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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Fashion Inspiration: Welcome To Night Vale

Like a collective hallucination from the minds of conspiracy theorists worldwide, Welcome to Night Vale emerged out of the depths of Tumblr to storm the iTunes charts. A podcast in the form of a spoof local radio show from the imaginary desert town of Night Vale, it features everything from hooded figures to angels in a place where every conspiracy theory is true.

I've been suffering from an addiction to the show for some time now, and purchased tickets to see them in Edinburgh tomorrow; to deal with my excitement, I've spent my time organising Welcome To Night Vale inspired outfits on Polyvore. Creating outfits on a Night Vale theme has been popular for a while now, and The Everyday Goth released her suggestions for gothic Night Vale fashion this summer(she's apparently quicker at finishing posts than myself), but I thought that I'd add my suggestions to the mix.

WTNV: Violetta

Station Intern
Cecil's sweater-vests have been adopted as unofficial canon by the fandom, but I wanted to experiment more with the look; this is probably what I'd wear for a casual nod to the show. The occult, purple, eyes, and tentacles all feature prominently, but I feel like this is a little bit different from most of the inspiration sets out there.

WTNV: Hooded figures

Hooded Figures
The Hooded Figures, associated with the dog park (and stealing babies), are a gift to nu-goth and the ninja goth trend; harem pants, flowing dresses, unnatural heels and oversized hoods. Though it's a very androgynous look, I've also included a more hip-hop inspired outfit - I love that conventional rappers like Jay Z and Kanye West are taking an interest in dark fashion, and fully support black goths using aspects of black culture in their style. Ben also suggested quite astutely that if you're a fan of Victorian goth, long, black lace veils would be an interesting take on this inspiration.

WTNV: Americana

Americana gone wrong

One of the main themes in Night Vale is normal American culture, but gone horribly, horribly wrong - this ties in with the absurd creepy humour of the serious, as normal is made creepy and creepy is made hilarious. Here, I've taken inspiration from recurring characters Old Woman Josie, John Peters (you know, the farmer?) and others for this set.

Has anyone else seen the Night Vale live shows, or listens to the podcast? I'm so excited for tomorrow!


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Skinny Privilege

Content warning: discussion of body shaming. 

Unless you've been living under a rock, you will probably have noticed that, regarding fashion industry, the increasing consensus is that the overuse of young, white and above all skinny models is a bad thing. There's been a big move towards body positivity in fashion and in society over the past several years, which is great news and something I really support. I think it's important that we show all women in media and celebrate each and every one of their physiques, and recognise that healthy isn't just the one image. Unfortunately, this is also where I differ from a lot of supposed 'body positivity' proponents, because I think all physiques should be celebrated.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Osteology Wishlist

Top - Scottish Ram Skull, Roe buck mount. Bottom - mole skull, Harbour seal skull.
Product images from The Weird & Wonderful and The Fox Den Shop; products no longer available. 

My birthday is swiftly approaching and, though everyone I know who is nice enough to spoil me has already organised themselves, If I could afford to be decadent I'd get something from the above list and treat myself.

Taxidermy, though I can appreciate it, has never really been my thing; it's always been bones. Skull are so stripped and matter-of-fact - there's no room for the fripperies of decoration that taxidermy delights in. Only the bare essentials are visible. (I'd perhaps make an exception for a muntjac mount, however.)

I spent all my childhood summers on the bleak and windy north-east coast, where if I was careful and kept my eyes open I could find tern skulls and sheep bones. My current collection features a variety of bones (sheep, deer, seagull and cow) and some fantastic skulls (deer, rabbit, seagull, tern), but I'd love to add some more unusual pre-cleaned pieces - possibly carved skulls, a jacob's ram skull or perhaps some reptilian pieces, but these are the bare bones (pun unfortunately intended) of what I'd like. How cool are mole skulls? A full skeleton would be amazing, but let's start small.


Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Bionic Life


What do you know? After running an article on real-life bionic girl Viktoria Modesta some weeks ago, this week I not only found one article on Haute Macabre about interesting prostheses - or even two - but three. They've also covered The Alternative Limb Project, which I mentioned in my last post.

Prosthetics are exciting. Rather than the traditional model of disability, where your potential is seen as reduced (however untrue), prosthetics carry the possibility of your flaw becoming an asset; you are more than before. From the cellist to the fashion model, this new generation of prosthetics allow the incorporation of one's interests and visions into the very fabric of one's body.

Prosthetics are personally exciting to me also because there is a chance that these developments will significantly improve the lives of my future patients. Despite my rhapsodising, amputation is a serious and upsetting event for most patients, and not to be taken lightly. These developments, however, offer a means of making the road to recovery just a little bit easier.


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Sophistique Noir's Monthly theme: Black and White

We wear a lot of black. We've been wearing black since the eighties. Hence, in the same way that friends and family are surprised and compliment me when I wear anything that doesn't make me look like I jumped in a coal bunker, the alternative fashion community is increasingly stirring to the sound of what could arguably considered our antithesis: white.

Lady Amaranth, photographed by Kestrel Photography.

The Mutant Stomp Friends correctly marked white as the colour of the year back in January, but it's been invading dark fashion as well; I first noticed this on instagram, with the stunning Torture Gardens' penchant for ghostly victorian frocks, but it's showing elsewhere; on the other end of the scale, pastel goth has been rocking this since its inception. I'm hesitant to call this a trend, as we've been playing with the concept through 'Ice Goth' for years - hell, Ra was rocking it back in 2012. Perhaps I'm just waking up to how common it really is?

Patience Kingsley of @Torturegardens.

We dark fashion fans like white for the same reasons we like black; whilst black has obvious funereal and occult connotations (as well as being the colour of fashion designers), white is associated with purity and the ethereal side of death. Its religious use at communion and weddings lends it an unearthly quality, which works well in horror.

Image from tumblr: source unknown. Harness by Creepyyeha

 In some ways, white is almost more indulgent than wearing all black; it takes balls to wear an ivory dress for an entire day. It also makes you stand out more - lots of people can wear all black, but white really turns heads. White can alternately lend a crispness or softness, but it's when it's paired in harmony with black that, for dark fashion, it really comes into its own; a leather harness, dark lipstick or other signifiers of your normal style can really make an otherwise bleached outfit. I anticipate most outfit posts on this month's black and white theme will be predominantly black with white touches, so I figure this is a nice alternative suggestion.

Me? I think white is lovely, and there's a wonderful clean optimism about it... but then my gaze drifts back to my wardrobe, and I just want to take out my velvets and my silks and my leather, rub my face into their fabric and drown in a Fitzgerald-esque pile of luxurious decadence. I am haunted by black. 

Plus, it hides stains far better. 

Fiona C.