Dark unicorn

For a while now I’ve wanted to step away from the classic theme of the white unicorn, with its purity and rainbows and give it a bit of attitude. I thought that this was quite an obvious thought process for someone creative with a dark edge and unicorns seem to be everywhere at the moment so I was surprised by the lack of relevant images online when I decided to do some research.

This was ultimately good news as it meant there wasn’t much I had to tick off the list due to someone else having done it before. I still wanted it to be quite an abstract interpretation of the unicorn as opposed to a full on pony costume with a horn and as always I couldn’t decide on just one way to style it so I portrayed it in 3 facets. Pretty unicorn, warrior unicorn and queen unicorn.

I thought these were all likely characters for the dark unicorn to take on and Jamie Mahon did a great job bringing them to life and create the right atmosphere. I also borrowed some beautiful taxidermy accessories from Sophie Adamson to complete the looks. The wardrobe/styling was provided by Eustratia and the chainmail by Richard Ayres, as usual.

We also took the opportunity to shoot some other bits on the same day but I’ve decided to include them in a different post.

I wore a revised version of this outfit to Torture garden for Halloween and added ears to the headband which I thought looked much better.

For those of you who are unicorn fans, the selection of unicorn themed items on my site is growing! Grad yourself something at www.eustratia.co.uk

Unicorn inspiration

I’m currently in the process of planning a shoot with Jennifer Byron, featuring a unicorn mask by Tom Banwell. After seeing his black rabbit mask around so much over the past year or so I was quite excited at the idea of a unicorn one.

Tom Banwell unicorn mask, complete with leather eyelashes

I’m not totally sure how much masks suit me so I’m going to make extra effort with the rest of the outfit to make sure it looks good.

When I started analysing the options I realised I didn’t know that much about unicorns and their origin so I decided to read up on them a bit. There is plenty of information online but one of the most interesting things I found was on wikipedia. Though unicorns were fist mentioned by the ancient Greeks, they are not found in Greek mythology but rather in accounts of natural history. Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of the unicorn, which they located in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them. The earliest description is from Ctesias who described them as wild asses, fleet of foot, having a horn, a cubit and a half in length and colored white, red and black. Being from Greece myself I was quite suprised not to have heard this before but then again it isn’t really the kind of this they would bother teaching in school.

unicorn moodboard

I put together a vague board of unicorn-related inspiration but was actually surprised by how little I found that was to my taste. I think this shoot will be a good opportunity to create some unicorn-related imagery and accessories that aren’t overly childish or classic fantasy inspired.

I would like to keep the look with the mask quite close to the original depiction of the unicorn as possible so its going to be all white but I also like the idea of the black unicorn so I may do a second, darker look that I can play around with more.

My favourite items from the moodboard are the origami unicorns, I’d love to be able to make some of these for the shoot (especially a life-size one) but I gave it a try this afternoon and actually found it quite hard. If any origami experts happen to read this, please get in touch!