The Lady of Shalott

Recently I’ve been studying poetry with my seniors, and we studied Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott, a poem about the Arthurian lady who was cursed to sit outside of life, never participating in it, only weaving the scenes she can see from a mirror. When she dared to look out upon the world, specifically upon the perfect Sir Lancelot, she was punished with death. A dramatic death, at least, where she floated down river in a boat, singing as she died. Kind of thorny, from a feminist perspective, but I have always loved the romanticism of the poem. Complimenting this romanticism, John William Waterhouse, the Pre-Raphaelite painter, painted the seminal work on this poem, portraying a pale redhead in a flowing gown wrapped in a tapestry she wove.

I decided to do a take on that painting for a romantic summer outfit. If you went out in a medieval dress, you’d get some stares, so instead we change it to a white maxi dress with orange flowers that pick up on the tones in the tapestry. The Lady of Shalott is holding chains in her hand, so that detail is being picked up in the shoes. She’s wearing a triple strand of chunky amber beads (very stylish!); the budget version is beautiful chunky orange stones with a crystal bead.

Inspired by The Lady of Shalott

Pre-Raphaelite romanticism, all ready for a summer day! Grab a fringed shawl for a chilly night, and you’re perfectly dressed.