Archive for September, 2008

Reem Acra takes the Emmys

September 23rd, 2008


My favorite Emmy dress by Reem Acra.

I watched some of the Emmy red carpet arrivals Sunday, tuning in and out, while tuning out of the ceremony itself, which, lacking one main host, seemed to be scattered, lacking a center.

My favorite Emmy dress was Reem Acra’s, worn by Olivia Wilde. It looked so perfect, clean, elegant and glamorous, yet with a lot of painstaking detail that put it way ahead of the dime-a-dozen strapless column or sheath gowns favored by the other actresses. From the distance of television, they look too similar to mass-market clothing to be remotely interesting.

It’s kind of sad that the purpose of the red carpet is to showcase the actors, but instead, the focus is now on the dresses, inanimate objects that nevertheless have the power to steal the spotlight from the stars.

hearts on fire

We take for granted when we see chandeliers that they’re made of glass or crystal, but the one adorning the Green Room Emmy Awards was made of 3,300, or $10 million worth of Hearts on Fire diamonds.

I was just talking to Tom Wheeler, owner of Opal Fields, about Hearts on Fire diamonds, cut to display a symmetrical 8-point pattern when viewed under a proportion scope. A 1-carat stone he showed me was $15,000 and its brilliance could be seen from across the room. Anyone buying a diamond should be able to look at it under the scope to see exactly what you’re getting.

Alliway celebrates first year at Ward

September 22nd, 2008


Nadine Kam photos
Steve Czerniak and Allison Kim-Czerniak welcomed patrons to celebrate the first anniversary of their Alliway boutique at Ward Warehouse.

Alliway celebrated its one-year anniversary with a party Friday night packed with friends and well-wishers who didn’t have to walk far to find a platter of food right in front of them, no doubt due in part to the work of The Wedding Café’s Tanna Dang who kept an array of savories and sweets coming, from onion-and-pear tarts, prosciutto & melon antipast to chocolate and pistachio macaroons.

Also to mark the occasion, Allison Kim-Czerniak, who believes in helping young designers get a start, hosted the debut of Marylea Conrad’s latest creation, a line of Hawaii- and nature-inspired jewelry named after her 8-month old daughter Kiele. The line is Ki-ele, with the hyphen thrown in there to help people with pronunciation. OK, I’m just wondering who born in Hawaii can’t pronounce the name, but that just tells me Marylea probably has plans beyond our shores.

But the youngest designer on the premises was 9-year-old Tai Masuda, whose necklace I admired as soon as I walked in the door. I kept looking for it on the shelves, only to find out that she’s Alli’s intern and designed the necklace herself.

Ever impatient, I was like, “Well, when are you going to make some for the store?” Tai said she was hopeful about the possibility of selling her work but said she “didn’t want to push” Alli, who was enthusiastic but just wanted to make sure Tai was ready to “release” her design.

Tai has a really good eye and outgoing personality, so she was helping a lot of adults make their choices. I was torn between a pair of silver earrings with deep blue stones or gold earrings with orange stones. At one point, I was ready to go with the silver because I already have a lot of gold earrings and, for practical purposes, thought it best to diversify. Tai was mildly enthused, but when I showed her the gold, she became wildly enthused. “Oh, that’s the one!” she said, noting it was better for my skin tone. Yup. There is a reason I favor the warmer color.

The only thing left to do was cut the birthday cake from The Cake Gallery, but Alli was wavering on that. It was a little too perfect to mar.

Anyway, it was a fun party and eventful first year. Congratulations Steve and Alli!

marylea and brie

Marylea Conrad, left, debuted her Ki-ele line of jewelry, named after her second daughter. Her first daughter was welcomed with a line of swimwear, Melia Conrad, named after her. We’re wondering what will happen if Marylea ever gave birth to a boy. She’s with Brie Thalman, who also modeled for the jewelry line.

Tai and Nanea

Tai Masuda, left, and Nanea Alden. I was admiring the necklace Tai was wearing and found out she made it. Below, she helps a customer make a decision.



There was much debate as to whether or not this Cake Love creation was ever going to be eaten. Even toward the end of the evening, Alli was reluctant to cut into it, but alas, a cake must fulfill its destiny. We’ll always have pictures.