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Category: Loree Rodkin

Fashion Diary: Lunching with Loree Rodkin

Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

Having lunch with jewelry designer Loree Rodkin is like devouring a juicy Hollywood novel. First there are her famous affairs to discuss -- with Don Henley, Bernie Taupin and Richard Gere. Then, her lifelong Rodkin friendships with Cher and Elton John, and her extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such asbeing introduced to Paris by Salvador Dali, and propositioned by Jimi Hendrix (she turned him down).

It’s no wonder that she’s had two offers to option her life story.

Not that Rodkin is a party girl. Far from it. Arriving on the L.A. scene in the early 1970s, she’s gone from being a rock n’ roll interior decorator to a talent manager to a fine jeweler. But she’s never been into drinking or drugs. In fact, she’s babysat her fair share of addicts, including Robert Downey Jr., when he was a client.

"They could call my book ’Designated Driver,’ " she jokes.

Her medieval-meets-modern jewelry is worn by just about everyone in Hollywood. But it is First Lady Michelle Obama who has been the biggest booster lately, choosing Rodkin’s designs for election night and the inaugural balls, where she wore 61-karat white gold and rose cut diamond earrings with garland drops, a 13-carat diamond cocktail ring and a wrist full of diamond bangles.

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Should Michelle Obama borrow clothes and jewels like a celeb? Nancy Reagan couldn't.

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Michelle Obama wore $17,000 diamond chandelier earrings designed by Loree Rodkin to the "We Are One" concert on Sunday — not a gift from her husband, but borrowed from a Chicago retailer. The next morning, dispatches were dutifully sent out from the publicist for Rodkin to let the press know whom to credit for her ear candy. How very red carpet.

Michelle Obama looked stunning, but should she be borrowing baubles like Kate Winslet on the eve of the Oscars? Or a former first lady who was a size 0? As reported in a 1988 Time article, a little more than two decades ago, Nancy Reagan got her manicured toe in hot water for borrowing designer clothes after having promised she would no longer do so. (Having seen her collection of James Galanos gowns at the Reagan library last year, I know that woman could shop ... or borrow.)  You see, back in 1982, she agreed to stop borrowing clothes — thanks to a pact created by the then-White House counsel and Office of Government Ethics — because the gifts or loans represented taxable income when the donors could benefit from her wearing them.

Now, that's a no-brainer. Already, the Maria Pinto, J. Crew and Black & White outfits Mrs. Obama has bought and worn have been major sellouts.  And her status as a style icon has been cemented by fashion critics and women alike, so she will be one to watch for fashion cues. Come tax day, she may have to report the "gifts" she borrowed as income.

Do you think the first lady should be calling in gowns and gems or pull out that credit card and rely on her own wardrobe? Tell us.

— Monica Corcoran

Photo credit: Getty Images

Michelle Obama chooses L.A. jeweler Loree Rodkin

Earrings_rageSomething old, something new, something borrowed ... Michelle Obama chose some pricey diamond chandelier earrings by local jeweler Loree Rodkin to accent the camel and black Narciso Rodriguez skirt and coat she wore to the "We Are One" concert Sunday in Washington. Obama apparently borrowed the earrings, valued at more than $17,000, from Ikram Goldman, the Chicago retailer who has been helping with her wardrobe over the last few months. Rodkin has been in the news lately for designing the new restaurant Luau in Beverly Hills.

-- Booth Moore

Photo: Earrings. Credit: Loree Rodkin


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