Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm no accountant but...

That's our girl in the middle

today I'm going to pretend that I am, and my first meeting will be with Yael Aflalo.

Do you know who Yael is? I didn't until recently (which doesn't mean much because I am a hick as well as an accountant). She's a 30 year old LA-based clothing designer and I think her brand, Ya Ya, could be considered high end because she sells pretty normal looking stuff for mucho dinero:

YA-YA Charcoal Miller in Dean, $235

I probably wouldn't pay $235 for pants that pull in the crotch like that, but I'm going to assume that some people don't mind that (Jessica Simpson, for one, wears Ya Ya).

I discovered Yael when her backyard was featured in the most recent domino. I can't stop looking at this place. Designed by Art Luna, it's very formal and it is stunning. I know you've probably already seen it, but for those of you who don't get domino, check it out:

My (expertly) scanned pictures do this garden no justice; believe me.

And here's the exterior of her house, which has nothing to do with Art Luna, but I am so in love with it:

I'm always into the high contrast of a dark color and white trim. Beautiful.

This garden did not come cheap: $18,400 in statues, $4800 for a fiberglass couch by the pool, and two quartz crystals (pictured above, on the pedestals) for $3300 and $4900 a pop--just a few of the big ticket items. The landscaping alone probably cost a zillion dollars, not to mention the upkeep this baby is going to require. Knowing all of this, I became very concerned that Yael spent beyond her means. So I did some research, and this is what I would say to her:

Hey girl! What's up? I'm worried about you and your 401(k). I'm sure you're successful and all (and you're beautiful!), but can you really afford to be spending almost $20k on four statues? And $10k on custom benches? How much did Art Luna charge you for his services? I know how hard it is to say no to a man who is selling beauty--believe me, I've been there--but really. This yard must have cost a crazy amount of money. You're so young! Do you have a trust fund that I don't know about? I hope so because I see a lot of your clothing taking big markdowns, and I'm scared for you. [this is where she starts to tear up and I give her a tissue]

No, no, it's not a bad idea to invest in your property. But have you seen the market lately? What happens when Jessica Simpson finds another purveyor of snug pants and you find yourself upside down in your mortgage? Will Art Luna buy back your statues and quartz crystals then? I think we both know the answer to that.

The good news is that you're very young and if we start now, you can recover. First, no more custom furniture, no more statues, and for the love of God, stop designing pants that look like they're from SJP's Bitten line (wtf is up with that, by the way?).

Second, I think you need to look into a *second* job. Maybe Banana Republic is hiring? Just head to the mall; I'm sure you'll find something.

Third, open an IRA and try to contribute at least $200/month, even if you have to give up the Cristal. I don't to see you "big pimpin'" anywhere, at any time.

Fourth, if you do end up selling-off your garden goods, I will loan you the port-a-grill that we use for tailgates. That's all you really need in a backyard, anyway.

That's it! I'm very hopeful for you. [I give her a hug] Thank you, and I'd appreciate it if you'd pay my $750 fee promptly. Good luck!

Hope she listens, because I'd hate to see her on the streets with those quartz crystals in her shopping cart. They look heavy. For real, does anyone have a guess as to the pricetag on this place? Holy smokes.


mamacita said...

Any time I see a price listed in one of our scented glossy magazines, I assume that the item was either given to the homeowner for free, or is on loan from the prop styling department. I assume this because, ever so rarely, I see a line that says, "amethyst table, Aflalo's own" or "leather pants, Gubelman's own," or something along those lines.

Anonymous said...

Here's a guy question: Why do they always have to list all the makeups they used on the models? Is it to get the companies to supply free makeup?

mamacita said...

Re: guy question -- the makeup artist didn't necessarily use any of the makeup mentioned. Usually it has to do with the contract of the celebrity or model in the shoot. If she shills for Cover Girl, they will mention all Cover Girl products. If the celebrity doesn't have a contract, the makeup artist usually does. In that case he might or might not be using the makeup -- he probably got a bunch of it for free, and may use it, but if there is a product he doesn't like, he will skip it in favor of another.

Hannah said...

oh my god this post is hilarious; i actually laughed aloud when i read the line about sarah jessica parker's bitten line. and i am super impressed with your "comforting monologue" writing abilities; oprah needs you on her staff immediately (although if i were you i'd see if you could negotiate a deal with tyra, her talk show is way more ridiculous).

Suzy said...

Yeah, good question. Just how much money can a relatively new and unknown (to me, anyway) designer be making anyway??

SGM said...

Mamacita, I swear these are hers. She said she fought Art over the statues, but I guess they could have been free. Hmmm, I don't want them to be free! This would be very devastating to my post and I would have to refund my $750 fee.
Also, my interpretation of "Aflalo's own" was "it's old and nobody knows where the hell she got it." :)
Design bloggers, what's the story on spreads like this?

Habitually Chic said...

You think that is bad. My boss spent over $3 Million on his gardens in East Hampton. Far more than the actual house on the property is worth. I 'm pretty sure this was the reason I never got a raise!

Mrs. Blandings said...

SGM - she should have gone to the Rock Shop in Cascade, Co - in fact, maybe we should. Their crystals that size are, well, maybe 250 - but you have to be over 10 to go in the room where they are. I might have mentioned, I don't go outside much, so my garden flounders, but even I noticed this amazing yard. But the black cushions on the sofa - swoon. Couldn't take my eyes off of them. I hope she takes your advice. At her age, when I splurged, I just put off paying the cable bill for a month.

i suwannee said...

i read this as well, and had similar thoughts.

i understood that she has a rich as eff husband who backed this garden deal.

and the statues were his pick, and she's 'learning to love them' and starting to dress them up for parties.

i wonder about how they keep the upholstered furniture clean. i wonder about the quartz things sitting on the entry thing. i wonder about the outdoor living room that seats 50?

i read the dollar amounts of everything and then i spackled some walls in my bedroom so we'd have less nail holes. and that was fine.

katiedid said...

LOL! Ah, the life of the rich and famous. One day you're up, the next day you are doing a stint on "Celebrity Rehab" to pay the bills. (BTW SGM, have you been watching this train wreck?!)

Re: the garden...I did notice and loved the polka dot formal garden and crystals. I will have to take the time to read the article and find out the details!

SGM said...

oh Katie, why even ask? You know that I have watched Celeb Rehab. There are no words for Jeff Conway's drying out--they should make jr high school kids watch that. That would be some good drug prevention.

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