Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gothic Haute Gypsy for Oscar de la Renta's Pre-Fall 2010 Show

Did you enjoy the holidays my sweethearts? I know I did. I have had enough of the cold and am ready to see some pretty, colorful things. Oscar de la Renta, the classic American fashion designer (who has dressed many a Hollywood star and multiple First Ladies) presented a darker, dramatic collection for 2010. While I have come to expect gorgeous laces and embroideries, I did not expect the fierce dark eyes and moody, romantic silhouettes. The striking red flowers in the high swept hair were played against dark fairy tale dresses. It was the look of a Gothic princess who had survived the worst and was now determined to show how beautifully strong she was because of it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Horror Movie Poster Collection Giveaway!

Just in time to disturb the family for the holidays, the Madame here was given a gift from one of her favorite film industry suitors. As I only have room for only so many gifts each season, I thought I would share them with you, my wonderful readers. I have two collections of horror movie posters direct from theatrical release.
What does this mean? They are all the heavy duty, glossy 27" x 40" double-sided posters you see inside the cinema, ready for framing...

Collection One contains the following posters:
30 Days of Night
Prom Night (2008 version)
Resident Evil Extinction
The Uninvited
Saw IV

Collection Two contains the following posters:
30 Days of Night
Prom Night (2008 version)
Resident Evil Extinction
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Voldemort poster)
The Invasion
Saw IV

If you would like to win one of these collections leave a comment below telling me what Gothic stylemaker is your favorite. (This could be anyone from artist, fashion designer, writer, film director, mixologist or anyone else who inspires you.)
Winners announced December 31st, 2009. Good luck!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Macabre Gift Guide: Boys, Toys & Games

Are you shopping for the young boy who is more likely to watch a horror movie over baseball game? Does he prefer a cape over a skateboard? Fear not, the following gifts should entice him out of his shell for a brief moment before disappearing into his lair of wicked fun...

The Grimm and Desiree ($17.99 USD) stuffed dolls by Bleeding Edge are creepy enough to be cool, but still cute enough not to make a civilian doubt the sanity of you or the child who receives it. Fantastic site sells an entire collection of these dolls with lots of other creatures to keep Grimm happy.

Have an XBox lover in your life? I just watched a demo of The Adventures of P.B. Winterbottom from macabre designers, The Odd Gentlemen. The game is a beautiful homage to silent black and white films, with a noirish aesthetic. If Charles Addams and Edward Gorey designed video games, this game is what I imagine would happen.
While the girls are swooning over vampires and werewolves, the best undead buddies for boys this year are zombies! The guys over at October Toys offer a very diverse selection of these animated corpses. Every color range, glow in the dark, every genre (schoolgirl, rockabilly, name it). Easy, quickie gifts include the "Horde in a box" above for $10 USD that include 13 randomly selected monsters. More discerning zombie lovers would love the Zombie art cards, featuring a collection of artists with your favorite creature as muse ($5).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dark and Edgy Holiday Store Windows in NYC

Who says store windows have to be full of tacky glitter and fluff for the holiday season? (Okay, many people seem to think so). Some of the more striking retail displays in NYC have a darker, humorous edge to them but still convey a great look.

Calvin Klein has a simple, dripping black window, appropriate for the chaotic shopping day known as "Black Friday" in the U.S. (the day after Thanksgiving where all stores mark down merchandise for the holiday season).
Bergdorf Goodman had an Alice in Wonderland theme. It seemed to subscribe more to Tim Burton's version than the Disney one. It had a wonderful, chaotic, nightmarish quality about it.

Creative director Simon Doonan has always had an edgy sense of humor. Instead of decorating Barney's holiday windows with fluffy reindeer and snowy happy scenes, he paid tribute to the comedy of Saturday Night Live. The over sized papier-mache versions of the show's iconic characters were disturbing and creepy, (probably intentional). The colors deviated from your typical Christmas colors and set itself apart from every other luxury store in the city.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lolita, Steampunk and Victorian How-To's - Rebecca Brooks

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite new bloggers. Perfect for designers, DIY crafters and all manner of Gothic fashionistas, Steampunk and Lolita enthusiasts. Rebecca Brooks of Victorian Nonsense creates a lovely website filled with classic inspiration of Victorian Times. She not only shows her muses, but then creates crafts with detailed descriptions and photographs so you can follow along. Rebecca also gives great resources, like Katherine's Dress site, containing a wealth of antique patterns for those who need a proper period corset or crinoline.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gothic Beauty Magazine Giveaway from The Screamstress

Consider it the Vogue or Vanity Fair of the Goth set. Publisher Steven Holiday publishes this glossy magazine covering fashion, beauty, pop culture and events for dark souls around the world.
Horror blogger The Screamstress is giving away three free magazine subscriptions on her website for those who comment and tweet on her behalf. For more information, click here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Peacock Perfect: Boutique Nicole at Tokyo Fashion Week

Kyoko Higa's collection for the Boutique Nicole during Tokyo Fashion Week reminded me of somewhat spooky, wide-eyed dolls I used to own as a child. The hair was a dramatic, extended version of the folk dancers I used see during trips to Europe. The clothing was a rich mix of dark jewel tones, feathers, fur and embellished motifs. The result was a collection of very pretty, edgy but wearable outifts that could actually still be flattering for many people.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

There and Black Again: Aguri Sagimori from Tokyo Fashion Week

OK, we know fashionistas around the world (and especially Goth-loving fashionistas) love black as a wardrobe staple. Can you truly keep things beautiful, unique and creatively interesting for each and every outfit with only one color? Answering this question with a resounding YES during last month's Tokyo Fashion week was Aguri Sagimori.

Her looks for this season used the textures of black to cleverly reveal the body in different ways. The styling of the hair and models were reminscent of Daryl Hannah's character in Blade Runner.

The 24 year old designer was one the more highly anticipated shows of the event and won both the Prize for Excellence at the New Designer Fashion Grand Prix and the Nagoya Fashion Grand prix Contest in 2007.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pale and Sculptural Gothic Fashion - Michael Lau at HK Fashion Week

Does Gothic Fashion always need to be dark and somber? Designer Michael Lau proved it did not at Hong Kong's Spring 2010/Summer 2010 fashion week.

The designer took two of next season's most important trend directions, (pale, neutral colors and surface texture embellishment) to a new, innovative level. Michael Lau's background is quite diverse, his resume includes toy design, painter and artist in addition to his skills in fashion.

The collection came across as The-Mummy-Meets-Phantom (or Mike Myers), but in a most elegant, feminine way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tim Burton Exhibit at MOMA NYC

Did you miss Harper Bazaar's fabulous fashion spread last month? If you did, naughty one, at least you can catch the inspiration at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. If you find yourself in GOTHam, you will be treated to an exhibition of art made by Tim Burton. The collection is of more than 700 “drawings, paintings, photographs, storyboards, moving-image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera” Some 550 of those pieces come from the visionary film director's personal collection, meaning that most of them have never before been seen by the general public, let alone any public.

The exhibit runs from November 22, 2009 to April 26, 2010. I'm sure you can get to the city sometime in the next six months darling?

If you simply cannot wait until the 22nd, you can also enjoy this exhibit earlier and party with the city's biggest Tim Burton's fans at the museum's benefit gala November 17. If you have truly deep pockets, there is the presentation and banquet starting at $2500/ticket. Late night party-goer? Go for the (more fun) after party for $100/ticket. Tickets available here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Grand Shipwreck Ball in NYC

As further evidence of the arrival of "Shipwreck Goth", may I present to you, Dances of Vice's Grand Shipwreck Ball. Taking place November 20 - 22 in New York City, the event presents a fanciful gathering of castaways, sailors, glittering mermaids, sea sirens, pirates, sea captains and scalawags.

Be dazzled by an extravagant display of live classical opera to rock ballads, historical costume fashion shows, dance, puppetry, fencing, performance art, vendors, and ballroom dancing, among other chimerical amusements
The festival takes place at several inspiring locations, so check the website to decide what port you decide to sail away to (sorry, had to).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dia De Los Muertos with Gothic Tea Society

Dia de los Muertos may seem like a grim day to the uninitiated, but in many Mexican communities, it is a day to honor and celebrate those who have passed on.

On a decor front, the holiday involves elaborately decorated skulls, sweets, marigolds and other flamboyant offerings.

Gothic Tea Society is a delightful blog dedicated to the obscure and macabre by photographer Wendy. Her shop on Etsy celebrates this holiday with a small collection of handpainted skulls and memento mori pieces that incorporate some of her images.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

To all of the beautiful ladies and handsome gents out there, I wish you the most festive Hallow’s Eve. I trust all of you will celebrate in the most fabulous manner. The Courtesan here is entertaining her closest companions at the haunted castle.

In honor of the holiday, I leave you here with the memory of my first Halloween:

I was three years old. My father, in an afternoon of creative inspiration made the decision to make my first costume. I watched him with fascination, not knowing what he would make. I was in awe of his craft as he duct taped a construction paper cone to my head.

He created a witch’s cloak out of stereo speaker fabric with a hole cut out for my face. I wore it all without understanding what a witch actually was. As my parents normally did not permit me to have candy, the concept of strangers handing me sweets and being allowed to keep them was monumental.

By the time I yelled “Trick or Treat” to the second house we visited, I was emotionally overwhelmed and ended the night. My father was quite disappointed. He had waited three years for an excuse to have neighbors reciprocate free treats, and had expected to return with a bigger haul.

The next day, I got over the initial shock of free candy as a concept, and was properly motivated to collect bonbons again. I understood the 'witch' outfit was key. I was confused and saddened when my father informed me that we would not be going back out that night. I didn't understand why. However, I continued to wear the witch costume every day in the hopes that today would be the day that the quest would continue. I thought the costume was a candy-collecting uniform.

I wore my pointed hat each afternoon and played "trick or treat" alone with my teddy bear. I travelled from couch to couch, panhandling to stuffed animals for lollipops. Alas, this was probably the reason why neighbors thought I was an infant practitioner of the occult...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fur Fur's Shipwreck Goth Fashion show in Tokyo

Might this actually be a new genre of dark fashion aesthetic? Aya Furuhashi's collection for Fur Fur at Tokyo fashion week showed Victorian inspired pieces last week along a vintage clothing strewn runway. A dreamy live band played while models gave the impression of distressed damsels lost at sea. Bustles and bloomers met frayed edges, lace and rope trim.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Zombie Walk Around the World!

This weekend marks Toronto's big Zombie Walk. Whether you're old-school (George Romero) or new-school (Zombieland) you will find your peeps. If you are not in Toronto this weekend, Zombie Walks are a new movement doing events around the world. Find your peers at the big central forum on It's kind of a heavily-made up 'Flash Mob' of dead people. The forums post notices by country, by state, and urgent notices for those who just need to get their creep on ASAP.
A few countries: Germany, United States, France, Canada, Thailand, Brazil...

How to tell the Old-school from the New-school zombies? Old-school ones a la 'Night of the Living Dead,' crawled slowly from the grave, stumbling and walking at a more snail-like pace due to their status as re-animated corpses, possibly with some ancient voodoo history thrown in. New school, a la "28 Days Later" or " Zombieland" can run and attack victims aggressively.

The anticipated trend for this season's monsters? Expect lots of Thriller tributes to Michael Jackson.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mikio Sakabe's Manga Themed Fashion Show

Japan Fashion Week designer Mikio Sakabe staged a manga-inspired fashion show on Friday in Tokyo's Akihabara district, as part of the Akihabara Entertainment Festival. Not exactly Goth, but the looks did put an edgy spin to Kawaii and maid-inspired looks with tulle, candyland colors, and animal ears as accessories. Models were courtesy of the area's famous themed "Maid" cafes. The adorable ladies walked the runway in a tribute to anime, manga and other modern Japanese entertainment forms.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steampunk Festival at Brooklyn Indie Market

Get out your goggles, your corsets and well-thumbed copies of Jules Verne. The Brooklyn Indie Market is gearing up for its Annual Steampunk festivities this weekend on the Saturday, October 24th.
Shop for beautiful, handmade items from New York's best independent designers. Everything the most fashionable retro-time traveler could ever hope for.
When you are all shopped out, head on over to New York's first Steampunk bar, the Waystation. Their website is a great blog of photographs, references and Steampunk events.

WHEN: Saturday, October 24, 2009
WHERE: The Big Red and White Tent
Smith St & Union St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
11:00 AM -7:00 PM
(718) 499-3105

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bram Stoker Film Festival - Whitby, England

There are horror film festivals galore in October. This weekend's Bram Stoker Festival however, has probably the best location for such an event as one could hope for. Whitby England served as the muse to many of Bram Stoker's writings, including of course, Dracula.
Many of the films are independent features making their world or UK premieres. The best directors of the genre from around the world are represented, including more well known auteurs like Sam Raimi showing Drag Me to Hell. Special guests include Ingrid Pitt, "Queen of Horror" from films like Countess Dracula, Vampire Lovers, The House That Dripped Blood and The Wicker Man.
On opening night, the performers of 666Gorefest and Sin City Girls welcome you with sexy fun. You can also be entertained be the rousing The Mocky Horror Tribute Show.

Need to stretch your legs? Sunday, October 18th marks the "Vampire Walk" where fans can walk the 199 steps towards St. Mary's church as described in "Dracula". In the book, Count Dracula walks these steps after being shipwrecked in a violent storm, taking refuge in the grave of a suicide victim.


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