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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Links a la Mode


Well, shit. I didn't expect that one. Independent Fashion Bloggers is a great resource for fashion bloggers of all levels, with an extensive back catalogue of advice, and for some reason I got selected for their weekly Links a la Mode! I'm very grateful - particularly because it's great to see such a well respected blogging resource taking the issue seriously - and would like to congratulate everyone else who was featured. Find their links below!

What Truths Beneath

Underneath all the glamor and glitz of fashion and beauty, there is the truth. We're all just winging it. Whether you're thinking you need to get your act together in making better decisions, or you need to get your closet all organized there are things you can do to get straight in your head that will inevitably make you straight with your relationship to fashion. This week we have some fantastic links that help to think about fashion in a completely new way. So grab your cup of iced coffee and read these amazingly thought provoking posts.

Links a la Mode: June 26th

SPONSOR: Shopbop Bottega Veneta, Volley Australia, Jennifer Behr, Hipchik, Les Coquines, Chie Mihara, Kurt Geiger, Phaidon, Puma Select, Men's Sneakers & Fashion

I hope to see everyone for my monthly wardrobe feature as scheduled for the first, and thank you again to IFB for featuring my article!


Thursday, 26 June 2014

June Round Up

It's weird to me that June is nearly over; with university finishing and Sophistique Noir's Red and Black Week, it's the busiest blogging month.

On An Honest Drug this month, I moved to a four day blogging schedule, which has proved more difficult than expected, but not impossible. I've also added a new social network in the form of Instagram to my Facebook, Twitter and Google+, increasing the number of places you can see selfies, dog photos and snapshots of my life which you don't get on this blog. Something else that you can find on my Instagram and Facebook is my progress towards my One Summer, One Hundred Crafts challenge, which everyone is gleefully reminding me is an insurmountable task - something that makes me want to do it even more, as much as I agree with them.

Elsewhere on the web -

  • Something I've not talked about on the blog before; I am very interested in stage make up, and was part of the make up team for stage productions in school. Haute Macabre recently posted images from "A Complete Guide to Special Effects Make Up' that reminds me of why I love it so.
  • Gothic Charm School celebrates its five years publishing anniversary, still in print and still one of the best resources for an introduction to goth out there.
  • Though I remain steadfastly interested in equality and feminist discourse, this article on A Thousand Flowers highlights very well some of the problems within feminism; for the record, I am vehemently against transphobic sentiments, and this blog will reflect that.
  • On the lighter side of things, I love Good Morning, Angel's instagram round up - particularly her pearl make up and her PVC skirt. If someone can tell me where to get a skirt like that, I will be a very happy camper.
  •  Whether you're still suffering withdrawal from the demise of Flappy Bird or have a deep affection for all things Lovecraftian, The Pop Culture Cynic offers something for all in the form of Flapthulhu.
  • Finally, though 'job' to me currently means shorts, old t shirts and getting a fright when frogs hop out of plants unexpectedly, Victorian Kitty of Sophistique Noir remains my number one favourite for darkly elegant work wear.

Next post is on the first of next month, when An Honest Drug will be back with the monthly wardrobe feature!


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Skinny, White and Blogging

I want my blog to be successful. Pretending otherwise would be a lie - though I love writing for it, and I would continue to do so even if nobody read what I wrote, I do want an audience who responds and engages with me. Though it would be egotistic to pretend that I've 'made it', I've grown a little and earned regular commenters and followers who aren't just friends and family. I also love reading other blogs and interacting and supporting them - this community aspect is one of the reasons I stay blogging.

Increasingly I've found, however, that I'm uncomfortable with the lack of variety in most successful blogs. Though the alternative fashion community is significantly more balanced, most of the successful bloggers look the same, come from similar backgrounds and blog about the same lifestyles. Both Cora Harrington in her discussion of the 'documentary' The American Blogger and Nicolette Mason on how mainstream values impacts bloggers have described this, and it's making me increasingly uncomfortable. We are skinny, white and blogging.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wearing: Esoteric Geometry

Over the past few months I've been really good with upholding my commitment to ethical fashion; most of my recent purchases have been from M&S and Noctex (both with stellar records). As a child of Scottish socialism, improving worker's conditions is very important to me, as well as supporting local independent designers (though, as previously mentioned, this isn't necessarily possible for everyone).

However, for all my gripes with it fast fashion is very tempting, and I was eyeing this jumper for a good few weeks before getting it on sale (huzzah!). The design is gorgeous, probably inspired by the occult trend (which I'm a raging fan of) and slots in smoothly with the rest of my wardrobe. It's a little bit like a tarot card - something I've been practicing reading recently - and also geometrical Islamic art. I like the environmental policies H&M have been implementing, but the conditions in their factories leaves much to be desired. Nonetheless, if there's any change in fashion it helps to support it, and an occasional lapse can be excused.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Design: Zoetica Ebb and Alien Botany

Hortus Scarf.

I wouldn't normally re-share content I first saw on another blog, but I'm such distress that I simply have to. Haute Macabre recently published an article on Zoetica Ebb's (formerly of Coilhouse and many other beautiful projects) new foray into design, Alien Botany. And readers, these items are the most beautiful items of clothing I've ever seen.

Desiderium Leggings.

The exquisite agony I'm experiencing is only heightened by the fact that they're USA (not checked shipping) and my need to wait before buying anything new. And whilst I love the colour scheme she's chosen (combined with the subject matter, I can definitely get behind these pastels), I'm not certain how well it would fit into my all black wardrobe. Oh, and I can't own all of them.

Ah well. Beauty before sense, I suppose.


Friday, 13 June 2014

Summer Craft Challenge: 1-4

I apparently have a thing for challenges; as soon as I finished Red and Black week and plans for a series of make up posts (coming soon), I decided on a whim yesterday to attempt to complete one hundred craft projects over the next two months. My overzealousness knows no bounds.

In all seriousness, though; I didn't get through an awful lot of crafts this year at university, and I wanted to motivate myself to get some done. I'm expecting to get fifty done before I run out of ideas, but dream big and all. Thus far I've made two jacket patches, refreshed a t shirt and made a terrarium (which I'm very pleased with).

I'll probably do occasional summaries of this on the blog, but for the most part I'll be posting about it on my facebook, possibly twitter, and also my new social media platform - instagram! I'm still unsure about whether or not I'm planning on keeping it (especially since I found out that it's owned by facebook), but I like thus far how it's prompting me to actually change out of pajamas and make myself presentable.

Apologies for the brief (and early) post - I'll post a real one tomorrow on schedule, but I just wanted to let people know about what was happening on other social media channels. Oh, and also to gloat about my terrarium. Look at that stone circle and those adorable little sheep.

You can find me on facebook here, twitter here and now instagram here. Is anyone else taking advantage of more spare time to catch up on crafts?


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Shopping: Urban Outfitters Picks

Skull Box - Palmistry Hand

Urban Outfitters is the ex I just can't get away from. I hate them for reasons above the normal hipster-phobia of most; the company ethics are terrible, with art theft and cultural appropriation everyday occurrences, and their CEO is nuts. I can't think of a place where the irony of their 'stick it to the man' merchandise is more apparent.

Nonetheless, I keep coming back to their homewear selection. It's like an indie (or pseudo-indie) version of Firebox. Despite some desperate intentionally offensive pieces, they do sometimes have an eye for pretty things, and I fell in love with this jewellery box when I was in shopping for my brother's birthday (desperate times call for desperate measures). The palmistry hand I've seen around elsewhere recently, so I'm hoping to find another place to purchase one - I may not have such luck for the box, though. How depressing that the art can't always be separate from the creator.

Does anyone else have an intense love-hate relationship with a brand? I can't be the only one who can't resist the allure despite reasons I shouldn't. Let me know in the comments!


Friday, 6 June 2014

Red and Black Week, Day 6: Red and Black Gradient Make Up Tutorial

I can't decide whether I should be appalled with myself or not; a whole year since I last did my two tone red and black make up for last year's R&B Week, and I still haven't purchased red eyeshadow. I'm not sure if it counts as lazy or thrifty, but it's probably the former. So before we start, I would like to clarify that there is probably a reason that they don't market lipsticks for use as eyeshadow, and I wouldn't recommend it for use on a regular basis for health and safety reasons.

As mentioned above, my most successful post of last year was my two-tone make up look on the final day (see here), and I wanted to do another make up look for this year; red lipstick is a classic, but red eye shadow is more difficult to pull off. I don't tend to incorporate red into my club and night time looks, so this was a challenge on that level too, which I relished.

Excuse the frizzy hair. 

I'm overly pleased with this look! To contrast last year's effort, I focused more on gradients as opposed to colour blocking, and in honour of our wonderful host Ms. Kitty I included her signature black-lined red lips. This look can be split up into its components and each part worn on its own, but I've done a brief tutorial for you guys on how to do it for yourself.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Red and Black Week 2014, Day 5: Creature of the Night

Day five - we're on the home stretch, readers!  For the fifth post, I want to celebrate something more personal - a phenomenon dear to me and probably many others out there on the fringes of mainstream taste and culture. Warning for those easily offended: this post contains tackiness, scantily clad men in drag and campy fun. I have no idea why you'd be on my blog if you didn't like those things, but just in case.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Red and Black Week, day 4: Cookie Monster

Hello all - I've just moved out of my flat and back home from the summer, so I'm absolutely knackered. Apologies for not keeping up with commenting on everyone's posts; packing/unpacking is keeping me busy. Although I had a plan in place in advance, I didn't have the same forethought to carry it out, so this will be a slightly shorter post than normal!

I decided to use up some of my baking supplies before moving out to make raspberry and dark chocolate cookies (and yet ended up having to buy most of the ingredients, so that didn't work out well), which fits in with the red and black theme. Credit where credit's due, I used this recipe to make them, substituting baking powder and plain flour for self raising and removed the cocoa powder.

Gross, but so delicious.

Considering there was twice as many cookies as there are in the first photo, I'd say that they were a success! Magically, the chocolate managed to stay gooey even after cooling down, and the raspberries I used were surprisingly flavoursome. I would consider substituting them for cranberries if I wanted to change it up a little.

These are the eyebags you get after spending three days packing up enough possessions to fill an entire house.

Though this is my first post on the topic of food, I'm not sure if I'd want to do food blogging or not; I have a basic understanding of how ingredients work and how to change recipes, but I'd consider myself more of a hobbyist baker (my talents certainly don't extend to other forms of cooking, as an unfortunately large number of people can attest to) and don't think I'd do well making my own recipes. Plus, the washing up? God no.

Is anyone else a baker? Can you suggest any other red and black foods? Let me know below!


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Red and Black Week 2014, Day 3: Secretariat

Day three of Red and Black Week, and I have my first outfit post - perhaps surprising for someone who blogs frequently on personal fashion. As previously mentioned I don't have an awful lot of red in my wardrobe, which I'm considering changing for next year, but I have made one purchase since I last participated.

Foolishly, I got this skirt in preparation for university in the summer last year; it's far too tight to run for the bus in, and probably a little too femme fatale for patients. I wore it on the day these photographs were taken to a vintage fair with some members of the swing society, and ended up trying to dance rock and roll in it - trying being the operative word. I love it nonetheless, and really want more pencil skirts.

The concept of the femme fatale is an interesting one to me, partially because I've been studying Blade Runner; is her dangerous sexuality empowering or misogynistic? Blade Runner exposes the fallacy of the femme fatale in the character Rachael, and her vulnerability in the neo-noir dystopia makes her one of my favourite characters. For some reason the pairing of this skirt and blouse (very appropriate for the red, white and black theme today) also reminds me of Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction, who is another supposed femme fatale who diverges from the archetype.

Who else is taking part in Red and Black Week? What's your feelings regarding femme fatales, or indeed pencil skirts? Let me know in the comments!


Monday, 2 June 2014

Red and Black Week 2014, Day 2: Male Fashion - Formal and Casual

As you all well know, I run a dark fashion blog. I've also expanded to write on culture, art, lifestyle, crafts and god knows what else. It's a veritable smorgasbord of aesthetics and thoughts. One thing I've barely covered however - even in passing - is men's fashion. Though it's sad how little room there is for experimentation and variety, I do like the structure and attention to detail - something, with the freedom of print and colour and style, women's fashion often forgets.

I've mentioned Ben of The Pop Culture Cynic not a few times on here, but very rarely that he is often better dressed than me. Though his casual outfits tend to revolve around t shirts (admittedly often homemade) and jeans, his formal ones always make glorious use of colour. Naturally, this includes red and black.

Even his glasses are appropriate.

I love the 'long hair, don't care' attitude he has in wearing head-to-toe red. When prompted, he finally admitted that he enjoyed art deco and twenties men's fashion, which you don't see a lot of in goth style (something which surprises me, as I love it). Most current men's formal wear tends to take it's shape from this period, though I've yet to see a zoot suit worn outside of Halloween.

Men's fashion blogging is a steadily expanding niche, but nonetheless outside of The Sinister Sartorialist I can't think of any male dark fashion bloggers (though I hope Ben isn't a lost cause!). Any suggestions? I would be interested in featuring a greater variety of bloggers on An Honest Drug.

Casual style, also appropriate.

Come back for another Red and Black Week post tomorrow!


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Red and Black Week 2014, Day 1: How to mix different colour shades in one outfit

I can't believe that it's been a whole year since I last took part in Sophistique Noir's Red and Black Week; it's an honour to take part again. Red and black is the most classic of bold gothic colour themes, possibly because of the associations with blood and vampires, but not one I indulge in a lot nowadays; I accessorise with red a lot in the winter with hats and scarves, but over the past year I've been paring colour back to bare black, particularly with summer coming (what an oxymoron). 

One of the reasons I and many other people struggle with red (including, from memory, the host of our event, Ms. Kitty) is how difficult it is to mix different shades of it. Unlike other colours, such as green or purple, red has the peculiar ability to make one look like a Frankenstein's monster when not matched properly. Even more famously, the eternal goth problem of mismatching blacks is an all too common issue. If you have a small wardrobe or are lazy like me, you can't be bothered meticulously matching shades everyday. But I've compiled a list of tips for getting around this -

Take care of your clothes

One of the main reasons mismatching blacks become a problem is fading; this can change the midnight black of your once favourite item to a dusty charcoal. The main culprits is washing, which removes some colour each time, as well as drying. Red doesn't fade quite so badly, but does notoriously run in the wash! The Everyday Goth has post on keeping blacks black, which can be easily applied to other colours.

Red and Black Mash-Up

Mix textures, fabrics and prints

One of the suggestions often given to make all black outfits visually interesting is to include multiple fabric types and textures; this can also be used to make different shades of the same colour work, as it separates them from one another. Above, I mixed patent oxblood leather creepers with a natural finish red leather jacket, and a velvet skirt with a cotton crop top - the difference in shades between them isn't as noticeable.

Oxblood and Fire Engine

Keep different shades far away from one another

This may not always be practical, but physically distancing items from one another makes it less obvious when colours don't match. I tend to use this in make up a lot; the red of my lipstick often doesn't match other reds in my outfit, but because they're separate it's not noticeable. The same principle goes for this gorgeous skull bag.

Sourced from pinterest

Dye it!

If all else fails, re-dyeing your clothes may solve the problem, either to correct fading or change the shade. Be careful to match the dye to your fabric type and check trimmings and stitching beforehand.  For small patches of fading on black clothes (particularly around seams) I typically use a sharpie to fill it in.

Have you got any tips for mixing different shades in the one outfit? What do you think of my first polyvore sets? Let me know in the comments! You can find my previous Red and Black Week posts under the theme posts tag.