Death and Dior

Hello, my readers. Greetings. It is time for a spine-tingling post that shall delve into the bowels of untold pasts. So gather your popcorn, and curl up in your quilt, for the night clouds are gathering, and there is a chill in the air.

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Two days ago, my family and I made a small excursion to a little-known destination in Kandy. The British Garrison Cemetery is a hideaway tucked behind the well-known tourist destination of the Temple of the Tooth.

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The British Garrison Cemetery 

Walking amongst the gravestones of this quiet stretch of greenery is hauntingly evocative. The men, women and children who lie buried here, from a bygone era, whisper soft tales of memories that still linger through the passage of time. The gravestones date from the late 1800s to the early 1900s; with a final individual being interred there in 1951.

The occupants of this resting place were primarily British, descending from the colonial days of Sri Lanka (then called ‘Ceylon’). There were a myriad ways of meeting a tropical demise in those dark days, with the majority of them having succumbed to the ills of malaria and cholera.

But dead men do tell tales. Some of the inhabitants had met decidedly more colourful (and even gruesome) deaths. One sad denizen had been impaled on a post when he fell from his horse. Another had been mauled to death by a elephant, during a hunting party when he had tried to tame such a beast. And, according to the trusty caretakers who manage this historic site, another lady? had succumbed to a bad attack of sunstroke…

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A portfolio of gravestones at the site

If you are ever in Kandy, the British Garrison Cemetery should be a welcome detour in your itinerary. The lushness of the well-manicured greenery is refreshing to walk through, and upon reaching the end of the site, you will be treated with a tree-scattered vista to boot! And I must mention the dedicated caretakers who manage the place, who were ever so helpful with their historical anecdotes. Any donation you make towards the upkeep of this locality will also be greatly appreciated.

 

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Fasten your seatbelts, as we leave the sunny tropics. We are alighting now in rain-streaked Paris, where we make our way to the outskirts of the city. It is here that a magnificent Royal Palace stands, the very name of which conjures up opulence, wealth and misery even.

Le Château de Versailles has many a story to tell, and it was only apt that it be chosen, in 2015, for a campaign by French fashion house Dior. The model featured was none other than a reigning heavy-weight of pop culture: Rihanna. She was consequently the first Black woman to front a campaign by such an iconic French brand.

The video release for ‘The Secret Garden’ features a sinister reworking of the classic Florence + the Machine hit single ‘Only If For A Night‘. The audio sample would later be released as the single ‘Goodnight Gotham‘ from Rihanna’s studio album Anti released in the next year.

The video sees Rihanna strutting her stuff along the desolate corridors of the night-blackened Palace. She shimmers in crystals that mimics ornate chandeliers, pays a blood-red homage in a scarlet gown, and finally twirls as a woman possessed in the empty gardens…

She killed it.

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The featured image is a photograph of Versailles and is courtesy of Pixabay.com

The second section of this blog post is a continuation of our exploration into some of the creative advertising campaigns behind major retailers and fashion houses. The first post in the series can be accessed from here

 

 

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