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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

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The Real Collectors by Elizabeth Anne Bonanno

Category: Guest Writers  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Making Peace With Celebrities

I had every intention of posting a blog about why celebrities don't buy their own jewelry -  with only a few exceptions, and then I found myself listening to a panel of women discuss just that. You see, by the end of my blog I had answered my own, very obvious question. Celebrities don't buy their own jewelry because for the most part, they're simply billboards that we brand our things on. It seems that gone are the days that these women actually cared about collecting something as precious as jewelry, because people pay them to advertise everything.
Last Friday, on a panel of female jewelry experts, at  the "Women in the Know" conference held by the Women's Jewelry Association, Marion Fasel of InStyle magazine and author had some great insight. She and Carol Brodie a 20 year jewelry industry veteran, and of HSN Rarities remembered a time when celebrities would send them flowers, thanking them for the privilege of wearing such beautiful pieces. Now, not only do they not thank anyone but they expect it, and are paid for it. If you're a billboard then I suppose you have every right to get paid for what you advertise. More than 10 years ago Julia Roberts purchased a Me&Ro necklace and fell in love with the line. No one could stop her from talking about it and the brand blew up. That was a new revolution in "designer" celebrity endorsed jewelry. Since that point, things have morphed into what can only be called - red carpet advertisement. I'll admit, I always feel myself getting angry when I look at all the beautiful jewelry that most of those women don't even understand, but wear. Again, I'll go back to Marion Fasel of InStyle who told a story about feeling that same way many years ago. A trusted advisor said to her "why should they understand it, they're actresses." Ah Ha! I got it. Most of those women don't understand it because they don't understand it. They aren't in the game to collect jewelry. They have to be seen and adored, as they have roles to earn. I can put down my anger and breathe again. That being said - before I go on about the real collector that I adore, I'd like to mention a few of the wonderful women that have walked the red carpets, past and present, that have donned their own bobbles. Ladies like...Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe, Oprah, Sandra Bulock, Ellen Barkin and of course the illustrious Maria Felix - star of the Cinema of Mexico. Clearly, this is a random and short list - but I like to mix it up.
Now I'd like to talk about the real stars - the real women in the world that do collect their own jewelry - the doctors, lawyers, artists, entrepreneurs, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends that I have spent years building collections with. I've met some of the most interesting and outlandish people and it's in the private selling salons, retail back rooms, private dinners, social events and auction houses where the real, voracious collecting is built and nurtured. I'm also watching these collections be satiated through websites like Portero and 1st Dibs. You see, there's a very particular desire that one has to collect, and an avid enthusiast can detect it like a vampire to the littlest drop of blood. The scent is in the air and all are consumed with knowing every single detail about a piece. Where's it from, is it certified, what maison created this, what if any provenance is there to sink our teeth into? How will this work in my life and do I care? Are the colors perfect for me or do I just desperately need to have this fill a place in my collection? It is the woman that collects with this kind of verve that I simply adore and just can't get enough of. She is my kind of woman. She is a kindred!  So maybe I've had an epiphany. Maybe I'm just letting go of my anger about those women on the red carpet that simply don't have a clue. Sometimes nothing's better that seeing a model wear a piece for you to get the right "perspective". Maybe what these borrowing celebrities, these ladies that can't risk going out on a limb and making a true commitment to a wonderful piece of art are doing for the real woman is simply providing them a mannequin to have their soon to be purchased beauties seen on. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what they're doing and they're getting paid very well for it - bless their hearts. The borrowing "celebs" simply let the piece be seen. Yes - I think I like that.
Shine On You Crazy Diamond


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