Wednesday, December 29, 2010

H. Naoto - Otakon Hero, Gothic Punk Designer

Otakaon, one of the largest conventions of anime, manga and Asian pop culture honored a featured a fashion designer as their special guest this year.  Naoto Hirooka has blended Gothic Lolita, Punk, Anime and Cosplay into his collections of fashion/art since 2000.  A multi-talented designer, the man better known as H. Naoto has produced character-based collections like Hangry & Angry.  He has also produced streetwear inspired lines based on military and biker looks for men's shop "H" in addition to his sexy Gothic womens collections.
For more photos and a peek into past collections, follow through here. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Japan Fashion Now Exhibit at the Museum at FIT

Inspiration from the East?  Avant-garde or Super-sweet?  Gothic? Anime?  What do you think of when you think of Japanese fashion?  The current exhibit at the Museum of FIT investigates the tipping point of Japan as a fashion heavyweight in the 1980's to current streetwear influences.  Edgy designers like Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto bridged philosophy and art with functional clothing.  

There is a gallery of a futuristic Tokyo and a range of styles representing subcultures of Forest Girl, Kawaii, Gothic Lolitas and Cosplay.

The exhibit runs until January 8, 2011 and is located at 27th street and 7th avenue in NYC.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Goth Gift Guide: Vamplets

What do you buy new parents or the young little bloodsucker in your life?  I came across a couple at the NY Comic Con with the most adorable booth.  Vamplets are cute vampire dolls you can adopt.  Cuddly with a bite, they have names like Evilyn Nocturna and Burton Creepson jr.  They have wicked little accessories like Disappearing baby bottles (of blood).  

The collection was founded by an artist named G-ra who turned it into a family affair.  The Vamplets team has been gathering fans all over at toy fairs, Comic-cons on both coasts, Dragon-cons and a bunch of other fun events.  

Check out all the baby vampires in their nursery, the Vamplet's witty website. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rodarte's Black Swan Costume Fantasy

Black Swan, the dark, ballet thriller by Darren Aronofsky opened Friday.  In fashion, all of the buzz has been going to the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte.  They designed the edgy, Goth-chic costumes for the stylish movie.  The theme of "duality" played out on stage and off.  

For Prince Siegfried's character, the designers were inspired by mechanical birds.  The costume is vividly detailed with floral embroidered cheesecloth and distressed velvet.  Odette's costume is a constructed pancake shaped tutu.  It was embellished with white angora wool to emulate branches growing up the skirt.  

This may be the first film for Kate and Laura Mulleavy, but the designers have previous found horror and ballet to be muses for their collection.  
Photos Fox Searchlight, Sketches by Kate Mulleavy

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tim Burton's Cadavre Exquis Twitter Experiment

One of my favorite movie directors launched a social media experiment recently.  It's an online version of the 'Cadavre Exquis" game.  Traditionally, a writer starts a story and other writers jump in too add different parts to it.  These days, the media calls it 'crowd-sourcing'.

If you want to join in the fun, sign in to the site with your Twitter account and submit your own tweets to further the storyline.  The main character (as of right now anyway) is "Stainboy".  Navigate him through the goo, the macabre and the joys of social media supremacy...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vampire Cocktails, Bloody Beverages

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you are having a cozy holiday with your loved ones, or at least enjoying the holiday, period.  I am ecstatic that I do not have to cook this year.  My sole responsibility is to keep everyone from getting thirsty.  I found a bunch of fun libations for entertaining:
Traditionally, the wines that pair best with Thanksgiving turkey are Chardonnay if you like white wine or Pinot Noir if you are fond of red.  Vampire Vineyards offers both.  Their Pinot Noir was noted by as "elegant" and "subtle but powerful".

I love this bottle. It doesn't get clearer than Crystal Head Vodka. It's a little pricey at about $50, but apparently, the bottle themselves are collectors' items.  Some sweetness and vanilla notes are characteristic of this spirit.  A review from says it is "smooth" and a "damn good vodka". 

If alcohol isn't on the menu, you have to love the limited edition Buffy the Vampire Slayer Jones Soda.  Based on the Season 8 comic book series, the collection includes flavors like Willow's Green Apple Witch's Brew, Buffy's Blue Bubblegum and Dawn's A Centaur Root Beer. 

Missing True Blood?  You can get the drink.  Instead of O-positive, you get blood orange soda.

If you prefer to brew your own goodies, you can dress them up with these Gothic labels from Martha Stewart.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gothic Steampunk Sculpture of John Christopher Borrero

I started my holiday shopping at the One of a Kind Show in NYC last weekend.  The event brings together artisans from all over to present everything from jewelry, clothing, fine art and gourmet items that are made by hand.  One artist stood out for me.  John Borrero had haunting paintings that looked like lost souls.  He also had several fantastic sculptures with a macabre, steampunk slant.  Many of them featured moody, faded photographed faces set into mechanical mannequins.
If you are looking for a special, unique gift, check out the last weekend of the show...More details here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ann Demeulemeester Spring 2011 Bondage

The Belgian designer created a chic collection appropriate for the craziest among us.  The black, white and print presentation had many pieces with straitjacket-like straps and a sculpted bondage feeling.  There were many one-legged looks that may be too avant-garde for most wearers.  However, many of the leather, jersey and crepe jackets and  pants were accessible to most.
The hair was severe and slicked back with harshly marked eyebrows.  An intimidating mesh veil was used as a mask or accessory in some looks as well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Maker Faire: Steampunk vs. Mad Scientists?

Sorry this post runs a little off-theme...  I went to the MakerFaire at the Queens Hall of Science and had a ball at the Red Bull sponsored party.  I was invited by the fabulous event designer Adam Aleksander who has created wild events all over NYC (recently Gilt City's  big haunted prom for Halloween).  The party hosted cocktail-making robots that shot flaming absinthe, smoked from dry ice, or lit up neon tubes.  

During the evening, inventors were putting finishing touches on souped-up vintage motorcycles, rocket-propelled carnival rides and electrified fashion.  The most interesting part of the night's entertainment was the Tesla-coils zapping away during the concert...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Steampunk Fashion Show at Brooklyn Indie

Did you miss the Steampunk Event at Brooklyn Indie Market?  There were some gorgeous creations on display.  Here are a few of my favorites, photographer by Adam W.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Phantasmagorey Brunch for Halloween

Prefer style over spooky? Edward Gorey over gore? Have a decadent brunch on Halloween Sunday and enjoy a fabulous afternoon of jazz murder ballads, Gothic fashion, burlesque and morbid magic. The event is produced by the gorgeous team of Dances of Vice, famous for hosting wickedly glam parties all over town.  
EVENT - PhantasmaGOREY: Edward Gorey Halloween Spectacular
TIME & DATE: October 31, 2010 - 1:30-4PM
LOCATION: Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
ADMISSION: $20 In Advance - $25 Doors - 
Suitable for all ages.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steampunk Haunted House

Halloween is about being stylish and scary...At least it is for me.  The Zack Morris team and Third Rail projects promises to take you to the  " beautiful and terrifying dreamscape of neo-Victorian elegance and phantasmagoric clockwork horrors".  The installation is part performance, exhibition and audience participation.  The shlocky cliches of blood and gore will be absent.  Look for sci-fi mechanized pieces, twisted eye pieces, period costumes in the century old Abron Arts Center.  
Catch it SOON, the house ends October 28th, 2010.  More info here.

Steampunk Fashion Show and Exhibition

The Brooklyn Indie Market is having its annual Steampunk Fashion Show and exhibition this weekend. Check out performances by Lola Lola Dance theater and Tethered as part of the 4 PM fashion show.
The event is a celebration of the craftmanship and style of Steampunk.  
For more information, check out Brooklyn Indie Market's website.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Steampunk 101 at NY Comic Con

The elite of this country's Steampunk movement joined together for a panel at last weekend's NY Comic Con.  Writer G. D. Falksen led the discussion on how the culture originated as a literary one.  Jules Verne was an early inspiration to the movement.  Steampunk has now spread to music and fashion.  

While Goth is sometimes interpreted as dark and spooky to outsiders, Steampunk often gets an easier rep of being optimistic and fascinating.  It was explained as science fiction mixed with the time period before WWI back to Victorian times.  

The aesthetic is elegant and diverse.  One of the designers on the panel considered herself a Goth, but explored the time periods and science of multiple cultures for her Steampunk fashion designs.  The Steampunk "Boba Fett" was a terrific example of taking a modern pop icon and reinventing it as one's own character.  Outside in the NY Comic Con grounds, a Steampunk Iron Man also roamed the floors (winning Marvel's best costume contest).

Comic-Con Photos by Mariana Leung.  Iron Man photo by Judy Stephens

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yoshitomo Nara Nobody's Fool + Cosplay Contest

The Asia Society in New York is hosting a landmark exhibition of Yoshitomo Nara's work and its ties to rebellion, rock and punk music.  The neo-pop artist is known for his hipster creepy-cute images of children and animals.  

On Friday, October 15, the museum will host a Cosplay competition in the artist's honor.  Prizes from Forbidden Planet, Midtown Comics and the museum itself will be awarded.  Participants need to be in costume inspired by either anime, comics, video games or your own original concept.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lolita Fashion at NY Comic-Con

Fan Girls & Fan Boys converged on NYC's Jacob Javits Center for the annual NY Comic-Con Festival this weekend.  One of the popular panels for fashion fans was the Lolita session on Friday afternoon.
Representatives from NYC Lolitas broke it down for Lolita Fashion newbies.  They covered the different types of Lolitas, essential accessories and wardrobe staples (start with the petticoat!).  The key brands were listed (Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Moi-Meme Moitier...) and where to get them.  

Good quality is expensive...The hostesses stressed saving your money and what Ebay vendors to avoid.  They also gave examples of local shopping mall stores to adapt accessories from (H&M, etc.)

My favorite part of the event was the parade of fashionable Lolitas who showed their style...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Goths at Fort Tryon Park Medieval Festival

The Medieval Festival and Renaissance Faire at Fort Tryon Park draws huge crowds to this northern tip of Manhattan.  While few New Yorkers usually get to this neck of the woods, the gorgeous castle (Cloisters Museum) lures those who wish to dress of another time.
There are several distinct groups who attend this annual party.  There are the fully garbed knights, casual cotton peasant outfits, the pirates, the fairies and most fashionable, the Goths.  I found the most stylish attendees walking around Fort Tryon Park.  A very pretty tribute to Harry Potter's Bellatrix LeStrange, prim and elegant witches and my favorite, the fabulous Lady Zombie.  She cavorted with a crew of lavishly attired gentlemen in dark vampiric garb.
Check out the fashion slideshow below:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yohji Yamamoto Spring 2011

Gotta love that certain fashion designers don't conform to the expected rules of Spring fashion.  Avant-garde Yohji Yamamoto presented a mostly black collection mixing textures and irregular silhouettes.  He added a few pop neon colors in wildly printed tights and underpinnings.  
Mr. Yamamoto, a guitarist on the side, wanted to mesh the psychedelic with the couture.  There were rubber corsets for a rock and roll touch with chiffons and layered handkerchief hems.
Photos by Gianni Giannoni

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Divine Comedy Auction at Sotheby's

How to you send celebrities like Alan Cumming, Julianne Moore and Padma Lakshmi to Hell?  Invite them to Sotheby's auction house for a private viewing of their new exhibit and auction, The Divine Comedy.

This is a rare tongue-in-cheek event for the famed, often stuffy auction house.  It was inspired by Dante's vision of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise.  The exhibits range from classic August Rodin sculpture, a variation of a Bosch triptych to contemporary art like Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman.

If you don't have the thousands (or hundreds of thousands) in dollars to purchase these pieces, you can buy the illustrated catalog instead.  Click here for more information or view the exhibit until October 19th.
Top photo by Joe Schildkrout, art photos from Sotheby's.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Masked Ball for French Vogue

It's not Halloween yet, but extravagance with a mask has come to Paris...

French Vogue celebrated its 90th birthday with an elaborate masked ball.  Designers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Jeremy Scott mingled with models Gisele Bundchen and Tyra Banks.  Other celebrities included Lenny Kravitz and Dita Von Teese.  

The black couture gowns were elegant of course, but those with true style expressed it with their facial accessories... Gisele wore a spiraling sculpture of a mask that covered only one eye.  Bianca Jagger and Gaultier went for flamboyant feathers.  Tyra Banks was one of the most photographed of the evening with her last-minute improvised mask of cut-up fishnet stockings.... 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ara Jo's Vampire Fashion Collection by Andreas Waldschuetz

The perfect combination of Gothic fashion and photography. London fashion designer Ara Jo created a beautiful collection inspired by vampires.  Slinky silhouettes of lace and ornate jewels.  Photographer Andreas Waldschuetz shot the clothing in an amazing, intense collection of photographs inspired by sinister siblings.  Are they a stylish take on the Bathory sisters? All I know is the first photograph could make the twins of the Shining run and scream...
For more photos, click through here.


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