Monday, August 29, 2011

Decoded: Japanese Style

Mon petites, it’s no secret that in the hauter then haute blogesphere we are absolutely obsessed with street style photos. And from the looks of the runways, we aren’t the only ones. Clicking through Tokyo blogs like and, and reading the must have tome JAPAN FASHION NOW (Yale University Press) we noticed a strong link between the snapshots from Harajuku and Shibuya and the trends that emerged in the collections nearly every season. What's even more interesting is what is in store (pun  intended) for the future !

Photo: Marcio Madeira via
Denim-on-denim? Boho layers? Post-apocalyptic chic?  Punk Mash up? The dolls and gents in Tokyo were in la mode before it was in vogue (literally). Designers get their ideas from all over and filter them in their own unique ways, but there’s no denying that these young Japanese women (and men) know what’s hip months, sometimes light years before the rest of us, and they’re as influential now as they’ve ever been. What's even more captivating is the realm of creativity in which Japanese designers are producing now and how it's interpreted on the Streets of Japan.   Here's a look at some of the influences, rtw interpretation and a haute tome that explores it all... 

Japan Fashion Now
Valerie Steele with Patricia Mears, Yuniya Kawamura, and Hiroshi Narumi
Yale University Press

Over the past 40 years the Japanese with their distinctive view on form and fashion,  have led the way in aligning fashion with art, ideology and integrity, as well as addressing identity and social politics through dress. They have demonstrated that there is no trend, creative mode, fade and commercial craze in today's international fashion industry that can not be revitalize and made new.
Photos Courtesy of 
The book explores how the Japanese  have refused to compromise their ideals, remaining autonomous and independent in their design, wardrobe regime and trends.  In JAPAN FASHION NOW (Yale University Press) the tome provides a richly detailed and uniquely comprehensive view of the style wonderland that continues to inspire and create the world over. 

Photos Courtesy of 
This book is a visual foray into Japan’s popular and influential style subculture. It showcases a creative lifestyle synthesized from a remix of Victoriana, the macabre, anime, and theatricality, drawing on the early punks of the ’70s and ’80s and the club kids of the ’90s. Japanese Now blends disparate elements of global pop culture into something fun, stylish, and unique—. It attracts established figures from Tokyo’s trendsetting fashion, art, and design scenes, and has inspired the next generation of designers, tastemakers, and fashionistas. Featured here are intriguing essays by Steele, Mears and the like that give an insider look at what was created and to come from the Japanese world of fashion. 
Japan Fashion Now
Valerie Steele with Patricia Mears, Yuniya Kawamura, and Hiroshi Narumi
Yale University Press

Yale Press , Barnes & Noble , Amazon 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

4C's Every Girl Should Know!

There are some things in life every girl (and guy) should know - from washing your hands to grooming your eyebrows - these petite know hows are essential for day to day living. Knowing the 4c's of Diamonds are also essential too! Here's where comes in with it's ingenius diamond infograph explaining the quality standards of the 4C's. These measures, which put together in the infograph (below) include precision of cut, symmetry and polish. Individually and as a group, they influence a diamond's brilliance, dispersion, scintillation and overall appearance - this graph is essential when you want to invest in these amazing gems!

4C's of Loose Diamonds

Thursday, August 11, 2011

His Story: An intimate Look At Herb Ritts

© Herb Ritts Foundation from "Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour" by Charles Churchward, Rizzoli 2010
The late Herb Ritts' renowned for his beguiling photographs and music videos has captivated the world over for decades. In a new book published by his estate in conjunction with Rizzoli New YorkHerb Ritts: The Golden Hour: A Photographer's Life and His World , showcases some of Ritts' most vivid images from his personal archives along with intimate accounts shared by his trusted inner circle. 

© Herb Ritts Foundation from "Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour" by Charles Churchward, Rizzoli 2010

Herb Ritts was a raconteur of many tales—some his own, some colorfully or shall I say sepia-hued invented all by his own design. (It’s true that Ritts, who died in 2002,was among the most  illustrious photographers in celebrity portraiture, fashion, and music videos.) The American-born photographer became the darling of the visual world with his  images - featuring brilliant scenarios, genius lighting and striking compositions making his signature look desired by nearly every luminary in the fashion, art/music and celebrity worlds.  
Herb in Bali, Indonesia, 1987. Photo by Richard Gere
In The Golden Hour (Rizzoli) we get a rare glimpse at the makings of the man who brought out the beauty in every being he laid his eyes on. 
Gwen Stefani for the cover of the premiere issue of Teen Vogue, Point Dume, CA, 2002
He was more then the subjects he shot - he was a man greatly influenced by many genres, Ritts' vision was fresh and tinged by a romantic sensibility. This sensibility carried over to his work, his relationships and his extraordinary life that was cut way too soon.  

Chris Cortazzo, Herb, and Masai warriors, Africa, 1993
Known for his original vision, Ritts brought a simple, spare grace to the worlds of photography, fashion, music and celebrity. Alternating between sensuality and desire, Ritts' images are composed with great precision. The austere lighting and compositions are paired with intriguing narratives that only Ritts could recount to sheer perfection. 
© Herb Ritts Foundation from "Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour" by Charles Churchward, Rizzoli 2010
As with his work as a music director (Michael Jackson's 'Keep It In The Closet' being my all time fave), his masterly at all things visual (albeit photographs or videos) were superbly crafted and sublime. Ritts' inspiration in the diverse realms of  culture, nature, history--and the human form produced some of the most beautiful images and this book as his work is a true testament to the legacy of Herb Ritts. This book is an absolute MUST! 

Written by Charles Churchward, Foreword by David Fahey, Introduction by Richard Gere

For more information on the title and to purchase it log onto

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Allure Of Pearls...


Whether you're aesthetic with pearls  fall into the something old, new or borrowed camp, or the safe for work attire or the  the quintessential 'Lady who lunches' tribe-  pearls are the fail-safe ladylike  adornment for legions of woman (and men) the world over. But they’re allure and beauty are  no longer just for traditionalists. In PEARLS (Skira) one will be engulfed with one of the most rarest and mysterious gems. 
Triptych by Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865): the elegant prince Genji watches women diving for abalone from his boat. Print, 1858. Private collection.
The captivating, beautiful and spellbinding tome is an extension of the ecological wonder that has been a prized treasure since ancient times for it's luster and purity. The true fascination of this book - is the way it effortlessly combines scientific, historical, cultural, and haute pearl couture information that's truly a page turner

Tiara commissioned from Chaumet, Paris, in 1897 by the Marquis de Keroüartz for his wife-to-be Louise d’Andigné, on the occasion of their marriage the same year. It is characterised by seven large baroque pearls that sprout from a composition of diamonds mounted on silver and gold. The tiara can be converted into a necklace. Albion Art Collection, Japan.

Such approachability is one of the book’s paradoxes, and hearkens back to the pure and natural essence of Pearls - the uncommon quality of the various pearls featured in the book and their intriguing backstory makes the tome a fascinting read on its own. 
A giant clam with its thick mantle of a bright hue.

Along with the absolutely exquisite works featuring some of the world's most beautiful pearls, the authors explain both "perliculture" and the harvesting of naturally occurring specimens, the biology of the mollusks that produce them and the history of pearls in human society. Gem aficionados will be taken with the book's range of size, shape and color of these ever-popular jewels - we here at LPB was awestruck! 

These necklaces belonging to Hussain Alfardan are the very essence of the beauty of the natural pearl. Perfectly spherical and with a superb orient, this quality of pearl catches the light and interacts with light into very subtle pastel tints. Hussain Alfardan Collection, Qatar.

What I fould to be extremely interesting about the book is yes the various tiaras, necklaces and works of art featured but what truly drew me to this page turner was contrary to a generally held view that pearls are found by chance in oysters, almost all are now produced from farms. 
The penguin or black-winged oyster (Pteria penguin) is a magnificent animal with an extension of the nacreous part on the side of the hinge. When the valves are open, it forms a sort of heart. The species is characterised by a very extensive formation of black organic matter, or conchiolin. Unfortunately, this substance dehydrates and the shell of the oyster does not keep well. It produces magnificent but rare green pearls. Palawan Island, Philippines. Collection of the Qatar Museums Authority.

This book is a comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the biology of pearl oysters, their anatomy, reproduction, genetics, diseases, etc. It explores how they are farmed from spawning and culturing larvae in hatcheries to adults in the ocean; how various environmental factors, including pollution affect them; how modern techniques are successfully producing large numbers of cultured pearls. This is the ultimate reference source on pearl oysters and the culture of pearls, there is no stone left un-turn (pun intended)! 
Belle Époque tiara (around 1900). Between two undulating bandeaux, a garland of stylised myrtle leaves bears seven pearls. The setting is in diamonds on platinum. Thomas Faerber Collection, Geneva.

This lavishly illustrated book includes History and Lore, Natural Pearls, Cultured Saltwater Pearls, Cultured Freshwater Pearls, Mother-of-Pearl and pearls featured in art, haute couture and more.  This book provides the ideal introduction to one of the world's oldest and most famous gems. A book every jewel enthusiast should own. 
A unique treasure of natural history: this superb abalone has been invaded by a worm that has entered through the animal’s whorl. The worm is 6 cm long. It has been covered and turned into a pearl, with the head clearly visible. The X-ray photograph of the head shows that it is indeed an invertebrate and that the shell is riddled with tunnels created by other boring worms. Private collection.
Available at Rizzoli New York 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Who says engagement rings have to be the run of the mill generic solitairs?

Are you and your beau dreaming of a haute engagement ring embellished with a massive 12-carat rough stone with dainty yellow and pink diamonds, or an emerald and ruby stunner, designed to evoke old New York society? Mon petites, It can be done! Chic brides and their savvy fiancés are opting for less standard fare when it comes to engagement rings in an array of hues, shapes and sizes. Brilliance's custom designed creations are the perfect option for those who think outside of the box.  If you are in the market to buy diamond engagement rings with exquisite certified loose diamonds Brilliance is truly the place to go!  The rings can be tailored to your every whim. With the help of Brilliance's team of uber talented jewelry designers you can have the ring of your dreams with your exact specifications. Concoct an understated piece perfect for stacking atop an eternity band or go geometric for an out of this world ring that truly speaks to your style. While some gals and gents opt for that little blue box we here at La Petite Blog absolutely love the idea of designing the engagement ring to suit the love and impending commitment to one another (and it's way less painful then a tattoo - someone should of told Kat Von D about Brilliance!) And forget wearing your heart on your sleeve; with a custom made engagement ring your bride will adorn the ultimate heart-shaped (if you fancy) token of affection.  How romantic is that? 
Step 1
Submit drawings, sketches and/or picture
Step 2
Receive our illustration renderings for approval
Step 3
Jewelry is cast, polished, and completed

Engagement rings have just gotten hauter! 
Custom Design Rings Courtesy of

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