Alright everyone, the time has come. I've moved! After almost 5 years on Scarlett and Giselle, I have made a little upgrade. My passions have lead me to more of a writing-based, editorial place. I have been on-and-off with fashion posts for a long time now, and I have re-evaluated what I want to spend my time on, and dedicate my imaginary internet space to. I am so excited to start on a new journey. My new website is still called Scarlett and Giselle, but there's just going to be a little less of me on it. I have dedicated it to creativity and womanhood, and the ever-changing definition of those things. I am interviewing and profiling women who inspire me, and hopefully one day I can turn Scarlett and Giselle into a studio collective where I work and blog under the same name. I am so excited for my new site, and I hope you come check it out. Without further ado, the new Scarlett and Giselle (x)!
Over the holidays, my favorite lady Maddy and I got together to shoot some photos. I had the weird idea of freezing some flowers in a block of ice as an homage to winter. I decided to call the series “Still Life” because they are literally a frozen moment in the life of these flowers, and, I mean, I’m an art history nerd so I will always look for new ways to honor old concepts.
So here's the thing: I have been working on creating a new blog. It will still be Scarlett and Giselle, but I want to host it myself and have a lot more control over the design. The annoying part is that I don't really...know...how to do that. I'm not great at HTML and every time I think about learning it I somehow wander away from my computer...I don't know how it happens...I guess I didn't retain the passion I had for graphic design in my Neopets days. But anyways, I am figuring it out and hopefully will have a new site soon. I was going to save these photos for that, but I really love them and I want to share. So please enjoy and know that this is kind of the direction I want to go in! Yay!
What a doozy that year was, right, guys? I see everyone on facebook like "Shut up about 2016, it's not its fault and y'all are just being whiny." But really, this year has felt pretty monumental in a lot of not-great ways, especially here in fucking America. But as much confusion and heartbreak and this year has brought us, I feel like I had pretty decent time. I graduated from college FINALLY (and got all A's while taking twice the courseload that most of my peers took). I was published in a few magazines, and finished a thesis. I bought a new camera!!! and am soon to buy my dream lens. I feel like I have really been shaping my artistic style this year, as well as my blogging goals. Next year will be a year of creativity, I think, and it wouldn't have been possible without 2016 so I have to thank it for that. I've put a few of my favorite photos/moments of this year on this post as a thank you to the year, and a wish for next year. More creating, more learning, more inspiration for 2017 please.
Oh man, the internet is out at home so I am currently sitting in the parking lot of my local Starbucks to get wifi because I don't feel like going in and being guilted into buying something. Still working on a new Scarlett and Giselle, but I really liked these photos and wanted to share them. These are my latest pieces from Rocksbox, the jewelry subscription service that I style for. If you are in the US and would like to try it for a month free, use code "jennastylist"! The amazing choker is from one of my favorite designers, Jenny Bird, and the earrings are by our private label SLATE. Loving these gold beauties for the holidays.
Alright, working on big plans for Scarlett and Giselle. This is going to be a lot less about me, more about creativity and inspiring humans. For now though, my love took some pictures of me in an outfit I loved, so I decided to post them. These were taken in Manhattan Beach, California. Now I am back up in Northern California and it's near freezing, so the beach sounds a little crazy right now. I hope everyone is having a beautiful winter!!! Talk soon.
Details: Top--HOWARD // Overalls--Madewell
I shot this with my friend Annie a few weeks ago. After a very active period in October, I haven't felt like posting here. Really, I am thinking about ways I want to continue with Scarlett and Giselle, and I am thinking it is going to involve a lot less of my face. It's just that I enjoy taking photos of other people so much more than I enjoy modeling for them. I still love styling myself, getting all dressed up and feeling like a human being/goddess, but I don't feel like that is necessarily pushing me to my greatest potential. Hopefully in the new year I can evolve this space to really showcase what I can do. In the meantime, here is Annie sinking into the earth, trying to find her place like I am trying to find mine.
This is a gif I made today. I don't think it is necessarily in response to the election, but it probably has something to do with it. In general I have a fascination with women and snakes because, as I mention in this post (x), some goddesses were once associated with snakes. But after the spread of Christianity, the snake was forevermore associated with Eve and sin. I've done a few photo projects about reclaiming these ideas, and I will probably do many more. Anyways, a phrase that has been stuck in my head is "holy rage". The power that lies in our anger. The world has never been fair to women, and it certainly looks like it's not heading in a great direction after the election of a man who brags about sexual assault. But I think the best thing we can do is be angry. To fight back. Trump's election made me truly heartbroken and frightened. I was devastated that my country still hated women enough to elect an extremely under-qualified man over an extraordinarily over-qualified woman. It made me feel powerless in my womanhood.
I have realized however, that while those feelings are certainly valid, I needed to look beyond that. Yes, I feel crushed and sad. But there are immigrants, LGBTQ+ citizens, Muslim men and women, and people of color who feel truly threatened. I recognize that as a white cisgender woman in a straight relationship, I can't imagine the pain that so many other people in this country are feeling. I recognize that while Hillary Clinton was beaten down by misogyny, Donald Trump had risen to power on a platform of racism. The majority of white female voters in this country voted for him, showing me that this was a election about race more than anything. As Van Jones said on CNN, this was a "white-lash" against the incredible black president we have had the honor of having in office, as well as the continually louder voices that speak out against the hate crimes committed in this country. White people are afraid that as this country becomes more diverse and more vocal, they will lose their own privilege. And as ashamed as I am to be a part of the white demographic right now, I need to understand my privilege. I need to fight back with the privilege I have, even if I don't feel directly in danger. It's imperative that we fight back with whatever power we have. As horrendous as this has been, I am so inspired by the way people around the country have been using their voices.
It's here, my favorite day of the year!!! This October felt very important. I feel like I stepped into something significant this month. October is always so special to me. The veil between worlds is thinnest now and I really can feel it. One of the artists I featured last post wrote an amazing description of the history of Halloween so definitely check it out here: (x). Even though the month is almost up, I feel that I have begun to uncover more of myself and I don't want to give that path up. As we enter the "dark half" of the year, you can expect more witchiness, magic, femininity, and nature. This time of the year is always so cleansing to me, I just love it.
I worked SO HARD on my costume this year, and I am so pumped to share it. I decided to embody Gustav Klimt's "Judith with the Head of Holofernes" from 1901. This work depicts the Old Testament heroine Judith, who used her sensuality to lure her enemy Holofernes (the general who was trying to take over her village) to her. After she had gotten the man drunk, she cut off his head, thus saving her village. She is looked at as a symbol of piety and modesty. Even though she used her sensuality to lure a man, she did it for her religion and people. In the Renaissance, this idea was explored through many paintings under a theme called "Power of Women". This topos explored the ways in which women could dominate men. It seems that Klimt tapped into this idea, making his Judith more of a femme fatale character. When he first painted this, his mostly Jewish elite audience was shocked, thinking that perhaps he meant to title the piece after Salome, a more sinister character. But no, his woman was Judith and she became the symbol a woman who is both sexual and respected. I love her unapologetic vibes and I was so excited to make this costume.
Prehistoric and Classical Art
I feel I need to begin my discussion by mentioning that women were once worshiped for their magical abilities. This Minoan Snake Goddess was praised for her closeness to nature through snakes, since snakes slithered on the earth. Snakes also shed their skin, so they are symbols of transformation which became a major theme in witchcraft and magic throughout the world in general. Hekate in Greek mythology was a well-respected and worshiped goddess of witchcraft and magic. She was also thought to be a protector of children, even though witches were later thought to be harmful towards children. Know your roots, kids! The witch was sacred before man tainted her.
Medieval and Renaissance Art
Now we jump to my favorite period. A time when women were thought to be witches simply because they were women. They were burned, drowned, and hung simply for understanding things that men did not. Art from the time reflected men's fears, depicting witches simply as naked women. Their nudity was thought to be a symbol of temptation. A witch could tempt a man into wickedness, and therefore men made their art a warning against them. I wrote a whole article on this in Lone Wolf Magazine (x) if you are interested!
Goya used his witch paintings as a criticism of the tactics used during the Spanish Inquisition. He used them to make fun of the superstitions held by the government that he saw as medieval and wrong. His paintings feature traditional witch imagery: the women are nude and sometimes levitating. Goats represent the devil, proving how ridiculous the fear of the devil is. Goya's witches aren't used to comment on the female sex, but rather the social environment that the artist lived in.
With the Pre-Raphelite movement, artists sought to regain what was "lost" with the Masters of the Renaissance. They thought that the strict formulas and poses for art-making were too restrictive, so they wanted to return to the bright colors and attention to detail of the Italian Quattrocento. Their subjects were often women and the beautiful subjects of literature. They were concerned with nature and oftentimes magic. For this reason, the witch imagery that came from this era marked a switch in the witch identity. No longer were they necessarily evil women to be feared. Instead, they were women close to nature, their beauty and symbolism emphasized. Characters like Morgan Le Fay and Circe were popular to paint, since they represented themes of magic, transformation, and prophecy. Basically, magical women were actually revered during this period of art.
I have a lot of feelings about this woman, so I will try to keep it short. Marjorie Cameron was an Los Angeles-based artist, mostly prominent during the 50s and 60s. She worked with her husband, Jack Parsons, who was a scientist in Pasadena. Together they worked to unlock secrets of the occult. Her art reflected her explorations, as she often drew amazing witchy women and surreal characters.
The Amazing Witchy Artists Today!!!
I follow a lot of witch artists on Instagram and I just had to share a few with you. I love the amazing surge of magic happening within women right now. I mean, it's always been there, but it's just exciting to live in a world where we can share our art and magic so easily. Some favorites are Poison Apple Print Shop (x), Mori Raito (x), and Rebecca Artemisia (x).
This blog (and my life) has no shortage of witch musings. Naturally I have to get extra witchy this time of year, so I wanted to do a post on my favorite subject: witch art! The image of the witch has changed quite a bit throughout time and I find this evolution to be fascinating and indicative of attitudes toward women, sexuality, and nature. I hope this has inspired you just a lil' bit. I could honestly spend my whole life studying the evolution of witches in art (and I just might). Just remember that the "witch" wasn't always the green-skinned lady in The Wizard of Oz. Witches have a colorful history, and their stature as terrifying women alone is enough to make them feminist icons.
I spotted the work of Zai Zai Jewelry on Etsy (x) about a month ago. She makes fantastic necklaces out of polymer clay and there were quite a few I simply needed. But this one...I knew I needed this one for October. I dropped very heavy hints to Ian and he got it for me for our anniversary (3 years woohoo)! This is honestly the most unique necklace I have ever seen. I showed it to Ian's dad and he said"...what is the significance of the breasts?" To which I answered, "I really don't know but aren't they fabulous?" This necklace is called The Plague Doctor in reference to the mask that the woman is wearing. These masks were used during the Bubonic Plague to shield the doctors from the airborne illness. They would stuff the beaks of the masks with herbs and flowers to help with the smell and provide protective properties. I think this necklace was so arresting for me because the heavy mask next to the woman's flesh just feels so wrong. She seems to symbolize protection but also vulnerability, like a Goddess of the Plague or something.
Things like this are obviously right up my alley: I, being a girl who loves studying medieval art and practices, can't help but get excited every time someone references these things in their art. I like that the style is slightly steampunk, so it almost brings the piece into the realm of Victorian gothic. I knew I needed some eerie pictures to go along with it so I shot these in my bathroom. I think I will feature it again as the winter months come, hopefully outside next time so I can get some more evenly-lit detail shots. For now, please enjoy my ghostly take on the Plague Doctor Goddess.
Necklace -- Zai Zai Jewelry // Bodice -- UO circa 2011