The Shake of Ophelia recounts the mystical tale of a young, beautiful and eccentric girl, born into a life of luxury and privilege at the turn of the 19th century. Suffocated by protocol and longing for adventures to distant, exotic lands far removed from her own, she beguiles a travelling spice merchant, embarking with him on a journey that would lead them across the dry plains of Africa to the intricate maze of the Far East. Incense, opium, herbs and outsized jewels dazzle her senses: this English rose, once lost, finds herself at last amidst the feverish exoticism of The Orient.
In the still sands of a faraway desert, her other worldly, porcelain beauty casts its potent spell over a powerful shaman priest. Struck by this rare creature, he determines that she must stay. And so it is in a chalked-out circle that they stand; he, a wild, caped figure, calling upon the spirits in an ancient, mystical tongue; she, a white-eyed innocent, convulsing as the voodoo chant takes over her very soul. As the mad utterances subside and the crowd falls hushed, the ritual is complete: She would forever be enslaved to this ochre-stained kingdom.
Saturated in jewels from her homeland together with the rare and enigmatic stones collected along her travels, this collection recounts her journey: a lust-worthy, escapist marriage of the fine materials from her titled lineage, coupled with the aesthetics, motifs and traditional adornments of the swirling, tribal desert. Clasps mimic the cage in which she finds herself trapped; tassels SHAKE with the memory of her shaken trance, at once a curse and her salvation from a previously mapped-out existence.
Enslaved, yes, but forever to be adorned in exquisite beauty, such as she could never have imagined in her wildest dreams…
PHOTOGRAPHY - Christopher Morris. STYLIST- David Bonney. HAIR & MAKE-UP - Gavin Ainsbury. MODEL Bella @ Viviennes.