Monday, December 17, 2012

Zombie Fashion Show - Syracuse Snarl

Upstate New York is generally not known as a fashion capital.  Perhaps that's why local businesses and designers have come together to put on a fashion show with a twist.  Syracuse Snarl, Zombie Fashion Show is staging their event at the city's Landmark Theater.

It is a fundraiser for the theater and a tongue-in-cheek party to celebrate the last night before the Mayan calendar's  "end of the world."   The fashion show will be hosted by local radio DJs and feature models both zombie and living to show fashion from local designer Lisa Butler and local boutiques like Dougherty's Masquerade, Showoff's Boutique, Frightmare Farms, Kreepy Krafts, The Artful Obscure, and Modern Pop Culture.

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Landmark Theater, 362 South Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13202
Tickets are $10 for regular admission and $20 for VIP seats, available at the door or in advance by calling the Landmark Theatre box office at 315-475-7979 ext. 107.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Death: A Self Portrait

A new exhibit in London explores the human fascination with death throughout time and various cultures.  Death: A Self-portrait at the Wellcome collection showcases morbid still lifes from the 1600's, to Day of the Dead sculptures in the 1970s.  Metamorphic postcards from 1900's, ancestral offerings to contemporary art and sculpture are also displayed.  

As macabre as this exhibit may appear at first, I found it very interesting to see how people of different histories interpret death.  It's not so much about being morbid, but acknowledging how short life really is, or celebrating the person who once was, so they are never forgotten.  Everyone's relationship with death is so very personal, which makes each item special.  

Until February 24, 2013

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 Years of Magic - Beaujolais Nouveau Party

NYC's Highline Ballroom was host to a decadent magic-themed party designed by Adam Aleksander.  The celebration was in honor of the 30th anniversary of  Georges DuBoeuf's Beaujolais Nouveau.

The ballroom was flooded in sexy red light, dramatic moss hanging from the ceilings, a large collection of clocks along the walls.  Sexy contortionists and burlesque ladies on stilts mingled and kept the wine flowing.  Magicians dazzled the guests with either feats of amazement or humor.

Fabulously attired psychics read your tarot cards while artists sketched the scene.  The guests themselves were a parade of gorgeous, masquerade style.  Loved the black and white hats, masks and elaborate outfits!

Photos by  Rebecca Smeyne and Mariana Leung

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

National Ballet's Alice in Wonderland

I'm so disappointed that I won't make it to Toronto to catch this gorgeous production of Alice in Wonderland from the National Ballet of Canada.  The costumes, the sets just look f**king brilliant!  My sister is seeing for the second time this week, the minx.  It has a witty, twisted, slightly dark quality.  Growing up watching their performances, I know the actual dancing and choreography will be nothing short of amazing.

Check out the costume porn above.  If you are lucky enough to be in the city, grab tickets for their last few performance here. 

Photos from the National Ballet of Canada. Cylla von Tiedemann.Bruce Zinger

Thursday, November 8, 2012


The Vesper project opens today at the Friedman Benda gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York.  It is a spooky installation of artist Titus Kaphar that weaves personal stories of his family, historical context, found objects and distorted photographs.

It was intended to be an experiential artwork presentation.  Viewers will explore abandoned wardrobes, old typewriters, gilt frames but altered to cause doubt and alter recognition.  Think of it as a very high brow haunted house of an artist's personal story...  For more information, cehck out the gallery website:

Titus Kaphar: The Vesper Project

November 8 - December 1, 2012 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dia de los Muertos Style

muertos wedding

Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday celebrated at the beginning of November to celebrate loved ones who have passed on has become a huge aesthetic trend of late.

I first saw a flood of gorgeous beauty editorials from studios like 666 Photography.  They did a series of elaborate, burlesque-type looks with intricate floral headpieces and beautiful makeup.  I saw more and more of this as a cosmetics trend, culminating in several Dia de los Muertos fashionistas arriving at my recent Halloween party (that's Ulla in the red leather chair).

The Day of the Dead has a certain romantic appeal, judging by the many weddings that have incorporated the theme over at the Offbeat Bride.  The cakes looks beautiful and delicious!

The trend of nail art has inspired amazing works in manicures.  My favorite was the three dimensional look seen from Wicked B3eauty's  Tumblr.   Over at Etsy, designers like Kasket Kustoms are creating elegant and macabre jewelry collections that honor the skull-headed revelers.

Manicure photo from Wicked b3auty, corset/flower/beauty photos by 666 Photography, Ulla in chair by Mariana Leung, Cake photo from  She-n-He Photography, jewelry from Kasket Kustoms

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Tragedy of Maria Macabre

macabre circus

grand guignol
photos by Michael Blase
Happy Halloween my lovelies! I had a wonderful time with my Victorian Horrors party over the weekend, with illicit teacup cocktails, ravens and the exquisite dancers of Rachel Klein Productions.

They are the amazing group behind the Symphony of Shadows I saw earlier this year.  If you are in  New York this Sunday, check out the fantastic new production, The Tragedy of Maria Macabre.  The show is a macabre circus, a bit of Grand Guignol, and gorgeous celebration for the Day of the Dead. The performance will take place at La Mama theater in the East Village.

Check out the trailer here.  More information about the event here. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012
5:30 PM

Club at La MaMa. 
74a East 4th Street, btwn 2nd Ave and Bowery

UPDATE 11/1/12: Due to the damage from Hurricane Sandy, the theater is closed until further notice.  Please check out their site to stay informed of their current projects and their next show!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dracula - Ballet with Bite

dracula ballet
Forget all the bloodsucking politician jokes.  Opening tonight and going through November 4, 2012 is the Washington Ballet's company premiere of Dracula.  They promise the production will be sexy and very theatrical...  Choreographer Michael Pink aims to stay true to the original novel.  His dancers embody much more dimensional characters in this production than you would expect in typical ballet recitals.  It looks like the costumes will be gorgeous and Goth...  Hmm, I might need to hop a bus down to the country capital for this one.

Learn more here:
Photo from the Washington Post/Dayna Smith

Friday, October 19, 2012

Steampunk Style at NY Comic-Con

New York Comic-Con is the most inclusive place ever when it comes to how you dress.  That said, I was disappointed at small minority of Steampunk style this year in the crowds of cosplay.  Never fear, I came across two amazing designers who make amazing wearable pieces.

Steampunk gone Haute Couture...Silverleaf Costumes.  My gentleman consort came home with an exquisite hand tooled leather top hat, intricate clockwork gear goggles and a hip pouch that lit up like Tesla waves.  He was embarrassed to tell me how much he spent, but for this quality of craftsmanship, I would not expect it to be cheap.  The pieces were definitely priced appropriately for the pieces of art that they were.  Not convinced?  Film director Guillermo Del Toro was also browsing the booth while we were there, promising to consult with him on his next film.  The artists make clothing and seek out old clocks at every flea market just to find a variety of parts for their work.

Looking for some sexier, edgy pieces?  Brute Force Leather creates corsets that are more armor than lingerie.  Does the elaborate arm piece look familiar?  The makers at this studio also made the costume pieces worn by Nathan Fillion on the Steampunk episode of ABC's "Castle".

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New York Comic-Con Style Report

New York Comic-Con was once called "Geek Prom" by a local news anchor.  I can't say I disagree.  The effort that enthusiastic fans have put into their looks is enough to rival any eager high school senior I can think of...

Here are your Lolitas:

 Your Goths:

 Your cosplay characters, anime, superheros and "undetermined"...
Photos by Adam Weinstein

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fort Tryon Medieval Festival

This past weekend Fort Tryon Park Medieval Festival was hosted in Northern Manhattan. The beautiful park was filled with enthusiastic fans dressed in garb from different time periods.  A few were in cosplay, and some in darker, Gothic attire or steampunk.

One of the biggest annual events in this quiet part of Manhattan, it drew a lot of families.  While there were a lot of little girls dressed as princesses like previous years, this year I saw a large portion of them wielding weapons like crossbows and swords. Dressing like a pirate was quite popular among the young female set, and I think I have to thank the Hunger Games effect for the resurgence of archery.

There were performances of music, sword fighting, crafts, etc.  Lots of vendors if you need a handcrafted leather mask, hilt or viking hat...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Steamy Gentlemen at Prada Fall 2012

Gentlemen, I understand I don't cater to your stylish tastes enough.  Ladies, you could all use some eye candy. Prada's Fall 2012 menswear collection takes care of both.  Celebrities like Emile Hirsch, Gary Oldman, Willem Defoe strutted the runway with chiseled male models.

The most recent men's runway from the Italian designer had darker, dapper styling than we are used to.  Breast pockets were adorned with steampunk-friendly spectacles, burnished metal embellishments and other trinkets.

The clothes mixed vintage patterns with pinstripes with a color palette friendly to those with a Gothic aesthetic.

Guys? Could you rock this collection?
photos by Monica Feudi of

Friday, September 21, 2012

Creepy, (Not Halloween) Home Decor

The Offbeat Bride is one of my favorite blogs for non-traditional bridal style.  They had a great post in response to a reader question about how to create a Gothic Home Decor aesthetic for their home without making it look like it was decorated for Halloween.  They had a great roundup of home goods that fit the bill...

They had everything from  glass skull door knobs, bat wall stickers, skeletal lawn flamingos, voodoo doll toothpick holders (both which I already own)  anatomical plates...   Check out their post here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lady Gaga Fame Launch Party

Lady Gaga will never be a wallflower.  Her launch party for her fragrance FAME at the Guggenheim Museum last week was no exception.  She was coiffed like a regal gypsy, and napped in a giant perfume bottle, and got tattooed on the back of her head in front of her guests.

Fashion's elite came out in droves to celebrate the pop icon, like Marc Jacobs, Charlotte Ronson, Alexander Wang to name a few.  The fragrance project allowed her to work with some of her favorite creatives like Steven Klein and Nick Knight.  The tattoo on her head was of an angel that represented the recently departed mother of photographer Terry Richardson.

Check out this dark, Gothic, Phantom of the Opera inspired promo video:

 Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Friday, September 14, 2012

Betsey Johnson - 40 Years of Lolita Fashion

betsey johnson pink dress

betsey johnson dress

betsey johnson lace

betsey johnson cyndi lauper
Fashion icon Betsey Johnson has been making Lolita-friendly, whimsical frocks for over 40 years.  Tuesday night at a Manhattan nightclub, there was a runway show/birthday party/concert in her honor.

I have to say it was one of my favorite fashion events that I have ever attended as my childhood pop icon, Cyndi Lauper opened the show performing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and True Colors.  She was dressed on a Gothic/punk Lolita outfit of black tulle skirt, swiss dot bustier and studded leather jacket.

Next, the models danced down the runway in outfits that spanned from Betsey Johnson's 1960's looks all the way through current seasons of 2012.  Pink champagne, pink popcorn and pink cupcakes were served to guests who danced the night away until the sun came up!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paralympics Goes Steampunk

rihanna paralympics

steampunk olympics

In case you missed it...The Olympics closing ceremonies showed us fantastic Gothic fashion with Annie Lennox and crew.  For the Paralympics, Rihanna and Coldplay wowed us with a brilliant display of Steampunk.

More in the sets than the fashion, the ornate metal contraptions, Edison bulbs, clockwork gears, vintage cars ruled the stadium. Check out the performance:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Christian Siriano's Vampire Fashion Video

If you are a fan of fashion competition show Project Runway, you are familiar with designer Christian Siriano's flair for the dramatic.  During NY Fashion Week in February, he showed a beautiful runway collection inspired by classic horror movie queens.

Now, for the public, his team has created an edgy fashion video that fleshes out the vampire bat theme even more...

What do you think?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gothic Fashion at Olympics Closing Ceremony

I think it's safe to say that Danny Boyle brought some of the edgiest style to what many dubbed the Rock n' Roll Olympics.  However, creative director Kim Gavin and production designer  Es Devlin have earned the title of the "Fashion Olympics" in bringing out some surprising Goth fashion to the closing ceremonies...

First, my beloved Pet Shop Boys rolled out in bright orange origami-like carts dressed in dramatic Gareth Pugh.   Next, Britain's supermodels strutted out custom gold gowns made by British fashion designers like Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.  

Finally, Annie Lennox entered the stadium like a vampire queen.  She descended down from a massive black ship into a chorus of dramatically clad dancers.  The dancers were dressed in gorgeous voluminous gowns in period silhouettes.  The heavily shadowed eyes, black lace, corsets, skulls and bustles were distinctively Goth.

Ok Brasil, London has set the bar pretty high...What will you do to follow that?

Photos by Phil Noble (Reuters), Jeff J Mitchell (Getty)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Interview with Deathly Romantic Magazine

Mariana Leung
Mariana Leung fashions
Happy Friday everyone!  I just wanted to share an interview I did with new Canadian magazine, Deathly Romantic.  They feature the best in artists, beauty and style with a darker aesthetic.

You know my persona as "The Courtesan Macabre".  In this interview, you'll learn a bit more about me when I am not writing about Gothic and Steampunk style...

Read the interview here...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trends of Wave Gotik 2012

wave gotik fashion

Goth is Goth...Does it change?  Of course it does.  The 2012 edition of Leipzig's Wave Gotik Treffen music festival was the big display of Gothic style that everyone anticipated it would be.  

For the most recent edition this past March, I definitely noticed new trends.  Techno punk looks were popular last year, but this year, this look was more polished and showed up more in coordinated ensembles in groups.  

Steampunk fashion always had an elegant atmosphere about it.  This year, the examples of Steampunk looks were incredibly ornate.  Highly accessorized with intricate jewelry or impeccably tailored clothing, the fans this year took this style to a higher artform.

Global inspiration styled some of the best outfits.  I saw looks drawn from Russian aristocracy to Japanese Geisha, but all given a darker, edgy update.

Romanticism in fashion was in full bloom here.  Marie Antoinette inspiration, gigantic hooped skirts, couples showing up in coordinated outfits wanted to make you saw "awwww" (if you weren't afraid of having your butt kicked).  Progressively, I saw a lot more families this year, with babies, young children also in garb to match Mommy and Daddy.  I wonder how many of these parents met a Wave Gothic of years past?  

Photos by ingrid eulenfan,Adam Berry,Manfred Drewa,Tino Eh,UWE-DZ,Mr. Dog, ,,bluedave,,,,


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