Friday, August 1, 2008

ideaboard #2 // Irma Vep

When I say "Irma Vep", I'm not talking about the film where Maggie Cheung flounces about in latex. I'm thinking more along the lines of the femme fatale in Louis Feuillade's silent serial Les Vampires.

The lovely Musidora stars in this 10-part serial that brings to life Irma Vep. As a member of the gang "Les Vampires" she slinks about dressed in a skin-tight black costume and commits an array of dastardly deeds.
I won't go into the details of the serial, but the bit that made me go "wowie" was when Irma Vep makes her dramatic appearance at the theater dressed very much like a bat.

Prior to the first time Irma Vep came to my attention, I had long been a fan of the illustrator/author Edward Gorey. One of my favorite stories of his is La Chauve-Souris Dorée (or The Gilded Bat).

So it is very possible that I might just have a thing for women dressed as bats (or wish to be one my self).

ideaboard #2 is a sitting room inspired by the past, wickedness, and Irma Vep. The cabinets could be suitable to hold a small library (books on poisons maybe?) or to showcase heisted goods before they find themselves in the hands of the highest bidder. Seating is plentiful in order to accommodate many persons involved in the latest plot. A sideboard behind the sofa could store snifters and a variety of liquors (who doesn't love a drink while plotting?). Finally, table lamps would provide mood lighting and could be moved in order to view maps or other bits of information better.

When I started planning this room I found it was the perfect opportunity to use a favorite print design of mine "Bat and Poppies", a wallpaper designed by M. P. Verneuil in 1897. While rather surreal (Bats with poppies??), it is a beautiful design and would be a fine touch to this room.

Image credits: "Qui? Quoi?" etc poster from the wikipedia entry, still from the movie I had on my hd but could not find a reliable source online, book cover from, "Bat and Poppies" wallpaper


Missa said...

Cool post! Bats are just plain awesome and that wallpaper is battastic!

Keith P. DeWeese said...

Coming up on "ideaboard #2 // Irma Vep" so many years after it was initially posted is a bummer! I'm enjoying it tremendously. One thing I need to mention though is mistaking Stacia Napierkowska--as the ballerina in bat costume, Marfa Koutiloff--for Musidora as Irma Vep.

Koutiloff performs her danse macabre in Les Vampires' episode 2, "The Ring that Kills" (The Deadly Ring). Irma Vep is introduced in episode 3, "The Red Code Book." Irma is, among other things, a singer at The Howling Cat music-hall, which serves as a blind for the Vampire gang of which she is a significant member.

Anyhow, great post! Wish I had come upon it earlier. Best, peace - K.B.-D.