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Victoria’s Secrets: Queen Elizabeth, a role model

Britain Queen Elizabeth II
I always admired the queen’s colorful, matching wardrobe. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be Queen Elizabeth, since my parents named me Victoria, after the queen. My mother told me I was a descendent of Queen Esther, who saved the Jewish people.

I’ve always been an admirer of and fascinated by the royals and I was saddened to learn that the Brits’ great and powerful Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in English history, died last week at the age of 96.

While her loss is tragic, it has been amazing to see how much she was respected by people around the world who are now celebrating her unique life.

There is something magical about the royal family — maybe because we don’t have “royalty” here in the United States — and I love all the pomp and circumstance that goes with it!

Queen Elizabeth was a role model for all of us. I always admired her calm and dignified persona.

I’m sure after her husband died last year, it was hard for her to carry on without him. She said, “Grief is the price we pay for love,” and what is life without love?

Her strong, steady hand during the many ups and downs of her life played out for the world to see. Watching from afar, I learned so many lessons from her poise, grace and leadership as I handled the ups and downs in my own life.

I also adored her use of colors in her wardrobe. She always matched her dresses with her coats and hats, making her instantly recognizable everywhere she went. There was nothing beige about her! Over the years, I have also used color in my wardrobe, unconsciously channeling the queen.

How blessed we all were to have her stately, warm smiling face in our worlds.

Maybe what I admired most about Queen Elizabeth is that she got great joy from meeting people and bringing joy to them wherever she was. A key to a long life? Loving what you do!

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth! I hope she is with her beloved husband of more than 70 years.

She did her duty and now she can rest for eternity!

Meeting the fashion ‘queen’

Christie Brinkley with Iris
Donna Schneier brought Iris to us.
Some items from Iris’ art and jewelry collection were put up for sale to raise money for The Hampton Synagogue.
Even men admired Apfel art.

Recently, a different kind of “Queen” came into my life. I met Iris Apfel, the 101-year-old fashion icon, up close and personally.

She came to Westhampton Beach to The Hampton Synagogue at the request of Palm Beach art dealer Donna Schneier, who represents artists who design jewelry. She is also the mother of Rabbi Marc Schneier, who masterfully leads that house of worship.

What fun to meet a woman whose collections and creations have made her unique in our world. Her jewelry and clothes are featured in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Gallery.

The community celebrated Iris with a birthday party, as did Christie Brinkley at her hidden-away estate in the Hamptons.

I was happy to be with Iris at both events.

Christie’s home is behind a huge gate, up a long, winding road leading to a large, old-world traditional house. The party was in Christie’s multilevel backyard.

The next day, hundreds of pieces of Iris’ art and jewelry collection (just a small part of it) was put up for sale to raise money for The Hampton Synagogue. I had a blast as a volunteer selling Iris’ unique creations.

I also bought her beautiful book which features more of her thousands of items and the story of how she became a force in the fashion industry.

Iris stayed in synagogue President Carol Levin’s home with two of her aides for a week while the sale and celebration filled their days.

It was a joyous week of hosting my Palm Beach friend and meeting a legend! 

Celebrating Power Women  

Nicole Tunick with her “Vicki” statue.
Arline Shenker strutting down the red carpet!
Marisa Striano commanding the red carpet.

Last week, we celebrated the fabulous women who were recognized as Dan’s Papers Power Women at the Muse in Southampton.

We all paid tribute to the “Ultimate Power Woman,” Queen Elizabeth.

We joyously celebrated the women’s great achievements. Each nominee gracefully and successfully carries great responsibilities in balancing family and their careers. It is my joy to shine the spotlight on them and their achievements.

They are truly “Queens!”

Part of the evening is for each woman to walk, strut or dance down the long red carpet to receive their “Vicki” statue award.

Just like Queen Elizabeth, they were stunningly dressed and carried themselves with great dignity, as she had all 70 years of her reign. 

It was a night I will never forget!

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