Get That Look: A Baroque Cathedral
Nothing stays in fashion for long, but few things stay out of style forever. Think of high-waisted jeans, or peasant skirts — those appear every few years, get lame again, then disappear for another couple of decades. Or goth. Short for gothic, it evokes the pale, sickly vibe of the 1800s, and suggests the dark, dreary worlds of Mary Shelley or Wuthering Heights. It plays out as black clothes, dark hair, dark makeup and a commitment to looking miserable.
But goth is so played out. Siouxsie and the Banshees haven’t had a hit in years and The Crow, which wasn’t even that good, is over 20-years old. To be truly stylish this year, turn to an aesthetic movement far older and more elaborate than goth: Baroque. Do what we say and your Instagram followers will swear you’re an ornate 17th-century church.
Work your arches
The Renaissance was all about flat surfaces embellished with fake classical elements. Come on, you’re a real person with curves — you’re not basic, you’re baroque, girl! You crave color and adornment. You want that relief sculpture, those blind columns, and lots and lots of color and ornamentation— particularly around an arched entrance. You’ve got a lot of entrances, like your mouth, nostrils, and butthole. So put some stucco and beautiful statues right above them. Hashtag opulence, am I right?
You’ve probably learned how to apply makeup by now, so blending is no big deal. A working knowledge of those techniques (and the ability to create a “smoky eye”) will definitely help you get the baroque cathedral look going, noted by art historians for their use of chiaroscuro, the pleasing, if sometimes ominous use of a bold contrast between darkness and light. In fact, you’re not really a baroque cathedral without chiaroscuro, so always make sure to have a lot of light strategically pour down on parts of you, leaving other parts tantalizingly in the shadows.
Eyes up here, fellas
All those arches and statues and stuff force you to look up. What are they gonna see when their eyes get there? You’re regular old hairstyle? Hell no. You’ve got to complete the baroque look by literally topping it, in the 17th-century Western European architectural tradition. Step one: Shave your head. Yes, that’s extreme, but baroque is all about going big or going home. Besides, you’re going to replace that hair with a perfectly round dome. (Or, if you’ve got a pear-shaped head, or if you’re into Polish baroque, a pear-shaped dome.) On that dome will go a devastatingly beautiful mural depicting a particularly chaotic biblical scene involving angels that’s also somehow erotic. Commission your town’s most renowned artist!
Join the nave-y
You’re probably used to really narrow and unexceptional naves. No more of that. When embracing the baroque look, embrace the baroque look in full, which means a broader nave. You’ve definitely going to need an external facade with a central projection, along with an interior shell in there for a small painting or sculpture. That requires, at the very least, a broader nave. And since you’re a person and not a building, it’s going to be a lost easier to have a wider navel than a nave, so get out those belly-button pliers and get to work!
Despite all the breathtaking beauty of a baroque cathedral that you’re sure to be able to pull off, your style icon is more than just appearances and a bunch of unrelated items of artistic flourish. A cathedral is technically a church where people come to worship the Christian idea of God as filtered through the hierarchy of generations of popes and their advisors. Thus, you’ll need to wear some churchy-type stuff. They’re uncomfortable to wear, for sure, but you could rock some pews, an altar, a huge crucifix, a gold-plated bowl of holy water on a stand, and a little throne for a priest and/or archbishop.
Important point to remember: Whatever you choose to do to get the baroque look, always go for the bold option with regards to design, grandeur, and flourish. Never be subtle, in other words. After all, you don’t want people to think you’re, ugh, Rococo.
Katie Goldin’s Golden Rules
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