Happy New Year Mar-a-Lago Style

Pat-Stonehouse-Mar-a Lago

One of my favorite places to celebrate New Years Eve is Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club.  Theevening starts with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres outside on the loggia.  Watching the guests arrive is like having a front row seat at New York's Fashion Week.  After everyone has overindulged in caviar, fois gras and other delectables the party moves to the grand ballroom for dinner and dancing.  This year the band was Party on the Moon, who played at President Obama's inaugural dinner.  Palm Beachers love to dance and the floor was packed in between the four course meal that ended with Baked Alaska.

Best wishes for 2012, 



Business Card Etiquette China and Japan


The business card is an internationally recognized way ofgiving contact information to a fellow business person.  When traveling to a country whose main language is not English, have one side of the card translated to the language of the country that you're visiting.  Always present the card with the translated side face up.  In many countries it is considered disrespectful to immediately put the card away without paying some attention to it.  
In North America there is very little ceremony when it comes to exchanging business cards.  Some people give them out like they're dealing a hand of poker.  In many countries there is a definite protocol and ceremony to business card exchange.  Here are some guidelines when it comes to business cards and their exchange in Japan and China.

Business card exchange in Japan is very ceremonial.  Status is important in Japan, so make sure that your title is prominent on the card.  Give and receive cards with both hands.  Don't put it in your pocket at the meeting.  Keep business cards on the table in front of you until the meeting is over.
Prior to your trip to China find out the dialect of the people whom you will be meetingwith and have your card translated into either Mandarin or Cantonese.  Use gold lettering and make sure your title is prominent on the card.  If your company has been established for many years put the year it was established on the card.  Use both hands when offering and receiving the card.  Study the card and comment on it.  Don't stuff it in your pocket or write on it. 

The Royal Wedding - Essential Etiquette for Dinner Guests at Buckingham Palace


Dining at Buckingham Palace can be challenging even for those who think they have impeccable dinner manners. If you were one of the 300 special guests invited to the wedding dinner here is some  advice that I would offer to you.

Wait to be seated at the table. Stand behind your chair and allow the Queen to be seated first.

Don’t start eating until the queen starts. When the queen stops eating, everyone stops eating.

The royal family eats Continental style, not American style as most people do in North America.They hold their fork in their left hand and knife in the right. Food is conveyed to the mouth with the fork in the left hand tines down. They don’t transfer the fork to the right hand as we do in North America. In Britain when they are finished they place the fork and knife parallel to each other in the 6:00 position on the plate with the tines up.

If you are served a fish course don’t look for a fish knife or fork. They do not use special fish knives or forks when eating fish, unlike what we may see at a formal dinner in North America.

Each guest will have an individual menu card in French (no translations) outlining the menu and wine. For the royal wedding dinner you may see a pudding on the menu named after the bride, which seems to be a tradition.

Don’t look for the salt shaker, as it probably doesn’t exist. Instead you will probably see a salt cellar which is a tiny bowl with a spoon. Season your food only after you have first tasted it.

The table will be very elaborate and you will not have to pass anything. The footmen will serve the different courses. Everything you need will be laid out at your place setting. Each dinner guest will have their own butter dish, salt cellar, mustard pot, and pepper caster.

Use the lavatory before sitting down for dinner. It is considered poor form to leave the table during dinner.

You will notice that there will be fewer eating utensils laid on the table than what we may experience at a formal dinner in North America. The royal table is laid with the utensils for the first two courses, and the other utensils are brought in with the subsequent courses.

For stemware there will be a water goblet, white wine glass, red wine glass, port glass and two champagne glasses – one to be used for toasts and the other for the pudding course. Hold the stemware by the stem. When toasting raise your glass but don’t clink and definitely don’t clink glasses to get the newlyweds to kiss.

Don’t be confused by the pudding course and dessert course. The pudding course is what North Americans call dessert. The dessert course follows the pudding course and is what we would call the fruit course.

When the dessert course is about to be served you will be presented with a dessert plate which will have a finger bowl placed on a serviette and a fruit knife and fork. Take the knife and fork and place them on the sides of the plate and then lift the finger bowl and serviette to the left of the plate. After the dessert course is served and eaten you will use the finger bowl.   



Mature Models Make a Comeback

Carmen Dell'Orefice - Class is Forever

Carmen Dell'Orefice - Class is Forever

All things come full circle and in fashion we see styles that were popular years earlier eventually making a return. But these days it’s not just the styles that are returning, but the famous models of the past are popping up on runways and advertising campaigns around the world. The market for boomer models is booming. Quite an evolution for an industry that not long ago considered a 25 year old as “too old.” 

The desire to return to these models from the past has nothing to do with nostalgia, and everything to do with money. There’s power in numbers, and the large baby boomer population has huge spending power. Once an ignored demographic by advertisers the boomer client now has clout. Companies worldwide have had to rethink how to reach their so called “mature” customer.

Fashion designers and retailers are finally waking up and realizing that a 40 plus year old woman has a difficult time relating to a 14 year old modelling an outfit. Let’s face it, do you want to wear your daughters or granddaughters dress? Can you identify with a young girl being the face of a major skincare line promoting youthful skin. I doubt she has any influence on you purchasing the product.

I grew up idolizing Twiggy in Seventeen and Lauren Hutton on the pages of Vogue. When in London last year, there were billboards everywhere with a 64 year old Twiggy, modelling for Marks & Spencer and Oil of Olay. Lauren Hutton also in her 60’s, recently walked the catwalk for Tom Ford and has campaigned for Chico’s and J.Crew. Andie MacDowell represents L’Oreal skincare and Kim Basinger is the face of Prada and Miu Miu. Christie Brinkley, now 51 is the face for Covergirl skincare. A skincare line that in the past catered almost exclusively to teens.

Perhaps the most elegant of them all is the gray haired Carmen Dell’Orefice who in her 70’s is the world’s oldest working model. Looking at a recent ad she did for Rolex you can see why photographer Francesco Scavullo said, "I think she got sexier as she got older." The caption for the ad reads “Class is forever.” 

It’s quite obvious to see that many of the pictures have been touched up and many of the faces have been pulled up. Regardless, they represent us over 40 women, who are beautiful, elegant, stylish and sexy at any age.