Thursday, 9 October 2014

LagenMori: The Multilayered Story of a Forest Witch

Okay, there is no such thing as LagenMori, I made it up, but if one pays attention to all the trivial things I pay attention to, one eventually finds out that there are many street-style fashions around the world that involve loose layers and the always creative and youth obsessed Japanese have invented a few.  Recently I mentioned the Mori Girl style.  It involves layers as does the Lagenlook but is sweeter, girlier, lacier and frillier. Though it is often described as nature influenced and focused on earth tones, most images I have found are more like a twelve year old Edwardian English girl dressed for a garden party.  I confess the ten year old in me loves it, though the 47 year old might look a bit silly wearing lacy ankle socks.

But there are places where it crosses over into something I like, or at least it does according to those who post pictures on line and label them as Mori Girl style.  I came across it because some images are posted and called Lagenlook by one person and Mori by another.  Designers such as Ivey Abitz or Kaliyana promote their clothes as being Lagenlook or Mori as do various sellers on Etsy.  It was due to this use of both terms to sell the clothing that I found  Dark Mori.  A spin off of the sweeter looking Mori Girl, the Dark Mori has a touch of Goth or a bit of a witchy look that rather appeals to me.  She is perhaps the less innocent older sister of the Mori Girl.  She has seen things and done things; she knows things; she wears black and dances with her cat.

I could potentially join the ranks of those of you who love vintage.  It's just that my vintage preference is Edwardian plus or minus a few flapper dresses.  I certainly don't find much (or any) of that in the thrift  shops and even if I did it would not fit.  People were tiny back then and I am from good Viking stock!  As for sewing it myself, well that is not going to happen.  I would have to gain interest, talent, ability, time... and did I mention time?  Sewing is not my art form.  I need a friend who loves to sew and has lots of time on her hands and thinks whipping up clothing for me is just a delight!  I will buy the materials and pay her in chocolate.  A woman can dream!

                           Can't you see me in this?  I know you can!


Since there is a woodsy witch aspect to many of the images found linked to the terms Dark Mori,  short of donning a set of antlers, that whole image works for me!

                  But then antlers are rather fetching, are they not?

           Found on Pinterest originally from Spinning Castle on Etsy.  Here

I have always had a fascination with the pagan, the fairy world, my Celtic and Icelandic ancestry and with magic, even though I am at the same time the most skeptical of individuals and not the type one would describe as spiritual.  I also loath rituals.  I don't even have many personal ones.  I am quite random about my daily routines other than the fact that I do eat, sleep and clean myself.  How is it that dressing like a gothic-pagan-witchy-fairy thing feels less like a costume to me than a blouse and pencil skirt does at this point?  I think it goes back to my childhood, a time when I ran barefoot and made daisy chains for my hair and mixed up potions of flower petals in old tin cans, using a stick I had selected as my magic wand.  Empty lots, wooded areas and the beach were all available to me as places to explore and play.  Perhaps I am just getting old and feeling nostalgic for those days. I am, after all, in a bit of a no-woman's land, past virgin, moving through mother and not yet arriving at crone.  My garden is lost to me and my contact with nature severely reduced.  There is a longing of some sort.  A desire to reunite with what feels like home.

And there is a solution......before completing this post I went for a very short wander.
I was a little bit nervous about walking in the woods alone.  You will remember what happened to Little Red Riding Hood, after all!  So for this reason I chose a section of the wooded part that was a bit more open.  I did not see a single person so happily wandered about with my camera experimenting with flash or no flash and collecting branches.  I wrestled some enormous, twisted, complex branch structures out of the forest and into my car, which required some manoeuvring of the seats and rolling down windows to get it all in.  I persevered and now have the dead remains of trees cheerfully decorating a few rooms in my home.  I was expecting someone to approach me and scold me for tampering with the natural forest floor decaying process but my plan was just to say I am a witch and need some ingredients for various spells and then give the evil eye.  I was most disappointed not to have that opportunity.  Mum says she will keep an eye on the local paper for anyone writing in to complain about a woman dressed in purple stealing branches from the nature park.

It's not a spectacular example of west coast trees; none are first or even second growth but it is, at least, a bit of land set aside as parkland and left natural other than paths.  A stream runs through it which is important to the salmon spawning cycle and just be glad I did not take photos of that.

                   And now I feel restored.  There is a new moon and a new me.


  1. The forest is beautiful!! Especially that Secoiya (is it one? It looks like one)
    I always feel restored after visiting a forest. x

  2. Oh that forest looks unreal! *_* Hahah, I want to go branch hunting with you some day, it would be awesome!
    I used to be very pumped about the Celtic and Pagan, about occultism too :D I think it's a phase every person goes through at one point of their lives :D
    Adore the Dark Mori and Girly Mori, I think you're totally a Dark Mori! Just checked out the links you posted, I love the collections there. Slouchy and crazy, just the way I like em! :D

  3. wonderful post!!!!
    especially the second part :-) saying "i´m a witch" and giving the evil eye would help in a lot of situations, not only when catched by a ranger while collecting wood in a nature park!
    can i be that friend who´s payed in chocolate for sewing outlandish clothing for you?

    1. Do you like dark, milk or white? They all have their merits but you will not be surprised to know that personally I like dark best or dark and white together. I will drop round with chocolate and reams of velvet and we will discuss tunics.
      Love and Hugs!

    2. that would be fab - if you don´t mind chocolate stains on your tunics :-)
      ....dark with nuts or berries!

  4. Gorgeous photos of the light through the trees, one of the loveliest sights nature has to offer, I think. I'm glad you feel renewed, Shawna, I'm sure there is something to be gained from connecting with the natural world now and again. A good blast of sea air, or a walk under trees, it's very therapeutic. You and your familiar look fabulous together, and yes, that all black layered ensemble would suit you beautifully - but I'm sure you could assemble something similar yourself, for a much cheap price! xxx

  5. Darling Director! How did I miss you on Vis Mon? Glad I went back to check.
    Another brilliant post. LagenMori is extant 'cause you just invented it. I do get it. I know you know about the steampunk sites that have period style items that work in a modern environment. Sometimes. Discernment is everything, and you have lots of it. I think you'd look really good in late19th century menswear and ruffles!
    There are, as I'm sure you're aware, lots of ilks of paganism. I know lots of druidic non-druids who qualify because of lifestyle and where their heart lies. Over the years I've developed my own form, and there's less ritual than many practice. I've whittled it down to what works and isn't empty form.
    Lovely photos! It's that time of year, isn't it? The approaching darkness just a dynamic part of rebirth. Perhaps part of that urge you mention. Winter as womb is part of my spiritual world view. Glad you had time, but I strongly encourage you to take someone along. Really you should.
    There's a mystery series by Laurie R. King about the young wife of Sherlock Holmes and their adventures together... high quality fan-girl fiction. She could have modeled her character after you.
    Have a great week, Shawna. Again, lovely post.

  6. It dawned on me, Shawna, only after reading this post that you have been not just searching for what your style is, but actually creating a new style as you go. Making up a name for it only makes sense! MoriShawna? :)

    I loved your foresty adventures. I'd go with you if we lived closer. I was thinking about rituals myself and even writing about it just recently. I think the only ritual I have is a morning cup of coffee - on weekends shared with Justin, on weekdays on my own. It is not part of breakfast for me (though it definitely can be later in the morning), and there is more to the first cup of coffee than just wanting to wake up faster. It makes my soul warm and cozy, there is something so reassuring about it, especially on a chilly morning, though any morning really. I think that that's what essentially rituals are - just a certain way to get reassurance that life works and everything will be well.

    Sending you love and hugs xxxxxx

    1. I actually do have that routine too, though when I get up for the day varies a lot. It also varies whether I drink tea or coffee, according to my own particular moods. I have a hot cup of something before a meal and I just sit and enjoy it and like you, it isn't about the caffeine, but seems more about the ritual. It's the 3pm coffee that is for the caffeine! I also do not drink coffee while on the go. I will do something that needs doing first to get it out of the way and clear away the negative and nagging energy so that I can sit peacefully with my cup. I am not one to be frantically sucking on a coffee in the car as I drive to work.
      Reflecting on your words I think that rituals are so personal and precious that is perhaps one of the reasons I have so few. If I had more there would be risk of them being interrupted or corrupted. With very few I can really guard and treasure them.

  7. I'm having such fun between you and Pao, you've sent me in new directions with your fashion and sewing links. I can totally see you as a raven haired lagenmori witchy wood fairy, tripping through your forest and bestowing blessings on all the trees and lichen and forest creatures...dressed in your particular blend of the day, be it green and blue velvet or purple and wine lace or black and earth brown linen!
    Today I am inspired to dress in my green petticoat skirt, see
    With my baby braces holding it up to make it a dress. I put a linen shirt over it tied at the waist, but that didn't last too long. Too hot! Menopause plus early Spring. We are 28 deg today. Worryingly hot for this time of year. Please not another 40 deg summer!! Xo JJ

  8. I'm really enjoying watching your style develop. When I started reading style blogs, I was searching for women who dressed as I did, and never found any, but I DID find women who inspire me in how they approach aspects of style that I like, and in how their personalities sparkle through their choices and their words. I'm so glad you're blogging and that you introduced yourself. :D


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