Archive for October, 2009

Kicking Off With Dweck Diamonds, We Officially Start Keeping Tabs On What Host Lisa Robertson Says She Is Ordering From QVC

October 28, 2009

We said we were going to begin keeping track of each time QVC host Lisa Robertson says she is going to buy an item she is presenting, so let’s start right now.

During the premiere of Dweck Diamonds Tuesday night, Robertson told the charming designer several times that she planned to purchase some of his jewelry, which was inspired by nature. Dweck’s collections had flowers and buds and twig-like branches. Very delicate and pretty.

First Robertson said, “A number of pieces, I’m going to be shopping for after the show.”

Then, as Dweck’s debut was about to end, QVC quickly showed a pair of his Black Fortuna hoop earrings.

There was no time to do a full presentation on them, so Robertson said, “I actually might have a chance to get them.”

As we said in a recent post, if Robertson actually bought every item she says she will, she’d need a place as big as Giants Stadium to store all that QVC merchandise.

So we are starting to make a list of Lisa’s supposed purchases. We could use any help we can get, so if you see her sounding off again, please let us know and we’ll add it to our list.

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From Neiman Marcus To QVC: Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck’s Arrival On Home Shopping With Dweck Diamonds, Not Dweck Cubic Zirconia

October 28, 2009

For jewelry lovers, designer Stephen Dweck’s debut on QVC Tuesday night caused quite a buzz. And his premiere didn’t disappoint.

“I was able to finally be a jeweler, but for America,”  said Dweck, who looked more like a bespectacled professor than a red-carpet jewelry designer. “I’m really proud of what I’ve done here tonight.” 

His nature-inspired Dweck Diamonds, crafted out of silver and 14 carat gold, ranged in price from $55 for a ring to $604 for a gorgeous swirl necklace

Dweck, who was quite modest and charming, has worked on his QVC line for more than a year. In New York, we would call him a mensch. His company is a family business, with his mom and brothers part of the operation. He said he fans are called “Dweckettes.”

During his premiere show Dweck said, “Jewelry is such  an important part of our lives, whether we admit it or not,”  calling his QVC pieces “future heirlooms.”

A few years ago Dweck had a trunk show at the Neiman Marcus in Short Hills, N.J., and we purchased our first and only piece of his jewelry: a big necklace with large pieces of bright red bamboo coral. It was very much a signature Dweck piece.

We have blanked out how much we paid for it, but we remember it was a lot for us. But we wanted one of Dweck’s pieces. Host Lisa Robertson also said she had some of his jewelry. 

Dweck’s upscale “bench” jewelry is exactly the kind we love: huge, chunky necklaces, rings and bracelets with enormous semi-precious stones. It’s very distinctive. You know one of Dweck’s high-end pieces when you see it.

But his line for QVC is totally different in style from his upscale jewelry. First of all, his QVC jewely incorporates “a kiss of diamonds,” as Robertson put it.

And second, the pieces are on a small, delicate scale, not featuring big rock-like stones. The Dweck Diamonds jewelry is inspired by nature, featuring flowers (the “Caroline” collection) and branch-like and bud-like features (the “Fortuna” collection).

The Caroline and Fortuna collections are named after his two daughters, Dweck said. And the flower-design comes from the flowers that Dweck, an avid gardener,  grows in  Brooklyn, he told Robertson. The third Dweck collection, the Fortuna Black collection, has a black rhodium finish.

Dweck did a very traditional design, a heart in the Fortuna Black collection, that looked like it was made out of a miniature twigs, with a bark-like texture. The QVC pieces are modeled after real branches Dweck has in his studio.

Dweck is so passionate about jewelry, it was a pleasure to watch him. He says he gets ideas for his work when he dreams at night, and scribbles them down in the dark.

“It makes me very proud to be a jeweler,” he said, talking about his Fortuna Black Criss Cross Bangle.

Dweck started out studying sculpture, and several of his pieces are in museums, including the Metroplitan Museum of Art.

Dweck is also a great cook, dishing up lunch for Robertson when she visited his studio, she told viewers.

So for those who still use the words “cubic zirconia” to describe home shoppings networks: HELLO!

Luxury jewelry designers such as Judith Ripka and Robert Lee Morris all have lower-priced lines for QVC. Morris designs runway jewelry for fashion designer Donna Karan. We’re very happy he is doing sterling silver for QVC. Dweck is in very good company.

Of  his QVC line, Dweck said, “Jeweler meets artist, and vice versa.” We agree.

ShopNBC ‘Extends’ Its Product Line With Clip-Ins From Hair Stylist Ted Gibson

October 27, 2009

Third-ranked home shopping network ShopNBC has been struggling, and its strategy now is to diversify and not depend so much on jewelry sales. As a result, it is becoming more and more like QVC and HSN every day. It’s no big surprise, since ShopNBC is now run by former QVC executives.

Tuesday’s ShopNBC Top Value of the Day are clip-in hair extensions from hair stylist Ted Gibson, at $100 a pop.

Does any of that sound familiar? Well, QVC just rolled out a line of hair extensions, Hairdo by Jessica Simpson & Ken Paves, from the blonde singer’s hair stylist Paves.

That Paves/Simpson line used to be on HSN, but switched over to QVC. We could swear that TV chef Rachael Ray was wearing hair extensions of some sort — maybe from Paves — when she appeared on QVC last week, despite her claim she was growing out her hair. Last time we saw her, her hair was chin-length, and it was down her shoulders when she appeared on QVC.

Despite the exit of Paves and Simpson. HSN still sells hair extensions from Toni Bratton.

The Gibson hair extensions are all part of ShopNBC’s first beauty and style week.

We’re Still Waiting To Hear From HSN and Dr. Robert Rey, About HSN And Dr. Robert Rey And ShopNBC

October 27, 2009

We just sent — for a second time — HSN and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey the big question that home shopping fans want to know: Will the sassy doctor remain on both HSN and ShopNBC?

We first e-mailed Rey, the star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” and HSN on Sunday. That’s the day that Rey premiered his skincare products, Sensual Solutions, on ShopNBC. But Rey also sells an undie and bra line, Shapewear, on HSN.

The query is simple: Will Rey still be selling Shapewear on HSN, even though he is also on competing network ShopNBC?

Monday we sent the same e-mail again to Rey and HSN.

We’re not holding our breath that we’ll get an answer, but we may give you periodic updates.

On a totally different subject, with tonight’s “PM Style” on QVC we might initiate one of our plans: To keep track of every time host Lisa Robertson says she is going to buy an item she is selling, and publish that list here.

If Robertson bought something every single time she said that, she’d need a house the size of Giants Stadium to hold all that QVC merchandise.

And we also wish QVC hosts like Robertson would stop calling the products they are hawking “ideas.” We are not looking to buy “ideas” on home shopping networks, we’re looking for jewelry, mascara, etc.

And while we’re at it regarding Robertson, we hope she will stop telling us that with Easy Pay, an “idea” is only “a dollar a day.”

Man, we got up on the wrong side of the bed today, didn’t we?

A Sneak Peek At Upscale Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck’s Diamond Line For QVC

October 26, 2009

Thanks to stealthy poster “Crazy for QVC” on the network’s online jewelry forum, here is a peek at some of jewelry designer Stephen Dweck’s pieces for Tuesday night.

The new QVC line is called Dweck Diamonds, a treat since his upscale jewelry is sold at places like Neiman Marcus.

Racism And Prejudice On QVC’s Online Forums: Jewelry Made In Italy And Mexico Is OK, But Items Made In China And Korea Prompt Nasty Rants

October 26, 2009

We read QVC’s online jewelry forum regularly, and we believe there is racism from some posters regarding jewelry made in China and Korea.

On Monday, one QVC poster immediately complained that singer Marie Osmond’s new Shine! jewelry line is manufactured in China and Korea.

This is not the first time we’ve heard this complaint made. There have been many such posts over the past months. Robert Lee Morris, for example, was criticized on the forum because his QVC jewelry is made in China and Thailand.

Now, QVC sells a lot of gold jewelry made in Italy, and does remote shows from that gorgeous country. The home shopping network makes a big deal about touting the talent of Italian gold factories.

QVC also sells a load of handmade silver jewelry from Taxco, Mexico. Again, there is lots of information offered about the specific Taxco silversmiths and their familes who are creating the jewelry.

QVC also offers artisan-crafted jewelry from Indonesia, where the vendor dresses up in costume and talks about the way the jewelry is handmade in her country.

Is it us, but doesn’t it sound like a double standard — or a touch of racism — for QVC viewers to complain about jewelry being made in China, but not about gold imported from Italy or silver coming from south of the border?

What’s the prejudice against China? We don’t see any rants about some of QVC’s gold not being manufactured in the good old USA.

We’re just saying.

We Stopped Drinking, And We’re Seeing Pink Elephants On QVC In Marie Osmond’s New Jewelry Line

October 26, 2009

Singer Marie Osmond is rocking the biggest hair we’ve ever seen and is showing some cleavage on QVC during Monday’s premiere of her new jewelry line, Shine!

Osmond already does dolls for QVC, but the jewelry is new. Our favorite, not that we can afford it, was a pink elephant ring. It was $149, huge but cute, with 375 hand-set crystals. It sold out. Critter jewelry is big now.

There was also an elephant charm bracelet for $70.

“My children are always giving me elephants,” Osmond said.

Elephants show “that God has a sense of humor,” with their wrinkles and big ears, according to the singer. “They’re a woman’s animal,” Osmond said.

There was also a pave dragonfly pin.

QVC Is Cloaking Couture Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck’s New Diamond Line In Secrecy

October 26, 2009

So far QVC is being very secretive about uspcale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck’s new line of diamond jewelry for the home shopping channel.

The network is running promos for Dweck’s debut Tuesday night. It also has a video featuring the designer describing his new line Dweck Diamonds, featuring a handful of the items.

But QVC has yet to put all his jewelry online on its Web site, causing some posters to its online forums to gripe.

Last week one poster had a list of item numbers and photos of several dozen of Dweck’s pieces. But QVC quickly removed that post from the forum.

Dweck’s work for QVC has little resemblance to the chunky pieces with huge semi-precious gems that he does for high-end stores such as Neiman Marcus. The QVC pieces are delicate and have an organic look, as if they were inspired by nature, with flowers and designs that resemble branches. Not necessarily our taste, but they are different.

Dweck is the latest upscale couture jewelry designer to take the plunge and do a lower-priced line for QVC. Robert Lee Morris and Judith Ripka are among the big names that already are on the Q.

On Eve Of His Return To HSN, New York Post Claims Chef Todd English’s Financial Woes Prompted Him To Jilt Bride

October 26, 2009

HSN celebrity chef Todd English, who will be back on the home shopping channel Tuesday, is once again making headlines in the tabloids.

On Monday English’s financial woes were the lead item in the New York Post’s Page Six, with the headline “Eateries Took a Toll on Todd”.

The item blames English’s money problems for his decision to cancel his wedding to Erica Wang. According to the Post, English has closed three of his eateries, namely Olives in Aspen, Colo., and Washington, and the Fish Club in Seattle. Sources told the Post that English was under a lot of stress.

But is that the real reason that earlier this month English jilted his fiancee Wang and left her at the altar on their wedding day? There’s been lots of mud-slinging since then.

The Post broke the story about the cancelled wedding, and followed up with an exclusive interview with Wang, who painted English as a real cad. Just days afte that story ran, English filed assault charges against Wang, alleging that she hit him in the head with his own watch in September.

The latest is the Post story today. In the Page Six item, English’s camp claims that his financial issues had nothing to do with him calling off the wedding. It was Wang’s nasty behavior that gave him second thoughts.

Either way, English will be back on HSN tomorrow selling his GreenPan line of pots and pans.

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers And Her Controversial Cancer Book ‘Knockout’ Lent Some Support By New York Times Series

October 26, 2009

When ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Friday, she defended her controversial new book on holistic treatments for cancer. The book is called “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”

Somers, under heat from the American Cancer Society, mentioned that even The New York Times had written about how the war against cancer was being lost. She was critical of chemotherapy, saying it does not have a good success rate.

The blonde has a big bone to pick with the medical community. On the King show, Somers said that last November several doctors had misdiagnosed her and said she had full-body cancer. She thought she was going to die. Prior to that, in 2001, Somers had breast cancer, and survived without chemotherapy. She had the lump on her breast removed, did radiation and turned to alternative treatments.

We had missed the Times’ stories Somers referred to, and wondered what she was talking about. But Sunday The Times had a very moving Page One story about a Houston hospital that only handles cancer patients. Patients, and doctors and nurses who themselves have cancer describe how difficult it is to endure treatments, how devastating the disease is and how hopeless they feel.

All the stories on The Times “Fourty Years War” cancer series can be found here.

We’re not advocating that cancer patients forego conventional medicine, and we have not read Somers’ book, but The Times’ stories do seem to lend some credence to her questioning the success rate of traditional treatments like chemotherapy.

In point of fact, we know women whose lives have been saved by chemotherapy, so we certainly are not knocking it.

But Somers is raising some legitimate issues about how difficult the fight against cancer is, as The Times has chronicled. Anyone who has lost a loved one — who was in remission after treatment, only to have their cancer return and kill them — knows how tough some cancers can be to beat.