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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Adding to the Wardrobe

It surprises most people who know me, but I actually have a relatively compact wardrobe. Particularly my parents, who are well aware that my wardrobe at home contains all the clothes I own which don't reside in my Dundee wardrobe. I wouldn't call it a small or capsule collection, with some pieces included that need specific styling, but it's certainly not at the proportions of other fashion bloggers, goths or even friends.

I'm quite proud of this; a lifelong hoarder, over the past five or so years I've made a conscious effort to cut down on the amount of items I have - both pruning excess items I no longer wear and cutting down on buying. The result is the wardrobe I have today. This works out nicely for me, as I don't usually have problems getting dressed (well, I do - but that's not my wardrobe's fault) and what I have works well together. I don't feel like there's items that aren't worn, and I don't get Nothing To Wear Syndrome all that regularly, because there's very little excess fat.

Recently, however, something has been up; I've been spending increasingly long in front of the mirror, already late for my class but completely unable to pick. I feel like all my outfits are tired and look the same. The majority of my clothes need repaired. I've not been inspired by my usual sources. Insidiously, angst has crept into my feelings about what I wear. I have Nothing To Wear Syndrome.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Blogging: Self-promotion, Commenting and its Effectiveness


For those of you who have been reading for a while, you may be aware of my deep love for the podcast show Welcome to Night Vale, which is a bimonthly spoof radio broadcast of a town where all conspiracy theories are true. I tend to listen to it on iTunes or Soundcloud, but it was when I was on the latter that I saw something that ticked me off; Soundcloud allows the listener to add comments at specific portions in a audio file for everyone to see, which tend to along the lines of 'this tune' or 'I love X!' - however, there was one advertising the commenter's own electronic music album, and it made me irrationally annoyed. It was only when I was discussing the difference between blogging niches with the gamer that I considered the wider examples of this within blogging as a whole (particularly fashion blogging).

The internet offers endless opportunities for connecting with potential fans of your brand and getting word out about it. But as a result of the relatively new nature of the web and the delicate definition of online etiquette, problems can arise. And somehow, many bloggers can't tell the difference between useful online advertising and advertising which harms you.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Modelling: Rainy Day Steampunk

Featuring the mandatory lace parasol, owned by goths everywhere.

Last semester I had my first official modelling gig, which I had forgotten to post about until now; I'm not seriously planning on going into modelling as career, but it's a skill I'd like to learn (plus it would be fun to be able to take on the odd interesting project). It was an enjoyable experience, though the miserable weather meant everyone's fingers went blue and lighting was a challenge.

The shoot was organised by a local photography student (I found out about it via advertisement in my student paper) andstaged at Camperdown House on a steampunk theme; I wore my go to outfit for steam related events (seen on the blog before here). I should state that all images have been heavily edited post-production. Editing is something I do myself for my own photography, but I have no idea if he's altered my appearance or not, which I don't do on the blog.

Looking at the photos afterwards, I am most definitely not a natural model, and I need to look at make up which performs better on camera. Nonetheless, I've got a better idea of posing, and even if I don't become the next Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell (god forbid), it will help my own photography for the blog.

Have you ever had experience modelling before? Are you a fan of steampunk? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Event: The Goblin King's Masquerade Ball

Property of Bonnie Makes Pictures.

The Date: Friday, 2nd May.

The Location: Bunker 51, London.

I've never been a fan of the Victorian tradition of the fairy; I was raised on old Scottish folk tales, where faeries might be strange and beautiful, but they would also steal children and if you spent too long in their hollows a hundred years might go by in the outside world. For that reason I'm more drawn to darker and less glittery adaptations of the little people, such as Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles or the 1980s film Labyrinth - and it is the latter which The Goblin King's Masquerade Ball is based upon.

Martin Soulstealer.

The Goblin King's Masquerade Ball is an annual event which has been running since 2010, where the beautiful and the grotesque come together for one night of masked debauchery. Naturally, the dress code leans towards the fey, and the guests truly do go all out, with prostheses, elaborate elven armour and artisan costuming all featuring.

Red Square Photography.

Previously held in the atmospheric Old Vic Tunnels, evening entertainments include immersive theatre, "promenade theatre, music, interactive creatures, puppetry, art installations, goblin markets and many other surprises", though nothing for this year has yet been announced. Previous features have included screenings of the cult film Troll Hunter, circus acts, cabaret and live music from Lovecraftian folk vaudeville bands (yes, that is correct). Tickets are on sale from the website, and the organisers have arranged for free transport from North Greenwich Station.

Martin Soulstealer.

Whilst I love living in Scotland and wouldn't trade it for the world, whenever I see events like this I feel a twinge of regret that I don't live closer to the UK's capital.


Monday, 7 April 2014

Craft: Dried Roses

drying roses
Flowers are a very decadent item; they only last a short time, but for their brief life they bring so much colour and scent into a room. It's always so sad to see flowers wilting; if I can't have their fresh beauty for longer, then I will make sure it lives on indefinitely.


To celebrate both the first day of spring and an anniversary, I decided last month to dry a bouquet of roses I was recently given by the gamer. I love the art of preserving flowers; I pressed them as a child in books, and now hang them up to dry on a line in my tiny room in Dundee. I'm a sentimentalist at heart, really.
roses, dried, flowers, dried roses

For those wanting to dry their own flowers, I would recommend waiting until your blooms have opened up properly to make sure that they don't get blighted by mildew when drying (these ones were a challenge, and I had to pry them open a bit more with a pair of tweezers). Hang them upside down on a clothing line for a week or until dry (or when you get tired of constantly bumping into them when you try to go to your desk), then take down and arrange them into a bouquet or otherwise.
Dried Roses, flowers, bouquet
Have you ever preserved flowers? Did you do anything for the start of spring? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. Did you know that I have a facebook page now? You can get all my blog posts on there, as well as lots of other things I don't feature on here. It would mean lots if you were to like it!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Outfit: Marie Laveau Wants Your Bones

It's a relief that all the work on my blog is beginning to pay off; organising my own domain name is still a work in progress, but it makes such a difference, reorganising and redesigning - more than you would expect. This, combined with the spring weather, is making me feel more and more upbeat, which is a boon for my upcoming exams.

Style wise I've been inspired recently by Mexican (specifically Frieda Kahlo) and South American cultures, as well as the Creole dress of Voudon Priestess Marie Laveau. I can't understand people dressing up 'Voodoo' for Halloween; it's tacky and offensive, but I feel that's it's okay to take inspiration from the most famous practitioner herself.

I want to find more ways of incorporating this into my normal macabre inspired wear, but that shouldn't be hard; Dia de los Muertos art and some of the darker imagery in Haitian voudon would be interesting to borrow from. I've been losing interest in gothic fashion proper recently, though I'll probably return again at some point; nu goth, mainstream fashion, minimalism and even pastel goth and vintage have been lingering in my head more recently, though I can't do anything without a dark twist.

Eye make up.
What are your opinions on cultural appropriation and taking inspiration from other cultures? Do let me know!
(P.S. Blogger is seriously beginning to irritate me, as posts keep scheduling and appearing before/after they were supposed to be up. This one wasn't supposed to appear until the 11th - derp. I'll leave it up, but I'm not sure what to do about blogger.)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Wardrobe Feature: Round Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not something I have much luck with. Not in terms of style; I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that if you try on enough pairs, you'll find one that suits you. My problem is that they are so easily lost or broken. Expensive or prescription sunglasses are completely wasted on someone who can't keep them around for longer than several months.

sunglasses, goth, round, fashion

I misplaced my wayfarer/blues brothers style shades last month (thankfully found last night), and with spring imminent it was essential that I get a new set. Though I like the style of my old pair, I decided to break from the norm in my recent shopping trip and get these round frames (from Primark, I hate to say, but I had no luck elsewhere). Round frames have been rather popular in the mainstream recently, but I don't see that as a reason not to like them; I've avoided the style previously due to a belief that they make me look like John Lennon, but these are big enough that that's not a problem.

They're rapidly becoming one of my favourite daily accessories, which I didn't think that I would ever say about sunglasses. My first impulse was to wear them with a severe tight bun and black lipstick for a nu-goth/dark couture look, but I've tentatively started branching out into wearing them with other looks. Whilst they're more of a statement piece than my old pair, it goes to show that statement doesn't always mean unworkable.

What's your opinion on sunglasses? Do you prefer something that don't draw the attention away from the rest of your look, or something that really stands out?