Art + Fashion: Dr. Martens X Hieronymus Bosch

Working for a company like Dr. Martens comes with some special perks: like getting my hands on exclusive, limited styles before anyone else. It's a blogger's dream. But when I found out my dear friend Rachel was not only coveting these particular boots herself, but was also an art history major (!!!), I knew she was the perfect person to pen this post.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Heaven Above and Hell Below. Stomp the streets with alchemical allegories and unreal demons with Dr. Marten’s Bosch printed footwear and bags.

There’s pretty much no outfit that isn’t improved with the addition of a Dr. Marten. When the boot is sporting a bad ass painting - well it’s just that much better.


Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights is one of the most recognizable works of Western art and I’m thrilled to see more and more pieces of art being incorporated into accessible Fashion. The Lolita fashion community has been subtly plastering paintings on dresses, tights, parasols etc for a while now and it’s great to see a trend I really admire go mainstream! (Want to know more about Lolita fashion? Check out this primer on art prints and Lolita from F Yeah Lolita).

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Bosch’s work is so recognizable and so often filled with wildly fantastic imagery that his work has captured the minds of historians since.. well pretty much forever. “When people see in a painting any monstrosities that go beyond the limits of nature,” wrote Felipe de Guevara, “they attribute them to Hieronymus Bosch and thus make him the inventor of monsters and chimeras.”1 Obviously we can’t credit Bosch for inventing such things but his work has a singular style that endures. In fact, Bosch’s style is so strange and there are so few records to teach us about his personal life that many historians struggle today to understand the symbols and allegories in his works.


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Take the Sensual Garden section of the triptych.  ["Heaven" $129.95]


I think the merging of iconic art and everyday fashion goes well with the alchemical themes of Bosch’s Earthly Delights. Throughout this garden are structures and objects that have direct parallels with a myriad of tools used by Alchemists. Alchemy as practiced in Bosch’s time has far more to do with medicine than it did with turning lead into gold - think of pharmacists. “The subject matter and organization of the Garden of Earthly Delights triptych is identical to the basic alchemical allegory which sees distillation as the cyclical creation, destruction, and rebirth of the world…”.2 Freely translated for my purposes I think that means Fashion will continually evolve, borrow, cast down and revive all kinds of trends. Nothing new is created without debt to what has come before. If you feel like giving a nod to the passionate experience of creation - choose a Dr. Martens piece with “Delights”.


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If, however, you are into the monstrous beauty of life then the Hell pieces are for you! [Hell $149.95]

Bosch’s hellscape draws you into a vision of horror. Filled to the brim with hundreds of demons and twisted monsters it is for this part of the triptych that Bosch has been canonized in the halls of history. Dominating the print is the infamous Treeman, “variously understood to be an egg, a goose’s carcass, the exoskeleton of an insect, a jug, a sodomite, a cosmic anus, the devil, a hellish tavern or brother, and hell itself. Built of disparities, this quintessential “Bosch” has sometimes been read as the artist’s portrait of himself.”3 It has also been described as a Ship of Fools (a ship for fools, a giant fool functioning as a ship and even a foolishly impractical ship). It is everything and nothing. A vision into a land filled with uncountable freaks and also an empty void, a screen onto which an artist has cast elaborate, fantastical lies. Bosch’s real innovation “...consists not in the creatures themselves but in the places where they appear. No longer at the margins of sacred or secular space or both, they occur on the central and centralizing medium [...] as the principal subject of autonomous works of art.”4


Dr. Martens pieces featuring the works of Hieronymus Bosch are absolutely wearable art objects that will armor you in creation, destruction, fantasy and nature. There’s no better way to accessorize!


- Rachel Parker


The Heaven and Hell Bosch collection is available for a very limited time (complete with exclusive box) at a Dr. Martens store near you

1 Via Impossible Objects by Joseph Koerner in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 46, Polemical Objects (Autumn, 2004), pp74. BIB ENTRY: DE Guevara, Comentarios de la Pintura, 1560-1563, ed. A. Ponz (Madrid, 1788); cited J.K. Steppe, “Jheronimus Bosch. Bijdragen bij gelegenheid van de herdenkingstentoonstelling te’s-Hertogenbosch,” in Jheronimus Bosch. Bijdragen bij gelegenheid van de herdenkingstentoonstelling te ‘s-Hertogenbosch 1967 (‘s-Hertongenbosch, 1967), p. 21.
2 Via Bosch's Garden of Delights Triptych: Remnants of a "Fossil" Science by Laurinda S. The Art Bulletin, Vol. 63, No. 1 (Mar., 1981), p. 99.
3 Via Impossible Objects by Joseph Koerner in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 46, Polemical Objects (Atumn, 2004), p.79
4 Ibid. p.77







(You werk that anime hair, gurl!)


New York Comic Con Round Up


In a word, EPIC.

Every year, I look forward to my Geekcation, and every year it’s longer. Last year, 3 days. The year before that, a weekend, and before that, I spent one day at what was then the Big Apple Anime Fest. This year, Selly scored herself a 4-day Professional Pass, baby!

Here’s a breakdown of all the awesome I experienced, and what I wore when it happened.



-Brand Licensing and Product Management

-The Power of Community

POST CON: One year Con-niversary dinner with my dear friend Jamila.

THE OUTFIT: As Pro Day is a chill day, I attended as the “Mild Mannered Geek”, with an edge.

Belt: Jason Wu. Sweater: Missoni, Jeggings Xhillaration (all for Target).  Jacket and blouse: J.C. Penny. Boots as seen on KAREN GILLAN on DOCTOR WHO, Dr.Martens.

HIGHLIGHT: All the breathing room! I really appreciate how relaxed the first day is. It also allowed plenty of time to walk the show floor at your own pace. Even the Starbucks line was shorter. And trust me, that is saying something.



-Aniplex of America

(EJ “The Aniplex Guy” shows off the autographed poster I won at the panel. W00T!)

-Anime Network

-Grant Morrison Spotlight

-New Methods in Digital Painting & Coloring with Brian Haberlin

POST CON:The Mary Sue + Her Universe meet up. This was an amazing event where I got to meet many amazing people. I worship The Mary Sue for their efforst in changing the way people view the geek girl, and making it not only okay, but cool (it is). And meeting the brains behind the TARDIS dress spotted a million times over at the con was a real honor too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a possible collaboration. I want to design ALL the things!!!

THE OUTFIT:”Modern, Urban Steampunk.” Can you be steampunk without it looking like a costume? Yup. And nothing screams instant effortless style quite like this Ostwald Helgason Sea monster printed sweatshirt. I’m madly in love with it. You’ll see me continue to mention it in posts, because I’m just that obsessed with it. Here, I’ve paired it with a button down (MICHAEL Michael Kors). It’s secretly frilly, should I want to go more Victorian and swap the sweater for a waistcoat. Plain brown, or brocade? Hmm…

But as I didn’t plan on doing that, my nod to the era (and to the boudoir) is my silk, lace and tulle skirt (Rodarte for Target).  Capping the whole look off with a tall boot (boots and socks both Dr. Martens) and we’ve got a fresh new take on period and geek inspired dressing.

HIGHLIGHTS: Stumbling into a surprise acoustic set by Coheed and Cambria!

Walking passed a vendor and having her compliment me on my “costume.” Also, all the neat Photoshop tips and tricks I learned at my last panel. As a designer, I was so grateful to Brian for having shared all this invaluable information. I took notes like a mother, and I need to upgrade my Photoshop asap.



-Once More With Feeling: 15 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

(Surprise appearance by Nicholas Brendon. XANDER!!!!!)

-Ladies Who Steam: The Publishing Industry on Women in Steampunk

-Marvel Television Presents

-Hip-Hop and Comics

POST CON: Nerdist party (For like, a minute), Bachelorette party.

THE OUTFIT: Superheroine Fangirl Chic (complete with costume change). Not “Cleopatra” as one person called me. This involved layering a printed geek tee OVER a buttondown (try it!) and then quickly taking off just that for post con partying.

Batgirl tee: Forbidden Planet. Button down: H&M. Studded silk skirt: Versace for H&M. My docs.


I heart Clark Gregg. Heart him so much! And I was there to witness his surprise cameo, along with the grand announcement about ABC’s new S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series!

At the Hip-Hop panel, the moderator addressed Darryl as, “Mr. DMC.” And we got to hear him rap live for us. Awesome.



-Arrow special video presentation with Q&A

Got there bright and early to get into the IGN theater. I’m actually pretty excited for   this Arrow show. Lets make it happen Hulu.

-Capcom presents DMC: The all new Devil May Cry


POST CON: Hot Date! ;-)

THE OUTFIT: Sci-fi Heroine dress from Modcloth. I mean, really, how could I NOT rock this dress? It’s name is just so apropo, and the story sold me!! Also, I have this love affaire with Modclath that cannot be shaken. Why? Because they are the awesome! The vast majority of my girlfriends (the best dressed ones) shop it, and I’m quick to spread the word of it’s magic to those that don’t. It’s a great day-to-evening piece. As is my Kirna Zabete for Target cardigan.  I was ready to conquor the con AND impress my date afterwards (for the record, I did!)

HIGHLIGHTS: Cute tiny heroes, and amazing lesson in design, research and development by the Capcom/ Ninja Theory team. I was not only entertained by the presentation, but they educated me. I left there excited, and wiser. I wish more professionals would understand how much we appreciate learning about how they go about their design process. It’s invaluable information, and I could not be more excited about this game. [youtube]

What do I hope to find at Comic con? Inspiration. You guys, I totally got it. I wonder what next year’s Geekcation will bring? Is it too eary to start planning outfits?