Monday, 31 October 2011

A memento mori lookbook for your Halloween

As much as I love ruffles and sparkles and prettiness, over the last year or so I've been delving more into the dark, pared-down gothic aesthetic. New Zealand fashion is somewhat known for its black/gothic tendencies, and as you can see from outfits like this, I've been playing with that a little more. And it's Halloween right now, so why not put together a memento mori/gothic inspired lookbook, full of things I own, things I'd love to own and things I think are just plain amazing?

Yes, I own this dress. In both colourways. It is amaze and I will hear nothing said against it. (Lantana dress by Ricochet). The dress above is also by Ricochet and is the Scenario shirt dress. I would further like to point to practically the entirety of Ricochet's autumn/winter 2011 collection. I can't help it. I have a Ricochet obsession at the moment.

Another designer I've been following recently is Salasai ( The two dresses on the left and middle are from their autumn/winter 2011 collection, Sacrificial Grace. The left is the Sacrifice dress, which I own and adore, and the middle one is the Saint dress. The outfit on the right is from the most recent spring/summer 2011/12 collection, A Strange Love Project, and is the Society Skirt and Amour T-shirt. A 'gothic' look, to me, doesn't have to involve blacks all the time - it's more about an overall aesthetic, and Salasai seem to pick up on that fairly well. With the right statement jewellery and shoes, you could easily take that right-hand look to a very gothic place without a scrap of black necessary.

Somewhat backing up my theory about gothic whites is this beautifully-draped piece from Zambesi's spring/summer collection. I want to put a long, creepy pendant on it, maybe a really huge raw crystal ring, and some super-high platform heels.

Possibly, perhaps, some heels like this? The nude pair, perhaps? All three of these are from Ultra Shoes - the first and second pair, of course, I've blogged about before - they're the '70s Living' by Skins. The pair on the right are 'Lucille' by Chaos and Harmony - colour doesn't usually tend to feature in a minimal/gothic aesthetic, but I figure a wee flash of this patent powder-pink with the solid black of the heel works just super.

Oh gosh, jewellery time! This amazing silver ring from BloodMilk over at Etsy adds a true touch of memento mori - it's based on an emblem often used in Victorian funerals for children. Also at BloodMilk is the mini planchette ring, riffing off the idea of ouija and automatic writing.

Claw motifs abound at the moment, and both these examples are lovely. From the Deadly Ponies collection comes this sterling silver/bronze sparrow foot pendant, while again from BloodMilk is this rose gold and amethyst crow claw.

These two rings really push the creepy factor, and honestly they kind of invoke my 'ick' response, but at the same time they're fascinatingly cool. Yes, they're both made with human teeth. Golly. The left is set in sterling filigree by Loved to Death (again, Etsy) and the right is an oxidised sterling silver knuckle-duster from Little Sister Designs, who's on Etsy but from my hometown. Go Wellington!

You just can't have memento mori without a few skulls. I mean, seriously. I am still sulking because I missed out on (read: got into a bidding war and was outbid on) a solid silver crow skull pendant the length of a Bic pen. But it's best to avoid the awful faux-gothic skull jewellery out there, and I think these three really balance a gothic aesthetic with a fashionable 'cool'. The first skull illusion pendant (PEARLS IN VINEGAR I AM LOOKING AT YOU) is again by Charlotte Burkhart at Little Sister Designs and is based on an antique photograph, while both the silver quail skull and carved bone rose-hair skull pendants are from Deadly Ponies. The crow skull hairtie would be an interesting little addition to an otherwise-plain outfit just for a hint of creepiness.

And where would any girl be without her Bag of Holding? These are both from Deadly Ponies - the left is the Mr Bone Mailman, and the right is Mr Stomper. I must confess, I am a wee bit of a Deadly Ponies fangirl when it comes to handbags. I use the Mr Sleepover in solid black as my daily handbag, and it really IS a Bag of Holding - it easily fits a wallet, book, cardigan, scarf, snacks or lunch, magical history books, portraits of former Hogwarts headmasters... oh wait, no, I'm not Hermione. As much as I would love to be. It really does hold a remarkable amount while still being a manageable (if large) daily bag (though I am eyeing up the grey Mr Mini Stomper on sale at Madame Fancy Pants as a smaller alternative). 

Having blogged until far too late a time, I think it's time for me to trot off to bed, dreaming of crow skulls, draped black, white and cream, pops of colour in raw crystal and tarnished metal, and gorgeous leather bags and shoes. I leave you, my darlings, with this:

From Elle Italia November 2008. Go and look at the entire thing. I mean, SERIOUSLY.

1 comment:

  1. Why yes I *do* have a thing for skull illusions >:-D That pendant is amazing. I also love the 'our darling' ring.