Introducing the Spring/Summer 2018 The Gypsy Fawn Collection, Lilith of the South.
The Gypsy Fawn Spring/Summer 2018 collection embraces the wild feminine of Lilith and places her in the setting of the American South. In this collection, Lilith leaves the edges of the Red Sea for red dirt and murky creeks.
Lilith is an ancient female figure who appears in various mythologies including Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Canaanite, Persian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Teutonic (From The Book of Lilith). Lilith is most commonly depicted as Adam's first wife in the Garden of Eden before Eve was created; therefore she is considered to be the first woman.
According to the story of Lilith, Lilith was created when Adam became lonely, so God separated Adam into two parts, male and female. Adam and Lilith got along for the most part, but during their lovemaking, Adam insisted on being the dominant partner and Lilith resisted this. She tells him they are both made of the same stuff and therefore equals, but Adam protests and says that while he is made of the earth, she is made of sediment and therefore impure.
She continues to insist they are equals and he continues to deny this, so Lilith makes a decision to leave him and the Garden of Eden behind. After leaving, she is said to live in a cave near the edge of the Red Sea.
Lilith preferred an unknown wilderness to domination. After leaving Eden, she is vilified in various mythologies as becoming a mother to demons. Lilith's ancient storytellers strived to deliver a story that served as instruction to men to control women and instruction to women to submit to men.
Lilith was free creatively and sexually, and this scared men into wanting to subdue her wildness. Lilith left cozy Eden to face the wilderness, and instead of taming it, she became one with it.
This telling of Lilith is by no means all-inclusive, but rather serves as a short summary to the character and important historical figure that is Lilith. You can read more about the stories and interpretations of Lilith in the following texts: Lilith: Healing the Wild by Tom Jacobs, Lilith: The Legend of the First Woman by Ada Langworthy Collier, and The Book of Lilith by Dr. Barbara Black Koltuv.
LILITH OF THE SOUTH:
This collection is inspired by Lilith and also the American South, and imagines what it would be like if Lilith came to the South.
The South is known as being dominated by a conservative base; this base traditionally has strict views about women and how they should act and appear. Lilith is a woman who cannot be molded to fit into neat, small, ladylike spaces.
Lilith's spirit is vast, mysterious, and strange. Therefore, Lilith of the South represents all of the renegade women who are surviving in the South as authentic versions of themselves and refuse to be constrained or confined by strict societal expectations. Because acting like a lady, is just that, an act, and it is an act that renegade women of the South refuse to perform.
These strong women of the South do not leave to seek refuge among the masses that think more like them; instead they choose to continue living as a minority among those who do not understand them, just as Lilith lives in historic texts written by men who did not understand her.
A renegade woman of the South understands that the best way to make change isn't by leaving the place that needs the change, but instead facing it head on, with or without support.
Lilith of the South embodies the independent, feminine nature of Lilith and the superstitious and stubborn American South.
This collection utilizes snake imagery because Lilith is often represented either as a serpent herself or accompanied by serpents. The snake is also a common theme among Southern Gothic texts and images.
Labradorite is predominately used in the collection because of the way it appears to shine like snake skin reflecting off the sun.
Symbols of good luck and fortune are used because of the South's superstitious beliefs that paradoxically live alongside conservative Christian beliefs.
Other symbols that are used in this collection to elicit a Southern Gothic theme include knives, crosses, and fists.
The fists are meant to evoke reflections on the Civil Rights Movement, which profoundly shaped and still shapes the American South, a region still struggling with rampant racism and institutional injustices.
These symbols coincide with classic shapes and materials expected of The Gypsy Fawn, including brass crescents and 1970s vintage chains.
ORIGINAL POEM FOR LILITH OF THE SOUTH:
This collection combines my love of Southern Gothic writing and literature, along with my passion for uncovering the distorted and hidden mythos of women. For this collection, I have written an original poem to further share the meaning behind this work.
A Southern Gothic minded playlist was developed to accompany the new collection. You can listen to the playlist here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/southern-gothic-musings/pl.u-Ymb0vy0HDbBXjK
For the Lilith of the South lookbook, we gathered at a remote, rural site in the middle of nowhere Tennessee. This mysterious place is known as Mt. Zion in Leoma, TN and is often frequented by ghost hunters and youthful whiskey drinkers. The beautiful but creepy site includes a haunted church from the 1800s, a cemetery, swinging rope bridge, and bustling creek. I would like to thank the photographer, model, and photoshoot assistant for making magick with me that day and truly bringing my vision for Lilith of the South to life.
Inspiration for the Lilith of the South Collection
As a thank you for reading and viewing the new lookbook, you can save 10% off all jewelry and magick through 4/30/18 with coupon code SOUTH.
Writer and Jewelry Designer: Ashley Massey
Photographer: Milly Baine
Model: Elise Woods
Assistant: Jason Hardiman
Clothing: Southern Trash in Florence, Alabama