New York Housewife Dis-‘Count’-ed

The clothes, the jewelry, the botox, the self-imposed detachment from reality - our favorite reality show car crash, Real Housewives of New York City, certainly has it all. But fasten your diamond-clad seat belts - the juicy dish just got a whole lot dish-ier.

While all of the cast members – from Fran Drescher incarnate, Jill Zarin, to the social climbing ex-model, Kellie Killoren Bensimon – inspire my wrath on every episode, no one makes my eyes roll harder than LuAnn de Lesseps. Otherwise known as – The Countess.

For those of you who are blissfully unaware, The Countess takes great pride in being the Miss Manners of Manhattan – throwing her title around like it’s a one-way ticket to her own fiefdom. If her upcoming book title, “Class With The Countess” doesn’t give you enough of a picture, her overbearing and misguided etiquette lessons to anyone within earshot surely will.

The truth is, The Countess was originally a (gasp) commoner, who married in to her title. Her husband, the Count de Lesseps, has always been a fleeting presence on the show – dashing off to do ‘count-like’ things in Europe and the like leaving LuAnn to scoff at the help on her own.

But soon after celebrating her 16th wedding anniversary on March 16th, The Countess got the news (by email no less!) that her one-way ticket to the ‘other half’ decided that taking up with an Ethiopian woman in Geneva was more fun than being LuAnn’s ‘better half’ – leaving her stunned and – for once - at a loss for words.

A source told Page Six, “LuAnn was blindsided. She was just devastated. They have basically lived apart for many years — he lives in Europe and comes and goes as he pleases, but she never thought this would happen. "

I wonder if there is a chapter in her book on the graceful way to milk your husband for millions?

Equally as gauche is the recent court case surrounding housewife, Kellie, who while she isn’t spending her waking hours making sure her cast-mates know she’s well 'above' them, is apparently punching her boyfriend in the face. Oh, and designing jewelry.

I found this link to her small jewelry line that debuted last year on Owl's Lab. The imaginative collection is a series of…you guessed it…owl styles that are actually kindof a 'hoot' (sorry).

The Real Housewives of New York airs Tuesdays on Bravo! at 10pm.

Paula Abdul's Accessory Overload

Dennis Rodman isn't the only celebrity courting an intervention. Paula Abdul might be America's favorite Idol judge, but she needs to be stopped when it comes to her shocking fashion choices.

It might be the Kids' Choice awards, but the age-appropriate police were totally sleeping on the job here.

Less is more, Paula. Less is more.

Rachel Zoe Designs for the Masses

Love her or hate her, uber-fashionista, Rachel Zoe, is fast becoming the empress of her own sartorial domain. In between filming her Bravo! show, The Rachel Zoe Project, and styling Hollywood’s A list, including Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Cameron Diaz and Demi Moore, reports that Zoe is getting the ‘witch vibe’ for her own full-range clothing line.

We die!

While collection details are still top secret, Zoe promises a complete line that includes clothing, bags, fragrance, and – of course – jewelry. And price points won’t be as crazy stratospheric as her well-heeled clientele can afford.

“It will be absolutely, 100% accessible fashion for sure — for everybody.” Zoe explained.

“There’s no reason for me to do a luxury-level design. That’s not who I am. I don’t think it’s what people want from me. I think that I would need to give people that fantasy becoming a reality. That’s my job.”

Awww, she’s thinking about us huddled masses yearning to find deals.

And if you can’t wait to see what jewelry Zoe offers up (the collection launches next year), the fashion maven recently cleaned out her jewelry box to benefit the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. You can bid now on pieces she designed for Judith Leiber along with costume jewelry straight from her drawers on eBay’s DecadesTwo store and

And fans of the show will go bananas for news that the second season is scheduled to air sometime mid-year. Bring on the Brad bow-tied meltdowns!

Diamonds Down Under

Bronx Mowgli's mom, Ashlee Simpson, brought out the bling at the MTV Australia Awards last night. Hubby Pete Wentz was also there as both a nominee and the show’s host, and the happy couple surprised the audience with a raunchy kiss after their onstage appearance.

"Sorry we haven't seen each other in a while," Simpson said. "So we're going to find a quiet place to go fornicate."

Poppa Simpson, cover your ears.

Ashlee’s red carpet uniform consisted of a basic black dress and a stunning pair of statement diamond earrings in a geometric design. Other red carpet winners included The Hills’ Audrina Partridge, who accessorized her blank stare with diamond drops to die for.

Singer, Duffy, made her own contribution to the little black frock brigade, but could have fared better with a little sparkle to liven things up. And Kylie sister, Dannii Minogue, proved the apple doesn’t fall far with a stunning silver J’Aton Couture dress with bejeweled fingerless gloves and peep toe pumps.

US band The Killers opened the awards show at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, followed by The Fray, Mauboy, Sia, Kaiser Chiefs, and Kings of Leon (via satellite).

And the highlight of the night? A surprise performance by none other than Vanilla Ice. Not the kind of ‘ice’ we jewelry hounds prefer, but I’m sure it was worth the cost of admission.

Word to your mother.

Champagne, Cinema and Scarlett Johannson

She acts, she models, she 'sings'…now the effervescent Scarlett Johansson can add “First Face of Champagne” to her glittering resume.

Last night London’s finest stepped out at the famous Blue Sky studio to celebrate Moet & Chandon’s “Tribute to Cinema” event, where they unveiled the first celebrity ambassador to the world of bubbly libations.

Tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

"Moet and the movies both tell compelling stories and share authentic emotions with the world," explained the divine Miss Scarlett.

"I am honored to have been chosen as their ambassador and to make history with the brand, as the first celebrity face of champagne!"

The lady of the hour arrived looking VERY brunette in a lacy little black dress and stunning S-shaped diamond earrings. British celebs like Thandie Newton and Joseph Fiennes (where have you been?) made a red carpet appearance, and model Eva Herzigova dazzled in a diamond choker and a strapless red Dolce & Gabbana puff dress from their Spring 2009 collection.

Moet will launch an international advertising campaign starring Johansson, which was shot by renowned photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. The campaign will include print, outdoor and online advertising, featuring Moet and Scarlett as icons of celebration and reinforcing the brand as the champagne of cinema.

So you’re an 'icon of celebration'. You're drop-dead gorgeous. Ryan Reynolds is your husband. You can hand-pick your starring roles. AND you get a lifetime supply of Moet?

Pass the bubbly. I'm getting depressed.

Michael Jackson Auctions His Neverland Treasure Chest

If you are in the market for a piece of pop music history, Michael Jackson is having a glorified garage sale of the entire contents of his Neverland Ranch next month, and the loot includes everything from his famous arcade game collection to the actual front gates (Macaulay Caulkin not included).

Julien's Auctions has been workin’ workin’ day and night to sift through thousands of items from the storied property and found so much MJ memorabilia they had to schedule eight different auctions over the course of four days.

So what's on the auction block? There’s a jeweled glove collection – including the iconic white glove worn when Jackson moonwalked his way into pop music history. There’s a closet full of those sequined military jackets from the Victory Tour era (sorry, the Beat It Jacket is not among them). And there’s also a disturbing number of lawn sculptures featuring young children.

Oh, Michael.

Over 2,000 items are up for grabs, and the auctioneers hope to bring in as much as $20 million for Jackson, with a portion of the proceeds going to the music industry charity, Musicares.

Lot highlights, including the glove collection and a pair of moonwalk socks, are currently touring major cities worldwide. The main event begins on Wednesday, April 22nd and runs through Saturday April 25th in Beverly Hills.

What would you do if you had a few grand to put in the mix? Would you loosen your purse strings for the moonwalk socks? Or do you think the whole thing is totally 'off the wall'?

Weigh in!

Reese Witherspoon’s Less-Is-More Jewelry Style

Reese Witherspoon has been globe trotting this month promoting her latest film, Monsters vs. Aliens, in understated jewelry looks that accentuate her girl-next-door glamour.

Whether its basic black and a pair of diamond studs or earl grey and barely there pearl earrings, this celebrity supermom is fast becoming the poster child for classic Hollywood glamour.

This weekend brought Reese back home to Los Angeles, where she wowed the crowd with a non-traditional Rodarte metallic mini that required minimal bling.

And what do her two kids think about their animation star-mom?

"They are rabid, and they wake up in the morning like, 'When can we see this movie? When is this movie going to come out?'" she told reporters. "My daughter goes, 'Just how many people can I bring to the screening? I invited the entire third grade!'"

And just when you thought Reese’s fairy-tale life couldn’t get any dreamier? A-list boyfriend, Jake Gyllenahaal, threw her a 33rd birthday party at his house this weekend after the premiere, inviting sister Maggie and her hubbie Peter Sarsgaard and Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan, among others.

"I'm looking forward to my birthday," Witherspoon recently told reporters at a press conference for her upcoming film. "I think it is a great thing, to be able to be doing things with my kids and having them be proud of me. It's like, what's better than feeling you've accomplished things in life?"

And to look good doing it? Priceless.

Popping the Question? Let Her Eat Cake!

Between the AIG debacle and Natasha Richardson’s shocking death, it’s hard to find something to smile about this week. And guys? I’m afraid I am the bearer of even more bad news.

Just when you thought getting on bended knee couldn’t be any more nerve-wracking (and, let’s face it, costly in this day and age), Manilla businessman, Angelito Araneta Jr. came up with yet another way to spend your hard earned dollars with his latest creation - a diamond and gold engagement cake.

Apparently a diamond ring and your undying love and affection is no longer enough, gentlemen.

The 21-year-old businessman instructed his catering company to come up with a bejeweled culinary creation that is covered in 24-karat gold leaf and 15 African diamonds. The price for this essential part of the mating ritual? A mere $2600.

Kinda makes having your cake and eating it too an entirely different proposition.

Call me old fashioned, but if you're going to shell out $2600 extra bucks for the occasion, I'm thinking the money could be better spent on, say, an even BIGGER diamond ring instead of a gold-leafed reason for me to do more Tracey Anderson workout videos.

Just a thought.

Bling No More

It appears that Mrs. Madoff's woes have just begun. For all you women out there that have dreamt of marrying a millionaire and living the life of luxe in a swanky Gossip Girl-size apartment in New York - remember - there's a price to pay.

For Mrs. Madoff, the shame and humiliation has just begun. The government wants to seize the couples’ $7 million penthouse apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan; three resort homes located in the South of France, Palm Beach, and Montauk ; four boats; four cars; a Steinway piano; $65,000 in silverware and..... wait for it....... $2.6 million worth of jewelry owned by Mrs M and about 35 watches and cufflinks owned by the Ponzi Prince of Wall Street.

As for the watches and cufflinks? It's clear the fiddly financier isn't going to need them in the big house he currently calls home.

Good riddance!

The Emperor's New Movie

What would entice some of Hollywoods hottest divas to spend an evening in a museum? Designer clothes and a movie of course. Blondes, brunettes and razor thin silhouettes turned out in force to honor the last Emperor of fashion and catch a movie premiere.

Special effects be gone - this one was all about the clothes..... Valentino's clothes. The documentary, Valentino: The Last Emperor, debuted in New York last night at the Museum of Modern Art with an audience of hard-core fashionistas, wanna-be fashionistas, muses, critics and the seriously beautiful.

Valentino is renowned for his penchant for all things - well all things extravagant. He's never been one to nod in the direction of minimilism. The septuagenarian designer, with his perma-orange tan, is known for his outlandish sense of more is more and less isn't by any means more. The movie, (which has been receiving mixed reviews - depends I suppose on where you stand on the more or less side of the scale) shows the man's six pugs on board their master's private jet, having their teeth brushed and being adorned with diamond earrings.

Doggy diamond earrings, now there's a thought (that should be banished).

Last night it was a diamonds on divas - not dogs that were causing a rucus. Surprisingly not as much bling as one would expect in an evening devoted to the Emperor himself.
Madonna, Gwyneth, Anne and Agyness were on hand to bow before the Emperor. Madge sporting a knuckleduster ring and looking as ageless as ever. Gwyneth in her signature black - and Ms. Hathaway knocking 'em all for six in a stunning white dress and just the right amount of bling.........

Score one for the brunettes last night....way to go Anne.

Vince Vaughn - Celebrity Engagement Ring Sighting!

Funny man, Vince Vaughn, might keep moviegoers in stitches, but he is all kinds of serious about his diamonds. The 38-year-old actor proposed to his Calgary realtor girlfriend, Kyla Weber, on Valentine’s Day, and the engagement ring made a glittering debut this weekend.

Vaughn was introduced to Weber in May by a mutual friend. Since then, the two have been inseparable.

The happy couple took the four-carat diamond stunner to the movies in Santa Monica over the weekend, and hovering paparazzi got a good look at the rock - which is worth a reported $125,000.

"It's magnificent," fellow realtor, Sylvia Smith, told, Sun Media. "It's a great big diamond surrounded by other circular diamonds."

No wedding date has been set but Weber, 29, recently relocated to L.A.

"They're both very excited," adds a source close to Vaughn. "He's a simple, Midwestern, good guy and she's very down-to-earth, which is exactly what Vince is all about."

With Brad and Angelina dominating the Oscars, John Mayer bailing out yet again, and now Vince Vaughn's pending nuptuals - you gotta think - this just isn’t Jennifer Aniston’s year.

Diamonds and Divas Debut at The Met

Diamonds, gold and gorgeous fashion were all on display at last night’s glittering gala celebrating the Metropolitan Opera’s 125th anniversary.

The Opera (with a capital “O”) is NOT the place for the pants suit, and I’m happy to report nary a one could be found as stars like Brooke Sheilds, Patricia Clarkson and Juliana Marguiles lit up the runway with tasteful diamond looks and gowns galore by the evening's sponsor, Yves Saint Laurent.

Big Love
’s Gennifer Goodwin looked lovely in a YSL printed dress with black diamond earrings and metallic cuffs, and supermodel Claudia Schiffer opted for a similar statement on the wrist with a series of silver bangles to go with her basic black.

Other red carpet highlights included Kanye West’s main squeeze, Amber Rose, in icy diamond studs, Becki Newton and Diane Kruger keeping the bling to a minimum with gorgeous strapless gowns – both by YSL – and Zoe Saldana in verdant green with diamond drop earrings.

Fashion misses included Parker Posey in a burgundy bolero and layered gold chains, Emily Mortimer in an unflattering maroon sequined YSL number with minimal bling, and Mary Kate Olsen, whose right hand rings and black kimono dress would have worked better without the Elvira make up and bed- head hair.

Not to be missed, however, were the amazing gala performances, which included a tribute to Placido Domingo and a star-studded sampling from The Met’s upcoming season. Clocking in at over three hours, the jam-packed program perhaps gave the crowd a reason to root for the ‘fat lady’ to sing. But regardless of the singers’ stamina, a diamond-filled, pants suit-less night at the opera is a glowing success in my book.

Julia Is Back in Basic Black

Julia Roberts is back on the red carpet promoting her film, Duplicity, after a long hiatus. And while it’s great to see the Pretty Woman back in action, the Hollywood A-lister is clearly not taking any big risks in the fashion department.

Roberts wore a (yawn) black pants suit with yellow gold hoops on the carpet in London and a Lanvin LBD with classic diamond drops in gay Paris. She looked stunning, of course, but here’s hoping she takes it up a notch once she makes it back states-side.

While Julia Roberts is arguably the most bankable leading lady working today, it took a bit of coaxing from co-star Clive Owen to get the mother-of-three out of semi-retirement.

"I [took] her out for lunch and told her that I'd read a script that was dynamite and it would be great for the two of us to do it," he said at the premiere. "She was actually pregnant, so I had to wait another year before she finally read it and said yes."

And even though the superstar made noise to red carpet reporters about wanting to work in the London theater, she isn’t making any big plans in the near future.

“I’d like to do it when by kids are a little bigger. It’s a big transplant to come over here, though, and it would take up a lot of time. But a girl can dream!”

Maybe she'll get used to the spotlight again and start taking more risks - in front of the cameras and in the fashion department (a girl can dream). But, for now, I'll take classic Julia while I can get it.

Spikes, Stilettos and Soda Can Chic

Alexander McQueen may be the only designer in Paris who refused to bow to the conservative malaise blanketing the fashion industry like a lingering rain cloud. Words like ‘sensible’ and ‘accessible’ had no business on his runway yesterday, folks.

Instead, McQueen dazzled the crowd with chain mail suits, lampshade hats, shiny hooded dresses and soda can accessories that screamed to the world, “You can take your economic woe and shove it!”

Think Grace Jones on ‘shrooms.

According to, the crowd got in a heated debate after the spectacle – the older folks felt the ‘blow-up doll make-up’ and uncomfortable ensembles were misogynistic. The younger crowd – tired of all the sense and sensibility - couldn’t get enough.

Yet despite the over-the-top headpieces, unwalkable stacked heels and spikey jewelry, there were some incredibly made clothes on display.

Boxy jackets, airy dresses and fiercely tailored coats made a glittering appearance, and biker jacket chic and big shoulders also made an impression.

But it was the sheer bravado of the line that made the program such a show-stopper. You have to wonder how many seamstresses were needed to make all the feathers and soda cans combine into this freakish display.

We may not see another runway quite like this for a while – so regardless of your sartorial sensibilities – perhaps we should get while the gettin's good.

What do you guys think? Would you wear any of this - or is that not the point?