Luxebeaute's Blog

October 22, 2013

Têtes de Mort: Couture Skull Jewelry for October

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Jewelry — luxebeaute @ 3:21 am
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I know I tend to get a little crazy with the skull blogs. In defense of my macabre side, I spent well over a decade as a Goth once upon a time. … Now that I’m an oldie but a goodie, I still love raising an eyebrow or two when it comes to controversial couture, though it is much more subtle (and unfortunately costs a little more than all the cheap silver skeleton crap I used to adorn). My creepy couture is counter balanced by haute happy animal jewelry too, fyi.

Skulls are not an entirely new trend in jewelry, but now that high end designers are jumping in the game its become chic. Skull adornments are no longer the old bulky, clunky silver bikerwear we once knew it as; its become more feminine and delicate,finely detailed and often set in gold set adorned by superior quality diamonds and jewels. While many designers are doing skull pieces, not that many designers focus largely on skulls as an entire collections- it can be a bit random.

As I have said in past blogs, no one- and I mean no one- does skull jewelry like French designerLydia Courteille. She constantly incorporates intricate jewel encrusted skulls into each and every collection. I liken her to the  dark side of Bucheron. Her skull work is over the top yet amazingly feminine and oddly enough, romantic. Consider them works of art and invest wisely, as her skull rings run $10,000.00-$30,000.00 per ring. Another major player in the skull game is jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez Fendi. Though this heir to the Fendi empire is barely of legal drinking drinking age, this 4th generation Fendi femme fatale does some very interesting skull work.The majority of her designs are made of gold, silver, iron, copper and combine organic materials with precious stones, oversize scaramazza pearls, black diamonds, leather strips or pieces of bone atelier. Her skull designs are on a much more disturbing and darker edge than other designers and while I am the first to appreciate this concept, admittedly I find her pieces a bit bulky and lacking that subtle femininity that I need out of designer dark side pieces. Still, no one can argue that she is quickly making a name for herself in the industry and has found a major place in the cult jewelry world. Her skull pieces run $4,000.00-$29,000.00 (approximately). Recently, Alexander McQueen has lunged into the forefront of the skull accessory scene. His pieces are simple yet sophisticated, so much in fact that it can be worn to the most formal of events and no one would bat an eye. Dispite this, he still succeeds in being edgy. His skull jewelry consists mainly of necklaces, drop earings, and rings made of silver or goldtone plated brass metal and swarovski crystals.  Pieces are typically priced between #300.00-$600.00 each. Based out of LA, up and coming indie jeweler Shayan Afshar’s high-end, master-crafted pieces are enough to garner respect, but we’re more psyched on the age of this young champ. At only 19 years old, this teenage hustler is already making noise with his diamond skull candy, which boasts white gold encrusted with white and black diamonds.

Adore skull couture? Check out my past blogs here and here

Jessica Kagan Cushman Diamond skull cuff bracelet ($3,400), Wendy Brandes black onyx and Tsavorite ring, Jai Yokoki double skull ring w/yellow diamonds, Delfina Delettrez Fendi skull and snake ring, Crystal Skull Necklace by Made Her Think ($1,385.00), Delfina Delettrez Fendi drop earings ($760.00), Alexander McQueen spoon and fork earings ($300.00), diamond skull and ruby pendant ($2,200.00), Vivre diamond drop earings ($3,600.00), Zoe and Morgan skull princess ring, Lydia Courteille ring (Hugo Jewelry LTD diamond X pendant, Justin Davis pirate ring, Zoe and Morgan ruby studded necklace ($330.00), Shayan Afshar pendant, petite skull ring by Voodoo King Designs ($100.00)

September 20, 2012

Critter Couture: The Zoo Chic Jewelry Trend

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Jewelry — luxebeaute @ 12:47 am

I Can’t help but notice that 2013 seems to be the year of safari- we saw this in 2010 and it just happens to be making a comback. Luckily my inner psychic fashionista saw this one coming. Ok, that’s a lie, I have always just been a sucker for collecting animal pieces and now I can finally somewhat justify it (get off my property shopaholics anonymous sponsor!). And it is my blog after all so… This wild kingdom trend comes in the form of quirky animal and insect jewellery in which I adore. While of course no one can compete with the masters a la Boucheron, a myriad of designers are jumping on this fun and funky bandwagon. Gotta say, I’m loving it.

Unless you’re a toddler, be careful to toe the line between tacky and tre eccentric chic. Use invisible caution “do not cross” crime scene tape of the mind on this one or indeed it can get ugly. While everyone does accessorizing differently, this is a trend which definitely calls for careful planning.

Number one rule: Keep it simple. My advice is do not dare to rock this formally unless your outfit is completely plain and devoid of pattern or embroidery. If that is the case, it actually has an insanely lovely effect relaying an incredibly subtle eccentricity. Rule #2: I find the most flattering way to do zoo couture is by keeping clothing very simple. The animal trend is perfect with a simple outfit because it highlights it. While all black soho bitch is my favorite way to go, I’ll save this one for the colder season. As for summer, think revitalized resort look here; big hat, heels, a hot bathing suit and an animal bracelet or wring while sipping a long island ice tea. Rule #3 (well actually more like number one): Quality, quality, quality! Don’t confuse quality with cost in this trend- I am actually amazed at how many exquisite pieces I have found that look amazingly high end for a fraction. [Note: online store emitations has adorable animal jewelry ranging $150-$300 but if you browse Ebay, you will find the exact same items through various Asian dealers for $7-$25 each.] By all means if you can afford to go couture, do it- if it’s Boucheron or Cartier its art, it’s an investment after all. But if you cannot, carefully examine items for smooth lines and curves, well placed stones, high quality clasps, etc. When it comes to non designer zoo pieces, gold overlay (as apposed to solid and filed) adds to the high end illusion as well as works well for summer… Oh and most importantly- which I cannot actually even believe I have to say but…. Keep it to one piece at a time, ok ladies? This goes for other jewelry. This is such an “in your face” trend that self awareness is definitely your best friend here. Trust me ladies, if you are not careful, you will go from Paris fashion street to Jersey shore so fast you wont even know what hitcha. While we have made many advancements in our modern age, there is still no cure for Liberace Syndrome (I personally would like to donate to the scientific vaccine research).

Left to Right: Antique estate multi colored diamond hedghog ring ($5,000), MVee Diamond frog ring ($ ), Boucheron frog ring (abt $20,000), Boucheron Chameleon ring ($29,000), Cartier yellow diamond and onyx jaguar ring ($50,000), Cartier diamond and emerald crocodile necklance, Elsa Peretti snake necklace by Tiffany (abt $5,000), Butler and Wilson Panda swarovski bangle (abt $150), Owl ring by Noir, Octopus cocktail ring ($130), Salamander swarovski bangle, Elephant bangle, Haley’s snake bracelet ($800).

June 5, 2011

The New Hervé Léger Swimsuit Collection: Not water repellant

To get the best from your Herve Leger beachwear we advise you do not wear it in water.”

Holy bourgeoisness batman! Now THAT’S a concept!

While I typically push Max Azria/BCBG swimsuits onto the masses because they are chic and affordable (I heart my Crochet 1 Piece $160), here’s a collection I don’t think I will be kicking around my swimwear drawer. Why not you ask? Well, while beautiful, these bandage & tank swimsuits are not to be worn in water. And they will run you abt $1,000.


February 2, 2011

Jan Taminiau Spring/Summer Couture Collection

I know I know! Cringe away kids… but this reminds me of 80’s NYC downtown rich and creative club kids a la the death of Andy (aka my youth).

I am all about this Jantaminiau line. Its as if Alexander McQueen and Leigh Bowery had a baby named adventure and baby adventure grew up more rebellious than its parents, impregnated by age 15 by a man named imagination and they had Jan Taminiau.

The basis of my work is always the same: I am continually translating the asymmetrical mirror of life. My work, each of my collections, my 2D/3D concept are the result from the combination of my personal interpretation of the daily life, and from my passion for techniques and craftsmanship. It is a permanent constructive reflection. The basis is dogmatic, the process organic. Away from the strictures of fashion, I search for new forms and new horizons. The meticulously constructed creations enable the wearer to experiment endlessly with form. In my quest for the perfect fit I pursue new shapes and unconventional techniques. By weaving and interweaving fabrics, I enable a natural form to emerge which highlights character from the wearer. I leave behind the fast-moving and fickle world to return to what is nowadays almost a nostalgic source: security, respect for craftsmanship, and an awareness of the import of transience

My inner nihilist also loves that this whole line feels so Wintery- which makes no sense not because its a Spring collection but because it is completely unwearable anyhow. If you do not find it as magnificent as I do that’s ok- just color it an art installment.

February 11, 2010

Death of an Icon: Alexander McQueen commits suicide

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Fashion (Couture, RTW, Trends, Designers) — luxebeaute @ 12:55 am

On behalf of Lee McQueen’s family, Alexander McQueen [the company] today announces the tragic news that (Lee) Alexander McQueen, has been found dead at his home today.

The iconic British fashion designer was discovered dead after taking his own life at the age of 40. His death comes 9 days after the death of his mother, whom he was incredibly close to. McQueen left a note saying, “Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee. The BBC reported that McQueen had reserved $82,000 of his wealth for his pet dogs so they could live in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives. He also bequeathed $164,315 each to four different charities; these include the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London, and the Blue Cross animal welfare charity in Burford, Oxfordshire.

While David LaChapelle has been quoted as stating that McQueen “was doing a lot of drugs and was very unhappy” at the time of his death, at this early stage LuxeBeaute Blog will steer clear of speculations in regards to the “who’s and why’s” which may or may not have played a part in this tragic event out of respect for McQueens family, friends and colleagues.  Although we are merely a blip belonging to a blip on the radar, hopefully the big media will do as similar and focus on the brilliance of McQueens works and fashion house, in all of its tailored chaos.

October 1, 2009

Candyfuture lipstick collection to Debut this Month

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 9:39 pm

raquelreed_noshedidntThe highly-anticipated Candyfuture lipstick collection from Lime Crime Cosmetics debuts this month and will feature 10 must-have colors, with 9 more complimentary shades scheduled to drop every month throughout the year. Ranging from ready-to-wear to couture, Candyfuture will feature D’Lilac (lavender creme), Retrofuturist (intensified red), jet black Styletto and even a blue aptly named, No She Didn’t. Every lipstick, meant for the most daring fashion and makeup maven, is packaged in an unforgettable bright-pink tube adorned with a sparkling holographic unicorn, the ultimate accessory. Each tube will retail at $16, available worldwide at

Refusing to toe the minimalist makeup lineLime Crime is known for charging headlong into the rainbow with pure, high-impact, saturated colors like vivid yellow and lime. This innovative company pushes the envelope for unapologetically bright makeup that is at the cutting edge of fashion – and beyond.


July 5, 2009

Alexander McQueen Skull Clutch Revisited: New Additions

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Handbags — luxebeaute @ 3:26 am
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May the earth open up, cave in and take me down with it for not updating this blog appropriately and reviewing the expansion of this line when it reared its skull earlier. Forgive me lord McQueen, for I have sined…

I Love, love, LOVED this sleek and unique line of clutch purses so very much on the first run and I never got over it. These aren’t for everyone, so imagine my surprise in discovering McQueen is continuing to expand the line.  This time around he is experimenting with bright colors and patterns, materials range from silks with intricate brass overlays beading and exotic skins, and even changed up the skull closure using different colored swarovski crystals for teeth and eyes and some even have a skull “knuckle ring” type opening. While I adore the simplicity of the originals in patent leather, I am thrilled he has expanded so elegantly while still utilizing an unexpected and unadulterated creative sort of fashion rebellion in which was so much a part of his style reputation early on. Much like the coveted Dior samourai handbags, these clutches are truly a work of art ($1,300.00-$3,000.00, depending on style).

June 5, 2009

Limited Edition Sunnies by Delfina Delettrez Fendi

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture — luxebeaute @ 12:49 am

Cult jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez is releasing her first sunglass line this month. They will be available in extremely limited quantity through Colette in Paris and in all Alain Mikli boutiques in France and London. Click here for more on Delfina’s jewelry.


March 20, 2009

Lydia Courteille Diamond Skull Rings

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Jewelry — luxebeaute @ 6:47 am
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No one- and I mean no one- does antique look jewelry like French designer Lydia Courteille. I consider her the yin (black) to the yan (light) of Bucheron, or the rebellious maudlin twin. I love how she consistently incorporates skull pieces in each and every collection. Like Bucheron, she does not advertise and could care less if her pieces sell or not which is precisely why these designs remain so true in their uniqueness. Her work is reminiscent of the Victorian age and everything is big and bold- huge is the most fitting word. Her skull designs are packed with spectacular gemstones both semi and precious; diamonds, rubies, green garnets, white and yellow or black sapphires, and jade, pink jasper and onyx in white gold and rhodium settings. There are so many precious stones in her work that its hard to believe the pieces are even real. Well, until you see the price that is- they run $10,000.00-$30,000.00 per piece.

If you find yourself in Paris, put aside some time to peruse her shop at 231 rue Saint Honoré.

October 29, 2008

Noir Nails: Doing Dark Nails Right

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 4:52 am

In ancient China, most dynasties reserved black and red for nail polish for royalty. And black nails never really came into playin the U.S.  until  until the 1960’s, when London boutique Biba makes black nail varnish for it’s the elite hipster clientele. Somewhere in the past 50 years, we all sort of reserved it for avant garde runway fashion shows, rebels and rock stars, Halloween or the Gothically inclined. This is no longer the case of course and anyone and everyone has been wearing it since the frenzied release of the first designer black from Chanel in 2006.

Shades of black: Yes, there are indeed variations of shade and texture- many in fact. There’s high shine lacquer or matte as well as a myriad of black base colors with varied undertones or hues and hints of grey/silver, purple, red, etc. For a high shine gloss go with Chanel Black Satin ($23), OPI’s nail lacquer in Black Onyx. For a jet black Lipman Collection Fade to Black ($14),Noctournelle by MAC ($11), Essie Licorice Nail Lacquer ($8), Creative Nail Color in Voodoo ($5). While there are claims and raves for one over the other, any of these will work well so let your budget guide you. I have learned from trial and error that while the pricier ones last longer and are more chip resistant, all shades mentioned will work. If the ultra latex look is what you are going for, I HIGHLY suggest you pick up a bottle of China Glaze Patent Leather Top Coat; this stuff is amazing and only costs $3. If matte is more up your alley, I am in love with Flatte Black by Knockout, a deep dark charcoal black. There is also Death Tar by Japanese based Man Glaze, which is a more shimmery matte made for men (to’ it is unisex).

Noir Nails:  If you are still a bit weary, there are some great dark alternatives to black. Of course there’s the original, Chanel’s Vamp which is the closest red black mix I have ever come across (according to chanel it is the color of deoxygenated blood); Even darker and more vampy in my opinion is Siberian Nights by OPI.  Two deep chocolate reds I am loving right now are are Creative Nail Color in Noir ($5), Midnight in Moscow by OPI and Essie Nail Polish in Wicked (a Dr. Pepper like shade). My fave purple black shade hands down is Linkin Park after Dark. And while I am not a proponent of wearing blue nailpolish if you’re over the age of 15, Light my Sapphire by OPI is another one a deep purple/blue shade which can be pulled off very in an incredibly chic way.

Still think you can’t do black? That’s ok, go with a French manicure replacing the usual white with black or do black nails with an entirely different tip.  The key is how to do it correctly. Dark polishes look best on shorter, well manicured square shaped nails. Think vampy not trampy!

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