My next victim for Darkside International is charming 'airship pirate and 19th century vampire' Saskia, aka Catacomb Kitten or CatacombxKitten, who lives in Belgium. This elegant dandyette surrounds herself with rats, cats, and a dog named Luca, and you can grab a teacup and follow her cupcake-baking, Voltaire-kissing (!), globetrotting escapades at her blog Graveyard Picnic.
|Photo by Inge Houwen|
My style has changed a lot over time and I'm pretty sure it will always keep changing. However there are some thing that have always stayed the same, for instance, I usually prefer looking cute over sexy or tough, since I'm quite short and apparently I look younger than I am. In daily life I usually combine frilly skirts with a more basic top and pretty tights, that's what I feel most comfortable in. When I go out, I add things like a corset, a nice blouse, a fascinator, high heels or platform boots, some more accessories, etc. Sometimes I do feel like looking a bit punky or deathrocky (is that even a word?), but I never feel as comfortable in it as I do in cute dresses and skirts. I also adore Victorian, steampunk and EGL, but unfortunately those clothes are expensive and I'm just a poor, little student.
My first years of getting into Goth were quite embarrassing, as I was a terrible babybat. When I was fourteen, I wore baggy trousers, band shirts and too much eyeliner. After a while I started wearing short skirts and corsets, and from that point on it got better, luckily.
Saskia, please tell me - what is the secret of your GORGEOUS, glossy curls?
I'm so sorry, there is no secret at all! This is what usually happens when I don't blow dry my hair. On a good day those curls might look good, but there's plenty of days when my hair looks like something has exploded in it.
I do have one little tip: when you have hair cut in layers, either use a curling iron on the longest (inner) layer or on all layers, starting somewhere halfway your hair. This is what I do when my curls mysteriously disappear again. My hair has a will of its own.
Your make-up is often very light and subtle, and unlike some Goths (me, *ahem*) you're not afraid to leave the house in as little as just mascara. What are your basic make-up tips? Do you have any skincare secrets?
This is the least original make-up tip ever, but it's still true: practise! Also, blend your eyeshadow. Other than that, just do what you like and don't care too much about colours you're not supposed to wear because they don't match your eyes or something. The most important thing is that you like it.
I don't really have any skincare secrets, but I would definitely recommend the new Essence 'my skin' creams. I've only recently discovered them, but they're incredibly cheap and work really well. I also recommend them to a friend of mine, and she says it also helps when you've got sunburn. Definitely worth the try, I'd say.
Has your style ever gained any negative reactions from 'normal' folk? What are the best (and worst!) comments you've received?
I live in a small village with lots of old, close-minded people, so I do get a lot of (angry) stares when I'm walking down the street, but that's usually it. There's several other Belgian cities (Antwerp and Mechelen for example) where I always get shouted at, but that might also have something to do with being a girl. When I go out in Leuven (which is where my university is) I hardly ever get stared or shouted at, one of the reasons why I love being here.
The best comment I got was an old lady in a book store, who was fascinated by the cat ears on my hood. She kept smiling and called her husband to show 'how cute' I looked. I never really know how to act in such situations, but it does make me happy to get positive comments.
The worst ones were all in the first three years of secondary school. I only had a couple of friends, I was completely ignored in class, then bullied through msn and people always talked about me loud enough, so I could still hear it. Needless to say changing schools was the best decision I ever made.
Who are your biggest inspirations (in fashion and otherwise)?
I find it hard to really refer to people, as I get inspired by lots of things. I browse Tumblr daily (I'm not addicted, I swear!) and I love looking at pretty pictures on other people's blogs, DeviantArt or watching tutorials on youtube. I'm also lucky enough to have a couple of friends with great fashion sense, they're also very inspiring to me. To give a couple of names... Voltaire, David Bowie, Adora Batbrat, Razorcandi, Mister Joe Black, Vecona, Amanda Palmer, Emilie Autumn and, very cheesy but true, Tim Burton. And most importantly, my mother has always been one of my biggest inspirations, both in fashion and otherwise.
How do you feel about the Belgian Gothic scene? What are its highlights and what would you like to change about it?
To be honest, the Belgian Goth scene is not all that impressive. It's not that there are not many Goths, but that there's not many interesting parties, the only 'real' Goth party with new wave, deathrock, etc. (Fresh from the Grave in Ghent) doesn't exist anymore. There are several cyber parties (Vampireparty in Antwerp, Nocturna in Ghent) and some parties with mixed music (Bunkerleute in Leuven, Night of Darkness in Waregem), though. Other than those, every now and then there's a ball or another special event, but those are not on a regular basis.
|Image from Graveyard Picnic|
About films, I always say to myself that I have yet to find the perfect film. I'm pretty sure that when I do, it will be one by Tim Burton. Other than his films, I enjoyed Sherlock Holmes (the one from 2009, they're making a sequel right now) very, very much. The clothing, the atmosphere and the story were great, and it even had some steampunk elements. In the same atmosphere, there's also Dorian Gray, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel, but I'm not a big fan of it, as it's not exactly true to the book. A final film that I'd like to recommend is The Hunger – yes, same name as the TV series, but something completely different, although David Bowie plays one of the main characters again. It's a very good vampire movie and the first scene is a clip of Bauhaus' video for Bela Lugosi's Dead, so that says enough.