Sunday, February 12, 2012

Victoria's Secret is Opening in Israel

For years, I've gone through the tables at Victoria's Secret and bought all of the cotton panty styles labeled "Made In Israel". Now, my cousins in Jerusalem will be able to do the same without coming over for a vacation:

Prestigious lingerie retailer to open two stores at James Richardson’s Ben Gurion Airport compound

Victoria Secrets is coming to Israel: The famous Lingerie, clothes and perfume brand will be sold in Israel through duty free enterprise, James Richardson. The first two stores will be significantly smaller than the American model of large stores.

Negotiations for the brand’s franchise have completed and negotiations between franchising enterprise and the Israel Airport Authority have begun. The planned stores will span 100-120 square meters, and will be located inside and outside the airport’s duty free compound.

According to estimates, about 300 of the 2,000 items the brand line’s carries will be featured in the stores, especially those featured in its beauty line: Beauty products such as perfumes, soaps and lotions are becoming an important share of the chain’s sales in recent years, due to low prices and prestigious branding.

The Israeli stores will also offer a variety of accessories including bags, belts and jewelry; as well as selected underwear items that do not require fitting, such as panties, baby-dolls and pajamas. The stores aim to cater to impulse-shoppers and as such will not have changing rooms.

The Victoria’s Secrets brand has over 1000 stores in the US, mostly in shopping malls, and over 100 independent stores that feature its beauty products.

For years Voctoria’s Secrets refused offers to globalize the brand. Even the Canadian store was opened under a different name. Many Israeli business corporations tried to convince the pro Israel CEO, Leslie Wexler, to import the brand to Israel including the Sakal family, the Gindi family and Rami Shavit.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Around 1970, a woman in a dress shop in Paris told my mother that she dressed very stylishly 'pour une Juive'. No one in my family ever shopped there again, although they probably didn't notice. This story is unimportant, except that it popped immediately into my mind when I saw that French ELLE ran an article, by Nathalie Dolivo, which claims that only now that Obama is president are African-Americans finally fashionable.

Yes, it is that crazy. Yahoo has the story.

If a fashion writer for French Elle is to be believed—and she is not—African-Americans weren't stylish until the Obama family came into office.

"For the first time, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged [only] to its street wear codes," writes Nathalie Dolivo in a post translated from the magazine's website titled 'Black Fashion Power.'

And if this sweeping stereotyping and flat-out ignorance weren't already off base, Dolivo goes on to explain why the so-called Obama renaissance of style is so "chic." According to her assessment, it embraces "white codes" while still making what she calls "a bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a 'créole de rappeur') reminiscent [of] the roots."

It is almost beyond belief that this woman seriously thinks that African-Americans have not always been stylish. Think of the black women who have made such a splash in fashion over the years, or think of the black women you know, and how beautifully they dress. It's a shame that the kind of condescension my mother faced forty years ago as a young woman in Paris is apparently still considered appropriate at a top women's magazine.

I collect evil-eye charms of all kinds, and like to pair them with almost everything I wear. I think that from now on I shall tell people they are my 'bourgeois ethnic references'. Do you like it?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Golshifteh Farahani Banned From Iran For Beautiful Nude Photo Shoot

From the Telegraph: An Iranian actress has been told she is no longer welcome in her homeland after she posed naked in a French news magazine as a symbolic protest against strictures on women.

The nude photo of Golshifteh Farahani has been published by Madame Le Figaro magazine. The publication has attracted a wave of visitors to her Facebook page from Iran and the Middle East.

The Paris-based actress left Iran last year in protest against restrictive Islamic codes that the Iranian cinema industry has to follow under Ahmadinejad's conservative cultural policies.

Now she said the government has sent a communication telling her not to travel back to her homeland.

"I was told by a Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guide official that Iran does not need any actors or artists. You may offer your artistic services somewhere else", Farahani said.

Farahani appeared along Leonardo Di Caprio in the Hollywood film Body of Lies as a nurse who helps an injured American secret agent to recover to carry out his mission in a Muslim country.

The publication of the photo coincides with the Iranian film A Separation being awarded a Golden Globe as the Best Foreign Film of the Year and a government crackdown on the industry, which has seen the authorities shut the House of Cinema institute in Tehran.

Golshifteh has appeared in many of the films made by Asghar Farhadi, the director of A Separation, which has also been nominated for an Oscar this year.

In a few hours after the photo was published Farahani has received thousands of comments from her fans on her Facebook page, with some blaming her for "indecency" and many admiring her for "the courage to remove a taboo among the women in the Muslim countries".

"This is more discriminating to the women than the compulsory hijab. I am very much disappointed with Golshifteh, but she is free to do whatever she wants", a comment read.
Well, I disagree with the commenter. Mlle. Farahani is a grown-up woman, and she can do as she thinks best. The photographs are beautiful, and very tasteful.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Israeli Women Get Naked (For A Good Cause)

Middle Eastern women need to stick together. That's why it makes me so happy to see that forty Israeli women have taken all their clothes off to support an Egyptian woman who posted nude photographs of herself in a protest against the repression of women in Egypt.

The naked Israeli ladies are Jewish and Arab, straight and lesbian, and they are shown here, with a nice big banner to cover them up decently for the camera:

Don't they look wonderful, and happy! Kol ha-kavod!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Miss Israel 1953: Chavatzelet Dror

Born 1934, in Austria, Chavatzelet Dror, whose alluring smile you can see above, was the first soldier to be Miss Israel. Wikipedia says the first soldier to compete, but I'm not sure that can be true. She went on to the Miss World competition, where you can see her standing between Miss Greece and Miss France. Doesn't she have wonderful style and poise? That short haircut is very charming. Just think: five years after the State of Israel struggled into existence, they were sending their soldiers to compete in beauty pageants. For me, this is the essence of Jewish women, this ability to be strong and feminine at the same time.

Her runner-up was Miriam Gershoni. She is a beautiful girl, but all I can think when I see this picture is that I'm so happy that very boned and corseted shape for dresses went out of fashion!

I have only been able to find out a little about the contestants in these early contests. If you know more, please let me know at I'll be happy to add any information, and credit you.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Little Taste of Paradise

Really, I'm not only into shoes and eyeshadow. I also like to eat! For Shabat brunch this week, I made a pasta salad with olives and feta cheese. I finally tried the Pastures of Eden feta that Alisa has been telling me about, and it's good, very good.

First of all, it's kosher, and it's made in Israel, which immediately makes it terrific! And they carry it at the Trader Joe's on Geary, which makes it even more terrific. And it's still Buy Israel Week through tomorrow, so this is a great time to get some. (Of course, you can still buy it after tomorrow.) This is a delicious way to make the ugly BDS campaigns even less effective.

But enough politics. What is the cheese like? It's a sheep's milk feta, not goat, so it's a little different. The website describes it as a 'Balkan style feta'. It's milder to my taste than the Greek-style feta, less tangy, and also less salty. It's also got a softer texture, and seems to crumble a little differently. It has a wonderful flavor, and it worked beautifully in the salad. Next, I think I'll try it with a tomato salad.

Chanel: Bois Des Iles

I put away my summer clothes with a sigh. But every fall, when the cold creeps in...and the cold does creep, even here in California, where my family in France thinks it's eighty degrees all year round...I'm so glad to reach for my bottle of Chanel's great Bois des Iles. 

What can you truly say about a classic, and a quirky one like this? Perfume bloggers like Bois de Jasmin have described this in such beautiful words, that I can hardly add anything. It's one of my favorite scents for fall and winter, and it reminds me of this picture, so full of light and darkness, and golden woods.