boots, Nine West. crochet skirt, vintage. red bandeau, AA scarf. wide brim hat, thrifted. scarf on shoulder, found? bracelets, sister's/unknown origins. cross ring/fake onyx ring, Forever 21. silver knuckle duster, Rue 21 (who knew?). feather necklace, Wet Seal (again, who knew?).
Photography by Brian Herman
I’ve definitely channeled this whole pseudo-witchy-gypsy vibe before and I apologize for rehashing old tropes. I’ve always believed that I had some gypsy blood in me somewhere, I mean when you’ve heard words like Russian, Ukrainian, Byzantine Greek, Czech, Slovak, and Polish your whole life, and are never given any kind of pie chart to quantify what you actually are composite of, your mind wanders into gypsydom. It’s far more fun than saying, ‘I’m a European mutt just like the rest of you Caucasians.’
Gypsy has become less and less of a historically and ethnically significant word for me, and more and more of a stylistic one. This makes me very sad. I always mean to do some hardcore research, do a little reading, maybe hit up my grandparents for a few more Russian and Slovak lessons, take my stock phrases beyond the Byzantine Catholic greetings: Christos Razdajetsja…Slavite Jeho, Christos voskrese…Voistinu voskrese. Pretty impressive for a girl who goes to church twice a year (not really, I had to Google the spelling of that shit).
Regardless of my inconsistent knowledge of gypsies and my own ancestry for that matter, my ethnically confused eye is constantly drawn to aesthetics that channel, what I can only assume is a watered down, sort of Americanized version of Bohemia. There are always inferences to The West, a very American conceit usually involving turquoise, bones and a Missoni like print; there are also lots of feathers (an undying obsession of mine that is growing stronger by the day); scads of jewelry and printed silk scarves.
The problem with this style is its inaccuracy. If I truly were nomadic I would not want to bother with profuse amounts of jewelry, in fact I probably would have hocked all the wearable baubles for food, or beer, or tobacco. I would certainly be wearing something more substantial up top than an American Apparel scarf over a bandeau bra…one needs a high impact sports bra if they’re gonna be hiking through the mountains of Eastern Europe, I mean…shit! And despite the perfect comfort and fringe-y playfulness of a crocheted knee length skirt, nomadism is no arena for delicate things. That $7 ebayed skirt would be ripped, snagged, and exposing my very non-element weary under things in no time. And then there are the 4” heels; the near-over-the-knee height is great for avoiding scratching the hell out of one’s shins and knees from burs and jaggers, but those damn things hurt like hell when worn for more than 4 hours of consistent walking.
Thusly, I need to practical-ize my gypsyness. I suppose this is where the likes of Spanish Moss Vintage, Free People, and The Sisters of the Black Moon come in. Otherwise my stylistic, some-day nomadic dreams would be complete with a simple pair of Ann Demeulemeester boots. I really need to get my Slovak/Russian/Polish/Irish ass to the “old country(ies).” and too stop rambling…later on stylish people.