Alt Style Icon: Vanessa Ives

Saturday, January 16, 2016 Sam 0 Comments

                                                                                              Photo credit
I'm a late comer to the masterpiece that is Penny Dreadful and to the most beautiful, wonderful, perfect person that is Vanessa Ives. But that doesn't matter because Penny Dreadful and Vanessa Ives is always relevant, If you disagree, you can fight me.

When I started my love affair with Penny Dreadful, I decided that I should pretty much just become Vanessa Ives. It's a completely rational conclusion that you certainly understand if you watch the series. I scoured the interwebs for fashion inspiration and what I came up with didn't resonate with me. They were either over-the-top Victorian ensembles (which are lovely but not what I was looking for) or too obvious a la Hot Topic's Scorpion dress (again, cute, but just not quite right).

When I think of Vanessa's character, I'm struck by the duality of her personality, station, and situation. We've seen her dressed to impress in Victorian finery and in plain, chunky knits to keep warm in the Highlands.
                      Photo Credit: Showtime official Penny Dreadful facebook page
We've seen Vanessa interact with the Catholic faith as well as study pagan ritual. We've seen her sexuality come to life only to haunt her and leave her once again refraining from intimacy. She's such a multi faceted character and for that reason, I created an outfit that's full of interesting duality: 

Inspired by Vanessa Ives

This outfit makes sense on the surface - it's the details that add some interest. A tight lace skirt and cage bralet nod to Vanessa's sexuality, adding a billowy white shirt conceals and balances out the slit in the skirt. Adding a chunky crimson cardigan to an outfit like this is so wrong it's right. It nods to Vanessa's past living a simple life in the Highlands. The silver onyx choker is elegant, feminine and perfectly witchy. Layering a scorpion necklace is a bit obvious. The symbol is important but displaying it through jewelry helps keep it subtle. The cross ring balances the black onyx and scorpion by nodding to Vanessa's ongoing relationship with the Catholic faith. High heeled Victorian style booties add just a touch of the era into the overall look. Finish with crimson nails and a classic red lip and voila, you've captured the essence of Vanessa Ives.

What do you think? Does this capture the beautifully elegant and mysterious Vanessa Ives? What types of things would be in your own Vanessa inspired wardrobe?