Death, that “sad bone,” that “good night,” our “dream kingdom,” stirring within us “like a barking where there are no dogs” — the poets have named it well. As self-aware and lethal creatures, death haunts and inspires our imaginations, signifying not only finitude and sorrow, but transition and transformation. I have always been fascinated by literatures exploring this abstract “state” (or “passage”? Or “absence”?), and I think many of us are, not to romanticize death, but to better feel with peace and satisfaction the earth beneath our feet, and perceive the ubiquity of growth and loss; the seasons, our bodies, ideas, desires, pain — everything in constant flux. And so it is, and here we are.
Okay — perhaps I should have mentioned above that this post was going to get a bit dark. It is shot in a cemetery, after all (Ross Bay, for my fellow Victorians), a hushed place between worlds, a shadow garden, a waypoint for wanderers, philosophers, poets, mourners, and the departed. Follow the paths among the buried dead and introspect deeply. Yes, it’s dark, but there’s also an element of subtle illumination; for while it is not always easy to observe darkness within the world (and within the self), what emerges is awareness, an empowering, intimate understanding of one’s own strength, vulnerability, and presence.
This shoot was intended to be a portrait of such subjective ideas, while also depicting the muted beauty of the cemetery. Kim Jay did an excellent job capturing what I had envisioned; the style is similar to our Cataclysm shoot, where she and I meshed my outfit with a particular mood and the setting of Summit Hill. Such environmental portraiture is engaging, in that it tells a story — and as a lover of literature (and thus narrative), Kim and I will be going for this imbrication of style, environment, mood, and character in our future posts. We’re both excited about this new direction.
Dress: Killstar | Vegan leather jacket: John & Jenn, via Reunion Boutique (Victoria) | Beanie: Jawbreaking | Tights: Doll Kiss, Nagoya (Japan) | Boots: Dr. Martens, via Heart’s Content (Victoria) | Necklace: Aldo
The featured piece in this outfit is my (appropriately named) Sorrow Hood Dress by Killstar, a UK-based brand of “occult couture.” Pentagram tees, Baphomet leggings, and spiked jackets à la Hellraiser are all staples in their dark line. The material of the dress is lightweight but durable, and despite the boxy fit, it seems to hit the body in all the right places. The hood is a nice touch, too — although someone might mistake you for an assassin transported out of a fantasy novel. But I suppose that’s part of the look.
And for some final pieces to this story:
Till next time,
– Style Raven