel,"' she told the New York Times. 'Thats who I want to be the face of."'And people would say, "Well, thats unrealistic, they only hire Europeans," and I said: "Well, how great. Ill be the first then."'But the Daily News's source claimed that Chanel 'would literally fire anyone who admits' they are not happy with Miss Lively as a spokesmodel.Miss Lively was named the face of the Chanel Mademoiselle handbag line in January after she was introduced to Mr Lagerfeld by U.S. Vogue editorAnna Wintour.The campaign image, shot by Mr Lagerfeld himself, appeared in glossy magazines for the first time this month.It shows the 23-year-old leaning against a wall of mirrored panels allowing for a reflection of both her and her glossy red bag.It is both moodier and more colourful than past campaigns for the collection - Lily Allen's playful 2008 version was shot in black-and-white.Mr Lagerfeld, 77,told reporters that the shoot for the ad, which took place at Chanels Rue Cambon HQ, was an easy job because everyone fell in love with her.Miss Lively herself was also thrilled about the appointment she said at the time: How did Cinderella feel when she slipped on the glass slipper? How did Snow White feel when she met her Prince Charming?A dream come true is an understatement. I can say that I feel like the happiest, luckiest girl around.' The actress joins an illustrious cast of Chanel 'faces' - among them Vanessa Paradis, Audrey Tatou, Keira Knightley and Georgia May Jagger.The label's current womenswear campaign stars model-of-the-moment Freja Beha, while its catwalk shows are a roll-call of the industry's hottest faces, including Lindsey Wixson, Anja Rubik and Karolina Kurkova.Blake Lively leaves Chanel to become face of Gucci's new fragrance By PUBLISHED:15:43 GMT, 22 June 2012 UPDATED:17:45 GMT, 22 June 2012Only the beautiful blonde starlet Blake Lively could make the move from the face of Parisian luxury giant Chanelto the equally prestigious Gucci. The 24-year-old Gossip Girl star hasleft the Chanel Mademoiselle range behind her and accepted an offer to be the face of new Gucci scent Gucci Première.Theluxurious perfume takes its name from the couture line launched by the brand in 2010 and is well and truly inspired by Old Hollywood charm and all the glitz and glamour surrounding it.Gucci creative director Frida Giannini describes the fragrance as being for a woman who is 'living her moment, whether it's on the red carpet or at a private dinner.'Unquestionably, Blake fits the description perfectly.Lively was picked by Gianni, who perceives her as an extraordinarily beautiful girl who absolutely loves fashion and possesses a great taste in clothes. 'Although she's young, she's also very determined, and I liked this spirit. She knows how to be a diva in the right sense, with an aspirational glamour,' he said.Lively, who shot to fame as Serena Van der Woodson, landed her first fashion campaign as the face of Chanel's new Mademoiselle handbag line in March last year.She has spoken out about her new role at Gucci, saying she couldn't be more proud. 'Gucci is a staple. It is a brand I have always looked up to because to me it represents strength,' she said. Each of Gucci's Première creations can take up to six months to devise and produce and have been worn by red carpet sirens Salma Hayek, Jessica Chastain and Cameron Diaz.The new fragrance is set to go on sale in the U.K. in Harrods from 11 July and available nationwide from 25 July along with the campaign and an advert shot by Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. White Swan: Blake Lively takes fashion inspiration from the big screen in ballet shoe heels and ruffles at Chanel dinnerBy UPDATED:11:30 GMT, 3 March 2011Ballet film Black Swan has been one of the hottest of this year's awards season, with star Natalie Portman scooping Best Actress at this week's Oscars.And it appears as though rising style icon Blake Lively is jumping on the bandwagon, and taking fashion inspiration from the ballet world.The Gossip Girl attended a dinner hosted by Chanel in her honour in New York last night, wearing a pair of ballet shoe-inspired heels. The 23-year-old's white satin heels, by Christian Louboutin, resembled the pointe shoes worn by prima ballerinas, complete with square block toe.As the guest of honour, perhaps Blake intended to do double duty as the evening's entertainment and perform a pirouette or two around the dining room at La Grenouille, where the glitzy affair was held.The Gossip Girl paid tribute to Chanel in a white ruffled organza dress from the designer's 2009 haute couture collection.The actress, who was named as the face of Chanel Mademoiselle handbags in January carried a white quilted bag from the collection and a pair of large emerald earrings.As she left the dinner Blake wrapped up in a black overcoat.The blonde beauty surprised many this week when she revealed that despite her close association with the brand, she would not be attending Chanel's autumn/winter show at Paris Fashion Week.Blake, who plays Park Avenue princess Serena Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl, went further, declaring that she found it 'tacky' for celebrities such as herself to be seen in the front row at the shows.She is, however expected to attend a private function in the French capital for the Mademoiselle handbag line.Designer shoe-loving Blake chose the Christian Louboutin heels over shoes by Chanel for the event, just a few weeks after Mr Louboutin named one of his coveted designs after her.The high-heeled sandal features seven straps in a rainbow of different colours, each fastened with a button. The heel and sides are black patent, while the sole is the designer's trademark red.The shoe, to retail for £635, will be available in stores next month, but Blake told fans that a shoes in her honour was in the works last year.In an interview in September to promote The Town, the actress told Regis Kelly how the tribute came about.She explained how they met while shooting Gossip Girl during couture week in Paris.'I went to [Louboutin's] atelier and I was walking around, like every shoe here is so beautiful and I saw this one pair and I said: "I've never seen anything like it."'He said: "Do you love it?" I said: "I want to sleep with it under my pillow every night."'He said: "We're naming it the Blake then." It was insane. It's like my greatest accomplishment.'Do you have a story about a celebrity? Call the Daily Mail showbusiness desk on 0207 938 6364 or 0207 938 6683. For U.S. stories, phone 310 642 2317. Chanel face Blake Lively wraps up warm then reveals stunning silver dress By Created 3:40 PM on 6th March 2011As the newest face of Chanel, Blake Lively has suddenly got a whole new wardrobe of designer clothes to enjoy wearing.And the 23-year-old certainly made the most of it last night as she modelled not one, but two Chanel looks at a gala dinner in her honour.Gossip Girl Blake wrapped up warm in a black military-inspired coat as she arrived for the dinner at the rue Cambon's store in Paris.Once inside she shed the coat to reveal a silver ruffled dress, embellished with a pearl shell at the waist.Unlike the demure coat, the party dress revealed her long legs as Blake posed with a black chain bag and tie up shoes.Blake was recently unveiled as the new face of the French fashion houses Mademoiselle handbag advertising campaign. Oh Mademoiselle! First look at Blake Lively's stunning debut as face of ChanelBy UPDATED:10:06 GMT, 8 March 2011We all know that Blake Lively wears Chanel well. In fact, since it was announced she was the new face of the label's Mademoiselle bags, she's worn little else.But though the Gossip Girl star will not be attending Chanel's Paris Fashion Week show tomorrow, we have finally been allowed a glimpse of the campaign we've all been waiting for.The image, shot by Karl Lagerfeld himself, shows the 23-year-old leaning against a wall of mirrored panels allowing for a Brassai-style reflection of both her and her glossy red bag. It is both moodier and more colourfulthan past campaigns for the collection - Lily Allen's playful 2008 version was shot in black-and-white.The actress joins an illustrious cast ofChanel 'faces' - among them Vanessa Paradis, Audrey Tatou, Keira Knightley and Georgia May Jagger.The label's current womenswear campaign stars model-of-the-moment Freja Beha, while its catwalk shows are a roll-call of the industry's hottest faces, including Lindsey Wixson, Anja Rubik and Karolina Kurkova.Miss Lively, who was in Paris this weekend for a dinner hosted by the label, was forced to deny rumours that she thought it was 'tacky' to sit in the front row of fashion shows.She told Fashionista.com last week: 'Were shooting Gossip Girl, our season finale. Its our final five days. Every single one of the characters is in every scene. Theres no room for them to change the schedule.'Thats why Im going out [to Paris] this weekend for the dinner. Im thrilled. And hopefully Karl will give me a sneak peek of the show beforehand. I love seeing the pieces in person.'Chanel is not the first label to havefallen for the star's charms. But she admitted that she had been waiting for an opportunity from the French fashion powerhouse.'I had other opportunities and I would say, "Thank you so much, but I am holding out for Chanel,"' she told the New York Times. 'Thats who I want to be the face of."'And people would say, "Well, thats unrealistic, they only hire Europeans," and I said: "Well, how great. Ill be the first then."'Miss Lively also inspired footwear designer Christian Louboutin to create a 'Blake' shoe in her honour.She describes the £635 multi-coloured stiletto sandal as her 'greatest accomplishment.'The actress's co-stars have also appeared in fashion campaigns. Leighton Meester is one of the new faces of Missoni, while Taylor Momsen fronted the first campaign forMadonna's Material Girl line, and appeared in ads for John Galliano's first fragrance.Watch out Dad! Meet the three-year-old who wears Chanel, walks runways and is muse to Karl Lagerfeld (just like his father) By UPDATED:15:18 GMT, 25 October 2011As far as resumés go, male model Hudson Kroenig's is very impressive.He has walked the runway for Chanel, starred in a Fendi campaign and calls Karl Lagerfeld 'uncle.'It's a little unnerving, then, that Hudson Kroenig is just three years old - and that he was just one when he provoked a thousand coos across the fashion world when modelling at Chanel's Paris Fashion Week show. With a father like Brad Kroenig, super male model and close friend of Lagerfeld, Hudson's childhood was perhaps never destined to be dull.In a set of photos that will make some melt and others shake their heads in despondency towards the state of high-end fashion, Hudson's wardrobe, complete with Chanel boots, Fendi hi-tops, designer scarves and vast range of Nike sneakers is paraded for the adult world to see.Not to be out-done, the tiny blond's coutour Chanel 'Canadian tuxedo' - double denim, that is - sits alongside specially-made Karl Lagerfeld 'teddy bears'. Think cuddly toys with white fur, dark glasses black blazers and signature high collars.Describing the photos at , father Brad, 32, is more than happy to accentuate his son's premature fashion prowess.'Hudson loves doing pictures with Karl and was so excited to go to Paris for the Fendi shoot. He talked about it for weeks,' narrates Lagerfeld muse, Snr.The boy is most likely unable to write his name yet, let alone understand the sartorial concept of 'layering', so it is with a pinch of salt that we take this next comment: 'Hudson likes to get dressed up, especially in jackets blazers. This is one of his favorites. He loves accessories and loves to layer items. Scarves are his new favorite.'The words hover next to a light blue striped summer blazer by Crewcut and a Fendi scarf, aviator sunglasses tucked into the outfit's collar.Brad, who has been the face of campaigns for DKNY, Gap, HM and Roberto Cavalli, is even the subject of Metamorphoses of an American, a book chronicling the Florida native's modelling career by Karl Lagerfeld.Describing a tiny grey vest, the proud father says: 'This is the vest he wore in the Fendi Campaign' - as shot by Lagerfeld - while a bold pair of silver and blue Nikes are apparently chosen by the mini model himself.'He loves Nikes thinks all the different colors are cool. We always let him pick which pairs he wants to buy from the store,' says Brad.'Karl has been so kind and sweet with Hudson. Hudson loves spending time with him and gets so excited when Karl comes to NYC or when we go to Europe to visit him,' he goes on.The Chanel creative has photographed the budding fashionisto a number of times, and one shot shows a framed photo of Hudson, as taken by Uncle Karl. The child even sleeps with one of Lagerfeld's gifted dolls. Perhaps taking a lead from his Chanel stylists, Hudson seems a particular fan of the cowboy asthetic.'He loves his cowboy boots!! He even wears them in the sandbox at the playground!' says the former Abercrombie Fitch face and self-declared ladies' man.'Hudson loves to take pictures with Daddy. He definitely looks up to Daddy and thinks its coolto participate in special shoots. Hudson always talks about all the "pretty model girls," already a ladies man. Wonder who he takes after'To be fair, though, it'd take a hard woman not to be charmed by the toddler - especially if he's on the hand of his dashing father.SEVEN arrested in horror New Orleans shootout that left two sheriff's deputies dead and two wounded By PUBLISHED:01:27 GMT, 18 August 2012 UPDATED:02:03 GMT, 18 August 2012Seven people - who appear to be members of the same family - have been arrested in connection with the shootings of four Louisiana sheriff's deputies, including two who were killed.Police have not released the motive behind the tragic slayings of family men Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 27, who were shot dead in an early morning gun spree west of New Orleans on Thursday. Two other officers - Michael Boyington, 33, and 30-year-old Jason Triche - suffered serious gunshot wounds but are recovering.Three men and a woman - Derrick D. Smith, 22, Terry Lynn Smith, 44, Kyle David Joekel, 28, and 21-year-old Teniecha Teniel Bright - were today charged with principal to attempted first degree murder of a police officer. Brian Lyn Smith, 24, was charged with attempted first degree murder of a police officer and Chanel Melissa Skains, 37, and Britney Keith, 23, were charged with accessory to attempted first degree murder of a police officer.All seven were arrested in connection with the attempted murder of Boyington, who was the first deputy shot. Charges have not yet been filed in connection with the two deputies who were killed or the second wounded deputy. Although, authorities said yesterday they do not believe any suspects are still at large.'We dont know precisely what happened yet,' said Ronnie Jones, an assistant to the state police superintendent. 'Were still putting pieces together.'One of the suspects was accused of making threatening comments about law officers in Nebraska recently.The superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, said the case is complex, involving two different crime scenes, multiple weapons and numerous witnesses. On Thursday, a tearful Sheriff Michael Tregre said the incident, which he described as an ambush, started when a gunman opened fire on Jason Triche who was working an off-duty traffic detail at a remote parking lot at the intersection of La. Highway 3217 and Airline Highway.Tregre said someone phoned into the deputies with a description of a car fleeing the scene, and officers tracked it to the nearby Riverview trailer park.Whenofficers found the car, they handcuffed a suspect outside a trailer, then knocked on its door. Tregre said someone with a dog answered.'Anotherperson exited that trailer with an assault weapon and ambushed my two officers,' Tregre said. There, St. John the Baptist Parish deputies Nielsen, a father-of-five, and father-of-one Jeremy Triche were killed. Edmonson said evidence and interviews so far place five of those arrested at the scene where Boyington was shot the entrance of a parking lot used by contract workers on a job at a nearby oil refinery. All seven suspects, from LaPlace, 25 miles west of New Orleans, are being held in custody with bonds ranging from $350,000 to $750,000, although Brian Lyn Smith and Joekel are being treated for gunshot wounds in hospital. They will be jailed once they are out of the hospital. Sheriff Mike Tregre refused to discuss the criminal histories or possible motives of any of the suspects.However, details on some suspects past were beginning to emerge.The Gage County, Nebraska, Sheriffs Office website listed Joekel among its most wanted fugitives, saying he is accused of making 'terroristic threats' to patrons of a Nebraska bar and law enforcement officials.The sheriffs office confirmed on thewebsite that Joekel has been arrested in Louisiana but said it would release no other details, referring calls to Louisiana authorities. The same website also said Joekel is wanted in Kansas for felony flight to avoid arrest in connection with the Nebraska threats. The site said Joekel fled when Marshall County Sheriffs Office deputies tried to stop the vehicle he was driving.In DeSoto Parish in northern Louisiana, Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle said authorities were working to confirm whether some of the suspects arrested in Thursday's shootings had been among a group of people under surveillance for suspicious activity at an RV park in his area. DeSoto deputies had started watching the RV park after three men and two women were seen getting in and out of vehicles with assault weapons.Tregre did not have detailed conditions on the two wounded deputies, Boyington and Jason Triche. Jason Triche was somehow related to one of the slain men, Jeremy Triche.However, he said both were recovering and gaining strength on Friday. Triche, he said, 'couldnt really speak but he could write,' and Boyington was well enough to joke that hewould be back at work on Monday.A candlelight vigil for the slain officers was planned for tonight in front of the St. John the Baptist Parish government building where employees spent part of the day lined up in front of two mobile blood donation buses, part of a blood drive for the wounded officers.Theinitial shooting occurred around 5:30 a.m. at a parking lot off Louisiana Highway 3217 used by workers in the industrial area about 20 miles west of New Orleans, near the line between St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes. A massive grain port also is nearby. There is heavy traffic in the area as shifts change at plants and port facilities.BillDay, spokesman for Valero Energy Corp., said one of the deputies was providing security for an off-site parking lot used by contractors working at the Valero St. Charles Refinery.Daysaid operations at the refinery had not been affected. Valero employeeswere being asked to report to work as normal, unless they park at the lot where the incident took place.Someother plants in the area were letting non-essential workers in the arealeave for the day or were telling them not to report for work as the search continued. Police officers from throughout metro New Orleans rushed to the scene after the shootings in anticipation of a possible manhunt.Tregre said an active search for suspects was no longer under way. State police are taking over the investigation.Tregre, a longtime employee of the St. John sheriff's office who took over as sheriff just 45 days ago, struggled to contain his emotions as he delivered the news to reporters shortly after 9 am on Thursday. 'This is a very difficult day,' he said. 'I lost two good men.' He asked the public to pray for Boyington and Triche torecover.Gov.Bobby Jindal ordered the state flags to be flown at half-staff over thestate capitol and all public buildings and institutions until sunset Friday. The move, described as 'an expression of respect for the four sheriff's deputies,' was effective immediately, the governor's order said.Buddha bar owner declares bankruptcy as he faces $2million sex harassment suit by Chanel model By UPDATED:23:18 GMT, 2 July 2011The Manhattan restaurateur behind the Buddha bar has filed for bankruptcy as he faces a $2million sexual harassment suit by a former Chanel model.Frederick Lesort, 48, filed papers claiming he only has $10,711 assets but $5,432,086 in liabilities.The entrepreneur is facing a claim from the former girlfriend of Entourage star Jeremy Piven that she was harassed by a manager at one of his restaurants.Lawyers for former model Ashley Chantos have accused the restaurateur of filing for bankruptcy to avoid the impact of their client's case.'He filed for bankruptcy to try to avoid the ramifications of Ms Chontos' complaint,' Matthew Blit told the New York Post.'We now have to wait for the bankruptcy judge to make a decision as to whether Lesort does not qualify for bankruptcy.'Miss Chantos said: 'I find it really hard to believe that he filed for bankruptcy. He still throws parties and events.'She claims that she was sexually harassed and fired as a waitress from Mr Lesort's now closed Jour et Nuit restaurant in Manhattan.According to court documents, manager Daniel Koch touched her and made lewd comments about her body before firing her in February 2008.'I couldn't stand going to work anymore because this guy was trying to sleep with me,' Miss Chontos said.'He texted me often and asked me about my boyfriend and said he would treat me better,' she said.Mr Lesort's lawyer said that the bankruptcy, filed on May 5, was not connected to the case.David Wander told the Post: 'There's no connection whatsoever between Mr. Lesort's need for bankruptcy relief and the lawsuit by Ms. Chontos.'How can Lily Allen be Chanel's latest fashion muse?By UPDATED:07:47 GMT, 2 November 2009Chanel. The word alone evokes images of glamour, luxury and understated French chic. From the start of her reign in 1909, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel revolutionised the way women dress, taking clothing 'back to basics', while maintaining an air of elegance. Chanel embodies class, which goes to explain the allure for the label's iconic poster women over the years - Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor. And now - Lily Allen. Yes, the 24-year-old sometime singer/ chatshow host/ actress is now the 'muse' for Chanel design supremo Karl Lagerfeld.She is the face of the fashion house's latest offering, the Coco Cocoon bag (£1,590), and performed in the centre of the company's catwalk show in Paris last month. Yet Lily is also the girl who, not so long ago lest we forget, designed a range of awful prom dresses for High Street chain New Look and teamed them with trainers. She has often looked worse for wear. Do Chanel really think that Lily Allen is the kind of person women with £1,600 to spare actually aspire to? Do they think she's the one to persuade us to part with our hard-earned cash for a bag? This is a woman who appears on stage wearing jumbo knickers over tights, for heaven's sake!Bono's little girl steps out of her father's shadow at Cannes... but has co-star Sean Penn by her side for supportBy UPDATED:11:51 GMT, 21 May 2011Her famous father is used to the spotlight, but last night it was the U2 frontmans daughters turn to steal the limelight at Cannes.Eve Hewson showed that shes no shrinking violet by strutting down the red carpet in a stunning black and pink Chanel ensemble for the film premiere of This Must Be The Place.The 19-year-old stars in the crime thriller alongside her fathers pal Sean Penn and Talking Heads singer David Byrne.SCROLL DOWN FOR FILM TRAILERAnd Penn made sure to act as a protective father figure for Eve on the red carpet by staying close by her side throughout the night, as her parents didn't attend the event.Eve certainly picked up some tips from Bono on how to turn heads, and looked lovely in the light pink skirt, black bodice and sheer overlay alongside Miu Miu heels, while Penn wore a Giorgio Armani tux.Earlier in the day she had attended a photo call for her new film too, and opted for a Miu Miu dress with a neon green cut-out leather yoke.Being in the company of stars including Gwen Stefani, Rosario Dawson and Faye Dunaway didnt seem to faze the young actress at all and appeared calm and relaxed. This Must Be The Place is not Eves first appearance on screen though and had her first debut in 2002 on her fathers video documentary U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle.She also appeared on Irish chat show The Late Late Show in 2003 and in 2008 had a role in the drama The 27 Club - which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.Eve also had a starring role last year in a short film titled For The First Time, but her latest project is by sure her largest.This Must Be The Place sees Penn play a wealthy former rock star in Dublin, who is now bored and embarks on a quest to find his fathers persecutor an ex-Nazi war criminal now hiding out in the U.S. Learning his father is close to death, he travels to New York in the hope of being reconciled with him during his final hours, only to arrive too late.Having been estranged for over 30 years, it is only now in death that he learns the true extent of his fathers humiliation in Auschwitz at the hands of former SS Officer Aloise Muller an event he is determined to avenge.While Eve plays his 16-year-old friend covered in tattoos, who rides around on a skateboard which she admitted was hard to master. Sean Penn no doubt picked up some tips from Bono on how to play a rock star, but the U2 star did not attend yesterdays event.But Bono is no stranger to Cannes and in 2007, he played alongside the rest of U2 at the top of the Palais steps to launch the screening of concert film U2 3D. Eve is Bono and his wife Ali Hewsons second-eldest daughter and grew up in Dublin with her three siblings, Jordan, 22, Elijah, 11, and John, 10, away from public exposure.Her youngest brother John turns 10 today, which he will no doubt be celebrating with his famous family at home in Ireland.Watch the trailer for This Must Be The Place below:Uma Thurman continues her wardrobe winning streak looking white hot in Chanel at Cannes By UPDATED:12:08 GMT, 15 May 2011She has drawn gasps with her white-coloured wares during the Cannes Film Festival for the last few days now. So Uma Thurman didn't dare to break the winning streak today as she stepped out in a divine intricately beaded gown for the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean On Strangers Tides. The 41-year-old looked incredible in an off-white floor-sweeping Chanel Couture sensation that accentuated her flawless figure in all the right places. Once again Uma opted for feathers on her fishtail train, much like the Versace gown she slipped into on the opening night of the famous festival. The dramatic soft-grey decoration flounced behind the five foot eleven actress as she sashayed up the red-carpet and stairs intoPalais des Festivals theatre. The gown also feature tiny buttons which adorned all the way up actress's back and a ribbon bow fixed at the rear.The Kill Bill star accessorised the ensemble with a simple silver crocodile skin clutch and some diamond chandelier earrings. Uma is serving as a juror at the film festival alongside actor Jude Law and Linn Ullmann, daughter of Liv Ullmann.The 38-year-old British actor also posed with the blonde beauty on the carpet, looking dapper in a black tuxedo and white bow-tie. Jude looked refreshed for the occasion, even after his big night out at the Belverdere Red party to celebrate the European launch of the beverage, the night before.The two stars have been spending much of their time together in the French seaside town of Nice, also alongside famed actor Robert De Niro who is this year's chairman. Uma has clearly been enjoying herself at the A list event and has continued to dazzle the crowd with her spectacular fashion.On the opening night, she looked stunning in a white silk Versace gown that up close appeared to be see-through.'It's sexy isn't it', she said when the MailOnline complimented her on the low cut, strapless gown.With that she did a twirl and much leg and thigh was revealed.'I had to have it made because you know how it is for us tall girls. It's impossible to find anything in a store,' she said with a giggle.The sheer whiteness of the dress was off-set by a pair of dangling emerald earrings from Chopard.The hem of the dress was again decorated with fine white feathers.Askedabout the provenance of the plumage, Uma joked,' I don't know. Maybe somebody lost their feathers', before proffering, 'maybe chicken'.'It's a dress that moves well when you dance. I was doing a quiet little dance all by myself on the carpet just now,' she explained.Earlier in the day for a press conference, Uma was once again in white but this time in a long-sleeved Dolce and Gabbana fitted lace shift. She paired the look with some silver stilettos which accentuated her towering height. The pearls, the hat and that Gallic je ne sais quoi... Carine Roitfeld is spitting image of Coco Chanel in new tribute to late designer By PUBLISHED:16:30 GMT, 21 March 2012 UPDATED:01:56 GMT, 22 March 2012As the former editor of Paris Vogue, Carine Roitfeld is indisputably the reigning queen of French style. Now she has paid tribute to an icon of fashion past by dressing up as legendary designer Coco Chanel by way of a tribute. Recreating a famous portrait of the labels founder taken in the Sixties, she poses with a cigarette in a low-brimmed boater hat and pearls. Ms Roitfeld, 57, was captured during a shoot for a new book, to be titled The Little Black Jacket, which will celebrate the iconic Chanel garment.She has joined forces with Karl Lagerfeld to produce the much anticipated book which is set to debut this fall, and the hype surrounding its release is already in full swing with renowned actors, singers, models and artists invited to model the timeless jacket in their own way.Among the 100 famous faces involved are Sarah Jessica Parker, who wove hers into a decorative crown, and actress Virginie Ledoyen dressed as Marie Antoinette, complete with towering pink beehive. Georgia May Jagger, Mick Jagger's model daughter, also appears in the a behind-the-scenes making-of film, playing a sexy vamp in her black jacket.In what was undoubtedly an effort to out-do one another in the fabulous stakes, the styling for each personal look is nothing short of awe-inspiring.Mr Largerfeld, the creative force at the helm of Chanel today, can be seen in the video photographing each leading lady himself. Ever since Coco Chanel designed the little black jacket in the Fifties, it has been a fundamental part of the fashion house, with Mr Largerfeld reinventing it for Chanel season after season.The timeless black jacket sits alongside other iconic and covetable fashion pieces, such as the Hermes Birkin bag, as an item most women will only ever dream of owning.Retailing between $7,000 and $24,000, Chanel's jacket sits at a price-point far above the average person's spending means. This makes owning a piece of the jacket through Mr Largerfeld and Ms Roitfeld's book that much more appealing, and accessible.The hype surrounding the series of photographs of fashion's biggest movers and shakers wearing their black Chanel jacket for the book coincides with an exhibition in Tokyo also dedicated to the jacket, which opens this month. To further celebrate the iconic black jacket, which Lagerfeld called 'one of the symbols that defines the style of Chanel,' the fashion house made a captivating video which reveals each stage of its creation, from the original sketch by Mr Lagerfeld to the exquisitely expensive, but beautiful, finished product. The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld will be available in bookstores fall 2012.Chanel's New Vintage: Anna Wintour and Alexa Chung lead applause for Karl Lagerfeld's nostalgic yet modernised couture in Paris By PUBLISHED:14:09 GMT, 3 July 2012 UPDATED:17:47 GMT, 3 July 2012What do a supermodel and a 79-year-old former French first lady have in common? Chanel haute couture. The unlikely pairing of Laetitita Casta and Bernadette Chirac in the audience of Karl Lagerfeld's fall/winter 2012 show last night played testament to the enduring and widespread appeal of this 100-year-old heritage brand. The Chanel show is one of the most hotly anticipated events of Paris Couture Week and this time round kaiser Karl was sure to impress with his New Vintage-themed show.Lagerfeld, who has designed for the label since 1983, proved that he is still at the top of his game, presenting a show that referenced the company's fashion archive, but gave it a modern twist. Guests included the legendary Anna Wintour, a close friend of the designer, fashionista and presenter Alexa Chung, actress Diane Kruger, as well as Sofia Coppola, Clemence Poesy and Milla Jovovich.The show featured shimmering silk tweed skirt suits, ensembles from the 50s and 60s, and a 30s bolero jacket parading down the catwalk, adorned with vintage sketches of Coco Chanel's lavish house interior.Other outfits sparkled with a contemporary metallic sheen. While one might imagine that the designer had exhausted all possibilities with the label's signature black and white, he delivered yet another fresh take, paying tribute to a bygone era and resurrecting the 1980s with a series of ensembles in big, bold textured checks in black, grey and white channelled with the decade's strong shoulders and narrow line. Other ensembles dazzled with pink tulle fringing which recreated a dropped waist effect from the 1920s. Haute couture is a label's opportunity to show its most elaborate work, and Chanel had clearly been keeping its artisan ateliers busy. Delightful double-breasted A-lines, a Peter Pan collar and ensembles in pale pink and white that might have come straight out of Jacqueline Kennedy's early 60s wardrobe graced the catwalk. In true couture style, the best was saved til last. The boldest looks came toward the end: Lagerfeld let his pony-tailed hair down in a shimmering electric blue dress that could have been Coco's answer to 1970s glam rock. 'Ravishing,' said Chirac. 'It's French perfectionism,' said Casta. It was a varied collection for what Lagerfeld backstage called his 'diverse' couture clientele - including wealthy women from the Middle East to Brazil, Russia to Asia. But the clothes all had one thing in common: rich couture craftsmanship. 'It's hard for the seamstresses,' said Lagerfeld. 'They toil over the clothes. The tulle with pearl took 3,000 hours. Couture is for a world of privilege.' There's been a certain nostalgia in the air of late. Christian Dior, too, on Monday, went back to the vault to revamp 1950s silhouettes. New Vintage was a typical contradiction in a constantly moving fashion world. But is there ever time for looking back? Not really, according to Lagerfeld. 'In fashion now, vintage means six months,' he said. Chanel casts plus-size Crystal Renn for new ad... but famous curves are kept under wraps as image is cut off at the shouldersBy UPDATED:01:03 GMT, 24 August 2010Not since Sophie Dahl has a plus-size model been so successful.Crystal Renn, who measures up as a relatively curvy U.S. size 10 (UK 14), was unveiled as the star of Jean Paul Gaultier's latest campaign last month.But that was only an indication of her success to come, as the 24-year-old has hit the fashion big-time, appearing in a brand new ad for Chanel.'Working with Chanel has been my dream forever,' she told the Fashionista blog yesterday.'As long as Ive been working as a model Ive been thinking about Chanel and working towards Chanel and this campaign is the proudest moment of my life.'The news is all the more remarkablebecause the label's designer Karl Largerfeld has outspoken views onplus-size models, telling a German magazine last year that no-one wantsto see curvy women.'You've got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly,' he said.But by January this year the 71-year-old was forced to eat his words after shooting curvy burlesque stat Miss Dirty Martini for V Magazine.Perhaps that explains why Renn isonly shot from the shoulders up. By contrast, the torso of male modelBaptiste Giabiconi, who poses with her in the image, is clearly visible.Renn described what it was like working for Largerfeld, who is also a highly-regarded photographer in his own right.'Hesaid: "Youre not a model right now, youre an actress... the onlydifference between modeling and acting is that models have one secondto tell a story and actresses have two hours.'But this new image should not be confusedwith the Chanel autumn campaign - which does not feature any plus-sizedmodels. It is being used instead to herald the re-opening of thelabel's SoHo store.This is not the first time Renn has worked with the label. Earlier this year she was one of several high-profile girls, including Georgia May Jagger, Karolina Kurkova and Jacquetta Wheeler, to model Chanel's resort collection in St Tropez.Last year she wrote a book about her battle withanorexia, which began when she was ordered to drop five stone afterbeing spotted by a talent scout aged 13.'They said, "If you want to do well in this business, you have to lose at least nine inches from your hips."She described the extreme lengths she went to in order toobtain a fashion-thin body, including a gruelling exercise regime thatsaw her spend up to eight hours a day in the gym.'Im a naturally fairly large girl, and so going down to a size zero(UK size 4) was hell for me, especially in my teenage years when mybody needed to be growing,' she told the Daily Mirror.'I often felt dizzy and weak and aftera while my hair started falling out. I had stabbing pains in mystomach, and it would sear through my throat and neck and mouth.'Despite finding huge success in recent years as a plus-size model, she has always rejected the tag, saying: 'Let's get rid ofstraight size and plus size. It's bulls**t. Just say model. Full stop.'Last month she slammed photographer Nicholas Routzen after he airbrushed her for a Fashion for Passion campaign.'When I saw the pictures I was absolutely shocked,' she said. 'I sat in silence for a good five minutes. It was not an accurate portrayal of my body in any way. I'm a [U.S.] size 10 and that was a size 2 at most.'I understand a certain amount of retouching - if there's a zit or you want to smooth things out - but to change my body completely, that's not what I'm about and that's not the message I want to give.'I don't want young women to think being thin is the only way to be beautiful. Beauty is not a pant size.'She told the Fashionista blog yesterday that she hoped this campaign would change the way the industry sees larger models.'I think the fashion industry is changing and is more open to a newideal,' she said. 'Its about a personality and a moment captured...''Its not about body size its about talent and effort. I hope the industry sees this [campaign] as an example of that.' Created by a team of sculptors, the Lagerfeld waxwork was officially unveiled last week.The Paris-based designer's original name was Lagerfeldt, but he later changed it to Lagerfeld as it sounds more commercial.Since finishing his eductaion at the Lycée Montaigne in Paris, where he majored in drawing and history, he has worked with some of the world's top fashion houses over the decades including Fendi, Valentino. Next on the cards is a collaboration with Japanese beauty giant Shu Uemura on a one-off beauty line set to goon sale internationally this November.He is well accustomed to the brand, having used Shu Uemura cosmetics to hand-color his fashion sketches for over two decades.The creator has now come up with a special holiday collection for the firm, which will be labeled Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura. As well as being in charge of the collection's color selection and packaging he will also direct the accompanying campaign.Is this a fashion first? Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld spotted WITHOUT his trademark dark glasses By UPDATED:18:04 GMT, 3 August 2011Seeing Karl Lagerfeld without his dark glasses is like seeing the Statue of Liberty without her crown, or Carmen Miranda without her fruit hat. The inscrutable Chanel designer's sunglasses are as much a feature of his tanned face as his white hair, his strong nose or his mouth. Rarely is the 77-year-old creative director seen without his trademark eyewear, whether fending off flash bulbs at fashion shows, or at work in his atelier. Today though, as he holidayed in St Tropez, the German designer was spotted in a moment of rare vulnerability as he removed his sunglasses while eating in a cafe with his bodyguard.Incredibly, it was the first time many but the most ardent Lagerfeld fans had seen him without his glasses(he revealed his eyes once before, when sketching on camera for the documentary Lagerfeld Confidential). But while he may have slipped off hisspectacles, there was no chance the notoriously well-dressed Lagerfeld would relax his self-imposed strict dress code, despite the balmy temperatures. His monochromatic outfit of tuxedo trousers and immaculately tailored jacket - finished with a flourish with those dark glasses - remains virtually unchanged through the years, and has come to be almost as iconic as the interlocking Cs of the Chanel logo. Even in the sweltering heat, when fellow catwalk mavens Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli would long have stripped down to their Speedos, Karl remained as poised as ever - the perfect ambassador for the label he helms. KARL LAGERFELD: A CREATURE OF HABIT Chanel dumps Kate Mossby CLAIRE NEWBON, Mail on SundayLast updated at 17:00 27 June 2004Kate Moss may have finally paid the price for her uninhibitedlifestyle.The waif-like supermodel, whose relationship traumas and love ofwild parties have contributed to her rebellious yet charismaticimage, has been dumped by Chanel, who will not renew her lucrative1million fragrance contract.The fashion world is speculating that bosses at the legendaryParisian label have dropped her because they want a more elegantname associated with their Coco Mademoiselle brand.Although Kate's image, as photographed by Karl Lagerfeld, hasgraced countless glossy magazine advertisements for Chanel, nowthat she is 30 and a mother, bosses at the ultra-conservativefashion house are convinced she should no longer be linked to their60-a-bottle product.Chanel seeking Scarlett JohanssonThe kind of look that Chanel are seeking is the clean, blondeprofile of award-winning actress Scarlett Johansson, who is 11years Kate's junior and much sought-after in the fashion worldfollowing her Hollywood successes in Lost In Translation and GirlWith A Pearl Earring.Sadly for Chanel, Johansson is under exclusive contract withCalvin Klein to promote its new perfume, Eternity Moment. Butdiscreet inquiries are being made about her availability andpossible fee once she is released from that.A Chanel spokeswoman confirmed last night that Moss, who signedher deal in 2002, will not have her contract renewed for theperfume's new advertising campaign this summer.She said: "Kate is the face of Coco Mademoiselle and has beenfor two years, but that will stop at the end of August. We areshooting a new campaign and within weeks there will be a newface."We are not yet able to confirm who will be replacing Kate buthopefully it will be someone that everyone will know."Younger womenKate was also hired to model Chanel's 2004 spring-summer fashioncollection, but the company confirmed that she would not beappearing in its latest campaign after completing a "standard"six-month contract.Coco Mademoiselle is aimed at younger women - and the cosmeticsworld is notorious for trading in established names for youngermodels.But Chanel points out its recent 5million deal withHollywood actress Nicole Kidman to promote No 5 shows it is notageist.She is three years older than Kate, but Kate has a hard-livingimage that may not match the perfume's brand.At her 30th birthday party in February there were wild scenes asscantily clad guests spilled into the street, and her friend SadieFrost was photographed staggering out of the 100,000Claridge's Hotel bash with her breasts hanging out of aloose-fitting dress.The model also raised eyebrows after footage of her giving anXrated commentary during a naked photoshoot was shown in a BBC4documentary last year.Speculation over private lifeKate's private life has also been the subject of muchspeculation. Magazine guru Jefferson Hack, the father of Moss's18-month-old daughter, Lila Grace, moved out of the couple's StJohn's Wood house in North London in March.Kate has recently been photographed with 35-year-old Tomb Raiderstar Daniel Craig, with whom she has reportedly rented a holidayhouse on the Balearic island of Formentera.Last night a fashion world source told The Mail on Sunday:"There has been talk that Kate's behaviour has not been entirelyappropriate to the Chanel brand. When they recruited her she waswell known, but she wasn't being photographed out partying all thetime."But Kate says she isn't really that bothered by the contractcoming to an end because she has made a lot of money over the lastcouple of years."Multi-million fortuneKate, who is Britain's best-paid model, has amassed a personalfortune of around 15million. She has a 3million dealwith fashion house Burberry and other lucrative deals with Missoni,Yves St Laurent and David Yurman.But in April, Kate lost her crown as the "exclusive" face ofRimmel after the firm signed 23-year-old Jamaican model NadineWillis.Chanel last night refused to discuss in detail why Kate had beendropped but insisted it was not unhappy with the model's publicimage. "The relationship with Kate has been entirely satisfactory,"the brand's spokeswoman insisted.A spokeswoman for Kate said: "A confidentiality agreement meanswe are unable to talk about Kate's Chanel dealings, but the imageswill be running for some time."Kate also has lots of new contracts coming out in the autumn.She is probably still the most sought-after model in theworld."Share this article: That's plane chic! Chanel hosts Couture show as fashionistas are invited to board 'private jet' runway By UPDATED:09:45 GMT, 25 January 2012A select number of fashionistas were today delighted to find they had been invited to board 'Air Chanel'.The elaborate setting for this season's Couture show saw the Grand Palais in Paris transformed into a 'private jet' - complete with numbered seating, floor-level lighting and even a slatted roof which revealed a 'faux-sky'.Contrary to most plane rides these days - this was one flight no one wanted to disembark.Scroll down for video...Creative director Karl Lagerfeld has built an unrivaled reputation for hosting lavish shows.Last year, he featured an under-the-sea theme starring Florence Welch and also a dinner party that could have been thrown by Marie Antoinette at the metier d'art celebration.Buttoday is perhaps his most original production. Texture: Shades of blue dominated the collection, dotted with monochrome as jeweled tights stole the showThe 'aisle' also featured emergency exits - a bar cart of course- and a cockpit, from where Karl emerged at the end of the show.The lucky 'passengers' forming the front row were Cameron Diaz, who has been busy working the Couture circuit this season, actress Diane Kruger and singer Vanessa Paradis.Also in attendance was 22-year-old actress Elizabeth Olsen.Flying the British flag were models Alice Dellal and the Delevigne sisters - who also walked the runway - and heiress Daphne Guinness. Diane Kruger, Cameron Diaz and Vanessa Paradis were among the chosen few who were invited to the show Elizabeth Olsen, Alice Dellal and Daphne Guinness were also in attendance World's first $1m perfume goes on sale (for that you could get a house, 10 Rolls-Royces or 20 thousand bottles of Chanel no 5) By UPDATED:17:07 GMT, 7 December 2011It is said the rich-poor divide has never been more pronounced. And now, the launch of a million dollar perfume is set to really divide the haves and the have nots.Encrusted with diamonds and rare gemstones, the luxury perfume bottle costs a whopping $1 million, or £750m. Thankfully though, it's all in aid of charity.Celebrity jeweller Martin Katz teamed up with designers at DKNY to create the glittering masterpiece, which is set to go on a world tour before being sold off for humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger. The apple-shaped bottle is carved from yellow and white gold and sparkles with 2,700 round brilliant white diamonds weighing 15.17 carats.On the side the Manhattan skyline is shaped out of 183 golden yellow sapphires, which are set into top quality white gold.The cap is embellished with a 2.43 carat flawless vivid yellow canary diamond, while yet more diamonds make up the DKNY logo.Katz, whose team spent over 1,500 hours making the bottle, is known in Hollywood for his creative use of rare and unusual diamonds.He is famed for decorating the stars at the Oscars, Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.The opulent bottle will be exhibited around the world before it is finally sold from DKNY's facebook page next year.All proceeds will to Action Against Hunger - an international humanitarian charity. From Bombay to Paris: Chanel stages Indian-inspired fashion show as guests dine on opulent 'runway' feast fit for royalty By UPDATED:11:48 GMT, 7 December 2011While the rest of the world suffers from the economic downturn, Karl Lagerfeld appeared to spare no expense for the latest Chanel extravaganza.The Metiers d'Art show, launched in 2003 as a homage to the label's workshop, saw the Grand Palais in Paris transformed into an Indian-themed dinner party.Guests sat at banquet tables, which doubled as a runway, compete with chandeliers, opulent candle-sticks - and a feast fit for a king. East meets west: The show carried all the Chanel trademarks - including tweed and pearlsThis time, stunning embroidered fabrics featured embellishments teamed with the usual Chanel trademarks such as tweed and pearls. Models wore ethnic-inspired sandals made of leather.StellaTennant, who was voted model of the year at the British Fashion Awards recently, was the star of the show as she accompanied the designer down the runway And there is no break for Karl, who is so obsessed with his work, he doesn't even plan on taking time off for Christmas.The designer told Style.com: 'Everyone I know is leaving [Paris], but I stay home because it's the only moment I can work on the Couture quietly, sketch, and take care of my books and houses - all the things I never have time to do the rest of the year. 'For me the ultimate luxury is to be alone, to have time for myself, not look at my watch, and do whatever I want, whenever I want.' Chanel No 5 claims Marilyn Monroe as its most infamous fan- but the star had secret affair with another perfume By PUBLISHED:14:26 GMT, 6 July 2012 UPDATED:15:41 GMT, 11 July 2012'What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.' These are the words famously spoken by the iconic Marilyn Monroe. In the 1950s the glamour of Chanel No. 5 was reignited by the celebrity whose unsolicited endorsement of the fragrance provided invaluable publicity. But according to a new discovery, the late star had a love affair with another perfume, one which she kept very secret.The unrelenting beauty may have died almost 50 years ago, but fresh secrets are constantly unearthed.And now, one of her most coveted beauty secrets has come to light. Prompted by the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death in August 1962, and the opening of the Marilyn exhibition at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, British perfume house Floris dipped into its customer archives and made an exciting discovery.The Floris team came across a previously unreleased receipt from Monroe (then known as Marilyn Monroe Miller), who ordered six bottles of Floris Rose Geranium eau de toilette in 1959 under the false name of a Miss Dorothy Blass, Monroes personal secretary.The perfumes were to be sent from the Floris shop in Jermyn Street, London to the Beverly Hills Hotel in California, where Monroe stayed after filming one of her most famous movies, Some Like It Hot.Monroe's secret perfume preference conjures gorgeous interplay of rose, geranium, citronella and cedarwood. Chanel pop-up beauty store opens today in Covent Garden By PUBLISHED:15:43 GMT, 24 July 2012 UPDATED:15:45 GMT, 24 July 2012Whether it's the latest Chanel mascara or Chanel lipstick you're looking for, the new pop-up make-up store in Covent Garden can cater to your every need.Today saw the opening of the first-of-its kind store which is locatedin Old Covent Garden Market and coincides with London 2012 to celebrate the capital's most historic year.In addition to stocking all of the brandshit make-up products in every shade imaginable, it is also home to Londons first Chanel nail bar. With over 50 square meters devoted to the brand's beauty products and complete with dynamic interactive shopping services, the store plans to preview new products in store and host special make-up classes.As a celebration of Britain's best summer yet, the unique shop will be a home toa host of stylish activities until it closes in December.The avant-garde themed store promises to keep shoppers up-to-date with all the latest catwalk trends. In addition to exclusive new products, which will launch at theboutique over the next seven months, planned highlights willinclude a Chanel treasure hunt; educational workshops and consultations with leading Chanel make-up experts.The store will also boast a luxuriousspace dedicated to facials and pampering; an outdoor area that willrecreate the look and atmosphere of being backstage at one of thelabel's catwalk shows; and a very special festive surprise comeChristmas. Flammable dress? Yours for a snip at $3,650: Chanel launches massive recall By UPDATED:23:32 GMT, 2 August 2011Toys and hazardous goods, we can understand.But a Chanel recall?The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has taken the drastic step of asking customers to 'immediately stop using' a selection of Chanel scarves, skirts, blouses and dresses.Designs by the fashion behemoth - which has Karl Lagerfeld at its helm - sitalongside a product list including a $300 five-ton electric log splitter, children's lamps from Target and a chair that collapses when it is sat in.And, rather than accentuating the beauty of the well-heeled, the 100 per cent silk garments. made in France and Italy, are deemed to be a risk to wearers.Contrasting to their delicate and benign (if a little dowdy) look, the items can, apparently, go up in flames.According to the CPSC, 'the garments fail to meet the federal flammability standard for wearing apparel, posing a fire hazard to consumer.'The expensive designer pieces were sold in Neiman Marcus and through Chanel stores in March and April 2010.All bought for $430 to $3,650, they feature flower and logo motifs - and, as in all cases of recalled items,full refunds are available from the manufacturer.There are 'about 120 scarves and 34 garments' yet to returned, though the CPSC say that most of the faulty designs were returned to Chanel in May 2010.Rather ominously, the CPSC says it 'is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product.'Chanel has long been the favourite fashion house of many a star and some of its dedicated followers include Blake Lively, Vanessa Paradis and Lily Allen.Lowering its prestige a few rungs, the recall gives red-hot fashion a whole new meaning.Chanel the world's oldest dog dies at age 147 (that's 21 in human years)By UPDATED:23:54 GMT, 1 September 2009A wire-haired dachshund that held the record as the world's oldest dog has died on Long Island at age 21 - or 147 in dog years.Chanel died of natural causes on Friday at her owner's home in Port Jefferson Station, a village 50 miles east of New York City.Guinness World Records officials honored Chanel as the world's oldest dog in May at a 21st birthday bash hosted by a pet food company at a Manhattan dog hotel and spa.Chanel, who wore tinted goggles to ease the strain of cataracts, loved peanut butter and ate home-cooked chicken with her dog food.The playful dachshund was only 6 weeks old when Denice Shaughnessy,then serving with the U.S. Army, adopted her from a shelter in Virginia.Along with her owner, Chanel spent nine years on assignment in Germany,where she became adept at stealing sticks of butter from kitchencountertops and hiding them in sofa cushions in the living room.'She once ate an entire bag of Reese's peanut butter cups, and, you see, she lived to be 21, so go figure,' Shaughnessy said.They say Chanel in her later years wore tinted goggles for her cataracts and favored sweaters because she was sensitive to the cold. But they say she remained lively for her age.Another American dog named Max is vying for the record of world's oldest dog.Owner Janelle Derouen said Max marked his 26th birthday in August, and the Guinness World Records officials are now reviewing the claim. 'It's called stealing': Chanel withdraws crystal cuffs that are strikingly similar to Pamela Love's designs By PUBLISHED:00:15 GMT, 14 March 2012 UPDATED:07:59 GMT, 14 March 2012Small fashion retailers knocking off major designers' work is nothing new but it's rare that large design houses look to smaller labels for inspiration.Chanel has side-stepped a possible confrontation after withdrawing a range of accessories that look remarkably similar to those by New York jewellery star, Pamela Love.Karl Lagerfeld styled his models with chunky crystal cuffs when they walked down the Paris catwalk for his autumn/winter 2012 presentation earlier this year.The reception from the fashion pack was enthusiastic, as they applauded the creativity of the show.However, one eagle-eyed attorney noted the similarity.'When I glanced at a photo of an industry insider wearing Chanel's crystal bangles, they registered in my mind as Love's designs,' Julie Zerbo told Fashionista.com.'That's called consumer confusion, folks! It's also called stealing.'When the website contacted both designers for comment, Love remained silent but amazingly a spokesman for Chanel responded:'Out of respect for the concerns raised and for the artistic process generally the House has decided not to offer these bracelets for sale as part of the A/W 2012 collection.'However, a creative coincidence isn't completely out of the question as the Chanel show was heavily crystal-themed.To be fair to the Paris fashion house, it's a stretch to imagine that Lagerfeld would base an entire show on Love's bracelets.It featured a runway of sparkling white granite sand, towering amethyst columns and the clothing was embellished with the semi-precious stones.Team Chanel added: 'For the A/W 2012 collection, Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by the 'mineral earth' theme that explored amethyst, crystal and quartz... 'In keeping with the inspiration, large and colorful crystals also adorned some of the clothing and accessories, including heavy bracelets.'In the cut-throat world of fashion, where concepts are frequently 'borrowed', it's unusually gracious for a giant like Chanel to kowtow to a smaller designer like Love - even if she is set to become a major player.Last year Love was nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and she has also collaborated with TopShop and created designs for the HBO show True Blood.Chanel, the world's oldest dog, enjoys her 21st birthday party (that's 147 in canine years)By Created 9:01 AM on 07th May 2009The world's oldest dog proved she was a real party animal by celebrating her 21st birthday with a big bash and a cake, a Guinness World Records spokesman said today.New Yorker Chanel is 147 in dog years. She struggles to see, hear and walk, but the off-white Daschund-cross, is still able to enjoy the finer things in life.Her owners Karl and Denise Shaughnessy from Long Island like to dress her up in little jumpers and sunglasses or 'doggles' to protect her ancient eyes from the sun's glare. Twilight years: Chanel the Daschund-cross is 21, 147 in canine years, and the world's oldest dogKarl, a retired police officer, said: 'This dog is a real work of art.'Chanel is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living dog after she snatched the title from Bella, a 29-year-old Labrador cross from Britain. Bella, who was 203 in doggy years, died from a heart attack in her Lincolnshire home in September last year.Karl's wife, Denice, adopted Chanel from an animal shelter in Virginia when she was just six-weeks-old. Denice, then 30, was working as a court reporter in the Army. She rescued Chanel for her 12-year-old daughter, but the dog became more fond of Denice.Proud owner: Denice Shaughnessy shows off Chanel who took a rare trip from her New Jersey home to celebrate her birthdayDoggles: Chanel has special glasses to protect her eyes from the sun's glare 'Chanel was always very athletic,' Denice said, recalling how they used to run three-to-four miles a day together.Even 21years later, Denice and Chanel still enjoy walks around their suburbs.But the dachshund now has to be carried and spends most of her time in the Shaughnessy's kitchen.'We don't have to take her outside to to go and we don't take her out at all in the wintertime,' Karl said.'We try to protect her as much as we can.'Chanel is starting to look a bit frail, is hard of hearing and fighting a battle with cataracts but her physical impairments are small in comparison to her grand age.#She celebrated her birthday with a visit to the New York Dog Hoteland Spa where she was joined by some doggy friends. Chanel's vet Phillip Zangara, of the Roosevelt Animal Hospital in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y said: 'She's the oldest dog we have ever seen. 'She is defying every odd right now. I'm surprised at just about everything about her. She has the body of a six-year-old.'Chanel has become slightly crotchety with age and has been known to snap a nip at strangers. But Denice says she still has a fairly calm disposition.'She doesn't like to be bothered or have her face washed.'And she doesn't let anybody hold her except me nowadays,' she said.Denice has thought about the future for her aged pooch. She hopes she will never have to make a decision to put her down/'I absolutely love her so much, and I am really just hoping that when it is time to go, she just goes in her sleep,' she said. The oldest dog ever recorded was Bluey, a sheepdog from Australia, who lived to be 29.Chanel's no1: Claudia Schiffer is backBy JAMES TAPPERLast updated at 23:40 10 November 2007She became one of the world's first supermodels when KarlLagerfeld picked her to be the face of Chanel.Now, 20 years later, Claudia Schiffer has been reunited with thestyle guru to front a new campaign for the fashion house.Themove marks the German model's return to the front line offashion after taking time off to look after her young children.Scroll down for more...Lagerfeld took personal charge of the three-day photoshoot forChanel's ready-to-wear spring collection in St Tropez in the Southof France last week.Ms Schiffer posed on the beach in a variety of outfits,including a see-through gown, an all-in-one flared catsuit coveredin stars and a tightly fitting blue jacket.At one point, the 37-year-old held an artist's palette andpainted the word Chanel on the bare back of a male model.Scroll down for more...Lagerfeld dressed as flamboyantly as the supermodel as hecontrolled the shoot from behind the camera - wearing a nauticaljacket, a bow tie and his trademark sunglasses.Ms Schiffer spent five years as the face of Chanel afterLagerfeld plucked her from obscurity.But the pair fell out when the model was replaced in 1996, atthe height of "heroin chic".She said at the time: "I am no great fan of the fact thatnowadays you have to look like a junkie just to be cool.Scroll down for more..."To look like someone who is sick on smack can hardly belabelled a healthy ideal."Of course the trend changes all the time, but I stick tophotographers who want me to look beautiful and healthy."Lagerfeld said: "Claudia is part of another world, anotherfashion, another spirit, another time."It would not be easy for Claudia to change. She doesn't need tomodel any more."But Ms Schiffer continued to model, famously fronting a campaignfor Citroen-cars where she appeared nude behind the wheel and waspaid a reported 3million.In 2002, she married Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels filmproducer Matthew Vaughn and took time off after giving birth to herson Caspar in 2003 and daughter Clementine in 2004.The couple have a 5million Suffolk mansion.Scroll down for more...Share this article: A little out of season for Glastonbury, love! Chloe Sims digs out her wellington boots By UPDATED:10:09 GMT, 26 November 2011From the knee upwards, Chloe Sims appears to have opted for feminine chic.But she mixed up the girly style by sticking a pair of grungy wellington boots on the end of her feet.Dressed in black leggings, a puffer jacket and clutching a Chanel bag, the TOWIE star took to Buckhurst High Street in Essex for a spot of shopping. Despite her adoration of showing off hercleavage, her surgically-enhanced chest was tucked beneath a loose fitting white T-shirt.And instead of tottering around in high heels or wedges, the 30-year-old reality star opted for comfortable footwear - albeit a little out of season.How to tell when men start their Christmas shopping... sales of Chanel No.5 go through the roof By UPDATED:09:48 GMT, 21 December 2011It's not the panic-stricken dash through the underwear section, the sweaty brow or glazed expression that signifies the beginning of the male Christmas shopping spree.The real clue to when men hit the shops to gather up goods for their loved ones begins when sales of a certain perfume go on the increase.Finding out when men start Christmas shopping is simple - sales of Chanel No.5 perfume go through the roof.Its the most popular fragrance bought by men every year, and signals the beginning of their annual Christmas splurge, says high street store Debenhams.Demand for lingerie and jewellery soar at the same time as men opt for the one-stop-shop approach and complete their Christmas purchasing in one marathon session.So great is the trend that experts have dubbed the day 'The Male Sale' and entire retail plans are now built around the vital date.Said Debenhams spokesperson, Ruth Attridge, 'It's like a starting pistol going off.'As soon as we see sales of Chanel No. 5 rising, we know that men have begun the race to get their Christmas shopping done.'Men have a totally different way of shopping. They just want to get into store, pick up the items they want as quickly as possible - and leave'.This year, 'The Male Sale' began on Saturday 17th December (and is expected to peak on Christmas Eve when 250,000 men hit the shops for the first time) but on previous years, it has begun as late as December 21st just four days before the big day.In contrast, women are believed to begin Christmas shopping in earnest in the first weekend of November when sales of festive decorations rise rapidly.To offer a helping hand to the last-minute male shopper Debenhams has launched a Christmas Express service which allows customers to have their gift buying sorted in less than an hour by the department stores personal shoppers.And they are not the only store to cash in on the present buying habits of men as Selfridge's have launched a mobile phone app to help ease the strain and John Lewis have come up with the Christmas Clinic for Men.With all this assistance and advice on offer there may just be room under the Christmas tree for more than the usual lingerie and perfume, but don't hold out much hope ladies.TOP TIPS FOR BUYING UNDERWEARSIZE MATTERS: Make sure you know her size for bra and knickers by checking more than one item in her underwear drawerSEXYDETAILS: Women tend to buy practical day-to-day lingerie for themselvesrather than spoil themselves, so going for something a little more glamorous, but nothing OTTINSIDE OUT: Opt for something that will enhance your partner's best bitsDON'TPANIC: It's nice to get a surprise on Christmas Day but if all else fails you can buy a gift voucher and go shopping together in the salesThe new glasses feature chain detailing on the arms, reminiscent of Chanel's trademark quilted handbags and include prescription frames, cat-eyed and aviator sunglasses.Besides modelling and motherhood, Claudia has also been busy launching her own knitwear range.The supermodel told Bazaar: 'Its the first time I have put my name to something. I feel very confident, but also very nervous. 'Who knew? Maybe it will just be me, the only person in the whole world who likes it. 'Iveworked far too long in the fashion industry that I could just sell out.I always knew I wanted to do something that I would love myself, something to be proud of. A script too stodgy for the tiny ChanelBy UPDATED:23:58 GMT, 30 July 2009Coco Before Chanel (12A)The diminutive Audrey Tautou proves once again that she is the natural heir to Audrey Hepburn. It's too bad that so photogenic a star is saddled with such a stodgy biopic, which crams about half an hour's worth of incident into 110 minutes. The film succeeds in making us sympathise with a manipulative young woman rising from poverty by learning how to exploit two rich men who fancy her. The trouble is that Coco noticeably lacks the joie de vivre of, say, Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair. Not even the sweetness of Miss Tautou can conceal that Chanel was a sourpuss on the make. For the most part, she's grumpy and complaining, and the film fails to explain how she became a leading fashion designer. Sure, it shows us a tiny, androgynous woman rebelling against fussy fashions that showed off curves that she did not possess, and it communicates the frustration of wanting to be a young career-woman in the early days of the 20th century. But that's not enough to sustain the drama, let alone explain the Chanel phenomenon. Only at the end do we really get to see examples of her dress-making talent, and then it seems to spring out of nowhere, fully formed. The most gripping character arc belongs to Benoit Poelvoorde, who plays Chanel's sugar daddy and makes a transition from snobbish sexist to most ardent admirer.Alessandro Nivola also does what he can with Arthur 'Boy' Capel, an English businessman who is a more conventional romantic interest. However, director Anne Fontaine directs at far too pedestrian a pace, and the whole thing comes across as the unalluring first episode of a TV mini-series. Although it goes into formidable detail about Chanel's early love life, that's probably the least interesting thing about her. The narrative stops well short of Coco building a fashion empire, and gives no hint of what lay ahead for her in World War II when she became a Nazi collaborator, or, indeed, of her well-documented anti-semitism, cocaine addiction and ruthlessness as an employer. The Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose was a mess, but at least it painted its subject warts and all. Coco Before Chanel is much more genteel and politically correct, and just doesn't paint a plausible portrait. Verdict: The lovely Miss Tautou can't rescue a turgid scriptRating: Coco Chanel Igor Stravinsky: Heaven scent? No, it's a complete and utter stinkerBy UPDATED:11:45 GMT, 6 August 2010Coco Chanel Igor Stravinsky (15)Verdict: Surprisingly tediousRating: Weve already had one movie about the designer Coco Chanel, where she was played as a self-absorbed career-woman by the delectable Audrey Tautou.Heres another, which pretty much starts where the first one ended. Now shes played as, yes, a self-absorbed career-woman by Anna Mouglalis, who resembles an even icier Cate Blanchett.Some of the film shows Cocos search for the perfect fragrance basically, its one long plug for Chanel No 5. Most of the time, though, shes interposing her elegant frame between a grand piano and the hyperactive fingers of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen). The film gets off to a terrific start, with Parisian ballet-fans barracking the premiere of Stravinskys Rite Of Spring. Chanel is in the audience, too, looking glamorous but enigmatic, and I was looking forward to a picture that showed her and Igor scandalizing the bourgeoisie with their love affair.Unfortunately, the story that unfolds is an uninvolving tale of two narcissists who hardly connect, except carnally.On this evidence, Chanel was a stuck-up bitch, and Stravinsky a cold fish. They deserved each other.Actually, Igor doesnt seem to have liked Coco much. This isnt surprising, since she wastes few opportunities to tell him how much richer and more successful she is. Eventually, he snaps and tells her she isnt an artist but a shopkeeper, at which point the romance turns even frostier.Its hard to know what Mrs Stravinsky (Yelena Morozova), who bore Igor four children and seems to have known about the affair, made of all this. For most of the film, she looks inscrutable beneath a very red wig. She also coughs a lot, though we never learn precisely how ill she is.At some point, she seems to lose both eyebrows. This could be the result of her medical condition, but I like to think director Jan Kounen told her to lose her highbrow airs, and she misheard him and shaved them off.In many ways, shes the only sympathetic character. Id rather be anywherebut here! she cries. And after nearly two gruelling hours in the company of two colossal bores groping each other, its hard to disagree. New Coco Chanel biography claims to have proof that fashion icon used drugs, had lesbian affairs and loved a Nazi spy By UPDATED:07:21 GMT, 2 August 2011Coco Chanel's perfectly set hair, manicured hands, plucked eyebrows and hard stare are as recognisable as some of her enduring designs.Less well known are allegations of drug use, Nazi dealings and even homophobia - something that contradicts the widespread acceptance of her lesbian relationships.Now, a new book claims to have concrete proof of the fashion icon's dalliances and vices. Lisa Chaney's forthcoming biography, Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life, lays bare hard evidence of the fashion maven's use of opiates, as well as new insights into Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel's bisexuality, multiple affairs and love with a Nazi spy.Penguin says: 'Drawing on newly discovered love letters and other records, Chaney's controversial book reveals the truth about Chanel's drug habit and lesbian affairs. 'And the question about Chanel's German lover during World War II (was he a spy for the Nazis?) is definitively answered.' WWD goes one step further, saying the book is able to prove that the lover in question, Hans Günther von Dincklage, did indeed spy for the Nazis throughout the Second World War.Quoting en email from Ms Chaney's Viking publicist, WWD cites: 'Whether Chanel was aware of this is unknown, but after that war she lived in neutral Switzerland for a while, to avoid any proceedings against her.'In the book, due for release in November, Ms Chaney uses the newly discovered letters as well as documents from the Swiss Federal Archives to quell any doubt as to the truth of some of the less palatable aspects of Ms Chanel's colourful lifestyle.Viking says of the 20th Century's most famous fashion designer: 'Her numerous liaisons, whose poignant and tragic details have eluded all previous biographers, were the very stuff of legend. 'Witty and mesmerizing, she became muse, patron, or mistress to the century's most celebrated artists, including Picasso, Dalí, and Stravinsky.'Ms Chanel's infamous life has inspired many a graphic recounting of her rags-to-riches story.The re-released biography, Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie, which includes illustrations by Karl Lagerfeld, has drawn attention to Ms Chanel's reliance on opiates before, saying the designer saw morphine as a 'harmless sedative.'Successful 2009 movie, Coco Before Chanel, drew criticism for playing down some of Ms Chanel's less savoury antics, while Coco Chanel Igor Stravinsky, also released in 2009, throws a spotlight onto the designer's love affair with the Russian composer.Ms Chaney's version of a story oft misread is, no doubt, set to capture the attention of yet another generation of Chanel enthusiasts.Coco Chanel 'was an anti- Semitic Nazi spy called Westminster', new book reveals By UPDATED:13:27 GMT, 17 August 2011A new book about the life of Coco Chanel published in the United States on Tuesday aims to strengthen claims the French designer collaborated with the Nazis during World War II as a spy code-named 'Westminster.'The book, 'Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War,' by Paris-based American journalist Hal Vaughan, claims that not only was the designer the lover of a German officer, Hans Gunther von Dincklage, which has been well-documented, but they were spies who went on missions to Madrid and Berlin.In addition, the book cla

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