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The School of Flaunt
Back when "Flying Was Fun" Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke were Flight Attendants with a Major International Carrier. Prior to Private Jets coming into vogue, Alexandra and Cate traveled in the First Class World, meeting and greeting the top celebrities, politicians who would become Presidents, nouveau riche, and yes the occasional Headline Grabbing Criminal in Handcuffs!
What the two ladies viewed and experienced became fodder for the School of Flaunt, so much money, such bad taste and oh those terrible manners. Something had to be done! Hence, The School of Flaunt Handbook was born. Read More
Art Basel, Miami
Nothing like a quick trip to South Beach! The weather, the food, the nightlife! Add to that the wonderful annual Art Extravaganza, Art Basel and you have arrived!
This year I am meeting friends who have a home in South Beach, June and Johnny, two of the funniest people I know! So the fun will begin and who knows? I might just buy some ART!
So I unpack at the Ritz and cab over to Art Basel for a quick run through and to say hello to some Curator and Gallery Owners. All were in a great mood and hoping for a Fine Show, as they say! Net Jets held a welcoming party and we are off to the De La Cruz Contemporary Art Space to see the private collection of the De La Cruz family! This is a treat and I have known this wonderful family since meeting them in the Islands on their yacht, I think it was called, The Yellow Bird? But I digress.
The space is newly done and wonderful! We were Ewwing and Awwing over the art displayed when I heard her, you guessed it, My Mother!
Mummy was in Florida? Last I left her she was in the Cotswolds!
Mummy: Cate, dahlling, what are you doing in South Beach? Kiss Kiss.
Moi: I might ask that question to you? When did you arrive? Notice I have not asked how long she is staying? Or where?
Mummy: Just flew in with Bumby and Lila. Daddy would not come. He wants to have a shooting party while I am away. I thought the home fires could use come contemporary art to liven up the place! So here I am with the Curator of the X's artwork.
Moi: You know the X's?
Mummy: Well, I do now and here is their Curator, Stephan.
With this the most gorgeous man approaches to kiss me on both cheeks. Facial cheeks, I might add. We said our "How do you dos" and Stephan gushed on how he loves Mummy. (I am sure he loves her cheque book too!) So now I am tagging along as Mummy is introduced to the "Who's Who of Contemporary Art Galleries! I have never seen so much air kissing in my life! And there must have been a run on Black Clothing, as there is nary hint of color in the house!
When Mummy had successfully purchased a large piece for the Hall, we broke for dinner. Off to Joe's Stone Crab to meet up with June and Johnny! After a wonderful meal and many laughs, I confessed I must call it a day.
Not Mummy who was going to a Cartier Party with Stephan! (More introductions that Stephan needed to make.) I did ascertain that they were housed at the W Hotel and had really been enjoying the Pool Bar! Something about late night swims? Hmmm
(Not wanting to have that picture in my mind, I quickly change the subject!)
Moi: Well goodnight Mums and give my love to Daddy when you call him! I was hoping she would, but Mums looked like she was having much too wonderful of a time. (The Boodles had been flowing at Joe's!)
Mummy: Cate, dear, you have got to loosen up and have more fun! Why not join us at the Pool Bar? We might see some celebrities!! She sang.
Moi: No thank you. I must get some rest for my big shopping day tomorrow. Art Basel is huge and a lot of ground to cover. Sensible shoes are in order.
Mummy: Well, nightie night dear. We are off to meet Madonna! (As Mum's car drives off in the South Beach Night.)
To be continued!
Joel's Cast Iron Chicken
Here's the recipe for Cast Iron Chicken, since so many of you have kindly asked. A separate one will be posted for the apple crumble. A 4 to 4.5 pound chicken (I used a 4 pound organic whole chicken) Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled 6 thyme sprigs 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 3/4" wedges 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 3/4" wedges 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2" segments 1 medium onion, roots cut off but core kept intact, other end cut off and discarded, then cut the onion into quarters 6 to 8 medium red-skinned potatoes, halved 1/3 cup good olive oil 4 Tbsp butter at room temp A large 11" cast iron skillet Preheat oven to 475 degrees Cut away the wishbone from the neck/breast area Season cavity with salt and pepper (be generous). Add three of the smashed garlic cloves and 5 sprigs of thyme. Rub the garlic and sprigs around in the cavity I did not truss this bird, but you can if you wish. I didn't see the point since it was going to be a tight fit into the skillet Place the vegetables, onions, remaining garlic and remaining thyme sprig into a bowl. Add 1/4 cut olive oil and toss with your hands. Season generously with salt and pepper. Create a bed of root vegetables in the skillet (you can use a regular roasting pan but the cast iron is going to get hotter, so use that if you can) I also rubbed the outside of the bird with butter and and slid a little under the breast. This made a really crispy skin and didn't dry out. This was left out of the two recipes I followed and I would recommend this. Put the bird on top of the vegetables and roast at 475 for 25 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 400 for an add'l 45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads at 165. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. You can keep the vegetables warm by keeping them in the now-turned-off oven while the chicken is resting. Stir the vegetables in the juices before serving. Dig in! I tagged several people who had asked but feel free to use and share. xo J
By: Joel Woodard
Mummy & Prince George
It was bound to happen. First the grumbling, then the sighing, arms thrown in the air. Yes my Mother is having a Fit. A Royal Fit, that is. She wants to meet the new Royal Baby, Prince George. Only, the Royal families are keeping him to themselves and who could blame them? He is an infant.
Mummy: "But I have a gift," she moans.
Moi: "Send it," I say.
Mummy: "Oh you just don't understand! I want to meet the Baby, George."
Moi: "Mother, George won't remember you. He is three months old!! This is their first child and he is heir to the throne and they will decide when and where his Debut will be to Society!!"
Mummy storms out. We have been having this little tet et tet in her drawing room. No she really draws there. No comment on her artistic talents. Here is a woman totally frustrated by an infant. Or lack there of. It would seem her "Hints" to HRH have gone unnoticed. Hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Let me give you the Back Story. My mother, Clarissa Cadbury is a pal of HRH. Or she thinks she is. I've never fully understood how HRH feels about their friendship. My father says, "She who must be endured," simply sums up her Royal connections. Nothing will stand in her way of ingratiating herself to those in High Places, including the infant Prince George.
Let's see, there was the Tiffany's gift sent to the Queen to be given to baby George. Then, she named a new Pony for the baby and sent a note directly to Prince William. Finally she donated a tidy sum in the name of said Baby Prince to a local Charity that is near and dear to Prince William's heart. Nothing! Just some elegant Thank You notes and so the wailing continues. Now she is taking to her bed.
Enter my father.
Daddy: "This has to stop. I haven't seen your mother this upset since Fayed bought Harrods!"
We all nod in unison. "She is insisting on staying "In Town" in case a quick invitation materializes. Sheesh."
It is now 3pm on Mummy's sixth day drama. We are hoping our Afternoon Tea perks her up, when low and behold a long black Daimler pulls up in front of my parents Town House. Wait!! There are royal flags waving on the hood, could it be???
"Well right ho", says my father, "She's done it again. Wished her way into the Royal's hearts." A car door opens and HRH bounds out replete with two corgis!!
HRH: "Clarissa!! Grab your coat; we are going to pay baby George a little visit for Tea!"
The air froze. My mother swept out of the house with a long red cape, (just for effect, I am sure) and into the Daimler. Off they went, in search of a tiny boy who won't remember a thing. My mother, of course will have bragging rights for years!! How does she do this?
Baptism of Prince George
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The Royal Baptism
Today is a special day for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, their first born is having his baptism. Here is a small snippet from The School of Flaunt Handbook, Lesson Seventeen: SOF Womb to Tomb. WHEN YOUR CHILDREN enter this world, if you are of a religious faith, a Baptism or Welcoming Party is a must! Not only are you announcing to the world a probably President of the United States, or that the next CEO of Microsoft has arrived, or a future King, but it is just soooo socially irresistible not to have a party for the little darling afterwards!
We would suggest a tea dance with the baby present for the receiving line and then his or her Nanny can take the baby home. Remember the little darling will get tired and frankly there is nothing more annoying than a tired, cranky baby or possibly a three year old. Meanwhile Mommy and Daddy can bask in the lime limelight, sip some bubbly and mingle with their guests. A small aside here, this is a great way to start the family history with photos placed in sterling silver frames that can be passed down for generations to come. We must add here that at no time do we want to see hallways, lined with "Photos" of the children. Yes you may have photos on top of your grand piano or in the library but NEVER lining the walls. Terribly declasse! And secondly if you are doing a video this is not the time to experiment with amateurs. Your neighbor's child might be adorable, your brother-in-law clever with a camera, but remember, you are creating history here!
Normally these events are strictly for family and a number of close friends as The Duke and Duchess have done for their son's christening. So as for keeping the peace so to speak, if you want to have your guests bring their children, please have a separate room for the children to eat in and also be entertained. REMEMBER, the adults are sipping the bubbly, eating caviar on blinis, engaging in pleasant conversation, listening to some wonderful music from a harpist and possibly enjoying your gardens. The children should be playing games, eating chicken nuggets and fries and chasing one another around in a FAR-AWAY room. Not that we don't like children, but there are times when "they do not need to be seen or heard," a quote from Lady Beatrice Beegleman. We at The School of Flaunt only wish we had a dollar for every time our parents brought up Ms. Beegleman's mantra.
We truly hope that all of you will enjoy this milestone in your life. For more helpful advice from you 21st century advice givers extraordinaire at The School of Flaunt, please consult our book, The School of Flaunt Handbook. And do have a flaunt fabulous day! Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke
Trash the Dress, NOT!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Trash the dress", also known as "fearless bridal" or" rock the frock", is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. It is generally shot in the style of fashion or glamour photography. Such photography often takes place on a beach, but other locations include city streets, rooftops, garbage dumps, fields, and abandoned buildings. The woman often wears a ball gown, prom dress or wedding dress, and may effectively ruin the dress in the process by getting it wet, dirty, or, in extreme circumstances, tearing or destroying the garment.
Some sources claim that the trend was originally started in 2001 by Las Vegas wedding photographer John Michael Cooper, however, the idea of destroying a wedding dress has been used in Hollywood symbolically since at least October 1998 when Meg Cummings of the show Sunset Beach ran into the ocean in her wedding dress after her wedding was interrupted.
On 26 August 2012, during a photo shoot at the Ouareau River in Rawdon, Quebec, Canada, Maria Pantazopoulos, a 30-year-old Montreal bride drowned when the dress she was wearing dragged her downstream. The photographer, as well as others, tried to help but were unable to rescue her. Her body was later recovered by a scuba diver.
Is it me, or is this the dumbest idea ever? Imagine spending a dear sum for a beautiful wedding gown and then jumping into the ocean, river or mud stream for a "Photograph"? As seen above in the Wikipedia description, Trashing the Dress can result in Death, by drowning. I won't even go into the "Stupidity" of Burning the Dress! These pictures of Flaming Dresses on the Internet are very disturbing and DANGEROUS!
Please Students, we implore you, Do Not Trash Your Dress for Any Reason! Share your dress with a young bride you cannot afford a lovely gown. Share your Gown with young ladies wishing to go to their Prom. Save your dress for your daughters, nieces, or family and friends, that would love to wear such a beautiful frock.
If you must Waddle in the Mud for the camera, pick an older ensemble and take care you aren't hurt in the fiasco! I cannot believe anyone would pay a photographer for this nonsense!
Some ladies find that Trashing the Dress is an Ode to Divorce. Well, think again. Making a fool of oneself in a photo to hurt your Ex is nothing more than mere sensationalism. Take it down a notch. Act like an adult and get on with your life.
Cate & Alexandra
Other Recent Articles
It is Flaunt Foodie Friday and we are in the hot Dog Days of Summer! Having said that we love summer at the School of Flaunt. Outdoor parties, lots of events to attend, drives up the coast, and vacations! And what could be better with all of these than a wine cooler/spritzer, wine cocktail, or sangria? Some would call them summer time drinks we call them flauntilicious fun. BUT THERE ARE SOME RULES TO FOLLOW!
Life is One Big Canvas!
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it. Danny Kaye Well, we at the School of Flaunt would beg to differ when it comes to Makeup! We know you have seen it, spatula makeup, replete with huge black eyes now known as the Smoky Eye, and large garish eyebrows screaming across the forehead! Or just as bad those eyebrows that have been over tweezed so they are little skinny lines above your eyes! Puhleese, all of these can be scary!
Whale Tale NO Whale Tail
Published: Friday, July 12, 2013
WHALE TALE – NO WHALE TAIL! For those of you who are not familiar with the term Whale Tail it is the Y-shaped waistband of a thong or g-string that is visible above the waistline of low-rise jeans or other clothing. We only wish that this look had gone the way of grunge but sadly it still seems to be rearing its ugly little “common” look occasionally! Common such a wonderful word. It can mean ordinary, vulgar and coarse. Some might say, “Falling below ordinary standards or lacking refinement.”