Saturday, February 28, 2009

Steampunk Trunk Jewelry




Looking for feminine, pretty, yet industrial steam punk-inspired jewelry? An artist from Oneida, New York has set up a beautiful shop of her wares online called the Steampunk Trunk. Most of her pieces are priced at a reasonable $25 - $75 and are high on stylish detail. Lacy filigree meets vintage Swiss watch movement pieces with gilded insect motifs.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

NY Fashion Week: Severe, Dark and Stormy at Chado Ralph Rucci




This Fall 2009 show by Chado Ralph Rucci seemed to have a strict, severe, dominatrix in mind. A woman who demonstrates she is boss by any means necessary, but still needs feminine, mainstream clothes for the day to day. This beautiful collection had very wearable clothes for civilians, but with some subtle edgy details. Leather straps braided into a web-like top to frame the body of a black widow. Asian gargoyles and statues printed on black sheer fabrics to tease the onlooker. Slashed soft fabrics to mimic a decaying iceberg that is breaking apart. The makeup was dramatic. Eyes were done in dark, heavy eyeliner for a smouldering effect. Hair was slicked or pulled back severely. Message here: Don't mess with Chado Ralph Rucci's divas.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NY Fashion Week: Black Satin and Leather at Cynthia Steffe



The Courtesan usually loves to follow her favorite edgy and dark chic designers every season here at Fashion Week in NYC. One designer who surprised me quite a bit this season, was Cynthia Steffe. I remember meeting Ms. Steffe back in her heyday, voted by People Magazine as one of the most beautiful people in the world. She was designing ladylike, refined collections for ladylike refined women. This collection however, showed some sharp, dramatic, hard rock and roll looks, with some seriously sexy outifts and soaring stiletto heels. Look for deep burgundy lipstick, tough expression, leather, satin, sheers, crushed velvet and lush peacock prints come Fall 2009. See more photos here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Art of Hunter Stabler


Remember when you were first handed a pair of scissors and a piece of paper in kindergarten? The sheer amount of possibilities... Paper dolls, snowflakes, valentines. Artist Hunter Stabler has taken this art to a whole new level with amazingly intricate, lacy sculptures like the one pictured above. This Master of Fine Arts graduate from the University of Philadelphia has been awarded several fellowships and residencies with prestigious artists organizations. See more of his work at his website, or view them in person at his many exhibitions.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Repo! The Genetic Opera





A mix of goth, steampunk, rock-opera and gore, this contender for the next cult-classic is now available on DVD. There is a lot of goth cred... Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays the guilt-ridden Repo Man. The director Darren Lynn Bousman gets his cred from directing the Saw sequels. Sarah Brightman (origininated the role of Christine on Broadway for Phantom of the Opera) plays an ethereal opera singer Blind Mag in some stunning costumes. The film is based on a stage play and rolled from there.

Masterpiece theater, this is not. This is a gory, horror-tinged story with catchy tunes and an actually entertaining, non-Paris-like Paris Hilton. The story set in a dark world where organ failure is common among population, an evil genetic company sells you replacement organs and is quick to repossess them if you cannot pay. There are "scalpel sluts" (people who are addicted to plastic surgery) and "zydrate addicts" (a drug drawn from the dead that helps you through surgery). Paris Hilton's character of course belongs to both categories. Paul Sorvino plays the evil head of the genetic company.

If you are bored of watching the Rocky Horror Picture for the 934th time, give this one a shot. If it seems sketchy to you, check out the well-designed website for a taste. Watch the trailer HERE

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Valentine's Guide: Offbeat Bride Wedding Templates




Yes, it may be conventional, but the courtesan is happy for any of my darlings who find the love of their lives and make a commitment. Whatever your lifestyle, you probably still have tech-savvy traditionalist friends who would love to see your "wed-site". Take heart, you need not succumb to white doves and ribbons. (What you use to "tie the knot" is your own business). Offbeat Bride has created web templates for those couples who are not into "froof". With themes like "Dreary Midnight", "Steampunk" and "Twilight", the book author and blogger has catered her blog for brides who love tattoos, run screaming from taffeta and would never think of wearing white on the big day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine's Guide: Alter Ego Leather


Feeling naughty my pet? Whether you want to be the bad girl or the one punishing a bad boy, Alter Ego leather has the most gorgeous outfit for you. This Ebay shop has impeccably made, high-quality leather corsets of every shape, color, style for all of your biker bondage/fetish/ gothic/diva, punk/lolita fantasies. They also have boots, dresses and novelties. The courtesan owns several of these pieces as the prices are extremely reasonable for such style and quality.

The most impressive, is the size range. While pixie-sized nymphs can easily find some sexy pieces here at the XXXS size, this collection also outfits the curves of plus-sized divas up to 9X. The steel-boned, high support leather corsets can make the most luscious hourglass pin-up out of ANYONE.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Valentine's Guide: Flaming Chocolate Heart


Delicious, and just a little bit disturbing... that's how all love (or lust?) should be. Exquisite artisanal chocolatier Vosges is offering the Flaming Chocolate Heart for the upcoming holiday. Forget the ditsy foil-wrapped hearts, this confection is molded into a more anatomically correct organ in bondage by a red satin cord. Flavors are Red Fire (Ancho and chipotle pepper), Amalfi (pink peppercorn, white chocolate, lemon zest) and Barcelona (hickory smoked almonds, grey sea salt).

Gothettes In Training: Coraline


Ah, what a spooky, bittersweet flick to look forward to this Friday. Based on the Neil Gaiman book and directed by Nightmare B4 Christmas director Henry Selick, the film is, if nothing else a wonderful piece of art. With mostly everything crafted by hand (!) the movie tells the tale of a young girl who finds a fantasy/nightmare alternate reality behind a secret door. View the trailer.
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