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HAIL TO THE QUEEN: Does she look terrific, or what?  Queen Latifah was all smiles and radiance as she launched her brand new fragrance, Queen, produced together with Parlux Fragrances, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Latifah says the new perfume isn’t too sweet or too mature or too spicy. Instead, “It’s warm and sexy.” 

   Hip-hop star and Academy Award nominated actress, Latifah wore a stunning red dress, and a knock-out cuff bracelet of multi-stranded black beads running off a center geometric design of white diamonds. She also wore Queen. The new fragrance is being marketed to women 25 to 45. 

        — Estimates are Queen will generate $25 million in first year retail sales. —


OH, OH, OH:  Have you ever seen such wild, crazy, off-beat accessories as designers are putting out as finishing touches or pieces de resistance for fall?  My goodness, these are just wacky!  Alber Elbaz took his collection of jewelry for Lanvin and jazzed it up with images of Tahiti, India, Romania — just all over the globe! – for an incomprehensible grouping of exotica.


    Here are necklaces with big blue star fish hanging off, light grey signature pearls with big white pearl and grey fabric puff embellishments, orange earrings that look like real oranges and straw cowboy hats with enough stuff added to the brims, from twisted scarves to fabric pom-poms, to make them show-stoppers.  Add to that a purple and white floral fabric clutch and you’ve got a start on the outfit, which goes on to boast a jump suit in all-over grey sequins and bright green, super-high platform shoes. Is somebody kidding, or what? 


   — We forgot to mention another Lanvin outfit, this one made up of a bright green hat, a medium blue strapless dress, orange pom-pom sandals, and a huge necklace of big white pearls with equally big orange flowers hanging off.  Ahh, yes! We just got it!  This is a jewelry lei…  




  • Fuzzy bebop hat in newsboy style offers brilliant color choices.  This is a real fun designer party hat!






                                             Presidential Pizzazz


PITTI AND OBAMA : “We have to focus on quality and innovation but be very careful about price,” declared Sergio Corneliani, Corneliani’s creative chief, speaking at the latest Pitti Immagine Uomo (men’s wear exposition) in Florence, Italy, where most of the manufacturers were upbeat about sales prospects going into 2010,. 


    — The hot trendy mode in men’s sportswear was a lived-in look, in place of stiff tailoring.

    As one manufacturer put it, “It’s about looseness and lightness and a relaxed attitude.  Clothes are washed, and feature a lot of wrinkled effects.” A hot item at the show was a leather bag with a set of interchangeable colored handles.  It was one of many top accessories featuring a beaten-up, easy care trend with crumpled leathers and humble fabrics like burlap.


   While the Pitti show is strictly Italian, it interestingly had at its main staging a huge mosaic of President Obama under the words “futuro Maschite, or “future men’s wear.” Apparently taking its cue from Italy, Brooks Brothers, which showed at Pitti as a marketing exercise, also displayed a giant-sized poster of President Obama. Looks like our image abroad is improving!


BALLS OF WOOL: Italy’s famed Damiani jewelry firm is reinventing its famous Gomitolo ring collection with colors inspired by classic Italian cities such as Rome, Pisa, Portofino, Naples and Venice. The rings are crafted to look like balls of wool and are made with pave white and colored diamonds set into white, yellow, and rose gold.  Many are also encrusted with numerous gemstones, such as sapphires and amethysts. Each style is limited to 85 pieces and will be available for a short time only. 


PRETEEN POSITIVE:  Aeropostale is about to launch a massive new retail concept, PS from Aeropostale, aimed at 12-year-olds (Yes!  12!) The firm plans to open at least 500 stores in the not-too-distant future and insists this is not a test.


    “We will be aggressive… and…we have every reason to believe this will be successful,” CEO Julian Geiger said. He pointed out that the kids’ demographic is an underserved $14 billion market that’s projected to grow faster than the total market. The initial plan for the new chain calls for opening 5 units in top retail markets. (Sounds like a test to me!)


The theme of the new retail stores will be communication. Look for plenty of bright colors and fun stuff, like polos with a variety of emblems and stitching, graphics, sneakers, puffy vests and tee’s screen printed with monsters.  Fun metallic change purses for girls will be shaped like squirrels, owls and other woodland creatures and a screen printed T-shirt will feature a Sharpei dog wearing a tiara and glitzy ring. Cool.




  • Lovely white 3 mm faux pearls with single clear crystal drop.  This “flower girl” jewelry piece is suitable for any occasion!





Silver- or gold-plated bangle bracelets shine with etchings and look like precious metal.  Just right for pre-teens!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, July 6th, 2009

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