Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lily of France

You may seem them around New Orleans alot, but the symbol of the fleur de lis has been around much longer in France. It has been used by the French for nearly 1,000 years to symbolize purity. Literally meaning "flower of the lily", it was also the symbol of the Bourbon monarchy. Unfortunately, there are many tacky, wannabe fleur-de-lis accessories, etc on the market. But there are some more sophisticated, glamorous and regal items that do justice to this popular design:

Diamond Fleur-de-lis stud earrings in 14K white gold
These are definitely my favorite fleur de lis earrings-they're cute, glamorous, and elegant at the same time! They're on sale for $156 at Ross Simons.

Fleur de Lis outline necklace
Some may call it kitsch, but I can't help but love this's made of sterling silver and if you enlarge the picture on the website, you will see that the outline is all cubic zirconia. Buy it for $75 at Emitations.

French blue silk dupioni
Look closely and you will see that this beautiful silk is embroidered with elegant fleur de lis. This seems like something Marie Antoinette would actually have a dress made out of. Buy it at 54" wide for $49.99 at Hyena.

Marie Antoinette brass & Swarovski crystal Fleur de lis earrings
These are aptly named after Marie Antoinette herself, and I personally just love the gold and blue combination. Que pensez-vous? They're only $9 and are made by Shakti Studios.

Jeffrey Campbell Fleur de Lis gold metallic shoes
These lovely flats are actually what inspired this post. I saw them at Lord & Taylor the other day and searched everywhere on the internet to find them; they were at Cotton Island for $75. They come in other colors as well: black, white, and silver, but I prefer the gold and think it has the most Marie Antoinette potential in it.

White Stargazer lilies
Last but not least, the real deal-living, breathing white lilies. They are so elegant and perfect for Easter, which is fast approaching! Order them for $45-50 at 1800flowers.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Book Review: The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette

I thought I'd occasionally share with you a book review, written by moi, of a recent book I've read about or related to Marie Antoinette. The first book I'll review is called The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette by Marie-France Boyer and Francois Halard (photographer). This book is not a biography, per say, but more of a collection of rare photographs of the various places Marie Antoinette spent her days while queen of France. There are also pictures of some of her personal belongings, like her gambling pouch and her desk. Along with the photos there are descriptions and some pages of text. The book is divided into the different sections of where she lived, including her own apartment and the Petit Trianon. This book is a must if you are interested in not only Marie Antoinette herself, but the architecture and decor of the time. When I read this, I felt as if I was touring Versailles myself! Buy it on Amazon.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Springtime at Versailles

Happy spring everyone! I am so glad that spring has officially begun. Unfortunately the weather was a bit chilly and grey today where I live. To celebrate the start of spring, here are some pictures(not mine of course) from the gardens at Versailles.

Don't you just love how everything is so symmetrical and organized, yet so graceful? I'd love to see your pictures from Versailles! Let me know of any online photo albums, such as photobucket or flickr, that you have.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

1 month birthday

Today is officially the one month birthday of the Pretty in Bleu blog. It seems like just yesterday when I started. To celebrate I have lots of pictures in today's post. They are all from the new my previous post on Brocade Home), which just launched it's online store, open 24/7. Here are a few of my favorite picks:

clear glass taper holders, $49 each

petite floral print duvet-iris, $99-$129

chandelier wall sconce, $129

petal collection (from top): tonal leaf print pillow cover, frosted leaf jacquard tufted pillow, vintage lace pillow cover, $39 each

perfume bottles, set of 3, $69

crystal chandelier, clear, $599

These are just a few of the beautiful things you can buy online at Brocade Home. They're perfect for creating a room that would rival the bedrooms at Versailles!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tie it with ribbon

Next time you're dressing up, why not wear a ribbon around your neck? Instead of a garish necklace, try something simpler like a black velvet ribbon, or any color for that matter. I personally love the way the black ribbon ties off the look of Kirsten Dunst's (or should I saw Marie Antoinette's) pastel dress in the photo at left. This look would work especially if the collar of your shirt or dress scoops down in a circular or V-shape.
To buy this dainty velvet ribbon, hit your local fabric store or check out these velvet ribbons, available in various widths, by Midori Ribbon.

Your comments and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Cameos Galore

I love cameo jewelry. Despite it's sometimes high price, I am determined to own a cameo piece of my own. While Marie Antoinette probably didn't wear cameo, it's a safe bet that she would if she were around today. Here are some of my favorite online finds:Isn't this ring precious? It's a handcarved conch shell cameo made of 14K gold. It's $115 at Netaya.

Don't cameos and pearls go perfectly together? This beautiful cameo pendant is on a faux pearl necklace. Too bad it's already sold out, because at $16.99 this would've been a steal. You can still look at it though, and other cameo jewelry for sale, at Carolina Collections.

Ok, so this necklace's cameo is only made of acrylic, so it's not the "real deal", but I couldn't resist putting this up here. The blue cameo is so pretty! After all, Marie Antoinette's favorite color was blue. It hangs on a vintage brass chain and is another steal for $32.

Oddly enough, the idea of a cameo on a bracelet never occurred to me until I found this beauty. It's a stretch bracelet made of actual freshwater pearls all connected by this exquisite cameo. Buy it for $98 at Heavenly Treasures.
And, last but not least, cameo earrings. They're sparkly and glamorous, and soo evocative of Marie Antoinette. They're made by one of my favorite jewelry designers, R.J. Graziano, and are $65. Call 212-685-1248 to order.

The great thing about cameos is they come in a variety of colors and designs...from mythological scenes to flowers like the one on the ring above. There are scores of jewelry websites that sell real and acrylic cameos. You can also find the vintage, expensive ones at estate sales if you are an adventurer.
Hope you enjoyed all the eye candy for today! Let me know if you've found any great cameos from estate sales, or inherited something beautiful.