Make Victorian Jewelry for Gothic Glamour!

Fashion with Passion
My daughter, her friends, and many of my grown women friends have all read the popular gothic romance Twilight. I’ve been resisting because delving into the lives of a bunch of lovesick hormone-laden teen vampires sounded pretty silly; I’ve got a couple of those at home, anyway. But I thought I’d give the book a spin to find out what the hubbub is all about. Within the first few chapters I saw why teen girls like it, but I’m not sure I can stomach so much pubescent drama. What did fascinate me is how this book seemed to singlehandedly revive gothic romance literature. The ravenous interest in it spread so quickly that vampires popped out everywhere in fiction, television, music, and of course, fashion.

Vampire Couture
Since what happens in New York, Paris, and Milan eventually affects us as jewelry-makers, I thought I’d do a little research on what's being called Vampire Couture. Just about every cutting-edge fashion house has toyed with Vampire Couture. It’s a mix of Victorian, Gothic, and '80s punk styles, with a little bit of gore and a whole lot of sexiness thrown in. Not sure I’m ready to sign up for that complete package in my pieces, but there are definitely attractive parts. Here’s a quick list of elements you might like to experiment with when designing your next piece or adjusting your colorways and materials when following a pattern in a magazine like Beadwork.

Since gothic romance novels are informed by the Victorian era, colors worn during that time are perfect for vampire couture. Black, of course, since Queen Victoria was so permanently in mourning, but deep shades of red and purple were also appropriate for women of the day. I also came across lots of white in my surfing, which is totally uncharacteristic of the genre. Must be something to do with how gory blood looks on white fabric? (I know—creepy.)

Seed Bead

Charms and Metal
All styles of metal trinkets, especially those that have a romantic or supernatural bent, are used quite a bit in this type of jewelry. (Did you know Queen Victoria had quite a thing for charms and cameos, too?) Chain, buckles, snaps, and rivets also give the look a funky twist.


The glitter of crystals gives this look its flash. Use jet and the full range of dark reds, plus try out the moody dark indigo color, which I’m certain was created just for this trend. Also incorporate crystal pearl colors like Tahitian and burgundy for a rich look.


Semiprecious stones popular during the Victorian era are natural for this style. Dark-toned stones like onyx, garnet, hypersthene, amethyst, and blue gold stone are good choices.


So, are you ready for vampire couture?  Share your thirst for dark, deliciously romantic jewelry here on Beading Daily. Happy Halloween!  

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