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  CELEBRITY STALKER:  The Fashion Delivers Gala held recently at the Waldorf Astoria in New York exploded with unabashed delight as Madonna unexpectedly   appeared to present an award to Neil Cole.   The megastar was her usual fashionable self, wearing a spectacular silver tunic dress along with rows of silver bracelets, rings, and big hoop earrings. “I’ve only recently started working with Neil,” Madonna said, calling him her new partner in the world of fashion, “but I already know that he’s a man that makes things happen,” adding, “His heart is in philanthropy.” 

—Can you believe Joan Collins?  At 77, she is still as sexy and gorgeous as ever!  She recently returned to the New York stage for a “One Night with Joan” special show, looking as glorious as any star could ever look.  Collins wore a Ralph Lauren blouse and Alexis Bittar jewelry, including a fabulous beaded statement necklace featuring two huge silvery pendants.

   The lady mused on a host of subjects, including past paramours such as Warren Beatty, Charlie Chaplin Jr., and Conrad “Nicky” Hilton, Jr.  As for fame, she declared, “It’s the most ridiculous thing in the world.  People crave fame; they think it is going to change their lives.  It doesn’t.”

WATCH OUT AMERICA, COMPETITION IS ON THE WAY:   “I’ve been through two recessions, and accessories are right for recessions or difficult times when people don’t buy too many clothes,” declared Peter Simon, Chairman of Accessorize, the wildly successful U.K. based chain which opened two new stores in New York City this past month. “We’re coming to the United States 27 years after we started,” Simon declared, adding that the chain, which now has 750 stores world wide, plans to open 100 units in the United States by 2015.

   The product range includes statement and bridal jewelry, watches, handbags, wallets, shoes, hats, gloves, and more.  A statement necklace made of diamante runs about $32, and an all-over sparkling clutch is $47. Stores average about $1,500 a square foot.              

   Accessorize is known for the hot A-list celebrities and models it uses in its advertising campaigns.  “The customer also responds to our amazingly colorful and exciting windows and shops,” Simon said.  “We’ve opened in many diverse countries where we weren’t known at all, and we’ve done amazingly well.”




  • Plaid scarf – made of acrylic, feels like wool.  What could be better?




GLOBALIZATION:  While England is headed to the United States, Kate Spade is on her way to England, where the trendy designer will open a new pop-up store featuring her entire accessories collection.  “It’s a new market for us,” declared Craig Leavitt, CEO.  “We wanted to take the opportunity in advance of opening a regular store to get the product in front of the consumer and opinion leaders in the marketplace.” The firm recently opened a full sized store in Sao Paulo, Brazil, part of its aggressive international expansion. Kate Spade presently has 90 stores in Asia, and 37 in the United States.

THE GEMSTONE OF GEMSTONE:  This is an event to mark and remember!  The famed Hope Diamond has been moved from its home in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington to a temporary housing in the Harry Winston New York salon on Fifth Avenue where it will be the glorious center of attraction in Winston’s The Court of Jewels exhibit.

    To say the security surrounding the trip was beyond tight is an understatement!  But now, it is happily at the exhibit, where the storied 45.52-carat blue diamond sits supremely in a new and temporary setting which was voted on by the American public last fall. 

    The temporary jewel setting designed for the exhibit is called Embracing Hope.  It is a dazzling necklace that features 3 rows of 340 baguette diamonds framing the Hope at the center. It took more than 1,000 hours to create this (new) necklace, with eight master jewelers working months and months.   After a year, this setting will be sold, with a new substitute gemstone centerpiece. Sale proceeds will go to the Smithsonian and the Hope will return to its previous mount.

    This is only the fifth time the Hope Diamond has made it out of the museum since Winston bought it (in 1949) and donated it to the Smithsonian in 1958.  Discussing the stone’s participation in the Exhibit, Frederie de Naro, Harry Winston CEO, said: “It’s more than an event.  It is an historical event.”



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