Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fashion Arizona??


This entry is a bit of a departure for moi. For one thing I am typing it myself. But I have a manicure appointment in an hour, so I am happy to sacrifice my nails in the service of you, mes chers lecteurs.

I was browsing the Web late the other night, Bucky the Wonderdog curled in my lap, Frank Sinatra's "Only The Lonely" on Itunes. (Really, dahlings, his rendition of "One For My Baby"--guaranteed to smear the mascara of the most hardened fashion maven!)

I came upon a site called Electric Ladyland. My finger was stayed from hitting the back button. Electric Ladyland is apparently a small chain of boutiques, in, of all Godforsaken places, Arizona. (My apologies, but being a New Yorker, anywhere south of New Jersey seems like the backwoods.) The stores are run by Penny Long, a gorgeous femme d'un certain √Ęge, and her equally gorgeous son, Ashley Mutrux.

What first caught my attention was that the store pictured looks oddly like a heightened version of my beautiful Central Park West apartment! Hung with chandeliers, it has that distinctively theatrical, feminine taste for luxury that the true cognoscenti instantly recognize. Leopard print and floral chintz display counters, mannequins wearing large feathered headdresses—absolute heaven in the middle of the desert!

(Photo courtesy Electric Ladyland)

And they sell brands that run plus, such as 7 For All Mankind.

But I was most interested in their jewelry. Having taught (or rather, occasionally showed up for) my “Haute Cou-Poor” class at FIT, “How Much Is Too Much? The Aesthetics of Bling,” wherein the great unwashed were shown the difference between cheap flashiness and expensive flashiness, I wanted to see what people were buying today.

(No comment on what many of mes √©tudiants were wearing—suffice to say je pense some people wear huge gold necklaces with their names spelled on them because the names are impossible to pronounce and they wish to be helpful.)

As you know, I mostly deal in classic vintage jewelry, myself.

Most of Electric Ladyland’s jewelry would hardly be called classic. There seems to be a plethora of skulls, crowns and peace signs—one assumes those are meant for the younger customer, or the older customer who refuses to believe that we're not still awash in the Summer of Love.

But there are so many designers, you are sure to find something covetable. As far as classic goes, they carry my dear friend Kenneth Jay Lane, with many beautiful animal patterned bracelets and earrings. (The rhinestone leopard cuff is superb, dahlings!)

Electric Bling—I do not know if the pieces are designed by the owners or not, but some of them are excellent examples of when too much is too much. Take, for example, their “Dior Style” rings, knuckle crushers one very much doubts Dior would have approved of. I do not approve of them being called cocktail rings--they are so large they should be called Pilsner rings!
On the other hand, Electric Bling has lovely crystal necklaces (although the juxtaposition of crystal six-shooters and crystal angel wings takes more irony than yours truly possesses). But I confess, I quite lost my heart to a pair of huge turquoise hoop earrings, and a magnifique pair of earrings in the shape of red enameled electric guitars with white wings on gold hooks! Now I shall have something to wear to the next VH1 Awards!

(Photo courtesy Electric Ladyland)

And then there is SYdney Evan, designed by Rosanne Karmes. Her necklaces are tres' exquisite, likewise her earrings. Many of them at Electric Ladyland are composed of diamonds set in white or yellow gold. Soon to be part of my collection are a pair of diamond and white gold crown earrings, as well as a blue sapphire “evil eye” necklace. There are quite a few people I intend to point it at! (Not of course, my idol, Anna Wintour!)

(Photo courtesy Electric Ladyland)

(I have not mentioned most bracelets, because I have large wrists, and none of the designers I looked at gave dimensions for them. In fact, if I had one teeny-tiny criticism of the site, it is that there are so few details when you look at a piece. Actually, two teeny-tiny criticisms—on their About Us page, the word knack is spelled “nack.”)

But that’s mere trivia when you are purveying such bravura fashion! I urge you to indulge yourself and visit . It is like a trip to Hollywood without leaving the comfort of your boudoir. Bucky never once had to budge from my lap. So we were both very happy, despite Frank Sinatra.

Elisa and Bucky The Wonderdog

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