Back in September, my friend Joël Lamotte and I went to the beautiful Parc de Sceaux in the south suburbs of Paris to take some pictures.
The Park was designed by André le Nôtre (he created the Versailles gardens as well by the way) at the end of the 17th century.
The then castle and the cascades were destroyed during the Revolution but another castle was built in the 19th century, in a Louis XIII style.
Apparently, the domain was host to quite a few lavish parties in the French 2nd empire. Now, it belongs to the Hauts de Seine department.
Now decadent parties and classical gardens have a way to evoke vampires to me.
Vampires were popularised in Europe in the 18th century after some reports and even corpse staking in Eastern Europe.
But the modern idea of the vampire comes from a few 19th century stories, including Dracula by Bram Stoker. I talk a bit more about Dracula in a previous article, Those Red Lips.
Vampires in a French decadent setting remind me of a few other stories.
Interview with the Vampire as well as the Vampire Lestat are the first two books of the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. Written in the 1980s they are now considered staple vampire books, but also they make you want to walk in Paris like the main character, Lestat de Lioncourt, a French guy converted to vampirism in the 18th century.
Only very ancient vampires can walk in the sun apparently… I still need my sunglasses I guess!
What about water? Running water isn’t dangerous for vampires in Anne Rice’s world, but I don’t think these pretty fountains count anyway?
Another book series that evokes castles and vampires is in French, check it out if you’re a French speaker. It’s Les Larmes Rouges (the Red Tears) by Georgia Caldera and it’s quite a creative story around a young woman who encounters a vampire and has strange memories from another past…
By the way, Georgia Caldera often has blue hair as well and her blog is called The Blue-haired girl, la fille aux cheveux bleus.
It’s interesting to see how all these stories and other more recent famous ones like True Blood for instance all help morph the image of the vampire into something very codified, yes always slightly different. There is a list on wikipedia about which “common” vampire traits are present in which lore or story. Characters like Dracula have become archetypes, yet they are constantly being reinvented and they are now omnipresent.
A quick Google n-gram search shows the popularity of the word “vampire” in the books referenced in google books over the years. You can use the tool to check whether vampires or werewolves are more popular for instance…
Model, make-up, styling, edits: me, @lyraophelia
🧥 Morgue Gimme Bones Biker Jacket by @killstarco
💎 Eve pendant by @alchemygothicstore
💍Octopus ring by @edemonium_bijoux
😎 Sunglasses from @specsavers
👁️ Burgundy and Tomato “Artist color” eyeshadows by @makeupforeverofficial
Ruddy eyeshadow by @maccosmetics
Tattoo liner in Trooper,
shade + light eye palette
Alchemist palette and lash liner by @katvondbeauty
Perversion mascara by @urbandecaycosmetics
Eyebrows: Satellite Blue brow pomade, @katvondbeauty