I was kindly sent a digital copy of 'Witchcraft Couture' to read and review, and also a hardcopy for one lucky BLEURGH reader to win (terms of giveaway below). Don't be dissuaded by the title, the novel is littered with religious, spiritual and philosophical nuances; from the mention of Saul's epiphany enroute to Damascus, to 'Lucifer Ltd' repossession bailiffs in Oscar's hallucination. Katarina West does an incredible job of penning the demise of a once-maverick fashion designer, Oscar Federico Pelligrini, and the repercussions of his plight for perfection and his "fear of the blank paper" (Chapter 2). She cleverly details the transition of a troubled artist's rise to fame and fall from grace, all the while mimicking his psyche through the diction, structure and style of writing in a diary format. In typical BLEURGH Review fashion, I pin-pointed 3 noteworthy themes for your attention in the book, and will discuss them below for your reading pleasure.
Shirt : BHS | Skirt : H&M
Shortcuts - I completely related to Oscar because I am just realigning myself on the right track to achieve my goals. "In...shortcut[s] lies a moral risk, because the only way to obtain sustainable prosperity is through hard work" (Chapter 12). Sometimes in life, we lack the motivation to carry on because we're so set on the end goal, that we are failing to properly equip ourselves with the tools needed to succeed. "Talent is not a question of fortune...but a state of mind" (Chapter 18). Witchcraft Couture teaches that in order for one to truly succeed, one must be "ready to strive for perfection" and "work hard to be exceptional" (Chapter 18). So quit trying to find the shortcut in life, and get down to basics; hard work, perseverance and faith.
Gossip Girl themed #BloggersLoveLFW Event, Hoxton
Modelling - Countless career and management coaches have praised the awesome power of modelling pioneers in your field as the route to success. They fail to account for the fact everyone's journey is unique. When asked what's his secret to success? Oscar mockingly credits "goat's milk" before hailing the awesome power of magic as the root of his success. The true secret to success is there is no secret! Remember that "misfortunes, never come singly" (Chapter 16), so as quick as a fickle feather rises, so also does it descend for its lack of depth to sustain its flight. Quit coveting the life of your idol and realise they too are human, and had to endure their fair share of social ridicule or tumultuous climb up the ladder like you inevitably will.
Ribbon : Chanel | Watch : Guess | Boots : New Look | Headband : Topshop
Self-deprecation - A few Lents past, I sacrificed self-deprecation and felt liberated as I no longer viewed myself through flawed worldly eyes, but saw my potential and intangible beauty instead. Pop culture worships at the feet of pleasure, which enriches oneself at the expense of self-exploitation. Oscar is infamous Psychologist Sigmund Freud's perfect guinea pig, choosing to deal with his problems by employing a range of defence mechanisms (repression, denial, projection, displacement, etc); in his plight for perfection, he flees from the expectation of his peers by seeking validation from his emotionally absent mother or the toxic contents of a bottle too many. Oscar's desires for earthly pleasures desensitised and inevitably deprived him of core values and basic needs. We must be careful not to flood our thoughts with wants, so we don't lack out true needs. Choose to "focus...not on doubting yourself [and] there's no limit to how far you can go" (Chapter 4).
"Something in my talent, something bright and mighty"..."collapsed under its own heaviness, like a dying star" Witchcraft Couture
GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Winner - WildHormoans!