07 December 2010

Shop Handmade for the Holidays!

In the arts and crafts spirit of supporting artisans and hand-crafted goods, I encourage everyone to
patronize local and online creators for the holidays.  Etsy is one of my favorite places to shop, and
contains a treasure trove of delights for the PRB-lover :-)
It can be a little overwhelming when you first dive in, but by using creative keywords/search terms, you can find many wonderful things.

Here are some of my favorite purveyors of PRB style:

There are also many lovely home and fine arts items in the Arts and Crafts genre available on Etsy.

23 November 2010


These are some lovely Pre-Raphaelite fashion "sets" at Polyvore.com :
Waterhouse sets
Pre-Raphaelite Beauty
If you are not familiar with Polyvore, it is a website where you can create "digital collages of clothing, accessories and lifestyle products"; you can also use the site to shop, by using the shopping search box.  I like to put keyword like "Victorian" and "Bohemian" to see what comes up.

15 October 2010

Dress Reform / Aesthetic Dress

Polar Bear’s Tale, which is a delightful blog and a feast for the eyes, has two wonderful posts on aesthetic movement dresses here and here, with lovely visuals.
Liberty of London Dress from FIT

And you won't want to miss these beautiful dresses, courtesy of the Fin de Siècle blog.

Some of the most beautiful modern recreations of Aesthetic style dresses have to be these beauties created from patterns by Ravenrook Clothier and Haberdashery, which I am sure many of you have already seen, but which bears reposting :-)  This is pretty much the dress of my dreams, but my goodness...can you imagine the work that goes into that smocking?!

© Ravenrook Clothier and Haberdashery

18 September 2010

Anna Sui for Anthropologie

Anna Sui has created some fun things for Anthropologie's fall line, which are a lovely modern interpretation of Bohemian and Nouveau style.

03 September 2010

Bohemian Beauty

A gorgeous late 19th century Bavarian peasant dress available at Vintage Textile
Image ©VintageTextile.com

26 August 2010

where are the Velvets....

With summer's fading and just a hint of coolness in the air, my thoughts are turning to velvet.  Ralph Lauren has some beautiful velvet creations in his Fall 2010 collection.

Or if the more traditionally Medieval-style PRB outfit is your preference, you can't go wrong with this beauty from Victorian Trading Co.

Here are some pretty eBay finds that you might enjoy (I am not associated with these sellers in any way); click-able pics below.

11 August 2010

ILDVED Jewelry

Some of my most beloved Pre-Raphaelite works are Rossetti's watercolors, which embody the spirit of Medievalism that so inspired the PRB founders. 
 One favorite is "Before The Battle," 1858.

If you are feeling the need for a bit of Medieval style, please do check out ILDVED Jewelery.
Self-proclaimed purveyor of Medieval Rock Couture Jewelry Karen Ilvedson creates beautiful pieces using precious metals, stones, leather and moss.  

Image © Karen Ilvedson

Image © Karen Ilvedson

30 July 2010

Twelfth Night, Part 3

And finally, the last of the Twelfth Night screen caps. Thanks again, L.!

Very much looking forward to watching this, and as a matter of fact, it's at my home right now, courtesy of Netflix :-)
Have a wonderful weekend, all!

25 July 2010

Twelfth Night, Part II

More wonderful screen caps from "Twelfth Night"!

22 July 2010

Twelfth Night

My thoughtful friend, Medieval Muse, sent me some wonderful screen caps from "Twelfth Night," knowing that I would be entranced by the Stunner Style within.  I most certainly am, and I am equally pleased to share them with you, with her permission.   I'm going to post these over a couple of days.  First up is the lovely and very Pre-Raphaelite Helena Bonham Carter in blue.  Can I just say, I LOVE this dress.

The color, the beautiful detailing on the yoke with its touch of lavender, the Medieval belt.  It is bliss!  I'm not sure how I missed this film, but it is great to have something "new" to look forward to.

09 July 2010

The Pre-Raphaelite Visage

Having discussed hair styles, I thought it might be fun to turn to cosmetics. Many Victorian-era stunners, especially those from the middle class, likely had little use for makeup, if any, but by the arrival of the Belle Epoque, cosmetics were moving from the world the theater and the streets into the drawing room, as Max Beerbohm coyly predicted in his "A Defence of Cosmetics."  His article was "an ironic defense of Decadence," and focuses more on how he, Beardsley and other decadents wryly viewed the growing commercialism of the age and objectification of women.  However, he is prescient in his statement that "Cosmetics are not going to be a mere prosaic remedy for age or plainness, but all ladies and girls will come to love them."  Granted, not ALL women or men love cosmetics, but they are certainly more acceptable today than they once were. And I'm sure those Aesthetes who still revered the Pre-Raphaelites and were embracing Symbolist mystery and glamour were not above darkening their eyes with kohl and staining their pallor to evoke the more sinister elements of Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolist imagery: sirens, witches and merciless ladies.

The prevailing visage in actual PRB works of art is artless and pure, with the frame of hair often surrounding the face, emphasizing the natural beauty of the sitters' features.
"The Beloved- Study for African Girl" Dante Gabriel Rossetti

And more often than not, when an article or sound byte mentions a "Pre-Raphaelite" look, they refer to softly tinted lips and cheeks, or a subtle "glow." It is a look that works for many, and is definitely an easy "go-to", day to day style.

There is no doubt that such lovely works of art lend themselves to marketing ploys, too! I remember that sometime ca.1994 - ca.1996, I bought my first Prescriptives item because a magazine blurb described it as giving the wearer a "Pre-Raphaelite glow." Is Beerbohm turning in his grave? It was a great little item, and I wish I still had it, though I have forgotten the name. It was shaped like a lipstick and came in a tube, but was a (very) barely-tinted, almost translucent cheek stick that you could use alone or on top of blush.  A more recent product that sounds tempting to me is "Medieval," by Lipstick Queen.

Musicians and style icons Florence Welch and Tori Amos embrace a more modern and cutting edge interpretation of Pre-Raphaelite beauty that is equally enticing.

If you would like to see a "look-book" featuring PRB-inspired makeup from the Anna Sui Fall 2008 line, you can check it out here, courtesy of Cover Girl Cosmetics.

14 June 2010

Gypsy Moon

Thank you to Medieval Muse for telling me about Gypsy Moon's latest clothing line, Wraith.
"Gothic in the true sense of the word, ornate but gently so as not to fatigue the eye, the way a vine grows over a gate. We've taken on the colors of nature, softened with rain and mist, nothing garish or heated but lovely and natural as morning dew and as cool and sweet as night blooming jasmine. There is a golden glow that is more nostalgic than sad, that finds the beauty in sorrow and turns it into poetry."

Photo Shoot by photographer Tim Kennard, All Products displayed are © GypsyMoon 

09 June 2010

Crowning Glory

There is no doubt that long, rippling hair is a hallmark of Pre-Raphaelite style, and Stunners of yesteryear were known for their free-flowing locks, often quite shockingly worn loose in stark contrast to the more prim and conventional Victorian up-dos.  As I mentioned here, I think Pre-Raphaelite style can encompass many looks, but I thought it might be fun to look at some ways to express this traditional style.  I, myself, have, in my adult life,  had hair that is down to the small of my back, and hair in an extreme pixie cut, and everything in between. Right now my hair is at about bra-strap length, and I enjoy it.  But sometimes it is a bit of a challenge.

Long hair comes and goes out of fashion, and for some it seems to fall into the category of "wedding hair" or for dress-up occasions.  No surprise, considering long, styled hair can be a challenge to manege.
Caitlin Moran's determination to embrace Pre-Raphaelite hair as a statement of individuality is quite refreshing.  But even she admits to being exhausted by all of that hair and needing to rein it in a bit.  If you sport long locks how do you keep them under control?

Grace of the Beautiful Necessity has two very great posts of Pre-Raphaelite Hair, as does Margaret of The Earthly Paradise.  There is also a nice article on the cult of red hair at the Morbid Outlook site.  Do you sport flowing locks or do you embrace a more gamine stunner style?  Care to share any styling or hair care tips with us?

 As Grace mentions, the triple barrel curling iron is wonderful for creating waves and ripples.

Sometimes some simple accessories can assist like large barrettes meant for long hair

or the use of graceful yet simple braids to to hold your hair back.

Cauls and snoods can be fun and add a bit of eccentric antiquity to an outfit.

And just for fun, check out all of this Pre-Raphaelite hair on Flickr!

25 May 2010

Liberty Exhibit

Liberty & Co., purveyors of fabrics, decorative arts, 
and other wonders appealing to stunners are having an Arts and Crafts exhibition this summer.

"The Exhibition will feature fantastic Arts and Crafts furniture pieces by Arthur Simpson, Guild of Handicraft, Cotswold School, Shapland and Petter, alongside some later pieces by Heals and Betty Joel. The range will also include embroideries, vases, tiles, pictures, screens, silver ware and clocks by designers and manufacturers such as: William De Morgan, Archibald Knox, Lewis F Day, Voysey, Compton Pottery, Mintons and the Rowley Gallery."

I really wish I could attend, not only to see this fantastic assemblage of Arts and Crafts treasures, but also to peruse Liberty's modern wares.  It has been very exciting to see Liberty partnering with Target and MAC this year, and to have access to Liberty items here in the states.   But to be honest, none of those offerings appealed to me, after all my anticipation.  The MAC makeup colors weren't really me (although a Strawberry Thief lipstick tube is pretty charming!) and the Target items were sadly lacking in Morris prints or even Liberty's trademark Ianthe print.

If you are looking for affordable or discounted "real" Liberty items you can always check eBay.  I have seen several handbags and wallets recently listed.  And Yoox.com also carries Liberty, although not at much of a discount.  I really love this wallet.

11 May 2010

The Titania Project

Dear readers, I wanted to let you know about a wonderful project by film maker Lisa Stock.  Lisa is currently filming "Titania", the first installment in her Medisaga Trilogy, which re-interprets the fairy tale of The Armless Maiden, through the faery queen Titania, and other characters from Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream, as well as Greek mythology. After Titania's wings are violently torn from her body she must embark on a journey of healing to
become whole again.  Lisa has started a
Kickstarter page to find backers and raise funds to complete this unique and beautiful film.  I truly feel that keeping myth and magic alive in today's world is so important, and hope you will check out Lisa's web page and Kickstarter page to find out more about her project.  Donations can be as low as $5 and each donation level includes very exciting and generous incentives.  The hitch is, with Kickstarter, you only get the money raised if your project is fully funded.  Lisa is trying to raise $10,000 and with 9 days to go she still needs to raise a little over $3,000.  The giving process is very simple and using Amazon payments system, and if the project is not fully funded, you give nothing (however we certainly hope it is, and more so!)

And in keeping with 21st Century Style, there is another exciting way you can participate in "Titania."  Jen Parrish of Parrish Relics has created a gorgeous headpiece (which will be used in the film) and necklace which she is donating to help raise money for "Titania."  

Photo © Jen Parrish / Parrish Relics

The auction is up now on eBay.  Don't miss out on this chance to own a very special and unique set of Jen's creations!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about this magical project and I hope you can support Titania!  

Show off your Stunner Style

If you have not yet taken a look at the Wiki entry on Bohemian Style, it is well worth a glance, and nicely enumerates the ways in which "Stunner Style" has evolved over the years.  The qualities I most appreciate about PRB style are individuality and and the fostering of beauty in everyday life.  It’s a style that can manifest in many ways, though perhaps being strongly grounded in a Medievalism and Bohemianism, and is completely open to interpretation.

PRB style isn’t just Ophelia’s rippling hair; it’s also Viola cross-dressing in dandy velvet duds in Shakespeare’s lively “Twelfth Night," 
"Twelfth Night by Walter Deverell"

or the similarly attired "The Little Foot Page" by Eleanor Fortestcue Brickdale.

Stunners are lean and languid like Elizabeth Siddal, or joyously voluptuous like Fanny Cornforth.
   Elizabeth Siddal by D. G. Rossetti             
Woman Combing Her Hair (Fanny Cornforth) by D. G. Rossetti

Stunner style embraces Bohemian beauties, Medieval maidens and Gothic sorceresses.  It's a little bit Victorian and a little bit rock and roll ;-) 

I have noticed a trend of posting "reader outfits" in other fashion blogs, and would love to do that here.  Feel free to send me photos of you in your favorite PRB-influenced outfits any time and I will post them here. Anything goes and it is all in the spirit of fun.  Send all pics to 21stcenturystunner "at" gmail "dot" com

Until next time, stay stunning! ;-)