Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Dark Arts : Black Forest Mori

 "Black forest mori: if a mori girl is a sheep, the black forest girl is the wolf."

Recently, I've been feeling a lot like I'm stuck in style limbo.. I spent the vast majority of last year living in layers of crochet, scrappy babydoll dresses, leather, faux fur, shredded tights, layers of silver jewellery, obnoxious accessories and huge shoes. I never strayed far from a pallet of black, blood red, greys and teal green. When I decided to "go back to my roots" artistically, I rekindled my love with the lolita community. While I absolutely adore the aesthetic of OTT-Sweet Lolita, it just isn't something I would be comfortable wearing so I fawned over old-school sweet, gothic and classic coords instead. The only problem with this was that since I've only recently started building a lolita wardrobe on a serious scale I didn't have enough to wear on a daily basis. So what do I wear when I'm not in lolita ? I felt like I'd lost interest in all the styles I was playing with last year. I read about different styles of Japanese fashion; Visual Kei, Mori Girl, Gyaru and Dolly Kei, predominantly. The two that appealed the most to me were Mori Girl and Dolly Kei, but I still didn't feel 100% like they were styles I could wear and feel myself. Then, somewhere in Internet Land sometime last week, I heard the term "Dark Mori Girl". My ears pricked up. Dark Forest Girl ? That defiantly sounded like something I would be interested in. Right away, I went to Google, LiveJournal and Tumblr and started trying to find as much information as I possibly could. The images and outfits I found enthralled me. Here was a style that I had basically been living in already without even knowing it exsisted. And I was so inspired by everything I was seeing - something I hadn't felt in a really long time.

Still, I didn't manage to find a huge deal of material. I ended up playing around with different names and each thing returned more results.. "Dark Mori", "Dark Forest Mori", "Black Forest Mori Girl". The last result lead me to the Tumblr of ShadyOaks, who has written up the original concept for Black Forest Mori.. After further investigation, I stumbled into Strega's Forest, again on Tumblr (an AMAZING blog !). Here I found a checklist for Black Forest Mori. Reading this is almost like reading an "About Me" page written by myself. It is, virtually, perfect :

    Wants to look like a witch or a dark fairy from the woods
    Likes to wear Dark, dusty colours, but also jewel and earthy tones.
    All white outfits can be pretty for a ghostly look.
    Vintage clothes are a must
    Antique, used or ragged laces and silks
    Flowers, Leaves, feathers, or antlers make pretty headpieces.
    Natural stones, bones, taxidermy and silver jewelry is best.
    Leather accessories (belts, pouches, cuffs, corsets…)
    Anything Furry could work
    Knitted Items, Handmade is best
    Layering is the key,
    Medieval, Victorian, Folklore and 1920’s inspirations
    Ethnic Clothes
    Hats. Big, quirky and always decorated.
    Floral patterns and animal prints
    Might have some Lolita or Steampunk inspiration
    Helena Bonham Carter is a great style icon.
    Dramatic silent movie make up, tribal paints or very natural look works fine.
    Legwear is fun to experiment with. Wearing stripey socks can add to the traditional witchy look
    Can look flirtatious, seductive at times. Corsets are welcome for this look.
    Crushed velvet
    Prefers Dresses and Skirts, longer the better.
    Shawls, ponchos and hoods.
    Laced up boots, pointy shoes, Victorian heels and clogs.
    Braided hair, messy curls, or dreads are good hairstyles.

    Likes anything spooky or creepy
    Collects oddities
    Might be attracted by witchcraft and esoterism
    Might tend to have a « natural »lifestyle
    Believes in Fairies, and Spirits
    Crafty Girl
    Has a familiar/pet, and most likely a cat or rats.
    Rather solitary girl, kind of an introvert
    Might prefer Dark Music scenes, from traditional goth, ambient to Black Metal.
    Likes Tribal Fusion Dancing
    Strangeness over Prettiness
    Loves books. Old Bookstores are a favourite place.
    Somewhat rebellious, strong willed and free-spirited, but still Lady Like
    Romantic, Melancholic
    Might have little quirks, superstitions
    Loves Tea
    Folklore, Fairytales, Legends and Myths from the North are favourites, but might like Oriental cultures as well.
    Loves antiques.
    Thrifting is a favourite activity
    Always thinks « warm and cosy »
    Might be a bit messy, but always with style
    Might drink alcohol on occasions. Mead and spicy wines drunk in a horn, or strong alcohol in a pretty flask.
    Collects bottles and fiols
    Likes to take walks in the Forest, after the rain, at dusk or event at night.
    Preraphaelites, Arthur Rackham, William Bouguereau or Brian Froud are favourite artists.

One of the ideas in Mori Girl that really made it appeal to me was having all the clothing involved in an outfit look like something that could only be found in a forest, made with raw natural ingredients. A girl who walked into a forest, and emerged 5 years later. The tatty, worn aesthetic makes me think of Miss Havisham, which is definatly a bonus. So, having found a style which uses this concept whilst also involving a much darker, witchier aesthetic is absolutely perfect. I'm looking at is as an "update" to the style I've been spending the past year in. I love the use of dark and dusty tones, crystals, bones, antlers, facepaints, the tatty laters, lace.. everything. Sadly, at the moment, I can't find much content anywhere online. I'm hoping Black Forest Mori will catch on and soon there will be plenty of inspiring images, outfits and posts. 

So maybe I can periodically update here with inspiring Black Forest Mori things that I've found around various sites, I'm sure there will be a huge interest in a style as alluring as this. If anyone has any more information or images they'd like to share then defiantly feel free. Until then, I've been inspired to pick up my crochet hooks and make some kind of witchy accessory (~ ・∀・)~

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