luxury · style

Nude Garments for Brown Skin

I’ve spent the better part of 10 years trying to find undergarments that match my complexion. Traditional “nude” is too light, and black isn’t suitable for some ensembles. Years ago, I searched for companies that offered nude garments for deeper brown skin, and I was highly disappointed.

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Nude options as available through Target (photo from Target.com)

I’m happy to announce that this is no longer the case, and there are several retailers that consistently offer bras in deeper skin-toned hues. Here are a few of them that I’ve found. These range from extremely affordable to luxury, but all of them have inclusive shade ranges that accommodate women all of skin tones!

Savage by Fenty

Unlined Lace Bra in Brown Sugar , Spiced , and Cocoa (photos from Savage X Fenty)

Musical superstar Rihanna recently launched Savage X Fenty, an inclusive lingerie company that seeks to flatter women of all shades and sizes. Much like her Fenty Beauty line, Savage X Fenty is committed to catering to customers that are traditionally overlooked. I was so excited to see this line: I just placed my first order and I’m eager to see how nice the items are. Brava Rihanna!

Naja

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Anais bra in Nude 05, Nude 06 and Nude 07 (photos courtesy of Naja)

Naja goes beyond being inclusive, and jumps headfirst into being ethical and socially responsible, as well. Their bras are made by single mothers and impoverished women, ensuring that these women earn above market wagse and get benefits that make it possible for them to continue to be productive citizens (such as healthcare benefits and childcare assistance). Kudos to Naja!

Nubian Skin

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Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Cinnamon; Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Caramel ; Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Berry (photos courtesy of Nubian Skin)

Nubian Skin was one of the earliest companies to focus on inclusivity in their designs. Their elegant bras and underwear are flattering to many brown skin shades. This is another line that accommodates women of all sizes, with bras ranging from 30A to 40G. Along with undergarments, the company offers hosiery and shoes in a variety of nude shades. Nubian Skin takes the cake for having such a comprehensive list of nude offerings.

BeingU

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Stick on Solutions Bra in BeingU02

BeingU is a UK-based brand (just like Nubian Skin) offering undergarments in 5 skin-toned shades. What’s unique about this company is that they offer a stick-on bra, a strapless/bandless alternative that gives wearers even more style freedom. The company is currently running low on stock in several items – here’s hoping that they restock soon (fingers crossed!)

Target brands Gilligan & O’Malley and Xhilaration

Women’s Everyday Racerback Bra and Women’s No-Show Laser Cut Hipster in Coffee Bean by Gilligan & O’Malley (photos from Target.com)

Women’s Perfect T-Shirt Convertible Lightly Lined Plunge Bra and Women’s Cheeky Laser Cut with Lace Boyshorts in Cocoa by Xhilaration (photos from Target.com)

Target offers some extremely affordable bras and underwear in varying nude shades. Particularly, Gilligan & O’Malley and Xhilaration offers some fun designs at reasonable prices. For those of us that want to pick up these undergarments in person (as opposed to waiting for an order to arrive), stopping in a local Target is a perfect solution.

Do you know of any other retailers that offer varying nude shades? If so, drop the links in the comments below!

life curation · luxury

Time for an Aston Martin

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My favorite James Bond, Sean Connery (Lot 91, this photo is expected to sell upwards of $470)

You all know that I love a vintage car. So I squealed with delight when I saw that Bonhams is having an Aston Martin auction. Its in the UK, but at least I can view the lots online!

Aston Martins are sporty, luxurious and exclusive – it’s no wonder that I love them! The auction will feature nearly 200 lots. There are all sorts of auto memorabilia, vintage car parts, autographed photos of celebrities posed with Aston Martins, and, of course, a little more than 30 automobiles available.

Here are my favorite offerings from the auction:

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Lot 222 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, expected to sell between $190,000 and $240,000

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Lot 226 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, that’s expected to fetch anywhere between between $200,000 and $240,000

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This chic model of a 1963 Aston Martin is valued as being worth $4,000 (Lot 141)

The Aston Martin sale will occur on June 2, 2018, starting at 10:30 BST in Reading, Englefield House. You can always contact Bonhams if you want more information on this auction. It should be a thrilling one!

art · luxury

A Day At Freeman’s Auction, Part 1

As you all know, I went to Philadelphia a few days ago. I didn’t just go for the sake of having a getaway (though I desperately needed a getaway!). I went to attend an auction at Freeman’s, the oldest auction house in the United States. Freeman’s has been in business over 200 years, and they find new homes for all sorts of treasures.

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The star of the auction, sold for $802,000

I stopped by on May 8th to view the items to be auctioned on May 9th (you have to come at least the day prior to an auction in order to view and inspect items to be sold). The auction I planned to attend was the sale of jewelry and accessories previously owned by billionaire heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. 

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I had my eye on one piece in particular: a platinum and diamond brooch shaped like a bow. I figured I would bid on it if the price was right but I needed to check it out first. The staff in the display room was friendly and professional. I was given information on how to bid and I stopped by Client Services to drop off my bidder registration form. Again, the staff in the Client Services office was friendly and professional.

 

The object of my affection

Freeman’s is a throwback to bygone years (they have an elevator with an actual elevator operator!) but it’s fascinating to see how they’ve managed to blend the past and the current day. The same building with an elevator operator has huge monitors so that bidders can see the items being auctioned as well as online bidding capabilities.

In Part 2 of this post, I’ll discuss the actual auction and the outcome. Talk to you all soon!

festivals · luxury

Are You Derby-Ready?

Can you believe that the Kentucky Derby is only a few days away? I love horses but I’ve never been to the Derby; however, I’m not letting anything get in the way of my Derby Day fun.

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For starters, I’m going to see whether I can make my way to a viewing party. But, if I can’t I’m going to create my own Derby fun at home. Here’s the plan for a Derby Day in:

  1. I will wear a pretty spring gown and a complementary fascinator. I will have a ball sticking to the “dress code” as outlined on the Kentucky Derby website.
  2. I will make myself a mint julep and sip it like a genteel lady. The Derby-approved mint julep recipe can be found here: Mint Julep.
  3. I’ll check out social media to see the photos of the Derby fashions.
  4. I’ll tune into NBC to watch the race.

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A mint julep

Are you going to the Derby? Or will you be attending a watch party? I’d love to hear your Derby Day plans!

beauty · luxury

Fun with Perfumes

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30 scents in 30 days: I’m up for the challenge!

Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out on my #30Days30Scents series. Every day, I’m wearing a different perfume and giving my overall review of it.

View this post on Instagram

Day 13 of #30scentsin30days brings us to @tocca Giulietta. I accidentally went spritzing crazy with this one, and I immediately regretted it when I realized that this #scent has lilac in it. You all remember that the #fragrance I wore on Day 9 (@cleanperfume Blossom) had lilac and lily, and I wasn’t a fan of those floral notes. However, doing this challenge has helped me pinpoint the scent that I dislike most on my skin: it’s lily. While Giulietta has lilac, I enjoyed this #perfume a lot more than Clean Blossom: this one doesn’t have lily in it. It does have some other floral notes, like heliotrope, iris and orchid. This scent is sumptuous: this elegant Italian contessa. I will enjoy wearing it in the fall, as I think this one will be great during the cooler months #smellgoodfeelgood #smellgoodfeelbetter #beauty #blogger #thebronzebutterfly #thebronzedbutterfly #bronzebutterfli

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If you want to learn more about the fragrances that I’ve reviewed on this blog, along with some others that I haven’t formally reviewed, then this is the series for you. I’m also open to suggestions as I progress toward the end of the month, so feel free to comment either here or on Instagram and let me know which scents you think I should try!

life curation · luxury

The Auction You Won’t Want to Miss

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This sapphire and diamond ring by Cartier, Paris is expected to fetch between $125,000 and $150,000

You all know, just by browsing through my previous posts, that I love sparkly stuff. So it should be no surprise that I let out an audible gasp when I saw that Sotheby’s is having a fine jewelry sale on April 19th at their New York location.

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This diamond bracelet will likely fetch more than $20,000 when it is auctioned

It’s a work day for me, and I can’t justify a New York day trip this month. But just know that I’m at the auction … In spirit.

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This bracelet by David Webb is an equine enthusiast’s dream

 

Lots are estimated as low as $400 and as high as $150,000+. I think this will be a fascinating sale, simply because the price points are so wide-ranging. This may attract a varied group of jewelry collectors and appreciators.

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This Tiffany & Co. brooch is expected to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum with high bids estimated at around $600.

My favorite piece is this pin by David Webb. The cat’s coy, over-the-shoulder expression is what drew me in. It’s an unexpected rendition of the typical feline brooch. Instead of looking fierce, stoic or languid, this kitty looks inquisitive and alert. She looks more like a curious housecat than a fearsome predator.

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The cat that stole my heart

The auction is broken into two sessions, with the first session starting at 10:30 AM, and resuming with the second session at 2:00 PM. The event will happen on April 19, at Sotheby’s New York location (1334 York Avenue). As far as I could tell, this one does’t have the option for online bidding. If you can go, just know that I’m living vicariously through you!

 

(All photos courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

art · luxury

Why Private Tastes Run Public Art Museums

As an art enthusiast, I enjoy following the trends and learning more about the industry. Nowhere have I seen such a collision of creativity and business as I have in the art world. What I find especially fascinating is how art professionals make their mark or how they navigate these spaces during their careers.

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The Carpet Merchant of Cairo by Jean-Leon Gerome

I recently read an article by Felix Salmon explaining the unexpected termination of Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA LA) curator Helen Molesworth. The article indicates that the firing was “controversial”, so the opinions about the termination are varied. However, the underlying reason why Molesworth was released may be discerned from data related to her time at MOCA LA.

Data analytics were used to determine the difference between curatorial choices made by Molesworth and selections made by previous curators. The data confirmed that, prior to Molesworth’s tenure, the museum’s special exhibits prominently featured art “market darlings”: the artists that patrons regularly purchased for their personal collections and that had sold well at auctions. Artists that commanded high dollar prices at auction ($10+ million gross) were frequently featured in MOCA LA exhibits. However, during the three years that Molesworth was at MOCA LA, only two of her curated exhibits exceeded the $10 million gross amount.

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The Moorish Warrior by William Merritt Chase

This is a simple matter of economics: patrons know that the value of their investments needs to be affirmed by museums. Museums and patrons have a symbiotic relationship: they mutually affirm the value of certain artists’ works. It’s important that art “market darlings” are heavily featured so that art investors can justify the valuation of their investment.

Here lies the problem with Molesworth: she didn’t feature art “market darlings” prominently during her tenure. Her emphasis on display diverse artists that weren’t pulling in high dollar amounts at aucton didn’t win her any fans with the old art vanguard, namely, the trustees of MOCA LA. In many ways, her innovation and commitment to smaller, lesser known, less commercially popular artists sealed her fate.

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The Daughter of Herodias Dancing by James Tissot

An additional point of clarity: MOCA LA has minimal government funding. Donors are quoted as providing 80% of the museum’s funding. This means that it behooves the museum to consider the personal tastes of their financial supporters. Molesworth’s choices didn’t endear her to donors, because her curatorial choices didn’t reflect the work of the “market darlings”. Her curated exhibits didn’t affirm the value of donors’ collections; she was inadvertently setting the tone for a shift away from the “darlings” and a move toward more lesser known artists. A death knell like this could have been catastrophic for the valuation of donors’ private art collections.

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Study of a Moor in Blue by Edwin Lord Weeks

All his being said, I actually am in favor of MOCA LA’s decision. Museums that receive the majority of their funds from private donors are beholden, to extent, to the tastes of those donors. As a museum attempts to steer its collection and exhibits to align with the vision of the supporters, it makes sense to have curators that are also on board with that vision. I’m unsure whether MOCA LA expressed to Ms. Molesworth what they wanted from her in her role as curator, but I can hope that this was explained at some point. If not, some research on previous exhibits would have been wise: a cursory review would have revealed an affinity for certain artists. Molesworth could have gradually introduced artists with lower gross auction amounts while still curating exhibits that would be favored by the donors.

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The Old Blue-Tiled Mosque Outside of Delhi, India by Edwin Lord Weeks

The practical application in this case is this: when entering a new space, always do your research. The discussions among colleagues are great but the numbers don’t lie. Gather data and look for trends. See what the similarities are and plan accordingly. I don’t know that Molesworth could have completely avoided this – after all, she had to stay true to her own vision as a curator – but her research may have revealed that she wasn’t as good a fit for MOCA LA as she originally believed.

 

 

(This post featured art that had a Middle-Eastern/Indian theme. All photos courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum, as shown on archive.org)