Libby K and Crinolines by Anna Ksenzenko for Stella Cove (featuring Eric van Straaten, Dollcake and Teagan Parker)

Libby K and Crinolines by Anna Ksenzenko for Stella Cove (featuring Eric van Straaten, Dollcake and Teagan Parker)


This rather strange combination is by a Russian photographer who seems to divide her time between Princeton, New Jersey, and Moscow – Anna Ksenzenko. The strangest part is that it’s for Stella Cove (click for an interview with Anna) – so I presume it’s a one-piece swimming costume with what looks like a crinoline/hoop skirt support for a wedding dress placed over it – reminding me immediately of 3D sculptor Eric van Straaten‘s Caged Girl series:


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…’s infuriatingly difficult to get crisp shots of his sculptures, for some reason: the second one is only clear since it’s still just a render that he has yet to physically produce in 3D – he describes it here (either to be called “The Medal” or “Profile”, as she’s holding a medal with a profile of her own face).

Anna’s model is Libby K12934971_547409315430936_1822362606_a-lanczos3 – who has to remain semi-anonymous, since her Instagram is private, and you have to log onto her agency site (New York Model Management), to see the models’ profiles: understandable with the age group, but it doesn’t really work for professionals who need media exposure in order to survive. I took the portrait on the right from her Instagram bio page.

Anna is clearly seeing Marie Antoinette parallels in the shot, given her hashtags (on the image link below) – while I think self-confessed fetishist Eric has more this in mind:


……the ancestors of crinolines were farthingales, back in the 16th and 17th centuries – but the idea of giving skirts and dresses more volume seems to have been around forever: every other post I do seems to feature a girl (or girls) in tutus – basically the same idea, but using stiff or multi-layered fabric to get a similar effect – albeit with a much shorter skirt. To indicate the strong allure tutus have for little girls I’ve been known to quote (Tutu du Monde founder) Andrea Rembeck‘s depiction of her daughter:

… daughter is a very girly girl and ‘practical’ is not in her vocabulary. Since she was 2 years of age she has refused to wear pants, claiming they are for boys only. So she’s happy to brave the elements in a tutu dress and a pair of tights.” (Andrea Rembeck)

The quote comes from one of the posts linked to above – for the Australian Dollcake brand – here’s one of their tutus (see post for links to Andrea’s quote and for possibly the most gorgeous gallery of dresses on the blog):





As I noted, Dollcake‘s designs for girls’ dresses are taken from vintage sources, and more from Victorian and Edwardian underwear than outerwear:


…….leading to this beautiful crinoline homage: and yes, it necessarily plays with the sensuous possibilities of semi-transparency – but if she’s dressed sensibly under it, it remains just a pretty, girlish conceit.

One big difference between the various outfits pictured goes back to the previous post and the “mini-me” girl’n’doll styles of Little Gloriana – twirlability (or lack of it). Clearly their dresses are perfect for twirling and dancing: volume plus movement. Volume was particularly important in the ‘fifties:


……..and while you can just read that this pattern is for “Girls’ Crinoline Slips and Petticoats” – the “crinoline” effect would come from the petticoats, not from hoops – and the skirts were perfect for movement. Real crinoline styles, however, are more like this:


…….a beautiful outline, and good for a genteel swish and swirl, but not really for a pirouette…….

Anna Ksenzenko is clearly producing a complete session for Stella Cove, and we’re just getting the bts teasers – the brand doesn’t only do swimwear – look at the header featuring fellow-New Jersey resident Teagan Parker (it helps for a model to live near a prolific photographer) – her reposted image below and the Smudgetikka Tumblr link at the very end – that’s no swimsuit that I’ve ever seen……

Here she is with Anna (now that is a swimsuit), and finally blowing kisses at us all (but you have to click on it to get your special one):



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