Ravens, Tom Ford Eyewear And Brand Myth

As Tim Girvin, brander extraordinaire, says it best, “Ravens as the dark storyteller, the mythic black rainbow.”

Is the etymology of corvid derived from the ancient Proto-Indo European seed sound kos, for shout? That would seem appropriate – ravens for shouting. Marketing as the shout, raven-style. But it’s the sound of the kraaak and croak that reaches to the heart of the word and the story – and running the linguistic gauntlet for several thousand years, the sounds of the black one, the ravening clan, that first bespeak the legend.

To Tom Ford, and the raven as a stylistic emblem, the commentaries are interesting to Tom’s shooting of eyewear/ware that is inter-played with corvids. Noting sensuality, Anne of Caverville’s reflections offer Tom Ford’s use of ravens in his Fall 2010 ad campaign for Tom Ford Eyewear with Freja Beha Erichsen and Nicholas Hoult can be interpreted as his belief in a female-centric, new consciousness. Ford is the ace of sensual branding or hot, sexy, sizzling marketing  whichever you prefer. The sexy marketing maestro has always pushed the envelope, roaming through the closed doors of repressed sexuality and leaving them slightly ajar upon leaving.

According to Anne’s review,  “If ravens seem a bit dark and disturbing, consider them not only symbols of death, degeneration and bad luck. Tom Ford grew up in Austin, Texas – not Santa Fe, of course — but near America’s Indian Country, where ravens are the hallmark of shape-shifting. Ravens can see all things that are hidden. In addition, ravens brought light into the darkness of the world and transformed part of Maka, Mother Earth. A raven named plants and taught animals. After the success of his debut film A Single Man, a more thoughtful Tom Ford may be evolving into a mythical storyteller.”

The campaign features Freja Beha Erichsen and Nicholas Hoult plus a bunch of ravens. (the story continues right after the jump with more images!) There’s something undoubtedly, unquestionably strange about the imagery and people’s reactions. Kissing ravens? Devilishly smiling while being surrounded by ravens? Breastfeeding a raven? Now that’s something only Ford will be able to get away with. As much as they hate admitting to it,” the fash-people love to feel shocked and appalled. Disgusted, even. I’s in their uberfashionable nature. We, the mere mortals we’ll only see Hitchock all over again and think – oh, look, there’s Freja looking like Harry Potter! – say you didn’t thought about that!”

“Ravens and the corvid class  are, in the mythic mind, a grouping of creatures that, spread all over the world, cast a sight into the legendary mind of man and their link to the archetypal experience of the dark mystery and beauty of natural experience. Gathering the raven clan to the notion of brand, or telling experience, is entirely personal – what does this bird say to you? To each, their own, in the cast of Raven shadow and call to themselves. For me, their call always means one thing – pay attention!”


Tim Girvin “The Legacy Of The Corvid In Retail Brandstory And Merchandising.” , Sensuality , Stylefrizz ,  OpticalVision,

Etsy Spotlight: Polkadot Magpie

Polkadot Magpie is a New Mexico artisan of jewelry and accessories handcrafted from recycled materials such as paper micarta made to look like polished stone. Each piece carries her special style and whimsy, and she will make anything custom to order, including engraving your name or special message.  These are also perfect for any mama bird (Mom’s day is this Sunday!)

Visit Polkadot Magpie here

Celebs Caw For Feathers

From subtle to literal, celebs celebrate the Crow with daring fashion. Below are just a few who have recently strutted in style.

As always, AvesNoir believes in feathers from naturallly occuring death and does not endorse the hunting of crows for such purposes! As these are all couture pieces, we do not believe anyone was harmed in the process (except, perhaps, the wearer)




In the Nest

Featured Reading

In the Company of Crows and Ravens In the Company of Crows and Ravens by John M. Marzluff. Read our review here!
Buy new: $29.28 / Used from: $7.50
Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays by Candace Savage
Buy used from: $24.48
Ravensong: A Natural And Fabulous History Of Ravens And Crows Ravensong: A Natural And Fabulous History Of Ravens And Crows by Catharine Feher-Elston
Buy new: $10.85 / Used from: $5.17

A truly great book on corvids!
The Best of Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and 30 Others The Best of Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and 30 Others by Edgar Allan Poe
Buy new: $4.99 / Used from: $2.16

Featured Trinkets

Armani Exchange Feather Charm Necklace Amethyst necklace, 'Light as a Feather' 17.1" L
Armani Exchange Feather Charm Necklace
Amethyst necklace, ‘Light as a Feather’ 17….
ALEX AND ANI- Russian Silver Quill Feather …

Fore more, check out our shop!

If you create Black-Feathered or avian inspired art, clothing, accessories, or decor and would like to have your items featured here, or sold through our store, please Contact Us!

Gaultier – Spring 2010

I just spent a half hour staring in awe at the abundance of gorgeous artistry and detail in Jean Paul Gaultier‘s Spring 2010 collection. Each piece is so painstakingly tailored and manipulated into shapes entirely unreal.  The weaving and color in most of the pieces reminded me also of Haida.

Haida art had reached a very sophisticated stage of development by the time of the Haida people’s first contact with Europeans. Nearly every household item was adorned with carved or painted crests. Missionaries saw the art as the work of the devil; but ethnologists were looking for material culture they could use in museum dioramas in New York and Chicago.  Haida weaving traditionally took years to complete. Here, Gaultier appears to delve into the roots of traditional tribal art forms and trace the genesis through the threads of several pieces, not only touching upon the Native American, but the French and Spanish influence upon these far-away cultures and how we see each other in such fantastical and exaggerated ways. I cannot be certain about his influences here, but the impression is there nontheless.

Outright, the collection is an avant-garde nod to exotic locales, fantasy landscapes, and historical form. It was heavily criticized by the fashion media, however, who lauded it as sub-par and over-imagined.  I have to totally disagree. My opinion here is that Gaultier extended himself beyond the shallow grasp of the industry in which he must practice, and simply used his models as the frame upon which his Wild Life could swing.

Below, his  raven inspired pieces showcase the sleekness, texture, and sharpness in the avian silhouette through the clever use of woven silks and feathers:

James Vance – Dior

Over the years, James Vance has worked as a window dresser, set designer, prop stylist, muralist, graphic artist, event designer, art director, interior designer, gallery director, and just about every job that has now become a reality show on Bravo.  Lately, he spends his time creating works for Bergdorf Goodman such as this gigantic crow holding court in the Dior window at the 2005 trunk show…..stunning!

Raven & Crow Skulls

Folklore of the Hebrides tells that giving a newborn his first drink from the skull of a raven will give the child wisdom and the power of prophesy.  In today’s world, drinking from a raven skull is probably not as acceptable, but nothing should stop you from promoting the delicate magic such artifacts hold.

Dreadful Things crafts beautifully styled gothic jewelry, accessories, and curiosities using crow skulls and feathers. Each piece is hand-made and the skulls are from animals which have passed on from natural causes.



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Michael R Doyl of Moon Raven Designs specializes in Corvidae skull jewelry and trinkets. His unique handmade items feature crow, jackdaw, raven, and sparrow (not a corvid) skulls, and he even makes pendants for cats!

Sparrow Skull Cat Collar Charm - Fergies Choice -Bird Head Bird Skull Pendant Necklace Raven  Crow http://ny-image2.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.131288134.jpg

Riccardo Tisci: Givenchy

Riccardo Tisci pulls from the flirtatious texture of feathers and the shape of black wings amongst spiral-cut sprays of organza, jumpsuits in black lace with boleros, and a section of long evening looks that ran from creamy flamenco-influenced layers of Chantilly to more severe midnight blue columns covered with flying capes of black chiffon in his couture debut for Givenchy Spring 2010 in Paris.

Like this look? Get a similar one here.