Monday, April 30, 2007

My Crown Jewels at the Louvre, Paris.

In September last year, I was in Paris and the culture, art, history, wealth and everything else about it was just…intoxicating. The Louvre was of course part of my itinerary and my instincts led me to the Galerie d’Apollon, where the remaining Crown Jewels of France are showcased. I – who have lived my life in the world of jewelry - was rendered speechless, not because of the stunning beauty of the pieces, but because the Crown Jewels truly should belong to me since my adoring admirers often call me princess (yeah, you know who you are). I am telling you, those crowns would look spectacular on me. I know so.

The pictures say it all. I really hate the fact that my photos didn't come out clear though. But you try to take photos inside the Galerie where at the door it states, NO PHOTO TAKING ALLOWED. Visitors are again reminded by a sign right by the glass showcase: NO CAMERAS BEYOND THIS POINT. But did that stop me? And what was I supposed to do with my ever-handy and ever-ready camera? Throw it beyond the said point? Not this princess.
Of course not!!!! I was wearing lipstick that day. It was a daring move by yours truly but I just had to! ENJOY and wear a bib, you might just drool.

Blue sapphire and diamonds suite.

Crowns of diamonds and south sea pearls.

Brooch of all rose cut diamonds mounted in platinum.

Green emerald and diamonds crown and a starlike brooch of all diamonds of different shapes and sizes.

Multi colored crown with diamonds in yellow gold and a HUGE cushion cut diamond ring.

I totally say that I have nothing to say about these pieces. They are just too.....too....pretty, for lack of a better word.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's so ZARAp!!! (Part 2)

Now for the good stuff. The food, drinks and my friends at the ZARA event at Rockwell.

The Peninsula catered the show handled by no other than the greatest Events Manager, Stephanie Chong. Truffle filled with icecream served on a bed of crushed ice, pecan tarts (my favorite), Camembert cheese on Italian cracker with fig, parma ham wrapped in Old Manila grissini sticks and other delicious treats were served alongside the overflowing glasses of champagne and orange juice. The outcome? 3 pounds and an inch at the waist. THANKS a LOT Steffie.

The fountain was transforned into a stage and the DJ's playground. White drapes hung on the ceiling that created a tent-like enclosure. Playful colors of lights played around against the white cloth that matched the chairs that were sprawled out on the floor area. BEEAAUUTIFUL work. I told Steffie that I had to get Sunday Alcaraz, who was also responsible for the set up of the fashion show, to do my future events but I was told that he is exclusive to Store Specialists, Inc. How snobby!!! Now, I want to hire him even more! BRAVO Sunday!

White lit up balls were scattered everywhere and added a real modern touch to the whole set up. They had this cutest ice bucket that I have ever seen. When I get married, I would totally have this on my gift list that one of you MUST get for me. Deal? DEAL!!!

Outside, about 15 drummers were doing their act and was amazing how they can coordinate with one another despite all the other noise around them. They were all in white and danced as they beat their assorted percussions. Another must for me to make note of for my future parties.

Good friends, talent scout-Pia Campos, Miss Earth 2005-Priscilla Meirelles and Annabelle Chavez of Naturalizer were around to enjoy the evening.

One of the best make-up artist in the country, Mr. Patrick Roxas, who is sooooo slim now poses with yours truly, his new cover girl for his upcoming book (Hihihihi, I wish).

Ok, now for a promise that I made to a goes:

The beautiful, talented, funny, SINGLE model/actress Wilma Doesnt was there to grace the occasion. She was all smile and ever so gracious as she posed for me and my overused red Sony Cybershot. Wilma Does-it again! ( I am sure she gets that a lot)

So to those who care to know that I say about this experience of mine, do the ff:

1. Hold a party
2. Hire Sunday to set it up, if you dare (he's exclusive remember?)
3. Get Steffie to cater (just don't do it on a Sunday, that's her dog day)
4. Go to Zara and buy a great outfit
5. Invite Wilma for a guaranteed good time (Wholesome fun lang, silly!)

Rockwell, Glorietta, Shangri-la
Mall of Asia, among others...

The Peninsula Manila
Stephanie Chong
(632) 8123456

It's so ZARAp!!! (Part 1)

I have two words for this event. Super delish!

Because there's so many photos that I took, I have to do 2 separate blogs for this 1 event. There was just so much eyecandy that I need to share with you peeps. I honestly do not know where to start so I will go with my gutt feeling and tell you first about the fashion show, my 3rd this week alone. I am all runwalked out.

Event: Zara's preview of the new collection
Venue: Powerplant, Rockwell
Date: April 26, 2007

The set up, AMAZING. All white, huge, more than life version of photo frames and vanity table, rotating platform elevated for all to see, even those seated in the back. Because the Rockwell tent was full, I had no choice but to remain standing near the front which I really did not mind because I was able to take better photos. See, that's how dedicated I am to entertain and update my millions of avid readers.

I didn't pay much attention to the clothes because I know I can always go to the store and check them out more closely. I was focusing more on getting a good photo of this hunk of a model that everyone was going gaga about. Whenever he would stop to pose, a lot of the girls would literally scream with delight. He knew he was handsome because he would totally flirt with the audience by showing a great big smile. I have to admit, he was gooood looking. Obviously not a Flipper, he must be Brazilian or some kind of god that the Greeks failed to identify.

There were super cute kids that modelled as well. They were so adorable and a lot of oooohhhs and aaahhhhs could be heard a mile away when they would come out of the backstage. These mostly came from the parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, classmates, neighbors, yayas and the drivers that each kid had brought along. There was this kid that stood out because he knew how to work the crowd. I thought he was the cutest as well until I chanced upon him outside the tent. Steffie and I greeted and congratulated him for a job well done and his reply to us was an exxagerated,

"WHOOOO ARE YOU PEOPLE???" (shaking his head as he says this)

Ok, in my book, this cute boy turned out to be Chucky's long lost little brother. He was the biggest brat I have ever encountered. I wanted to reply to him with an even more exxagerated,

"You messing with me boy? You want some of this? Chill with a sleeping pill."

But of course all I could do is give him and his mom my fakest smile I could make.

The store remained open till late to accommodate late night shoppers and I saw these 2 shirts that were cute but I would never wear. So no need to get these for me (yeah, you know who you are). Don't worry, when I find things that I want, I will make sure to write a very long and detailed blog about it. (wink wink)

There was a party after the show but that's a whole new story. Watch out for it.

Now, I gotta get this brat's name so that I can reunite him with his brother.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rock it to me baby!

I am basing this blog on knowledge that I have acquired from the jewellery industry and the book, GEM STONES, by Cally Hall. If you are a jewellery collector, it is a must to have this book because of the information it holds regarding stones that you might not have ever heard of but would like to have.

I have chosen only a few of my favorite stones to write about but I believe that this post will have a part 2 so please watch out for that. If there is a stone/rock that you would like to know more about, please feel free to ask me and I would be more than willing to research for you.

They are mostly known as semi-precious stones. Now, if you really analyze this term, there is nothing semi about these stones because they are all real. Created by Mother Earth through time, it is mined, cut and polished just like diamonds are. I prefer to call them simply as precious stones. Now, to differentiate these from the expensive rocks like diamonds, rubies, emeralds and blue sapphires, these stones you call gems. Semi-precious just doesn't work too well with me because I love my babies and they should be treated with utmost respect.

AMETHYST is a crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac, or mauve. The largest source of amethyst is in Brazil although you may also find in Canada, Sri Lanka, India, Uruguay, Madagascar, USA, Germany, Australia, Namibia and Zambia. It is not an expensive stone because of its abundance. But purple is fun to work with especially when mixed with other vibrant colors. Amethyst has been imitated by glass so beware.

TOURMALINE comes in many different colors such as fuschia, blue, yellow, pink, watermelon (mix of pink and green), brown, green and even black. Its origin is mostly from Brazil, South Africa, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Madagascar and Myanmar. A lot of the tourmalines today are heat treated to make the color even more intense or even to lighten. JBDJS uses a lot of this gem because of the many available hues and cuts suppliers offer.

AQUAMARINE is a favorite of my clients. The color is cool to the eyes and it sparkles much like a diamond. Today, the most valued colors are sky blue and dark blue. It is often cut with the table facet parallel to the length of the crystal in order to emphasize the deepest coloration. The best gem quality aquamarine is found in, once again, Brazil. But you may also find these stones in Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and more recently exploited, Nigeria. Almost all aquamarine on the market has been heat treated to enhance the color, but it does not mean the value goes down because of this. Care must be taken not to overheat the stones, as they become colorless. If you want a darker blue variety, this usually occurs in Madagascar.

CITRINE is the yellow and golden yelow variety of quartz. The yellow coloration, due to the presence of iron, is also responsible for the name, derived from the word citrus. Natural citrine is usually a pale yellow, but rare, most citrine on the market is heat-treated amethyst. Gem quality of this stone is rare but the best material comes from where else, Brazil, Spain, Madagascar and Russia. Is it a birthstone? No. But I love working with this stone because it is cheap, brilliant and good for our asian skin tone.

KUNZITE is a relatively new stone. It is a variety of what is called Spodumene which has a hue of lilac-pink. Very popular nowadays because of its very attractive color and brilliance. This stone should always be cut to show the best color through table facet. The pink color may fade in time, especially when it is under direct heat or light, but some stones are already irradiated to intensify the heat. Once again, Brazil is the origin this stone but it can also be found in Madagascar, Myanmar, USA, Canada, Mexico and Sweden.

TOPAZ occurs in a range of different colors. There's deep golden yellow, pink, blue and green. PInk topaz is are the most valuable but very rare. Topaz occurs in rocks such as pegmatites, granites and volcanic lavas. It may also be found in alluvial deposits as waterworn pebbles. Brazil, USA, Tasmania, Pakistan, Japan and Mexico are some of the sources of topaz. It is a relatively inexpensive stone and comes in many cuts and sizes.

Now for the fun part, designing. Sometimes, it is better to NOT think too hard on details that you want to put around the stone. Putting them together as is might already look great as long as the stones are of good quality as it will totally make a difference when it is designed, executed and worn. Buy from reputable stores or dealers. There are a lot of imitation stones and if you do not know much about it, you may waste your money. Make sure that when it is designed for you, that it is something that you see yourself wearing. Better yet, come to JBDJS and I will make sure you get exactly what you want.

Jul B. Dizon Jewellery Salon
The Peninsula Manila

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Moet and Chandon, Rouge and my soul sistah!

Event: Moet and Chandon launches Rouge
Venue: Nuvo, Greenbelt
Time: 8 to 11 pm. Partying did not end till morning though.
Attire: Usual night out clothing.
Sponsors: Moet and Chandon, Dior, Jewelmer
Special guest: Puey Quinones

It was hot. The weather AND the party. Nuvo had red drapes hanging (my favorite color) and bottles of champagne displayed all over the open air portion of Nuvo. The floor was emptied of the usual tables and chairs and were replaced by platforms for the models to step on. The music was loud and I really enjoyed it. The DJ was playing cool tracks that had some 80's music that blended in with recent ones such as Michael Jackson and Nelly Furtado. Need to keep this DJ in mind when I have a party.

People started pouring in around 10 pm. A lot of foreigners, socialites, fashion designers, media folks and the usual party goers. My gang, Dennis Lustico, Jojie Lloren, Lulu Tan-Gan, Taka and Windie Hayano, and friends was able to get a bottle of Moet and Chandon using PQ as our connection. Apparently, you needed one to be able to receive a bottle. It was quite difficult to ask the waiters to serve us because they were given strict instructions that they can only give out the champagne when they are given the signal to do so by the organizer. Now this seemed odd to me since this party was by invitation only and since the major sponsor was M and C it only makes sense to have the champagne served to all that were there and to serve it as if it came from an ocean. We had to practically beg for one which is so not cool.

When the bottle came, it was in an ice bucket and had a flare in it which I was afraid of because it can totally burn the haute couture that everyone was wearing that evening and what a disaster that would be. Although it added even more heat and danger to the evening, it was nice to see because admit it, we all love fireworks.

The highlight of the evening was the show where my soul sistah, Puey Quinones, launched his Rouge clothing line as a enters the international fashion arena. He showcased about 30 outfits that drew a lot of ahhhs from the crowd including me. I have never been so proud of PQ. I know that he worked a great deal to make this launch a success. The designs were young, sexy and stylish. He made use a lot of white linen material and silk polka dotted pattern. Tight knee length shorts and flowing gowns were my favorite. I couldn't help hating myself in the end for not being able to have a model's size so that I can just borrow PQ's collection whenever there is an event.

My dear friend, Rajo Laurel and Preview's Editor, Pauline Suaco-Juan was there to witness the show. Although Rajo was all smiles in this photo, it wasn't so 3 hours later when his Prado got carnapped. DARN this country!!! Here you are, wanting to have a good time with friends and then when you want to go home, your car gets stolen which means you need to stay up another 5 hours for the police report and all that crap and that's above the fact that you just lost a car worth P1M plus! Whoever stole his car is bound to get his karma and I hope he gets it REAL soon.

No food was served which kinda sucks because I was starving. I guess I got so used to Martini's hospitality when they would offer drinks and food whenever there is an event. Oh well, need to diet anyway. How else will I fit in those clothes last night?

If you want awesome clothes in your drabby closet, I say, get in touch with PQ.

Puey Quinones

GNO* at Martini's Bar, Mandarin Oriental

The newest place to bond, Martini's Bar of Mandarin Oriental. Only the coolest, hippest, trendiest people can go, have been and will go to a bar like this. Oh, and also the rich. If you have been, you now have the license to chill.

That's the line that Martini's Bar often uses. It's sexy. Much like the James Bond movies. The ambiance, for my age group (I am not shy to admit I am 34) is so far the best place for me to hang out at. Embassy is way too noisy, young, chaotic and dangerous for me. Cuisine was good at first but the overspill of people who cannot get in Embassy are happy enough to be next door. The Bar in Peninsula caters to the older batch of men, mostly foreigners who are in town for business. Conways is cool because it is bigger and the service is superb but for me, Martini's is the place to be.

There's something about Martini's Bar that makes one feel more comfortable. Although price is a bit steep, the cozy atmosphere makes it worth each gulp of your P320++ martini. The manager, handsome and dashing, Javier Berenguer-Testa and his super cute and shy assistant, Paolo Quimson will make sure that you are well taken cared of while sipping your very chic glass of martini. Of course other beverages are available but it's the martini that they are getting to be very popular with for obvious reasons. Also, it is a smoking bar so if you are allergic or don't smoke, there's always Captain's Bar for you and your friends. If you go on a Friday and/or Saturday, make sure you wear cologne/perfume/deodorant. It gets awfully tight with so many customers waiting for an empty table. It's THAT popular and they don't take reservations, even for a wannabee VIP like me.

The waitresses, clad in their bright colored wigs and Rene Salud designed uniforms, need to step it up a bit though. They are nice and courteous but you have to wave a neon sign when you want them to go and serve you one or all of their 40 flavored martini drinks. Yes folks, according to Javi, they can make even more than 40 and if you want to pretend to know your bartending skills and have a special request, they can make it especially for you. So basically, if I should want a lychee-strawberry-kiwi-pineapple-banana-vanilla-martini, I will either get it or get my ass kicked out the bar for being a difficult customer. But don't fret, with the upper class clientelle of Martini's, you will most likely land on a Ferrari, Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW and the like that's parked out front, next to my red Honda CRV. Now, that's class.

EVENT: April 24, 2007, 6 to 8 pm, Ladies Night. A show by Jul B. Dizon Jewellery (ahem ahem) and the most talented young designer Puey Quinones (my soul sistah) opened the evening with a fashion show. 5 models wearing haute couture and sparkling jewels worked the floor, making sure every guest had the chance to see the details of what they were wearing.

After the show, GM, Mr. Helmut Gaisberger gave a speech and with the help of Director of Communications, Ms. Charisse Chuidian, called out names of lucky winners of fabulous prizes such as a P30,000 gift certificate from JBDJS, P15,000 cocktail dress from PQ, P5,000 gift certificate from Naturalizer, 2 gift certificates for an overnight stay on a weekend at a Club deluxe room (an exclusive haven with residential feel where guests help themselves to complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments, cocktails at the Club lounge), salon services by Menage Salon, product from Shu Eumura and a year subscription of Lifestyle Asia. Lucky girls!!!

Cocktails were passed around and overflowing of martinis kept on coming only up until 8 pm of course. That's when the ever-so-kind resident manager of Mandarin Oriental, Mr. Knuth Kiefer decided to open the doors for the men who were all lined up, eager to get in and enjoy the relaxing and chilling atmosphere Martini's Bar offers. So guys who know nothing but beer can also enjoy their favorite kind for a mere P170++. Improved potato chips and peanuts included.

Here's me with Javier Testa and Knuth Kiefer.

If you plan to buy something expensive this week, don't, because I say you gotta do the following in strict order:

1. Gather the gang or bring your honey
2. Be cool and hip
3. Pretend to be rich (that's what I do)
4. Head on down to Martini's Bar
5. Order from the guys in suits
6. Acquire the license to chill

Martini's Bar
Mandarin Oriental
Paseo de Roxas corner Makati Avenue
(632) 7508888

*GNO-Girls Night Out

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A few of my favorite blings.

Ok, you know that I am into jewellery. So, of course I will write about it. (This is the part where my male friends/readers will skip to the blogs where there is drinking and partying involved.)

I need to show off some of Jul B. Dizon Jewellery's creations. I mean after all, this blog is all about my ego so please, read, enjoy and add your great comment (no negative comments allowed).

Colors. That's what we are all about. Of course we also deal with diamonds. Quite a lot in fact but it is the colored gems that make our creative juices explode (ooh that sounds sexy).

Let's start with this pair of diamond mobile earrings. No it doesn't make phone calls but it will surely call the attention of your friends when you wear this piece. Super flirty. This design is by my sister, Ginny who won an award in Korea. So wearing something similiar to this pair automatically puts you in the AWJPG (Award Winning Jewellery Piece Gang).

Multi-colored, flat, pastel colored sapphires mounted in unplated yellow gold. This baby is to die for. It is so light in the ear despite the wideness of it. It covers the whole earlobe and falls midway from the neck to the shoulder. It gently sways so every move you make will twinkle in the eyes of onlookers. And you will be amazed at the price of this pair. Surely your honey can afford to get this for you for all the hard time he gives you. Making you go through pain of giving birth to his children, preparing his food every single night. Making sure he drinks his vitamins and all the other things that a woman has to go through with their spoiled partners. So if I were you, send him over my way and I will make sure he leaves the store with a goodie bag for you.

This is called the Garden necklace. White mother of pearl carved flowers with diamonds in the center and diamond leaves scattered on the vine. I have done many designs using this theme and it always amazes me how happy my clients are when they pick up their order. I usually do this with colored stones so imagine the array of vibrant and brilliant sparkles on your neck. Only problem with this piece is if you wear it on a hot date, the lips of your date will be snagged on some pointy leaf when he kisses you on your neck. What Candy would say? "Kiss me on the lips instead please because the necklace stays."

Turquoise with garnet, tsavorite and diamonds mounted in yellow gold. Now you tell me that this isn't one of the prettiest things you have ever seen and I will tell you that you need to get your head examined. No seriously, when we finished this pair, it wasn't even a good 10 minutes when our client tried it on, wrote a check and left the store. Nobody else was even lucky enough to see this. It hung beautifully on the ears and the mixture of colors and diamonds just makes the world seem a better place. Ok, that might be too dramatic but you know what I mean.

This type of bangle is one of our best sellers. It is in silver, plated in yellow gold and embedded with colored stones and pearls. The combination of colors and the pearls give it a very young look. It is best to do this design if you have your own stones that you do not know what to do with. Just mix them all up and voila....a too-cool-for-words bangle. Of course having this done by JBDJ is the best part because of the personal service and great smile that I offer to everyone that comes in...FOR FREE!!!

It's all about rubies for me since it is my birthstone. July 31, to be exact so if you want to give me a gift, let's start with rubies or a trip to France. (yeah, you know who you are!) This set has a total of 7 carats of Burmese rubies with G color diamonds all around set in 18 karat white gold. The most beautiful red you have ever seen, the rubies are certified and anything with a true certificate has, of course, a greater value.

This is where I advertise the store. If you know it already, feel free to come by and spread the word. If you want to be part of the AWJPG, you better get moving and get your butt over JBDJ. If you want to feel special and loved, make your husband/boyfriend visit the stores and rest assured Lucille, my sister-in-law and I will handle everything.

Jul B. Dizon Jewellery
The Peninsula Manila

Jul B. Dizon Jewellery
EDSA Shangri-la Hotel
Lobby level