May 27, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Fashion 'Fros

I apologize for my lack of posts, a week goes far too fast. Back on track, go Things I Love Thursday!

Haute 'Fros

 Luis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2010 RTW

Before last winter, I never dreamed I would ever consider the afro wig to be fashionable, but then Marc Jacobs put this collection down the runway. I'm not entirely enamored with the garments, but those giant afros adorned with feminine bows take my breath away, and leave me lusting for a ridiculous round wig.

Luis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2010 RTW

Since then, I have seen these calamitous coifs popping up in all sorts of different fashion editorials in the west and in Asia. One of my favorites has got to be this shoot, called Sweet Blossom, featured in Vogue Girl - Korea. I must get one of my Korean friends to get me a subscription to this magazine, they always have the best shoots.

 Vogue Girl Korea - May 2010

The lavender hue and top knot style add a flirty and contemporary twist to the more conventional afro wig style. This look would be darling (and daring) with an OTT sweet lolita or fairy-kei coordinate, or maybe even a more exotic mori or dolly-kei look.

 Vogue Girl Korea - May 2010

This trend has been showing up in Western alternative fashion as well. Check out this amazing shoot by designer and photographer Kristy Mitchell. While I'm not a *huge* fan of the candy stripes in this outfit, I fully appreciate the deathrock approach to the afro. Not to mention the corset and ruff are fierce (click the link for detail shots)!

The Candy Cane Witch - Kristi Mitchell 2010

The haute 'fro manifests in lolita fashion as the "poodley" coif we see popping up all over the pages of Alice Deco ala Mode and the Gothic and Lolita Bible. Victoria Suzanne of Lolita Charm posted this compilation of curly cuties on her blog's accompanying Tumblr. Here we can see a wide range of afro-inspired coifs, usually in the form of teased curls over bangs. We'll dub this the poodle-do.
From the Lolita Charm Tumblr. Look at all the poodle-dos! 
There are a few traditional fros in there as well!

Currently sported by Sachi and Yuka of Kokusyoku Sumire, this equally awesome variant of the traditional fro is much more commonly seen than its counterpart. Someday I will have a wig like this!

Sachi and Yuka of Kokusyoku Sumire in a classic lolita 
ensemble crowned with snow white curls.

But wait! This incredibly fashionable duo has also mastered the art of the true afro wig! Like many other examples of the fashionable fro, they've styled it into dynamic shapes, making the style fresher and more contemporary. These two will never stop amazing me with their amazing outfits!

   Sachi and Yuka manage to tame the beast. Those are some fierce 'fros!

Because she cannot be forgotten in a post about fashion afros, I must include the work of Eri Utsugi, head designer of mercibeaucoup. Though her clothing has little to do with 'fros these days, Utsugi got her break back in 2006 when the fashion media spotted her because of her quirky animal-shapped afro wigs. I don't know if she still features them in her work because most of the coverage I found was from 2006 or 2007, but they are still too much fun to pass up!  Read more about her and her collections here.

Chicken/Duck Afro by Eri Utsugi. From Japan Times article linked above.

Bunny afro by Eri Utsugi 

   Okay, not an animal, but food afros are equally amazing! 
Ice cream wig by Eri Utsugi.

May 20, 2010

Things I Love Thursday!


This week's obsessions:

+ Viktor & Rolf's Retrospective in Dolls! The team of designers recreated over thirty looks from their seventeen-year career in miniature for their retrospective in Antwerp this month. The doll modeling the piece from "Black Hole" is even painted black! I wish they would make them in Pullip size so my future doll could wear a "NO!" coat. Too bad they're not for sale. Read more about the show and see closeups of the doll here.

+ Jeffery Campbell Shoes! There are few reasons for me to wear heels more compelling than these babies. I recently purchased a pair of his signature unicorn heels in black suede and they have me lusting for more! I want to wear them with a black bell skirt and a fitted blazer. Check out Shop Nasty Gal or Sole Struck for more eye candy.

+ Angelic Pretty's 2010 Summer Prints! With the May release of Wonder Cookie I was quite unsure about Angelic Pretty's Summer print collections. Though I mostly consider myself a gothic lolita in spirit, it's no secret that I am hooked like a fish on Angelic Pretty's dramatic, over-the-top, sometimes hodge-podge and occasionally costumey brand of sweet. 

 June's print, Milky Berry is to die for. 

July's print, Milky Planet also looks extremely promising.

Yesterday, the teaser photos were released for Angelic Pretty's August print. No name has been released yet, but it looks like its going to be cosmetic themed and feature large polka dots (!!!!). 

May 19, 2010

Artist of the Week: Odilon Redon

The first in our weekly featured artists series! This series will feature artists, both historical and contemporary, who have relevance to a neo-romantic lifestyle and related fashions. Because visual art is such a direct way of sharing one's idealogical or aesthetic vision, it follows that those who share these ideals can take inspiration and interest away from such work. I think it's important for lolitas, mori girls, goths, and other  neo-romantic style cultures to be aware of these artists, and see how our fashions and lifestyles can incorporate their influence. Now on to the art!

Odilon Redon 1840-1916:  

Redon grew up in Bordeaux, France, and studied watercolor and drawing in the style of Delacroix. At the age of seventeen, Redon applied to École des Beaux-Arts in Paris to study architecture and was rejected. This early rejection, however, allowed Redon to hone his skills in drawing and to become acquainted in natural science and literature at the hand of his friend Armand Clavaud. Clavaud was a botanist and the operator of the Bordeaux Botanical Garden and first introduced Redon to the works of Baudelaire, Darwin, and other contemporaries, and first invited Redon to examine specimens through a microscope. This acquaintance with science became an important influence in his work, introducing him early on to the fantastic and sometimes grotesque planes of reality. Redon also began to study Eastern thought and read texts such as the Hindu Epics, giving shape to the budding themes of his work. In 1870, Redon took an artistic leave to fight in the War. His experiences on the battlefield also became influential to his work.

Odilon Redon, Frontispiece for Les Origines, lithograph, 1883. 
In the next years of his life, Odilon was able to form informative friendships with figures such as Stéphane Mellarmé, Rodolphe Bresdin, and Joris-Karl Huysmans. Much of his early work consists of lithographs and charcoal drawings depicting often grotesque and foreboding dream-states. Describing his work, Redon states "My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined." 

Odilon Redon, The Spirit of the Forest (Specter from a Giant Tree, Charcoal, 1880.

Odilon Redon, The Eye-Balloon, Charcoal, 1878.

Odilon Redon, The Smiling Spider, Charcoal, 1881.
Though Redon's early charcoals are most relevant to goths, gothic lolitas, and perhaps even antique dolls because of their moody execution and their fantastic and nightmarish imagery, his color work at the end of the century offers a different kind of inspiration. Though possessing a much more cheerful mood, Redon's later paintings are still rich with mystic symbolism  and dream-like fantasy, and many retain the spooky quality of his early charcoals. 
Odilon Redon, Mystery, Oil on Canvas, Undated. 
Odilon Redon, Panel, Distemper on Canvas, 1902.

Odilon Redon,  Parsifal, Pastel on Paper, 1912.
Odilon Redon, Cyclops, Oil on Canvas, 1914.
This transformation also is interesting because it demonstrates how a change in world view or attitude can still reflect the same influences and themes, and how though different from previous manifestations, is still clearly anchored in the same beliefs and experiences. This may be a familiar sentiment for those of us who acknowledge our changing tastes and interests, yet still feel the need to anchor our style to a clear ideology. 
Style Lessons from Redon:
+  Never forget science! Add bits of natural history to your look, whether it be it the form of a seashell necklace, a dried flower corsage, small branches to accent an up-do for a more OTT mori look, or even a piece of taxidermy jewelry. If you are more of a parlour-lady than a wild-child, you could try creating a small curiosity cabinet, or a shelf to display natural items that inspire you.   
+ Channel the Charcoal! For a more classic style goth look, or a more gothic classic look, try pairing beige and sand tones with black in the essence of Redon's charcoal drawings. If your looking to go further with your look, try evoking the fluidity of the drawings with chiffons and batistes.
+ Creature Comforts!  Redon's drawings and paintings commonly feature strange little animals and creatures, get a bit of this theme by coordinating in animal or monster themed accessories. His spider series always reminds me of those fur-ball scarfs and hair ties. If wearable beasts aren't your thing, take some time and make drawings of imaginary creatures, or just the creatures in your backyard.
+ Spooky Hues! Redon's later work features very vivid and fairly unusual color palates, often consisting of hues that are not commonly found in lolita, mori girl, or goth (or even most art at this time!). This is a great opportunity to experiment with odd or uncommon colors while still keeping within a dark or spooky aesthetic. Try them out in the form of interesting floral prints and accessories, contrasting shoes, bags, and even blouses, or through quirky pieces of jewelry. For mori girls and antique dolls who may already be familiar with these tones and motifs, try playing up the fantastic or horror elements still present in these later pieces. Perhaps try working a veil or whithered garland into your coordinate.

May 17, 2010

Welcome to the Blogiverse Carnivale Salt!

Hello everyone and welcome to Carnivale Salt!

I know there are tons and tons of fashion and lolita blogs out there, but I'm going to try my best to make this one a little different and keep things fun and interesting!

A bit about me: I am a twenty-year-old art history and design student from Chicago. I love both high fashion and many subcultural styles, lolita in particular. Though I wear all sorts of different styles of lolita, my interests come from a classic/gothic perspective, and I intend to write this blog through that context. I am super inspired by romantic horror, Victoriana, grotesque art, classic monsters and folklore, fairy tales and the forest, kawaii noir, the uncanny, elegance and Kantian beauty, strong and powerful women, and frivolous frills.