Friday, March 28, 2014

There Will Never Be Another Jacqueline Kennedy Collection

"Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot."

Phil Katz with QVC Host Sandra Bennett


Early Monday morning after I walked the dog, I settled down with a freshly brewed a cup of coffee and my laptop to check the new clearance items on the Q. I was surprised to find row after row of items from the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection. At first, I was thrilled. I love the line, but never purchased anything. Maybe something special would hit the magic price point for me, or—glory be!—have free shipping. And then the realization slowly dawned on me. I've been here before. This line, like so many others before, was coming to an end.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Collection shows have always been some of my favorite home shopping entertainment. I love nothing more than watching a BBC documentary on just about any historical figure or event no matter how seemingly obscure. Clearly, I also love home shopping. If the two ever had a baby, it would be the representative of the collection, Phil Katz. He is passionate about his products without sounding like an obnoxious carnival barker. He weaves tales about each piece that breathes new life into them. Armed with just his storytelling ability, a handful of pictures, and his ever-present pointer stick, he takes an ordinary looking piece and magically transforms it into the most sophisticated jewelry ever created, all with a soft-spoken demeanor and—like Jackie—an understated elegance.

Yes, I know he idolizes Jacqueline Kennedy a bit too much and tends to gloss right over some of the less flattering details of her life, but we all already know more than enough about all the shenanigans that went on during Camelot. Ladies, if your husband ever begins showering you with $50,000 custom-made pieces of jewelry from Tiffany’s and Cartier, I think it’s safe to assume he is probably doing the horizontal hokey-pokey with Marilyn Monroe.

Phil Katz destroying the tooling

I had hoped that QVC was just dropping the line and it would reappear elsewhere. But, sadly, the Camrose & Kross is ending production. And, just to drive the point home, the molds are being smashed live on the air. Phil has stated that the last of Coco Channel’s original Czech glass pearl factories closed its doors and that they weren't able to duplicate the quality at other factories. And what would a Jacqueline Kennedy collection be without her signature pearls?

Or could the line could be ending because of Caroline Kennedy isn't happy with it?

Then, last August, a friend of Caroline’s told The Post that she couldn't believe QVC was selling reproductions of Jackie’s jewelry. “Trust me,” the source said. “Jackie wouldn't have been caught dead wearing this stuff.”  — New York Post

Seems odd to me that she would be fine with auctioning off her mother’s actual things and fine with selling this same line of reproductions at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, but suddenly offended that they are sold on QVC. Perhaps she should be flattered that people still hold her mother in such high esteem. Phil Katz certainly wastes no opportunity to gush over her!

According to the Camrose & Krose Facebook message this is an ending that is long past due:

For the last 10 years, we have had the honor and privilege of sharing a Jacqueline Kennedy story with you through the romance of her jewelry and accessories collections. From the start, we always knew that the product would be limited in availability and duration. Due to the amazing support and loyalty of you, our customers we have extended the time line far beyond our original intentions; and now we feel it is time to bring this fabulous chapter to a close. We have rendered all the pieces in her collection that are currently available to us. We will continue to offer the line only as long as inventory exists. 

Regardless of the reason, with the loss of another unique line from QVC’s ever-shrinking lineup, we can now look forward to even more tiresome infomercial-like hours of expensive vacuum cleaners, blenders, speakers, and mattresses. Supposedly, an Audrey Hepburn collection is in the works and hopefully will be coming soon, but I can’t imagine that the stories will resonate as deeply. As Jacqueline Kennedy once famously said, “There will never be another Camelot.”


And, yes, I finally broke down and ordered a piece for myself—the Castellani bracelet. The piece itself, the history of it, and the meaning behind it are all beautiful to me.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

QVC Host Alberti Popaj’s Body of Work

Before QVC, new host Alberti Popaj was not afraid to flaunt his considerable assets in the entertainment industry. And, no, I’m not talking about being a vendor rep for Alterna hair products. Boyfriend can sing, act, dance, and—as Sophia from the Golden Girl’s once said—he has buns like Baryshnikov!

According to IMDB, he’s been an aspiring actor for several years, playing small roles in movies like Rush Hour 3 and working on some small art-house style shorts like Gratitude and Still Lives.



"'still lives' is the story of a man and a woman falling in - and out - of love, told through black and white still photographs, set to the music of ravel and satie. directed by michael rababy"

By the way, he does get a little ... ahem ... naked in the Still Lives movie during a romantic bedroom scene. Not that you’re interested in seeing his derriere in the least, because I'm sure you're not. (If you're too lazy to watch the entire movie--which you should--just click here. But, remember while you’re clicking directly to the money scene that you should be very, very ashamed of yourself for doing so!)



Showing that David isn't the only host who can make a yum-yum face, Alberti also did some funny Sonic commercials in which he’s having a love affair with a hamburger. I can totally relate. I once had a clandestine affair with a thin-crust pepperoni and jalapeno pizza with extra cheese. Guuurl, was it ever hawt!

Most recently, Alberti played the smart aleck wine steward in the TV show, Susanna, featuring Maggie Grace and Anna Paquin.



Before the acting career, Alberti was also a model and quite the heartthrob pop star. Shkruaj ne emailin tim (which I think is Albanian for "Write to my email") was the winner of the 2006 "Best Male Video" at the Video Fest Awards in Prishtina, Kosova. He also won a Zhurma Show Award in 2004. I don’t know what these award shows are exactly, but I’m guessing they're a foreign version of the American Grammy Awards. Here he is accepting an award and here he is performing live at the show.

According to his QVC blog, Alberti beat out 10,000 people to get his hosting job. And now you know the skills it took for him to do it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mea Culpa

To be clear, I'm not sorry that I left the blog several years ago. Real life happened, and it was so much more important than a home shopping blog. However, I am sorry that I left so abruptly, leaving some very nice people hanging. They deserved better. And I am certainly sorry for the current state of the comments. Lord knows, I love opinions and snark, but outright filth, name calling, and making fun of people for things they can't help is not acceptable. Home shopping is a target-rich environment, there is plenty of material to satire without stooping that low. Writing that you hate so-and-so because she's a stupid bleep with a fat bleep isn't exactly adding to the conversation. Home shopping and all the ridiculousness that swirls around it should be fun, people!
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