Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Being Belphoebe.

Prouidence heauenly passeth liuing thought,
And doth for wretched mens reliefe make way;
For loe great grace or fortune thither brought
Comfort to him, that comfortlesse now lay.
In those same woods, ye well remember may,
How that a noble hunteresse did wonne,
She, that base Braggadochio did affray,
And made him fast out of the forrest runne;
Belphoebe was her name, as faire as Phoebus sunne.

I realise the title of this post might sound dreadfully narcissistic, or like the particularly unoriginal beginning of my upcoming autobiography (on the various intricacies and tradgedies of being a full time blogger) but for me it represents playing myself, something I'm sure a lot of people don't get the opportunity to do. Not many people I know have a name which is so clearly conjoined with a character, unless it is a biblical or some other classical name. My name derives from an immensely long poem by an Elizabethean poet called Edmund Spenser, called The Faerie Queene, which explores magic, love and the pastoral. The literal meaning of my name has a few different interpretations, but 'Beautiful Diana' is what Spencer intended, according to Wiki. I've always known that the name I was given when I popped out of my mum was something a bit different. And that's not always been something I've like, often being lambasted as 'posh' or 'poncy' or just plain 'stupid'. But I've learnt to love it and embrace it in recent years,and so when it came round to our flat's Midsummer party, I decided to have a stab at creating this The Faerie Queene character, for the purposes of literary dressing, which is something I'd like to make quite a substantial part of this blog (I realise I sound like the most pretentious fool in the world, but hopefully if I'm aware of it that makes it okay?)

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As a relatively minor character in the Faerie Queene, Belphoebe isn't depicted in art a whole lot. This is a moodboard of some of the imagery I found related to her and the Faerie Queene as a whole. Generally she is depicted as a vunerable, yet powerful woman, something I can wholly admire. She was inspired by Queen Elizabeth the First, the Virgin Queen, infact the character was said to have been written for her, explaining why her main characteristics are as a chaste, yet relentlessly strong woman. The bottom left picture is of Amoret, who is a seperate character in the Faerie Queene, but I love this painting and wanted to use it to think about what I was going to wear for my costume.

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Under dress - Primark
Over dress - Vintage
Headband - Primark
Bow and Arrow - Luke's dad

In my 'quest' to recreate Belphoebe's look and bring it up to date with my current style, I decided to go for something ethereal as well as conventionally pure. This involved a white dress and a flower garland, something which I hardly struggled with when looking in my wardrobe. I love this Primark flower garland, evidently one for Summer festivals, although its ubiquity became clear when it turned out three of us at the party were wearing the same one. This happens a lot when you buy from Primark I've found.
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I've been itching to wear this overlaying slip/dress for ages. It was a great find in one of the East End Thrift store's Fill a Bag sales as I remember, and it went really well with this Primark dress underneath, another steal at only £7. I certainly felt very whimsical and ethereal in it, a bit like Florence Welch probably does when she's whirling around onstage, and with both our uniquely coloured hair, I'm sure we could be mistaken for twins (okay, not that sure.)
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In the main picture I've seen of the character of Belphoebe, she has arrows in a pouch on her back, and as a virgin huntress,you can be damn sure that be jumping over the woodland glades with a bow and arrow in hand, fending off unwanted admirers (which funnily enough, describes a typical day for Belphoebe New). Unfortunately as the party drew nearer I struggled to locate a bow and arrow that wasn't simply a toy one, but as usual, my flatmate Luke and his family came spectacularly to the rescue. Luke's wonderful dad made me this, and it's pretty amazing as it genuinely looks like something Robin Hood would have rocked.  photo 137_zpsfbc7c049.jpg
For my Midsummer make up look, I used quite earthy tones, such as Urban Decay's Mildew and Smog. Alongside this I used Topshop's Sunshower Gold Crayon as a highlighter on the insides of my eyes (the best way to make your eyes look bigger)! I also used ELF highlighter around my cheekbones to give me that 'woodland elf' look that we've all been dying for. Or so I've heard. On my lips I used my Lime Crime Lipstick in Red Velvet, which I absolutely adore, it stays on for an absolute age!
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Though I imagine the original Belphoebe of the woods wouldn't be sporting bright purple locks, there's nothing nicer than the first day of your newly dyed hair. Since I've started bleaching my hair (I know, I know, it's bad for it, but my hair just looks so boring otherwise) I've tried a few different dying brands, including Directions and Schwarzkopf Live XXL. For this colour I used Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL in Purple Punk, a semi permanent colour. It came out great on my pre lightened hair and was probably one of the first hair dyes I've used that actually completely washed out after rinsing. Although, as you can see, some of it decided to hang around on my ear. Sigh.
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Hope you enjoyed this post! Please let me know below down in the comments if you did as I could continue to make more style posts about literary characters or movements.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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  1. This is a great post. I wish bright coloured hair dye was easily available in South Africa. I've never seen it in any stores. I know you must be able to get it somewhere. I'd love to try out a bright colour at least once, but I'd use a semi-permanent colour so I don't have to worry about re-dyeing it when it grows out.

  2. This is such a beautiful post.
    My parents gave me the middle name of Fuchsia after the Gormanghast character so I can kind of relate. Having a weird literary name is something you grow into for sure.

  3. Great shots! The colour of your hair looks great against the white of the dress! :)

  4. These photos are so cute!
    Love the outfit!


  5. gorgeous outfit! I love the flower crown with your gorgeous colour hair :D
    loving the bow and arrow too, so cool! xx

  6. I LOOOOOOOVED your makeup! Very fairy-like and perfect for the character you were portraying. I enjoy our little parties so much... Time to start planning the next one? ;)

    - http://chewkamu.blogspot.com/

  7. You look amazing! I vaguely remember reading a tale about the faerie Queen now in trying to remember who wrote it :/ I love the look the over dress is beautiful.
    Belphoebe is an awesome name! I always thought Jodie was super boring (even though when I went to sixth form everyone thought it was short for something)
    Thank you so much fir the kind comment on my blog

  8. This was actually so much fun to read and see! It's really cool to learn about your name origins I love stuff like that. You nailed the look and feel of your originality as a faerie queen love it! <3

  9. Wow, the dress and flowers in your hair are beautiful! Lovely photos

    Heather xx

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Just wow, your outfit is amazing!

  12. your photos are gorgeous and eye-catching, i love your hair!

  13. شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة انها الاولى فى مكافحة ورش الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة رش البق رش الصراصير مكافحة النمل الابيض بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة

  14. شركة نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ابيات الشرقيه لخدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركة نقل اثاث الدمام
    نقل عفش الدمام
    نقل عفش بالدمام


Thank you so so much for your comment! It makes me smile everytime I see a new one pop up. If you leave me a link to your blog I will aim to get back to you within 2 days because I love looking at all your blogs too!
If you want to continue the conversation, tweet me @thebelphoebejar


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