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December 07, 2005

All I Want for Christmas Is Escada Swarovski Crystal Jeans

All I Want for Christmas is Escada Swarovski Crystal Jeans

by Susan's Dearest Chum, Tiffany Van Cleef Arpel

My pal, Miz Susan, had to head out to the Galleria to work on winnowing down her holiday list, so I told her I'd fill in on the blog today, offering my always fabulous shopping tips.  If I'd left Susan to discuss the subject, she'd be all about "I'm on a budget, blah blah blah."  A budget?  Poo.  That word's not even in my vocabulary, unless my stable hand says, "Hey, Tiff, can't seem to get Appletini's ass out of the stall, even when I try to budge it." 

Look, I've done my best to pick out truly reasonable items for everyone on your gift list (meaning: me, me, me!); so don't panic, even if your trust fund is tied up in litigation because your money manager had been donating to a charitable organization that turned out to have funded a small sect of wannabe-terrorists in Aruba.  I do know how to spot a bargain, particularly if it's really sparkly.  Which leads me to my first recommendation, as noted in the title of my piece (because I'm anything but subtle):

Jeans Escada Couture Swarovski Crystal jeans, available at Neiman Marcus for a mere $10,000.  Honestly, you can never have too many jeans, and why not have a pair that glitters like the Vegas strip when you're caught in the headlights of your boyfriend's Lamborghini?  Just be really careful about wiping sweaty palms on your thighs when you're wearing these babies, as you can cut yourself up pretty good.  (Don't ask.)

If you like something simpler, you can always go with the Dolce & Gabbana Astrakhan jeans, which are incredibly priced at $3,950.  It's like stealing, I swear.

For the very special woman on your list who likes things soft and fuzzy (and that's me, me, me!), how about a lovely and practical Louis Vuitton mink scarf, a mere pittance at $1,710.  It can double as a mink pillow if you stay at a hotel where the sheets smell too bleachy (yeah, Paris Hilton, and you can tell you dad I said so!).

Not into scarves?  Then go for J. Mendel's sable vest (price tag:  $19,500).  Though I'm afraid my arms would get cold, so, please, spring for both.  You wouldn't want me wandering into Donald Trump's Christmas Eve bash hacking up phelgm 'cuz I've got pneumonia, now would you?

The perfect outfit for any holiday party is the little black dress, and Miu Miu has the cutest ruffled one for a paltry $820.  I know.  What a deal, huh?  And since you'll only wear it once, you won't feel like you're getting ripped off or anything.

You're probably saying, "Tiff, my God!  What fantastico ideas!  Surely you can't have more?"

Ah, but I do.

Like this little gem:  Faraone Mennella for Carolina Herrera citrine, rose quartz and pink tourmaline brooch.  It's understated yet pretty as my picture.  "But what's that cost, Tiff?" I hear you asking.  To which I reply, "You can easily afford it AND the mortgage payments on your villa in Tuscany without selling off those Rembrandt etchings."  $14,000.  Yes, that's right.  Unbelievable, huh?  So make it two, please!

You're wondering, too, about New Year's Eve, because you'd like to bring a bottle of bubbly to that party Skip and Bitsy Vanderhaven are throwing in Greenwich.  My suggestion?  Take them a set of Hermes cocktail glasses (just $400 a glass) and the Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 1990 ($231).  I guarantee, they will be your pals for life (or at least until you give them a really bad gift at the next party, if I move to Paris--which I'm contemplating--and won't be around to advise you).

And, finally, the perfect holiday present.  One that will never be returned or re-gifted.  Here goes (drumroll, please, Ringo):  a yoga retreat at Hotel Tugu in Bali.  At $2,590 per couple x four nights, it's even cheaper than the jeans!

So there you are, my darlings.  Have your valet or your personal assistant wrap 'em up, and you're all finished.  It was a lot easier than you thought, wasn't it?  Because life is too short to waste a lot of time in places called "The Galleria" when you could be at the spa, getting high colonics and Brazilian bikini waxes and your eyebrows plucked to smithereens.

If you need further inspiration, just repeat this ditty (my personal mantra):  "Gucci, Pucci, Prada, Fendi, nothing's wrong with being trendy."

Ciao, babies...and happy shopping!



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If I buy furs, Pam Anderson won't come over to my house--so that's out.

You know, nothing says "Christmas" to me like really good food. And I've been a fan of Harrod's food since my first (OK, and only) visit there a few years ago. For the food-a-holic on your list (Santa, that would be me, of course), check out the Ennismore hamper, featuring an amazing selection of spirits, condiments, and other goodies. Not only is the selection fabuluous, but it's on sale for 649 pounds, down from 750. Talk about a steal . . .

I may wear Birkenstocks, but I love purses, handbags, and totes of all shapes and sizes. Santa, please bring me the Luella Bartley Carmen Biker Bag (it has the cutest little stirrup on the front), on sale from Neiman Marcus for only $697 (down from $995 -- you can buy it for me and save nearly $300 to spend on someone else!!).

Alternatively, Santa, you could use the $300 you'd save on the handbag and the 100 pounds you'd save on the hamper and use that as a down payment on the gorgeous Labor Of Love bracelet from the Sundance catalog. It's not on sale, but look at it this way. You've saved about $500 on the first two gifts, so really it's only an additional $340 investment in a bracelet that's chock full of positive life energy and chi -- think of how much I'll save in psychiatric bills!

I know, Santa, you're saying to yourself "But you just bought a horse, dammit, what more do you want???" And you're right -- I have more important things to think about than food, purses, and jewelry. I don't suppose you've seen that nice Crosby Prix de Nation saddle at Dover Saddlerey? The one that's marked down to $1995 from $2217?

Now that I think about it, the price difference there would just about pay for the rest of the bracelet . . .

Kerry, honey, dream big!

Josh, if Pamela did come to your house for Christmas and she were anywhere near your fireplace, she would melt. So, sweetie, you're much better off, otherwise your wife would be upset about the sticky silicone puddle you can't quite scrape off the wood floors.

Tiff, you are right. We have been told by contractors that our living room floor is irreplacable, so I would not want that. Maybe a polyurethane sheet over the floor (like my grandmother did under the table at Passover) would help. I tell you, the holidays are nothing but planning for contingencies.

Tiff, thank you for making my holiday shopping easier. You Rock!! The suggestions cover just about everyone on my list.

One question, do the boyfriend and Lamborghini come with the purchase of the Escada Couture Swarovski Crystal Jeans, or is that additional?

Joshie-poo, you're so smart to plan ahead if Pammie will be a holiday guest. She is such a pain in the a**, what with her "no fur, no meat, and only artificial sweeteners (because that's pretty much her biochemistry)." Have you ever seen her without makeup??? No eyebrows. Really. It's scary.

Nancie, you gun moll, you! I think I could get you the boyfriend and the Lamborghini for just a smidge extra. Come to think of it, I do know a guy who could get you an especially "hot" car anyway in exchange for a carton of AK-47s.

Tiff. Wow! What a bargain shopper. I am sooo impressed. You must be saving oodles on the Miu Miu alone. But who says you use it once? Conchita raves about how well it dusts the mahogany. At least, uhm, that's why she said she took it out of my closet.
Kiss. Kiss.

Sorry Tiff, the carton of AK-47s was traded for a Barrett M95, and a reversible Kevlar vest. It’s sooo adorable, black on one side, and pink on the other, perfect for many occasions. The carton was taking up too much space in the garage, but don’t tell Harley, or she’ll fill it up with books.

So that would be a no go on the “hot” car trade, besides my police friends get really testy about me doing business with anyone except them. I’m sure they would arrange a set-up…er I mean trade with your guy.

Donatella, bella! Hope you've forgiven me for that incident in the hot tub at your chalet in Gstaad. I didn't realize that was you beneath the bubbly water. (Really, I thought it was Owen!)

Nancie, peaches, my guy is a little shy when police are involved. So guess that meet and greet is a no-go. But your Kevlar vest sounds tres chic! You are truly the fashionista of the shooting range!

Wow, if I bought you all those gifts, I think I'd spend more then my entire salary for a year.

Sorry, darling, but you'll have to aim lower. Like nothing at all since I haven't met you.


Oh. My. God. Tiffany, you so just wrote out my Christmas list. Except, I don't know about those Escada jeans. Ever since I saw Hailey Duff wearing them, I think they've been kind of played out. (I mean, she's not even the famous one!) Now it's all about the J.Lo Sweetface jeans with the 16 carat diamond button. Sure, some people might say 2 million dollars is $1.5 million more than you should ever spend on a pair of jeans, but I say you can never put a price on looking fabulous.

Also, if my parents don't give me these for Christmas, I'm putting myself up for adoption:

Daisy, my soulmate! Girl, if your parents don't shell out a paltry $1,733 for those boots, you should put your cute self up for adoption! I think Wacko Jacko is looking to adopt another baby. (Oh, I'm kidding, you're way over eight years old, and that's his cut-off.) The ugly Duff-ling was wearing the Swavorski crystal jeans??? I am donating mine to Goodwill as we speak.

As for you, Marcus, I do believe we've met. It was that dream you had about the pirate and the maiden-who-needed-rescuing...oh, wait, maybe that was my dream. Nevermind!

This is great, Susan! I forwarded your URL to my daughter since she's a shopaholic. Great motto at the end!

Um, Nancy, thanks, but the blog was written by my dear pal, Tiffany. I'm sure she won't take offense that you're giving me credit though, generous soul that she is. (Hey, stop laughing...I can hear it all the way from Florida!)

Let us not forget man's best friend this holiday season! Because your pooch is just as fabulous as Tinkerbell and Bit-Bit:

Do you think they make those for German Shepards?

For a MERE $20 you can spiff up your jeans and NO ONE will know they didn't cost $10,000. I've been eyeing this for MONTHS, thinking I really wanted to jazz up my iPod.


Andi, dearest, do not hesitate un momento to jazz up that iPod. It's the embellishments that make life more interesting!

Daisy, do dress your doggie! Uma has an eye for apparel de pooch, that's for sure.

Anybody seen a great pair of hotpants with bling on them? I sure could use a new pair.

Hey, Tiff, I just got my latest Coach catalogue, and I simply MUST have their signature resort bag with appliques of fish and coral. It's a steal at $498 and will be FAB on our upcoming winter cruise to Tahiti. Wanna come along?
Your pal,

Marla, babe, I'm there! I'll pack the Cristal in my Louis Vuitton bags, if you'll bring your scissors and trim my hair. I'm starting to look a little shaggy, a la Florence Henderson in her later Brady Bunch days. (And I don't have Wessonality!)

P.S. It was very nice of that Nancy chick to post your comment. ;-)

Ooh, another Coach fan! I recently committed shopping and purchased the following.


You can never have too many Coach bags.

Tiff - are you coming to NYC anytime soon? We must go shopping together.

Oooh, Margery, one of my fave people in the universe! I am dying to get to NYC soon. If I can get up there to commit shopping with you during this crazed holiday season, you will be the first to know! Love the new bag. Smooches!

My kindergartner could NOT understand why I hesitate to buy her the stuffed horse on the back of the Neiman Marcus catalogue. It's not the $1600 price tag, it's that $50 shipping charge that put me over the edge. Am I just being MEAN?

Harley, it's not mean if you tell her that, instead of a stuffed horse, she can have the equivalent in lessons on a real horse. Around here that would be, um, let's see, at $40 per lesson and a lesson a week that's, um, hmmm, carry the 3 and um, anyway, it's a lot of weeks of lessons. Depending on your k'gardner's temperament, it could be a lot less if she's averse to certain odors emanating from horses' nether regions. Or flies.

Hey, if it worked out like that, you could spend the remainder of the money on some great bling! Or a yurt. Or a yurt with bling . . . does Neiman Marcus carry those?

Hey, Margie:
I couldn't find any bling-hotpants. But while I was browsing, I saw this little black dress -- Tiff says the little black dress is the perfect holiday outfit -- and I thought of you immediately: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod26100023&parentId=cat2870732&masterId=cat000117&index=28&cmCat=

I think it would look great with your hair, and probably give the guys at Club Carousel heart attacks. Eventually . . .

Did I read that someone has a case of AK-47s out there? Who got them when Nancie traded them in? Hummm I dont have the Barrett to trade, way to big for me, but maybe I can come up with something you might like. Please contact Treacle's Gun Emporium at 555-3267

Oh my gosh, a P. Diddy LBD! I would look so hot in that! Well . . . hotter. Santa must bring me that! Thanks Kerry. Tiff, please, please tell Santa I must boogie in that dress. We could go to the club together. If not Santa, maybe the bosses could make it their present to me. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Far be it from me to wonder WHY Harley GETS the Neiman Marcus catalogue.....but seriously? I think one of the biggest cons today is "shipping/handling" fees. When i buy something that's already in a box and weighs maybe a pound, and i'm charged $6 shipping, I SO do not get it.

I once bought a cloisonne pin and CALLED and said "scuze me, but I want this dinky $6 pin and you're going to charge me $5 to ship it. I know how much it weighs." and conned the seller into shipping it for $2. It's insane. I know there's no simple way, so they do it by how much you buy - up to $30, $5.99, $30 to 40, $6.99 - but hey, I use the post office about 3 times a week to send books and I know what they charge. It's the best rip-off, easiest way to make money I know of - sell cheap, but hike your shipping/handling charges (it's all that handling. Could they like HANDLE my stuff less and charge me less then?) It seems like the least anyone hits you for is $5.00. For what? I want virgin bubble wrap and perfectly pristine styrofoam worms for that price. At least. (ok, I really like the cornstarch "styrofoam" stuff that dissolves in the sink. Though it can make the house smell like popcorn.)

Says the woman who just bought some stuff at LL Bean because they're offering free shipping right now.

That's the spirit, Andi! Online shopping is good for the soul, and it keeps the FedEx boys in shorts all summer long.

Hey, Hazel, come join the fun! For your solstice stocking, how about either the William Blake or Soprafino Tarot decks:
http://www.spiritone.com/~filipas/Masquerade/Store/store.html .

Turquoise opens the chakras; enhances serenity, creativity, empathy, positive thinking, sensitivity, intuition, happiness and wisdom; and is a crystal healing master stone (at least, according to jewelrysupplier.com). This little necklace should suit you right down to the ground, and provide all the healing and positive energy you could want:

For days that call for a more potent pick-me-up, try the ceramic aromatherapy jewelry from Dreaming Earth (http://dreamingearth.com/ushop/index.cgi?=&task=show&cat=Jewelry) -- but don't forget the 24-oil starter pack!

Ask, and who knows what the Goddess will bring :)

Kerry, you are a goddess among goddesses! What earthly delights! I will have to put those on my Winter Solstice list post haste!

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