Friday, September 4, 2015

Outfit Catchup Post (#s 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16!) and A Few Fashion Reading Recommendations!

I've got quite a bit of catching up to do!

#10: Summer Raven Queen

Black lace dress with slip from Free People, labradorite and copper raven necklace from Gael Song, feathered belt I think from Forever 21, lace shoes from Walmart (score!), copper crystal necklace from the VA Renn Faire, and wooden wing faux gauge earrings were, I think, from a shop on etsy but I sadly can't remember now!

#11: Irish Festival

Outfit I wore to the local Irish festival - so much fun! White embroidered skirt was thrifted, green tank top from Banana Republic, amazing ivy earrings, rune belt (from a Celtic festival), and green leather purse (from FaerieCon many years ago!) were all gifts from my wonderful Mom, wooden crescent moon necklace from a shop in Berkley Springs, VA, and the unicorn bag was my souvenir from the festival :).

#12: Blue Moon

"Whirling Wind Moon" shirt from BPAL, blue skirt from Forever 21, moon earrings and ring from an online shop I can't remember now sadly, blue moonstone necklace from the amazing Elysian Fields in Sarasota, FL, eyeshadow is one of my favorites, "Underworld" by NARS, and the big blue crystal earrings from a shop in my VA local mall.

#13: Purple Magpie

Purple top from Free People, leaf climber earrings from QVC, amazing beaded bird necklace and fern leaves ring were gifts from my Mom :).

#14: New Semester Dark Mori

Outfit for the first day of the new semester :). Asymmetrical black chiffon dress from Forever 21 (totally a favorite piece), silver cardigan from Kohl's, tree and moon necklaces from the VA Renn Faire a few years ago, black buckle shoes from Zulily, silver dangle earrings from TJ Maxx, leaf climber earrings from QVC, and Narcissus Hair Comb by Oberon Design

#15: Scholar Fae

A rare glimpse of me in my glasses (I sadly had an eye infection this week, it was awful!) Top from Peebles, necklaces from the VA Renn Faire, earrings from a shop in Santa Fe. You can't really see it but the Kohl's black blazer, one of my all time favorite pieces of clothing ever, actually has SPARKLY WINGS on the back! I think I may have actually swooned when I saw it in the store :).

#16: Baba Yaga

Outfit for the Baba Yaga challenge on Daily Fae-shion! A woodland look with lots of layers and crystals and antlers (which I thought were a good substitute for more typical bones, as they're not really my thing.) Dress I've had forever so I sadly can't remember where it's from, black lace vest and boots from Zulily, copper wrapped crystal necklace from the VA Renn Faire, fox cuff from The Victorian Trading Company.

So yay, caught up! I wasn't feeling well when I got home from my first day of teaching for the new semester sadly, so I missed a picture for that, but more soon. My class is going so well so far though, huzzah! I also have a new post in the works on the "folklore" trends in fall fashion. In the meantime...

A Few Excellent, Fashion-Related Things To Read:

More soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dark Mori / Strega / Black Forest Fashion & Me

The first time I heard the term "Dark Mori," I felt an instant connection. This was it, I thought, this was the term I was looking for, a term to encompass my own style. Bohemian, Mori, Gothic, they all came close but weren't quite it. I'd always just called it "dark faerie" in my head, which is still probably the closest because, of course, no "style" is ever going to be 100% perfect, BUT when I found Strega Forest's "Dark Mori Style and Lifestyle Checklist," it confirmed my suspicions that this way of dressing was really ridiculously close to my own. I mean "wants to look like a witch or a dark fairy from the woods" is the first thing on the list! :). Fashion wise, I also particularly identify with -
  • Likes to wear dark, dusty colors, but also jewel and earthy tones
  • Antique, used, or ragged laces and silks
  • Layering is the key
  • Medieval, Victorian, Folklore, and 1920s inspirations
  • Helena Bonham Carter is a great style icon
  • And, to mix up a few from the list: Crushed velvet, vintage clothes, corsets, shawls, dresses and skirts (the longer the better), floral patterns, natural stones, silver jewelry, knitted items, laced up boots, Victorian heels, braided hair, messy curls, flowers, leaves, feathers, antlers!
And yes, the lifestyle aspects are right on too, obviously :). Loves anything spooky, is a collector, is attracted to witchcraft and the esoteric, loves the natural world, has a familiar (or two, or three...), crafty, interested in fairies and spirits, introverted, into dark music and books, free-spirited, romantic, melancholic, quirky, loves tea, antiques, and folklore, inspired by the Pre-raphaelites/Froud/Rackham/Etc, loves going thrifting, always wants to be warm and cozy, a bit messy, particularly loves the forest after the rain, at dusk, and at night... yep, all that sounds about perfect! 

Depending on who you talk to, there can be some subtle perceived differences between the three terms for the style I've listed above ("dark mori" - definitely a spin off of "mori" fashion from Japan, usually looser clothing, "strega" - often a bit more mature, less Japanese influenced and more inspired by European folklore, and "black forest") but I tend to lump them together because I enjoy and incorporate aspects of each.

Shortcut to the Stars lists this simple Strega Fashion Manifest:
- Strega means witch, and that theme is therefore the center of the fashion
- there are no other rules
- there are no established color schemes
- inspiration is taken from fairytales, folklore and myth, all things magical and witchy
- Inspiration is drawn from goth, boho, mori and whatever else you prefer
- it is different from mori in that it doesn’t have any ties to japan or japanese street fashion
- it is different from goth in that it has no inherent ties to goth culture or music
- NO ONE can demand to know what strega is or exclude anyone from the fashion or tag! Strega is the witch inside us, coming out through our clothing. 
Sounds good to me! :).

So let's get a bit more specific to my particular style - I love dark, sweeping skirts made for wandering the forest and getting tangled in the brush. I love wildflowers, ivy, and roses in my hair, smokey eye makeup, silver jewelry with folkloric themes, and pretty much anything velvet. Lace, chiffon, embroidery, tulle, paisley, sequins, and brocade are also staples. I love waterfall cardigans, layers of fabric, almost anything with an esoteric theme (particularly things with moons/roses/stars on them), and long red hair. My favorite colors are burgundy, dusty blue, silver, raspberry, purple, and black. As I say on my main website, I'm a witch-faerie princess with ink on her fingers and a book in her hands ;).
[Image by me, of me wearing a Raintower cardigan and a shirt by The Orphan's Arms]

All this said, I do think that it's important to acknowledge the problematic things that tend to get lumped in with aspects of this style as well, which I don't endorse at all and think do deserve critical attention and, hopefully, rejection. I think this post puts it rather nicely indeed - So please do try to avoid that kind of language and appropriation when talking about and incorporating this style. It's not at all necessary and, importantly, you can be inspired by cultures that are different from your own without stealing from them in thoughtless ways.

There has also been a bit of controversy recently around the term "strega" as well. Some claim it to be a form of cultural appropriation too but I find this… equally problematic and damaging to the real (and potentially hurtful) issues surrounding true cultural appropriation. "Strega" is the Italian word for witch, nothing more. No one who practices Stregheria (Italian witchcraft) has any particular claim to the word itself and proposing that simply using the word "witch" would fix the problem is frankly US/Eurocentric - why is an English word okay to use but an Italian one is not, particularly to those for whom English is not their first language?  There are some deep-seeded, postcolonial, and worrisome issues behind this debate that I won't go into further here, but I'll certainly be paying attention as it develops. 

Lastly note that I am NOT an advocate of taxidermy, fur, fox tails, etc. Even faux or ethically sourced animals skulls and such aren't really my thing, though I do recognize their resonance with the style.

So that's my little spiel on the topic! The majority of this blog will probably trend this way, so I wanted to give a little head's up about it and hopefully attract others with similar styles - welcome :). 

Want to see/read more about this kind of fashion? Of course you do!

Blog Posts:
- really this whole blog, I'm so sorry she hasn't posted in so long! - I love this description, yes yes yes! Ditto x 100,000,000!

Blogs/Tumblrs/Pinterest Boards: - I'm delighted she's started posting again!


[Image by me of some of my jewelry :).]

I'll never be able to link everything but this should be a good start. And last, a poem that seems particularly perfect... 

["Witch-Wife" by Edna St. Vincent Millay] 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

[Outfit Post #s 6, 7, 8, 9] Eep, Catch Up Post!

Well blast, I'm so sorry for the lack of posts! This past week and a half or so got a bit insane (visitors, ER visits, rescuing kittens, and other such things!) so I'm a bit behind with everything. I do, however, have lots of outfit pictures to show!

#6: Gothic Plaid

I was quite pleased with this one! Dress is Free People, necklace is from Parrish Relics, and the wolf/moon faux gauge earrings are from Tree of Life Artworks.

#7: Green Fox Fairy

This look was partially to honor the birth of my new nephew (who my sister and her husband are calling Fox!) and partially for the "Green Man" challenge on Daily Fae-shion :). Dress is from Forever 21 (I think the vine ring may have been from there too), fox cuff is by Elaine Coyne, fox necklace is from Wild Wood Gatherer, and rose ring is from Wexford Jewelers.

#8: Jeans and Lace

Just two little collages for the next two - this one was inspired by the "unusual combinations" challenge on Daily Fae-shion. Dress was thrifted, tree vest is from Free Flight Clothing, simple silver cat necklace from Kohl's, long earrings were a gift, and the moonstone earrings were from World Market.

#9: Cathedral Casual

Awesome cathedral windows print shirt from Hot Topic a long time ago, om ring and unicorn ring were gifts from my Mom and my boyfriend respectively, purse was a gift from my sister, and the amazingly enormous (and awesome) earrings were found in an antique store in Columbus!

Next post will be something more than outfits, I promise ;). I've been working on a big one! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

[Outfit Post #5] Casual Forest Witch

It was a rainy, sticky day outside yesterday but I still wanted to be a bit magical and dressed up so I came up with this "casual forest witch" look :).

Just jeans, but the top is from Cichic and instantly dresses up any outfit I think! With a black rose clip in my hair and tree/moon necklaces, I felt ready to teach my students some hardcore folklore ;).

I felt a bit like I was channeling Gillian from Practical Magic (always a favorite!) and/or this particular picture of Kate Winslet I've always loved :).


Monday, July 6, 2015

[Outfit Post #4] Summer Rain

My contribution for the "Rain Sprites" challenge going on over at Daily Fae-shion! The idea was to be inspired by "your fanciest umbrellas, your dewdrop jewels, your puddle-hopping boots, and your stormy hues."

Free People velvet burnout slip dress with flowers (reminds me of petals tossed about in a storm!), dark blue velvet jacket, raindrop necklace, prayer box necklace, Britannia ring, black lace flats, and my cathedral print umbrella :). My hair's a bit wet in these pictures but I figured it went with the theme!

This fae is enjoying the storms for sure :).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

[Outfit Post #s 2 & 3] 90s Faerie & Burgundy and Purple

Two outfits in one post this morning!

#1 - 90s Faerie

I had to post a few snaps of this outfit from a couple of days ago that I just loved - friends were watching Buffy and I was clearly in a 90s outfit kind of mood... with a fae twist, of course :).

#2 - Burgundy and Purple

For this one I was spurred on by the already thriving (!) discussion on the Daily Fae-shion group and how so many of us love the colors burgundy and purple - including me!! Purple dress with glittery flowers from Sweden, burgundy/black ombre sweater from Hot Topic (#noshame), beloved "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" Parrish Relics necklace, and a flower in my hair for extra enchantment ;).

  Feeling so inspired!