To the pantheon of emasculating/liberating modern man accoutrements—guyliner, body waxing, Hermès man-purses—we can now add one more: wearing an overpriced diamond ring to broadcast that someone was willing to snap you up and put you on lockdown. As increasing numbers of women—not to mention the gays—decide to pop the question, a British jewelry chain has unveiled a male engagement ring, a very manly "titanium band embedded with a discreet diamond." Sadly, you can't yet get anything similar at Zales or even Tiffany, but perhaps this is a revolution that David Yurman, given his commitment to humanitarianism, might like to pioneer?
• Why is Karl Lagerfeld pro-fur? Because if we didn't kill animals, they'd kill us, naturally. Oh, and don't complain about skinny models until the "zillions" of fat people get "taken care" of. [Telegraph]
• Don't hold your breath, but Topshop has scheduled its opening party for March 26. [NYM]
• Gemma Ward is taking a break from acting to return to modeling full-time. [Sassybella]
• Ecco Domani's annual Fashion Foundation award winners have been announced. [WWD]
• Claudia Schiffer is launching a line of beauty products. [DM]
• Fashion mags are very thin this month, in case you haven't noticed. [NYT]
President-elect Obama—allegedly a 'man of the people'—is allegedly buying a fancy $30,000 ring for his fancy wife, allegedly! It was in the trusty Daily Mail, and now it's the top story on Drudge, meaning it is the single most important news story in all the world. Elitist Obama drops 30K on bling for his wife during a recession—and this bling will be made out of rhodium, the world's most expensive metal! This story is almost certainly bullshit, and we will tell you exactly why. [Updates below—we were right]:
The Smoking Gun got hold of the FBI's list of jewelry that pixieish actress Anne Hathaway (referred to only as a "girlfriend" or "individual") had to surrender because her ex-boyfriend, holy swindler Raffaello Follieri, bought it for her with his fraudulent proceeds. He was very generous with other people's money! There are a dozen items on the list, which must be worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Money is no object when investors are paying unknowingly! The full list, Rolexes and all:
If you're Ellen Barkin, you just place a call to Christie's and the jewelry your ex-husband gave you nets $20 million and some nice vengeful publicity. But for lesser mortals, several websites dedicated to re-selling engagement rings and jewelry from defunct relationships have sprung up, reports Bloomberg News: IdonowIdont.com, for example, secured one (obviously not very) lovelorn mortgage broker two thirds of what he paid for the diamond ring he snatched back from his ex-fiancée. Even better, IdonowIdont eases the process with videos of break-up songs and bitter stories from readers: "It is good for the seller to move on," says the site's CEO, "and there are people who want something vintage and used." It's basically a public service! Albeit one that stomps all over romance and is probably making Miss Manners consider retirement.
Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons reportedly had a suitcase full of his jewelry stolen from a downtown apartment yesterday. Considering the fact that the case contained "three diamond rings, a pendant, three sets of earrings and two bracelets," from Simmons' own jewelry company, the reported total value—$15,000—is pretty meager. That's partly because Simmons is involved a much-derided effort to improve the reputation of the diamond industry, which somehow trickles down to his own company in the form of cheap jewelry that gives a cut of its (relatively small) profits to charity. Which is better: Charitable, uglier, cheaper jewelry, or much shinier jewelry that embraces nothing but out-and-out materialism? These questions are important to moguls. To help you decide, there's a collection after the jump; Simmons' company's jewelry versus some pieces from Jacob the Jeweler—hip hop's gaudiest diamond guy. Each is terrible in its own way:
If having your loved one cremated and poured into a jar that sits in your house isn't enough remembrance for you, LifeGem has a better idea: take those ashes, subject them to a huge amount of force, and create a diamond to wear around. You'll always know the gem was made from, as the company puts it, a very special "carbon source"—that means your loved one! You can even get them for your pets, which are also diamond-worthy carbon sources. Once your order is delivered, we imagine, you sing a creepy little song about "the diamond within you," and cackle maniacally. Strange business. As TNR points out, this would be an apt fate for Charlton "Soylent Green" Heston. Below, some of the company's gently persuasive sales pitch, which is somehow hair-raising. There's no right way to sell this product.