Saturday 8 September 2012

Life's a stage; introducing the Magique Victorienne

I finally got my ear's pierced yesterday =]

It was less traumatic than expected. (thanks to Joe for letting me sit on his lap so I couldn't run away from the lady with the gun...again =P) Today was more traumatic though; one of the earrings I got put in had a damaged backing and so it kept falling off- I returned it and the ordeal of forcing a properly fitting back onto the swollen ear (I'd had to put the damaged backing back on 6 times because I was scared of the earring falling out, so my ear was a bit mangled) was unpleasant. It doesn't help that I have the world's most non-existent ear lobes so the piercing is actually angled a bit strangely.

I'll post pictures when the swelling goes down again...

It's funny that just last week when I'd finally decided to get them pierced I came across this post by Amanda Palmer about jewellery. Amanda is someone I have a lot of love and respect for (her incredible music and insightful lyrics are a constant source of inspiration) but I disagree with her about this.

She says;

'I will look upon the adorned-in-daylight people - women in mascara with their hair done, men wearing pressed suits - with awe and wonder. I can never understand why people try so hard to look attractive in real life. don’t they know THAT’S WHAT THE STAGE IS FOR?'

And all I can say is:

'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players' (William Shakespeare; As you like it)

I used to be an actress (of the amateur but utterly devoted teenage variety) and I miss the thrill of performance, the applause, playing people very different from myself and I miss wearing costumes (well some of them; NEVER agree to play a carol singer i.e. full woollen coat, scarf, hat etc. under STAGE LIGHTS in JULY= boiling half to death).

So I still wear costumes.

I know a lot of alternative people from all subcultures get offended when people refer to their outfit as a costume, and I totally understand why but I kind of disagree. I like to have a theme for my outfits, some idea to hold the elements together, which is kind of like a costume. It helps me make the whole world my stage.

Another blog post I read this week was by Victoria Suzanne of Parfait Doll, also made me think. In it she says her 'theme' for the winter is going to be Barbie. I realised how much fun it would be to have a running theme to my outfits for a whole season so I've decided on:

Magique Victorienne

This theme will combine my love of Victorian clothing styles and my love of magic and fantasy. Expect to see outfits inspired by witches, fairies, magicians and circus folk, spiritualists and the occult, all of course with my usual hint of morbidity and funereal charm. Obviously my work outfits will include subtle hints only but expect my day's off to be full of eccentric and magical clothing and probably OTT make-up, maybe even including swirly eyeliner designs. I used to do that sort of thing a lot (see pictures below) and I'm probably too old to get away with it now, but it's so much fun!

I'm currently making a spiderweb lace over-skirt (with detachable bustle) from 2 Poundland halloween tablecloths and downloading images of tarot cards and ouija boards to make into fabric designs. Expect photos within a week (my sewing machine and printer permitting).

Do any of you like to pick themes for your outfits or the seasons?


  1. Oh lovely butterfly makeup!
    Yes I have said that I don't wear a costume, I'm dressed up. But actually can't it be the same? I mean if you just put on your clothes without thinking that much, you dress. When you dress up or dressing up a costume, you put effort in you appearance and you will signal something. The other thin you said about themes for the season also made me think. Yep, without really have a purpose of it the clothes I use follow a theme. I was a ragdoll last winter...well I always change style in a way. It would be interesting to see the following for your theme :)

  2. ooh rag-doll is a great idea for a theme! I bet you looked awesome.

    Also makes me think of Spellbound by Siouxsie and the Banshees; 'following the footsteps of a rag doll dance, we are entranced, spellbound' =]

  3. I theme my seasons too, I'm always darker in the winter months and a lot lighter in the summer.
    Heading into lovely jewel toned velvet months now!

  4. Your make-up is lovely!
    I don't like that statement by Amanda Palmer, either. Not only because I, too, like to wear "a costume" (it's not just putting some clothes I like on, it's more like "which character do I want to be today?"). But, also, as long as I don't hurt anyone, why shouldn't I be wearing make-up and fancy clothes if I want to? It's none of her business and I can't get why she should be so judgmental. Especially since the people who listen to her and go to her concerts are those people who, being goth, tend to have an eye-catching appearance.

  5. I love this post! I have always thought dressing up was very important to me, part of who I am, but not just dressing like everyone else. I've tried that, and it wasn't really me. I am trying to learn to sew so I can wear more Victorian clothing, as I can't afford to buy proper gowns. I feel like I am in costume when I am dressed 'normally'. When I wear costumes, I feel so free. My outfits could be called costumes, because they often have themes, even if it is just a particular era or being a faerie. In real life, I am Neo-Victorian, and possibly a changeling.