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)

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September 20, 2012

Critter Couture: The Zoo Chic Jewelry Trend

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

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.

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