Archive for August, 2010

Emmy Winner’s Wife Rocked HSN Necklace At The Awards Ceremony

August 31, 2010

The Emmy necklace

We always enjoy reading HSN host-with-the-most Colleen Lopez’s Facebook posts, and she had a good one Monday.

Colleen said that she had just viewed the time-shifted Emmy Awards, and she was surprised and pleased to see that the wife of one of the Emmy winners was wearing a necklace that is featured on HSN’s Designer Gallery.

“I just finished watching the Emmy Awards – that I TVo’d from last night…..And LO and BEHOLD there was our fabulous Amanda Jaron Designer Gallery Necklace on the wife of Steve Levitan’s wife, Kristen!!” Colleen said on Facebook. “As he gave his funny and touching tribute to his wife…..Check out that fabulous necklace!!! Congrats, Amanda ♥

Steve Levitan who won an Emmy for comedy writing for “Modern Family.” Colleen posted the video clip, as have we.

The necklace had chunky faceted onyx beads with sterling silver flowers on them. We’ve seen Colleen’s presentations on the piece, and she said she had purchased it for herself.

Jaron commented on Facebook that Krista Levitan (that’s how Amanda spelled her name) had purchased her necklace on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

The necklace sold for $200 at HSN, but it appears to be sold out now.

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Charriol Heiress, With New QVC Handbag Line, Says Let Them Eat Cake — Or Buy $300 Purses

August 30, 2010

Charriol Lorena hobo for QVC

The rich are different from you and me, as the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote goes. That is never more clear than when reading an interview with QVC’s newest handbag vendor, Coralie Charriol.

Coralie is creative director for her daddy Phillippe’s extraordinarily pricey Swiss jeweley and watch company, Charriol. QVC host Lisa Robertson sometimes wears a white Charriol watch, which retails for about $4,000, on-air.

As The Wall Street Journal reports Monday, Coralie debuted a handbag line called C. Lili today on QVC. The story is headlined “Selling 800 Bags in 16 Minutes.”

It’s not surprising that as part of the upper crust, Coralie says she has never purchased anything on QVC. But she notes that QVC has “elevated” its brand with collections from the likes of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and Kim Kardashian (huh?)

“They have an incredible standard of workmanship with inspections and workmanship,” Coralie tells The Journal.

No shit Sherlock. Talk about back-handed compliments for QVC.

But our favorite quote from Coralie is where she talks about her initial four bags for QVC selling for less than $300. Here’s where the “rich-different-than-us” part comes in.

“You would think that for $300 that they are going to be made very cheap and out of pleather, but they’re not,” Coralie told The Journal. “They’re fabulous looking!”

Earth to Coralie: Most American women are not spending $300 for purses, and many American women are buying leather — not pleather — handbags for way less than $300.

We all can’t afford to buy $5,000 to $15,000 Gucci and Vuitton designer bags.

This woman really riles up our class consciousness, like when we walked into our first class at Northwestern and realized everyone else’s dad was a CEO.

But ultimately we came to realize that FDNY trumped CEO any day.

Tracy Looks A Lot Like Olivia In New Season Of ‘Jerseylicious’

August 28, 2010

Christy in Season 2

“Jerseylicious” is coming back Sept. 5, and some of the Jersey Girls will look a lot different in Season 2.

If you don’t want anymore info about the Style Network reality show, we’re giving you a spoiler alert: Stop reading.

First of all, half of the mother-daughter team that run The Gatsby Salon is pregnant. Christy Pereira is with child, and looks fantastic. Her mom Gayle Giacomo, the matriarch of the Green Brook beauty parlor where “Jerseylicioius” takes place, is thrilled.

Tracy's new look looks like Olivia

But almost more surprising than Christy’s pregnancy is the new Tracy DiMarco. The busty, big-haired blonde hairstylist who makes makeup artist Olivia Blois Sharpe’s life miserable now almost looks like her.

Tracy is rocking some dark hair that is very straight and very flat — like Olivia’s.

As a friend pointed out, it also likes like sweet hair stylist Gigi Liscio is slimmer this season. She also has coppery highlights, which we hope to duplicate during our next trip to the Fusion Spa and Salon in Denville, N.J., where Olivia’s roommate and “Jerseylicious” cast member Briella Calafiore works. Briella does our sister Karen’s hair.

Celebrity Stylist Rachel Zoe’s Retro Faux Fur Vest Plugged In New York Times

August 27, 2010

Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s faux fur vest for QVC made the Thursday Style section of The New York Times yesterday, in a story headlined “Retro Looks, Almost at Retro Prices.”

Zoe’s vest sells for $79 and change, and comes in chinchilla, red fox, black fox and silver.

Zoe’s does a clothing and accessory collection for QVC.

We Beat ‘Em, But Page Six Has Details On Kardashian Clothing Line For QVC

August 27, 2010

The Kardashians do curvy

You read it here first, folks, but Page Six has an item Friday on the Kardashian sisters bringing a clothing line to QVC.

The New York Post’s gossip page, in an item headlined “Kards do curves,” says the new line. named K-Dash, will debut on QVC during New York’s Fashion Night Out Sept. 10.

During a second-quarter conference call earlier this month, QVC CEO Mike George announced that the Kardashian line was coming and that QVC was co-sponsoring Fashion Night, when is how we heard about it.

Page Six has more details about Kim, Khloe and Kourtney’s line. It says that the Kardashians are doing the clothes by colloborating with “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant, who is also doing her own “Mad Men”-inspired line for QVC. (Unless the lines are one and the same, we’re not sure.)

K-Dash is targeting women who have curves, like Kim.

ShopNBC Joins Home-Shopping Musical Bandwagon With Live Concert By Heart

August 26, 2010

Heart, one of our favs, will perform live on ShopNBC this Sunday at 2 p.m. as the group introduces its first new studio album in six years, “Red Velvet Car,” on the network.

The album, which will be officially released Aug. 31 through Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings, will be available exclusively to ShopNBC viewers during the band’s acoustic performance.

We heart Heart

ShopNBC is the third home shopping networks, behind QVC and HSN, to host live concerts of popular artists and sell their new albums. It’s a way for these channels to draw in viewers who ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead watching QVC or HSN.

QVC recently had Sheryl Crow on for a great concert, and HSN has had Natalie Cole.

During the hour long pre-release show titled “Heart Live!” on ShopNBC, Ann and Nancy Wilson will perform acoustic renditions of songs off their new album as well as a selection of their greatest hits in front of a live in-studio audience.

Included with the pre-release of Heart’s new album, “Red Velvet Car,” will be a 5-track greatest hits live album, exclusive to ShopNBC, and a vintage Heart T-shirt, which until now has only been available on the Heart website and at live performances.

The entire pre-release package will be offered to ShopNBC viewers for $19.83. In addition to the live studio performance, customers may also preview clips of the new album online at ShopNBC (Search Term: Heart).

God, it’s worth it to buy this package just for the T-shirt alone!

Here’s ShopNBC’s hype on Heart, whose “What About Love” is on our all-time favorite list:

Like all Heart albums, ‘Red Velvet Car’ rocks hard, but also has a deep acoustic side. Nancy Wilson has long been known to play her acoustic guitar with rock ferocity. With this album, an abundance of resonant acoustic instruments (guitars, mandolin, dobro, banjo, fiddle, viola, cello, and autoharp), played by Nancy Wilson and the album’s producer, Ben Mink, are showcased in Heart’s unique style.

Nine of the album’s songs were written especially for the album, ‘Red Velvet Car.’ The album’s closer, “Sand,” is a newly recorded version of a song originally written and recorded by the Lovemongers, Ann and Nancy’s 1990’s acoustic side project.

“We are thrilled to bring internationally known music icon Heart to the ShopNBC network and provide our viewers with a one-of-a-kind shopping experience through this live performance,” ShopNBC president Bob Ayd said in a canned statement.

“As a multi-media retailer operating with a premium lifestyle brand, we are highly focused on content, commerce and community to the surprise, delight, and entertainment of our 1 million customers. Establishing a strategic relationship with Sony Music will not only help expand what customers can expect from us, but also open the door for many new and exciting opportunities within the music industry going forward.”

Here’s the hype from the record label.

“The arrival of ‘Red Velvet Car,’ the first new Heart album in six years, is cause for celebration,” said Adam Block, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Legacy Recordings. “We think there’s a great fit here and are excited for Nancy and Ann Wilson to be sharing their new songs live with their fans on this ShopNBC event.”

Ann Wilson and her younger sister, Nancy Wilson, proved that women can rock when their band Heart hit the charts in the ’70s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up” and “Kick It Out.”

Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs and played the instruments, making them the first women in rock to do so. Heart continued topping the charts through the ’80s and into the ’90s with huge hits like “These Dreams,” “Alone,” “What About Love,” “If Looks Could Kill” and “Never.”

Heart sold more than 30 million records, had 21 Top 40 hits and sold out arenas worldwide.

Judge Rules HSN Vitamin Hawker Andrew Lessman Can Be Even Nastier Than Us In His Blogs About QVC

August 26, 2010

We’re late on this one folks, but it’s pretty juicy — and important to a blogger like The Homeshoppingista. QVC has lost the first round in its suit to bar HSN vitamin purveyor Andrew Lessman from blasting QVC’s vitamins and dietary supplements in his blog.

We got a tip on this Thursday from our ex-colleague Linda H. on the Left Coast, and than saw that MediaPost wrote about it earlier this week, as did Georgetown University law school professor Rebecca Tushnet on her blog.

U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson refused to issue a preliminary injunction and restraining order against Lessman. He may be a very charming, easy-going fellow on-air but his blogs on QVC make our snarky commens about the No. 1 home shopping network look like press releases.

For example, in January he blogged that QVC’s Nature Code brand hair, skin and nail supplement “isn’t healthy…it is just sleazy and deceptive.”

For good measure, he added, that QVC’s “lack of integrity is totally in keeping with the lack of quality of their vitamins.”

Part of Lessman's HSN line

And there’s a hell of a lot more mud-slinging along those lines. Read the good professor’s blog for more details on that. Needless to say, QVC was not happy, and filed suit in February in federal court in Delaware.

Lessman does have an ax to grind. He started his TV career selling his products on QVC in 1992, but defected to rival HSN in 1997. Here’s some dish: Lessman was in talks to return to QVC earlier this year, but they fell through. Not coincidentally, that’s when Lessman started dissing QVC in his blog.

We haven’t read the judge’s ruling, so what we know about it is from the professor and MediaPost. But Judge Robinson found that even though Lessman’s nasty blogs about QVC could be misleading, QVC never proved to the court that the comments actually confused consumers. No proof of confusion, no injunction.

But QVC can still continue with its suit against Lessman, it just can’t have an injunction at this point.

We think the court’s ruling is a good one for bloggers like us and the First Amendment, but let’s see what happens if the case makes it to trial.

QVC Buyer Beware: Don’t Get Caught In The Rain With A B. Makowsky Handbag

August 25, 2010

There’s a hubbub about B. Makowsky’s handbags on QVC’s online forums, with some information that we had never heard about the products: They bleed.

It started off when one poster complained that the color from one of Makowsky’s pricey handbags from QVC had bled onto a Coach purse that she had sitting next to it.

“It was my error I did not have the dust covers on,” the poster wrote. “(QVC) Corporate told me that all B. Makowsky handbags come with a ‘warning’ about the leather. I did purchase one myself in bone color, but do not remember a warning. Also she told me his metallic handbags come with a warning ‘not to get wet.’ Any information would be appreciated. There is no way to get in touch with B. Makowsky, there is no customer service number, anywhere, including his website and also his facebook page.”

Needless to say, since handbags are worn in all types of weather, the fact that dye transfers off these bags isn’t a very good selling point in our book, and for many QVC customers.

Several posts noted that in fact the B. Makowsky bags do have a tag warning about not getting them wet.

One woman said she looked at one of the tags in Macy’s, and it said, “The fine quality leather this handbag is crafted from will showcase subtle shading & varying textures which are part of the desired effect and not to be considered flaws. Due to the nature of this n*aked leather, color transfer may occur. Choose your favorite, and enjoy.”

Enjoy? How can we enjoy the color running from a Makowsky purse bleeding our clothes or furniture?

Here’s how the thread went about the bags, from women who feel the same way we do.

“Had there been anything like that, the bag would have been returned as soon as I had finished reading either warning,” one poster wrote. “How can one have a bag that can’t get wet? Am I supposed to stick it under my shirt if I am out and it starts to rain? It the bag is not colorfast, then it should not be offered for sale. Let’s do some quality control, Bruce!”

Another apparently very affluent QVC viewer chimed in, “I never had a problem with my BM bag until I was caught in the rain. After getting into the car, I put my ‘damp’ bag on my leather seat. When I got home and picked up my bag, the color red had transferred to my white leather seats. QVC did nothing. Good luck. I would never buy one of his bags ever again. P.S. The Jaguar dealer was able to remove some of the stain, but not all of it.”

Another poster said that a saleswoman at Nordstrom told her they get a lot of complaints about the color coming off Makowsky handbags.

One poster mentioned that this problem is because Bruce Makowsky, who is married to bling bag queen Kathy Van Zeeland, used “naked leather” for his purses. Coincidentally, we heard a handbag designer on HSN Tuesday night also talk about “naked leather,” the first time I’d ever heard this term.

By the way, the woman whose BK bag’s dye ran onto her Coach purse said QVC corporate was really trying to help her and put her in contact with a rep from B. Makowsky.

But we won’t be buying any B. Makowsky handbags, from QVC, Nordstrom, TJ Maxx or anyplace else.

Rubbing Shoulders With Robert Lee Morris, Michael Dawkins And More At QVC’s Sterling Designer Meet-And-Greet

August 24, 2010

Award-winning jewelry designer, and jewelry maker, Robert Lee Morris was clad head-to-toe in SoHo black. Even the wrist guards he wore — one on the hand where he just had a joint replaced and another on the hand where he still needs the surgery — were black.

Ann King was very petite and pretty, and we had explain that although we own two of her rings and a pair of her earrings, we couldn’t find them to wear down to West Chester for her to see.

We’ve been fans of Echo of the Dreamer jewelry for decades, but never knew the designer behind it. Well, it’s Margaret Thurman, and we got to talk to her. She explained that the name Echo of the Dream came from her reading of Carlos Castaneda. One of her pieces, a white agate locket, is inscribed with a quote from Anais Nin, the best writer of female-oriented erotic literature ever. Thurman said she met Nin once.

Young designer Elizabeth Showers, who overcame an eating disorder, showed us her inspirational jewelry line, which aims to raise women’s self-esteem.

QVC’s Sterling Designer Meet-and-Greet Saturday at the home shopping channel’s headquarters in Pennsylvania was great. For jewelry geeks like The Homeshoppingista, it was like being a kid in a candy store.

We were surrounded by fine designers and were able to ask them, in person, about the inspiration for their pieces. It reminded us of the Television Critics Association press tour in LA, where reporters got to ask TV showrunners like Matthew Weiner of “Mad Men” what “informed” their decisions regarding their shows. That was more fascinating to us than seeing “the talent,” the actors and actresses.

At QVC’s studios, we could see and try on the designer silver goodies, and buy them. And we were surrounded by women like us, women who adore and treasure their baubles.

We weren’t sure how the meet-and-greet would work. We thought maybe it would be like a cocktail party with just a few QVC customers mingling with the designers.

Instead, there were dozens of women there. Each designer had a station, a couple of tables, set up along the hall that’s above the actual studios where QVC tapes its segments. You walk down the hall and stop at whatever station you want, chat with a Michael Dawkins or Morris, try on their rings and necklaces, and move on to the next designer.

You’re given a list of all the items the designers that are displaying, and you can circle the pieces you want to purchase.

BFF Ann kindly drove the three hours it took to get to our hotel Saturday afternoon. We headed over to QVC, and Ann acted as our photographer as we went from designer to designer.

In addition to Morris, King, Dawkins, Showers and Thurman, Naomi Pevsner and Elizabeth Rand were in the house. Judith Ripka had a table, which was manned by one of her good-looking and charming sons, Brian Ripka, who is president of her company.

Morris and Ripka are part of a growing group of high-end jewelry designers who are doing less expensive lines for home shopping networks such as QVC and HSN. QVC is particularly appealing, a formidable distribution outlet, at a time when sales of luxury goods have tanked.

The only designer that we didn’t speak with Saturday was Dawkins, who was a chick magnet. His post was so overrun by women, we decided to bypass him and come back later. But when we did, he was already gone.

We and Ann watched Morris on QVC back at our hotel, and he had changed into a deep blue shirt with a lot of the buttons undone. And he wasn’t wearing his black wrist guards.

But during QVC’s 25-hour Sterling Designer Gallery event, designers like Morris and Dawkins constantly made reference to the comments they had heard from women at the meet-and-greet.

We are such tech dummies that we don’t know how to download Ann’s photos from the event, so we’ll post them when our brother-in-law gets back from vacation.

And over the next couple of weeks we plan to write individual blogs on each designer.

We bumped into QVC PR person Kayce Cashman at the studios, and she gave us an excellent recommendation for dinner that night. We had some potent cranberry margaritas at Mas Mexicali Cantina in West Chester.

HSN Vendor Carol’s Daughter Does Q&A With New York Times Business Section

August 23, 2010

Hair butter from Carol's Daughter

We’ve noted that HSN makes a real effort to target African-American customers, and one brand it’s brought on to do that is the beauty line Carol’s Daughter.

One of Carol’s Daughters investors is singer Mary J. Blige:

The Sunday New York Times did a Q&A with the brand’s founder and president, Lisa Price, that was headlined “Memo to Self: Don’t Take It Personally.” That’s good advice for us, because we take everything personally.

Price, who started out by making batches of her hair products in her kitchen, discusses her feelings about being a manager and bringing in a CEO for the company, Richard Dantas.

Carol's Daughter investor Mary J. Blige

Here’s what HSN has to say about Carol’s Daughter.

Beginning with a love for experimenting with fragrances, Brooklyn native Lisa Price started making products in her kitchen as gifts for friends back in 1993. Mixing essential oils and natural moisturizers, she homemade unique elixirs with love and attention to detail. She named her company in honor of her mother, to acknowledge her support and inspiration.

A well-known record executive spread the word about Lisa’s luxurious bath, body and hair care products, prompting the transition from creating concoctions in the kitchen for a select few to successfully reaching customers across the country via mail order and the web. Even though her products have earned a cult following – they’re a staple on the shelves of celebrity bathrooms – Carol’s daughter Lisa has stayed true to her homemade roots. After years of success, celebrity, and expansion Carol’s Daughter products are still made with love and still made by hand.

Discover yourself the special touch Lisa brings to each of her products. Carol’s Daughter offers only the sweetest, most luxurious products the heart can offer, so you can love your beauty.