Friday, October 24, 2014

Music Friday: Lorde Channels Heroine Katniss Everdeen in the Precious Metal-and-Gem Infused ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’

Teen singing sensation Lorde channels Hunger Games protagonist Katniss Everdeen in “Yellow Flicker Beat,” a dark jam from the movie sequel's soundtrack that’s infused with references to gemstones and precious metals.


In the first verse, Lorde sings, “I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm / And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold / My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones / It keeps my veins hot, the fires found a home in me.”

“Yellow Flicker Beat” is the lead single from the Lorde-curated soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, which will hit theaters on November 21. Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence plays the film's heroine.


Lorde explained the inspiration behind “Yellow Flicker Beat” in an interview with radio station KROQ's Kevin and Bean. "I reread the books, and I just wanted to tap into everything that Katniss is feeling in that film."

“I felt like Katniss was like, 'OK, I'm taking names. I'm coming for blood. You don't do these types of things to my friends and family and get away with it.' I just wanted to make something kind of dark and haunting,” she said.

On her own Tumblr, Lorde wrote, “It's my attempt at getting inside her head. I hope you like it."

Apparently, a lot of people already do. The song released on September 29 and immediately zoomed to #17 on the Billboard U.S. Alternative Songs chart. This is the highest any female artist has debuted on the chart since 1995.


Just before the song’s release, Lorde teased “Yellow Flicker Beat” on her Instagram by posting this photo of her hand marked with hand-written lyrics from the song.

Scroll down to check out the video of Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

"Yellow Flicker Beat"
Written by Ella Yelich-O'Connor (Lorde) and Joel Little. Performed by Lorde.

I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm.
And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold,
My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones,
It keeps my veins hot, the fires found a home in me.
I move through town, I’m quiet like a fire,
And my necklace is of rope, I tie it and untie it.

And now people talk to me, but nothing ever hits home
People talk to me, and all the voices just burn holes.
I’m going in (ooh)

This is the start of how it all ever ends
They used to shout my name, now they whisper it
I’m speeding up and this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart
We're at the start, the colors disappear
I never watch the stars, there’s so much down here
So I just try to keep up with the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart

I dream all year, but they’re not the sweet kinds
And the shivers move down my shoulder blades in double time

And now people talk to me, I’m slipping out of reach now
People talk to me, and all their faces blur
But I got my fingers laced together and I made a little prison
And I’m locking up everyone who ever laid a finger on me
I’m going in (ooh)


And this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat
Sparking up my heart
And this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat-beat-beat-beat

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Smart Phone Meets Haute Couture: This 18-Karat Diamond-Encrusted Beauty Will Set You Back $250,000

A smart phone deserves to be elevated to the level of haute couture because it has become such a visible and essential part of our lives, according to the CEO of Geneva-based luxury brand Savelli.


In an interview with CNN, Alessandro Savelli argued that, since the smart phone is with us all the time, in our hands, our pockets, next to us when we sleep, and because we touch it 100 times a day, the device should be treated like fine jewelry.

"Everyone has one,” he told CNN. “So we thought, ‘Why not elevate it to the sphere of luxury? What if we make it a beautiful object?’”


And a beautifully impressive fashion statement it is, with the company employing the same techniques and materials used in jewelry production to make the phones.

Savelli’s latest smart phone model — the $250,000 Diamond Night — features an 18-karat gold casing emblazoned with 395 brilliant-cut white diamonds weighing 3.99 carats.


Diamond Insane showcases more than 70 baguette-cut diamonds set in 18-karat white gold. Savelli noted that the baguette diamonds had to be specially set to match the contour of Savelli’s signature curve called the “Line of Grace.” The price tag for the Insane model is 100,000 British pounds, or about $160,000.

The phones are powered by the Google Android operating system, feature an Ultra-Bombé “unscratchable” sapphire crystal screen and are adorned with exotic materials, such as ostrich, python and iguana leather.


The Diamond Night and Diamond Insane models have companions that feature either round or baguette emeralds. These models are appropriately called Emerald Night and Emerald Insane.

Emerald Night is trimmed in 18-karat rose gold and set with 400 brilliant-cut emeralds weighing about 3 carats.


Emerald Insane is encrusted with 75 baguette-cut emeralds weighing about 4.5 carats and interlaced with 900 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing nearly 12.5 carats.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fashionable Bracelet Named Olive Alerts You When You’re Stressed Out and Recommends Ways to Calm Down

Is high stress getting you down? Well, a new wearable tech product named “Olive” may be just what the doctor ordered.


Billed as “an intelligent bracelet that helps you manage stress,” Olive is designed with tiny sensors that monitor heart rate, skin conductance, skin temperature, sleeping patterns and muscle tension.


The bracelet can even interact with your smartphone to analyze lifestyle activities through the calendar, locator and other data.


If Olive finds the user to be in a stressful situation, it not only nudges the user with gentle taps (haptic feedback) or LED lights, but also recommends simple de-stressing exercises and strategies to bring the body back into balance.

It can be synced with a smartphone or operated in standalone mode. In the photo at the top of this post, a smartphone displays Olive's monitoring of a user's heart rate and body temperature while offering a personalized "Good morning" greeting and giving an overall stress rating of "9.1 Stellar."

The bracelets come in a number of materials, colors, textures and styles, including a special Heirloom Edition in 18-karat gold. The standard version is expected to retail for $150. The Heirloom Edition sells for $1,000.

The Olive team, led by founder and CEO Hiro Ellis, designed the bracelet to be unobtrusive and beautiful, while having the ability to be dressed up or down to reflect the user’s personality or the occasion.

Olive is currently undergoing a crowdsourcing campaign on with the original aim of raising $100,000 before November 9. As of yesterday, the Olive team had already raised $108,749 from 741 funders. See the campaign here…


Olive comes with a standard USB charger, and there’s an optional upgrade to a Pedestal Charger that holds the bracelet upright.

Olive, which is expected to go into production in the summer of 2015, is just one in a wave of new products in the burgeoning wearable tech market.

• In February, we introduced you to the Cuff, a line of high-tech jewelry that could instantly alert your “protective circle” of a potential emergency while transmitting a map of your exact location.

• In June, we reviewed Ringly, a “smart” ring designed to blink or vibrate depending on whether you’re receiving a call, push notification or reminder.

• In August, we brought you the QBracelet, stylish wristwear that doubles as a back-up battery for your smartphone.

• And in September, we showed you the new Apple Watch that promises to manage your fitness, monitor your heartbeat, plan your diet, check your stocks, connect with social media, give you directions, unlock the door of your hotel room — and even tell you the time.

We can only imagine what will come next.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Two Impressive Diamonds Headline Tomorrow’s Important Jewels Auction at Christie’s New York

Two impressive diamonds — one weighing 101.36 carats and the other 81.38 carats — are set to go under the hammer tomorrow at Christie’s Important Jewels auction in New York City.


As Christie’s kicks off its fall season with 350 lots, the one with the highest pre-sale estimate is a platinum pendant necklace featuring a cushion-cut diamond weighing a staggering 101.36 carats.


Expected to fetch from $4.25 million to $6.25 million, the L-color, VS2-clarity diamond is suspended on a simple black silk cord with pavé-set terminals crafted in platinum. The Gemological Institute of America reports that the stone has excellent polish and symmetry.


Tomorrow’s co-headliner is an eye-popping pendant necklace highlighted by a near-flawless 81.38-carat diamond, which is the largest diamond dangling at the end of a detachable pendant.


The stone was given a K color grade and VVS1 clarity rating by the GIA. It also earned a supplemental letter from GIA stating the diamond has been determined to be Type IIa. The rare Type IIa rating means the diamond is chemically pure and displays an exceptional optical transparency.

The detachable pendant is set with three rectangular-cut diamonds weighing 81.38, 15.30 and 7.04 carats, respectively. Each is spaced by smaller round diamonds. The neckchain sparkles with an impressive array of 17 round diamonds — the largest weighing 15.46 carats — spaced by rectangular and square-cut stones. The diamonds are set in 18-karat white gold. The necklace carries a pre-sale estimate of $2.8 million to $3.5 million.

Christie’s International Jewelry department has been on a roll in 2014. The first half of the year saw eight new world auction records and jewelry sales of $362 million.

Christie’s New York Important Jewels event will be held at the company’s Rockefeller Plaza salesroom in the heart of the city.

Photos: Christie’s

Monday, October 20, 2014

Disney Alum Corbin Bleu Proposes to Girlfriend in Front of Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World (Where Else?)

Disney alum and High School Musical star Corbin Bleu presented his girlfriend, Sasha Clements, with a glass slipper containing a classically beautiful solitaire diamond engagement ring in the place “Where Dreams Come True” — Disney World in Orlando, Fla.


To add even more romantic symbolism to Wednesday’s momentous event, the 25-year-old actor/singer chose to propose right in front of Cinderella’s Castle (sigh).

Of course, Clements said, “Yes,” and the couple promptly turned to Instagram to report the good news. In a photo posted on Thursday to each of their accounts, Clements models her new ring with the majestic castle in the background. We've added the closeup inset in the photo, below.


His Instagram caption read: “She said yes!”

Her caption read: “I love you Corbin.”

The size of the diamond was not officially revealed, but we’re guessing that it’s 2-plus carats. The round brilliant solitaire has a four-prong setting and features pavé-set diamonds on a delicate white-metal band. The precious metal is likely 18-karat white gold or platinum.


"I'm very excited to begin this next chapter of my life with the woman who stole my heart," Bleu told People magazine.


Two days after the engagement, Clements was back on Instagram documenting her Disney adventure. Instagram followers got to see her flashing her ring at a wine tasting at the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival.


Bleu, who made his mark playing Chad Danforth in High School Music and its subsequent two sequels, High School Musical 2 and High School Musical 3: Senior Year, has been dating the 24-year-old Clements since a random meeting in a Toronto grocery store in 2011. Clements is a Canadian-born actress, who now lives in Los Angeles.

The multitalented Bleu showcased his grace and agility when he made it to the finals of the 17th season of Dancing With the Stars in 2013. Clements recently appeared in the Disney Channel Original Movie, How to Build a Better Boy.

The newly engaged couple has yet to announce a wedding date.