Romance Writer

There’s a big difference between a romance writer and a romance reader….

With a darker sensibility, the writer is partial to The Rose Mock Casaquin Jacket by Unknown Apparel.

Photos, project Statement and Fashion by Elektra Oliveira
Illustrated by Maressa Axtmann
Rose Mock Casaquin Jacket by Unknown Apparel (plus photos)
Collajewelry “dagger: earrings (above, plus photo) by Maressa Axtmann

Rose Mock Casaquin Jacket

Inspired by Bebe ‘Christian’ Berard and Jean Cocteau.

It was 1945 when Jean Cocteau was filming La Belle et le Bete, only a year after the war ended. Cinema in France was produced by the government at the time(maybe even now, I dunno), seeing it as a way to enlighten and enrich their culture. Because of the expenses to rebuild France after the war, Cocteau had to cut down on costs by going from color film to black and white.

Christian Berard was the costume and set designer for the film and it upset him terribly that he had to work with such limitations, but that he did. His work sparkles and fascinates on screen reflecting his swift and powerful presence.  He was one of the only openly gay people in high society Paris at the time and was in a long time relationship with founder of the ballet des champs-elysees, Boris Kochno. He was also known to tote his lil white dog, Jacynthe, around with him everywhere he went. He loved the theater and took his last bow during a fatal heart attack on stage.

Jean Cocteau was a film maker, poet and painter. Cocteau never confined himself to one category, even in his personal life (being one of the first open and proud bi men in 1940’s Parisian society.)

Of his many works, he wrote a journal while filming La Belle et Le Bete. The special effects used in that film have been influential in some of our favs such as Harry Potter. A little story I love that he notes in the diary starts while he is searching for the perfect location for Belle’s farm. When Cocteau arrived unannounced and knocked on the door, the man who owned the farm not only was delighted to help, but he himself owned Jean Cocteau’s poetry on vinyl and asked him to sign it.

Every page of my copy of this diary is underlined in one way or another. The way he writes about filmmaking is poignant and refreshing, coming from a modest artist who was overcoming a sickness while fulfilling his passion (just a year after WW2 tore his home of Paris to bits.)

He gives me motivation to experiment and go the full distance to make my dreams a reality.


The jewelry worn by the model is Unknown Apparel

About the Author / Designer

Elektra Oliveira is the designer behind Unknown Apparel, a blossoming fashion endeavor inspired by industry workers, indie filmmaking, historic tropes and over sights and simply put, punk rock. This journey stems from the mind and lifestyle of Elektra Oliveira, a Bay Area native who started sewing at the age of 8 as a way to keep busy.This opened the door to art and her passions for constructing a story through an array of mediums like toner loner zines, bedroom 4 track tunes, messy screen prints, teary eyed writing and hairy film photography.Unknown began in Philly while Elektra was waiting tables. One day a two tone striped pair of overalls with hella pockets was born and named the Classique. After a year of making customs of the classique for co workers and regulars and designing 4 more styles, she opened her site in 2019. Since then she’s expanded to jewelry, accessories and one of a kind pieces in addition to making her 400th Classique jumpsuit this year.

All jewelry in photos with model is Unknown Apparel.

The model is Jaime Sutton.

About the Illustrator

Maresa Axtmann is a German artist who works primarily is collage. She is a member of the Cream Scene Team, working in The Art Department.

She calls her earring “collajewelry.”

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