Monday, November 10, 2014

AatP - Stained Glass Angel / Seraphim

Stained glass prints are now a common feature in lolita pieces, though perhaps not all know the stories behind them. The print discussed in the following is the Alice and the Pirates release from 2009, which is actually a rerelease of the 2006 BtssB collaboration with Koitsukihime. Featured on the prints are literally 'stained glass angels', and we'll explore what kind of angels they are.

They resigned the print a little, changing the colour scheme and making the faces of the seraphs less classic. The original art has much more of a Byzantine 'flavour'. I personally think the original has a substantially gothic feel to it, and the AatP print can be coorded in a way to be classic or even sweet.

What drew me to this print was the representation of the 'cherubs', I thought it odd that they should have three pairs of wings. Before I encountered this print, I had little interest in religious imagery, much less wearing them. 

Upon research, a seraph is an 'upper class' angel / heavenly being in Christianity and to some extent Judaism. The sphere they belong to is closest to their God in celestial hierarchy, and they're are seen as the caretakers of his throne. Seraphim means "burning ones" in Hebrew, and theologian Thomas Aquinas believed that they were named thus according to the properties of fire, containing an excess of heat. One of the reasons for this, he considers, is that fire has the quality of clarity, or brightness; which signifies that these angels have in themselves an inextinguishable light, and that they also perfectly enlighten others. They are vastly different in appearance to cherubim, and in role too.

Another part of the print I found interesting was the other angelic beings present in the print, who are not seraphim. In the angelic host, they could be seen as angels (which the two on either side seem to be labelled) or Dominions. 'Genesis' here could mean either a beginning, the first book of the Bible or both.

It is interesting to begin to understand some of these stories that designers are telling through their prints.Even if you're not religious, like myself, I think it's fine to wear religious prints as long as you respect the ideology behind them. Prints featuring religious motifs such as stained glass, crosses and angels are favourite prints of mine to wear!

Bonus: BtssB print dresses on Koitsukihime's dolls, from an online index

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