Friday, 18 March 2011

Shop review: Vamps, York, Yorkshire

I absolutely no can brain today, after I was up yabbering on the phone to my other half until one in the morning and then spent a day working in the shop... so I'm afraid that instead of my planned post about enjoying one's Gothy cliches, I'm going to have to make do with a shop review. I so need a back rub right now...

'Alternative boutique' Vamps of York is a gorgeous and well-stocked shop boasting everything from full-length PVC dresses to cute tattoo-print cardigans. They have a range of utterly beautiful (but wicked expensive) jewellery featuring the usual suspects - bats, spiders and skulls - and stock accessories created by local designers as well as from big brand names like Kreepsville 666, which I felt was a really nice touch. I hope more alt shops will take the opportunity to promote local creepy craftspeople. Oh, and check out the one-of-a-kind decoupage cards (again, handmade by a local crafty type) in a myriad of darkly delightful designs, I bought one for a friend's birthday. They're so pretty!

There are several alt shops in York (and apparently one or two more that I didn't manage to track down) but I think it's safe to say that this is the best of them due to its diverse range and the fact that it doesn't necessarily cater to whatever's currently popular with the alternateen crowd. In fact, I'm not sure I spotted any brightly-coloured emo tees or stupid-looking scene sunglasses whatsoever, although there were the ubiquitous neon-and-black zebra print hoodies.

My favourite thing about Vamps is that the stock wasn't immediately identical to pieces I'd seen in other Goth shops all around the country, other than the aforementioned zebra hoodies and the usual array of bondage pants jingling with hardware. I'm sure that brand names such as Hell Bunny were featured, but I didn't see the exact same garments in other shops during the time I spent in York. In places like Southampton and Salisbury, the shops are so overrun with Dead Threads, Spiral and Hell Bunny that you can walk from one shop to the next and compare prices on the same item.

One of Vamps's assistants does tend to take the 'hard sell' approach which I found wearying after a while, but most of the shop assistants are lovely, very friendly and helpful. Plus, they have a Cruxshadows poster in the changing room. XD

Their website seems to be pretty well maintained and up to date (so many Goth shops seem to let their websites slide...) and also has a great range of coloured contacts that last for a year - I can't pick which ones I want!

Goth gossip: Heard of 'bubblegoth'? Pop-rock musician Kerli, whose contribution to the Goth scene consists primarily of a couple of songs on the soundtrack of a Tim Burton movie, modelling for alt make-up brand Sugarpill Cosmetics, and a very pretty music video, has coined this term to describe her musical style. Sure, her outfits are fantastic and would possibly fit the term 'bubblegoth', but her music? Hmm. Read more about this (and check out some gorgeous pics) over at Boots's blog.


Julietslace said...

Urgh I hate feeling pressured into sales, I just gave the assistant that deadpan look that Goths so famous for.

Emily Lynn G. said...

I just checked out the website and as a proper-goth-boutique-uneducated-American I can say that it makes Hot Topic look like Walmart. UGH the things are so cute!!

The Deviant Closet said...

Hi there
Oh this shop sounds like a rare gem, it's so hard to find goth and alternative shops without the usual 'uniform' as I like to call it. Will definitelty have to check it out one day...any decent clubs in the area to make a weekend of it?

ultimategothguide said...

@ The Deviant Closet - no idea unfortunately, I was only in York for a festival and am not local at all; however considering the town was hosting a Goth fest there are almost certainly some decent clubs somewhere around!

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