louche lady

morgaine I

I’ve been sitting on this idea for a few weeks now. I had meant to take a backlog of photos before leaving for camp, but heat caught up with me: I melt so easily that posing in full-length dresses in 90-degree weather would’ve made a sullen, sweaty mess. All I can offer for now is the first round, but I’m pretty damn proud of it.

I’ve mentioned before that I am first and foremost a costume designer. My daily outfits are a natural extension of that theatrical sensibility, but there’s just nothing like rolling up my sleeves to costume a show and pinning feverishly until everything is just right. Teaching theater this week has reminded me of just how much I love it.

Lately I’ve been trying to market myself as a freelance costumer. Working in the underbelly of Vermont’s ragtag theater scene would be a childhood pipe dream realized. Outfitting the stage with my vision is almost as good as occupying the spotlight myself, I figure. In the name of turning this blog into not just a personal outlet but a CV of sorts, I’ve decided to start an ongoing series of costume-design posts. All my favorite fictional characters and historical figures are fair game. The Louche Ladies.

Today I start with my favorite mythical witch of them all: Morgaine le Fay herself.

morgaine II

Although my favorite interpretation of Morgaine, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon version, treats her as rather plain and pious, I decided to go fully regal with this look. I admit I was constrained by what I had in my closet, but I also wanted to broadcast power in a more immediate way than I think plainer clothes could’ve accomplished. In this spangled dress and shawl, Morgaine colludes directly with the dark around her. She establishes her dominion via her finery while still, with the dark themes, acknowledging the partnership inherent in her craft. The spangles, in my mind, represent little sparks of ghostly light she’s pulled from her environment and fastened to her person.

I whitened my face and put on extra lipstick for a bloodthirsty kick. I can pull off the pale, doughy-limbed medieval-painting look pretty well.

morgaine V

I didn’t get as many pictures of this look as I would’ve liked to. My camera shit out around the ninth shot or so, and dusk was over by the time I’d finished charging the battery. On second thought, though, I like the photoset as it is. This look doesn’t call for too many close-ups. The power is best appreciated as a whole.

morgaine VI

morgaine VII

A shawl atop empty air. She’s in ghost form.

morgaine VIII

I do wish I’d gotten a better shot of the Celtic-knot headband. It was the perfect touch.

Dress: Stella Mae Shawl & Headband: Gifted Bracelet: Battery Street Jeans