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The Persephone Complex


All photos are taken by me unless otherwise stated. Please don't use any photos or text from this blog without my permission. All rights reserved. Gifted items will be marked with an asterisk (*) All reviews are completely honest and all opinions are my own.


Ruby Elliot
Vilte F
Patricia Alvarado
Caitlin Skaalrud
Forsyth Harmon
Valerie Phillips


things aren't as pretty on the inside
you get me closer to god
touch me with your naked hand, or touch me with yo...
friends do not let friends do crack
what made it special made it dangerous…
it’s not a walk in the park to love each other
Now the pale morning sings of forgotten things
There’s something inside you, it’s hard to explain...
heaven help me, I need to make it right
Take me back, ta-ta-take me back to the way that I...


TABOO Magazine
Style Vulture
Hello Margaret!

Layout by Swoon for the Moon. Copyright of Holly Cassell and The Persephone Complex 2015.

you get me closer to god - part 2

Here is the sequel, as promised. I should warn new readers that the content is adult, although, again, nearly all the images are from mainstream fashion magazines. Most of them aren’t meant to be ‘sexy’ – that would be boring. What I really wanted to do was create something that looked as though it was made through my own specific sexual filter. I think everyone has their own way of translating images we see or things we experience in the world, and our own way of sexualising that input – and I wanted to show what mine looks like. There’s a lot of pain behind a couple of them, and I wanted to include that too. Simply to externalize the internal, if I may be so predictable as to reference Ghost World.

I couldn’t really come up with proper titles for these ones, as they aren’t based on personas, only ideas and my own experiences. But for the sake of clarity of reference, let’s call them… Submission, Hussy, Sext, Pin-Up, Femme, Prey, Lolita, Hades and Persephone, Mistress, and Little One (from top to bottom).


Most of the words in these collages are taken from my own life, with two exceptions. The text on the left hand page of my Prey collage is taken from a story by Angela Carter called The Erl-King, about sexual threat and the primordial fear of the forest. The text on the left page of my Mistress collage is from the song Home by Austra. I got the idea for the butterflies in my Submission page after I was sent a link to some sterling silver butterfly nipple clamps from Coco de Mer…which I know is a strange thing to mention on a blog that mostly deals in nail art and indie music, but still, fascinating, no? And I wouldn’t want to compartmentalise myself. It might sound terribly blasé, but I made some of these collages while watching Frasier - and that’s sort of the spirit in which I’d like them to be taken, I think.

Also, my friend Maija, who runs The Sequined World, has just released her gorgeous debut EP, Dust. You can download it for free on Bandcamp by clicking here.  She’s a very talented songwriter and has an innocent-but-knowing-angel-voice that makes me wish I was Irish. She even has a song called Persephone, which is sort of how we first started talking. So everyone be real cool and go check her out.

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At 19 June 2013 at 11:01 , Blogger Elif said...

I love your scrapbook, its so creative and the visuality is so strong. I mean an image can mean a lot of things and you words with that certain image makes it really powerful! :)

At 19 June 2013 at 14:10 , Blogger Aida said...

These are amazing. Incredibly striking! You take amazing photos too. I love your blog


At 19 June 2013 at 14:25 , Blogger LiLLy Vigna said...

amazing! really . . .

I LOVE your book of collages!!!!!!

At 19 June 2013 at 14:28 , Blogger Billie Astrid said...

Your scrapbook is amazing! I used to do it for a while but gave up, you have inspired me to try it again :)
In response to your comment, I know exactly how you feel! When I would look through magazines for my art it was just an abundance of sexualised and/or naked females. Like you said, there is obviously a difference between a naked body and a sexist advert but at the same time it would be nice if the adds and features in magazines featuring womens naked bodies didn't over-sexualise them when it isn't need. I also agree when you say there should be an equal amount of naked men - an equal playing ground people!
Once again, I am absolutely in love with your blog x

At 19 June 2013 at 14:48 , Blogger Issa Tchieu said...

this is something so individual and unique. such a wonderful book of thoughts.

At 19 June 2013 at 14:57 , Blogger Rowan. said...

Ok, this is not everyday stuff, but I like your work! It looks sweet yet the words are so wild! True inspiration. I'm following you. :) x

At 19 June 2013 at 18:51 , Blogger Fleur said...

actually, I love the sexyness that is shown here!
brave, that is, but sexy yeah!!

At 19 June 2013 at 19:02 , Blogger Andi Bremner said...

these look so cool! i love them!

At 19 June 2013 at 21:06 , Blogger Jenna Opsahl said...

I looooove the Hades and Persephone one because duh Greek myth is the best, as I'm sure you know.
Honest and stunning as usual =]

At 19 June 2013 at 21:15 , Blogger Englishrose said...

wow just wow xx

At 20 June 2013 at 06:09 , Blogger bianca lolita said...

okay I would be lying if I said I didn't get turned on while looking at these! hahah. I love this. I love the feel. awesome job! I need to start my scrapbook already. You inspired me and gave me motivation, like always. Love you babygirl<3


At 20 June 2013 at 09:18 , Blogger Peet said...

Some might have a problem with the words at the bottom of Lolita pages.:) And by that I don't mean me, let's make that clear! I'm definitely pro Femme - on (your) paper and in real life... But how hot do butterfly nipple clamps sound?! I had a nipple piercing back in the day, I'm kind of tempted do do that again, but then I think of the reason why I had to take it out and I'm not so eager anymore.:D

P.S.: Frasier rules!!!

At 20 June 2013 at 11:38 , Blogger Misguided said...

great blog :D Do you wanna follow each other? :)

At 20 June 2013 at 11:44 , Blogger Misguided said...

ok :D I'm following on bloglovin' :)

At 21 June 2013 at 03:28 , Blogger Lia said...

These are really interesting. "You know that it hurts me when you don't come home at night." Those words really stood out to me. It's amazing how much sex there is in advertisements.

At 21 June 2013 at 04:40 , Blogger Poppy Lee said...

Very chic!Pls post more! Shall we follow each other? i love comment and browse blogs i followed!
Pls leave a message if u follow me , i will follow back soon~

At 21 June 2013 at 10:03 , Blogger Debra Bros said...

I'm not sure I understand the point of doing things like this as I'm more of a it has to have a purpose kind of person. HOWEVER, these collages are stunning. I have something similar on my wall as wall art but with a more "motivation/inspiration" board theme in mind but with the same kind of darker twist. You did an amazing job :)
Also decided to follow since I'm looking forward to more future posts like this one :)

At 21 June 2013 at 16:51 , Blogger Gail J said...

this is why I love going through your blog. Those pictures always inspire me <3

At 21 June 2013 at 17:22 , Blogger Charlotte Brown said...

This looks great! I am about to follow you, maybe you could head over to my blog and follow me too?

At 21 June 2013 at 17:24 , Blogger Laura said...

I don't know how many times I have been
writing this now but I could repeat it
again and again: I just love the way you make
your collages, they're amazing...
Your blog is so inspiring. :)

At 21 June 2013 at 18:04 , Blogger Justalazymorning said...

i love this so much

At 21 June 2013 at 18:33 , OpenID pitgat said...

These pieces are so great! Such a great collage! The story on how you started talking to the friend who write songs, is so nice! The name of the song - you see, maybe coincidences don't exist, things happen with a purpose!

At 21 June 2013 at 21:47 , Blogger Paloma and Jess said...

Thanks for the lovely comment :) xxx

At 22 June 2013 at 00:33 , Blogger Instant Milk said...

This is amazing! You have a lot of creativity! I tried doing something cool like this and failed at it!


At 22 June 2013 at 09:00 , Blogger Coline Chavaroche said...

i love your collage :)


Coline ♡

At 22 June 2013 at 12:47 , Blogger Anne said...

Who those pictures and collages are amazing, you got a real talent for styling!
Love, Anna

At 22 June 2013 at 18:41 , Blogger vivian said...

these are so visually stunning and powerful! while it must be hard to share because they're so personal, I'm glad you posted these because they're so expressive.
♥ vivian | seattleite fashionista

At 23 June 2013 at 03:58 , Blogger Blythe said...

Fantastic collages, the butterfly clips are cute. I'll definitely check out her EP.

At 23 June 2013 at 12:02 , Blogger Charlotte Brown said...

You blog is soo cool! I am about to follow you. Maybe you could head over to mine and follow me too?

At 23 June 2013 at 16:45 , OpenID tapeparade said...

It's so wonderful you are sharing these with us! I love them thank you for sharing this second part XXX

At 24 June 2013 at 11:02 , Blogger Rhia said...

Awesome collages Ms. Holly! What a great inspiration! :)

At 25 June 2013 at 18:08 , Blogger Nora Rebekka said...

THIS IS AMAZING GIRL! Such a good work :) Really love it

At 25 June 2013 at 18:12 , Blogger Adora Mehitabel said...

Great scrapbook! Xx

At 28 June 2013 at 03:04 , Blogger Seeking Style said...

So much inspiration!

xo Jennifer

At 3 July 2013 at 18:48 , Blogger Ylenia Cuéllar said...

These are wonderful! I love how you transmit what's in your mind!

At 27 November 2013 at 01:54 , Blogger Greta Berardi said...




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