Usually I heavily side-eye anyone who claims to have been “born in the wrong era”. I’m guessing you’d rather have marriage equality and women in the workplace than even the poufiest New Look dress. Historical revisionism grinds my gears. “Back in the day” – no, stahp, humans have always been incomprehensibly cruel to one another, and all June Cleaver aesthetics did was hide it a little better than we’re used to. I try to acknowledge that what I’m borrowing from the past isn’t the end-all of history. At the end of the day, I would rather be a 21st-century woman in a vintage dress than sit around barefoot and pregnant.
That said, I love love LOVE flapper culture. Not in the way that screams “I’ve gravely misinterpreted The Great Gatsby“. But as a woman in 2014, I enjoy a university education, an apartment in my own name, and a self-determined love life. I’m accustomed to such things, as well I should be. Imagine, though, being alive and in one’s prime when all those things were new. Imagine the exhilaration of being the first woman in town to do something as seemingly ordinary as cut her hair short. To dare admit she liked drinking, dancing, and sex. Try and feel that exhilaration of growing up Edwardian-prim and emerging as New Woman incarnate, flouting what generations of mothers had taught. I have the utmost respect for the women who manifested who they wanted to be long before today’s “love thyself” psychobabble. My inner flapper tells me to get up and do. To indulge in this twisted world before me.
My love for the aesthetic is just icing.
The character I’m playing in these shots is nursing the bubble of excitement in her gut before a night on the town. Where the gin is cold but the piano’s hot…
In other news, I shot these with my Canon PowerShot’s Tungsten exposure, and I’m thrilled with the chilly, blue-dense look.
As usual, click on each image to see its listing.
I felt like a good ol’-fashioned “what I wore” today, but with the added preview of my official room tour. I promised it a few posts ago, and I swear it’s coming. Some of my stuff is still languishing at my old place, but I’ll move it in as soon as I absolutely have to be out of there.
As for a statement, today’s is no more erudite than “this is a day in my life”. This is an outfit that screams “Skye” with all its headbutting prints. This is the room I put more energy into than any other. I refer to my bedroom as my “flapper den”, and I’d like to make that as true as possible. My main goal lately has been to cultivate everything around me. There’s something worshipful about living a deliberate life. Mindfulness, basically – but people don’t take you seriously when you use words like “mindfulness”. I promise I’m not really that crunchy.
Josh’s work was exhibited in this show last fall. I love how the field’s desolation seems to fade right into the wall, like some kind of portal presided over by a ceramic face.
Skirt, Hat, & Tights: Old Gold Blouse & Bustier: Handed down Belt: Replays Shoes: Danform
In these, my last installment from Saturday’s shoot, I went straight-up Olde Hollywood romantigoth. Think Vertigo and Double Indemnity meet Nosferatu. Josh and I took turns playing each other’s villain. (Let’s not even touch the metaphor inherent there.) It’s astounding how just a few tweaks of the light turn an image from theatrical candid to grainy movie still.
The second installment from Saturday’s shoot with Brent. For these, I envisioned a medieval morality play mated somehow with Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared. Almost traditional – witchy imagery, fairy-tale elements – but just unsettling enough. Josh and I tried for a genderfucked Snow White aesthetic, what with the pomegranate, his pretty pretty princess mask, and my crone-tastic posture. I really like how even the background, with its draped sheets and oddly stark light, captures that candid theatrical feeling. Like the caravan of players in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – coincidentally one of Josh’s favorite movies.
Saturday’s shoot with Brent satisfied a few of the aesthetics I’ve been wanting to realize for a while. In the span of a couple hours, we cycled through several distinct iterations of my artistic vision. From pinup to madonna to wizened thaumaturge, I got to be all my favorite versions of myself. So I’ll be posting the photos in parts, each corresponding to a different theme. In these shots, I’m paying tribute to my girls Bettie, Dita, and Joan. For extra-retro seduction, I’m wearing a blouse hand-sewn by my great-grandmother.
I’ve decided to make “eye bleach” posts a regular feature. Even (especially!) when my style is languishing on the primmer end of the spectrum, I need my macabre, my bloodstained, my gleefully obscene. It’d be mighty nice to keep a visual log of the unsettling specimens I find in the wild (i.e. antique stores). What better to kick it off with than those horrors of the vaguely humanoid?
All specimens logged at Antiques on Main in Montpelier, where Josh and I stopped after shooting with Brent on Saturday.
This reminds me in the best way of one of my favorite creepypastas: “Abandoned by Disney“, by Slimebeast. The sequel, “Room Zero“, is almost better.
I’m getting one intense Coraline vibe from this one.
Oh hey, an outfit I actually wore as-is and not a costume I embellished for the sake of mugging for the camera! Been a while since I’ve done one of those. I got both these pieces at this weekend’s Downtown Threads 50%-off sale, now sadly defunct. You wouldn’t put these pieces together intuitively, but fuck intuition. Fuck what’s supposed to work. It’s not my kind of party unless you’re viscerally squicked.
I don’t have a lot to say today. I’m quiet and content. Let my colors speak for themselves, and let me enjoy the Archer premiere in peace.
Dress & Blouse: Downtown Threads Brooch: Battery Street Jeans Hat: Old Gold Shoes: Stella Mae (giveaway) Tights: Gifted
I spent yesterday in Montpelier shooting with Brent. Josh, nominally just my chauffeur, ended up getting involved and making some pretty creepycool! pictures with us. We ended up coming out with two or three complete photo stories, which I can’t wait to show off to you guys. Until I get the completed shots back, though, enjoy the preview…
I’m interested less and less in straight-up no-frills outfit posts, preferring now to shoot (my approximation of) fashion editorials. My first love is and always will be telling stories. I was reading and writing by my fourth birthday, too unbearably itchy not to share myself. According to my mother, surges of imagination would put me in a near-trance. Even now, I just plain want to make stuff. Words, art, love, theatrics, war. And I feel like outfits posts are more…regurgitating than making. Now, I can deface a gorgeous dress with drool just like the rest of you, but the bloggers I really look forward to reading are the ones who make their entire world a canvas. The clothes are but one part. In my head, I’m a proud absinthe-swilling louche, my world a goddess-appointed flapper den. I want everything I produce to fall in line with my highly stylized universe. What’s the fun of clothes, really, if you aren’t constantly making them your own?
“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”
We’re going through what I sincerely hope will amount to a January thaw. In other words, the temperatures have climbed timidly to almost-freezing. These photos are a paean to the spring that (now Christmas is over) can’t arrive fast enough.
Dress: Goodwill Bracelet & Shoes: Old Gold Necklaces: Accumulated Tights: Gifted