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Thursday, 29 May 2014

May Roundup

May (the merry month of) has been a contrast between hard graft and relaxed arts; my exams finished (and were passed!), and I've spent the month following toying with casting, printing and painting on my SSC. I've not been diligent in keeping up with reading blogs, but nonetheless there's been plenty on my dashboard worthy of feature.

  • I love seeing people's hair stories; my hair has been pretty boring for the most part with no dyeing or unusual cuts, but Stacey of Aesthetic Contradiction has had a fantastic and colourful history.
  • Though I may have hosted a Rocky Horror party of epic proportions last night (pictures soon), my life is still nowhere near as glamorous as Anna and her DJ and club looks.  
  • Though not published this month, I love this tutorial by Monoxious on how to do your own thorn bracelet.
  • Are any of my readers facing grey hair imminently? Nikkon Sixx is beginning a series on Haute Macabre looking at how to rebel and show the grey.
  • Also on the mature goth thread, Victorian Kitty of Sophistique Noir looks at elegant gothic style for cool weather.
  • Finally, for the literature fans, Moth of Moth Mouth writes about her new, very gothic book, The Empire of Death. Birthday wish list? Absolutely.

See you all in June! I will be taking part in Sophistique Noir's Red and Black Week, so normal posting is suspended for that period.


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Art:Tangled Up in You

In a collaboration between sculptors Beth Cavener Stitcher and Alessandro Gallo, the exquisite balance of the predator/prey cycle is explored in the work Tangled Up In You. The fluid grace of the intertwined hare and snake, with their anthropomorphic eyes, is offset with the physicality and tension between them. Cavener Stitcher's work looks in depth at not only this sensuous violence, but the balance between humanity and the innate animal instinct within all of us. Nastia Voynovskaya described the work up as 'visceral', and I think it's the only word which could possibly sum up all of the feelings and emotions this piece provokes.

I've always struggled with the moral and ideological arguments for eating meat and animal products; my father consoled me as a child that the native Americans said a prayer of thanks for the animal they killed and used all parts of it (I suspect this is a massive over-generalisation of the different spiritualties practiced by varied tribes, but I love him all the same for trying to comfort me), and it's only now that I've accepted that as a viable option and come to terms with it.

Whilst I do support the vegan/vegetarian movement at large in its efforts to bring the treatment of animals to our attention (though organised veganism can be hellish and hypocritical in practice) I no longer feel that it is the way to go. The production and importation of meat substitutes isn't always better for the environment than locally produced meat, and veganism is intrinsically at odds with the natural cycle of birth and death, which I feel the interplay of sexuality and brutality in Cavener and Gallo's sculpture represents; things must die for others to survive, and that's going to happen whether there's chicken in my salad or not.

You can see more of Cavener Stitcher's work on her website here (I personally favour "The Adoration (from Van Eyck)"), and more photos of the production of this sculpture on High Fructose. If you're in Milwaukee, you can see Tangled Up in You on show in the Milwaukee Museum of Art.


All images in this post were sourced from High Fructose. I do not own the rights to any of the above images.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Outfit: Noctex Axis Dress

As previously mentioned, I've been experiencing the clothing equivalent of cabin fever for the past month or two, and though I'm still facing frustration getting dressed (and disturbingly discovered yesterday that I have less clothes than Ben) I have some wriggle room now after several strategic purchases.

I've been interested in the goth ninja trend for a while, and found out about Noctex Clothing by Negin Izad via tumblr (obviously). I had to own a piece of their collection from the previous season before it dissipated, and decided on the Axis Dress. Though all of Izad's clothing is very reasonably priced (even with international shipping it wasn't unreasonable) I feel incredibly privileged in getting to support a small designer, particularly one with such a passion for ethical production of clothing.

The dress itself arrived promptly and in perfect condition, and I love the lines and the multifunctional element included (you can see many of the different ways you can wear the hood here); I wanted to do it justice by not over-embellishing it, and decided on tall, military boots and my waist belt. As I go on, I want increasingly to pare my style back to tank tops, shorts and simple black dresses.


Friday, 16 May 2014

Why I Wear Black

  • It doesn't show stains.
  • It instantly gives an air of professionalism.
  • I don't get distracted by colour or pattern when shopping, and get to focus instead on the quality of the cut and fabric.
  • Blue jeans make me uncomfortable.
  • A monochrome wardrobe means I get to be lazy when picking what to wear in the morning; I don't have to worry about the extra dimension more shades add. Everything matches.
  • It has a longevity and timelessness which bright colours and prints don't. You can instantly tie a print to a specific time or trend, and like Ivania Carpio of LOVE AESTHETICS (who partially inspired this), I lose interest.
  • I like the associations of black. Obviously.
  • Washing is far easier.

I get a lot of grief from friends and family for wearing such a dark and moody wardrobe, but I love it; without the need for work clothing (head to toe black is perhaps not so appropriate for a medic), I would quite happily eliminate all colour from my clothes, as rather than being restrictive it's very freeing. In reality it's no one's business and a simple 'I like it' would suffice, though I don't usually mind well-intentioned questions from friends, but for future reference I decided to put into words why I like black.


P.S. Big news for the summer! I'm going to trial posting every four days instead of the current five. Just so no one gets a surprise next posting day.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

DIY To Do List

DIY, body harness, moon, garters, body chain, leggings, spiderwebs
Sources - one, two, three, four and five.

Inspired by The Mutant Stomp Friends, I've decided to do a DIY to do post; I already have a To Do List on my blog featuring what I'm doing, but I have a bad habit of forgetting to update it and it's not very current. So I'm going to rely on you, readers, to hold me accountable for all the things I want to finish in the next month or so. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Design: Alien Facehugger Corset

As you can probably tell, I have a lot of love for geeky things. Though I love my sci fi, super heroes and science, I don't tend to adorn myself or my surroundings with them - partially because they often look rather incongruous when combined with my regular style, and also because they often look so... tacky. Memorabilia is often plastic and cheap looking, and are just replications of the motifs or characters designed to shout 'look at me and my pop culture tastes!'. I tend to like less obvious indicators of interests, such as the whisky glasses from Blade Runner, or items from a universe which is very design led (also pretty applicable to Blade Runner) as opposed to the standard merchandise.


When the symbols are used by someone who really appreciates design, however, that's another thing entirely. Well made, subtle (or, indeed, not so subtle) nods to our favourite cinema and books in luxurious materials and interpreted through the lens of a style or aesthetic.


So for that reason I decided to post the Alien Facehugger corset (made by Rage Custom Creations) so we could all sigh over it once again, and long for the perfect marriage of sexualised fashion and sexualised deadly xenomorphs.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Wardrobe Feature: Leather satchel

I don't usually follow most fashion 'rules' - they tend to apply to a more conservative style than my own, and I'm mystified by the reasoning behind most. Why do I need a certain list of wardrobe essentials? Why should I listen to a rule as subjective as 'don't wear hosiery with heels'?

The one rule I have always stood by is mixing brown and black leather. Yet, paradoxically, it's also the rule which I break on a daily basis. What gives?

I was saddened on my last trip back to Glasgow to see that Bag & Baggage, a family run business selling quality leather goods, luggage and footwear, had retired after over forty years in business. Normally such a shop would be out of my price range, but to congratulate me on getting into university my godmother had promised to get me a quality bag to last me my five year degree.

Two years later and despite near constant use, the bag I got then barely displays its age, and has more than proven worth the investment. I don't want to preach that people should always pay more for quality, as although it's worth it in the long run many people can't afford to do so (as stated in 'Vime's Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness' by Terry Pratchett), and price doesn't always equal quality (Topshop springs to mind).

I was featured in the Dundee Courier's street style section last month (I was misquoted and compared to one of the Olsen twins, so not too well inclined to them), and one of the aspects of the encounter was what got me thinking about this. I'd always been worried since getting my satchel about how the brown bag looks next to my very black outfits and shoes, and motioned to move it out of sight when the photographer was going to take the photo. She stopped me, however. "Leave it in." she said, "it looks good."

And on reflection, it does. Another example of arbitrary rules being pointless in real life.