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.

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