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Ripples #81
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Ripples #81

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Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck

Ripples artMillion-Dollar Swimsuit: Wretched
Excess with a Wacky Tan Line!

Ripples has covered a number of pricey swimsuit oddities in the past — including a pair of men’s trunks worn by Daniel Craig in the 2006 Bond movie “Casino Royale” (sold at auction for $72,000) and a solar-powered bikini, which enables the wearer to recharge electronic devices at the beach (priced at a measly $1,500).

In the wretched excess department, however, neither can hold a candle to the $1 million ladies’ swimsuit recently unveiled by Australian jeweler Ann Middleton (hopefully, no relation to the Duchess of Cambridge). How could a swimsuit cost $1 million? According to a report on, the garment is adorned with “133 carats’ worth of 220 brilliant-cut diamonds, plus 100 Australian South Sea pearls.”

Charlotte Rudge, the author of the article, was unimpressed. She noted, “When it comes to fashion, specifically swimwear, you can bet your bottom dollar that if there’s a million-dollar price tag attached to an item, it’s super ugly.” She included Middleton’s diamond-and-pearl-adorned swimsuit in that assessment.

To tweak a well-worn (so to speak) expression: There’s no accounting for taste…in swimsuits or how one spends money. Rudge put things into perspective by comparing the swimsuit to other items you can get for a cool million. “For example,” she wrote, “the same amount of money could buy you a five-seater submarine or your own personal J. Lo concert. And for those craving something a bit more practical, a 150-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton can be yours at that price, too.”

The last item clearly was a dig (again, so to speak): It is highly unlikely anyone will ever enter the water wearing the million-dollar swimsuit. That really doesn’t matter, according to Rudge, who claims the garment is more a “statement piece” (otherwise known as a publicity stunt) than anything else.

The author saved her final jab for the end of the article: “One-million dollars is a lot of money, and I’d much rather spend that on my own submarine than on a swimsuit that’s going to give me wacky tan lines —133 carats of diamonds or not!”

To see the million-dollar swimsuit and get a sense of the “wacky tan lines” it would leave, click here.

Ripples Classic: Oct. 20, 2010

Neiman Marcus Offers $1.5 Million
Dale Chihuly Swimming Pool Art

If you have ever visited Las Vegas and found yourself at the registration desk of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, you’re familiar with the artistry of Seattle-based glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, who was responsible for creating the breathtaking, multicolored installation suspended from the ceiling over your head.

In the nearby City Center, there now is an entire store dedicated to Chihuly’s work, with the largest shimmering piece going for $450,000.

One-upping even that, Ripples has learned, Neiman Marcus is offering a $1.5 million “Dale Chihuly Pool Sculpture Installation” in its new Christmas catalog. The entry in the catalog states the following:

This luxury gift offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a privately commissioned Chihuly art installation measuring up to 22 feet by 12 feet at the bottom of your swimming pool. Drawing from the forms and fluidity of nature, Chihuly combines vibrant colors and rich textures to create an aquatic experience that is both organic and fantastic.

The text goes on to note, “The lucky recipient will be able to work with the artist’s studio for a rare inside look at Chihuly’s creative process,” and concludes with this promise: “Chihuly will transform your pool into a world-class private work of art.” (Apparently, for $1.5 million you don’t even get a new pool out of the deal.)

Ripples wonders about the timing and propriety of this particular offering. True, the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog is renowned for including one completely over-the-top, mega-expensive item every year — but this year’s item comes at a time when a multitude of Americans are suffering a variety of financial misfortunes.

Photo: To see Dale Chihuly’s pricey pool art, click here.

And with that, Ripples once again says…
Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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