Luxe File loves Valentine’s Day gift-giving. Here we’ve handpicked a few of our favorite things from four of the city’s leading designers – a jeweler, an illustrator, a pinup photographer, and a lingerie designer. Don’t worry about keeping the receipt. These gifts won’t ever be returned.
For The Sex Kitten
Stephanie KuhrLingerie Designer
Kuhr: It's the perfect bedroom piece that's comfortable and completely scandalous at the same time (so everyone's happy). It's inspired by the great pin-up artists so you can feel like you just walked out of a Vargas painting.
Kuhr: A good black lace set is always a classic and the exquisite details will make her feel truly special. Add a lacy garter belt to complete the look.
For The Girl Who Has Everything
Jules VanceOwner and Jewelry Designer
Vance: These necklaces are one of our most popular, and personal, designs. I created these tags to represent loved ones.
Vance: There's nothing more sexy, or intimate, than a secret message between lovers. My husband made me one for my wedding band that says "Brian loves Jules" and his bears my name.
For The Scene Maker
Fashion, Wedding, Event Illustrationist
Every illustration Fanti designs is an original work of art. Ready to commit? Here’s what you need to know:
1. For Fanti, she will need a few good facial photos of the subject. One or two full body photos and a physical description of the person. Also include how subject should be dressed (ie, in an elegant ball gown vs. jeans and a t-shirt).
2. No background in the photo reference is necessary. Fanti keeps the focus of the illustration solely on the subject.
3. Illustrations are hand-sketched. Fanti uses color pencils and ink on quality grade, 11"x16" paper.
4. Lead time is 7 business days. Fanti delivers to Downtown/Gold Coast area or artwork will be shipped.
For The Voyeur
Co-Owner and Photographer
1. The shoots are fun, sexy, and always tasteful. Ladies are pampered by a team of expert hair and makeup stylists; they can bring their own clothing options or cherry pick through Vavoom’s wardrobe of dresses, shoes, skirts, and peep toe shoes.
2. At Vavoom, the focus is about the glamour and classic beauty of the 1940’s "All American Pin-Up". Women can choose to express themselves in one of two looks: a classic, vintage pinup or boudoir-style.
3. Props are encouraged (dogs are welcome). Models receive step-by-step pose coaching throughout their shoot.
4. Want more than a standard 8”x10” picture? Vavoom can print your pinup image on almost anything – from 'Vargas style' calendars to playing cards.
5. Vavoom shoots start at $250 for individuals. Contact Vavoom for additional pricing and group rates.
P.S. I Love You
To quote Carrie Bradshaw, you have finally found that ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love and you’re jumping for joy.
We tapped Kevin Chmura, aka Spencer Burnett, a self-proclaimed “art of the pickup” expert, for advice on keeping things extra steamy at home. We’ll leave the happy endings up to you.
Sex & Relationship Guru
Know what you like. It’s important to know what you want in terms of personality, chemistry and sex, and to be able to communicate it to a potential partner. Reflecting back on past relationships or sexual escapades can help you get a better understanding of what works best for you.
Be willing and ready to try new things...in bed. Write down your fantasies and try one when things start to go stale.
Avoid relationship ruts. After a while dating can turn into eating a frozen pizza at the apartment and having sex. While the sex part is great, keeping the sparks flying is key. To keep things fresh, here are some recommendations: a weekly “date” night; try new activities together; set a mutual goal that engages both of you.
Make each other better. If you want to create and maintain a relationship that perpetuates positivity and personal happiness, you need to partake in activities that make you a better person and engage you as a couple. Try working out or reading a book together.
See them for who they really are. At the end of the day, we all just want to connect. Be yourself and allow your partner to do the same. By dropping your personal agenda and taking the time to really get to know someone, you will build more meaningful relationships and take existing relationships to a deeper level.
Stimulate all the senses. In the bedroom on dates as well. Stimulate all five of the senses. Play different music, eat different foods and go to new places.
Relive old times. Try reliving some of the great memories you’ve had in the past. This type of role playing could actually be a new experience...if you think about it.
Shake up your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. Stepping outside your comfort zone will build trust and intimacy with whomever you do it with. Life is too short to be bored. Get creative and be bold.
Stephanie Kuhr photo courtesy of Emspace Photography
Jules Vance photo courtesy of Weber Photography
Rosemary Fanti photo courtesy of Ashley Hamm Photography
Kevin Chmura/Spencer Burnett photo courtesy of Lenny Gilmore/RedEye