This dark ages inspired print had me when I saw the rune detail along the waistband of the dress and incorporated into the details of the manuscript, but there's so much more to it. From the Byzantine image of Mary and Jesus to lace and the faded handwriting of a manuscript used as background texture, the print is rich with detail. And, since I'm thoroughly obsessed with the look of the skirt in particular, I thought I'd do a few coordinates on Polyvore. Get ready for a LOT of outfits based on the same skirt.
I love this one. It's largely inspired by Byzantine culture and the mosaic portrait of Justinian in particular. Rich colors with draping effects, draping jewelry, and a circlet make it particularly rich. The beaded purse is meant to call to mind the mosaics the Byzantine empire was famous for.
Krad Lanrete Mozarabic Chant III: The Medievalist in Autumn by bespectacledbibliophile featuring high heel shoes
Lolita doesn't often get the opportunity to be cozy, so I went a bit off the rails with this one in order to incorporate the textured oatmeal-colored sweater. This (and the other seasonal looks) are heavily retro-inspired and I would loosely call them casual classic lolita.
Krad Lanrete Mozarabic Chant IV: The Medievalist in Summer by bespectacledbibliophile featuring sheer tops
Summer! I'm not usually a summer person, but I did need to cover all the seasons. I wanted to keep this one light and breezy because it gets HOT. The ruffly top works really well for that, being fancy and sparkly without covering the arms. The tights are strictly optional; white lace tights are another, even cooler, option, or you could always go bare-legged. Hair accessories, too, are minmal; just a sparkly headband and you're good to go.
Krad Lanrete Mozarabic Chant V: The Medievalist in Winter by bespectacledbibliophile featuring wool coats
For some reason, studies of all things medieval make me think of winter. For this one, I went heavily to the dark in "dark ages," pairing it with a lot of dark-colored things. The goal was to make something as imposing as it is warm, which isn't difficult when you pile on the black.
Krad Lanrete Mozarabic Chant VI: The Medievalist in Spring by bespectacledbibliophile featuring heart tights
And finally, spring. This one is super simple, but I like it. This is actually one of my favorite ways to wear my lolita skirts: with an off-the-shoulder top (or one with a wide neck in general) and tons of flowers pinned to the neckline. It's not strictly lolita, but it does give the outfits a much more Victorian-inspired feel. This outfit in particular I wanted to keep light, fresh, and springy.
Oh, dolly kei. I love dolly kei. There's just something about the hot mess mishmash of accessories that appeals to me. This one, I wanted to pick up the viking-like influences in the skirt, and dolly kei works well for that. The brooches are all meant to be pinned to the fur, and the tassel belt tied around the natural waist. Really, this one is about being cozy and having fun.
This outfit was meant to be much more modern. With harder lines and metallic accents, this is a harder edge to the skirt.
Mozarabic Chant IX: Tea in the Imperial Library by bespectacledbibliophile featuring dorothy perkins
I'm a classic lolita at heart, and nothing says classic lolita like books and tea. Heavy bronze-tone jewelry is included for a specifically antiquarian look, and the shawl for a bit of warmth.
Mozarabic Chant X: She'll Be Waiting in Istanbul by bespectacledbibliophile featuring vintage brooches
This set requires a bit of preface. First, I do not follow the teachings of Islam. However, I have the utmost respect for those women who choose to express their faith by donning a hijab, especially those who manage to incorporate it into the way they wear lolita or other alternative styles. Hijabi lolitas rock. Keep doing your thing, ladies.
Second, I wanted to make a nod to the ever-changing history of the area that was the Byzantine empire, specifically Constantinople itself. I'm a history major at heart, and the cultural clash is what makes the area so fascinating.
That said, I really like this outfit. I tried to keep it modest - long sleeves, opaque tights, full coverage - but the rich colors rocket it straight out of simplicity. It might actually be one of my favorite sets.
And, finally, my most medieval outfit. A trimmed tunic shirt, coin jewelry, and metallic crosses even on the shoes. Lots of gold. It's simple, but makes quite an impact.
Readers of mine, I hope you're enjoying these polyvore marathon articles. I know there have been a lot lately, and next month it'll be time for something completely different, but they are useful to show just how versatile a single piece can be.