Friday, 30 December 2011

Up next in 2012

I'm not sure whether or not I will have chance to post tomorrow... I apologise for blogging being slightly sporadic this month but we are all busy in December... :-) Next year, of course, is Filthy Victorians so at the very least you can expect a daily outfit post (emergencies and internet outages taken into consideration of course!).

Source: Deathwaves
I will also try and finish my guide to dark music and list of established Goth fashion styles... sadly I didn't finish my vampire reading challenge for 2011 but next year at least I can review some books about characters other than vampires, which I'm sure will be a welcome change for some of you.

I have a stack of reader requests to get through and a lot of tutorials to finish, so you can look forward (or not) to seeing those in the new year. (And it's been like a month since I checked my email, sorry about that...)

But for now it's over to you guys! What do you want to see more or less of on the Goth Guide in 2012? I noticed that a lot of bloggers tend to post the results of their shopping sprees - is that something you'd like to see? What about *gulp* reader-submitted fiction or poetry (calm down, I'm just throwing the idea out there for now!) or should the Guide stay non-fictional?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Goth parties for young'uns

So, it's party time, and you're looking for something suitably spooky and fun that won't shock your grandparents and non-goth friends (too much). Unfortunately, while the seance in the graveyard at midnight may be out of the question, here are a few suggestions for Gothic and Goth-themed parties for every season (and budget).

1) Goth Fancy Dress
This one's simple - just get your friends and relatives to dress as Goths. If they're non-alternatives, this can be hilarious - imagine your grandma in fishnets and chains! What you want to do then is up to you - you can go out somewhere (imagine - a horde of Goths invading the ice rink or cinema) or stay in and have an old-fashioned food-and-random-games party. Either way, you'll be doing it in style...

2) Movie night
If you're on a low budget, just grab a stack of your fave gothy-type movies - Interview With The Vampire, Dracula, The Craft, etc - and your spookiest mates, and have your own home cinema night. Complete with popcorn, of course!

3) Danse Macabre
If you have a large group of Goth friends, you may discover that any Danse Macabre or masquerade-themed events will often go down a treat. When you're too young to go out to Goth clubs, throwing a more lavish event gives everyone the perfect excuse to pull out their fanciest finery from the back of the wardrobe. Do up the lounge with those old Halloween decs, and don't be stingy with the fake spiderwebs. Add a great soundtrack and an area for photography (everyone likes to be snapped in their nicest outfit).

4) Mad Tea Party
Think Emilie Autumn! Get frilled up in your best bloomers for high tea with your most charming aquaintances. The madder, the better - that goes for both food and decoration. If you can get your hands on the November/December/January 2007/2008 issue of Orkus English magazine containing tea party recipies by the First Lady of Violindustrial herself, so much the better. If not, search online for easy-to-prepare party foods, or have fun wandering through the archives of 365 Days of Halloween to add some spookiness to your finger foods.

Here, have a Dave Vanian.
Source: Deathwaves
General Tips (To Make Sure Your Party Goes With A W00t!):

1) Create an atmosphere - go wild with deco.This is one of the best bits of preparing for any party. Grab as much stuff to decorate with as you can - try websites and shops that stock Halloween decorations for a truly ooky-spooky setting. I reccommend that you go as crazy as possible - but it's probably best to keep the smoke machine out of the dining room. >.<

2) Soundtrack. Make sure it's GREAT. If you don't want to be constantly changing CDs, then grab some speakers for your MP3 and load up your fave playlist.

3) Games! (Depending on your party theme, of course.) Personally I recommend Charades. Or, if you're partying with a pretty hardcore Goth group, why not make your own Goth Charades - make cards with Goth-related bands, people, song titles etc. - e.g. 'Temple Of Love', 'Budgie', 'The Batcave', 'Release the Bats', - and use those! But, be reasonable - nobody is going to be able to act out 'Wumpscut'... - and Truth or Dare.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Outfit: work clothes + frizzled hair

If you buy a book on the history of punk during your work day, you WILL want to come home and arse about with your hair. 

Actually, I make that sound like some effort went into this when actually it didn't. I slept in plaits, went to work in plaits, unravelled the plaits at the end of the day and pushed my hair over to one side of my head. Then put a few sparkly clips in it. My hair is so boring at the moment, had to do SOMEthing with it. :-/

Boots: skip
Leggings: Primark, £7
Skirt: Travelling Trends fashion show, £13
Thermal long-sleeved vest thing: um, no idea... o.O
T-shirt: gift from Bronwyn at the Aesthetic Perfection gig we recently went to
Necklace: £4, Claire's

Goths of colour

Goths of colour speak for themselves... comments taken from YouTube mostly, and Goth-related forums all around the web.

Model unknown
Source: YouTube
"I don't think that having that "dead pallor" look is a neccessity among being Goth. That's the beauty of being an ethnic Goth. Most are proud of their ethnicity/race, and though I've seen few, there are some very lovely black Goths who don't use any make-up to change the appearance of their skin tone. I'm a light-skinned black, but I still wouldn't use any foundation to make myself look paler. I like my skin tone the way it is."

"If you're from a minority group, and you're a Goth, you can do so many things. You can uphold your commitment to both groups all in one. You can turn your ethnicity's traditional dress into your regular Goth outfit or if you're into music, add both gothic and traditional influences."

"I am a black Goth natural hair girl. I like to change up my style, to go out of the box with clothes and makeup."

"This hits upon something about the Gothic subculture I've always taken some pride in: the level of acceptance Goths exhibit. To my knowledge, I am one of the very, very few African American Goths in Minnesota. Doing anything within the scene here has always involved being the only minority in sight. To date, I have yet to experience any issues as a result. This is not simply my own observation, something specific to my geographical location. I have heard from African American, Hispanic, Asian, and other minority Goths from around the US, Canada, and the UK. Contrary to popular myth, Goths tend to look beyond the superficial more often than not."

"I still get people coming up to me trying to "figure me out." In all reality what is there to figure out? I am an African American, I wear a lot of black and I just happen to like AngelSpit and The Cure over Lil Wayne and 50 cent. What more is there to grasp?"

"I am a mixed race Goth girl living in the UK. I have friends in the Goth community and it is good to know there are open minded people out there." "Being an ethnic Goth can be rough sometimes. It's like you gotta prove your "gothness" to both non-goths and other Goths. Goth in general is mainly seen as being a "white" culture so if you're a minority who lives the lifestyle, be prepared to get some backlash from closed minded people who think you have to "act" a certain way because of your race and/or those in your respective community for "rejecting your culture". Just don't let it get to you too much. Despite everything I've just said, it's not quite as bad as it used to be. Ethnic Goths are becoming more common especially in some areas and there are a few communities specifically for us found on the web now. The most well known I can think of is"

"I remember when I went to my first Goth night in Louisville, Kentucky I was really suprised by the huge number of African American Goths. They appear to be completely accepted by the Goth community here." "EVERYONE CAN'T BE THE SAME IN ETHNIC ORIGINS. People should know that the Goth subculture spreads throughout the entire world (which we should all be aware of) and can be adapted into any person's life no matter what race they are. What matters is that everyone is unique in their own way."

"I live in a predominately black neighborhood, and I'm pretty much the only noticable Goth around here (but I don't go out much, so I'm probably missing a lot). Sure, there probably are more, but we're pretty much an endangered species (among other types of people on the black community). I only know one other person who is close to "Goth"."

"It's really not that big a deal to see Goths of color in the United States depending where you go though. I mean most people think Goth is synonymous with Caucasian but these days a lot of Goths of color are coming out of the woodwork."

"1) I'm not 'acting white' (as far as I'm concerned, I just act like a human), and 2) a subculture is made up of people from several ethnic cultures who have all banded together because of their basic distaste for mainstream society. In this case, I don't like urban fashion, mainstream stuff, etc. I'm just a light skinned black girl who practices vegetarianism, dresses in black, listens to non-mainstream/underground music, and who all in all shares none of the interests of her other peers, whether they are black or white or whatever. And if you can't take the fact that a light skinned black girl happens to be a Goth, then you're just going to have to cry yourself to sleep or give a "what have our youth come to?" speech in your anxiety, cuz I ain't changing anytime soon."

Relevant Webpages:

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Goth jobs

Strictly speaking, a Goth can have any job that they like. I read somewhere recently that you never see Goth dentists, teachers or bus drivers - but actually, Goths hold down all of the above jobs and more. However, for some jobs it may be necessary to remove piercings, hide tattoos and dye hair a more natural colour than screaming scarlet.

Source: Deathwaves
There are some jobs which allow for more, uh, creativity with regards to appearance, and of course there are Goths who hold these sorts of jobs too. Because these Goths tend to be able to be more visually flamboyant, they are noticed more and these lines of work become, in the public's mind, stereotypically Goth jobs.

Yes, there are Goth lawyers, Goth policemen and Goth paramedics, but because they are not obvious and visible, they are overlooked by the public and it is assumed that Goths are all sales assistants in Hot Topic.

Or, of course, one of the following:

Body piercer or tattooist - if you love body mods and are skilled at drawing, this could be your niche; helping others discover the living artwork that they could become. For a fee, of course. On the other hand, I have never figured out why non-Goths assume that alternative-looking people must spend their time 'recruiting' others - has anyone else noticed this? I am not allowed near my young cousins in case I paint their nails black, and one friend's parents are convinced that my life's purpose is to empty a bottle of black dye over her lovely blonde hair. I often wonder if the assumption that anyone with a lot of body mods must modify others for a living is a sort of extension of this utterly daft stereotype.

Singer or musician - if you're a black-clad guy with long hair, chances are that people assume you're in a band. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if they stopped assuming you dropped out of education or work to get there and spend your spare time creating an unholy racket in your parents' basement or garage. There are, indeed, plenty of Goths with musical inclinations - for example our own Lily Peppermint, a classically-trained cellist (amongst other instruments), who is a world apart from the stereotype of unwashed, baggy-jeans-clad teens chanting 'HAIL SATAN' over the sound of a pounding guitar.

Model - all right, yes, a large percentage of Goths, especially the girls, have at some point tried their hand at alternative modelling, and I would suppose that almost all of us have photos of us languishing beside a gravestone hidden in a folder somewhere on our computers. But just because a girl is Goth does not mean she's a Goth model. If she happens to be a Goth model, that does not automatically mean that she will do partially-clad photoshoots. And even if she is a model who is happy and comfortable posing naked, that does not mean she is a Suicide Girl. Not every tattooed, pierced or Goth model is a Suicide Girl!

Film extra - when the movie world needs a bunch of seedy, unsettling or possibly vampiric club denizens, they generally look for Goths, punks, and other multi-pierced people to wander about or dance sexily in the background. Whilst in some cases this could be an example of obvious and slightly offensive stereotyping, I can't get overly irritated about it as you get to be in a film, however briefly, and you might even get paid for it. This could be one situation where stereotyping works in our favour.

Writer or poet - this is another stereotype rooted in truth; yes, many dreamy and creative members of the Goth scene do enjoy writing stories or poetry, but few of us do it by candlelight whilst weeping alone in a darkened room. And whilst Bad Goth Poetry is sadly a fact of life in dark culture, if you happen to have a talent for expressing yourself with words, you really could be the next Poppy Z. Brite or Storm Constantine.

Artist or photographer - as cheesy as artsy black and white shots of cemeteries in the rain are, at the end of the day there is a market. Yes, I for one would buy a big book of pretty cemetery snaps as a coffee table book. Many Goths are artistic by nature, though, which means that the world of Goth art is far from limited to bleak scenes in greyscale.

DJ - there's no shortage of Goth DJs, and no shortage of stereotypes about them either. For example, they are all elitist, pretentious twats who wear sunglasses indoors, and, OK, I did meet one DJ in Southampton who fitted this stereotype like a hand in a glove. However, I have also met some Goth club DJs who are the antithesis of this image. Thankfully.

Haunted tour guide - every quaint old town seems to have a haunted tour, and it certainly adds atmosphere if the tour guide wears a sweeping velvet cloak and skull-topped cane. Actually in York I didn't spot a single haunted tour guide who wasn't a Goth...

Monday, 26 December 2011

My Christmas in pictures

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. :3

My cat had a nasty run-in with a neighbour's dog on Christmas Eve. He is OK but currently being completely spoilt (and loving it, I might add).

Dan's willingness to spend a large portion of our Christmas Eve date under the dining room table getting covered in fur by a geriatric cat says a lot, I think.

On to Christmas presents!

My mum got me DANGLY BATS. (Also, it's quite possible you're Goth if you get not one, not two, but three box sets of DVDs about vampires for Christmas...)

Encylopedia Gothica and Vampire Diaries from Mum, Being Human from Dave, and striped tights from my aunt and uncle.

Look at my Jack Skelly earrings! (From Bronwyn., along with the faerie and poison bracelet.) Lipsticks and bracelet from Mum, True Blood from Jodie.
This ring is from Dan. It's real amethyst and itty-bitty diamonds. <3 (He also got me Skullcandy headphones, Thorntons chocolates, a vampire novel called Blood Rights and the black edition of Death Note volume I.)
This is my family-friendly Christmas Day outfit. We didn't do anything big for Christmas, Nan came over for lunch and then we watched the Queen's speech and Monsters vs. Aliens. I ate too much chocolate! >.<

Hope you guys had a great day too!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Outfit Post: Casual day at home

This is me last week. Sometimes my 'casual' consists of a My Little Pony T-shirt and skinny jeans (like today), and sometimes, well, this:

My boyfriend buys me boots <3
Shirt: H&M via charity shop, £4
Skirt: Primark via charity shop, £3.30
Tights: Peacocks, £2
Corset: birthday gift from Jodie
Armwarmers: Zen and Coffee, gift from Nan
Necklace: Coven of Witches, about £10
Boots: Peacocks, gift from Dan

Friday, 23 December 2011

Cliche comment bingo

I'm in the mood for fun and games over the festive season, so let's play a quick round of cliche Goth comment bingo. Again this is me being silly, you don't get a prize for full house (except for the knowledge that you are clearly Very Goth). Let me know how many of these comments you've been on the receiving end of in 2011 - and yes, if you've had all of them, I want to see a BINGO! in that comment box. ;-)
  1. Whose funeral is it?
  2. It's not Halloween yet / Halloween is over
  3. Cheer up!
  4. Oh my God, it's a vampire!
  5. So, what's Goth, then?
  6. EMO!
  7. GOTH!
  8. SATAN!
  9. Nice costume
  10. Can I pray for you?
  11. Is that your real hair?
  12. You should get more sun
  13. There's a hole in your tights, dear
  14. It's a phase, you'll grow out of it
  15. Are you a witch?
I firmly believe that the owner of this Tumblr stole and reblogged my actual brain. This pleases me.
Bonus point if you've had the same comment I keep getting this season: Are you a Christmas tree fairy? o.O

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

December blog round-up

Hello everyone, today's post is once again about promoting the great stuff that everyone else has been doing and saying lately - I hope you all enjoy. ^^

Ashbury Heights
The Halloween Ladybug sums up what a lot of us think and feel in this post about whether or not it's necessary to be 100% Goth all the time: "Goth is an important part of me but it isn’t what defines me – I know for some people this won’t be the case, but the way I see it Goth is about being comfortable with who you are and what you like, about being unique so why restrict yourself to fit somebody else’s views?"

Darling Violetta's blog is beyond amazing and an absolute must-read; I really enjoyed her post about the fact (yes, I said *fact*) that sometimes, and for some people, Goth really is, well, a phase. "There's a lot of factors that go into someone leaving their gothy world behind. Who are we to question or look down on them for it?"

We're all still talking about hipster Goth, whether we love it or hate it - here's Ghoulina Bones's take at The Life and Times of Bohemian Blitzkrieg. "Like you did back in high school when you were pretentious in your knee high buckle boots and Sisters of Mercy CD's, looking with contempt at all the mallgoths and pseudo-metal heads with their koRn t shirts, blue jeans, and swirly make up. The same people who were convinced you guys were "lyke the same person!", because they obviously look just like you in your expensive petticoats and DIY fishnet shirts."

Juliet's Lace also has a good two cents to add on hipster Goth ("it's not worth shitting bats over").

Oh, and Graveyard Picnic's Saskia interviewed Voltaire. o.O

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Goth travel: Paris, France

For the sophisticated Goth, Paris is probably already on their bucket list of places to visit. But if you're more into morbid delights and tragic romance than sightseeing and fancy bread, you'll still find some intriguingly creepy delights on the streets of arguably one of the world's most chic cities.

Paris boasts 'everything from 12th century architecture to the tombs of the rich and famous to possibly the creepiest, most orderly ossuary on the planet', at least so sayeth Denise Dumars (website here) in her article Paris Gothique.

Paris is home to Cimitiere du Pere Lachaise, one of the world's most famous cemeteries. It's the final resting place of such luminaries as Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison (although there is much talk of transferring him), Spiritualist Allan Kardec, the writer Colette (whose husband locked her in her room to force her to write, then often rewrote and published her stories under his own name), and the perfect example of tragic Gothic romance, Abelard and Heloise, a philosopher and a well-educated, beautiful woman whose love was ended by a terrible - and brutal - act of vengeance from Heloise's uncle. Cimitiere du Pere Lachaise is also well-known for its enormous collection of Gothic-style tombs, crypts, mausoleums and graves.

Of course, for the devoted cemetery tourist, Paris is home to many other cemeteries of note, such as the Montmartre Cemetery and the Montparnasse Cemetery. Paris is also known for being a city of art and culture, which means no shortage of museums and galleries as a way of whiling away your time.

And do I even need to mention the Notre Dame, possibly the most well-known example of Gothic architecture in Europe and especially infamous for another tragic tale - that of Quasimodo, of course.

Notre Dame from the Seine
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Denise Dumars adds, 'Finally, if you need a black ruffled shirt or some silver finger armor, head over to Dam Dom on the Rue de la Huchette to complete your Gothic look,' so you won't even go short on shopping.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Top music picks for December

Long, long ago when I posted a handful of music videos for the Goth Challenge, a lot of you were quite enthusiastic and said it was a good way of discovering new bands. :-) I do try to be helpful whenever I can, so here's a taster of a few bands from assorted 'dark' genres that I'm loving at the moment.

Girl Anachronism by The Dresden Dolls. I delight in knowing all the words to this and singing along whenever possible.

Don't Mess With the S.S. by Raggedy Angry. Been a fan of these guys since I saw them supporting The Birthday Massacre.

Beloved Enemy by Jesus on Exstasy. I first heard this band on a free compilation CD with a magazine, which honestly is how I've discovered a large portion of the bands I'd die to see live.

Desire or Disease by Plastique Noir. I think everyone has a song that gives them the chills every time they hear it. Well, this is mine. Couldn't possibly love this any more.

Papillon by Editors. I don't know what it is that makes this song so great but I just adore it.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Advice for an ethergoth at work

I think that one of my new year's resolutions is going to be to deal with reader requests in a far more prompt manner, since I have a backlog of twenty-six to get on with and haven't checked my email in a week... please pardon my laxness.

Anyway, to get me off to a good start, my very oldest reader request (sorry) is from Alesha, who asks, "I am completely stuck with how I can dress better with being ethergoth. It is so confusing! I don't want to be Goth to a certain degree because I don't wear the black make-up (mostly grey though) and I want something that can be slightly more respectable for work. ANY help about dressing ethergoth (without being TOO dressy) for casual, I would be grateful."

Firstly, for those readers who need a recap on the fashion style ethergoth, clicky here. Ethergoth, or to give it its full and proper title ethereal Goth, is an elegant, romantic and occasionally minimalistic subset of Goth fashion, but it is also one that is not often documented in detail so there is very little advice available currently for the budding ethergoth.

I'd like to advise Alesha that black make-up is not in any way a requirement of being a Goth; in fact I would go so far as to say that the elegance and timelessness of a soft smoky grey is perfect for the serenity that ethergoth is often designed to embody.

Source: Gothic Fashion
When one thinks of a Goth in a work environment, the fashion associated with the term corporate Goth usually consists of pinstriped suits and ties with skulls on, but particularly for women the ethergoth substyle is more than appropriate for the workplace, particularly in the office. An outfit as simple as a black gypsy skirt, black shoes or boots, a grey or lilac waterfall cardigan and a black blouse with just a hint of lace could be easily accessorised with silvertone jewellery and either a simple updo, braid or loose wavy hair.

The staples for an ethergoth-styled, but casual, work wardrobe could include the following:
  • several black skirts from knee-length to floor length, preferably loose and flowing rather than pencil-skirt styles. Details like lace trim or subtle embroidery would suit.
  • black tights - plain, or with patterns such as lace (again). Patterns more subtle than the typical candy stripes or fishnet are a gentler nod to a Gothy nature in keeping with the ethergoth aesthetic.
  • blouses and shirts in a range of colours and styles. Black is the most obvious, but white, off-white, cream, most pastel colours (particularly lilac and light blue), grey, light brown and lavender will also work. The range of colours that will work with an ethereal look are useful to the working Goth because they may help nervy coworkers feel more at ease.
  • cardigans in loose-fitting styles; again black is a staple colour but there are others that will work, such as grey. Fabrics could range from knit to crushed velvet.
  • if you're not the cardigan-wearing type, a brocade or velvet blazer would work.
  • silvertone jewellery; simple chains or Gothier ankh, coffin or bat pendants (for example) will contrast with black and pastel clothing. Stones like amethyst, rose quartz and jade also have delicate, ethereal colouring that will complement this style.
  • lightweight scarves in white, black and grey would be a way to add more layers to your look without being overpoweringly spooky.
  • for footwear, a pair of plain black boots are readily available; if you're really daring, switch to sandals in the summer (a general rule for sandal-wearing Goths is that the more buckles and straps they have, the bigger a nod to one's preferred dark aesthetic).
  • for gentlemen, as above but discard 'skirts' and 'cardigans'; gentlemen and trouser-wearing ladies are likely to find that plain black trousers work best, although fabrics such as velvet or even silk would add a dash of Gothic romance.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmassy charm for fashionable Goths

I had an anonymous reader request wondering what the well-dressed Goth might attire themselves in for the season of mince pies, goodwill and all things jolly. I have to point out that I spent last Christmas Eve at work; where my red velvet top, long black scarf and knee-high boots were oh-so-charmingly accessorised with an elf hat. Complete with huge pointy elf ears. So I am not necessarily the most sartorially-elegant Gothling during this season, but I'll do my best...

So yes, as if the above didn't give it away, Goth fashion can and often does reflect a Christmassy spirit. Goths, by and large, have a great sense of fun, and at this time of year many of us don themed outfits or accessories, even if that simply means topping one's usual black attire with a matching black 'Bah, Humbug' Santa hat from Poundland.

Some go a step further. You've already seen LeahMouse's fabulously-dyed Christmas hair; akumaxkami at Spooky University has also taken this step with two-tone red and green hair (whether or not this is a salute to the season is unspecified, but it IS awesome).

In between black Santa hats and dying one's hair Christmas colours (I'd love to see white hair with 'frosty' blue tips, just sayin'...), there's a whole wealth of Christmas-friendly Gothy ideas that will see you through until New Year's. Here are a few, very basic, ideas:
  • Switch your black-and-white striped socks, tights or stockings for red and white or red and green.
  • Grab some glitter hairspray from Claire's and get sparkling. (You could complete the Gothic-Christmas-tree-fairy effect with snowflake earrings and an all-white outfit.)
  • You know those cheesy Christmas earrings? Oh, you know there's nothing cuter than little silver bells in your ears and tinsel in your hair with a black lacy dress.
  • Guys, you're not escaping so easily. Online, you can find white faux fur boot toppers to dress up your Doc Martens or New Rocks (also oh-so-cute on Demonias for the girls too).
  • Green corset. Red skirt. Nuff said?
  • Pop some lights in your hair for those Christmas parties (also reusable for clubwear throughout the year). These would look great with falls or natural hair for the girls, and I can see them looking awesome on guys with dreads.
  • Re-use those green and red clip-in hair extensions you bought at Halloween - but this time, wear them together!
  • Antlers were a big accessory at some of the major festivals this year. And apart from festival-going faerie Goths, what has antlers? Yup, reindeer. Very Xmassy, well done.
These guys have definitely got the Goth Xmas look right!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Filthy Victorians: Julia Wood, modern-day Victorian extraordinaire

Yes, fellow Filthy Victorians, the Daily Mail revealed this week that a nice lady named Julia Wood (whom they describe as an 'eccentric spinster') not only dresses like an extra from Downton Abbey each and every day but has spent thousands of pounds decorating her home with 19th and early 20th century antiques and sees herself as 'an ambassador for a lost age of beauty and elegance.'

Julia Wood
Source: Daily Mail
At the start of each season, 42-year-old Julia meets with a personal dressmaker to discuss the designs she has come up with for the wardrobe she wishes to be attired in. She is a university graduate, a writer, passionate about Oscar Wilde, and finds a parasol to be 'great self-defence against the hoodie generation'.

Julia's obsession with all things Victorian began in the 1980s (go figure) when she was 17; after a trip to see The Importance of Being Earnest she began wearing silk breeches to school. Her one-bedroom flat in Leicester is resplendent with velvet and mahogany - as she describes it, "the sort of room you'd be comfortable having a seance in," which is perhaps why her home did not win ITV telly competition May The Best House Win in November...

Julia does own a TV and a laptop, but only likes to watch Midsomer Murders and states that jeans 'represent everything that is wrong with modern society. Everything is too casual these days. There is casual sex, casual talk. Everything is disposable - from microwave meals to morals.'

Unsurprisingly, Julia's daily outfits recieve mixed reactions from fellow Leicester locals. Whilst old ladies are fond of Julia's unusual style and builders have been known to serenade her with songs from Mary Poppins, the younger generation is usually somewhat at a loss. Julia mentions that she did once dress as 'a 21st century person' for a fancy dress party, and was amused when 'everyone else' went as... her.

You can read more about Julia, and admire a selection of her Victorian and Edwardian furniture and lovely outfits on the Daily Mail's website here.

Julia, we Filthy Victorians salute you.

Outfit/event: Intrusion, Oxford

Hello! I do apologise, I am not dead... I went to stay in Oxford with some chums and when I came back my internets had died... it is just about working now but weirdly temperamental. Anyway, without further ado!

My time away was spent wisely - shopping, playing Playstation and attending a Goth night called Intrusion at The Cellar. Here, have some pics (or a LOT of pics, to be more precise).

Firstly, an outfit. This is what I wore for travelling and shopping.

Boots: charity shop, £3
Skirt: charity shop, £3.30
Coat: Camden Market, £20
Blouse: secondhand
Choker: Claire's, £4
Earmuffs: Mum's
Gloves: New Look sale, £1.50

Secondly, here is the mayhem that went on at Intrusion.
This was taken at Mia and Craig's place shortly before we headed out to The Cellar, where Intrustion is held. The theme for this month was 'Dress To Impress'... hence the feathery thingo.
Ah, Goths... so sensitive, so intelligent... ;-D

I was a bit nervous about going as I haven't been to a club night since DV8 Fest in 2010, but everyone was really welcoming... and crazy. Mince pies were supplied but I don't think any of them were actually eaten. Most of them ended up on the floor, as you might have guessed...

I look deranged in this pic. >.<

Oh my god. There go my last pretensions of sanity...
There was a really good mix of music... everything from floorfillers from Wolfsheim and Project Pitchfork to some more metal and rock-oriented tracks (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Prodigy) and even a mix of the Duckula theme tune. I had a brilliant night with a genuinely charming and friendly bunch of people, would definitely recommend Intrusion. ^^

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Guess-my-age Goths

The image that many outsiders still have of Goths is of a sullen teenager in black lipstick and lace. (Or a corseted clubgoer in their twenties.) You would not believe how many times I have tried - and failed - to convince assorted friends and aquaintances that no, this is not something I will be giving up when I turn twenty-five, and no, you are not too old to dabble in dark fashion.

I met a lady aged forty who was selling off all her Goth attire at a jumble sale because she felt she was now too old for it. I might be mistaken, but since most of her shirts were of rock and metal bands I felt she was possibly an admirer of the Goth aesthetic but had never really gotten involved with what I tend to refer to as 'the Goth scene proper', or she surely would have discovered that, at twenty, I am one of the youngest club-going Goths in a thirty-mile radius. Most Goths that I have had the pleasure to meet offline have been in their thirties and forties.

However, you might not know it from looking at them. Maybe it's the make-up, the association of 'Goth' with 'youthfulness' or the tendency of most Goths to avoid direct sunlight whenever possible, but I have noticed that a lot of Goths seem to stop ageing in their mid-twenties.

So, to celebrate a future in which none of us have to give up our hair dye, eyeliner, and opulent attire, I thought I'd see if my readers can guess (without the use of Google, you cheating pirate) the ages of these gorgeous and well-known Goths. There are no prizes; this is just for fun (and to prove a point). Answers are at the bottom of the post - please post a comment with the age you would guess for each person pictured BEFORE you check the answers. ;-)

1. Adora BatBrat - model, fashion designer and singer

Source: Adora Batbrat's blog
(c) Adora Batbrat

2. Siouxsie Sioux - infamous punk and Goth singer and style icon
Source: Google
3. Clint Catalyst - author, poet, actor, performer, writer for Haute Macabre, model, beauty pageant judge and designer muse (phew!)
Source: Buzznet
4. Abby Sciuto (played by Pauley Perrette) - Abby is a 20-something forensic scientist in TV crime drama NCIS, but how old is the actress who plays her?
Source: Google
5. Lady Amaranth - model
Source: Tumblr

6. Jillian Venters - author, blogger, creatress of Gothic Charm School
Source: RockLove Jewellery
The marvellous Ms. Venters is pictured wearing the Batty necklace, all proceeds from which go towards Gothic Charm School book tours - a worthy cause!

Answers (highlight to reveal): Adora BatBrat is a married mother of three, aged 39; Siouxsie Sioux is 54 and recently wore a rubber catsuit to the Q Awards; Clint Catalyst is still every bit the dramatically-dressed dandy at 40; actress Pauley Perrette is 42 and still looks the part of a mid-twenties Goth girl; the insanely beautiful Lady Amaranth is 31; Jillian Venters, inspiration to a zillion Goth girls, is 'in her early forties'.

Sure, the models amongst this bunch may get a dose of photoediting, but you can see from Adora's daily outfit and make-up photos on her blog (see the link below her photo) that she is practically ageless, and Siouxsie is still rocking out... I don't see our Lady of the Manners giving up a wardrobe that consists of petticoats, top hats and candy stripes any time in the next handful of decades either.

Yes, my examples above are relatively young, but they do prove that Goth doesn't stop around the 25-years-old mark.

And if you're still worrying that 40 or 50 is too old to be a Goth, there's always this guy.

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