Few directors have been as prolific in their lifetime as Kenneth Anger. Blending surrealism and the occult with homoeroticism, psychodrama and unashamed spectacle you could perhaps say that Anger’s whole vocation has been an ode to the art of magic. An early follower of Aleister Crowley’s teachings, Anger at various stages in his life mixed with occult practitioners and artists as diverse as Jean Cocteau, Anaïs Nin, Anton LaVey, Mick Jagger and Jack Parsons, and his life is as shrouded in myth and legend as his work is.
I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
Filmed between 1966 and 1980 by the self-proclaimed Magus of cinema, Kenneth Anger, Lucifer Rising is Anger’s portrait of the love generation, the dawning of a new age and morality. Continuing on from his previous works where fashion becomes a tool of power to conjure a magical sense of being, an invisible and volatile force, Lucifer Rising furthers this exploration crossing through millennia and civilisations.
The power of fashion as a purveyor of possible selves has long been documented and discussed in fashion literature from a plethora of vantage points. Yet with the fashion weeks in full steam around us, I couldn’t help but contemplate this phenomenon; fashion savants in all their glory vying for uniqueness whilst simultaneously maintaining a firm identity as ‘one of the gang’.