Thursday, April 18, 2013

Style Icons: Emilie Autumn

I discovered Emilie Autumn about three weeks into my college career. I was immediately captivated by her music, and by her style.

Whatever you think of her personally (I know public opinion is mixed these days, and I won't add my voice to an already oversaturated discussion), it's hard to deny that her style is evocative and interesting. Emilie Autumn alongside her Bloody Crumpets is a fashion icon in the alternative scene. Her style is best described as a mix of Victorian, cabaret, different styles of goth, some Elizabethan, and a healthy does of glitter and corsets.

She's gone through several styles in her career, from her heavily fairy-or-Elizabethan-inspired looks during the Enchant era

to the red, white, and black of the early Opheliac era

to a few more Victorian and even steampunk-y looks

to her current, highly theatrical corsetry with a heaping does of glitter (which I was lucky enough to see live a little over two years ago with one of my best friends, just at the end of the Opheliac era)

And you know what? I love it all.

One of my personal favorite pictures of her is from the Opheliac era and shows a good deal of inspiration from Ophelia herself.

I mean, really, look at that hair, all tangled up in weeds. Look at that hollow-eyed makeup. Look at the intensity of that expression. Her looks are almost fearless, extreme in many different directions and always skirting the edge of the uncanny valley.

Just as important to me as the style she exhibits in performance is the way that her songs talk about physical appearance. There is defiance leveled in some of her songs (and especially "Thank God I'm Pretty") toward attitudes we run into every day, ideas that physical appearance and clothing define who we are and can be used as an excuse for sexual advances. That is as important to me as how she actually looks: how she discusses it within the performance itself.

And, because I love them, I will leave you with a few pictures of the Bloody Crumpets, EA's backup singers, dancers and all around performance support, past and present. They're all lovely and unique, really.

I know my destiny's such that I'm all stocking and curl
So everybody thinks that I'm a f*cking suicide girl...
--"Thank God I'm Pretty"

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