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Gemstones: Going Past Diamonds Into Color

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A truly loathsome ‘holiday,’ if you ask me. Once, in my younger and more pliant days, I went with a date to a Valentine’s dinner party with a red food theme. I’m not kidding. I think I’ve blocked it out: Every single thing on every plate was red. How many beets and tomatoes can one girl eat? Blech. But maybe you’re past the red food stage and are ready for the next step in romance. Big presents. That would be rocks. Sparkly ones. Want a flutter of deep green on that ring finger? How about an unexpected glimpse of blue? According to a wildly unscientific Yahoo poll, diamonds are the most popular gemstones, but that’s changing. And what makes certain stones popular is a function of fashion, or demand, and yes, the other side of that ol’ econ 101 staple, supply. The rarer, the better, the more expensive. According to the Gemological Institute of America, diamonds are above all about cut. They’re meant to flash, sparkle, wink, catch the light. A rough, uncut, diamond does none of those things. The diamond you covet is, in essence, wrought by man. But colored stones — now there, that’s about nature, Gaia, fire, the mother goddess, the earth. But let’s move past diamonds. Everyone else is, it seems. Colored rocks are becoming more and more popular. The deep restless green of the emerald, the glow of the dangerous ruby, the clean bright blue of the sapphire — the color is what matters. For fancy jewelry, according to Yahoo, emeralds are popular, coming in right after diamonds, at number one, and pearls at two. After emeralds, apparently we like aquamarines, then tourmalines, then opals. Garnets are seventh and sapphires eighth. I couldn’t tell you what most of those stones look like. Garnets, I think are … red? But that’s part of the changing nature of fancy jewelry. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter so much if your rock is the size of Gibraltar — it is the piece itself, the art of the setting that makes the jewel. Mix it up — turquoise AND diamonds. And leather. Some high-end stores sell precious gems imbedded in plastic, wood or intricate silver wires. That’s the demand part of the equation: There’s less interest in big chunks of rock in a simple setting and more in design, spiritual connection, meaning. Typically, precious gemstones are defined as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and opals (and pearls, yes, but they’re not gemstones, eh?). But what makes things valuable? Scarcity. Amethysts were once considered precious and were highly prized by ancient Greeks and up until the 19th century. When huge deposits of amethysts were discovered in Brazil in the 19th century, the price and the allure of the stones plummeted. Supply and demand. At times during the last century, peridot, aquamarine and cat’s eye have been considered precious, though now most jewelers classify them as semi-precious if, indeed, they classify them at all. And then there are the stones that are so rare you’ve never even heard of them. Red diamonds, ruby red, at $2 million to $2.5 million a carat. Serendibite, from Sri Lanka, black and shiny, for $1.8 million a carat. Blue garnet, which changes color from greenish blueish to purple, depending on the light. The most expensive blue garnet, 4.2 carats, sold for almost $7 million dollars in 2003. And don’t forget jadeite, andalusite, red beryl and clinohumite. They may sound like social diseases, but if you get your hands on one, hold on tight. The biggest sellers of all time, however, are the classics, but with a twist. Color brings in money. And, interestingly enough, the biggest sales lately are in Hong Kong, aimed at the newly affluent of Asia. A ring with a blue diamond flanked by two pink diamonds sold in Hong Kong for $10 million dollars last October. According to Sotheby’s, which sold it, it is “a fancy blue diamond weighing 6.01 carats.” The buyer chose to remain anonymous. In Geneva, in May, Christie’s sold a heart-shaped diamond weighting 56.15 carats. Christie’s marketed the diamond as “Love at First Sight,” and began advertising it last Valentine’s Day. And in 2010, Laurence Graff bought a pink diamond that used to be owned by fellow jeweler Harry Winston. It weighed 24.78 carats, and he paid $46.2 million dollars for it. It is the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction. Finally, the real seller in the fancy jewelry world is provenance. If Liz Taylor, Wallis Simpson or Princess Di owned it, add on a couple of zeros. If it has fancy relatives, perhaps it is part of a stone that belongs to the Queen of England, tack on some more zeros. If it has a story, even better. Christie’s London sold the Wittelsbach diamond in 2008; it has a name AND a story, the auction house wrote in its press materials that the “diamond originates from the Indian kingdom of Golkonda. It is rumored that King Phillip IV of Spain purchased the jewel and included it in the dowry of his teenage daughter, Margaret Teresa, in 1664.” So my advice: Get yourself a pretty stone. Wear it well. Have adventures with it; take it down the Zambezi and up the Alps. Dodge unsavory characters and feral animals. Drop it in a martini in Beijing, curry in New Delhi. Have an interesting life, and your jewels will live it with you.

Masa 14 and the Streets of Georgetown

GQ Ready Joe Malone proves that men in D.C. do know how to dress. He looked sharp in his Galvani tan blazer, Tasso Ella purple paisley tie, purple- striped Ralph Lauren shirt and distressed Levi Jeans. Move over Taye Diggs. D.C.’s Newest Fashionistas These cuties were not photographed for a Gap ad. They were living it up on the new rooftop of Masa 14 with Sophia Becraft, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Sponsor Girl of the Year. They may be little, but they were there in big style. Looks like D.C. has some new style icons. Dynamic Duo Kate Michael, Miss DC 2006, was red hot in her figure-flattering Express dress and BCBG gold sandals at the new Masa 14 happy hour for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year. Amanda Polk in her chic Theory skirt, white shirt and tan Michael Kors peep-toe heels, was the total package. Both girls dressed to impress. NYC takes D.C. Ted Loos just arrived in D.C. from NYC to interview Georgetown interior designer Thomas Pheasant. As a writer for Vogue, Architectural Digest and many other publications, he was, of course, head-to-toe ultra-cool. Loved his light tan Shipley & Halmos sports jacket, Levis jeans and sporty Nike sneakers. Vineyard Vines Gone All Wrong Pink hoodies are never easy to wear, but putting them with tight high-water navy chinos is always a fashion no. The black socks and birkenstocks only add to the problem. My suggestions: a pink sweater, navy trouser pants, a statement flat and no socks. Zebra Lost in D.C. A black-and-white large print jacket can be a good idea with a black skirt. The problem here is with the strange length, longer or shorter would have been better. The other problems with the outfit are the sneakers and backpack. The jacket would be better with solid pants, cute walking flats and a large handbag. Just a suggestion. [gallery ids="100797,124414,124408,124404,124391,124398" nav="thumbs"]

Haute & Cool: Don’t Miss a Beat, Beat the Heat!

Summer is hitting its stride, and fashion in the District is still as hot as ever. Staying cool is about more than just beating the summer heat. It’s about being fashionable in the capital city. Georgetown is providing the staples for surviving the rest of this summer in style, and D.C. stores will be keeping it cool all the way until Labor Day.

Cheers, Holidays Are Alive and Well in Georgetown

Ice Angels Georgetown’s newest attraction isn’t just the skating rink looking over the Potomac, but the stylist groups it is bringing along with it. Megan Allison, Dana Schwartz, Jennifer Diamond and Megan Gray all were dressed chic and elegant in clothes from all over the world. Amazing taste, girls! Cheering the Holidays Natalie Albana, Julie Kovin, Rob Rosenbaum and Elyce Levin were all sitting outside the newly opened Farmers, Fishers and Bakers having cocktails Saturday night. All the girls had on fantastic clothes from Natalie’s boutique Style Etoile. With all their cute clothes, I can’t wait to check out her store. NHL Moves to Washington Harbour Robbert van Eurd and Nate Breeding were spending a fun, fashionable Saturday night out skating at the Georgetown waterfront. Van Eurd was stylish in his gray H&M jacket, blue-and-white checked Banana Republic shirt and Zara faded jeans. Breeding’s vintage green Swedish military jacket, royal blue Fred Perry sweater and matching blue Ralph Lauren scarf were cozy and classic. Santa’s Helpers Gone Wild These elves were dressed in the wildest outfits they could find. I found this crazy crew at the Sixth Annual Santa’s Stumble. After that night, Santa placed them on the naughty list. Who Stole Santa’s Pants? Third Edition was swarming with Santa’s Saturday night at the Santa’s Stumble. This Santa was having a bit too much fun and in all the partying lost his pants. Mrs. Claus was not happy. Holiday Flare The holidays are always such a fun time and I love it when people dress in the mood. Travis May, Chase Cates and Abby Templeton were all in the sprit having dinner at Town Hall. You can never go wrong with a bleeping Santa hat, reindeer antlers and of course the Christmas sweater. [gallery ids="101105,138276,138255,138271,138262,138268" nav="thumbs"]

HOT IN THE CITY

BLAZING HOT The stars were all out in their motorcycle attire for the Kiel’s LifeRide for amfAR in Georgetown. Actress Marguerite Moreau did not disappoint. Moreau was gorgeous in her black All Saints leather jacket, black Habitual jeans and tan Old Gringo lace boot. Rolling Thunder, here she comes. PEACE OUT We all understand that knowing what to wear to be cool on a 100 degree day can be difficult,that said, this man really took his look a little to the extreme. His orange bandana under a fishing cap, mirrored sunglasses, and crazy multi-color dashiki with pocket as a cup holder for his water bottle was a little much. At least the purple goatee went with the look. MAKING A SPLASH These students, who are here from Bulgaria and Turkey, are dressed more for the beach than the Georgetown waterfront, but with 100 degree temps, who can blame them? They carried off the bikini tops, short shorts and shirts over the shoulders very well. Now all they need is to be invited onto a boat. GIRLIE GLAM Nikki Wormandy and Cindy Tolson were both well-dressed for a hot day in Georgetown. Nikki was cool-chic in her coral J.Crew skinny jeans, white sleeveless tie top and Tory Burch sunglasses. Cindy was resort-style in her Ralph Lauren navy & white blue tunic, white shorts and Michael Kors sunglasses. An A + for hot summer looks! PONY UP! Christian Monroy is playing it cool in this hot heat wave. He is all Lacoste in his white shorts, white and orange striped shirt and white baseball cap. This is a look Ralph would be proud of. HOT BOYS OF SUMMER These boys are Preppy-cool! Bill Fields knows how to put it all together in his Brooks Brothers sun- kissed yellow shorts, sky blue shirt and Topsiders. Bub Cathcart’s look is effortless in a madras shirt, Cut2fit navy shorts and, of course, a drink in hand. [gallery ids="100918,129130,129123,129106,129119,129113" nav="thumbs"]

A KNOCK OUT OF A NIGHT

THREE GALS FROM SAN FRAN Mia Wahlstrom, Michele Conway and Clare Gardoll were all in town from San Francisco. They an unforgettable group. Mia wowed in her black top and teal bottom Prada dress. Michele’s ladylike elegant black Badgley Mischka long dress was stunning, while Clare’s short black dress trimmed in fur was ultra-sophisticated. Way to represent the city of lights. SILVER FOX One of the many wonderful things at the Knock Out Abuse event is that at upon entering the party there are handsome men waiting to escort you down the stairs. Harris Rosenblatt has been one of those dashing gentlemen for 15 years. Nice touch Harris with your the silver vest and tie, you know how to stand out in a sea of black and white. SNOW WHITE Cristina Vaughan looked dynamic, yet playful, in her BCBG winter white dress at the Knock Out Abuse event. Her gold sparkly sandals were the perfect accessories to her silk flowing dress. I am sure in that outfit, her prince charming was in the waiting. DYNAMIC DUAL Jason Sickels and Karina Homme were a stylish duo at the event on Nov. 1. Jason’s style was timeless in his Joseph Abboud classic black tuxedo. Karina looked vibrant in her hot red Tadashi dress and silver sparkly sandals. [gallery ids="101078,137305,137296,137302" nav="thumbs"]

Holiday Benefit & Bazaar Gift Guide

Black Friday is the beginning of the Holiday Shopping season in every store. In preparation for the start of the non-stop buying, this guide will give you ideas when purchasing items for everyone on your list. From jewelry, candles, clothes, home goods, artwork, stationary, and accessories this ?list truly has anything you could need to complete your holiday shopping. On November 29th, join us for a Golden Opportunity to give with an evening of shopping and holiday cheer as we honor and support a Gold Star in the Community: The Georgetown Senior Center held at the historic George Town Club. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.georgetowner.com [gallery ids="101076,137242,137238,137233,137210,137228,137216,137222" nav="thumbs"]

The Fashion Comes Out at Night: Georgetown Hosts 3rd Annual Fashion’s Night Out

Georgetown has always been the center of flourishing fashion in D.C., and the Sept. 6 fashion and retail festivities proved up to the task. The streets were alive with the sound of clicking heels and ringing cash registers as shoppers flocked to their favorite boutiques for the third annual Georgetown Fashion’s Night Out. A block party of epic proportions, FNO is a global initiative sponsored by Vogue Magazine and the Council of Fashion Designers of America and is held in the most fashionable cities in the world including New York City, Los Angeles, Milan and Paris. In addition to supporting local fashion businesses, FNO also serves as a philanthropy event. This year, volunteers sold FNO themed t-shirts, tank tops, and tote bag to benefit the DC-based Vital Voices Global Partnership. The after-hours shopping extravaganza, sponsored by the Georgetown Business Improvement District, brought out some notable faces including celebrity stylist and image expert Paul Wharton of “Real Housewives of D.C.” fame and local NBC4 news anchor Angie Goff. Fashion lovers dressed up in their most stylish clothes with women working it in maxi skirts, fitted tops, dresses and more to men donning dapper three-piece suits just in time for fall. With a myriad of events to choose from and more than100 stores, restaurants, and salons participating in FNO, crowds of all ages invaded M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. For instance, under a huge, white tent on Dean and Deluca’s patio, attendees were invited to sip free drinks and dance the night away at a party sponsored by BrightestYoungThings. Along with shopping bags, those who stopped into Georgetown Cupcake also carried around a free red velvet cupcake. DC Scout hosted an FNO party of their own at Cusp that included a styling session with personal stylist and wardrobe consultant, Meredith Liberty. Men's clothing store, the Streets of Georgetown, celebrated its "Man's Cave"; Tari offered a "Glamourazzi Makeover Contest"; Ella Rue held a "Positively P Street" party. Following the success of this year’s FNO and with autumn on the horizon, we can bet that D.C. will continue to be one of the best-dressed cities in the world. [gallery ids="102477,120509,120546,120533,120517,120525,120539,120553" nav="thumbs"]

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week, Spring 2013, is the beginning of the fashion season that travels all over the world. Held at Lincoln Center, this premier, semiannual event draws thousands of industry professionals, celebrities and fashionistas to eight days of runway shows and presentations. This year, the list of designers included Diane Von Furstenberg, Betsey Johnson, Monique Lhuillier, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors.

Styling in Georgetown

The Gap All Wrong Many people believe that if one sticks to the basics in dressing, you cannot go wrong. But this is not always the case. This woman’s outfit is a classic example. Her khaki skirt is too long for her frame. The jean jacket is too short for the skirt and wrong for the high- necked top, and white socks and sneakers never go with a long skirt. My suggestion would be: A knee-length khaki skirt, a V-neck top, and jean jacket that hits the waist, with colored flats for a pop of color. Lumber Jack This man must be from out of town, because everyone who is from D.C. knows you do not wear flannel and heavy jeans in August in D.C. It is just too hot. I guess he realized that he did not have right outfit on for the very hot day and that is why he walked the streets of DC with his flannel completely unbuttoned and open. Next time he is in town, I suggest he bring a tee shirt and shorts. Style King The Streets of Georgetown party on Aug. 8 was all about “Old Fashion, New Look,” and Kevin Gray got it right. He was edgy, yet sophisticated in his royal blue Zara blazer, light blue Alton Lange shirt, light tan Zara pants and skinny colorfully striped tie from Aldo. Whiskey brown Aldo shoes completed this strong look. Menswear Gets A Feminine Touch Adra Williams and Beth Webster are women who know how to get noticed at this men’s clothing store event. Williams surprised us all in her men’s Hickey Freeman jacket. She paired it with a wide black belt, black leggings and black heels by BCBG. Webster was super sexy in her red-hot dress from Banana Republic and red & white bowed heels from Nine West. Master of Style Patrick Leugers was dressed to impress at Streets of Georgetown’s “Old Fashion, New Look” party. His navy blue Hickey Freeman blazer, white Polo pants, Brooks Brothers green and blue and white gingham shirt and brown Allen Edmonds shoes were on key with the night’s theme. His look has timeless appeal. Old School Paul Beirne takes preppy to the next level at “Old Fashion, New Look.” I love how he put together his navy Breuer blazer, blue and grey Hugh & Crye shirt with rolled Unis khakis and white old-school Tretorns. Now, this is some comfort with style! [gallery ids="100947,130359,130333,130353,130348,130341" nav="thumbs"]