Givenchy and Armani in Paris 2010

As promised yesterday, here’s more from the amazing Fashion extravaganza being held in Paris as I type. Today it is time for the ‘regulars’ such as Givenchy and Armani. Enjoy…  

Chapter 2 in Paris couture includes one more unlikely pair of designers, one the new sweetheart and one a hall of famer. The 2 are Giorgio Armani/ Prive and the other Ricardo Tisci/ Givenchy.                             

While the lady days of Le Grand Hubert are lost forever, the latest incarnation of the label is a polar opposite to its founding father’s genetic make up. In 2010 the Givenchy woman, if I can call her that as she cannot be much older than 30, must possess the rock star gene or at best the movie star gene because if she does not wish to be the center of attention, these clothes are not for her. The small collection is short on the number of styles but miles long on embellishment, materials, and overall silhouette. Mr. Tisci is hardly shy about promoting the extremes of what his ateliers are capable of and the limitless bounds of his imagination. The absolute end result is a collection of boundless expense and extremely limited audience. 

Armani Paris Fashion 2010

Armani - one of my favorites


Armani Paris Fashion 2010



Armani Paris Fashion 2010 - wonderful white

Armani wonderful in white



Armani Paris Fashion 2010

Armani Paris Fashion 2010

                                            Now, the polar opposite of this is GIORGIO ARMANI/PRIVE, which is long on the amount of styles and short on a color palette that forces the viewer to experience a déjà vu within a span of 20 minutes. The repetitive nature of the colors and of his design signatures will no doubt please his ladies but doesn’t make for a press worthy moment. The clothes will always be exquisitely crafted but as in his ready to wear, they can simply be a yawn on the runway which can work to his advantage here as this is all about one customer at a time. The Armani red carpet segment is so discreet that I might compare it to the bride and the bridesmaids……no star material here except for in the most discreet possible way. Bottom line is……..there was no noise here.

Please have a look for yourself at

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Givenchy Paris Fashion 2010
Givenchy Paris Fashion 2010



enchy Paris Fashion 2010



Givenchy Paris Fashion 2010



                                Once again, these beautiful images have been supplied by our Fashion writer – Jeffrey B Felner . You can always view more hot fashion tips at


Fashion Rules again – Destination…Over the Top

If you’re wondering what’s going on in the Haute Couture world of Paris Fashion – you need look no further than this scintillating piece of news – and check out the outfits too…

Fashion by the Rules - Destination Over the TopIt is that twice Fashion by the Rules - Destination Over the Topa year ritual that can only be described as “the wet dream of the fashion world.” It is HAUTE COUTURE time in Paris where one can bring to life the dreams that only the real “createurs of this art” can dream…………….no expense need be spared and the ateliers show why they have bragging rights in the fantasy cum reality time we know as HAUTE COUTURE.

Fashion by the Rules - Destination Over the TopIn what can only be described as an exhibit, rather than show, with a cacophony of colors, John Galliano for Dior has once again opened the season with his own brand of brilliance. Even though one is able to discern the references from Monsieur Dior and from Charles James, one is so distracted by the laser vision of Mr. Galliano and his ability to bring that vision to the runway…….and that the references are obliterated by the spectacle of the clothes themselves. None of this acts to the detriment of what can only be described as over the top fashion, if one can even call it that. The point here is that Dior Couture is beyond just another garment, it is one of the quintessential Couture collections year after year. My biggest hope is that one client has been collecting these masterpieces so that generations to come can appreciate the workmanship and vision that enabled the creations to grace a runway.Fashion by the Rules - Destination Over the Top

ALEXIS MABILLE offers a concise collection that is driven only by one idea……….chic. Whether it is the full skirted lace or the divine slim column of a black gown with colorful “bow top,” there is a young but old world quality and esthetic to these clothes making them ageless

BOUCHRA JARRAR is another young designer who offered up what I consider to be the antithesis of the usual couture fare. What sets it apart is its apparent clean lines and extreme simplicity. It conjures thoughts of Geoffrey Beene whose name you rarely hear anymore but whose talent for razor sharp appearingly simple garments were anything but…………..

I urge everyone to see, for themselves, the wonders of HAUTE COUTURE at STYLE.COM

Fashion by the Rules - Destination Over the Top

As usual, this wonderful piece was written by Fashionista Jeffrey B Felner of Fashion by the Rules fame! Thank you Jeffrey.

And don’t forget to watch for Fashion updates over the next 3 days.

Split Personality Tour – Christopher Leyva/Taylor Brown

Singer-Songwriters Embark on Ten Nation Tour

Tour to be Filmed for Documentary, New Music Released

chris levya taylor brown world tour

Chris Levya and Taylor Brown World Tour

Teaming two up and coming singer-songwriters, San Diego based Christopher Leyva and Montana’s Taylor Brown, the Split Personality tour will take in ten countries in nine months, with multiple cities in each. Opening in Scotland on August 8 and ending in April 2011 with a run of shows in Japan, the tour will also stop in to England, France, Sweden, Mexico, Finland, Paris, Germany, Amsterdam, Australia and the U.S. ( NY,CH,LV,LA and more)

A true collaboration, Leyva and Brown will team up in performance with Brown playing his own material and providing backing for both perfomers with live lead electric guitar ,piano and live loops of drums and accompaniements – no prerecorded tracks.   

Fans will be able to follow the duo’s exploits via a daily web blog, with a film maker on hand to document the journey from start to finish. Two albums will be released to coincide with this tour. Leyva’s “Black and Gold” his third solo effort, available at all the usual places online and in stores, is an ambitious double album, featuring a disc of pop material and a second disc of instrumentals. Leyva and Brown will also release a limited edition covers album, with songs from Ryan Adams, Oasis, Beatles, Leonard Cohen,Michael jackson and many more, available exclusively at their shows.

Though classified as singer songwriters, due to the occasional sighting of an acoustic guitar, what Brown and Leyva create is classic pop and rock, recast for the modern era. If you like music that’s strong on hooks and melodies, guitars and voices plus mixes with the new world of edgy electronics, The Split Personality tour should not be missed.

And, of course you’d love to know more so please visit: tour

Sick of Pressing Buttons and going on Hold…

86-year Old Lady’s Letter to Bank

The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman.

Dear Sir:

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has  caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.
I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, — when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the  impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no  longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative..

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history  must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button  presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.


     Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month.
By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:


#1. To make an appointment to see me

#2. To query a missing payment..

#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

#4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping

#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home

#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

      While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

May I  wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?


We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much too piss us off.

#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

Your Humble Client

And remember: Don’t make old People mad.

Press 8 for Customer Service

Press 8 for Customer Service

Just goes to show – doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, man or woman, single or married  – I bet you’re still fed up to the back teeth with pressing buttons, being put on hold and rarely being able to speak to a real person. Let’s fight back – I love this. Pass it on and let’s give bureaucracy the boot!

Marketing love

marketing loveA friend recently called me and asked me the dreaded question, how to wade back into the dating waters. He had been married for about 7 years, maybe more, maybe less, I don’t keep track of things like that.

I told him I would get back to him, because I am often torn between being completely honest and trying to be nice. See, he is a swell guy, a good person, who has a good job, a decent house and seems like his addictions are almost all legal substances, coffee, wine with a meal and the occasional beer.

In my mind, I could answer his question by just saying, you know, get out there, do the dance, the basics that we all have been doing since caveman days. Go to bars, go to clubs, go to baseball games, libraries, take a class. Meet someone in the natural food section of his local supermarket. Simple really, but then if that was the case, he would probably not be asking me for advice.

So I called him back, and said the following, “loose 25 pounds and stop complaining.”

I think he hung up, but later, in an email he claimed it was a dropped call.

People respond differently when I throw a round of honesty at them. My take on his dilemma and many others is this, dating is a competitive process and if you want to meet someone great, you have to shine your greatness up before taking it out for a spin.

See, my friend really is a nice guy, a great catch. But over the course of his long term relationship, he spent more time having swell dinners and a lot less time working out, riding a bike, walking around the park and generally wondering if his weight gain could be hazardous to his health.

I know, I know, it’s so shallow the judge a book by its cover. Then again, I am often in airports and looking for something to read, I almost always judge the books by their covers. The same is true in the dating world. If you really want to attract a beautiful bird, you might want to make sure you have the elements that attract a birds attention. It is so hard to amplify your personality, show off your amazing intellect or somehow show people that you are great in bed, all the while walking down the street, grabbing a beer at a bar, I could go on.

When I was able to reconnect with my friend with DCS – drop call syndrome, I told him what I am telling you. It is a fun filled world out there, but so many of us, and yes, I do include my shallow self in this assessment, rely on physical attraction long before we wonder about things like “I wonder if this person speaks my language” or “does this person have a job?”

I explained that while I believed he was a good friend and that I thought anyone who dated him would certainly agree, getting someone to date him would take work.

I know it is shallow, but on many levels, we end up marketing ourselves in the dating world much like companies market new products. It is not enough to just build a better mousetrap, companies have to find creative ways to explain why you need a better mousetrap. In dating land we dress better, clean our homes, shower and clean up. My advice to my friend was, think of dating as you would any sort of first time meeting, say, a job interview. You have one time to set the table, to impress and also show that beneath the clothes and hair and clean shaved skin, there is a real person who experiences joy and heartbreak, who loves and feels emotions, who can converse on a wide range of subjects with intelligence and humor, but before you can get to your depth, you have to get past the shallow part, the animalistic attraction.

Matt Bertles is an Award winning Journalist, filmmaker and guest blogger for SHI Symbol today. You can find out more at

Single and Celebrating the 4th of July

Independence Day

Independence Day

Independence Day, while marking the birth of our nation, takes on a whole new significance for the single gal.  Yes, it does mean another holiday alone, but it’s also a great time to reflect on the fact that, like the United States of America, you have broken away from the authority figures of the world (parents, spouses, and all of the restrictions that inevitably come with them) and are a truly independent and sovereign nation unto yourself.  That is definitely worth celebrating!  Plus, you’re going to get a lot of invites to picnics and BBQs where you might just meet some other lone wolves looking for love.  But what’s the best way for a single girl to celebrate a holiday that is predominantly geared towards family gatherings?

Perhaps you feel that tagging along to family affairs will only make you a fifth wheel.  But try to remember that you’re not the only single person on the planet and you could end up having a lot of fun with your brother’s cute, available friends.  That said, family-centric gatherings can be uncomfortable and snooze-worthy (especially if Uncle Eddy insists on singing the Star Spangled Banner every hour on the hour).  And do you really want to subject yourself to recriminations from your mom and aunts about how your biological clock is ticking even though you’re only twenty-five?  Please.  You’re single and you love it!  So why not throw your own shindig for other singles?

Get together some guy and girl friends that are equally leery of family fare and set up a mixer for this 4th of July.  Take over a few picnic tables at the local park or camp out on lawn chairs in your front yard with burgers, beers, and some get-to-know-you games (a little dancing music couldn’t hurt either).  Better yet, take your revelry to a campsite and have guests pitch a tent for the night so everyone can have a good time without the worry of driving home (and just see how many tents trade partners!).  A singles mixer is a great way to have some holiday fun without trying to navigate those tricky familial waters.  And don’t let mom lure you with her wicked-good potato salad, either (you can pick up some leftovers the next day).

You could also take advantage of ridiculously good sales to get that new convertible you’ve had your eye on.  What do you have to lose?  You’re single and you should celebrate the fact that you don’t have to drive an SUV to accommodate kids, pets, a spouse, sports equipment, and fifty pounds of groceries every week.  So take a seat in the go-cart of a car that is the Miata (hard-top convertible, oh yeah) and think about how much you’ll enjoy driving solo.

Finally, there are the fireworks to consider (both in the sky and here on Earth)!  Nothing is more romantic than parking it under the stars and laying a blanket on the hood to watch the proverbial rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air.  If you do manage to nab a date, you can ensure some sparks of your own by getting intimate under the soft glow of shimmery sparklers and the heart-stopping reverberation of combustibles going boom!  Being young and single certainly has its perks.

Guest post by Leah Darvis of Debit Cards where you can find a prepaid GreenDot card.

Amulets & Talismans, “MIRACLE ICONS” another Fashion statement… WIN ONE HERE

miracle iconsPopular wisdom tells us that each cause or circumstance has a patron saint that can protect us from that occurrence.  Some of us have always had some sort of lucky charm or have worn a reproduction of a saint as a preventative measure.  Usually given to us by a mother or loved one this is supposed to be our safety net during life’s tribulations.miracle icons 12

miracle icons Ricky Martin

Miracle Icons Ricky Martin one of a kind Necklace

MIRACLE ICONS goes beyond the conventional  wisdom and contends that we need all the help we can get ………but on a much more “democratic” wisdom which is any saint we wear can help us deal with whatever problem we may be encountering at any time.   In other words, these medals are the good luck charms for everything and anything.  The philosophy, which was borne from the founder’s experience with a dear friend who was just diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer, and turned into a healing tool of sorts.  When the friend was given the medals, she was visibly touched and for some reason was very heartened by the sentiment…………….long story short, she recovered and is in remission.  Mary Jo Pane, founder, then thought that maybe this can be used as an aid to bolster confidence and well being due to post 9/11 complications which so many of our NY neighbors suffered through at the time.miracle icons Rolling Stone 11 07

Ms. Pane then decided to market the essence of MIRACLE ICONS to select retailers and has been constantly surprised that her sentiment is shared by the owners of these pieces.  Her legion of celebrity owners includes Ricky Martin, Halle Berry, Bruce Springstein, Johnny Depp and Justin Timberlake.  The so called “religious jewelry” has taken on a life of its own and has been a consistently popular selling item across the country.  The medals are acquired via agents who scour the flea markets of Eastern and Western Europe in search of these items which have the fine patina of age from the mid 19th century through the 1950’s.  Once they have been received on this side of the ocean, they are then hand sorted by category.  miracle icons 1Once the sorting is completed, the process of building the jewelry begins.  The medals/icons serve as charms (amulets or talismans) which are suspended from a bracelet or necklace.  The bracelets tend to be of the stretch beaded variety and the necklaces would be of chain or leather or any other suitable material which would reflect the new contemporary image of the jewelry.miracle icons New Image3miracle icons Oprah_02_2010

For almost 10 years now, MIRACLE ICONS has been made by hand in New York City and as of this year is now available on line on its own website.  One of the most compelling features about the collection is that NO 2 pieces are alike and there is no specification as to which saint will appear on your item.  The prices start at $70 USD and top off at around $600 USD…………..they are heirlooms of the future generation.

Please feel free to learn more at as well as on Facebook and don’t forget me at or on Facebook.




SHI Symbol International has a very special promotion and giveaway for you – a ONE OF A KIND Miracle Icons necklace. This  necklace has 5 amulets on a 24 inch Sterling Silver Rolo link chain with a spring ring closure. This truly unique piece, as are all Miracle Icons pieces, and retails for over $400 usd makes a statement all on it’s own.  All Miracle Icon styles are handmade and totally suitable for a man or woman.

SHI SYmbol's join Emag here FREE button

SHI SYmbol's join Emag here FREE

To be in the running to win this beautiful piece, its very easy – just subscribe to SHI Symbol’s free Emag by clicking here:

Miracle Icons Competition Prize for SHI SYmbol International  Handmade Unique Necklace

Miracle Icons Competition Prize for SHI SYmbol International Handmade Unique Necklace

Winner will be announced in SHI Symbol Emag.

with special thanks to Jeffrey B Felner, your resident Fashion guru and of course Miracle Icons.