Inspiration from our Tribe

Darkling Witch Elf

OUTFITS TO INSPIRE: Alice Crowrunner's "Void Elf" look.
VOID ELF: Alice Crowrunner is a gothic fashion influencer.

Australian fashion blogger and World of Warcraft fan Alice Crowrunner – aka CatInAWitchHat – has created some amazing outfits with our garments. They suit her style so well and the dark colours she has chosen really bring out the darkling elf that she says is the inspiration for her look.

Her outfits, somewhere between steampunk, dark mori and post-apocalyptic goth, are an inspiration to her 45k followers on instagram and we were delighted when she posted these images of looks that she’d created with garments from Altshop.co.uk.

Shop News

Win Folk Owl Felted Fairy Gauntlets

We’re feeling very lucky this month because we’ve been gifted this pair of beautiful fairy gauntlets made by the very talented Angela from Folk Owl, who hand-creates exquisite fairy and woodland accessories from felt.

They were used in our recent photoshoot (see our post about it here) with fairy photographer Danniella Jaine, where model Lisa Bennett, dressed as a summertime fairy, wore them as a part of her costume.

If you’d like to enter, simply like our Facebook post and tag a friend who you think would also like to win these pretty pastel accessories or you can sign up to our newsletter and enter from there.

The winner will be picked at random from all entries across our social media platforms on September 1st 2018.

Don’t forget to tell all of your fairy-loving friends!

Articles, Shop News

Dreamscapes and Follies

Have you ever been so enchanted by an image that it sucks you into an adventure in a different time and world to your own? Then you’ve probably seen the work of fairy photographer Danniella Jaine.

Her beautfully-shot an delicately-edited portraits are ethereal, magical, immersed in an innocent, wistful nostalgia and catch you in that dreamy period between waking and sleeping.

WILDWOOD: Animal activist Priya embodies her spirit animal.
WILDWOOD: Animal activist Priya embodies her spirit animal.

So it was a very special thing to be able to work with Danniella on a collaboration shoot recently in Gunnersbury Park in London, a place scattered with little Victorian follies, arches and beautiful huge green trees.

Models Priya and Lisa, dressed as a deer and a fairy, tried not to look to drowned and poor Danniella hid her head and camera under a bin bag shelter as the rain unexpectedly poured non-stop all day after a week of brilliant sunshine.

It was Lisa’s first shoot in the UK after moving here from sunny Australia. So, dressed as winged fairy and trying not to giggle, she frolicked in the bucketing rain with majestic deer Priya, who wore a beautiful golden-antlered headdress.

Our regular photographer Oliver Goodrich was there too, capturing their play-dance on his new gimbal and camera, learning his new kit and taking some fantastic moving images for our forthcoming video.

MAGICAL REALM: Blessed Branches crystal pendant
MAGICAL REALM: Blessed Branches crystal pendant

To complete our look, Altshop invited four other collaborators to join the fun. If you spot the exquisite jewellery that both our characters wear, you might recognise it as the work of Natasha from Blessed Branches. These amazing crystal talismans set the tone for magic, mystery and flowing energy and are truly beautiful pieces straight from the heart of this spirited creatress.

Loty from Headspace Headresses made the stunning headpieces which were impressively strong and sturdy and were the true crowning glory of the outfits.

The delicate, lacy faerie armwarmers for Lisa and woodland-in-autumn-inspired pixie bag for Priya were made by Angela from Folkowl. Angela is a master at felting and skilfully creates exquisite wearable pieces that look like something from the pages a fairytale painted in watercolour.

DELICATE ARTISTRY: Folkowl makes these beautiful cuffs.
DELICATE ARTISTRY: Folkowl makes these beautiful cuffs.

Lucie Younger’s fantastic make-up used biodegradable glitter in muted old golds and forest greens, shimmering pinks and translucent opals from Wish Upon A Sparkle, a great place to get creative with eco-freindly glitter.

FOLLIES AND FAIRIES: Gunnersbury Park in London
FOLLIES AND FAIRIES: Gunnersbury Park in London

We hope you love the photos, look out for the video next month and a competition where you could win the Folkowl accessories!

Look for the clothing we used in the shoot at www.altshop.co.uk

-Katie Lambert

 

WILD AT HEART: Priya gets into the role
WILD AT HEART: Priya gets into the role
THE BOHO FAE LOOK: Lisa poses for Altshop
THE BOHO FAE LOOK: Lisa poses for Altshop
Shop News

Shooting for Summer

On a balmy day by the London canal, cherry blossoms blowing in through the window at community art studio Stour Space in Hackney Wick, we met to shoot more styles for Altshop’s online festival clothing store.

I feel blessed to work with four beautiful, gifted and strong women, horse-drawn folk singer from Derby Robyn Wallis Johnson, self-proffessed Gelfling-a-like Charlie Bond, fashion student Emma Parry and illustrator and would-be tattoo artist Chelly Surrell.

Some of you may recognise Robyn from some of our photos when she had pink dreads. Since then, she’s crowd-funded an album of songs, been on the road with a horse-drawn solar-power stage show and settled firmly into van life. She has the singing voice of a angel jilted at the altar and a captivating presence – after our last photoshoot she sat on top of a nearby narrowboat with her guitar and lulled a flock of rowdy boaters into a starry-eyed stupor. Great to see you again, Robyn, happy travels.

I first met Actor Charlie at 3 Wishes Fairy Festival in Cornwall, where she was wearing the most stunning fairy ballgown complete with wings. When I found out she was local, I just had to ask her if she would come and model for Altshop and was delighted when she agreed. Amazing energy, great fun and what a talent! Good luck with the release of King Lear in September, Charlie.

Emma moved to Hackney Wick to be involved in it’s vibrant artists’ community and is studying fashion. She uses baggy, oversized cuts in her clothing and innovative ways to drape beautiful, pastel-colour fabric over the human form. I look forward to working and connecting with her more in the future – I love her style, her determination and her gentle ways and have already fallen in love with the clothing she makes by hand.

What a delight to work with Chelly again after so many months. I’m absolutely delighted and very excited to hear that she’ll be training as a tattoo artist and, after she qualifies in illustration very soon, will be taking up a place in a studio and learning the ropes. What an exciting time ahead for you – I cannot think of anything that would suit your drawing style better than INK!!! Keep a steady hand and a steady heart and you will soar. Next time I see you, I will be keeping an eye out for your very own first tattoo, the seashell that will mark the beginning of your journey. Such a mermaid!

Thank you, sisters, for making work such fun.

Keep your eye on the shop as the new styles are added to our shop over the coming few weeks.

Articles

Introducing Mori Kei

Bold colours, chunky accessories, kawaii cuteness by the bucketload, Japanese street fashion is known for it’s colourful, busy, eclectic, anything-goes space-age youthful vibe. It’s often bright, new and modern, often borrows from traditional Japanese garb but also incorporates a cartoon-like version of 1980’s New York hiphop streetwear in bright sherbet and citrus colour palettes.

So what a surprise when a style called mori kei burst on the scene – it seemed like a direct antithesis to all that plastic and neon and evolved more out of the cute girly Lolita style. Flowy, billowy layers of lace and natural fabrics created a soft and feminine look that was graceful, natural, hippie-like and anchored in a nostalgic and wistful pastoralism, using smock-like dresses and loosely layered skirts, ponchos or cardigans. Earthy and pastel-coloured natural fabrics such as textured lace, linen and crochet, often thrifted, were complimented by vintage jewellery. The style was so popular that it has since gone international and is still growing in popularity.

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE: Mori Kei gets natural.
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE: Mori Kei gets natural.

However, beneath the whimsy, there’s an odd strictness to this subculture – it’s probably the only one we’ve heard of that actually has written rules! Just over a decade ago, a girl named Choco, writing on Japan’s facebook equivalent Mixi, created 62 ‘official’ rules to qualify for being an archetypal mori girl. That seems somewhat excessive and specific, I hear you say. Especially as fashion is meant to be a fluid language and also very personal.

But mori kei endures. And, taken from its unlikely urban roots in the Tokyo megatropolis (mori means forest and kei menas fashion in Japanese), it has become not only about fashion but also lifestyle and there are now mori ‘communities’ in places as diverse as Minnesota USA and is especially popular in Scandinavia.

These days, the doctrinaire rigidity of mori kei has been loosened by people of all sexes that are mixing it with all kinds of other styles such as gothic, cosplay, fae style and hippy and that, in turn, has influenced new fashions such as strega “witch” fashion, dark mori and pastel goth.

Being attracted to this trend is about lessons we need to learn – about feeling free to look into a country’s past, collect old things, feel a simplicity, an innocence and connection to the land and to cherish your grandmother’s accessories.

by KATIE LAMBERT
co-founder of Altshop.co.uk

 

Check out Altshop’s Pinterest collection of beautiful mori kei outfits

Inspiration from our Tribe

Forest Fairy

KATRIN: Purple Princess
KATRIN: Purple Princess

Here’s some more great outfit inspo from our favourite cosplayer Katrin.

Her outfits are ethereal, fairy-like and full of the most beautiful sorbet, pastel and pale colours and go fantastically well with her coloured hair.

Here, in the main image, she’s wearing our purple velvet Hecate Jacket. Thank you for sharing the photos, Katrin!

Inspiration from our Tribe

Spirited Creatress

BLESSED: Natasha makes beautiful things

We’re totally in love with the work of Natasha from Blessed Branches. She makes amazing talismans, jewellery and art out of crystals, clay, wood and charms inspired by nature, spirit animals, runes and pagan sacred symbols. The results are simply stunning keepsakes to weave magic and add wonder to your life.
We found her instagram feed after she posted images of her wearing our Cutstripe pixie top and she even won our 2017 selfie competition with a great pic of her wearing our velvet Hecate Jacket.

Inspiration from our Tribe

A World of Colour

PSY FAIRY: Rosie chooses bright colours to create a striking look

Yes lady! Rosie posted this fab image on her Instagram feed wearing one of our limited edition choli tops. It’s made from lovely soft velvet and rare Tibetan silk brocade and is also reversible.

If you love the bright, neon bold colours of cyber fashion, check out Rosie’s Instagram feed. It’s chock-full of very original and colourful images and she has some great cyber make-up, hair and outfit ideas – including pink and purple eyebrows! – and she works at Cyberdog so there’s loads of UV and space-age settings for you drool over!

Interviews

Mai Magi: Heritage and Magic

HER outfit posts and photoshoots, starkly coloured and steeped in mystery and old magic, are an inspiration to her 65k followers.

Sometimes chic and sexy, sometimes baggy and grungy, often layered with delicate lace and always steeped in an elegant and feminine aesthetic, Danish fashion blogger Mai Magi borrows stylistic elements from gothic Victoriana, Japanese lolita fashion, cosplay elven warrior costume, long lacy lagenlook layers, dark fae and even the folklore of her country.

mai3
ELVEN WARRIOR: Social influencer Mai Magi’s style is deeply rooted in her Danish heritage.

In fact, folklore has played a very important part in how Mai dresses. She explains: “The first established style that drew me in was goth and it mostly appealed to me through music. It quickly mixed with my passion for fantasy and historical fashion.

“My appearance is greatly influenced by my country’s landscape and history. As someone who’s interested in history and fantasy, Danish folklore and it’s creatures have always had a big impact on how I dress.

“The weather dictates lots of layers and black is generally a colour favoured by many Danes. My style wouldn’t be the same if I lived elsewhere! My heritage is an important part of how I express myself.”

She mixes new and pre-loved garments to sublime effect and this is what gives her style it’s unique edge. “I grew up almost solely wearing hand-me-downs,” Mai tells us. “I remember looking through the bags of second-hand clothes like they were treasure chests.” Now, she has turned thrifting into an art and many of her outfits include at least one thrifted piece.

You can’t help but notice that many of her outfits contain another message. She paints crescent moons on her forehead, wears moon-shape headdresses and jewellery that signify a reverence that connects her with the sacred feminine and, therefore, to women worldwide.

“Sisterhood is unity, across divisions,” she believes. “It’s what ties me to all women, regardless of factors such as culture, religion or differences in appearance.”

It is precisely this inclusive attitute and open mind that has allowed Mai’s style to develop beyond genres and come into it’s own. To share this wonderful daily creative process with the world, she has become adroit at social media and, after years of experimenting, can do a full shoot, including the styling, in about an hour.

“All my outfit photos and selfies are taken on my phone,” she reveals. “It’s a OnePlus 5t and has an awesome camera and makes the process of posting so much easier. My shoots – the ones I do myself – are taken with a Nikon D3200 and a single softbox.”

This self-professed “elf goth from the dark north” is rooted to her own to history, landscape and lore by the way she expresses herself but connected to the wider world by digital as well as emotional means.

She cultivates a mystical presence but lays herself bare with a cheeky sense of humour. She is at once witch, fairy, moon maiden, gothic queen, elven warrior, Scandinavian shamanka, kooky nerd and wistful muse.

DISARMING: Mai's cheeky smile.
DISARMING: Mai’s cheeky smile.

Altshop.co.uk recommends you check out Mai Magi’s Instafeed here.

Interview by KATIE LAMBERT
co-founder of Altshop.co.uk

 

Shop News

Natasha Wins Our Comp

WE are delighted to announce the winner of our selfie competition, which has been running since summer last year… it’s Natasha Heard from Australia.

She won a shop voucher for £150 to spend with us with this magical selfie.

We hadn’t heard of Natasha or her online shop Blessed Branches before she entered the competition, but we’re now completely in love with her work.

blessed2-small
THE SELFIE: Natasha’s magical vibes.

She and her husband Michael make amazing talismans, jewellery and art out of crystals, clay, wood and charms inspired by nature, spirit animals, runes and pagan sacred symbols. The results are simply stunning magical tools and keepsakes to weave magic and add wonder to your life.

The detailing in the pieces show that this is a labour of love for the couple, who live in by the coast in Old Bar, Australia with their two kids. They often frequent the community craft markets with their beautiful creations.

Natasha, who describes herself as “a natural witch”, invites a “passionate connection to Mother Earth flow into all her creations.”

She admits to being a huge fan of Altshop.co.uk and says that she “just LOVES everything Altshop.”

We were so happy when she sent us this photo of her wearing one of the outfits she spent the voucher on.

Natasha's new Altshop outfit
SHE COMES IN COLOURS: Natasha’s new Altshop outfit

If you’d like to see more of Natasha and Micheal’s amazing creations, her Instagram feed is a must-see and you can also check out her Etsy shop HERE.