Archive for August, 2011
One of the biggest trends in piercing in recent years has been the advent of new and interesting forms of lip piercing. From the rise of the use of circular lip jewelry, to the growing popularity of multiple lip piercings, it’s certainly no secret that the “bite” is taking a big bite out of alternative fashion. The first of the bite piercings to make a splash is undoubtedly the “snake bite” (pictured above); simple, sweet, and straight to the point matching labret piercings on each side of the lip. The opposite of this piercing, which has also slipped into the mainstream in the past few years, is the angel bite. This is another set of matching piercings on each side, but instead of the bottom lip they’re pierced over the top.
Next in the line-up, we have the “cyber bite piercing,” which has gained momentum (particularly in the indie music culture) along with the components that create it. The piercing that composes the bottom portion of a cyber set is of course the standard labret, but the top portion of this cute and interesting piercing is the lesser well known “medusa,” a piercing of the dent between the upper lip’s bow and the septum. Though generally applicable as seen here, the cyber bite piercing can also be created with any combination of vertical versions of these piercings, i.e. a vertical labret and a jestrum, the vertical version of a medusa piercing.
Other popular lip piercings that are becoming a youth fashion force are those that involve double piercings stacked closer together than seen in previous decades, like the “spider bite” piercing shown below. When the spider bite is located in the center of the lower lip a-la David Draiman from the rock band Disturbed, it then becomes a “dolphin bite” piercing, and when there are two sets it’s termed a “shark bite.”
And last but not least, we have the more recent developments in lip piercing like the “dahlia bite.” Shown below, the dahlia bite is an interesting and still fairly obscure set of lip piercings with an awkwardly macabre history. This little beauty (which is not without it charms, particularly when pierced on a lovely woman), takes it’s name from the infamous and gripping story of the Black Dahlia murder, an old Hollywood tragedy reimagined on the silver screen just a few short years ago. The piercing itself is a nod to the darker side of retro fashion, a trend which has recently exploded. Other less mainstream “bites” include the canine bite (a set of angel bites plus a set of snake bites), and the “T-rex bite.”
With so many new piercings coming about in the line of the mouth, almost every type of body jewelry is now being worn in the lips. Amongst the more widely seen and accepted pieces are circulars (horseshoes, ball captives, segment rings), ball studs, and lippy loops, which loop over the lip to give a standard piercing the look of a vertical.
Talk about lip service.
Rounding out August’s hot, muggy weather is the most satisfying thing on a hot day, a very ripe, juicy peach. August is National Peach Month and it was dedicated by Ronald Reagan in 1982. Believe it or not, peaches are native to China and were believed to have been introduced to Europe by the Persians and were then transported to the Americas in the 16th century. Peaches are also a member of the rose family of flowers.
Not only do peaches taste amazing when they are ripe, they are also very good for you, fortified with a good amount of vitamins A and C as well as providing antioxidants that help to prevent blindness caused by Macular Degeneration. When they are in season, peaches have a sweet and tangy taste and if they’re really ripe, the juice will run right down your arm so make sure you have a napkin handy when doing your summer munching. Peaches are also one crop that is heavily sprayed with pesticides (the bugs love peaches too!) so make sure to try and buy certified organic peaches if you can afford them. If you buy non-organic peaches, make sure you wash them very carefully in cool soapy water to remove as much of the pesticides as possible.
Even though Peach month is just about over, make sure you get out there and get some peaches before their season is over; peaches are also great for canning, ensuring you can eat tasty peaches year round! For now, you can rock these fun pieces of jewelry to remind you of how sweet these little fruits are.
Check out these rosy toned blossoming belly rings (they look just like peach blossoms!)
From home decor, to brilliant jewelry, to stunning kimono-inspired designer fashion awash in leaf motifs, it seems that everyone is turning over a new leaf this Fall. Let’s break it down:
The feminine and airy kimono offerings for Fall from Mathew Williamson and John Galliano (amongst several others) are a major fashion do. Kimono shapes featuring wide sleeves, wrap necklines, and cinched waists create an ideal hourglass figure by tricking the eye. A way to spice up this already stunning shape? For wrap and plunge tops with deep or open necklines, a y-necklace is the perfect statement accessory. Longer Y’s visually balance the shape of the garment and lengthen your torso.
For higher necked styles and those with shorter sleeve lengths like the one here, a single piece of unique jewelry is the way to go. A large ring helps slim the hand and fingers with its visual weight, and multi-strand bracelets lengthen the arm and create the look of a petite wrist.
As the floral motif earring trend continues into Fall and melds with popular urban princess and pastoral romance stylings, the leaf can also make an appearance here, adding Autumnal flare to simpler seasonal ensembles.
And for those areas of the globe where Fall still spells warmer temperatures, a bare belly switch to more fall worthy colors and patterns can transition your style to meet the season.
All fashion photography sourced via WGSN.com
As the summer winds down and kids get ready to go back to school it’s always a sign that Labor Day is right around the corner. Many people see Labor Day as the last hurrah of the summer, the last chance to get away or have a big party before the end of the warm season. Labor Day always falls on the first Monday in September. This year it falls on September 5th. Many of you may not know that Labor Day has actually been around since 1882! It was created in Boston by the Central Labor Union of New York which was the first integrated major trade union. It became a national holiday in 1894 during Grover Cleveland’s presidency. Initially the holiday was celebrated with a parade to show the public how strong the labor organizations were. After that, there was traditionally a festival for the workers and their families. There are also some strange traditions that revolved around Labor Day, most notably, that it was recognized as the last day that was fashionable for women to wear white, in high society circles. No one is really sure why that became the custom, possibly symbolizing the end of vacation time, when women tended to wear white because of the heat. Either way, that tradition has mostly fallen by the wayside, but the other traditions of parades, parties, barbeques, fireworks and fun haven’t gone anywhere.
Get your accessories all lined up, ready for a fun, colorful, long weekend. If you are looking for a simple way to dress up your picnic attire, try a flashy necklace like this gorgeous hand-blown glass heart pendant. Or you could opt for a new turquoise cocktail ring.
You could always go with tradition and pair white jewelry with your white outfit on the last appropriate day to wear your favorite white pants. Then keep rockin’ the white jewelry into winter! Here are some hot pieces to pair with your fashion blanco:
White earrings in faux pearl or heart motifs are a perfect choice, as well as solid white labret or monroe studs and white tunnels or tapers.
Whatever outfit you choose, just make sure you don’t lose sight of the point of Labor Day, to relax and enjoy some much needed time off work, so take it easy, will ya?!
Do you remember playing the game “Pretty, Pretty, Princess”? Well take that majestic aesthetic and add a touch of old Hollywood glamour, a dash of quirky kitsch, and you will be in vogue. Colossal, lavish, oversized, in yo’ face statement rings that are bejeweled with precious gem stones to create eye-catching adornments fit for royalty are resting on the fingers of chic celebrity “it” girls and boho hipsters everywhere! Understated rings are not in this year; it is time to be a bold and adventurous size queen with your accessories. This super-sparkly and ultra fabulous finger-wear is truly decadent, indulgent, and larger than life. Warning: you may want to start exercising your fingers now in order to carry the weight of this addicting craze.
The cocktail ring trend is not by any means innovative, it is just in the midst of resurgence. Cocktail rings were especially popular during “illegal” cocktail parties and in speakeasies during the US Prohibition in the 1920s. These fabulous rings flaunted the fact that the wearer was not only drinking illegally, but they were doing it completely in style. Flappers and edgy women in the glitterati of the era would dress in their most fashionable attire, (including of course their cocktail rings and other over the top accessories) and attend under-the-radar cocktail parties. These bold and glamorous adornments were a status symbol. The original cocktail ring was very expensive due to the fact that they were made with large precious gems. Diamonds are a girls best friend, but not our only friend. History shows us that fashion always finds a way to transcend class barriers. It did not take long for designers to create affordable costume rings for the everyday 1920’s fashionista. A good costume piece is perfectly acceptable for even the fanciest of galas.
Popularity of these statement rings continued to rise in the 1940’s and 1950’s when it was all the rage to throw cocktail parties. Even traditional housewives could afford lush costume cocktail rings and jewelry. Cocktail parties are gaining popularity again as the rise of retro culture in general is in style. Straight from your Grandmothers cache, vintage inspired, Art Deco jewelry and large opulent rhinestone pieces are very hip in the fashion scene. You can find them in magazines, on runways, and at red carpet events.
Our generation has a deep infatuation with colorful, glittery things and we all know a little bling on your ring can be an instant confidence boost. The large scale and exotic traits of these sumptuous trinkets provide dramatic fashion statements for parties, special events, and can even transcend to the everyday.
Fabulous finger candy just makes us feel exponentially more glamorous. So many choices, you can’t pick just one, the chunky ring, retro art deco, bling-bling,’70s-style, animal inspired, floral, and a vast plethora of styles will add depth to your own unique image. The key is to have fun with these eye-catching statement rings that are so yummy, we are scooping them up like candy!
It’s no secret that the traditional fairytale is in the midst of a major overhaul. With epic reimaginings of Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and the story of Thor (taken from popular Nordic tradition) already under our belts and two theatrical versions of Snow White slated for release in 2012, it’s easy to see that the world at large is engaging in a fairytale moment. But what has folklore done for fashion?
Well, if you’ve perused the latest issues to hit your drug store shelves, it’ll come as no surprise that Fall marks an era much anticipated by the truly girlie at heart: the triumphant return of the fashion princess.
The best part about this rising couture trend is that, unlike some of the more extravagant flights of designer fancy in our recent past, it’s highly translatable for everyday life. Although Fall’s general aesthetic may mark a return to the classic and richly detailed (read expensive), modern minimalist touches still remain, as cream, French white, and champagne tone frocks still feature prominently.
Letting these washed, feminine tones permeate the edges of any ensemble through crystal or leather, however, is a simple way to add regal flare.
The Fall runways also saw opulent detailing at Elie Saab, drizzles of gold fringe at Givenchy, and layers of soft color at Dior, all looks that are easily incorporated into a wardrobe with jewelry and accessories. The big ticket accessory to pull off princesshood? An ongoing trend in their own right: statement earrings.
These amazing multitasking accessory marvels not only leave a swan-like neck bare for naturally feminine lines (no necklace needed, ladies, trust me), but for a change of venue they also double as a gorgeous brooch or hair accessory. To bring the runway to life in your own wardrobe, try stealing Givenchy’s gold extravagance or copycatting the rich look of Elie Saab with chandeliers.
As far as royal beauty is concerned, take a cue from the runway, by incorporating monochrome. Just don’t forget to soften it up and keep it feminine by sticking with braiding, floral motifs, and intricate wire work or cut-outs.
Finally the fashion world is spreading the most positive message possible to women everywhere this Fall: every girl is a princess.
For a long time there has been a pretty clear line between what might be considered a standard piercing and what falls into the category of extreme modification. A classic staple of extreme mods has been not only to stretch the expected lobes but, t
o stretch and fit plugs/tunnels into a much larger variety of piercings, specifically piercings of the nose and mouth. From the start there are a few things that have to be done differently in order to achieve the right look, making a whole new style and statement.
I can’t stress enough every time that I mention “non standard” or “extreme” modifications just how ingrained into human nature they are! From as early as 5000 BC and across the entire world, tribes of people began to stretch what we now refer to as labret piercings to accommodate larger and larger wooden disks. Hunters as well, in too many places for me to even begin to list, placed tapered bones into their septum to stretch it to a larger and more intimidating size.
While (some) of the reasoning has been left behind for fashion sense, the nature to find new and unique ways to stretch is simply a part of who we are. As I said there are a few different things that are done right from the start to really differentiate one of these piercings. I’ll use the Medusa as an example. The standard Medusa piercing above the upper lip ranges from a 14 to a 20 gauge hole and is done by going horizontally through the lip (at least aimed that way). Common terminology for the more extreme version is a stretched philtrum, for which it’s important to make the piercing at an angle so that the plugs and tunnels can sit properly at a natural angle instead of straight up and down, possibly causing issues with how they will wear.
It’s a perfect example of how even places that people might not think of can be great locations for stretching. Stretching of the septum, nostrils, labrets, and industrials can all be done and when done properly of course, can yield amazing results. Some that have gone to further lengths of unique style and stretched piercings (of nipples and more intimate nature or to sizes upwards of an inch) work to show that with the right patience, practice and care, it’s less a question of if you can and more a question of if you’re dedicated enough to.
Pioneers like Jim Ward and Doug Malloy helped to forward a level of standards and ability, to make practices like stretching a philtrum or stretching nostrils things that are widely accepted in their procedure, health, and ability to be performed on a large scale. The history of our modern day modification is a different story entirely though.
The largest criticism that these piercings tend to come under is the lack of understanding as to how people function with the larger holes in what are more function-intensive areas. While it is true to a certain extent that once a modification of this style is undertaken there is much less room to heal and go back down in size, there are definitely a huge number of people who happily function in their modified state. What can be taken away from all of this is that, while you can never count out the ways to truly make a singular statement, the more severe you get, you can’t put enough thought and time into making sure that you’re truly dedicated to your modifications. The bigger they get, the more a part of you they become, in the best way possible.
Check out these cool video interviews that BodyCandy took while experiencing the art at Infringement Festival, along with the companion article below, written by our own BodyCandy team member, Janna.
The Buffalo Infringement Festival: Wild & Free and Made for “We”
My favorite time of the year for the last seven years has just wrapped up and I’m still reeling from the amazing energy force that is the Buffalo Infringement Festival or BIF (for short). When you can walk down the street and see a play, hear a poetry reading, watch an independent film, watch some people having an impromptu parade, stop and jam with the street buskers and then end up in the park to see a group of fire dancers flipping fire into the air, all in the span of a few hours, you know you’ve landed in the middle of BIF.
The idea of an Infringement Festival was conceived in 2001 by a theater group in Montreal who perform a show called Car Stories. They were performing in the Montreal Fringe Festival when some of their material (controversial–politically and socially) was deemed “unworthy” by the corporate sponsors of the Fringe festival. The Car Stories show was kicked out of the festival, despite paying their exorbitant entry fees. The Car Stories group, including the illustrious Jason McLean, decided that they were not going to let corporate disapproval stop them from performing their street theater and they came up with the idea of an Infringement Festival, to provide an outlet for all the other “subversive” arts groups who didn’t fit into the corporate mold and in 2004, the first official Infringement Festival was born. They had several conditions in the Infringement Festival mandate to keep it true to its roots. These conditions were that it would always be free for all artists to sign up, that everyone who signs up will be accepted, that the fest would be organized by a non-hierarchical collective group (no one person in charge), that it would encourage art that challenged the social normatives, that artists would keep all the proceeds from all of their performances and, most importantly, that no corporate sponsors would be allowed to dictate show content, ever.
During the first Infringement, a theater enthusiast from Buffalo, named Kurt Schneiderman, happened to be in Montreal performing in the aforementioned Fringe Festival when he came across the group of Infringers and immediately knew that this was an idea that HAD to be implemented in Buffalo, NY. So directly upon returning home, Schneiderman began work on what would (one year later) become the first ever Buffalo Infringement Festival. The first year (2005) had 44 different acts performing 144 performances in 11 different venues throughout Buffalo’s historic Allentown district, all on a fundraised budget of $49! I was so fortunate to be a part of the inception as a lowly poet girl speaking my soul out in a parking lot for 11 straight days. The experience changed my life forever.
After the first year, the spark of BIF flew through the arts community of Buffalo and by the second year, the number of acts and venues had doubled, I’d become a much bigger part of the organizing process and we started having real fundraisers to make the fest happen, raising the money one dollar at a time from the same people who attend the festival events. Each year, BIF has grown exponentially, expanding not just in size, but dimension—be that the number of venues or the content of the art. BIF has redefined the meaning of art for a lot of people.
This year’s festival was the biggest yet with 1,200 separate performances in 50 venues across the traditional 11 days. These included 190 musical acts, 24 film and video productions, 20 dance troupes or individual dancers, 53 visual artists putting their work on display, 35 separate theater productions and 27 poetry and spoken word performers. This year, Infringement was hard to ignore as it took over the streets and almost every inch of sidewalk up and down the Allentown district was full of people, laughing, playing music, drawing mandalas on the sidewalk, hula-hooping, juggling fire and more.
There is really something inspiring about bringing art directly to the people, incorporating social and political change into the content, and literally changing the landscape around us to create a better world. That being said, BIF tends to bring out all the freaks and the geeks (most of whom are artists of some type anyway) and there was quite a bit of photographic evidence of that this year. I will let the photos speak the thousands of words that I could try to use to describe the enormous impact that this festival has on my city and my life. I challenge all of you to start your own Infringement Festival in your city, your town, your world. Rally the artists and bring the art to the people. Happy Infringing!!
All other photography courtesy of amazingly talented photographer, Jose R. Rodriguez.
This open neckline sits atop the bosom accentuating the collarbone and shoulders. It is a flattering neckline for most figures. This is a versatile neckline and almost any style necklace will flatter. Also, opera length necklaces will elongate the look of the shoulders creating a visual division of the bodice. Keep the length an inch above or 2 inches below the neckline so it’s not a crowded look.
Top Choices that compliment:
- Anything close to the neck (under 18 inches) works well
- princess style
- a necklace with a back dangle
The sweetheart is an open neckline that outlines the bodice like a heart. It may or may not have straps – the rules apply the same either way. The upright neckline lengthens the face giving balance to larger proportions. Chokers to about 26” (depending on the depth of the bottom of the “heart”) leave at least 3” of skin showing below the necklace to keep it a complimentary accessory.
a high, rounded neckline that encircles the base of the neck and covers the torso to the shoulders, often sleeveless. Named for the terrific backdrop it is for showing off that special necklace. Chokers as long as they are well below the neckline or a necklace at least 22-30” long. A rope necklace will draw attention to your curves, causing the eye to sweep down your torso. You can double or triple strand them for shorter lengths. An opera-length necklace adds elegance, drawing the eyes down to your chest and away from your neck. Also consider a long string of colorful beads; thicker for day look, while crystals bring a little glamour to a dressier outfit.
Made up of two triangular pieces of fabric that join at the back of the neck. The most prominent feature is the plummeting neckline drawing the eye to the cleavage. The only necklace length that won’t work with a halter is one that would get lost in cleavage. Or if the halter is high and narrow, comes to a point at the hollow of your throat, it may be best to accent with earrings, bracelets, hair accents and other jewelry types.
The bateau neckline (or boat neck) echoes the collarbone with a straight line between the shoulders, sometimes bowing in the front and can present a more classic appearance. This neckline calls for a simple necklace of one or two strands worn close to the throat: collars or chokers. To draw attention to your curves go with a 26-30” necklace. This will cause the eye to sweep down your torso.
Portrait or Off the Shoulder:
Off the Shoulder A neckline that is mid to low cut, wide scooped, and can feature a shawl-like addition draping the shoulders. It is a classic feminine look. This style is enticing with a view of the chest, yet alluring because it doesn’t reveal too much. Just about any style of necklace suits this neckline from collars to 22” (above the bust).An opera-length necklace (At 28 to 34 inches), draws the eyes down to your torso creating a look of balance. Consider a collar style if you have a thin neck and a top or dress that shows it off. It’s 12 to 13 inches in length and goes well with off-the-shoulder and V-neck tops.
One side is unlike the other, usually a single strap over one shoulder emphasizing the neck, shoulders and collarbone. Generally speaking this neckline is not flattered by a necklace, a better choice might be earrings, hairpieces and bracelets.
Elizabethan or Queen Anne:
Queen Anne: Britain’s Queen Anne has given this neckline its name. The diamond shape outline on the chest area gives the chest and shoulders a larger and wider appearance. The eyes are drawn to the horizontal line along the right and left points. With the striking high collar of this neckline you do not usually want a necklace, just a fabulous pair of earrings.
Empire and square:
The empire neckline is square and has a horizontal coverage of the breasts. It dips to a point halfway between the top of the breast and the midpoint. Flatters average to larger women with short necks as it offers a balance and makes the neck appear longer. Like the halter, just about any style and length of necklace will work providing it does not get lost in the cleavage. Consider lengths that fall between the collarbones. Try to avoid anything to angular, an easy curving shape in a choker or princess length should work well.
The V neck is close to the neck on the back and sides and dips to a shallow point in front. Flatters most women as it emphasizes an oval shaped face and causes the neck to appear longer. A very flattering neckline style. Accenting a V-neck with a Y-drop, pendant or solitaire quietly echoes the dip of the neckline. Consider a collar style if you have a thin neck and a top or dress that shows it off. It’s 12 to 13 inches in length and goes well with V-neck tops.
The scoop neckline is shaped in a U, it is a wide opening and full curving dip down the chest. Flatters larger women and wide faces and smaller busted by helping provide proportion. This is a versatile neckline and almost any style of necklace that fits close to the neckline will flatter. Multiple strands that fill in the U go well with this style.
This neckline is the perfect style to showcase a necklace that is as beautiful from the back as the front. Consider accenting your back with a back dangle or a lariat tied in back.
As the name implies, the shirt, blouse or dress has an unbuttoned area around the neck front. Flatters almost everyone and will enhance the neck. Collar, chokers to matinee length necklaces flatter this neckline and can be single or multi-stranded. They hang just below the neck but it’s best not to wear them if you don’t want to draw attention to that part of your body. You can also pull out all the stops for those special occasions with a rope necklace. They’re over 45 inches long so be aware they draw attention to your curves, causing the eye to sweep down your torso. You can double or triple strand them for shorter lengths.
This close neckline has an extended collar usually worn folded over to about 2” below the chin. Flatters women with narrow shoulders and long necks and faces, as it helps to balance them. Any style and length of necklace other than collars will work with this neckline; bold pendants are especially striking.
The cowl neck is similar to the turtleneck but features a collar of folded fabric but instead of being close fitting, the cowl neck’s collar is wider and drapes loosely around the neck. Flatters larger women with heavier builds and wide faces and necks. This neckline needs a longer necklace due to the width of collar; any style works as long as it is 24” or longer.
The Sabrina neckline (after Audrey Hepburn’s character in the movie) is a wide, shallow, straight neckline that begins 2 inches inside the shoulder and is close to the base of the neck. Flatters women with narrow necks and thin faces, providing proportion.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this is a ball captive ring (also called a BCR or captive bead ring.)
These items consist of two parts: the ring with a small opening, and the ball, bead, or decoration that fits into that opening. The opening allows the ring to be easily placed through a variety of piercings, and then the ball (which is held in by small divots in its sides) closes off the opening to keep the item secure.
Ball Captive Rings are most commonly composed of a ring made of metal (surgical grade stainless steel, sterling silver, 14 kt gold, titanium), and a ball made of either similar materials, Austrian crystal, acrylic, or natural stone. They can have standard spherical shape, other shapes like hearts, stars, and triangles, or include dangling pieces.
The captive ring is a maverick piece of jewelry, wearable in nearly any piercing. Some piercings they are commonly worn in include lip piercings, like snake bites, angel bites, and spider bites), labret piercings, septum piercings, nostril piercings, eyebrow piercings, many piercings of the ear incuding lobe piercings, orbitals, rooks, daiths, tragus, anti-tragus, helix, and conch, belly piercings, nipple piercings, and surface piercings such as Madisons and corset piercings.
Captive bead rings are easy to match and coordinate in multiple piercings, and make the perfect addition to any jewelry wardrobe.