Jul 12, 2013

Building your Dark Mori Wardrobe

So you've decided you identify with the dark mori aesthetic, and you're ready to take the plunge and start building your wardrobe. As with starting out in any style, building your wardrobe from scratch can seem quite daunting. This post is intended as a guide to help you in your journey to create magical strega style coordinates.

First: Identify your influences

From Left: 1. Source unknown 2. Ovate f/w12 3. Les Chiffons de Pucerones 4. Rowan City Knits by Amy Butler
What styles of dark mori kei inspire you most? Are you more drawn to historically influenced coordinates, or are you smitten with the Nazgul-esque silhouettes of gothic minimalism? Choose if you want your look to be more boho, more modern, more retro, more dolly-kei influenced, more ghost like, more witchy, more hipster.... whatever you fancy. Of course its okay to be in love with more than one of these styles, but narrowing down which looks you are more interested in will help you build your wardrobe. Personally, I am drawn to things that represent the witch archetype, and focus on purchasing a mixture of long flowy things, and more modern, minimal things I can wear casually that still fit within the aesthetic. For my personal style, I generally feel that things that are too bohemian, or too "fairyish", dont really fit in with the rest of my wardrobe, so I try to avoid pieces with that feel.

Second: Hit the thrift stores

A smattering of things from my Polyvore account. Similar things can be easily thrifted.
One of the great things about mori kei in general is that it is very easily achieved just through finding workable pieces at thrift stores, garage sales, charity shops, ect. When you are shopping, pay close attention to the silhouette, details and quality of garments. Make sure to consider how well they will layer, and coordinate with other pieces in your wardrobe. Be on the lookout for things with asymmetrical hems, made of materials like linen or silk, and have interesting details that will play well off of other things in your collection. I will go into more detail about thrifting for dark mori clothes in another post!

Third: Accessorize

From Left: 1. Satchel bag by Henry Baguelin 2. A covetable Ebay cameo lot 3. Antler hair pick by JCMCairn 4. Squirrel Paw earrings available locally at Necromance, LA
Accessories really make a dark mori outfit. In many cases, your accessories will be the only thing denoting you as a witchy mori girl rather than your lighter-hearted brethren.  Printed tights and leggings, available on Etsy, Ebay, and many other online retailers, are great for casual outfits with a baggy t-shirt, or to add texture to your legs underneath a dress or skirt. For baubles, consider bone jewelry, antiques, rosaries, occult symbols, runes..... Making your own accessories is definitely encouraged! Scarves, mittens, and chunky socks will help keep you warm in winter and add texture to your coordinate. Great shoes and a great bag will help ground your outfit and complete the look. For shoes, retro heels and victorian boots are great for more feminine looks, but a great pair of leather lace-up boots or Doc Martins are perfect with any outfit.

Wardrobe Essentials for the Dark Mori Girl (or Boy)

:: A long, full, black maxi skirt (or two or three) ::
 ::A few great chunky sweaters::
 ::An asymmetrical hem cardigan or vest or both ::
 :: A drapey black tshirt ::
:: Printed leggings ::
:: Long sleeved black shirts (jersey or thermal) :: 
:: Fancy blouses ::
:: Doc Martin style boots ::
:: A leather satchel ::

I hope this guide is helpful for those interested in getting into the style! What wardrobe essentials could you not live without? What tips would you give those just starting out in the style? For more information on wardrobe building, please check out this post: Refining Your Style: Wardrobe Wrangling for the Alternative-style Schizophrenic

Jul 11, 2013

30 Questions for Mori Girls: How did you get into ::Dark:: Mori fashion?

Most of my recent posts have gravitated towards coverage of lolita fashion, and while I do participate in Gothic Lolita fashion, and am a member of several lolita blogging groups, this blog is intended to cover the scope of dark romantic fashions and lifestyles. This next series of posts will focus on dark mori kei, adapted from the 30 Day Mori Girl Challenge created by my friend Lauren of Shady Oaks.

As much as I love lolita, I have been active in the style for many, many years now and these days I feel myself drifting more towards dark mori both in my lifestyle and fashion. This brings us to the first prompt in the Mori Girl Challenge.... How did you become interested in ::dark:: mori fashion and lifestyle?

Well, the easy answer is that I stumbled upon your garden variety mori kei when it was first emerging back in about 2009/2010 through tumblr and livejournal, and other internet resources. As a young girl, I generally preferred the company of my garden and the woods behind my house to the company of other children. My mother told me stories about fairies and read me verse by pre-raphaelite and transcendentalist poets. I was utterly in love with nature and enamored with tales of girls who lived in the woods, completely self-sufficient, and I was convinced that I would grow up to be a naturalist of some sort (I really wanted to be a marine biologist). As I grew older, I found myself bound to the city, but my love for nature never died.

When I discovered mori girl fashion, I was immediately reminded of the girl my childhood self aspired to be when she grew up. A mori girl is independent, self-sufficient, a dreamer, a creative, and at one with animals and nature. Her chunky sweaters and warm scarves allow for comfort, while her delicate skirts and antique laces embrace the femininity of lolita. The many styles that can be considered mori let the wearer bounce between casual and almost hip, to very formal and historic. Although I try to let specific aesthetic principles unify my style, I get bored sticking to one "genre" of dress. Mori kei is very flexible, and much of what I find myself wearing on a day-to-day basis can fall into mori-inspired looks.

So why dark mori? Dark mori, for me, is an answer to the lightness of most conventional mori fashion. Dark mori adds an element of the obscure and the occult to the idea of the forest girl. Although I enjoy fairy tales and drinking tea, I also love the dreariness of a fog-soaked pacific morning, or looking for dead things on the beach, or collecting bones and touring cemeteries. Nature is most importantly cyclical, and death and the other side is a large part of that cycle. The witch archetype is something I identify with strongly, and dark mori helps me embrace that visually. Another prompt asks if mori kei has changed your outlook on life or your lifestyle, and I would say it has, but that's a tale for another day! Stay tuned....

Are you interested in mori kei at all, dark or not? How did you get into your fashion genre of choice? Or are you a fashion chameleon? Thanks for reading!! If you are participating in the 30 Day Mori Challenge, please let me know! I would love to read your posts.

Jul 10, 2013

Lolita Blog Carnival: If Brands Made Home Decor.....

Hello from a little hiatus! The last few months have been incredibly packed for me with travel and work, and I have had little time for blogging. Fortunately for Carnivale Salt, I've hit what is commonly known as "the summer slump" in terms of finding freelance work, so I should have more time to be more active on my blog.

This past week's Lolita Blog Carnival topic was "What if brands made home decor?". Hands down, the brand who's homegoods I would certainly break the bank to have adorning my walls would be Alice Auaa. For those of you not familiar with Alice Auaa, the brand is a prominent Japanese goth company fronted by designer Yasutaka Funakoshi. Although popular with gothic lolitas, Alice Auaa is mostly known for its more avant-garde looks and haute couture approach to the goth aesthetic. Highly coveted among Japanese goths, Alice Auaa's signature plain external tags stitched onto the backs of their garments are as much a badge of honor at Tokyo Decadance and similar Japanese goth events as Angelic Pretty plastic jewelry is at lolita meetups. If you haven't already, please google them and look at their runway collections, or even check them out on Style.com(!!!).

But enough background, why I really bring them up is for their interiors. Feast your eyes at this den of desires.

Unfortunately, most shops in Japan disallow photography, so these photos are borrowed from La Carmina (I know, I know). I had the pleasure of visiting Alice Auaa's Marui One boutique and know just how cool their decor is from personal experience. White plaster hands function as hooks on the walls, displaying accessories and bags. Heads with baroque-looking devices in their mouths, doors that hang to nowhere, and framed prints of artwork by friends of the designer. All this serves to feature the garments of course, but man do I wish they sold some of those awesome hand wall hooks, or that S&M bust modeling the corset or their amazing torture-device chandelier. I loved the shop so much when I went there that I ended up buying an extremely expensive shirt that I have never worn... (ooops).

Thanks for looking! Please check out other participants' posts from this week!

Read what the other girls wrote about that topic:
Snow Rose * A sweet Lolita's Disney Life * Lolita-Glamour

 Lolita Glamour: Lolita Blog Carnival: If brands made home decor..