Lately I have been very inspired by Dark Mori and Strega styles that I have come across through YouTube videos and Tumblr. I had seen the looks before and thought they looked great and had heard the words before loosely used but didn't think about what they meant much specifically. But lately through, my forays on the internet I found out more specifically what these terms meant and through that was led to looking into them even more. So what is Dark Mori and Strega?
(Photos are sourced from various Tumblr sites).
To discuss Dark Mori, one has to discuss Mori girl style first. This style started in Japan by a woman named Choco, who literally wrote the rules for this style. As with many other Japanese subculture styles (like Lolita), there are a lot of rules. Mori means forest in Japanese, and the aim is to look like you stepped out of a forest. The style's colour scheme is creams, white, green and brown and is very earthy. Mori girls dress in layers, and wear modest length A line skirts, along with shawls, sweaters, cardigans and comfortable shoes. Lace is popular as well as adding leather items, and natural elements like leaves, and flowers. They collect oddities and antiques and often accessorize with old jewelry or pocket watches. There are also rules about likes and behaviours like being sweet and shy, and enjoying tea and reading books.
I personally don't have any interest in this style, but to understand Dark Mori it's a useful to know about where it came from.
Dark Mori is an off shoot of Mori in that one is dressing like they are a witch that came out of the darkest part of the forest. This style is influenced by fairy tales and fantasy creatures. The colour scheme is black with some including dark greys and greens or red. It also involves layering in long skirts and dresses, shawls, sweaters, and cardigans. Lace and netting is popular as well as accesorizing with bone jewelry, feathers, and natural elements. Fantasy elements, and occult symbols can be incorporated into this style as well.
There was some controversy with this name as some felt that it was getting too far away from the original Mori and that others were appropriating the style. I don't want to get too much into that discussion, but one should recognize it exists.
Because of the controversy and because there was a lot of branching away from the original Mori there was debate about what to call the new emerging witchy style. A Tumblr user called shortcuttothestars
Came up with the name "Strega" (Italian for witch) to describe the new witchy fashion trend. She even has a Strega manifesto which states that none can define what Strega is and is not as it is dressing up bring out your inner witch. Every individual must define for themselves what this means. There was also some controversy about this name as it is Italian for witch and there are a few who practice Strega to this day. However the new name seems to have been adopted and accepted.
Strega style is expressed in different ways, with some sticking to more Dark Mori leanings with shawls, scarves and layers, to others expressing a more Stevie Nicks vibe and others taking inspiration from shows like American Horror Story - Coven. Many cross between these styles as well - it's up to the individual. If it looks witchy to you, then it is Strega!
A Strega polyvore I found on Pintrest.
I actually prefer the Term Dark Forest Witch as this is literally what dark Strega means. I think it also corporates all the things I love about these styles - the dark of goth, the nature living aspects of Mori and the witchiness of Strega.
What are your thoughts on these styles?
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