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Monday, June 3, 2013

I’ve had a great time at JCK Las Vegas, the ginormous jewelry trade show. Friday night was all about drinks at the Wynn hotel with a group of lovely jewelry ladies, organized by the fabulous Shamila Jiwa.  I wore a lot of my designs, including the Empress Wu dragon ring

empress wu

… which goes nicely with an Alexander McQueen dress from 2010 (previously seen here and here).

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Holding forth to Elizabeth and Jessica. Photo by Shamila.

While hanging out at Parasol Down at the Wynn, we were terrorized by a 30-foot-tall singing frog, which appeared over the “Lake of Dreams.”

frog

Click the photo to see my Vine video of the frog.

We enjoyed ourselves despite the scary amphibian. Here I am with (from left) Erika Winters, Jessica Cohen of Lup Rocks, and Katrina Kelly

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… and here is Brittany Siminitz of JCKmarketplace.

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I never got pictures with Cheryl Kremkow, Monica Stephenson of iDazzle, Barbara Palumbo, or Shamila. I blame the frog and all the other weird stuff that arose from the lake for distracting us from our paparazzi activities.

Several of the ladies turned up to support me and Cheryl the following day, when we gave our talk on “The Next Generation Customer, Who Are They and How Do We Sell to Them.” The only reason I was at the show at all was because Cheryl graciously invited me to do that presentation with her. Cheryl blew everyone away with her lively and humorous talk on Millennials. She had great data AND pictures of chihuahuas in t-shirts. That, my friends, is a winning combination. Remember that for the next time you need to do any public speaking. Chihuahuas in t-shirts for the win. Cheryl also had a snappy way to describe the demand for customer service with  TLC: “Warm is cool.” I spoke about how the smartphone and tablet generation — meaning the kids who have been born post-iPhone and -iPad — are going to smash through old ways of interacting online as dramatically as the female athlete in the iconic 1984 Apple Superbowl ad for its personal computers.

I also quoted my favorite line from Ghostbusters and shared pictures of Henry and Gigi the dogs and FitzRoy the cat. Unfortunately, none of the pets were wearing t-shirts, so they couldn’t compete with Cheryl’s chihuahuas.

For this event, I wore a Balenciaga dress that I got in 2010. I had worn it when MrB received his honorary doctorate, but I didn’t get a proper picture of it. You get a glimpse of it in this post. I planned to take a serious outfit photo of it this time but I never got around to it; once again, you can see just a bit of the dress in this photo Shamila snapped of us taking questions from our audience. I swear that I’m not sleeping — just carefully considering the issue at hand!

questions

Not sleeping, I swear!

I had dinner that night at my hotel — the Mandalay Bay, where the JCK show was being held — with my jeweler friend Maurice; his wife, Maria; Maria’s brother; and another Maria that Maria #1 befriended by the pool that day. Maria #2 is from Spain. She’s the mother of four boys, but she has no problem keeping them all in line because she’s a professional bodybuilder. She was in Vegas for a real photoshoot, but we conducted an informal shoot of our own after we ate. This might be one of my favorite photos evah. A small crowd gathered to watch us take it.

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From left: Maria #1, Maria #2 and WendyB.

What Wendy Wore
Dress: Castelbajac (2009)
Shoes: Prada (2010)
Purse on floor: Louis Vuitton (2001)

After we flexed our arms, Maria #2 informed us that we needed to flex our leg muscles next. After looking at Maria #2’s eye-popping thighs, Maria #1 exclaimed, “We don’t have those muscles!”

legscrop

LOL.

Maria #2 was so adorable. I nearly hugged her to death. People’s eyes were on her wherever she went. A person has to be really committed to her passion to put up with that kind of scrutiny, and I admire that.

On Sunday, I finally got to explore the JCK trade show itself.  I admired some large gems, but I managed to tear myself away without buying any. My design process doesn’t normally start with a big, beautiful gem, meaning that I don’t buy a stone and say, “This is stunning. Let me create something around it.” I start with a story I want to tell, then come up with a concept for the metal, and only then do I get gems to fit that design.  My Marie Antoinette ring is a good example of that. I knew I wanted to tell Marie Antoinette’s story. I knew the piece had to be in the royal colors of purple and green, but I didn’t go looking for an amethyst to buy. First, I decided how the gold setting would best symbolize the thorny situation that the Austrian princess inherited when she was shipped off to be the queen of France. Once that was figured out, I had a 27.64-carat amethyst custom-cut to fit the setting.  Every so often, I make an exception because I’m unable to resist a particular gem, but I feel that the designs I do as a result don’t fit my collection the way they should. Still, I can’t stop thinking about a 5-carat violet spinel that really wanted to come home with me.

On a whim, I abandoned the jewelry for a little while in order to investigate the Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. I kept walking past signs for it and decided I would regret missing out on the sharks. At the entrance, lively staff members quickly organized families and couples for souvenir photos. Because I was alone, I briefly considered dodging that due to the embarrassment factor, but then the IDGAF necklace that I was wearing had its usual effect on me and I thought, “Who cares if I look foolish? I love tourist photos!” Thank goodness I came to my senses, because I’m sure MrB will want to frame this masterpiece.

shark2What Wendy Wore
T-shirt: Back-up Damien Hirst diamond skull museum t-shirt (2013, from eBay because I love my original so much).
Jeans: Acne

Unseen shoes: Ash wedge sneakers (2012)

I kept the white jeans but changed into another Tate Modern gift shop t-shirt for a Maroon 5 concert thrown by JCK that night. The Mandalay Bay has a huge wave pool called Mandalay Beach, complete with sand. The hotel hosts concerts there and while the artist or band plays, you get to stand in the pool and get hit by waves.

maroon1

Peeps dancing in the water while the band plays.

I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Now I only want to attend concerts if I get to watch from a pool, complete with attractive lifeguards. I don’t care if I’m going to Carnegie Hall. Someone better get some chlorinated water in there or I’m going to be angry. I’d also like it if Erika and Shamila could attend all the watery concerts with me, because they’re good company.

waterbabies1

From left: Erika, Shamila, WendyB.

What Wendy Wore
T-shirt: Roy Lichtenstein top from the Tate Modern gift shop (2013)
Jeans: Acne
Purse: Prada (2008)
Unseen shoes in tote bag: Prada wedges

Here’s my best photo of Maroon 5 lead singer (and The Voice judge) Adam Levine.

maroonadam1

I was going to post my video of Levine singing his hit, “Moves Like Jagger,” but it shows a lot of innocent bystanders who are not moving quite as impressively as Mick Jagger. They probably don’t want to see themselves on YouTube, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Before the concert, a bunch of us gathered in JCK’s beach cabana.

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Click to enlarge.

From left: Shamila Jiwa, Erika, me, Brittany, JCK editor Jennifer Heebner (previously mentioned here, with gratitude) and the same glamorous Barbara who escaped my camera on Friday.

If you enlarge the photo and look closely, you can see that Erika (second from left) is wearing my IDGAF necklace in gold. Not just any IDGAF necklace from my inventory, but the very one I was wearing when I took the shark picture earlier in the day.  Erika suddenly realized she needed jewelry with attitude, so I took that necklace off my neck and put it on hers. Sometimes, when you need to not give a fuck, you need to not give it right away! Erika, enjoy your new necklace! I hope it not only inspires you to take many silly tourist photos, but also emboldens you enough to chat with Vogue editor Anna Wintour should you corner her in an elevator. It worked that way for me!

UPDATED TO ADD: I added a link to this post to Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday roundup. Click here to see what all the Visible ladies are wearing.

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16 Responses to “What Wendy Wore: JCK Las Vegas”

  1. Terri Berry says:

    Love the pictures. You look phenomenal. And the shark picture is awesome. It must be a requirement for JCK women to be beauteous. Gorgeous group!

  2. Becky says:

    Every photo I see from Vegas makes me more determined to go next year! It looks like you had a fabulous time.

  3. Action packed post! Loads of fun, marketing, creation beginnings, water concert, designer clothes and shoes, this one has it all! LOVE your smile WendyB, it makes me happy! oxoxoxo

  4. What a beautiful group you jewelry babes are! Thanks for linking up to Vis Monday.

  5. Couture Carrie
    Twitter: couturecarrie
    says:

    Amazing looks and pics, darling WB!
    Especially loving your dress in the “bodybuilding” pic ~ so perfect for Vegas!

    xoxox,
    CC

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Posing for that pic was quite entertaining! Bunch of guys were standing around gawking at Maria #2!

  6. Now there is some Real Woman Glam! More specifically, some Real Creative Woman Glam! So happy to see you having a great time, giving and receiving information and inspiration.
    Thanks so much for showing us all the highlights.

  7. Kathy says:

    Is Levine padding or is that just my jaded dirty mind?

  8. your McQueen dress is so lovely. . . Have been contemplating your IDGAF necklace too . . .