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2012 begins auspiciously for the Casiraghi-Grimaldi family with Hello magazine reporting that Charlotte Casiraghi has broken up with her main squeeze of four years, Alex Dellal.

 

 

Alex is not the most popular of Charlotte’s boyfriends (in the blogosphere, Charlotte watchers have preferred Alex Winckler) but the news that Grace Kelly’s eldest granddaughter has found new love made for a salacious read. Her new boyfriend is allegedly a man fifteen years her senior, the comedian and actor Gad Elmaleh. Frankly, one can’t put much credence yet as the two have yet to be photographed and then in an uncompromising position too.

All we’ve had so far are composite pictures such as this – and Charlotte’s picture is from a Chanel fashion show from 2006. The lovely Monegasque HAS been snapped leaving Elmaleh’s apartment:

Will wait and see for more revelations. Charlotte does look remarkably happy here – for someone who has supposedly just broken up with a long-term boyfriend.

The age gap between Charlotte and Elmaleh just might remind the former’s mother, Princess Caroline, of her first husband (who was around seventeen years older than her):

Could history be repeating itself?

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My internet eye candy consists of women who can dress so effortlessly yet project originality (and not in the Lady Gaga sense). They project a kind of nonchalance, grace and ease.

I never really considered Grace Kelly to be a style icon – I felt she was a good dresser because she had good sense and ready access, first to Hollywood designers and then to the best couturiers as Princess de Monaco. However, the lady did have that charm and, well, grace.

Jackie Kennedy has the style and the allure but when it came to beauty – the conventional prettiness – Joan Kennedy has the lion’s share. Hers was a blonde beauty that recalled the likes of Dina Merrill:

However, Joan has little of the sophistication of divine Dina and even less of the inner strength that Jackie possessed. She was the artless blonde, the gentle one.

With Ted after their wedding. Of course we all know what Ted will look like 30 years from 1958 – bloated and beefy. But he sure was a good-looking fella back then and Joan was the perfect foil for him.

With Ted, Teddy, Jr and Kara.

One of my favorite portraits of Joan. She looks sleek and sharp and sophisticated here. And darn gorgeous!

 

I love this picture of Joan and her kids. It highlights the best thing about her – her naturalness. The hair pulled back by a hairband, the classic sheath, the kids.

 

Notwithstanding the gi-normous  bouffant, Joan retained her lovely looks well into tragedy-stricken days – Jack’s assassination, Ted’s near-fatal plane crash, RFK’s assassination, Chappaquiddick. Alcohol ultimately destroyed her looks, her figure and her self-confidence long before her marriage came to an end.

I’ve come to anticipate Modern Family the way I wait for my birthday- I love the witty repartee and (subtle) life lessons, not to mention character development. The following are my impressions of each family:

I love this family most -Jay’s no-nonsense, down-to-earth, frank approach to fatherhood (at least the second time around) commands my respect. Sofia is just hilarious in her approach to motherhood and to Claire (especially in that first dance episode in season 2). Usually one dislikes the gold-digger stereotype: young, pretty and poor. Gloria embodies all that (though I find Sofia Vergara sexier than she is pretty) but she is just so warm-hearted and genuinely lovable that she transcends the concept. As for Manny – he may come across as full of it to some but I would like to have a big-hearted, quirky kid like him.

I love the Cam-and-Mitchell duo – for the simple reason that I can relate to their temperaments (and since they are essentially feminine…). I can be pretty anal, like Mitchell – all cautious, bossy and paranoid but I can definitely see a bit of myself in Cam’s antics. I’m also the sort who would fight for a loved one… which is why I limit myself to a few loved ones, tee hee. The repartee is at its best with these two because they are of equal intellect (unlike Claire and Phil and sometimes, Gloria and Jay) and there are so many pop culture allusions in their conversations. The one weak link for me is Lily, who always seems so sedated. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had more character on Full House two and a half decades ago!

 

So we move on to the Dunphys – the family with majority of the drama (i.e. the Minnie Driver episode) and all the negativity. I used to find Phil endearing but as they started to establish that Luke is his mini-me, I started finding him equally annoying. Luke grates on my nerves for some reason – as the special child, he has all these quirks that rubs me the wrong way. Claire has her good moments but I cannot understand her insecurities around Gloria and “her thing” – how Halloween, and then the school dance, are all under the category “her thing”. I do appreciate the “thunder” convo she had with Gloria in the school wash room. Some people dislike Hayley and I did at first but, she’s really just your regular, popular (oxymoronic, much?) firstborn. Alex I can relate to for her squeaky sense of evil… and the element of poetic justice. She’s mean but then nature exerts its retribution by making her inept around social situations.

Lately, however the show seems to be losing steam; the first season was crammed with snappy exchanges and hilarious moments. Now, it seems to be trying too hard… hope this is just a temporary slump. How I Met Your Mother has been on a slump since the fourth season.

Lee Radziwill is depicted as the fashionable younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Certainly not as famous as her legen-wait for it!-dary sister, Lee holds her own as a chic, pretty icon of style and scandal. If Jackie inherited her mother, Janet Auchincloss’s more aloof disposition, Lee inherited her father, Black Jack Bouvier’s flamboyant, playboy ways (ironic, since Jackie was closer to Black Jack and it has been said that Lee is her mother’s favorite).

In truth, Lee Radziwill presents an immaculate image of herself – this classically beautiful and stylishly dressed woman, however, is something of a playgirl, a sometime alcoholic and a one-time hard-up middle-aged woman, struggling to survive the New York social scene.

The following are some of the Lee Radziwill pictures I’ve collected over the years:

Grandma Bouvier holds the baby Lee (who is just so adorable!) while big sister Jackie, shies from the camera, seated on the ground at far left. Standing at far right is Little Edie Beale.

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier stands by her baby sister, Caroline Lee’s pram. Jackie resembled their swarthy father while Lee inherited Janet’s dainty features.

Even as little girls, one can see how these children would be eye-candy in the world’s stage.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the young Jackie and Lee. It features Jackie’s strong sense of self – with her chin tilted up (she knew how to soften the squareness of her face for the camera) and the defiantly playful look in her eyes. Lee, shown here with a gentle smile and rather weak posture, is very much the kid sister.

Jackie and Lee in their 1950 European trip. I’m liking Jackie’s slacks and Lee’s top. Baring one’s legs in the early ’50’s – that was Lee.

One of my greatest regrets was never seeing Lee’s debutante ball dress. Here she and Jackie prepare for a sitting at a debutante party. Lee looks vibrant and Jackie more reserved. I love Jackie’s gown with its sash.

Lee looks really bitchy here and Jackie’s wide-set eyes are accentuated here in an unflattering way but she looks hauntingly exotic.

Jackie and Lee return from their European junket. They look pretty tired here as Lee looks haggard and Jackie looks downright ugly here – with her hair awry like that.

Lee with Black Jack Bouvier. He looks like a failure at this point and she has that look she would later give paparazzis in the ’60’s and ’70’s.

As with her debutante dress, Lee’s wedding dress during her first marriage was never published to my knowledge. I long to see her dress – which I have to believe is better than Jackie’s pouffy dress. Lee looks pretty here as the matron of honor.

Lee is at the height of her beauty here but what is it with the skanky pose?

THE WHITE HOUSE YEARS

The following photos feature Lee with her sister during the Kennedy years

And one picture from the 1970’s: