Monday, August 24, 2009

NYC: Raines Law Room...Secretive Steampunk Libations

Does anyone miss the speakeasies of yore? In NYC, there certainly has been no shortage of the pseudo-prohibition bars. Raine's Law Room on the other hand, doesn't claim to be a secret pub, but aims to be a civilized cocktail party. Raine's Law, is a reference to the 1896 New York legislation that imposed prohibitively high taxes on the sale of liquor, but provided loopholes for hotels. As a result, many saloons now became 'hotels' with very short stays.

It has a discreet door-buzzer at the lower entrance of an apartment building. Once a smartly dressed gentleman (think vests and sleeve garters! opens the door and leads you into the parlor or back room bar, you can settle comfortably into a brown velvet couch of an organza draped booth or peruse the antique books in the lab-like bar.

The libations are inspired. Try the "Smoke and Mirrors". This one is a combination of 15 year old Scotch, Apricot brandy, Amaro, bitters and a twist of grapefruit. The "Spyglass" is a heady mix of rum, Fee's Orgeat, Cherry Bitters, Champagne and brandied cherry. When you have made your decision, one can summon the server by pulling the chain from the wall.

Etched glass bowls hold seasoned popcorn, the cocktails are created from herbs and fruits from their garden. If you look closely at the Victorian wallpapers of the commode and parlors, you will notice the flowery images are really cavorting naked bodies.

Gothic Couture - Kambriel Made to Order

There are plenty of mainstream designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen who catch press when they send a vampy collection down the runway. However, few designers of Gothic fashion have what it takes to make a name and respectable reputation on the genre alone.

Kambriel on the other hand, has been a featured designer at the FIT Museum, chosen as Gothic Beauty Magazine's designer of the year, and hired to create outfits for celebrities like Margaret Cho, the Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer. Each piece is exquisitely tailored and inspired by historic and cultural influences like Edward Gorey. Mistresses and gentlemen will find deliciously detailed garments ranging from vests to kimonos, gowns to frock coats. Many are one of a kind, and you will have a wonderful time exploring all the scrumptious photos on her website.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Disappointed by this summer's movies? At least we have this fall season to look forward to. Opening on October 23, Paul Weitz's Cirque Du Freak: the Vampire's Assistant is a delightfully dark and kooky film based on the first three books of The Saga of Darren Shan. John C. Reilly plays a vampire, who mentors the young Darren, whom he turns into a half vampire as well. Look for Salma Hayek as a sexy Bearded Lady. Willem Dafoe can be found in his third turn playing a blooduscker, Ken Watanabe as the barker Mr. Tall and Jane Krakowski as Cormac Limbs.

Need a juicier taste? Check out the trailer here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lady Gaga Does Goth

This month's Out Magazine features a perfectly fabulous photo spread of pop star Lady Gaga. Hailed as one of the freshest fashion and gay icons of today, the "Lady is a Vamp" edition is photographed by one of my favorite photographers, Ellen Von Unwerth.

Look for images of the superstar in a sexy fetish outfits, canoodling with a skeleton, lounging in a coffin... Photos not posted here include a fashionable mummy pose and a pic where she looks like she just had a tryst with a vampire. Click here to see the rest...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Macabre Travel: Dark Mills Festival in London

The Dark Mills Festival is a celebration of the alternative scene in London. On the 5th of September, it will bring together a wealth of talent from cabaret, burlesque, art, music and theatre from the Gothic scene. The English setting for the event is positively Medieval (in a good way!). What could be a better backdrop for Steampunks, corset-laced Goths, dramatic musicians and vintage-inspired artists than an ancient textile water mill ?
This free (!) festival features acts like the Eden House, Noblesse Olbige and Global Citizen among many others. Look for sexy burlesque performers the Satanic Sluts who remind me of vampiric fetish cheerleaders on acid. Admire visual artists like Chris Archilleos and then dance until morning at the Reptile Club.
Of course darlings, do me proud and look your seductive best...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dark and Chic Down Under: Melbourne's Circa Nocturna

When one thinks of Australia, images of the epic Outback, the Sydney Opera House and handsome Hugh Jackman come to mind. Edgy, dark and alternative fashion do not spring to mind. However, a collaboration between a group of entertainers and designers came together last spring to produce the Circa Nocturna.

Held at the dramatic Fitzroy Town Hall, the Circa Nocturna was a grand fashion presentation featuring Gothic, fetish and all sorts of alternative style for artistic souls to network, share and educate. Photographers were able to show their work as well, newcomers were able to be inspired, and everyone else was able to party.

The designers ranged from the cute stylists who showed their love of the theme is simple ways to true masters of tailoring and corsetry. All seemed to appreciated and supported by their fellow creatives. A festival that I would love to see happen more all over the world

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Absynthe Giveaway Winner! Evil Lily Originals

Congratulations to Courtesan Macabre's first giveaway winner! The lucky subscriber is the very stylish Evil Lily who will be receiving Christian Lacroix's newest fragrance, the sensuous Absynthe. The wicked lady is a fellow designer and has her own shop on Etsy. Her 'craft' includes gorgeous decor, accessories and clothing with a dark and romantic slant.

Lily explains that she is not really evil. Her name is a "Reference to deep purple/black calla lilies, as opposed to the innocent white ones. The calla lily is my favorite flower. The dark purple is equal to the black sheep, daring to be different from the norm." Her motto? "Step out of the box. Enjoy life." Amen!


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