How To Wear Walpurgisnacht

walpyWalpurgisnacht agenda: fly east from the dying sun over spring fields to conduct unholy business under the deepest shroud of darkness. Rule the night skies with an unruly entourage of familiars, demons, and unbaptized children. Gather at Brocken’s peak for nameless rites and deeds, review and/or renew a pact with The Devil, flood surrounding forests with wild magicks, terrorize ignorant villagers. Check, check, check.

…hold up. Drop that sacrificial baby. What’s this? Are we dancing naked around this goddamn bonfire? Are we frolicking frockless? What the actual fuck, Satan? Were we not promised we’d live deliciously? Did you not specifically spell out that we were to have new dresses?

Listen, witches. Walpurgisnacht is an important event on your calendar and it just won’t do to go starkers, no matter what those antiquated copper etchings and Faustian carte-de-visites reveal. Don’t wait for Lucifer to deliver on that dress promise; dude is the prince of lies, you know that. A witch worth their salt has got to make this shit happen for themselves–I mean, what’s witchcraft for, if not extravagant sartorial gain?

Mirror the cloak of night in your evening’s ensemble, festoon yourself in potent symbolism, swath your bod in shadowy silhouettes. Accessorize with winged creatures and woodland-inspired jewels. Leave an infernal fragrance, redolent of spices, herbs, and venom in your wake. Incorporate the sabbat’s myriad magical motifs, as seen below, into your ensemble and next year you’ll be sure to bring the hexennacht hotness to your wicked Walpurgis revelries.

 

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Ann Demeulemeester Short Dress $235 // Mise en Cage Ionesco High-Waist Harness Brief $148 // Mise en Cage Aldridge Soft Bra $112 // Sergio Rossi Elastic corset suede thigh high boots $1145 // Zana Bayne SS15 Mini Signature Bag $575 // FabMeJewelry 3D Printed tiara $50 // Burial Ground Pentacle pendant from $45 // Kathula blackened ring by BlueBayerDesignNYC $100 // Burial Ground Seer ring $165 // Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Witches $20 // UNUM Symphonie Passion perfume Extrait de Parfum $220

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Elie Saab Lace-paneled silk-blend georgette gown $3450 // Damaris Da Vinci High Waist Knicker $100 // Damaris Da Vinci Triangle Bra $140 // Fluevog Pilgrim $299 // Derercuny chain clutch $890 // Elaine Ho Brutalist pendant $90 // Ann Demeulemeester 5 Signet ring set $730 // Dolce & Gabbana Satin-twill and lace veil $966 // Urban Decay Moondust eyeshadow $21 // Serge Lutens La Religieuse $150 // HVNTER GVATHERER Sybil necklace $250 //  HVNTER GVATHERER X Lycanthea cuff (limited) // Rituel de Fille Forbidden Lipstick in Shadow Self $23

BONUS ENSEMBLE (sorry for the lack of details, blame polyvore*)

walpurgis2(This content was originally published at Dirge in 2016. The site no longer exists.)

 

Links Of The Dead {April 2018}

Poster art for McQueen documentary

Poster art for McQueen documentary

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {April 2017} | {April 2016} | {April 2014}

💀 A Good Death
💀 Eulogy For A Creepy Uncle
💀 It’s Going to Be Okay, and It’s Not Going to Be Okay
💀 Erosion on Hart Island Exposes Human Remains
💀 Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World’s Death Festivals
💀 The internet loses its mind after mother posts photos of her stillborn online
💀 Grave gardening: Tending more than just flowers
💀 The Year of Action Resource Guide From The Order Of The Good Death
💀 Remembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries
💀 Marina Abramović reveals plans for her funeral, ‘the artist’s last piece’
💀 MIT severs ties to company promoting fatal brain uploading

Elsa Lanchester, Herself: Memoir & Giveaway!

Elsa-Lanchester-herself

Drawn to the fringes of the odd and the mundane, Tom Blunt is a brilliant writer, producer, and performer who was absolutely instrumental in the recent reprinting of the outstanding memoir, Elsa Lanchester, Herself. Head over to Haute Macabre for Tom’s wonderful insights into this striking and unusual Golden Era entertainer and his quest to ensure that so many decades later, she finally finds her people.

Read the interview and be sure to leave a comment at hautemacabre.com for a chance to win a copy of the book as well as some tie-in scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab⚡️

So long, Polyvore, or: How To Wear Heartbreak & Disgust

[PRETEND LIKE THERE’S AN IMAGE HERE]

Oh yeah, I can’t actually create the titular outfit of this post, because the website that I used for over a decade to create these ensembles shut down with no warning, and either purged all of the accounts or sold them off to a site which either purged them or is mining them for user data.

The website I am referring to is the former Polyvore, a fashion moodboard/collage making space on which I have spent some portion of literally every day for the past 3,650 days.  Its mission was to “democratize style and provide its community with a new way to discover and shop fashion, beauty and home.” The platform allowed fashion lovers to “play” designer by creating collages, or virtual mood boards, of their favorite products from retailers like Net-a-Porter, Asos, Farfetch or even amazon or eBay, as well as independent designers or Etsy sellers. (Etsy wasn’t always easy to work with on polyvore, an issue which actually led to the creation of my tumblr in 2009, but that’s a different story. Just watch, tumblr will up and close with no warning next.)

I found out about Polyvore in 2008 or so, and it sparked an immediate obsession. I loved the idea of creating outfits for all sorts of make-believe occasions, the more outrageous and nonsensical, the better. My creations on Polyvore eventually gave rise to my How To Wear collections that I have been featuring both here at Unquiet Things and, more recently, over at Haute Macabre. I loved the functionality of the Polyvore platform, how you had a “closet” where you could store all of the clothing, accessories, accoutrements that you either “liked” from other users on Polyvore, or “clipped” from various places on the internet–I always found this latter feature extraordinarily helpful when searching for unusual things like mourning jewelry or taxidermy hats or what have you; these were items that, while you and I might not actually think they’re all that unusual, you certainly couldn’t find a lot of them already on Polyvore! So with the “clipper” function you didn’t have to rely on what was already on the site–you could add it into your virtual closet from almost any website that existed. My Polyvore closet, which I have been filling for over ten years now, contained thousands and thousands of items. And sometimes I went beyond just playing around with them for pretend wardrobe purposes–I actually purchased them!

Polyvore was a grand escape for me for a very long time, especially while I was living in New Jersey, lonely and terribly unhappy. I made some lovely friends through Polyvore; in browsing the creations that other users made, you’d often find that people had similar tastes to you, and you’d strike up conversation and realize that in addition to a love of Alexander McQueen, they were hilarious and brilliant, insightful and kind. Many of these users became friends. Many of them I still speak with today! Or, rather, I did, until Polyvore sold the site and locked all of the users out of their accounts. Polyvore was a safe space for me. A community of kindred spirits. And a creative outlet for someone like me, as well as many others, I am sure–someone with creative instincts but who didn’t quite know how to harness them or what to do with them. I am not an artist. But my creations on polyvore felt, a little to me, like art. And I derived profound satisfaction from that feeling. (Also–ladywimsey, kitten, alibee, sadiesue–if you ever read this, leave a comment, or drop me a line– I don’t have any of your contact information!)

Apparently there was some warning as to the situation. The Polyvore team posted about it sometime on Thursday, April 5th, 2018. I had not seen that, though I had used the site at some point that day. On early Friday morning I was still able to access my account, but early Friday afternoon it was utterly gone. When I typed polyvore into the address bar and it redirected to ssense I was at first confused, and then when the redirect persisted, a little panicky. I did a quick google search and was utterly shocked to read, in a slew of articles, that Polyvore had been acquired by ssense. And ssense is really just an online retailer of avant-garde (read: fug) fashion. They are just a shop. Not any sort of polyvore-esque functionality, not even the slightest bit. Which is ridiculous because as far as I know, most of the hundreds of thousands of polyvore users used Polyvore because they CAN’T AFFORD the sorts of things that sites like ssense sells. So they acquire the polyvore platform and all of its user’s information and then they immediately shut the whole thing down. Which is a dick move that makes absolutely no sense to me, but you know, it’s not even ssense I am angry with. It’s Polyvore.

Polyvores users loved that community. Many of them, just like me, had been using it for a very, very long time. I am not saying that the creators of Polyvore owed us anything, but I can’t help but to feel so very hurt and betrayed. If they wanted to sell their creation and make some money, that’s great, I can’t fault them for that, but…couldn’t they have sent out an email a week or so ahead of time? Give people time to back up their creations, find (or create!) alternate options to the platform? It was just so shocking and sudden, and I know to some folks this must seem like a piddly think to be upset by, but I am upset. As angry as I am, there’s now I polyvore-shaped hole in my heart that I am not quite sure that anything else can fill–there was honestly nothing else like it. So laugh if you will (but please don’t, I am feeling really sensitive) but I’m bereft. I’m going through a bit of a mourning period.

If you were a polyvore user, they have given you the option to download your data; I have done this already. I received my link in 24 hours, and it is ….not very helpful. Your data consists of a zip folder with several folders and spreadsheets. The spreadsheets link to urls which no longer exist. The image folder contains low-res, untitled images. It seems they are chronological, earliest creations to most recent. Nowhere are there links to the items used, so if you are someone like me, for example, who puts together How To Wear sets on a blog, you can’t link to the designer or the website where the items can be purchased. If you repost to instagram, you can’t tag the designer. Wow. Thanks, polyvore.

This sounds like a bunch of whining about some seriously superficial stuff, but I’m not going to apologize! But instead of continuing in this vein, I will instead share the last two sets I ever created on polyvore. You’re out of luck if you’re curious as to where any of this stuff came from, though. Sorry guys. This isn’t the end of my How To Wears, though! I’ll find a solution. Stay tuned.

How to Wear Seance Perfumesseance blog

How To Wear A Blog Post About Making Bread

ravenous blog

 

Pet Peeves

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Watercolor Picard by Olga Shvartsur

Peeves, I have them. Here’s a biggie. Sometimes I post on social media asking for recommendations from my friends and acquaintances. I like to know about things that have worked well for other people. Things that you have enjoyed. Things that made life better, easier, sweeter. Recipes. Skincare. Murder shows. Poetry. Cast iron skillets. Whatever!

But here’s the thing: I’m asking *you* about *your* experience with the thing, and whether or not you would suggest that thing for me. I definitely trust my like-minded souls and kindred spirits more than, say, yelp or tripadvisor or makeupalley! So please know that by the time I have asked for suggestions from my friends and followers on facebook or twitter, for example, I will have undoubtedly already scoured review blogs and youtube videos and what have you, ahead of time. I’ve done some research–in many cases quite a bit of research– so I have a good idea of the various things that people might recommend to me… but then when I ask my inner circles and trusted advisors, I get to see who among my friends mentions what (and since we sort of already know each other for the most part, I already have an idea if we are of similar mindsets) or how many people mention a certain thing…and can you see where I am going with this? Asking people whom you know and vice versa, for their real-life, actual experience with a thing, yields infinitely more helpful results than just consulting random articles or review sites on the internet, written by faceless people whom I do not know.

BUT you know what just kills me? When people on my facebook or twitter or whatever respond to my request for suggestions/recommendations/advice with “…if you google it, you’ll find…” or “…have you tried doing some research on the internet?”

Goddammit. That makes me feel angry. You just wasted both your time and mine and you totally missed the point.

BONUS material! You didn’t ask, but I have some random recommendations for you. One: miso paste stirred into mashed potatoes is delicious. Two: Requiem on netflix was a creepy, mostly entertaining show. And three: are you peeking in daily at The Spoodoir? Because Maika always has fantastically fun stuff to share.

Have you any random recommendations for me?

Two Books

“Do one thing every day that scares you” is a wonderful sentiment that is widely attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but I’m not sure she actually said that exact thing (although she did say words about doing things in spite of fearing those things.) At any rate, I’m not very good at doing the things that scare me—not on a daily basis or any other time, really—but yesterday I did do such a thing. At six o’clock in the evening I met with a few other readers at a coffee shop and we talked about books. I guess you could say it was a book club, but I couldn’t think of it that way, or else I might not have gone. But books and steamy, delicious coffee, and maybe sharing my enthusiasm about both things? This I thought I could do. And I did. And I am going back next month! “We improve ourselves by victories over ourselves. There must be contests, and we must win.” This is a thing that someone else said.

I Am, I Am, I Am was a memoir, specific slices of life told through the author’s numerous brushes with death, and it was a beautiful, breathtaking piece of writing. Coincidentally, I was already reading The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks, which is what they read last month, so I had the opportunity to discuss that as well. It is probably not fair to make this comparison, because I am not sure that it is meant to be an enjoyable read– but when I compare the writing styles, the Henrietta Lacks book just feels flat, functional, a vehicle for a vast amount of research; it just didn’t have the extraordinary gut-punch of the language that I Am, I Am, I Am did–which is unfortunately, because Henrietta Lacks was a remarkable story and deserved the same kind of treatment.

All these knitted squares upon which these books are cozied up in? Well, I’m working on my baby sister’s divorce blanket again, knitting up scraps of sock yarn (and sock knitters know—there are *always* scraps) into a chaotic, multicolored monster of an afghan. I just checked my notes and it would seem that I started it over three years ago, in January of 2015. Yikes. Hopefully I will finish before her next divorce! Haha, just kidding. She’d have to remarry first for that! Not gonna happen on my watch. For those interested, the pattern is Shelley Kangs’ sock yarn blanket, and I don’t know if the instructions are still on her blog, or if her blog exists, but ravelry links to a web archive page, so you should be able to find it.

Bonus books! Our Stacked selections are up over at Haute Macabre, so be sure to take a peek and see this other things I have read this past month, as well, as my fellow staff bookworms’ picks!

this, that, and the other thing {xliii}

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The Beauty and Horror of Medusa, an Enduring Symbol of Women’s Power

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I didn’t know “dark food photography” was a thing, or had a name, but it is and it does, and here is one of my favorite dark food photography instagram accounts. Thanks to Tanya for sharing the concept and the particulars with me!

Arran-Shurvinton-Nosferatu-telephone
Macabre Muse: Arran Shurvinton

My favorite witch, Pam Grossman, has started doing monthly round ups over at phantasmaphile!

Astropoets is my new favorite twitter account (actually it’s been my fave for a while, but I forgot to mention it!)

The Best Thing About Celebrity Novels Is Scathingly Bad Reviews

Rare Comet Moth Emerges From Cocoon at Notebaert Nature Museum

A Corporeal Garden of Earthly Delights by Agnieszka Nienartowicz

Links Of The Dead {March 2018}

Rebecca Reeves, Gone

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {March 2017} | {March 2016} | {March 2014}

💀 The London Necropolis Railway
💀 The Grave Girl on the legacy of traumatic experiences
💀 Thinking About Having a ‘Green’ Funeral? Here’s What to Know
💀 Wearing My Dying Mother’s Clothes
💀 Stuffed in a Bell Jar: A Taxidermy Piece
💀 How the Oscar-winning ‘Coco’ and its fantastical afterlife forced us to talk about death.
💀 Collector, Protector & Keeper: The Art Of Rebecca Reeves
💀 Grieving family reclaims old ways, brings son’s body home to say good-bye
💀 Sex and death in the classical world
💀 The Mysterious Seashell Graves of Comfort Cemetery
💀 My first date was at a wake, on an island off the west coast
💀 Man Says He’s Not Dead. Court Doesn’t Buy It
💀 From Yoga to Movie Nights: How Cemeteries Are Trying to Attract the Living
💀 These Women Make A Living By Singing at People’s Funerals
💀 Saving Face: Death, Necropolitics and the Hiroshima Maidens
💀 Bodies ‘Eat Themselves’ While Researchers Watch and Learn
💀 Claudia Crobatia on morbid fascinations and becoming comfortable with death through engaging with different aspects of it

My Neighbors

Our neighbors originally hail from the Narnia province, deep in the glowing heart of Rivendell. They retired to FL in their twilight years but they still dream of the old country.

monster

But lest you think it’s all glimmering midnight fairyland and unicorn disco folktales round these parts, allow me to present the other end of the street, where the rapidly shifting terroir gives rise to a distinctly divergent environs.

{cue up Monster Truck Housewives Of Unincorporated nameless Florida town}

 

 

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