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Exclusive New Pre-Raphaelite Muse: Anna Louise May

Gallery & Portfolio

The New-Pre Raphaelite Movement

Subculture Fashion & the Origins of  Romantiqua Couture: Ideals, Values, Politics & Principles

Legal Information pertaining to The New Pre-Raphaelite Movement, Romantiqua & Romantiqua Couture (a non-profit making co-operative founded and owned by Anna Louise May as part of the Mayastar Group. New Pre-Raphaelite Movement Philosophy as defined, copyrighted & promoted by Anna Louise May.

Romantiqua Couture is a trademark fashion style defined by Anna Louise May and is expressive of the values of the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement.  The terms Romantiqua/Romantique/New Pre-Raphaelite pertain only to the styles and images created, expressed and copyrighted to Anna Louise May.

Use of these terms in marketing by other parties for any kind of promotion or financial gain is therefore in breach of copyright as is imitation/plagiarism of the designs, trademarks and definitions of these terms as detailed on this site.

These rights extend to the philosophy defined predominantly by Anna Louise May (Maya) and  simulation or duplication of these components also constitutes a breach of intellectual property ownership and copyright.  All rights and regulations pertaining to these are reserved.    

In the event of a legal breach regarding intellectual property theft, mimicry, false association, copies of Romantiqua Couture Styling or copyright infringement for other than promotion of the movement's philosophy and ideals or for profit and against the co-operative ethos of the Movement, a legal cease and desist notice will be issued immediately by our legal department.  Failure to comply with this legal notice will result in a court order being obtained to the same end. Persistence once a court order has been issued will be pursued through litigation and a claim for damages, defamation by association to business and loss of earnings, as relevant to the individual case will be pursued.  Legal fees will also be claimed as this notice has been deliberately worded to make it clear that breaches of these terms will not be tolerated.

PLEASE NOTE: This notice is being posted to ensure the preservation of the integrity, reputation, definition, quality, ideals, values and philosophy of the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement and definitions of the Romantiqua Couture style that is associated with the Philosophy..

The New Pre-Raphaelite Movement is essentially an ideology that promotes creativity, non-conformity and a particular attitude towards art. Particular hallmarks define the fashion associated with this movement but promotion of the values of the Movement is the prime motivation of those involved and that's why we will protect and uphold these even if it means we have to use legal measures to ensure these values are not diluted or adulterated but self serving businesses and individuals who are not supportive of these ethics and are using them as a means to make money; not a means to further the principles the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement stands for and promotes.   


Subculture Fashion, Romantiqua Couture (the ideals, values, politics and principles)

Fashion as a form of art is often overlooked but as a means of self expression it is as valid a medium as any other.  And so Romantiqua Couture (the definitive trademarked style New Pre-Raphaelites defined by the founder of the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement) needs to be understood in context to the philosophy.

There were subcultures before the real 'rebellion'; teddy boys in the 50s and hippies in the 60s, mods and rockers...all have expressed their ethics and values through how they choose to present themselves; a look that defines a set of standards or principles.

However, the movement from mainstream fashion to subculture fashions really began in earnest with Vivienne Westwood's pioneering and groundbreaking work in the 1970s and the birth of the 'Punk' genre; this was a major departure from previous fashion which had followed rather than lead changes and trends. 

Punk inevitably gained a reputation as rebellious and anti-establishment and to choose to 'lead' rather than follow and to differentiate yourself from the 'herd' and express your ideals, ethics or beliefs by your style of dress became an almost political statement; frowned upon by those for whom conformity was what they considered key to a healthy society. But more than that, punk a movement about empowerment of the individual; the right to be true to yourself and the right to be free to choose.

Since this time 'Punk' has undergone a number different incarnations largely directed by private individuals as opposed to mainstream fashion retailers and corporations.  Although elements of subculture fashion have been reflected by major fashion retailers over the years, they tend to be very short-lived affairs lasting a season or two at most. 

A case in point may be the adoption of more alternative fashion ideas from Burlesque designs that were made popular when the film Moulin Rouge was in vogue...and later, as anime and Harajuku subculture fashions and Japanese Gothic horror became increasingly fashionable in the West, elements of Steampunk (in particular) inspired designs found their way into the mainstream chains. 

This tendency has seen elements of Gothic fashion, Victoriana, Lolita and Punk on catwalks around the world.  However, as elements of subculture are adopted by the mainstream retailers, imitations of what began as a grass roots subculture are watered down and presented to the public.  Often mass produced in sweat shops, the quality of these items is not always satisfactory.  And in many ways the fashion itself is corrupted because they are copies of the original version of GENUINE fashion that reflected a GENUINE ideal.  The imitation doesn't have the values, principles or ideals of the original movement; it is a poor reflection and lacks the vitality and essence of what fashion can be when it is true to itself. 

In mainstream fashion, the elements borrowed from grass roots trends are often short lived.  This is because major retailers are interested in making money as opposed to making a difference (if they don't stand for something they'll fall for anything; perhaps the alarming rate at which mainstream fashions change reflects this) and they tend to embrace a more superficial approach to the 'look' of a fashion trend, rarely embracing any ideal or philosophy that it may espouse. 

This lack of substance means mainstream fashions continue to be defined by a relatively narrow area of artistic expression that rarely appeals to the non-conformist or any individual for long...because individuals do not lack substance!

It could be considered that this practice of 'taking ideas' to sell back to people is effectively 'stealing'; the theft of the creative ideas (intellectual property) of individuals and groups; and in some respects their freedom of self expression through 'fashion as art', thus depriving them of the rich world of creativity and the freedom of the self styled bohemian or non-conformist.  In fact...when you stop and think about it, the way mainstream fashion has of claiming they are 'following trends' means the general public are actually being sold a homogenised version of their own ideas...and when you consider that your ideas have been hijacked and reformed by major retailers only to be sold back to you stripped of their seems unethical at the least!

By this system, our 'individuality' becomes moderated and manipulated...and individuals are being 'short changed' - not just financially and morally; but in my opinion, this kind of monopolising of creativity compromises true art and that can't be good for anyone! 

As subculture fashion genre Romantiqua Couture is very much against such low dealings, profiteering and the exploitation of individuals along the way, for the sake of a cheap pair of jeans.  Additionally, it's against our principles with regard to what fashion should stand for: self expression. 

You hear of people being 'fashion led'...but have you ever considered what that implies about how these large corporations view individuals? It implies they believe people are sitting around waiting to be told what to think and do and wear and what their values, principles and philosophy should be!  And when you think about it...isn't that kind of presumptuous at least and dictatorial a worst!  Such an idea seems preposterous...could fashion really reflect the politics and passionately held beliefs and ideals of a society?  Well, yes it could.  And yes, it does.

Since punk, subculture fashion has flourished and reinvented itself again and again because growth, evolution, freedom of expression and truth are at the heart of this culture.  Ultimately people want the right to choose - that is our nature and when it's suppressed we are restricted in ways as our self belief and passion for life dwindles.  With the dawning of the genuinely free market that the internet has opened up, it has been more possible than ever before for people to set up businesses internationally on small scales but catering to specific cliques and genres.  And the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement endeavours to promote these kinds of initiatives alongside every other mode of artistic expression.

Art, by its very nature cannot be true to itself if it is directed by an external 'authority'.  If it is, it loses much in the compromise.  As individuals, we can lose the power of our individuality in that compromise. And the questions we don't ask about the small do supermarkets make T Shirts cheaper than a loaf of bread for example? We end up accepting things we don't understand and 'buying into' someone else's dictated but unspoken philosophy.  In some senses that might be considered tyrannical and subversion be considered the only possible resolution.

Romantiqua Couture was developed as a style by Anna Louise May through her work as the First Muse and Founder of the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement.  The style is unique to her and combines elements of punk, modern primitive, Victoriana, steampunk, lolita/harajuku, gothic and elements associated with the style of art that has come to be widely regarded as what defined Pre-Raphaelite art. 

As such the development of Romantiqua Couture is a work in progress and constitutes part of Anna's evolving artistic expression.  The style is defined by her but interpreted by the artists and photographers she works with.  And she seeks to collaborate with a wide range of artists and photographic artists to this end in order to ensure that the philosophy that defines the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement - diversity and truth in creativity and art above all things - is not lost.  As a muse, Anna presents a unique image and invites the artist to express that unique quality (that is fundamentally her self-expression and her art and not a 'contrived' or lifeless and meaningless definition of herself) in their own way and in their own medium. 

Anna is also engaged in making her own clothes as well as modelling those of 'fashion as art' advocates in furthering the promotion, relevance and raising the profile of the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement. 

Romantiqua Couture comprises unique designs inspired by the desperate romantics of Pre-Raphaelite era, dreamy heroines and Gothic fairytales; Victoriana and classically beautiful, natural and flattering fabrics and colours that are intended to enhance a woman's innate sense of self-assurance and charm and enable her to feel empowered and maybe even a little defiant in expressing her femininity in a world where this is so often seen to be a negative thing; suggesting weakness or a lack of intellect in those who are naturally pretty. 

To the New Pre-Raphaelites, it is NOT a bad thing but an empowering thing to do; to be yourself and be true to yourself first and foremost. And if that inner truth is best expressed in rich vintage lace, sumptuous silks and luxurious taffetas, as well as cool cotton and antiqued skirts, camisoles and bustles...subtle corsetry and pearls...a style where understatement is part of what enhances your natural beauty and allows you to shine as an individual...then Romantiqua Couture may be an aspect of your own part in the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement too!

To be a New Pre-Raphaelite and relish luxuries or take delight in all things lovely, doesn't mean you don't have a core of steel!  To be pretty and express beauty is not to express weakness.  New Pre-Raphaelites are bold in their attitude to beauty if they find their prettiness called into question! 

For Anna, Romantiqua Couture is about expressing and communicating deeply held beliefs and values that echo those of the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement and is part of the way she 'lives it'.  For others, Romantiqua Couture is about reclaiming beauty on your terms. Romantiqua Couture is for women (and men) who are ready to embrace and celebrate their beauty as part of the expression of their fundamental and true nature.