Gothic Mementos

Friday, October 31, 2014

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

I'm the opposite of a moth; I'm attracted to darkness, it holds many mysteries, unknown. I'm a curious sort and have been as far back as I can remember. In order to keep my nose out of places it didn't belong, my mother always threatened me with the adage, "curiosity killed the cat." As a child, that just made me imagine that a giant monster killed the cat. I demanded to know more about the monster, so I could learn how to beat it, but she wouldn't tell me. (Age old wisdom parallels were clearly lost on dumb kids). All my life I've been exhilarated by fictional, supernatural terrors only to collapse back into the lightness and safety of laughter. Sometimes, supernatural terror is simply more palatable than the horrors of our personal lives. It is an escape. Everyone has their escapes from reality. For a long, long time I wanted nothing more than to escape my own life.  

photo credit: Joshua Franzos
 And so I escaped through literature. My reading preferences....predominantly dark. I adored the Byronic heroes of 18th and 19th century Gothic fiction.  Particularly, those proud, brooding, defiant characters that lingered at the precipice of self-destruction, but were capable of deep love and loyalty....if given a chance...if only they were understood and loved....Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, Horace Walpole, Matthew Gregory Lewis, Bram Stoker, Charlotte Bronte, even Jane Austen, of the old ladies and gentlemen authors that have delighted me with crumbling castles, ancestral curses and secret passageways. (I just love a decaying literary setting). But my literary friends pleaded with me to read the works of living authors. So I picked up Bukowski and Thompson. But it wasn't long before they were dead too. I dug deep, I knew I'd read some living authors at some point, albeit few and far between. But you could probably guess, right?  Stephen King and Anne Rice.


photo credit: Joshua Franzos
I read Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice, when I was a teenager. Oh, how I loved it and identified with Louis, the vampire. He was a lonely and immortal philosopher, doomed to walk the earth without a companion rather than keep the insufferable sadist, Lestat, by his side. (Sounds like stuff a teenager would identify with, right?) A couple years ago, when the "you should read living authors" prodding started, I picked up another Anne Rice novel, The Witching Hour, and was immediately entranced with the setting of New Orleans, specifically, the garden district with it's decaying, shuttered mansions, old ironwork, mossy trees and cryptic cemeteries....it's about as Old World as you can find without leaving the US. I had to see it, experience it...so I did. Twice in two years. This most recent visit was a family visit, where our goal was to share the New Orleans experience of gulf oysters and Preservation Jazz Hall with Mr. Franzos' father. In the early morning, before the rest of our traveling companions woke, Mr. Franzos and I did a shoot in Lafayette Cemetary No. 1. It was inspired by my love for Gothic anti-heroes and Anne Rice's vampires and witches of New Orleans. Rice has a new vampire book out, Prince Lestat, just released this week. I can't wait to check it out. 

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

This post was supposed to be light and easy. I just was going to talk about fashion and literature. But life and death happens. Thanks in large part to my family and my writing outlets, I'm not nearly the dark soul I used to be, but I still have my moments. These past couple weeks for instance, they have been difficult for Mr. Franzos and I. We lost someone very important to us, Josh's Dad, (my father-in-law), Stan Franzos. He had an amazing, fascinating and rich life with a beautiful companion that he shared all but the last two years with. Stan and his muse, Dolly, were my inspiration behind this blog, because I see shades of Josh and I in their love story. But here's one of the most beautiful things about this sad event....Stan died on the 2nd anniversary of his wife's death. The. Very. Same. Day. With the same romance and pentameter as a 19th century poet. 

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

 It is a long-standing, New Orleans tradition to honor the dead and revere their resting places on November 1st, All Saints Day, when according to the liturgical calendar, their souls ascend to Heaven. I don't know what happens after we die, but I know this much, the loved ones we lost do live on in us, if we let them come marching in. 

          Oh, when the stars fall from the sky
          Oh, when the stars fall from the sky
          I want to be in that number
          When the saints go marching in.

photo credit: Joshua Franzos



What I wore: White blouse: past season, Anne Fontaine. Waistcoat: past season, Masnada. One of my new, favorite brands! Earrings: Baublebar, here. Skirt: vintage, Thierry Mugler. Shoes: past season, Casedei.



Your Bosom Friend From Pittsburgh,












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13 comments :

  1. Love that you share your readings with us ! The photoshoots is perfect, and you look amazing !

    http://www.pardonmyobsession.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caroline! Always an honor when you stop by:)

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  2. Great post! Beautiful photos!

    xx Sera | http://stardustbohemian.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sera! Thank you for reading! I look forward to stopping by your blog:)

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  3. OMG! This post is amazing. I love all your pics and of course love your outfit.
    Great shoes :)

    Come and visit my blog if you want!
    xx
    www.modacapital-blog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gaby, Thank you for reading, your nice compliments and I very much look forward to stopping by your blog:)

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  4. Replies
    1. Hi Garazi, Thank you! Looking forward to checking out your blog:)

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  5. nice shooting!

    http://fashioneiric.blogspot.com.
    Coline ♥

    ReplyDelete
  6. Coline, Thank you! I'll be sure to tell my husband:)

    ReplyDelete

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