May I present to you the first edition of Darkside International? My very first victim is the astonishingly-well-dressed Steph, whom you may know as The Green Fairy if you follow her blog If I Only Were A Goth. I was delighted when Steph agreed to be my guinea pig for this series of interviews as I think she is an amazing style icon (despite living in Australia; how do you Aussie Goths survive summer?!) and all-round fabulous person - how could I miss out on the chance to interview a green-haired absinthe-quaffing glitter-eyebrowed Australian Gothess? Obviously, I couldn't.
Without further ado, presenting Steph:
|Photo (c) Gracie Johns|
Infamous? Wow I’m not sure I’d go that far, but thank you! ^_^ To be honest I think I was only a poster girl for Chrome that one time because my friend Nick (one of the guys that runs Chrome) was a little disorganised and therefore desperate :p But I still think it’s really neat and hope I get similar opportunaties in the future! P.S. Motherland..oh man, so unexpected and so freaking awesome. I was in shock!
Style tips...Hmm, okay well firstly I’d like to state that glitter doesn’t have to be immature or make you look like a dragqueen! Some may disagree, but I don’t consider myself immature or dragqueen-esque. :p
Second of all, shaved parts of your head are the new black! Well... They are for me :p I feel getting a mohawk/deathhawk haircut was the best hair-related decision I ever made.
Less is more when it comes to being skanky... Hmm, I don’t think that sentence quite works the way I want it to, but what I mean is show as little skin as possible to make you feel comfortable. Keeps the mystery. Mystery is sexy. Mmmhmmm.
Everywhere you go, enquire if they do have done/would be interested in doing custom work - ‘cause then you could get something one of a kind! And it never hurts to ask.
You know when Coco Chanel said “Before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Well, I’ve never been a big fan of ol’ Coco, so I do the exact opposite :p I feel my outfits are all about texture, and so I try to get a bit of everything goin’ on.
When I’m doing my make-up, I’m a really big follower of the concept of only accentuating one feature on your face. Seeing as my lips aren’t really what I describe as plush, I tend to choose my eyes if I’m going to be wearing a lot of make up. Although I believe that goth make-up sometimes requires you to go a bit over the top, there is still such a thing as going too far over the top :p
Your green hair and Victorian-esque clothing create a very striking look - what sort of reactions do you receive from people in your area day to day?
Why thank you, Amy! Haha - in my area? Well let me put this in perspective for you. I live in a small city called Orange with a population of about 22,000
I only brave the streets for a visit to the post office to pick up my online shopping goodies or to refresh my Red Bull supplies. However, when I do, I endure people yelling obscenities or stupidly obvious comments. This I barely notice nowadays, however if I go out to the pub with friends things tend to be a lot worse; hence why I rarely go out here anymore. People abuse me, whether it be verbally or even sometimes physically. I’ve had drinks thrown on me several times and once when I was walking to the cab rank I had two guys practically attempt to rape me, whilst two cops sitting in a car about 20 metres away laughed.
Let’s just say my opinions of this place and law enforcement aren’t exactly sky high.
Readers of your blog are already aware of your Gallery Serpentine addiction! Are there any other stores or designers that hold a Steph seal of approval?
Oh yes I love Gallery so much, you’re right! Um, let’s see. I recently discovered Mother of London and The Imaginarium Apparel; both of which are radical and stylish labels (not to mention expensive :p). But some all time faves of mine include Tentacle Threads, Black Milk, Fanplusfriend, Boom!Boom!Baby and Love Child Boudoir.
Who or what inspires you? (In fashion or otherwise.)
Oh Amy you’re not helping me trying not to be too long winded in my answers! :p (Amy's note: Good!)
Fashion wise I’m inspired by such people as Jenni Wimmerstedt (perhaps better known as Adora Batbrat’s sister Cienwen Noor), Antoinette Johnson, Anachronaut, Emilie Autumn, Amelia Arsenic, Marie Antoinette, G.D. Falksen, Pyr...The list goes on..
Some of these may also fall into style icons that inspire me. Style doesn’t necessarily have to include any dress sense as such, more how they conduct themselves or how they live(d) their lives be them real, fictional, dead or alive. They include such people as Oscar Wilde, Albus Dumbledore, Jean Luc Picard, Lord George Byron, Nikolai Tesla, Dorian Gray, Stephen Hawking and...I’ll end it there.
And... I know it’s kind’a corny, but when I get home late on a clear night, I find myself transfixed by the celestial bodies in the sky for such long periods of time. They inspire me greatly. If I’ve had a bad day, it’s really good at putting things in perspective. The universe is so massive, and I am so small, and the horrid thing that someone may have said or done is even smaller, so really... who cares? Besides, my lifetime in relation to the timeline of our universe is miniscule; so I’ve got no time to waste being upset about some douchebag who probably doesn’t know a thing about who I am beyond what they can see with their eyes. Though, the stars may not be as visible to you cityfolk - it’s definitely something I miss when I move in September!)
What advice would you like to give your babybat self?
That Dani Filth isn’t someone you want to take make up advice from and that corsets and blue jeans should NEVER be worn together :p
You attend lots of events - what's 'the scene' like in your area? (Snarky/welcoming, casual/dressed-up etc.) What events would you recommend to readers near you?
In my immediate area, ‘the scene’ is a bunch of teen emos; i.e. there is none :p
I travel rather long distances to go to events. Chrome for example is in Canberra, about 3.5 hours drive from me. Sydney is about 4.5, however my recent trip for Motherland and to meet up with Kitty was a 14 hour round trip because of issues with blocked transport in the mountains between here and there. It wasn’t exactly pleasent when your iPod doesn’t last the distance (thank god my birthday is coming up; time for a new one!)
I have yet to encounter a goth event that wasn’t predominantly welcoming. Although Cabaret Nocturne in Melbourne wasn’t fantastic, but I also didn’t know anyone at the event so I blame that.
I’ve generally found that most people go to a lot of effort with their outfits at the events I go to, and I for one appreciate the eyecandy. Plus someone’s outfit can always be a topic to break the ice with a stranger. Don’t people love to be complimented? I know I do, and when you go to as much effort to style yourself for an event as myself and many of you other lovelies out there do; I think it needs recognition.
Events I would recommend for people near me...Well if you’re willing to travel there’s Chrome and Null in Canberra as well as Le Chat Noir sometimes, in Sydney there’s a wide variety of events that aren’t always repeated but the regular ones are Black Cherry, Shallow Nation, Dark Salvation and Steam Engine. I’m only really aware of Cabaret Nocturne in Melbourne but I’ll be able to fill in the Aussies on more once I’m living there in September!
What bands are you into at the moment?
I’ve recently re-discovered my love of Voltaire and am ridiculously excited about his new album in the works. Similarly my obsession with Shiv-R has been reignited following their performance at Motherland. They also have a new album due out later this year which I’m dying to get my hands on.
I’ve also been playing a lot of And One, The Beatles, Nachtmahr, Piggy D, Reaper and Freakangel.
I know it's a hugely ambiguous question, but... what does Goth mean to you?
Goth to me is being a peacock amoungst a murmuration of starlings.
What's the most memorable event you've ever attended, and why?
Ooo that’s a tough one! I really enjoyed my first Chrome, because really it was my first goth event ever. I dressed and made-up my entire college floor and took them en masse to the goth-themed night. It was really awesome! We all danced and played pool and then ended up in Chicken Gormet at 3 in the morning. The expressions on the faces of the staff was priceless.
How do you think Goth culture will change over the next few years? What would you change about it, and why?
I feel that subcultures such as Steampunk are on the rise. I have to admit this surge in popularity in Steampunk annoyed me at first, but I’ve come to realise that just as it is in the goth scene, those that are steampunk ‘to the bone’ so to speak stand out like a sore thumb amongst those who are just participating because it’s the latest fad.
Similarly I feel the goth scene will have to soldier on through this facination hipsters seem to have with goth at the moment, but I’m fairly sure it’s short lived.
I would change this stigma of heightened sexuality that seems to run riot through the goth community. Not all of us are slutty kink-mongerers!
Tell us about your passion for photography - what attracted you, what inspires you?
My friends and I were the biggest camera whores for as long as I can remember (I mean this in the best possible way!) In our spare time we made films and everywhere we went there was at least one camera for every person present. I used to roam around my paddock taking photos, but for a long time I didn’t understand that better cameras took better photos :p (I didn’t even know about SLR’s till I was in my teens!) Once I did however I fawned over them and always made a point to talk to photographers if I saw them whenever I went anywhere.
I didn’t get my own digital camera till 2005, before then I used to only get the use of one when I went on school excusions and mum would shout me a disposible one. It was always the camera I looked forward to more than the school trip itself; even if it was somewhere I considered fun at the time. This genesis digital camera was a brick and took AA batteries (literally every 5 shots you took you needed to change the bloody batteries!) But I adored it because it was all mine. Though I wonder if I could have bought my own SLR several years earlier if I have had saved all the money from the batteries I bought :p
For those of you who read my blog, you may notice that I mention my friend Gracie alot. I’ve known her since I was 5 years old and in our first year out of school Grace was fortunate enough to get a job at a photo-based newspaper (I went for one at the competeing paper but I’m so glad I didn’t get it now!) Anyway Grace learnt a lot about photography from her job, and so myself and our other friends mimicked her newly learnt abilities. SLR’s were always lying around wherever we were at this time so I was quite familiar with the use of one when I finally bought my own just before I began uni.
So I guess in summary, what initially attracted me was the way I could share the passion with those closest to me. I mean, I was always a little bit photo mad; trawling through my Nanna’s old pictures and always getting in trouble for snooping in people’s photo albums when I was a kid, but until I realised my friends were just as crazy about it I never really thought about creating my own little captured memories.
Inspiration wise I guess relates back to your previous question about my facination with... well, the world around me. I always tried to capture the beauty I saw through my eyes through the lens. Unfortunately, I’m not good enough and I’m not sure I ever will be to achieve this.
(Amy does this sound WAY too pretentious to you? :p) (Amy's note: was I supposed to delete that bit? Heheh...XD Sorry, Steph, it's cute, I'm keeping it!)
|Image (c) Rodney Shrimpton|
Blogging :p... Stalking blogs, refreshing my stats on Blogger every 5 seconds, Facebook, reading stories on PYSIH (People You'll See In Hell), playing with make-up, shopping online, anime, attending goth and/or steampunk related events, partying in general and thinking... I can’t convey how much time I waste just sitting lost in thought. Thoughts about the future, about the meaning of life, what it would be like to inhabit other people. I’m trying to describe this to you all without sounding ridiculously pretentious but I have a bad feeling I’m failing :p.
Would you describe yourself as body confident? Do you have any hang-ups?
Body Confident? Definitely not. Like... I can’t even describe to you how... not :p I never show any flesh bar my face, hands and sometimes a bit of my neck (unless it’s summer then I might wear a singlet but still with a jabot and full length tights under my pants :p)
I’m practically a never-nude, so... It might be faster to tell you which parts of my body I’m not ‘hung up’ on :p Mainly I guess it would be my stomach area, because I hate it but I also despise the chest area in general. If I had my way there would never be so much as another shot of cleavage or an exposure of breasticles so long as I lived. I can think of nothing more revolting than seeing a woman with her ‘tits hangin’ out’ if I may be so crass and a bunch of slack-jawed bogans drooling over them like a pack of mongrel dogs over a meaty bone. Ergh. PUT THEM AWAY!
You wear PVC to work! What do you do? Do you enjoy it? Has your style ever caused any issues at work?
Haha yeah that was a fun day. I don’t do anything special really. I work at a document scanning business where we turn sensitive kinds of physical documents from things like hospitals, correcional facilities etc into PDF files. Do I enjoy it? Haha, hell no. It’s incredibly boring for anyone with an IQ above...well, 10. This is because it’s repetitive as all hell. You’re either flicking through pages looking for staples and post it notes, feeding paper into scanners, doing data entry and deleting blank pages or checking that everyone else is doing their job right.
So yes, as you can see my everyday life is in no way glamorous! But it’s money for living, pretty things and travelling; plus everyone is really really nice and I work with heaps of young hip people (for example one of my work mates just got a record deal!) Haha heavens no! Everyone loves my style - or so they say. The only rule they have is that you wear closed shoes seeing as there’s a lot of box/file carrying and what not.
What do you think your 'last words' will be?
Geez, I can’t say I’ve ever really thought about it, but from what I recently learnt about what happens when you’re alone with the mortician after you die I can easily imagine begging my loved ones to ensure the funeral home staff get nowhere near my ‘bits’ with a needle and thread. Other than that I’d probably be pretty unoriginal and tell everyone I love them J