Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Are you ready for the holidays? These days, once you hit Thanksgiving, Christmas is nearly in full swing. Now that Portero has culled such a massive inventory of beautiful designer merchandise, we had to come up with a great way to highlight some of our favorite items perfect for holiday gift giving.
Our solution? The 12 Days of Christmas. This week's Part 1 features some of our most enticing jewels, watches, handbags and housewares, and next week will bring you even more perfect presents. Whether you're shopping for yourself or someone you love, choosing any one of these pieces means not only a beautiful item but great savings.
Want a peek into my personal wish list? I have a few favorites among the 12 days--here they are and here's why:
Temple St. Clair 18k Yellow Gold Blue Moonstone Sapphire Diamond Swing Earrings. I am totally enamored with these beautiful drops. The moonstone is a bit mysterious while the sapphires make the blue tint pop.
Marc Jacobs Runway 2006 Dark Green Python Leather Collectors Stam Bag. Python and tortoiseshell in one bag? Sold. The mix of rich textures and patterns on this ultra-chic bag make it a standout.
Patek Philippe For Tiffany & Co. Calatrava 18k Yellow Gold Self-Winding Men's 5026 Watch. If my budget allowed, I would buy this watch for my fiance in a heartbeat. The legendary partnership between Tiffany and Patek makes this piece a real collector's item, and the black face and yellow gold is a truly dapper combination.
To see the full list of the 12 Days of Christmas, click right here.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I love this gorgeous blue vintage YSL dress that Nicole Richie chose to wear as host of UNICEF’s 2008 Beverly Hills Snowflake Lighting ceremony this past Saturday, November 22. Not too fussy and not too boring, the v-neck and wide waistband is a universally flattering silhouette.
I also really like the bold geometric necklace she chose to pair it with (from her own House of Harlow 1960 line). Statement necklaces don't always need to be all about shimmer and sparkle--sometimes shape and size can be just as important. If you want to go fashion-forward like Nicole, here are a few good necklaces to consider for the holiday party season:
Marni Runway Blue Brown Black & Grey Resin & Horn Choker Necklace
Yves Saint Laurent Golden Faux Malachite Slice Collar Necklace
Marni Orange Resin Natural Horn Brown Satin Ribbon Necklace
Image by WENN/Wild Bunch
Saturday, November 22, 2008
With the holidays just around the corner, Portero is offering a special 10% discount now through November 30, 2008. Forget tricky promotions: All you have to do is enter NOVTEN at checkout to receive valuable savings. Want even more incentive? Free shipping and insurance will be applied automatically upon checkout for orders over $1,000.*
*Click here to learn more about this special offer.
*Click here to learn more about this special offer.
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's auction season, and Sotheby's London is offering up an intriguing set of objects by Russian jeweler Carl Fabergé on November 24. Part of a sale called "Imperial & Royal Presents", a fabulous set of Fabergé housewares and trinkets will be on the block. (See above, Lot 20, a two-colour gold and guilloché enamel bell push, workmaster: Michael Perchin, St. Petersburg, 1899-1903)
Even if you don't know too much about Fabergé, you probably know about his famous jeweled eggs made from precious metals, gems and enamel. The original egg collection contains 69 spectacular creations made between 1885 and 1917. Of those, 50 are known as "Imperial Fabergé Easter eggs", and were made for Czars Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia. The egg below was made in 1899 and is known as the Boquet of Lilies Clock.
The Sotheby's sale contains picture frames, sniff boxes, vesta cases, paper knives, compacts and pill boxes. The most expensive item listed is a Fabergé silver-gilt pearl and enamel heart shaped photograph frame enclosing a miniature of Empress Maria Fedorovna, circa 1890, est. $90,000 - $120,000.
To search Portero's selection of Faberge jewelry and housewares, click right here.
Top image via Sotheby's, Second image via Wikipedia Commons by Stan Shebs.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a fan of cold weather. In fact, the only way I like it is if I'm indoors looking out on a snowy day while sitting in front of a fire. That's why I love taking warm weather winter vacations (or even just looking through this season's fabulous resort collections!) to get away from it all.
Even though there are plenty of neutrals to be seen, for me, resort is all about color. Designers weren't afraid of bold, vibrant hues on the runway--it's like delicious eye candy after wearing so much black and gray. A big trend was also hats and head accessories ranging from chic visors to oversized headbands. For example, take a look at Marc Jacobs' take on a silk wrap dress, above. The color screams vacation, and I like pairing it with multicolored gemstone cuffs. Copy this look perfectly with this Jewel of Ocean 18k White Gold Diamond Multicolor Sapphire Bracelet.
I also LOVED this sweet little coat from Diane von Furstenberg. She used stripes all throughout her collection, and this canary yellow and white coverup is one of my favorites. Note the bold black and white headpiece. Graphic black and white accessories are a perfect fit for colorful ensembles--something like this Mary Norton Black & White Acrylic Rhinestone Louisa Clutch could travel anywhere.
Finally, here's a gorgeous green shift by Michael Kors with matching head scarf. He decided to pair his simple silhouettes with oversized ethnic jewelry reminiscent of a '70s look. Yellow gold and beaches just go together perfectly, and I think that this Bvlgari 18k Yellow Gold Turquoise Cabochon Chain Necklace & Ring Set would make any vacation better--it feels utterly Capri!
To search our Portero's Resort picks by category, click below:
Images via style.com
Monday, November 17, 2008
If you live in or are planning to visit New York City in the coming months, why not swing by the Museum of Arts and Design? Right in Columbus Circle, the museum is currently showing an exhibition called Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry that will run through May 31, 2009.
According to the Museum: "The Art of Jewelry presents innovative pieces of contemporary art jewelry from our permanent collection, dating from the 1940s to the present. The works on display range from the subtle to the flamboyant, from the purely geometric to the organic, and from narrative to sculptural works that extend the limits of the human body. The exhibition presents the major themes, materials and techniques that make contemporary jewelry visually exciting and intellectually stimulating."
One of the unusual pieces in the collection is the bracelet above by Peter Chang (1986). Made of acrylic, polyester, PVC and found objects, I love the snakeskin-like appearance and the donut shape. Another visionary piece is the cocktail ring below by Ruth Radakovich (1969). Constructed of 14-karat gold and titanium, it is both organic and futuristic.
If you're in town next week, the Museum is presenting a free daylong public program dedicated to contemporary studio jewelry on Nov. 22. It will introduce visitors to the leading trends, techniques, and processes in the field of jewelry design through artist demonstrations, and discussions.
Photos by John Bigelow Taylor
Thursday, November 13, 2008
As promised, I wanted to show you a little more from the AGTA Spectrum Awards. I have been noticing that high-end designers are trending toward the unique pairings of colored gemstones. Forget about 'matchy matchy–these are often times unexpected and delightful color combos that let unusual precious stones shine.
For example, take the cocktail ring by Christopher Duquet above. The platinum ring features a 5.08 Padparadscha Sapphire accented with yellow pear-shaped diamonds and diamond pavé. Padparadschas are rare and expensive sapphires originally mined in Sri Lanka that have an amazing orangey-pink glow.
I also loved the simple yet eye-catching pair of earrings by Samuel Getz, above. The 18-karat white gold earrings contain mint-green Beryl center stones accented with diamonds and yellow sapphires. It's always fun to realize just how much colored gems cover the rainbow of colors out there.
Portero features a huge range of gemstone jewelry, and many of the pieces have captivating color combinations. Here are a few of my favorites:
Jeri Cohen 18k Gold Orange & Green Tourmaline Teardrop Diamond Earrings
Temple St. Clair 18k Yellow Gold Pink Tourmaline Peridot Ring sz 6
Jewel of Ocean 18k White Gold Diamond Multicolor Sapphire Bracelet
Images courtesy AGTA
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Portero is celebrating the 22nd installment of one of the greatest movie franchises in history this week. From martinis to Aston Martins to tuxedos, the likes of the world's favorite secret agent haven't been in doubt for decades. Another of his passions? Timepieces.
In the earlier film adaptations, a Rolex Submariner was worn by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton. Pierce Brosnan's and Daniel Craig's takes on our hero have both worn the Omega Seamaster.
I had a chance to see a preview of the film on Monday night, and if you're a fan of action, you won't be disappointed. The chase scenes are breathtaking and the overseas locations dazzle in both beauty and scope. Want to have a little piece of moviemaking history? Shop our superb selection of Seamasters to feel a bit like an action hero even while at home.
Shop all Omega Seamasters
Search all Omega watches
Buy Steuben martini glasses
The James Bond character and marks are not associated with or sponsored by Portero...but we welcome him to shop with us.
Cartoon by Simon Ellinas - Caricatures and Cartoons. http://www.caricatures.org.uk
Friday, November 7, 2008
One of my favorite editor events of the year is the viewing of the AGTA Spectrum Award entries, which just happened last week. Basically, I get to be in a room with hundreds of pieces of gorgeous colored stone jewelry. I can ogle, try them on, and just generally swoon.
If you don't know what the Spectrum Awards are, let me explain: The competition, created in 1984, honors, recognizes and promotes designers and lapidaries in the United States and Canada whose work utilizes colored gemstones and cultured pearls. It is hosted by the American Gem Trade Association, and the results are quite spectacular.
Take the piece above, by Arun Bohra of Arunashi. It was one of my favorites for its delicate form and stunning colors. The cuff is set in 18-karat white gold (with a black rhodium finish) and contains spinels, Paraiba tourmalines, orange sapphires and diamonds. Below are a few more of my favorites, with captions. I'll post more next week!
By Carley McGee-Boehm. Palladium earrings featuring cuprian Tourmalines accented with black spinel and rock crystal quartz helioliths.
By Erica Courtney. 18-karat yellow gold earrings featuring Mexican fire opal and mandarin citrine accented with diamonds.
By Rina Limor. Silver bangle bracelet featuring faceted Lemon Citrine accented with amethyst and multi-colored sapphires.
Images courtesy AGTA
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Want even more incentive to bid on your favorite luxury brands at prices starting up to 80% off retail value? When you make a purchase now through November 13, 2008, you will receive Portero credit redeemable during the upcoming holiday season. A single purchase can earn you as much as $350 to use from Friday, November 14 through Wednesday, December 31. Ready to learn more? Click here to see how Portero offers you the ultimate return on your investment.
Spending tiers and credits:
--Spend between $500-$999, and receive $50 Portero credit
--Spend between $1,000-$1,999 and receive $100 Portero credit
--Spend between $2,000-$2,999 and receive a $250 Portero credit
--Spend over $3,000 and receive a $350 Portero credit
What a perfect excuse to get something for yourself, and then use your savings to buy a gift for someone else. Happy shopping!
SPEND & RECEIVE OFFER - Valid on all auctions and "Buy Now" purchases from November 6 through Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 11:59 pm ET. No adjustments to prior purchases. Portero credit issued in a promo code is valid from Friday, November 14 through Wednesday, December 31, 2008 and redeemable on Portero.com. Credit adjustments will be made for returned merchandise. One promo code per purchase. Total spend excludes taxes and shipping. Each promo code is valid for a one time usage and may be transferrable. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Promo code exclusions apply to all Hermes Birkins and all art in the Art category.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
When preparing for this week's homepage theme--Urban Safari--I was delighted to discover just how many gorgeous exotic skin handbags Portero has up for auction. From oversized travel bags to demure clutches to chic totes, there's really something for everyone.
What's interesting to me is that a lot of people think of luxurious skin bags as too mature for their tastes. But really, the new breed of exotic skins has a lot of appeal for women of all ages. From brightly colored dyes to modern shapes, a bit of croc or lizard can still be modern and fashion-forward. Take Halle Berry, above, sporting her favorite Yves Saint Laurent Tribute bag. Far from dowdy, this take on croc is utterly chic.
But another benefit of these beautiful skins is the ladylike elegance they portray. Take Jennifer Lopez, above, who radiates glamour and sophistication with her Birkin. Luckily, these bags let you have it both ways. Want to search our huge selection? Click below to get started.
Monday, November 3, 2008
It's exceedingly rare to see a stone like this up for auction so I had to put up a post. This amazing 35.56 blue-gray diamond will debut at auction at Christie's London on December 10. Quite a holiday gift for someone, right? Not only is the diamond incredibly high quality, but it also has a remarkable historical provenance.
Here's the story:
The diamond was presented by King Philip IV of Spain to his daughter, Infanta Margarita Teresa, as part of her dowry when she turned 13. Who was the lucky man she was to marry? It was actually her uncle Leopold I of Austria, who later became the Holy Roman Emperor. Infanta was earlier immortalized as the central figure in Las Meninas (1656, below), the most famous painting by Spaniard Diego Velázquez.
This means that the diamond has a 300-year-old royal history, a detail that makes the £10 million high estimate even more interesting. To read the full story in the London Telegraph, click right here.
Colored diamonds have become popular choices for engagement rings in the last couple of years. Here are two great examples listed right now for auction on Portero:
GIA Certified 1.09 ctw Fancy Brown-Greenish Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring sz 6.5
GIA Certified Platinum 18k Gold Yellow Diamond 3-Stone Engagement Ring sz 6
Image courtesy Christie's