Not Just for Halloween: Scary Rings and Silly Ears

Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, and costume parties lasted extra long as we set our clocks back an hour. Lately, certain extreme styles of jewelry and accessories have been crossing the line into the realm of costumes. Although it takes more than a little gumption to wear these looks, some women who embrace edgy style are extending the look and longevity of costumes ever further.

While Goth style has gone mainstream, and the skull motif has found its way into a number of fine jewelers’ collections, as for example in the new Dior collection, the pendulum has swung farther still into the macabre. For instance, a collection of photos in the October 26, 2009 issue of People magazine pictures young celebrities wearing some shockingly outrageous rings on their fingers. Some of the current looks derive seem to derive from horror films or science fiction, and, in the case of Rihanna’s choice, the movie Edward Scissorhands.

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This trend toward scary-looking jewelry started quite a few months back (I commented on the message given off by a prickly spiked bracelet, which was included in a feature on jewelry for the office by Elle magazine back in April 2009). Perhaps this trend is reaching its apex now, because, frankly, there isn’t much further designers can take this trend. Late last year, in her music video “Single Ladies,” and at various public appearances, Beyonce wore a metal “robo-glove” or “bionic hand,” essentially a full-hand ring, crafted of titanium by jeweler Lorraine Schwartz. The designer reportedly designed an entire titanium arm piece from a mold of the singer’s arm as well.

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If a full-out metal claw or limb is a bit too much costume, a barbed wire motif gives off an off-putting scary vibe. Comfort would not appear to be a factor in these designs, an example of which is a Burberry plated brass necklace pictured in the October 2009 issue of InStyle magazine.

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If some of the looks reminds one of brass knuckles, i.e., weapons used in hand-to-hand combat, consider this more literal translation of that look in a “knuckle clutch” by Alexander McQueen, pictured in the November 2009 issue of Elle magazine.

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Beyonce’s choice pictured in People and described as a ring is interesting, in that it is the only non-scary ring pictured, and almost looks as though she has simply looped a diamond necklace around her hand. With that many diamonds, the line “put a ring on it” from the song “Single Ladies” takes on a whole new dimension.

Costumes for daywear also have hit a much lighter note with the introduction of bunny ears as a fashion accessory in the collection of Louis Vuitton. Yes, bunny ears, attached to a headband and worn as part of a fashion ensemble. Here’s what celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe has to say about this trend in her blog:

“While I take fashion very seriously-it is my life-I still insist on incorporating elements of play into my attire as often as possible. Fashion is meant to be fun! Louis Vuitton reminded us all of this when they sent bunny ears designed by Stephen Jones down the fall runway. . . .You may remember the bunny ears on Madonna at the 2009 CFDA Awards…well these are the slightly smaller, more wearable version. They will literally take any outfit to new heights.”

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Costumes do require attitude, and you might as well have some fun in your fashion choices. And at the end of the day, whether you go home to “de-bunny,” as Bridget Jones might say, or to de-claw, no doubt you will have left a memorable impression.