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Romantic Academia is an academic aesthetic specializing in love, romance literature, and the Romantic era.

Romantic Academia is visually and philosophically similar to Light Academia. However, Romantic Academia includes more visuals associated with romantic love and lust, which are not the primary focus of light academia.

Philosophically, both aesthetics value education, curiosity, compassion, and optimism, but Romantic Academia differs from Light Academia in its focus on individualism, appreciation of nature, and aesthetic expression of intense and sometimes negative emotions.

Like both Dark and Light Academia, Romantic Academia relies heavily on visuals, philosophy, and literature with origins in Western Europe.

Influences

Many romantic academia visuals are taken from 90s and early 2000s Shakespeare and Jane Austen adaptions, which tended towards a romantic, poetic aesthetic. (Kenneth Branagh is a particularly important director in this regard.)

The Smiths and the earlier work of Morrissey can be considered the ultimate epitome of Light, Dark, and Romantic Academia aesthetic in their music videos (romance, books, melancholy, flowers, poet sleeves, candles, autumn, forests, romanticizing rural and industrialized areas, etc.) The videos for “This Charming Man” and “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side” are especially important.

Other more dream pop-oriented bands like Felt, Dif Juz, The Dream Academy, Virginia Astley, Shelleyan Orphan, The Ocean Blue, and even This Mortal Coil and Cocteau Twins (although they are more Ethereal Goth and Woodland Goth) featured videos and imagery in this vein.

Philosophy

Romantic Academia combines the love of learning and literature with the values of Romanticism, including individuality, emotion, celebration of beauty and nature, and rejection of social convention. It is also partially influenced by the values of Dark and Light Academia.

One of the other most important themes is that of exploration, the urge to discover. These ideas stem from the romantic appreciation of nature and the academic goal of studying, although it dispels the idea of studying as an immobile task. This aesthetic defines studying and learning as something that can be witnessed firsthand, not just from documents but also from the application in the real world.

  • Glorification of nature
  • Awareness and acceptance of emotions
  • Celebration of creativity and curiosity
  • Emphasis on aesthetic beauty
  • Focus on multicultural history
  • Exploration of the self
  • Vivid description
  • Themes of spirit and spirituality
  • Wise and mature thought processes


Visual

Objects

  • Flower bouquets
  • Flowers
    • Roses
  • Lipstick marks
  • Teapots
  • Teacups
  • Saucers
  • Mirrors
  • Lace doilies
  • Hair bows
  • White bed sheets
  • Pearls
  • Greek statues
  • Chandeliers
  • Old books
  • Tea
  • Bergére chairs
  • Gold picture frames
  • Typewriters
  • Perfume and cologne bottles
  • Lingerie
  • Wine
    • Red
    • White
  • Whiskey
  • Champagne


Fashion

Fabric

  • Cashmere
  • Cotton
  • Lace
  • Satin
  • Silk
  • Tulle
  • Tweed

Underwear

  • Bustiers
  • Corsets
  • Pettipants

Tops

  • Draped blouses
  • Lace blouses
  • Peter pan blouses
  • Ruffled blouses
  • Button downs
  • Silk or lace camisoles
  • Henleys shirts
  • Peplum shirts
  • Ruffed neck shirts
  • Crew-neck sweaters
  • Turtleneck sweaters
  • White crop tops

Bottoms

Pants

  • Corduroys
  • Trousers
  • Dress pants
  • Tweed pants
  • Structured, mid-length shorts
  • High-waisted jeans
  • Flowy, wide-leg pants

Skirts

  • A-line skirts
  • Circle skirts
  • Crinoline skirts
  • Full skirts
  • Gathered skirts
  • Pencil skirts
  • Pleated plaid skirts
  • Tweed, plaid skirts

Hosiery

  • Lacy ankle socks
  • Ribbed or lettuce socks
  • Lace tights
  • Patterned tights

Outerwear

  • Blazers
  • Cardigans
  • Corsets
  • Layering over a collared shirt
  • Suit-jackets
  • Trenchcoats
  • Vests
    • Sweater vests
  • Waistcoats

Dresses

  • Flowy dresses
  • Formal gowns

Shoes

  • Ballet flats
  • Docs
  • Dress shoes
  • Mary Janes
  • Oxfords
  • Kitten heels

Accessories

  • Ties
  • Lockets
  • Vintage jewelry
  • Gold necklaces
  • Gold earrings
  • Pearl necklace
  • Dainty jewelry

Activities

  • Card games
  • Chess
  • Hiking
  • Nature documentation
  • Textile arts
    • Knitting
    • Sewing
  • Photography
  • Nature sketching
  • Studying/taking notes, especially philosophy or history
  • Researching old documents
  • Discussion groups
  • Gardening
  • Writing (creative or nonfiction)
  • Reading
  • Study of music
  • Poetry, both reading, analyzing, and writing
  • Exploring where you live or where you're from
  • Talking to relatives about your ancestors
  • Daydreaming
  • Sipping tea
  • Ballet/modern dance
  • Riding a bicycle


Media

Literature

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Movies

  • Sally Potter’s Orlando (1992)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  • Romeo and Juliet (1968)
  • Romeo and Juliet (2013)
  • Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
  • Bright Star (2010)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
  • Chéri (2009)
  • Farewell, My Queen (2012)
  • Russian Ark (2002)
  • A Good Woman (2004)
  • The Wings of the Dove (1997)
  • An Ideal Husband (1999)
  • Anna Karenina (2012)
  • Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  • Little Women (2019)
  • Kate and Leopold (2001)

Plays/Ballets

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (Roland Petit)
  • Afternoon of A Faun (Jerome Robbins)


Music

There is no specific genre, but there is certainly a heavy influence from the softer side of post-punk, baroque pop, dream pop, and shoegaze. (Sometimes even Synthpop.)

Genres

  • Classical
  • Baroque Pop
  • Jazz
  • Alternative
  • Ballet Soundtracks
  • Ethereal Wave
  • Folk
  • Dream Pop
  • Ambient
  • Adult Standards

Artists

  • The Smiths
  • The Sundays
  • Felt
  • Virginia Astley
  • Dif Juz
  • This Mortal Coil
  • Cocteau Twins
  • The Dream Academy
  • The Ocean Blue
  • Shelleyan Orphan
  • Jimmy Somerville (specifically the Orlando soundtrack)
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Enigma
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Hozier
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • The Velvet Underground
  • The Beatles
  • Florence and The Machine
  • Isak Danielson
  • Pink Floyd
  • Bob Dylan
  • Dean Martin
  • Ricky Nelson
  • Paul Anka
  • Billie Holiday
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Nina Simone
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • The National
  • Cigarettes After Sex
  • Lizzy McAlpine

Pieces

  • Love Theme - Romeo and Juliet (1968)

Playlists

Spotify

YouTube


Pinterest Boards


Gallery

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