Friday, January 25, 2008

Modern Mata Hari

Margeretha Geertruida Zelle, the original Mata Hari, a woman who challenged
the Norm.

HAIR & MAKE-UP STYLIST Gabriella Starbuck
MODEL Caroline Bruzuszek

A Cultural Provacateur of her time, Mata Hari was a master of style and expression. In telling her wild and often tall tales, she would make the fantastic appear out of thin air, creating a sense of mystique which she used to her advantage. Her unabashed free spirit, and constant defiance of the current fashions made her stand out in a crowd. In her approach to life, she embraced all that was provocative, taboo, and exotic, and in doing so, she cast a spell over much of Europe's cultural elite. Her exotic dress, when she wore clothes at all, always bore signs of her unique sense of style. Here is a look that a Modern Mata Hari might sport today.

Consciously creating our appearance allows us more control over how the world perceives us. And dressing as individuals makes us identifiable as independent thinkers. Either you choose what you look like to become what you are, or someone else will do it for you. To stand out in a culture that constantly encourages us to follow trends requires a critical eye and a richness of spirit: an appreciation for the things that cannot be bought, an understanding of the true value of objects, a sense of pride in our difference, an inner joy that must be expressed, and an occasional sneer in the face of Polite Society.

Readers, please share! I'd love examples of how you express the spirit of a modern Mata Hari.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Awsome outfit. I love the large belt. You bought the whole outfit at the thrift store. New York thirft stores rock. Are there really fashions like that in every city? How can a small city girl find fashions in her town? What are some tricks to finding good finds?

E. Starbuck said...

Hello Veiwer,
Thanks for your comment! Yes, almost every outfit in our shoots were bought at thrift stores or were hand me downs. The thrift stores in NYC are really awesome, but I grew up in the Midwest where the thrift stores are equally great. Even small towns have great thrift stores, and sometimes they are even better then big cities because they haven't been so picked over. Also, remember that there are people out there with a life's wardrobe up in the attick that will find it's way to the thrift store sooner or later. The frequency that you shop thrift could make a huge difference in how often you find the choice picks. Some of the best tricks are listed in the "Treasure Hunt" story, but it also really helps to know the thrift stores in your area and what their specialties are. There might be a second hand shop affiliated with a school or a church that might be a little more expensive but would have really nice things, or there might be a huge Salvation Army Store that has so many clothes that you will very likely find something there that will suit your needs. Good luck with your hunt!
Best wishes,