Spring: From Terror and wonder to Bewitching beauty

By Jo Phillips

The month of October has a haunted feel to it; be it the early darkness descending upon us, the onset of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, or just the chill in the air, for all of these and many more reasons, we associate terrors around this time of year.  Which is why it’s pretty apt timing that the British Library has launched the UK’s biggest ever macabre and eerie Gothic exhibit taking us to 20th January of next year; “Terror and Wonder; the Gothic Imagination.”

Tales of Terror by Matthew Lewis, published 1808. Photograph: British Library1.5/PR
Tales of Terror by Matthew Lewis, published 1808. Photograph: British Library1.5/PR

From Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker, to Stanley Kubrick and Alexander McQueen, via posters, books, film and even a vampire-slaying kit, experience the dark shadow the Gothic imagination has cast across film, art, music, fashion, architecture and our daily lives.  Some two hundred rare objects are on display, tracing 250 years of the Gothic tradition, such as the fantastic pale white dress made in 1816, each exploring our enduring fascination with the mysterious, the terrifying and the macabre.  To find out more about the exhibit and plan your visit, please go here: http://www.bl.uk/events/terror-and-wonder–the-gothic-imagination

If visiting the exhibit might give you nightmares, but you want to pay homage to the witching season, then do check out the stunning limited edition collection of Face Lace designs which have been created especially for the Terror and Wonder exhibit by artist Phyllis Cohen, such as the Salome Eye Mask (below right).  These will be sold at the British Library shop as well as via Face Lace.

Cent - Phyllis Cohen Face Lace

Otherwise, for a more whimsical take on the spells and myths of this month, have a look at the gorgeous Spellbound collection of Nail Polishes from Rococo nail apparel.  The limited edition trio set comes in a specially designed gift box which opens up to reveal a storytelling spellbook as well as these three on trend shades: a dramatic dark heather mist, lustrous red and deepest metallic blue.  The fact that Rococ’s polishes are free from Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and Camphor – the nasties that our skin and body doesn’t like, these colours are even more spellbinding..

Cent - Spellbound set