¨¨¨°º the adventures of choklit chanteuse º°¨¨¨


La Fée Verte

The poet in his attic room paces by the dim glow of the oil lamp, fevered ~ again he is walking the thin line between genius and madness, waiting for his muse, a faceted goblet of potent green liquid in his pale hand.

But La Fée Verte is a capricious and cruel mistress ~ she murmurs promises of glorious lucid visions in your ear... but then overwhelms her acolytes with feverish passion for ever more until one sip too many ~ and she is gone in a vaporous flurry, leaving them muddled and weak. Still, the poet drinks… and dreams…

I am beamingly proud to introduce my newest design ~ Absinthe, with model shots by the brilliant Revel of Aesthetic Alchemy. Every time I look at this photo-set I fall in love again ~ the lighting, the mood, the grace and glorious beauty of the model, Ariel Collins...

I've had this one dreamed up for quite some time. In fact, the whole concept of Adornments for Tarts was born from an absinthe-themed gown ~ I made it for myself, and then needed really spectacular, unusual accessories to go with it... so I invented them. And thus it's extra special to me that I was able to use that very gown in these phenomenal images.

Some other bits and bobs of news: my Web site now has a Facebook "share" feature on nearly every page, courtesy of my impossibly talented Web designer husband, of Sassy Monkey Media, so you may easily share links to your favorite adornments. There's also a new interview with me on the lovely Gale's Tattered Rouge blog, where more details of the Absinthe gown story are revealed.

So... drive them mad in the Absinthe adornments, now available in my Etsy shop.


Tarts Love Dollymops

Among the many lovely new things to be discovered at the Nova Albion Steampunk Convention where I was vending a few weekends ago, there was one towering standout, in my estimation: the new steamily-themed collection, from corsetier nonpareil Dark Garden ~ Dollymop Designs.

This glorious new line was unleashed upon a reverent crowd in a fashion show leaning more to performance art than catwalk. A parade of proud and ravishing creatures ~ gorgeous women, dashing men, and one capering child ~ made their way through the crowd in a sort of serpentine formal promenade.

And then, to various snippets of delightful sepia-chord style music, they arranged themselves into playful tableaux, in pairs, triplets, and quartets, as if they were allowing us a glimpse of an elaborate pageant. The effect was nothing short of breathtaking.

The vision of Dark Garden seamstress Kalico Delafey, the Dollymop collection was simply stunning on every facet. The muted tones of browns, khakis, blacks and grays made one feel one was looking upon antique portraits.

The whisper of military stylings, along with the structure of the corsets, lent a regal air to the models, tempered by elegant touches like feathered hats, ruffles, and furs. And there were skirts with big pockets!

The designer describes the line thus ~ "Inspired by the natural world, Dollymop designs are reminiscent of a bygone era with a whimsical nod to the subversively romantic." Dollymop also happens to be Victorian slang for an amateur lady of the night... not terribly far off from a tart, I'd say... which might have accounted for my instant and unfaltering adoration of the line.

See more images of Dollymop Designs here, including some from the very fashion show I attended... All lovely images on this post used with kind permission from photographer jules cisek, taken at various shows and events.


Pretty and Dirty Together ~ Scott Radke

I cannot recall what Interwebs chase led me to the work of artist Scott Radke, but I am absolutely transfixed. His sculptures are creatures from another reality, unraveling strange stories to enchant me.

(Tutu #1, 2009)

It's the faces that are most striking. With the most subtle hint of a crease, a sideways glance, a slight turn of the mouth, Radke creates poignantly expressive characters.

(Untitled Egg, 2009)

I am reminded of the human-faced sphinxes of MirrorMask, and also a bizarre Dreamcast video game called Seaman that obsessed my husband for some time, where one is obliged to care for a creepy half-fish-half-man. What is it about animals with human faces that makes them both so compelling and so disturbing?

(Octopus, 2010)

Like the beasts in Spike Jonze's interpretation of Where the Wild Things Are, Radke's creations embody the most raw of feelings, the very roots of emotion. Angst, frustration, boredom, jealousy, bliss... all play out in the textures of their features.

(Swan #40, 2009)

What are their stories? What has befallen these fragile creatures, with their stirring human-like faces and organic beastly forms? What gives them such sturm und drang, such beautiful fragility?

(Hats #3, 2009)

I read a 2006 interview with Radke where, when asked where he got his inspiration from, he replied, "something pretty and dirty together," and I understood. His creatures are the perfect marriage of both the lovely and the ugly, the tragic and the comic, the playful and the serious.

(Koi #1, 2009)

See more of Radke's work on his Livejournal blog, Flickr stream, and his Web site.


Dark Grace: The Photography of Revel

I have just sent off my Absinthe set of adornments to the stunningly brilliant Revel to be photographed. I discovered Revel while doing the CoutureLust feature on Blasphemina's Closet, and upon visiting her web site, Aesthetic Alchemy, I was smitten.

{Odalisque Precieuse by Aesthetic Alchemy / Wardrobe: HMS Latex / Model: Revel}

I am all aflutter with anticipation at what the results of this endeavor will be. Revel's vision is tantalizing ~ a world of dark and capricious creatures, equal parts fetish wickedness and Lolita innocence.

{White Rabbit by Aesthetic Alchemy / Model: Lauren WK}

Her styling is dangerously bold, with splashes of color and textures seemingly at odds... leather and silk, velvet and latex.

{Bronzed by Aesthetic Alchemy / Wardrobe: HMS Latex / Model: Jessamyne}

Revel meticulously builds and collects all of her props and sets, conceiving each image as a story to unfold and capture ~ the gloss of high fashion meets the curious sinister side.

{Blackbird by Aesthetic Alchemy / Wardrobe: Retroscope Fashions / Model: Revel}

Many of Revel's images are self-portraits, which adds to the intrigue. Her haunting gaze and lustrous pale skin are otherworldly, like a creature out of time, out of the ravages of reality.

{Strangeling by Aesthetic Alchemy / Model: Revel}

Indeed, I was struck by a quote I saw in one of Revel's online profiles, and how aptly it describes her dreamy oeuvre... from the incorrigible Oscar Wilde: It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection; through art and art only that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence.

{Nouveau by Aesthetic Alchemy / Wardrobe: Blasphemina's Closet / Model: Ariel}

I'm thrilled to be able to have Revel take some of my treasures away from the sordid perils of actual existence ~ and into her rich imagination.