Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Havisham







Today has been my first proper, full day back at school (since before my surgery), and it felt slightly strange. Although I did return for lessons here and there last term, this was an altogether different kettle of fish - it takes a while to get used to a routine again. However, talking of all things academic, this sequence of photos has a very literary inspiration - Dickens' 'Great Expectations'.
I would love to say that I've already read the novel, but unfortunately I haven't as yet. However, I was captivated by a staged version I saw when I was little, and a DVD of the 1945 film is lying on my bedside table, ready to be watched. I think the most inspiring character style-wise has to be Miss Havisham, sitting in her ancient wedding dress. And although this dress isn't moth eaten and decrepit, the minute I saw it I was immediately reminded of Dickens' striking character!
I had been waiting for a perfectly misty day before planning to head up into the hills with the dress in a backpack, and luckily an opportunity arose last weekend. We spent the new year at the Welsh coast, and I already knew of some abandoned stone cottages nearby - perfect for eerie, atmospheric images.  Once my mum and I had finally found the tumbledown cottages and I had struggled into the dress and heels, I did feel a little like a spectre floating around the hilltop! Just after finishing the photos (back into the jeans and wellies - fetching) a lost walker wandered past. Mum and I were joking about how shocked this rambler might have been if I had still been in my apparition outfit - I could have created a whole myth about a haunted settlement!
The light and settings while we were up there were extraordinary. As we hiked up the steep hill, we could barely see 10 metres ahead - it's a strange experience being able to hear sounds of waves crashing on a beach below but with the sea view being replaced by white candyfloss. However, as the shoot progressed there were sudden bursts of golden light, and little openings in the mist. By the time mum and I finished, the hilltop was perfectly clear. Though as we made our way back down, the mist descended, seemingly with us, once more - I love the ever changing British countryside and weather.
My mum bought this amazing fifties lace dress from our favourite local market stall - I'm not sure if it was originally a wedding dress. Nothing like layers and layers of starched underskirts and lace to make a girl happy! It's not the most practical of pieces and once it had been given a good soaking in the bath, it took forever to dry, but it's fantastic for playing at dressing up. It's very dramatic on its own, so all I added was some grey tights and Mary Janes, along with a vintage bag from a charity shop. I'm wearing my new favourite navy blue nail varnish too.

One of the constant features of my blog is often the choice of background/location - now I am very lucky that because I live rurally, I pretty much have free run of the hills and fields around me (either we know the farmers or it's on a public footpath.) These images were taken on National Trust land, another place that is free for all to visit. However, if the UK Government's current plans go ahead for selling off nationally owned forests, then those who live near Forestry Commission woodland might soon find that they will no longer be able to visit and enjoy the beauty of these places (and I mean the proper, ancient forests - not the 'crop' ones made up of identical pines). I understand that cuts need to be made in Britain (although if companies such as Vodafone paid the proper level of tax then we might not need them), but to sell off huge parts of the countryside privately not only seems utterly shocking to me - but also immoral. Huh, what might be sold off next - the air we breathe?

65 comments:

Marianne said...

The first picture is so gorgeous! I can't get over the lighting; just lovely.

Dodo said...

That first picture is so STUNNING! Really AMAZING! With capitals ;)

The Lady Nerd said...

I absolutely adore this shoot. It's one of the best of yours I've seen yet, Roz. There's such a haunting atmosphere, yet tranquil at the same time. Unlike Ms. Havisham, it's as if you were a bride who had had a happy marriage, but with a forlorn cast. A couple of the photos, especially the last one have a beautiful sense of you, as a spectral bride, beckoning the viewer to come see the enchantment of the Isle. I love it.

I hope you are well these days since your surgery!

Lala said...

If you like the character of Havisham, read the poem by Carol Ann Duffy (we studied it in school but it's a good enough poem that I didn't end up hating it). Beautiful dress and I love the setting.

Please come visit my blogs and if you like them, follow me :)

E is for Eleanor said...

Oh gosh, what a travesty if the government sell off forests. That would be truly awful.

You look like a classical heroine in these photos, so wonderful. x

Indigo said...

you were so lucky to be bought that dress, it's beautiful! You also have amazing surroundings near you! XX

sacramento said...

It is so grand of you to go through the trouble of finfing the perfect location. Most of us are reduced to a corner in our back patio.
The mist, the dress, your long hair...Wow it is like a fairy tale Dickens or not.
Fantastic post.
I am so glad you are going slowly back to your normal routine.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Kimberly June said...

So beautiful!

Blythe and Charlotte said...

I absolutely adore this post! The background is stunning like always and so is the dress! The layers just make it so special!

-Charlotte
allesmode2010.blogspot.com

Jay said...

absolutely gorgeous :)

http://commonsenseandstilettos.blogspot.com/

Q's Daydream said...

Gorgeous!

All Things Nice said...

These pictures are stunning.
You definately picked the perfect backdrop!

Comtesse de ferveur said...

What a beautiful dress and the photos are quite inspired. You look a vision! x Comtesse x

Pearl Westwood said...

You raise a very important point Roz, this goverment would tax the air too I am sure, utterly disgusting - though I fear any party elected would be equally bad.
I do adore Mrs Havisham she must be one of my favourite characters, I liked the more recent fil with Gweneth Paltrow, the Mrs H was excellent in that - famous lady I cant think of her name!

mary said...

I think this is one your most beautiful posts yet. The mist really makes it spectacular, as does the dress. And I quite agree-they should not sell off forests no matter what.

Closet Fashionista said...

these shots are GORGEOUS!
Yea...it can be hard getting back into a routine after a long time off...no fun :(
http://aclosetfashionista.blogspot.com/

Peacock's Hat said...

That dress and the images are absolutely gorgeous- I particularly love the one with the dress in swishing motion!

Dylana Suarez said...

These pictures are stunning! I really love that dress. It looks so mystical!

xoxo,

colormenana.blogspot.com

Serena said...

Your photos are absolutely stunning! Gorgeous- easily mistakeable for a mag editorial, IMO.

http://www.materialtherapy.blogspot.com

x.S

Natalie Suarez said...

wow! u look so beautiful. i love all the fog! :)

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Un-stitched said...

Roz - I am new to your blog and so happy to have found it. I think we have the same love of merging fashion and literature: http://un-stitched.com/for-inspiration/vintage-wear-against-a-snowy-hill/
Beautiful dress with amazing scenery, loving these images!
-christine
un-stitched.com

adrielleroyale said...

LOVE that first one of you in the doorway! Gorgeous!! This is quite the picturesque photo shoot indeed!

Kellie W. said...

These are probably my favorite pictures you've ever taken. Everything about them is gorgeous! And I'll confess that I never finished Great Expectations, but I did read parts of it, and I can definitely tell how much it inspired this shoot.

My Heart Blogged said...

This post is wonderful. The outfit is gorgeous, and your blog is so professional.

My Heart Blogged

Marloes. said...

These photos are really gorgeous!!

Penny Dreadful said...

This is one of the best sets of yours I have seen, it was hard to choose which one I would include in my 'imaginary editorial'. The dress is lovely of course, but they way you have styled and shot it is perfect - congratulations (and hope you aren't finding being back at school too tough!) x

Ginta said...

Beautiful photos as always! So eerie, etheral. Love, love, love!

Blond Panther & Louboutin... said...

beautiful ;))
http://blondpantheretlouboutin.blogspot.com/2011/01/panther-balmain.html#links

Sara said...

Oh wow. I am amazed of those pics.. I've been really looking for inspiration and here it is!

-Sara
autumn, coffee and inspiration

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Ah, fashion and literature make wonderful companions. The story around these set of images is so dreamlike and intellectual at the same time. The dress is so romantic - reminds me of the film Bright Star. So poetic and yet so so real. Happy new year to you. Glad you are feeling better. xoxox

Vanilla said...

Beautiful photos, the mist really adds to the atmosphere :)

Love, Vanilla

http://vanillaheartsstyle.blogspot.com/

Bea said...

I'm new to your blog and think you look absolutely fantastic-paticularly this post-I love the white dress. It's all the more inspiring to me because one of my friends also has scoliosis, and so seeing how you've recovered and are now back at school (I looked some posts back obviously) is so reassuring!

Bea said...

sorry if this comment comes up twice but it doesnt seem to have gone through.
I'm totally new to blogging and also new to your blog, but I just wanted to say how inspiring it is to me and its even more doubly so because one of my friends has scoliosis (I'm guessing thats what you had from the mentions of your back, comments etc) and its so lovely and reassuring for me to see how you've recovered!

Rachelous said...

Your backdrops never cease to amaze me, really making the most of our beautiful countryside.. and the dress is magical. as you say, they'll soon think of something else to sell off, whilst big companies dodge taxes and get richer and richer.

Lola said...

Wow, you're stunning, these pictures are beautiful!

wwww.dressupwithlola.blogspot.com

Frini, the Common Suspect said...

you look gorgeous dear!!the dress with the endless layers, the mary janes, the bag, they all are beautiful!! you actually look like a fairy of the woods!;)

i'm totally with you about the govervenment decisions, but we're being through some hard times, they say.let's see.

kiss kiss*

thecommonsuspect.blogspot.com

Polka Princess said...

I sooooooo envy you the beautiful natural backdrops of your photos!!! This whole shoot is looking so very editorial!!! You absolutely look the part, dear girl...........& that lace dress is an awesome pick, I must say!

Sarah Rose said...

I love the first photo :) Adore those shoes and that dress... well, that dress is something! Happy New Year
Rose x

VildesVerden said...

Pretty pictures. Happy new year from Norway!

Kate said...

Amazing pictures. Such a beautiful setting and the mist really does create an atmosphere. I completely agree with you about the cuts- it seems so unfair to take such lovely landscapes as this away from public eye only to be seen by birds and animals.

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog, it means a lot :)
www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

alexandratherese said...

The misty, eery atmosphere really works for this outfit Roz, you really look like you've stepped out of the 19th century! Love the Mary Janes too.

Alexandra Thérèse xx

www.alexandratherese.com

Larissa said...

you look so classic and beautiful! love the dress!
x
thatgirlfromhk.blogspot.com

Six Six Sick said...

That dress is gorgeous! And the setting is magical.
xx
Tiffany

Fashionistable said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Love your story around it too. I can just imagine the shock on the hikers face if they had arrived earlier. Miss Havisham was a very sad old lady but visually very interesting for inspiration. Love the dress. Happy to hear you are enjoying the scissors. Thank you for your lovely comments. Xxxx

Emma said...

Beautiful pictures I absolutely love the first one! The light is so pretty and where you are and you outfit.....everything just works, magical!
http://simplyemmie.blogspot.com

Anne said...

You look like a pre-Raphaelite, a young girl by Rossetti, it's stunning!
Simply gorgeous...

northwest is best said...

Lovely photos, and what a lovely dress! Great Expectations is one of my favourite novels, although it is a bit heavy going. Your dress also reminds me of the dress Cecilia wears in The Virgin Suicides (another great book).

Camille said...

Beautiful dress! And you look just like a model!
http://camillelikeshats.blogspot.com/
xoxo
Camille

the Citizen Rosebud said...

pure. classic. clothes cameras and coffee. back to business. if the business is creating dreamy photoshoots of gorgeous atmospheric beauty.

Did your mom shoot the pics? If so, I am starting to see a style, a bit different from your pops come out.

Wonderful shoot. You look freakishly lovely, and I'm glad that you are back to normalacy, if you want to call school normal, I guess.

Ah, air: we've already commodified water, air is sure to be next!

ladyjoane said...

You look wonderful :)

Laura Nunes Vicente said...

i LOVE the first and last picture - the light, the landscape, your dress, it's all perfect. it's one of my favourite shoots from you!

Ofelia Botella. said...

These are sooo beautiful!!! it's also one of my favourite shoots from you! and i love the dress

San said...

Love, love, love this whole photoshoot. Location, lighting, clothes. AMAZING. My favourite shots are the ones in the doorways and where you twirl.

I would love to have a dress like that, but I probably wouldn't rock it like you.

Happy new Year.

-..:::BC:::..- said...

you are soooooo beautiful !!
*-*
would be very happy if you visit my page too

yennii xx

styleodyssey said...

that will be terrible if the UK govt sells off forest land! surely they can come up with a better way to generate revenue.

now on to your photos- you look like a ballerina or fairy princess!! the fifth pic is my favorite, dress caught in motion. the photos are dreamlike! such soft misty light. i love that.

wishing you a smooth transition at school, roz.

xo

anni said...

amazing photos ! the dress is so beautiful !

Serina said...

I've only read Carol Ann Duffy's Havisham but this is a great representation of a less bitter one than in Duffy's!! Beautiful photos x

Lady M said...

this shoot is amazing! the set up, the look, the styling and the end result are stunning. Such a talent! you look beautiful

www.ladympresents.co.uk
Online Fashion Magazine

valncami said...

wow you look absolutely gorgeous, that is an amazing dress.

xo, camilla & valerie
abutterflybyday.blogspot.com

Nádia said...

Those photos are totally MESMERIZING!!! My jaw dropped! AMAZING!

That dress is PERFECTION!

http://myfashioninsider.blogspot.com/

Denno said...

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous

Tali said...

What a fantastic set of photos. Not only do you look great but the mist is really something!!

I think you have very haunting eyes.. very unique and beautiful. This setting suits you so well!

Catalina said...

Miraaanddddaaa!

You MUST see Picnic at Hanging Rock - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picnic_at_Hanging_Rock

Vanessa said...

Beautiful photographs, beautiful dress. I love how the misty landscape compliments the lacey dress. It's just so editorial, lovely and elegant!

RedRose said...

There is nothing I can say that can descibe the beauty of these photo's! The dress is stunning and the background is so mysterious and serene it's unreal.

http://www.lucystreasurechest.blogspot.com/