In urban mythology, ravens have a reputation for digging around, hoarding any shiny and interesting objects they find. With the raven as my chosen style totem, I can connect to this folk legend, for as a fastidious lurker of independent designers and fashion bloggers around the internet, I have, over the years, done something similar to the stockpiling raven of myth: I have brought together a collage of people whose work I think is unique and inspiring, and who have used fashion in compelling ways to both create stories and explore the possibilities of image and identity. Below are two of these amazing artists:
Based in Melbourne, Teale Coco is an international model, designer, and lover of all things dark, beautiful, and strange. Mixing fashion with occultism and fetish, she has created a darkly fascinating and powerful clothing line; just as her harnesses crisscross the topographies of the body in intricate and provocative ways, Teale’s style is identified by (shall we say?) an arousing intersection of horror, sexuality, and fashion (check out her personal Tumblr for an intriguing storyboard of all these things)! In just under a year, Teale Coco the Brand has exploded, becoming hugely popular and internationally recognized. One thing (among many) I find compelling about Teale’s pieces is the fact that, despite their complexity and erotic connotations, they are adaptable, and can be integrated into (non-fetish lifestyle) outfits, if so desired — over dresses and bodysuits, for example. As a dark and empowering line of subcultural fashion, I am truly excited to see where Teale Coco goes next. And she’s an awesome girl — I’ve chatted with her over email, and she’s always been quick and generous with her replies. I’ll be featuring her beautiful pentagram harness on my blog in the near future.
You can find Teale’s designs on her website: http://tealecoco.com/. Check out her work for a healthy dose of style inspiration and black magic:
Photography and design by Marina Fini. http://marina-fini.tumblr.com/.
What happens when an artist with training in stagecraft and photography and an imagination of interstellar proportions enters the fashion world? Meet Californian designer Marina Fini, whose creative endeavors culminate in exploratory and playful mixtures of visual art, fashion, and philosophy. She is known for her beautiful line of handmade jewelry (which she describes perfectly as the adornments of a “galactic warrior princess”), but she is also a costume designer and photographer. As colourful and fluid as a dream seen through a hallucinogenic haze, Marina’s work defies categories: it is a complex interplay of styles reminiscent of cyber punk, pastel goth, anime cosplay, and new kawaii. From over-sized alien head earrings to pexiglass flower chain necklaces, Marina’s work is highly original, mixing alternative, contemporary styles often inspired by our digital culture with the nostalgia of liberatory 1960s iconography. Marina’s work is hybrid, crossing generations, genres, styles, and unveiling through the process both cultural critiques and whimsical, alternative views of reality. When I asked her about her inspirations, she wrote:
“I want to embody alternative universes in our present day … my photography and film work is a way to build characters I see in friends or people I meet. There’s something about transforming someone into someone they wouldn’t normally be … essentially creating an extension of themselves that I see in them. I really love making girls look like powerful cyber goddesses that don’t even look real. […] Conceptually, I am attracted to examining colorful insanity and creating dark, almost abnormal themes associated with rainbows. There’s something about juxtaposing what we associate as innocent with something horrific or insane. […] All of my work is heavily collaborative and that’s what I enjoy most […]. I think the best part of life is not taking it so seriously and expressing yourself the way you want to. […] I make art to show people another world, to make people question, laugh and think. […] My jewelry is heavily satirical and I like making people laugh with it because of its over-sized shapes that people are familiar with. The hand cursor, wifi and “@” symbol pieces specifically poke fun at our internet obsessed culture that we are inevitably apart of.”
Marina’s beautiful jewelry can be purchased through her Etsy shop, found here: https://www.etsy.com/SHOP/MARINAFINI. And check out her website and social media for more of her amazing work!
Thank-you all for reading, and I hope I’ve encouraged some of you to check out these amazing designers. They have inspired me, and I hope you find something in their work that inspires you! I’ll be doing another Inspiring Artists post soon, focusing on bloggers.
Till next time,
– Style Raven