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    Okay, not “people.” Women. Girls. Females. That’s who I’m talking to. About hosiery, as in pantyhose or stockings or nylons or whatever you want to call them. You know—that transparent (or sometimes opaque), even-toned, reliable, dutiful stuff made of nylon and lycra that’s been around for, oh, only most of the 20th century in some shape or form, only now it’s better made, more good-looking, and more durable than ever.

    Hosiery.

    Wear it!

    I don’t know when this hideous trend of not wearing hose with skirts and dresses began, but it’s gone on far too long. In the summertime is one thing. But the rest of the year? And especially with short skirts or other leg-baring, knee-baring apparel?? Come on!

    News flash—99% of women don’t have legs that look good without hose. Every single one of the women in the following photos looks horrible and half-dressed because she’s not wearing hosiery. And if you don’t believe me because the photos here are so small, go look at them at the original link.

    Anna Kendrick:

    Alicia Witt:

    Paz Vega:

    Sienna Miller:

    And here’s Lisa Rhinna, channeling that ridiculous Angelina Jolie pose from a couple of years ago:

    Aaaargh!

    That scream you hear reverberating throughout the city? That’s Glamour Girl, spying yet another bright young (or not so young) thing parading her naked gams and looking awful.


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    What is glamour? You’d think Glamour Girl would know. But fact is, until this book came along, she never really thought to define it. It was always that Justice Potter Stewart “I know it when I see it” kind of thing. But what is glamour, actually?

    Is it beauty? Is it style? Is it charisma? Not really. We already have those words for those things. Glamour is something different.

    Author and philosopher-of-the-people Virginia Postrel has written a book called The Power of Glamour. And what a fascinating exploration it is. Be alerted—neither the book nor the concept is what you might think. This isn’t a grab-bag of swoon-worthy images of movie stars and fashion models (though there are some of those). There are motorcycles, airport lounges, military recruitment posters, maps, marble busts, and bathroom fixtures, along with the more expected photographs of Audrey Hepburn and Jean Harlow, all accompanied by writing that is lucid, breezy, intellectual, and seductive. (Aha! GG has just succumbed to one of the elements of glamour that Postrel posits—persuasion.)

    Postrel will be speaking at MICA on Monday, January 27th, in the Graduate Studio Center, 131 W. North Avenue, from 3:30 to 5. It’s sure to be a . . . er . . . glamorous event.

    Oh, and you can always catch Postrel’s musings at her blog, Deep Glamour.

    Hope to see you there!


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    Glamour Girl was in New York a few weeks ago and had a chance to see two stunning exhibitions that are still going on, one until February 23rd and the other until March 9th. They’re completely different from each other and completely captivating, each in its own way. Warning, though, that the crowds can be a turn-off, a problem with blockbuster shows in general. So if you can swing it, better to go during a weekday, particularly early in the day.

    The first is the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Almost 150 of Gaultier’s famous, irreverent designs are on display. And the manner of display is so weird and uncanny, you could be forgiven for feeling as if you’d lost your footing.

    Because many of the mannequins appear to be alive.

    In fact, at first, you’re sure that they’re actually tableaux vivants. You keep staring and dodging and changing your position, and even when you know they can’t possibly be alive part of you is still sure they must be, because their eyes seem to dart and follow you. But it’s an illusion. An illusion created by the dozens of carefully placed projectors that beam facial expressions onto the mannequins. It’s quite unnerving. And, frankly, gimmicky. You could enjoy the playful, intricate, meticulously crafted clothing just as well without the high-tech “wow, look what we can do!” factor.

    More unnerving, however, is the behavior of the patrons. How many cellphones do you people need?? Are you here to see an exhibition, or just record it on your phone to prove that you’ve seen it? Because, in fact, you’re not seeing it. You’re pretending.

    So intent are people on capturing the event rather than experiencing it, that they don’t even know what they’re looking at. In this, they resemble tourists all over the world. Watch them. They don’t actually examine what they’re looking at. They don’t walk along the length of an intricately embroidered train, for instance, to marvel at the workmanship that went into it. Instead, they just snap a picture and move along.

    News flash: I’m here to see the exhibition, not to facilitate your picture-taking. I’m not going to step out of your way so you can get The Perfect Shot. That’s not what I paid for. If you’re so determined to document every second of your life, do it on your own time. And do the decent thing and buy postcards and prints and books in the museum shop. Not to mention, you’re not even allowed to take photographs in the exhibition! Hello??!

    The crowds at the Jewels by JAR exhibit at the Met were somewhat more subdued, though there was still prohibited picture-taking going on. Again, do the right thing and support the museum in the shop. Put your cellphone/camera aside. (I wish they’d confiscate the damn things before allowing patrons in. People should have to check them like they do their coats.)

    Fabricated by American designer Joel Rosenthal, the jewelry on display here is so breathtaking, so exquisite, you’re hard-pressed at times to even believe you’re looking at metal and stone. The butterflies seem to flutter, the tulips almost fragrant. How can human hands create such intricate, dazzling little miracles? You will find yourself gasping in awe. The fact that the room is darkened, with the jewels displayed in individually lit boxes, like sacral totems, makes you feel as if you’re in a house of worship.

    The Met has taken quite a bit of criticism for mounting this exhibition, the sentiment being that the museum is shamelessly plugging a commercial enterprise. I think the criticism is unwarranted.

    Look, museums are struggling in this country. Always have been, always will be. In a so-called “free market” economy (which is anything but), many worthwhile endeavors suffer. The arts, an integral part of human nature and human sustenance, receive a lot of lip service but little if any official civic support. Too often they’re looked upon as trifles, fripperies, not essential to the functioning of a healthy society. Which is about as far from the truth as you can get. And funny how communities always depend on artists to be pioneers, to re-invigorate portions of a city that have fallen into crime and disrepair, to spur business investment. Yet they’re not deemed worthy of public support. Contradiction much?

    In other words, I don’t blame museums for trying to attract audiences in whatever ways they can (well, almost whatever ways; as with everything, there are limits).

    If you have a chance to go to New York before either of these exhibitions end, do go see them. They are compelling reminders that even amidst the on-going brutality and horrors of the world, beauty can still flower and still inspire.

    (Photogaphs courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)


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  • 03/22/14--04:27: Nail Polish Hideosities
  • Glamour Girl has been witnessing yet another trend that is driving her crazy (I know, there are so many of them). She wishes she could get inside the brains of some of the people following this trend and find out just what the heck is going on—besides the all-too-familiar habit of humans to jump on whatever bandwagon comes down the pike, that is.

    Accordingly, this entry falls under a category GG started lo these five years ago, with an entry called, “Will Hideosities Never Cease?!” wherein she gnashed her teeth and rent her garments over the abundant fashion ugliness in the world.

    Today’s hideosity is all that dark black, grey, and blue nail polish we’re seeing everywhere.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but . . .

    . . .

    eeeeeek!

    What is the appeal??

    I mean, do you really want your fingertips looking as though they have some sort of disease?

    Actually, even worse, if that’s possible, are these crazy neon colors:

    Or a color that looks like dried blood:

    I’ll also add that if you’re going to go for these outlandish colors, you’d better have impeccable, picture-perfect hands/feet. Because the former call attention to the latter in a big way.

    To find out if others shared her distaste for these deep hues, GG polled some of her girlfriends. Here’s what they had to say:

    Alexandra Deutsch, glamorous Chief Curator at the Maryland Historical Society, has a cultural theory: “I think all these dark nail polish colors are revolting. Is it the zombie/vampire-obsession that is creeping into fashion because of shows like ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘True Blood’? My 12 year-old daughter has been wearing navy nail polish on her toes for months and black on her nails. I find it so unattractive. I stand behind my opinion even if she tells me I need to ‘break out more’ when it comes to my style. I am leaving that to her. No black nails for me!”

    Marketing exec Debbie Tolson, of Marketing Marvels, Inc., shares Alexandra’s and GG’s revulsion: “I think it is hideous. I was in the spa biz for many years; I don’t get it. I am a French manicure girl, haven’t had color on my nails for years except maybe a pale pink and years ago red maybe for a winter occasion. I think those colors are hideous. Recently I saw someone with green. OMG.”

    Personal trainer AM: “Not much to say on this trend which has been around for quite a few years. First, the ads feature these colors (wasn’t Dior the first to show blackish polish?) and readers buy into it. It is a cheap way to be trendy. The decision is similar to women buying color cosmetics on a whim. Question—are these dark colors any worse than bright yellow, blue, or orange that showed up this past summer? I do have a lot to say considering the fact that I never paint my nails.”

    Lawyer and neighborhood activist Dawna Cobb paid the poll forward: “Now sitting at the bank and the lady helping me is at least my age and is wearing dark grey nail polish. I asked her why she was wearing it. She said she usually wears beige polish, but Revlon was having a sale and she decided to try something new for fun.”

    Laura C., an exec in Laurel, had some strong language: “I go every two weeks for a mani/pedi, and without question the most popular colors are indeed those awful darks. The shelves are polluted with rows of dark, dank rainbows of black, brown, purple, green. In either matte or pearl finishes. OPI and ESSIE invest millions in research in not only colors but names of these Godforsaken colors. I cannot imagine what women are thinking.”

    Actually, that brings up another point, and I know I’m going to get sh*t for this, but here goes: I think it’s hilarious that women spend money—a lot of money—on professional manicures and pedicures.

    A haircut I understand. I can’t cut my own hair. I need a professional to do that. But painting my nails? That takes no particular skill. I can do that myself (if I want to, which I rarely do; I don’t subscribe to the notion that one has to have painted fingernails and toenails to look well groomed). I sure as hell am not going to pay someone 15 or 20 or 30 bucks to do what I can easily do myself, with results that look just as good. Yet women pony up what amounts to hundreds of dollars a year to get this done.

    Okay, if you’re doing it to pamper yourself, then yeah, I get it. To each his own. Some people also like facials (another procedure I think is a riot). But if you’re doing it because you don’t feel capable of painting your nails on your own, or if you can’t afford it yet still get it done, I have to wonder why.

    As I said, I know this sentiment is going to rub lots of people the wrong way, so feel free to take me apart in the comments (though you’ll never convince me that those dark colors are good looking).

    Let ‘er rip!

     


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  • 04/30/14--11:49: Preakness Fun at Caché
  • Come one, come all, to a party on Thursday, May 1st (that’s this week, darlings!), at the lovely Caché on the 4th floor of Towson Town Center, for what you might call a pre-Preakness party. The store will be serving wine and hors d’oeuvres to toast the big race day, and will be offering 20% off all its merchandise, including “derby dresses”—attire fit for an afternoon of Ascot-like conviviality (which this year is Saturday, May 17th, at Pimlico Race Track).

    The event runs from 6 to 9 pm. Again, that’s this Thursday, May 1st—May Day (workers of the world, unite!).

    I do hope to see you there!


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    Glamour Girl recently attended the Single Carrot Theatre Gala at Single Carrot’s new permanent home at 26th and Howard Streets in Remington. GG is thrilled that this innovative, vibrant theater company is practically in her own back yard (Charles Village is walking distance). And the fact that Spike Gjerde’s fab new restaurant, Parts and Labor, is in the same building doesn’t hurt!

    Here’s GG with her good friend Dawna Cobb in the SCT photo booth set up for gala-goers. Are we rockin’ it or what?!

    Sorry the pic is so small here—the constraints of blogging. Go see it in its original location at the SCT Facebook page.

    Dawna is a lawyer, indefatigable neighborhood organizer, and fellow SCT lover and supporter. (GG has to twist hubby’s arm to be in photographs; that’s why he isn’t there. He was standing to the side taking his own pix of us with his iPhone. But take it from me—he looked very dapper in his avant garde Philippe Dubuc suit). The night was full of great music, great food, fun dancing, creative costumes, and an abundantly stocked silent auction (at which my other half won a bid for the most magnificent ring of diamonds and a South Sea pearl that he gave to yours truly, just in time for our anniversary).

    And now—the dresses: Dawna’s red dress is by Turkish designer Selma Karaca, who shows every year at the venerable American Craft Council Show. Dawna is wearing one of Selma’s famous spiral designs. My dress is called the “Monica,” and it’s made in the USA by Laura Byrnes of Pin Up Girl Clothing. Here I’m wearing it in white, but I love it so much, I have it in 5 different colors! Two of them went with me on the QM2 last year, and at least two more are coming with me on the ship next month. (If it weren’t so precious, I’d definitely take the white feather skirt, too.)

    Speaking of the QM2, I just found out that joining us on our journey will be film director/writer Wes Anderson, actress (and fashion maven) Tilda Swinton, actor Jason Schwartzman, and screenwriter/producer Roman Coppola. They’ll be screening The Grand Budapest Hotel and holding a discussion panel afterwards. They’ll also be mingling with the passengers in general—cause that’s how things roll on the glamorous Queen!

    And that gives you an idea of the caliber of talent on this ship. No cheesy dinner theater B-list people here (though, hey, I’ve seen some very good dinner theater in my day)—it’s strictly Broadway, West End, Juilliard, and the like. Along with fascinating lectures by academics and professionals on art, architecture, design, history, literature, astronomy, you name it. That was our favorite part of the trip last year—the lectures. Though it’s impossible to overstate how extraordinary the whole experience was. This isn’t a cruise; hubby and I aren’t cruise people. This is a crossing. And we can’t wait to do it again.

    Who knows—maybe Tilda and I can hobnob over our love of fashion. God knows we have that in common!


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  • 03/13/14--09:27: Nail Polish Hideosities
  • Glamour Girl has been witnessing yet another trend that is driving her crazy (I know, there are so many of them). She wishes she could get inside the brains of some of the people following this trend and find out just what the heck is going on—besides the all-too-familiar habit of humans to jump on whatever bandwagon comes down the pike, that is.

    Accordingly, this entry falls under a category GG started lo these five years ago, with an entry called, “Will Hideosities Never Cease?!” wherein she gnashed her teeth and rent her garments over the abundant fashion ugliness in the world.

    Today’s hideosity is all that dark black, grey, and blue nail polish we’re seeing everywhere.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but . . .

    . . .

    Eeeeeek!

    What is the appeal??

    I mean, do you really want your fingertips looking as though they have some sort of disease?

    Actually, even worse, if that’s possible, are these crazy neon colors:

    Or a color that looks like dried blood:

    I’ll also add that if you’re going to go for these outlandish colors, you’d better have impeccable, picture-perfect hands. Because the former call attention to the latter in a big way.

    To find out if others shared her distaste for these deep hues, GG polled some of her girlfriends. Here’s what they had to say:

    Alexandra Deutsch, glamorous Chief Curator at the Maryland Historical Society, has a cultural theory: “I think all these dark nail polish colors are revolting. Is it the zombie/vampire-obsession that is creeping into fashion because of shows like ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘True Blood’? My 12 year-old daughter has been wearing navy nail polish on her toes for months and black on her nails. I find it so unattractive. I stand behind my opinion even if she tells me I need to ‘break out more’ when it comes to my style. I am leaving that to her. No black nails for me!”

    Marketing exec Debbie Tolson, of Marketing Marvels, Inc., shares Alexandra’s and GG’s revulsion: “I think it is hideous. I was in the spa biz for many years; I don’t get it. I am a French manicure girl, haven’t had color on my nails for years except maybe a pale pink and years ago red maybe for a winter occasion. I think those colors are hideous. Recently I saw someone with green. OMG.”

    Personal trainer AM: “Not much to say on this trend which has been around for quite a few years. First, the ads feature these colors (wasn’t Dior the first to show blackish polish?) and readers buy into it. It is a cheap way to be trendy. The decision is similar to women buying color cosmetics on a whim. Question—are these dark colors any worse than bright yellow, blue, or orange that showed up this past summer? I do have a lot to say considering the fact that I never paint my nails.”

    Lawyer and neighborhood activist Dawna Cobb paid the poll forward: “Now sitting at the bank and the lady helping me is at least my age and is wearing dark grey nail polish. I asked her why she was wearing it. She said she usually wears beige polish, but Revlon was having a sale and she decided to try something new for fun.”

    Laura C., an exec in Laurel, had some strong language: “I go every two weeks for a mani/pedi, and without question the most popular colors are indeed those awful darks. The shelves are polluted with rows of dark, dank rainbows of black, brown, purple, green. In either matte or pearl finishes. OPI and ESSIE invest millions in research in not only colors but names of these Godforsaken colors. I cannot imagine what women are thinking.”

    Actually, that brings up another point, and I know I’m going to get sh*t for this, but here goes: I think it’s hilarious that women spend money—a lot of money—on professional manicures and pedicures.

    A haircut I understand. I can’t cut my own hair. I need a professional to do that. But painting my nails? That takes no particular skill. I can do that myself (if I want to, which I rarely do; I don’t subscribe to the notion that one has to have painted fingernails and toenails to look well groomed). I sure as hell am not going to pay someone 15 or 20 or 30 bucks to do what I can easily do myself, with results that look just as good. Yet women pony up what amounts to hundreds of dollars a year to get this done.

    Okay, if you’re doing it to pamper yourself, then yeah, I get it. To each his own. Some people also like facials (another procedure I think is a riot). But if you’re doing it because you don’t feel capable of painting your nails on your own, or if you can’t afford it yet still get it done, I have to wonder why.

    As I said, I know this sentiment is going to rub lots of people the wrong way, so feel free to take me apart in the comments (though you’ll never convince me that those dark colors are good looking).

    Let ‘er rip!

     


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  • 10/26/14--10:54: Amal’s Stunning Style
  • Glamour Girl knows she’s been AWOL for the past, oh, six months—no special reason, just life getting in the way—and it’s not like she hasn’t been duly swooning over this, that, and the other fashion accoutrement. But she’s been awakened from her blogless slumber by the amazing, accomplished, gorgeous Amal Alamuddin Clooney.

    And she knows she’s not alone.

    All over the blabbosphere, people just can’t get enough of Amal.

    From her model-perfect face (and oh, those brows!):

    To her glossy hair:

    To her impeccable style:

    This woman never puts a fashion foot wrong.

    Speaking of feet, please, please, may I have these dual-colored Figini shoes:

    But I’m sure they’re sold out. Everything Amal wears is sold out. Including this to-die-for gold mesh sequined goddess gown by Donna Karan:

    It retailed for 3,000 bucks. You can see Amal in it in that picture above, which is why it’s sold out!

    I’ve cribbed all these images from the wonderful blog, Amal Clooney Style (formerly Amal Alamuddin Style). Thanks to the blog mistress, whoever she is, for maintaining the blog and identifying all the clothes and accessories the divine Amal wears.

    What do you think about Amal’s style? Leave your impressions in the comments.


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    It’s no secret that Glamour Girl is gaga for live theater. And Charm City has plenty of it. From amateur to professional, the excellence quotient is high, so GG’s biggest problem is just keeping up with everything. 

    One of her favorite companies is Single Carrot Theatre. Not only are the productions challenging, innovative, sometimes kooky, sometimes impenetrable, sometimes poignant enough to move her to tears, but as a bonus, Single Carrot really knows how to throw a party!

    GG wrote about SCT’s spring gala here (complete with fab pix).

    And now she’s eager to tell you about the Fall Benefit, coming up on Saturday, November 8th.

    Guests will be treated to cocktails from Parts & Labor, dinner by Donna’s, and the sophisticated sounds of the Blake Meister Jazz Quartet. We’ll also have oodles of yummy items in the Silent Auction (hubby got GG a gorgeous diamond-and-South-Seas-pearl ring at last spring’s auction, and this fall we’ll have one of Carolyn O’Keefe’s sterling silver Repoussé Jewelry cuffs, which GG first wrote about here), a fun photobooth where you can dress up with props, and a multimedia tribute to the Guest of Honor for the night, Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Doreen Bolger.

    The festivities begin at 6 and go till . . . . well, I guess that depends on how much of a party mood you’re in! Cocktail attire (meaning dressy, not black tie; but hey, a man in a tux is always welcome).

    Tickets are selling fast, and SCT’s beautiful home at 26th and Howard can hold only so many people. So click on over to get your tickets.

    Eat, drink, schmooze, do good!


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    Well, Glamour Girl finally did it. She took the short(ish) trip up I-95 to the Land of the DuPonts, better known as Delaware, to see the magnificent, swoon-inducing exhibition of the Costumes of Downton Abbey at the marble and stone extravaganza called Winterthur.

    And oh, was it worth the wait.

    Go on a weekday if you can; the crowds are obviously more sparse. Though when you buy tickets (ahead of time), you’ll get a two-hour period of time when you can show up and see the exhibition. That way, the museum can stagger the spectators, so it’s never too crowded at any one time.

    Not only is the exhibit itself beautiful, but the grounds, especially with the leaves turning, are breathtaking. Acres and acres of rolling hills, brooks, bridges, footpaths, and gardens. You can take a little tram from the Visitors Center up to the house itself, getting a garden tour of 20 minutes along the way, or you can stroll there on your own.

    You’ll see all the costumes in this picture, for instance:

    Along with the glorious costumes, there are helpful little historical explanations of the types of clothes, when they were worn, why they were worn, by whom they were worn, how they were made, and what fabrics they’re made of. A DuPont timeline accompanies the Downton Abbey timeline, as the clothes, technology, and historical conditions change through the years. Huge video screens also display scenes from the series, including the terribly romantic scene where Matthew proposes to Lady Mary in the lightly falling snow. And the simple burgundy tiered dress, with tiny exquisite beading, that she wears in that scene is on display.

    Also on display—and I know you want to see this one up close—is the fabulous Paul Poiret harem pants outfit worn by Lady Sybil for dinner one evening, when she shocks the staid Edwardians with her daring fashion sense:

    The three sisters are all depicted together in a couple of scenes, along with their wardrobe, as in this summertime shot:

    And this one on Lady Edith’s wedding day:

    Speaking of Edith’s wedding day, you have to see her gown in person to appreciate how gorgeous it is, with all this delicate silver embroidery and Swarovski crystal beading on the train:

    Of course Shirley MacLaine’s character is represented by some fabulous outfits, which I, for one, am dying to wear:

    And the gowns of the elegant Lady Cora, Mary, and Maggie Smith’s formidable Dowager Countess are well represented throughout:

    Although technically you can buy tickets on-line, I found Winterthur’s website maddeningly confusing to navigate, so I ended up calling. Clearly I’m not the only one. I was on hold for 15 minutes before somebody came on the line. When I told her that the website indicated that every single day from now through the end of the exhibition, January 4th, was sold out and that I had a hard time believing that, she assured me there were still plenty of tickets available. Maybe you’ll have better luck. If so, here’s the website.

    However you get your tickets, the exhibition is well worth your while. GG is going again on the weekend of November 22nd, when a jewelry designer who has fashioned a new collection inspired by the jewels of Downton Abbey will be giving a lecture as well as a trunk show. Do you think GG will escape unscathed . . . ?!


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    Well, guys and gals, lucky you—lucky all of us here in Charm City—because opening tonight and continuing to July of 2015 is a gorgeous exhibition at Evergreen Museum and Library (this house in and of itself is a gorgeous exhibition—and my god, if you’ve lived in Baltimore all these years and haven’t seen it, well, shame on you!).

    The exhibition is called Repoussé Style Then and Now: A Celebration of the Art of Michael Izrael Galmer. And it will knock your socks off. More than 30 decorative pieces created by the American silversmith will be on display. Some of them you’ve seen in the pages of Glamour Girl in the past, such as here and here, where GG has waxed rhapsodic over the silver and gold cuffs commissioned by Carolyn O’Keefe.

    From Carolyn’s press release:

    “Galmer has long been inspired by the repoussé art and is known for combining old-world techniques with modern technologies for lushly sculptural, intricately textured works of art. In addition to extraordinary tabletop pieces, three jewelry pieces will be included: The Wild Iris Cuff, The Vineyard Cuff, and The Chrysanthemum Wrap Necklace. All Galmer work, including Repoussé Jewelry, bears the elite, collectible Galmer hallmark.”

    Here’s the Bird Goblet:

    The reception starts at 6 tonight (Thursday, December 11, 2014) at Evergreen. You’ll be enthralled.


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