Tag Archives: aesthetic

My Inspiration for October 2019

31 Oct

I feel so inspired these last days of October! Such rapture and love and enthusiasm mounting in my soul! It must be the influence or Rilke whose letters and writing are guiding me through life with their wisdom, comforting me and teaching me patience, and also the music I am listening to these days is fueling me like a drug; Pearl Jam Nirvana and Alice in Chains unplugged on MTV, such rawness of emotions and beauty. Eddie Vedder’s voice truly makes the song sound passionate and sincere. I reread Mikhail Lermontov’s fantastic novel “A Hero of Our Time”; and that’s a hint for a future post 😉 . This October was all about Japanese and Korean fashion and some interesting make up styles, cute and eerie Japanese dolls, Camille Paglia’s writings and interviews, Lolita dresses, witch aesthetic, Lermontov’s early poetry full of teenage angst and a feeling of emptiness within, then the beautiful melancholy Marine Vacth in the film “Young and Beautiful” (2013), paintings by Anna Kowch, film “Love Witch” (2016) with its gorgeous aesthetic and costumes to die for, Joy Division’s song “Ceremony” – so sweetly melancholy, Franz Liszt’s music… And now, with lighted candles I inhale the scent of the last October’s roses – in dusty pink colour – and listen to their petals falling slowly in autumnal dusk.

“The same cycle–excitement and despair, excitement and despair.”

(Alice Munro, from “Cortes Island”, published in The New Yorker c. 1988)

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Legend…by Muharrem ünal

Picture found here.

The Season of the Witch

30 Oct

The season of the witch is all year round as far as I am concerned, but still, since we are in the witchy time of the year, here are some gorgeous pics and I hope you enjoy them!

When I look out my window,
many sights to see.
And when I look in my window,
so many different people to be.
That its strange.
So strange.

You got to pick up every stitch.
Must be the season of the witch,
must be the season of the witch, yeah,
must be the season of the witch…” (Donovan)

Pic found here.

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The Love Witch (2016): Psychedelia Meets Victoriana

24 Oct

Two autumns ago I watched this delicious eye-candy film called “The Love Witch” (2016) directed by Anna Biller and I loved it! Now, in these late October’s crimson leafy witchy days I find myself thinking about that film again and now I must tell you all to watch it too because it is just “wow”! It is fun, strange, sensual, vibrant, over the top and very aesthetically pleasing to watch.

I love him so much it just turns to hate
I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
And someday, you will ache like I ache…

(Hole, Doll Parts)

The main character is a beautiful witch Elaine, played by Samantha Robinson, whose long silky smooth black hair, dazzling outfits and vibrant eyeshadows catch the eye of many men in town, which is unfortunate for them because she isn’t just a witch – she is a love witch. Simultaneously, she is every man’s fantasy and his doom. Her victims just fall too much in love, and yes, ironically they die of too much love. Looking at Elaine, the way she walks the way she talks, it is easy to see why no man can resist her, there is a something magnetic about her, her figure oozes confidence and sensuality. In the opening scene, she is driving her pretty red car and explaining to us how she had to move because her former husband died a mysterious death and now she is partly blamed. She starts a new life in a small and charming little town of Arcata, California and moves into a beautiful Victorian house decorated in vibrant colours and garish designs which perfectly fit this witch’s taste. There she spends her time making spells and love potions, woodoo dolls and candles, and she also enjoys painting, tea and cake like a refined Victorian lady. After suffering from love in the past, Elaine was reborn as a witch and now she is determined to use that power to get what she wants from men, and not the other way around.

The time period isn’t strictly defined, it is supposed to be set in modern times but the aesthetic definitely draws heavily from late 1960s vibrant psychedelia and early 1970s with the Victoriana influence and the Edwardian era revival; the interior design of Elaine’s house and her costumes reflect this rich exuberant mix of styles. This film is extremely aesthetically pleasing to watch and it is what draws me to the film the most; aesthetic, if it’s the kind of world that I can imagine myself living in, if the characters are wearing the kind of clothes that I would died for, then I will watch the film, regardless of its other qualities, or lack of thereof. The aesthetic is everything.

All in all, Elaine just wants to find a man to love, and who will love her in return, but her mad intense search for this man has made her too desperate, and her witchcraft skills have made her too powerful, and so what started with an innocent understandable desire to be loved turned into a wild murderous fantasy. An officer she dated tells her in one scene in the bar “What you call love is a borderline personality disorder.” And indeed, her dark hypnotising eyes with long lashes and blue eyeshadow do have a look of madness in them. Also, she has no problem with burying people such as her unfortunate lover, she has done it before, she admits… Though it was his fault, he suddenly got so clingy and emotional after they had made love. He wasn’t the strong courageous prince charming that she is waiting for.

I am doll parts, bad skin, doll heart
It stands for knife
For the rest of my life

(Hole, Doll Parts)

“The Love Witch” feels entirely like someone’s fantasy, like an acid dreams translated into the art medium of cinema, which is wonderful! It’s a world seen through rose-tinted glasses, and it has its own logic. You know it can’t be real and these things can’t be real, but somehow you want to be drawn in and just savour all its colours and vivacity. The reason for this unique, dreamy feel to the film is probably because Anna Biller was practically its main creator; she is the film’s writer, costume designer, director, producer, art director, and editor. She wanted the film to look like it belongs to the era it was set in, and therefore the vibrant colours were used on purpose, in setting and in costumes, to emulate the look of technicolor films. Anne Biller said “I like to make films with a kind of dream logic. My films are a mix of reality and fantasy, or a mix of what is happening and what people wish was happening, or what they fear will happen.

In one scene, her poor victim Wayne, a college lecturer, takes her to his cabin in the woods, but little can he sense that she put hallucinogenic herbs in his drink and that she will destroy him. She starts undressing and he is almost blinded by the bright rainbow of her coat. Here is how the dialogue goes:

“What the hell! Your coat, it’s so bright.”

“I always line my clothing.

“You have two selves. Dark and quiet that you show the world… who do you give that to? the Rainbow?”

I give the rainbow to you. Right now. And she throws the rainbow-lined coat to him and proceeds to take the rest of her clothes off.

Now let’s take a look at Elaine’s to-die-for gorgeous costumes! Here is what Anna Biller said about them:

It’s all stuff that I fantasize about wearing, outfits I would wear if I was that put together. I used to put a lot of time into my own wardrobe, but since I’ve been making films I’ve put a lot of that energy into film wardrobes instead. I love vintage-inspired clothing, and I used vintage patterns to create her wardrobe. I wanted her to look really stylish, but also to be dressed how I imagine a 1960s witch would dress. I know some girls who dress like Elaine, and I love the way they dress and do their makeup.” She also says: “I wanted the costumes to come from Elaine’s romantic self-fantasies. I made a lot of them, and also a lot of them were vintage.

I love the emphasis Biller put on the costumes and how they are symbolically connected to the story:

I like for the costumes to match sets or to be harmonious with them, so in the scene when Elaine is driving her red car I put her in a red dress with red accessories. Her dress is short and casual, since she is driving and it’s daytime. She is wearing a moonstone pendant, since that’s an occult piece of jewelry. She changes costume for the next scene in the tearoom, since that’s a pink room and features ladies in hats, so for that scene she wears an appropriate Victorian-style peach dress with a hat trimmed with flowers. Trish for that scene also wears a peach outfit, but hers is a pantsuit because she is a businesswoman. In the last scene at the bar, I have Elaine in a long dress which is in a Victorian style but feels defiant and witchy because it’s in a theatrical red polyester. I put her in this dress because she is defying Griff in this scene, and I wanted her to wear something that shows her power.” (read the whole interview here.)

I love that Biller designed the costumes to correlate to the scenes, so the colour and cut of Elaine’s dress can tell us much more than we might assume at first. On two different occasions Elaine is having a tea party, first with her friend Trish in a Victorian-style tea room where she is seen wearing a dusty peach-pink dress and a pink hat, and the other time she is at home alone painting and she made tea and cake and is seen wearing this delicate yellow and white dress. In these scenes, she is not a groovy vixen out to get her net victim, no, she is a delicate princess waiting for her prince charming to show up at her doorstep with flowers and chocolates. These two dresses show the influence of late Victorian and Edwardian era on design and fashion of the late sixties and early 1970s, I already wrote about it here. Pink and yellow tea dresses, like a delicate rose and primrose, sweet and nonthreatening. Here is what Anne Biller says about these outfits:

The tea outfits were all vintage finds, but I had to do a lot of alterations to make them right. I looked for vintage Gunne Sax dresses specifically, wanting to give Elaine the look of those vintage Bradley dolls with the big eyes, and of the prom girls, bridesmaids, and Wild West gals you’d see in movies from the ‘60s and early ‘70s. The scene itself was inspired by an actual tea room I visited once where all the ladies wore hats trimmed with flowers, and pastel colors. I really saw Elaine in that setting, with all of her princess fantasies.” (more here.)

Now, at the end, my question is: how can I steal her wardrobe, and where may I apply to live there, in such a pretty Victorian house in sunny California in some undefined era which looks a lot like sixties????

My Inspiration for September 2019

30 Sep

This September seemed to have lasted a century, and not thirty days… I love this time of the year, these late summer and now early autumn days; days of changes, days of last sunny afternoon and last roses, days when I feel the transience and fragility of everything, when I sense the beauty around me the most with a certain calmness and more quiet joy, and most of all, I see these autumnal days as time to let go of negative things and embrace the new, a time of gratitude and a time to gather strength from the richness and ripeness of nature, the chestnuts, the yellow and red leaves, the apples, and prepare slowly for the silent sombre days which are upon us. Because I feel this way, Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry and letters are a source of inspiration for me, they are a comfort, they bring me wisdom and clarity, and some verses are so devastatingly beautiful and melancholy that I tremble as I hold the book in my hand. And it’s a wonderful feeling that something can touch you so much! And every tear of poignancy that falls down my cheek serves only to water the future flowers of my imagination.

O to be dead at last and know them eternally,
all the stars: for how, how, how to forget them!
See, I was calling my lover. But not only she
would come……Girls would come from delicate graves
and gather…..for, how could I limit
the call, once called? The buried always
still seek the Earth.

(Rainer Maria Rilke, The Seventh Elegy)

Dreamy sky, pic found here.

Picture by Laura Makabresku.

by z a r i a n k a on Flickr.

My Inspiration for August 2019

31 Aug

August had not yet passed and already I am starting to daydream of autumn, its richness and colours, the final flash of abundance and joy before winter’s dreariness. As every year in August, I watched “Dark Shadows” (2012) and the scene where the train is passing through autumnal forest and the song “Nights in White Satin” playing in the background is making me so excited for autumn. The costumes and the music in that film is all I want in my life right now! Pre-Raphalite paintings have been on my mind a lot, and there are posts to come about a certain Pre-Raphaelite painter and some of his very beautiful paintings. I finally read Gay Daly’s book “Pre-Raphaelites in Love”, recommended to me by a very lovely person, and I love it to death! Love, art and gossips; always a wonderful combination if you ask me! I am slightly sad that the last official month of summer is gone, but I am at the same time ecstatic and thrilled about the joys of early autumn days which are upon me. I love the idea of a fresh start. What sweet melancholy, to be able to experience transience and yet not be able to do anything about it, like a leaf carried by the wind…

“Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.”

(Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream Within a Dream”)

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trefriw, conwy, wales

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Story Aesthetic – Nocturne, Mist, Faded Pier

4 Aug

On a distant shore, miles from land
stands the ebony totem in ebony sand
a dream in a mist of gray…
on a far distant shore…

The pebble that stood alone
and driftwood lies half buried
warm shallow waters sweep shells……
I’m trying
I’m trying to find you!
To find you…
(Syd Barrett – Opel)

Picture found here.

Pic found here.

Photo by Molly Dean.

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Sea, found here.

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My Inspiration for July 2019

31 Jul

This has been just the most wonderful month! The books I read, the films I saw, the daydreams, the letters, the flowers, the dresses, the joy ahhh…. I read the wonderful, vibrant and amusing novel “The Rum Diary” by Hunter S. Thompson which I reviewed here, then an equally fun memoir “I’m with the band” by Pamela des Barres, first part of the Lemony Snicket’s “Series of Unfortunate Events” and I plan to read the rest too, “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman which was as interesting as the film, I was afraid to read it because “The Graveyard Book” was too slow and too boring for me but I think “Coraline” is great, “Fight Club” by Chuk Palahniuk, poetry by Delmira Agustini, in particular her first poetry collection “The White Book (Fragile)” from 1907, and then the most wonderful new discovery a Chilean author María Luisa Bombal and her two fairly short novels “The Shrouded Woman” (La amortajada) and “House of Mist” (La última niebla). I was mind blown by her writing style and the themes of her novels; she writes the kind of sentences and passages that you wish to read again and again and suck the words in your mouth like bonbons until they melt and fill you whole and you are left delirious, longing for more, desperate and still smiling because she takes you to a dream land of a sort. I watched the film “The Piano” (1993), recommended to me by a very dear person, and wow I was absolutely captivated by the mood and aesthetic and the wonderful performance of Holly Hunter as a mute pianist, and there’s of course Harvey Keitel and beautiful piano music and romance and the mysterious misty shores of New Zealand, this is easily one of my top ten films ever! And I also watched “Say Anything” (1989) with John Cusack and Ione Skye again and …. once again and I smitten by Peter Gabriel’s song In your Eyes and the boombox serenade scene. How very romantical!?

“Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are…”

Monet’s garden, picture by Milamai.

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Cornwall, picture found here.

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Monet’s garden. Pic found here.

John Corbet, “Two girls singing”, found here.

By Fed J. McKinnon

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Syd Barrett & Record Player 1969 by Mick Rock

Pic by Stefany Alves

Pic by Stefany Alves