Category: Wish List

With prices as low as $45, this tiara boutique reigns over Louisville — and not just for thrifty drag queens

Those glittering headpieces are for everybody nowadays, according to a story in one of our favorite business bibles: The Wall Street Journal. And Louisville, it turns out, has a primo place to buy them, with literally hundreds to choose from.

Kate Middleton tiara
Kate’s hand-me-down.

Now, we’re not talking about the real diamond deals — like the heirloom tiara Kate Middleton wore for her 2011 wedding to Prince William. Made by Cartier for Queen Elizabeth’s mother in 1936, it’s paved with 739 brilliant-cut and 149 baguette-cut diamonds.

Wall Street Journal writer Dana Thomas wasn’t made of money, either, when she stumbled on the tiara trend while planning her 1960s-themed 50th birthday party. “My husband and I hired a swinging jazz combo and urged invitees to dress in Rat-Pack chic,” she wrote. “And I made an appointment with my hairdresser David Mallett in Paris, where I live, to acquire a big updo.”

Thomas planned to add a toy tiara from her daughter’s dress-up days. “Little did I realize I was participating in a legitimate fashion trend,” she says, pointing to a flurry of tiaras seen at spring fashion shows and social galas. Indeed, if Thomas had been in Louisville in January, she would have seen the 2016 Derby Festival Royal Court introduction: five tiara-topped women eager to be crowned the annual Festival Queen. (And the winner was…)

Boulevard readers will be delighted to know they needn’t travel all the way to the Parisian arrondissements where Thomas shopped. Here in the city named for France’s Louis XVI, we have Affordable Elegance Bridal, a 10-year-old online emporium offering more than 300 tiaras, plus the occasional crown.

Tiara one
It’s a bargain!

The least expensive — the Botanical Pearl and Crystal Wedding Tiara — sounds very fancy indeed, for only $45 (marked down from $72): “Mariell’s soft cream pearl and crystal statement tiara will glam up your wedding with intricate hand-wired floral sprays. For a stunning blend of en vogue design and classic bridal couture, this headpiece is bursting with botanical femininity.”

Tiara prices max out at $249 for the silver-plated Artemis, adorned with hundreds of rhinestones.

In addition to web shopping there, customers can order by phone Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). 502-835-4421. Shipping is free within the U.S.

Photo, top: Raven (left) and Manila Luzon (right) crown Chad Michaels, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2012.

The only $345 men’s swim shorts you’ll need this summer at Lakeside Swim Club. (Unless you want to spend $595)

Boulevard is always on the prowl for cool, locally available products that set Louisville apart. But every now and then, we run across an item so achingly beautiful, we break my solo-local rule. For the first time, here’s one:

British clothing company Orlebar Brown’s signature Bulldog mid-length swim shorts. They’re the latest in a collection based on society photographer Slim Aarons‘ pool photos taken in the 1960s and ’70s in Palm Beach, the Riviera, and other resorts made famous by that era’s jet-setters. (Keep reading for more about Aarons.) This pair is from a 1975 photo of the Princess Hotel in Acapulco. It’s $345, not including sales tax.

Each pair is individual, and expertly mapped to work 360° around in extraordinary detail, as you can see in this side view:

Bulldog 2 side

Although I like this model best, there are plenty more to choose from.

About the designer
Adam Brown

Photographer Adam Brown launched Orlebar in London in 2007. It got a big publicity boost in 2012, when producers of that year’s James Bond film Skyfall confirmed star Daniel Craig was wearing Orlebar poolside. You can’t buy any of the company’s clothes locally, unfortunately; the closest retailer is in Birmingham, Ala. (Weird, yes.) Of course, you can mail-order direct from the company.

But here’s what’s truly handy: the lovely Lakeside Swim Club in the Highlands’ Belknap neighborhood. It’s open to members and their guests all summer until 9 p.m.; opening times vary. Operating hours.

Lakeside opened in 1924 at the site of a former rock quarry, according to Wikipedia. It’s known for its steep, 40-foot rock walls and huge quarry “lake” — actually, a 3.2 million gallon swimming pool, with a flat concrete bottom and depths ranging from 3-20 feet:

Looking northwest across Lakeside’s main pool.
About Aarons
$59 at Amazon.

He published his photographs in Town & Country and other society shiny sheets, as well as a series of books. He died in 2006 at 89, following a career made out of what he called “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”

Now, if you think your pool photos are even better than Aarons’, Orlebar let’s you design your own suit based on a photo you supply via the company’s #snapshorts app from the Apple and Google Play app stores. But it’ll cost you $595!

Catch 007 wearing Orlebar:

You can never have too many all-occasion note cards — like this Kentucky artist’s

Kentucky artist Marianna McDonald draws gorgeous pastels of landscapes around the state, some of which she features on a set of note cards. I bought these yesterday at her booth at the just-concluded Cherokee Triangle Association annual art fair in the Highlands; $12 for a set of four. Here’s one, called “East Family Sister Shop.”

unnamedMcDonald’s studio is at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill.

Related: Admission to the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft will be free for one year after its June 4 reopening.

Only Parkside sells that cool bike Will Arnett rides in Netflix’s new series ‘Flaked’

Despite the generally meh reviews, I’m still warming up to the new Netflix series “Flaked,” mostly because I liked star Will Arnett so much during his earlier turn in the hilarious “Arrested Development.”

Arnett plays Chip, a recovering alcoholic struggling to rebuild his life in the southern California beach community of Venice; the eight-episode first season launched last month. Arnett’s character can’t drive anymore, so he tools around on a bicycle so ubiquitous, its brand — Linus — ought to be featured in the main credits.

nXpjTmM2I recognized it right away (even if other people didn’t) because I’d seen it on display at Parkside Bikes on Bardstown Road when I was cycle-shopping a year ago. I loved its looks then and now, although I opted for a Specialized instead. Arnett rides the $429 Roadster Classic, according to props and wardrobe spotter The Take. The manufacturer shows it in three colors, including Venetian blue — closest to what Arnett rides, albeit with an old, wooden Coke crate strapped to the handlebars:

Will Arnett linus

Linus bikes aren’t easy to find. Parkside is the only dealer in Kentucky — indeed, it’s one of only nine within a 200-mile radius.

I like Parkside — and apparently, I’m not the only one. Owner Ben Botkins added a second location last June, at 2509 Grinstead Drive near Cherokee Parkway, nearly six years to the date after opening the Bardstown store. The two outlets will have different focuses, Botkins told Business First. The original store will cater to casual riders looking for new or used bikes, while the new one will target “performance” riders who are often out on mountain trails, riding dozens of miles or competing in races.

Related: Parkside bikes on Facebook, and on Yelp. Plus, more about bike shops across Louisville.