Thursday, April 19, 2012

Styles to Seek: Fairypunk

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere...
             -William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Some days, I just want to look like a fairy.

And no, children of the age of Disney, not a sparkling, bewinged thing there to grant your wishes and flit about. I want to look like a primordial fairy, an elemental spirit of power and mystery, more mythic than man-made and more primal than Perrault.

Ever seen a book illustrated by Brain Froud?


That kind of fairy. The kind clad in moleskin, spider webs, bits of down, flower petals, and leafy bits. The kind that will steal your children at night or dance you to death. The kind that hides in the moss and laughs at you as you stumble over a stick that wasn't there before. The kind that is alien and natural and beautiful and dangerous all at once.

A young lady over on Tumblr coined a term for it: Fairypunk. I suppose one could also utilize Mythpunk in this context, but I prefer Fairypunk for the clothes because Mythpunk will forever be literature to me.

Really, this look is about layering and texture. Soft-shaped dresses are best; they can be belted, certainly, but give yourself some room to move comfortably. Natural hair with bits and bobs is welcome, but all styling should be organic-looking. Sticks and moss and leaves are welcome additions. Feathers may enter in as often as they like.

Take your inspiration for the world around you, from folklore and nature. Create your own myths.

Here are some examples:

This is gorgeous, all tribal bohemian. The antlers, though, are what propel it straight into myth.
More antlers. I really do have a thing for them.
This one is much simpler, but with much the same effect. Seriously, two braids and a couple of leaves...
Okay, so this one's not straight-up fairy. I don't care. It's got the right vibe.
Aren't these masks gorgeous?
Yeah, sure, this one's a bit toned down and mori girl, but isn't it fantastic?

The technical term for all of this (if one can, indeed, limit such things as style to technical terms) is fairypunk. The best definition I could find for it is from here:
Fairypunk, nature-inspired fashion with a bit of tribal and Celtic influence, takes its inspiration from all of faerie kind (and cousins of magic as well): piskies, sprites, the Tylwyth Teg, elves, gnomes, nymphs, dryads, fauns, satyrs, hobgoblins, selkies, imps, leprechauns, brownies, mermaids, changelings, and all the spirits of woodland, wind, and water. It’s distinct from usual fairy costumes and art in that it isn’t influenced by Renaissance (or Ren. Faire) or Gothic fashion styles.
The primary inspiration comes from all of nature (as well as found human trinkets, especially keys, fabric, bottles, and anything shiny), but here is an ever-growing list of some of a faerie’s favorite things:
Toadstools and fungi
Flower petals
Raw gems and geodes
Sea glass
Field mice
Insect wings
Ceramic sherds
 Follow the link for more examples of fairypunk, both in clothing and in design.

If you, like me, wander the world finding beauty in dead trees and moss-covered forest floors, then join me in the forest. Because, really, why would you want to be a glitter-sodden tame fairy when you could be a wild creature of the wood?

Come with me, merry wanderers of the night. We have mischief to make...

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