I’ve been eyeing Deandri’s shop for ages now, and I am so so happy to finally have included some of their pieces into my wardrobe. While it’s unfortunately still a wee bit too warm for me to wear the twill dresses, I’ve incorporated the bibs and collars into my regular rotation and they are the best accessory I’ve ever owned (if you follow me on the Instagrams, you’ve already seen how often I’ve been wearing them).
Use code “IWEARDEANDRI” at checkout for 10% off your total order, but grab your items fast, things sell out quickly!
Please welcome guest blogger Mlle Ghoul from These Unquiet Things! S. Elizabeth is a fancier of fine old things, nostalgic whimsies and magics both macabre and melancholy. She is a shadow seamstress, star stitcher, word witch, and weaver of the weird. Find her on her blog, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
The mysterious image above is one you are no doubt familiar with, thanks to countless Pinterest pins and Tumblr reblogs and image favoriting sites. I, myself, originally saw it on LiveJournal, approximately a million years ago where someone was using it as their user icon.
Are you aware of the identity of this glamorous enigma? I was not, for the longest time. Thanks to the sorcery of reverse image search functionality, however, the answer is easily found:
Virignia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione, better known as “La Castiglione”, was a 19-century Italian aristocrat dedicated to a cult of personal beauty, and more narcissistic and self-absorbed than even a Kardashian or a Kayne. The Countess was known for her vanity, her eccentricism, and her flamboyant entrances in elaborate dress at the imperial court, and among the aesthetes of fin-de-siècle Paris, her life was the subject of admiring and almost obsessive curiosity. She was described a having long, wavy blonde hair, a delicate oval face, and eyes that changed color from green to an extraordinary blue-violet. Her own third personal assessment reads thusly: “The Eternal Father did not know what he was creating the day he sent her into the world.”
A humble woman, indeed.
Egomaniacal celebutaunt jokes and comparisons aside, however, it is undeniable that she was a woman with a singular vision (Ok, so it was of herself) and who was well ahead of her time in terms of owning it and executing it.
In 1856, The Countess began sitting for Mayer and Pierson, photographers favored by the imperial court. Over the next four decades, she directed Pierre-Louis Pierson to help her produce 700 different photographs in which she re-created the signature moments of her life for the camera. “These days it is not considered pathological for people to acquire hundreds of photographs of themselves in a lifetime. But in the middle of the 19th century you really, really had to try.” notes Sara Boxer in a New York Times article from 2000.
This “goddess of self-love” fluctuated between two states of mind – queen and melancholy recluse; she had herself photographed as a frowning nun, as Medea with a knife, the tragic heroine Beatrix, Judith entering the tent of Holofernes, a drowned virgin, Lady Macbeth sleepwalking, a courtesan flaunting her legs, Anne Boleyn, Goya’s “Maja”, a nurse to her dying dog and as a corpse in a coffin.
The 50 photographs that make up “La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione”, an exhibition in the Howard Gilman Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art organized by Pierre Apraxine in 2000, are, as one reviewer notes, “… not lovely. They are bizarre.” And to watch the countess evolve from self-obsessed coquette to morbid mourner, to follow “her restless preening from youth to the brink of the grave”, is mesmerizing.
Virginia spent her remaining years in an apartment in the Place Vendôme, where she had the rooms fitted out in funeral black, blinds drawn, mirrors banished – presumably so as not to be confronted with her advancing age and loss of beauty. In the 1890s she began a brief collaboration with Pierson again, though her later photographs clearly show her “loss of any critical judgement”, possibly due to her growing mental instability. She wished to set up an exhibit of her photographs at the Exposition Universelle (1900), though this was never to happen. On November 28, 1899, she died at age sixty-two, and was buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Swedish Funeral Candy
My newest blog discovery is Nourishing Death, from Death Salon’s Social Media Editor, Sarah Elizabeth Troop, and Bruno Huerta, whose bio says he founded something with the amazing name of The Paranthropologic Society for Anomalous Exploration, so I’m pretty sure we’d be friends.
Nourishing Death bills itself as “An Examination of the Relationship Between Food and Death in Rituals, Culture, Religion and Society.” Basically, it’s a blog about death and food and the roles food plays in our death rituals- and it comes with lots and lots of recipes for things like Irish Wake Cake, Resurrection Rolls, and Fave Dei Morti. Now here’s a cooking site I can get behind…
Nero Cosmetics is 100% vegan and cruelty free, and is currently featuring (lucky) thirteen crazy pigmented shades of limited edition Lip Vinyls. This collection has some of my favorite names that I’ve ever seen on cosmetics, each one is a little reference to something that I’m sure all of us hold near and dear.
Want to win some of your very own?
To enter to win a set of five of the Nero Lip Vinyls in Nevermore, Banshee, Doll Parts, Phantasm, and Miss Argentina, subscribe to the Haute Macabre YouTube channel and follow @haute_macabre and @nerocosmetics on Instagram, and leave us a comment below telling us your favorite shade from the video! We’ll pick a winner at random from the comments here on the blog one week from today, on Monday, September 28!
What Else I’m Wearing:
The Balm Nude’Tude Eyeshadow Palette
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Mac Powder Blush in Well Dressed
Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation Compact
Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette
While we don’t too often report the news here at Haute Macabre, sometimes we just have to. Especially when the news involves Vivienne Westwood driving a frikkin’ tank. In a recent anti-fracking protest, the First Lady of Alternative Fashion DROVE A FRIKKIN TANK to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s house, and looked amazing doing it (OK, actually I think she just rode it while someone else drove it, but still). Holy crap, I cannot love this woman any more than I already do.
With Sam’s help, I venture into the wilds of YouTube to bring you a riveting tale of long-wear lipstick vs. my morning cup of coffee (and me vs. which way the camera goes).
The lipsticks we used for the video were:
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