Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cyber: 'Mechanoid' Hoodie by Cyberdog at FuckTheMainStream

I approve of the design of the hood and the blue details on this relaxed hoodie. On the back side there are similar details positioned exactly like the ones on the front. This hoodie would be a nice and warm choice for standing in the obligatory pile of snow, staring at fireworks.

Happy New Year, gentlefolk.

Found here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fail: 'Marny' Dress by Laughing Vampire

I am going to be honest here and admit that I have an issue with the whole label of Laughing Vampire. I am yet to discover any piece of them that don't view as cheap-looking, unflattering, badly designed and/or unpractical; Mostly it's a case of all of the above.

This dress is no exception. The choice of colours and design are disasterous, of course, and hence the garment is beyond salvaging, but what really gives it the, hmm, finishing touch is the crushed velvet slash velour. The fabric sums up the style they embody, in fact, and Laughing Vampire has a serious obsession of crushed velvet. I imagine they mostly target their products to those medieval goths who believe everything gothic needs to be made of some velvety fabric and who haven't the foggiest idea of what the real dresses of that time actually looked like.

Crushed velvet is really the one fabric that may look acceptable or even, dare I say it, fairly nice, when used very sparsely. In all other cases it is absolutely horrifying a material for clothing. It is thin and stretchy, so it clings instead of falling gracefully, accenting every bulge, hence making even the thinnest, most fit person look like they'd been on a diet of beer and sausages. It gathers electricity, lint and little balls of dust, and tears easily, and things sewn to it (such as lace, buttons or lacing) tend to droop sadly when the garment is worn. Any design falls flat when it is executed with crushed velvet.

Enough of the fabric. The main reason for my deep disgust of Laughing Vampire is merely the narcissistic fact that I am sick and tired of running into this label and this style in the IRL alternative clothing boutiques that I haunt. Firstly, them being in there means there is no room for anything actually interesting and good-looking, and secondly, the boutiques wouldn't order this stuff unless there were people buying it.

So please, gentlefolk: Next time you get the irresistable urge of supporting an overuse of crushed velvet and lacing in weird places, I beg of you to reconsider. There is more to alternative fashion than this. Even if you had to start off your journey in the fantastic world of all that is gothic with what is available at your local boutiques which only offer what is presented above, it is possible to evolve from that to something stylish, flattering and even functional.

I will be giving Laughing Vampire a fair chance and keep myself updated on their latest designs to see if there just might be something surprisingly good. (Check out later for posts tagged 'Laughing Vampire' unaccompanied by the tag 'fail'.) Or, if any Medieval Goth person (or one who finds the aesthetics even remotely interesting) would like to point me to one, I would be very thankful, too. But I understand it can be a heavy task even to someone less biased than myself.

End of rant. Dress found here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cyber/Rave: 'Casualty' Shirt at Plastik Wrap

This shirt falls to the category of Clean Cut, a feature I appreciate over many others. The collar is interesting and innovative, and especially the white version brings out the style and the design of the garment. I also think the choice of fabric here is excellent, and it completes and supports the design.

Found here. (Currently sold out, but I'm certain they'll restock.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet Lolita: Knitted Bolero at Baby, The Stars Shine Bright

Just a frilly dress may not keep an innocent little sweet lolita warm enough in the cold, cold winter. I really know next to nothing about knitwear, but judging from the close-up photos on Baby, The Stars Shine Bright website, it's quality is excellent. This is a neat, cute piece, over and out, and it's fairly practical, which is definitely not given for any clothing of the alternative aesthetics. (Is it just me, or do other people ever get stuck in doorways from their removable straps? Just me? Alright then.)

The bolero comes in various colours and is available here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cabaret Goth: 'Ophelia' Skirt at Gallery Serpentine

My apologies for not updating for such a long time. I shall make it up to you in January.

What we have here could be described as the embodiment of Cabaret Goth style. The most essential part of the femme version of this look is the corset, full length and matching in colour with the skirt. Add a lot of ruffles, and there we have it.

The actual product here is the skirt, and I appreciate the intricate layering and the artfully positioned lace. Also, the tail-like addition in the back of the skirt looks amazingly stylish, compared to how unfortunately it often turns up. The look is perfect for any burlesque night one might attend.

Available here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gothabilly / Rockabilly: 'Paige' Top by Collectif at Nitrobabe

I was "accused" of deliberately avoiding Gothabilly style in this blog, and to prove this wrong, I decided to find something iconic to exactly that preference. Voilà.

The collar is pushing 60's, but as far as I know, the era from which the Rockabillies and Gothabillies draw their inspiration can be extended all the way from the 30's to late 60's.

As for the fit, I think it could be a touch slimmer, but it's not catastrophic as it is. Besides, the black underbust band gives the garment a bit of the shape it would otherwise be lacking. With the cut of the shirt, it looks like it would look terrific on practically any shape and size, although perhaps the curvier would benefit more than the skinny - which is, essentially, typical for Gothabilly fashion (if we're talking about the femme style rather than the Elvis lookalikes).

Available here (a Finnish site).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gothic: 'Girdle Pants PVC' by Aderlass at Venomous Clothing.

Nice asymmetry, good fit, and the vertical straps have been placed just right. No straps hanging out, meaning one could actually move around in these trousers, if not climb a tree.

Fairly basic stuff here today. Frankly I find myself a little bit bored with most of the stuff the alternative fashion scene is offering right now. I am waiting to see what the next big hit is after the gothabilly and vintage craze.

Trousers available on this site.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Punk: 'Vintage Punk Pleat Dress' by Phaze at Kinky Angel

Quite gothic to be punk, really, but a refreshing look, nevertheless. For once, a dropped waistline does not destroy the shape of the whole dress, and the pleats add a nice touch to an otherwise simple cut.

To transform the shape, wear with a waist corset.

Found here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: the Ankh

Welcome to the comparative edition of Darker Fashions. We shall now look at three different examples of a given theme, labelling one of the three pieces good, one bad, and one ugly. Let us proceed.

Theme: the Ankh

If you look very closely, you may notice that there is a necklace in the picture. I took a while for me to spot it, but do keep looking; it's in there, trust me.

The design is impeccable, the swirls framing the ankh most beautifully, and the style is quite unique.

Found here.

BadThe pendant appears well-made, and my problem with this item is solely due to the design, the essential aesthetics. It is far too... bling, soppy, kitsch. And most importantly let us keep the symbols separated, shall we? (I can imagine this to be the dream come true for a Romantic Goth, however, and to each their own, as they say.)

Found here.


It's not only the fact that this entire blouse looks poorly made and lacks shape; the ankh sewn on the chest looks poorly made and lacks shape, too, and one should think it cannot be really that hard. It's just the ankh and as a symbol, the design can vary very much indeed. But here, the thing has gone unmistakably wrong, and I can only describe it as ugly. Moreover, why adorn your poorly made, shapeless blouse with the ankh if due to the design it only ends up resembling the Christian cross, instead?

Found here.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: Pyjama Bottoms 'Matrix' by Cyberdog at FuckTheMainstream

There I was, minding my own business, casually exploring the wonderful world of alternative fashion, when suddenly I bumped into a pair of pyjama trousers.

Kind of caught my attention.

Now, the thing is that I like the idea more than I like the actual execution, here. I admit I am a huge fan of the Matrix, but if I try and un-cloud my vision of all the fanperson elements, the design could work a lot better than what we see now. That being said, I am most likely going to order myself a pair, in any case.

You, too? Follow the White Rabbit here.