Oct 7, 2012

Witch from the Woods: Dark Mori Style

Collage from Tumblr. Photo sources: Strega's ForestFeather & Moss Curiosities, and Necrosarium

Within the last year or so, a buzz has been growing around the idea of a darker version, or sub-style, of the mori-kei style. For those of you not in the know, mori kei, or mori girl, is a street fashion look originating in Japan that embraces the aesthetics of a rural, woodsy lifestyle. Mori kei fashion is heavily layered, and often incorporates heavy knits and lace to evoke a charming, hand-made feeling. While many dark romantic types identify with the solitary, girl-living-in-the-woods ideals of mori-kei, we often associate ourselves with the darker aspects of the woodland fairy-tale: the woods witch, the wandering sage, the Miss Havisham, the village priestess, the Gretel.

Dark mori, sometimes referred to as Strega style (as proposed by Hydrangea Velours, curator of the tumblr blog Strega's Forest), or Black Forest Mori (as proposed by Shady Oaks at her tumblr), is the incarnation of this fashion that revels in the melancholy of the forest. Dark mori uses variations of blacks and greys where traditional mori kei uses whites and cremes. Raw edges and tattered lace are used to give dark mori garments a worn look. Accessories can feature dried flowers, branches, bones, horns, and raw stones, and makeup can vary between completely natural to elaborate and tribal.

Dark mori girls and boys can draw inspiration from nature, from the Northern Rennaissance and Pre-Raphaelite art movements, Gothic literature, bronze-age and pre-Christian civilizations, folklore, fairytales.... Since dark mori is a fairly new idea, there are a limited amount of definitive resources floating around the net. Although this is true, there are quite a few good tumblr blogs with a dark mori theme. Here are a few:

Strega's Forest - stregaforest.tumblr.com
Shady Oaks - shadyoaks.tumblr.com
Dark Starts - darkstarts.tumblr.com
A Dark Forest Girl (Lots of good all-white and "old-school" mori kei as well)
The Reliquatory (lots of dolly-kei too) - reliquatory.tumblr.com

I'm really enthused about this style and have been trying to dress within this vein. I hope I can make this blog a good resource for dark mori fashion!


  1. I really love the darker side of mori. I think it's such an amazing look for cooler weather, which is certainly afoot in my area these days, so I'm probably going to be trying my hand at this look very soon!

  2. I am now, officially, so in love with this style! It's quickly become my favorite for this fall, combining all the things I love best about fashion. Excuse me while I go change my clothes! <3

  3. music tips for this style: the swedish Fever Ray. Especially this song. "when i grow up, i want to be a forest girl, run through the moss in high heels" video is great too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F-CpE73o2M