On the evening of August 27th, 2016 you were either at the Black Veil Studio of Tattoo and Art experiencing the intimate, spectral splendor of Ashley Rose Couture’s Shadows of the Realm debut collection, or you were a sad witch living in the swamps 1400 miles away with a deliriously heightened sense of FOMO.

The designer, known for both her dramatic, avant-garde confections and for turning the obscure into wearable art, conjured forth an otherworldly opulence of wraiths and phantoms for the presentation. The models were swathed in black lace, netting, and veils, and embellished with intricate, exquisite beading, antlers, wings, skulls, jawbones, and teeth. Three feverish months in the making, Shadows of the Realm was a resplendent, enthralling display.

Shadows of the Realm 1
Credit: Karen Jerzyk.

Full of energies both somber and luminous, the collection plays on the theme of Light vs. Dark and would seem to draw inspiration from the following enigmatic quote:

“the desire to want or let go. It encompassed me. The new space was both totally bright and totally dark at the same time, yet without shape, form, sound, color, mass, or movement. It was aglow, but there was no light source. It was dark, but there was no darkness. Somehow within this strange environment was the presence of all shapes, all forms, all sound, all color, all mass, and all movement. Everything that ever was, is, or will be was there- yet there was nothing there at all.”

Shadows of the Realm debuted at Black Veil Studio; jewelry was provided by Burial Ground; set design courtesy Karen Jerzyk. Makeup was by Steffanie Strazzere, and hair by Stephanie Bartley. Models included Melissa Semião, Gina FreyLauren Enman, Segovia Amil, and Aviv Hanouna. 

Shadows of the Realm 2
Credit: Ashley Rose Couture.
Shadows of the Realm 3
Credit: Karen Jerzyk.
Shadows of the Realm 4
Credit: Karen Jerzyk.
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Credit: Karen Jerzyk.
Credit: Ashley Rose Couture
Credit: Ashley Rose Couture.
S. Elizabeth
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. Visit her blog, Unquiet Things for perfume, poetry, and myriad musings, and, if you're so inclined, peep at her Instagram for photos of fancies and frou-frou frips & frills.
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