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
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.

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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