Monday, June 27, 2011

Black Black Blackety Black Black

Today, I went monochrome for the first time in Lord only knows how long. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances involving my brother's car breaking down, my cat choosing the absolute worst time and place to throw up, and an invasion of mutant purple sea monkeys from outer space (I may or may not be kidding about that last one), I just didn't have the energy to try and deal with color today. I still wanted to look and feel cute for visiting my cousins in Fort Collins, though, so I put together some of my favorite pieces of noir:
And here's my outfit in total!
Black camisole with lace trim-Goodwill
Black pocketed vest-Buffalo Exchange
Pleated silky black skirt-Goodwill
Faux-garter tights-Forever 21
Black combat boots-DAV Thrift

This is me making my exasperated "take the picture already, Storm!" face at my brother. He's a professional photographer, which is awesome when I want some really good-looking shots or to do a shoot...and frustrating when I'm just like "I need a five second picture for my blog. No, it doesn't have to be a work of art!", while he patters on about ideal lighting and exposure and such.

 I derped while wearing the vest and forgot to have him take a picture of the back, which is a really pretty black lace and looks really cool when worn with a jewel-tone cami peeking through. But considering this vest is one of my favorite pieces of clothing and worn a LOT, I don't doubt I'll be posting it on here again to show y'all, so no worries! I even managed to thwart my cousins' evil white Siamese by standing away from him while I was petting him, and refusing to pick him up. (He's not really evil, he's actually quite sweet, he just has laser-targeted shedding that he activates when he gets close to anyone wearing any kind of dark-colored clothing.) Despite the stresses the day started out with, it ended up quite fun-I got some new fabric and some cool new clothes, and some lonely ol' composition dolls that need some serious restoration. (Yes, I have weird hobbies. Don't look at me like that.) Oh, and a set of three Holly Black books from my fave little used bookstore-look for some reviews soon! I've read two before, but not for quite a while-I remember really liking Tithe and Valiant both when I read them in 8th-9th grade, so I'm excited to see if they hold up on re-read.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Black and Ivory-ChurchyGoth Edition

I could've made a dreadful Ebony and Ivory pun in the post title, but I didn't. Aren't you proud of me? This is actually one of my favorite color combos; it has a cool elegance and sort of antique-y air, and comes across very delicate and china-doll-ish. It's also great for summer, because it's cool and comfortable but still looks very goth.
Cream lace and chiffon dress-Thrifted (Arc?)
Black taffeta corset-Punk69
Black sandals-Demonia via Goodwill
Showing off my snood-a lot of people pooh-pooh them on account of "they are old-ladyish" or some such twaddle, but I love them. I think they are a quick simple way to achieve and elegant and put-together looking hairstyle for really long hair. I also love this dress-I am not kidding, I seriously have this exact dress in five different colors: Cream, navy, forest green, lilac, and the all-important black. I've found them all at different thrift stores in different parts of the state at different times, and every time I see one I snatch it up. The crinkles, lace, and chiffon all combine to make a dress that can be casually elegant or extremely dressy depending on how and what you wear it with. They're extremely cool and comfortable, great for wearing with corsets, and just generally awesome pieces of clothing. I've tried to do some research on the company, but since it's called "Nostalgia Clothing", googling does little good. I'd love to have it in even more colors if I can find it-a brilliant crimson or a warm aubergine would be lovely, so despite already having five of them, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for more. (You start to see why my wardrobe is so massive...) Do any of you have one item of clothing in more than three colors because you love it so much?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In Memoriam

I'm sure that every Goth has, at some point in their life, gotten the requisite snide comment from a random jerky stranger: "What's with all the black? You going to a funeral or something?" Normally, when confronted with such silliness, I have a pat reply of "Nah, I'm just in mourning for your sense of style." But, actually do have to go to a funeral. And all the pat replies in the world fly right out of your head, and you're left staring blankly into a closet full of black clothes, wondering if you have anything you actually can wear to a funeral.

I've never been averse to funerals. Growing up in a church and a community which both have a lot of elderly people in them, death has always been a part of my life, and my parents never believed in "protecting" my brother and I from the concept of dying. I've gone to funerals for a lot of people I love over the years, but, with one exception, they've all been older people-some in their 60s, some in their 90s. There was, of course, always sadness that someone was gone-but there was acknowledgement of a life fully lived, an end to suffering and pain, of going to be with God and a beloved but long-deceased spouse. I always found the funerals comforting. Not today. Today, none of the things we tell ourselves to make it feel better when someone older dies of natural causes could be said, because it was an 18-year-old boy who was killed accidentally and abruptly, and nothing can make that feel better.

Goths, as a subculture, tend to embrace death. We adorn ourselves with memento mori, laugh at silly little skulls with hairbows, and have tea in graveyards. But that doesn't make it any easier to deal with the cold, hard reality of having someone good and kind abruptly taken from us; of having to see their family so lost and hurt, and not being able to do anything to make it better. When people ask me why I'm dressed up to the nines, what I'm celebrating, I usually tell them "Life! Every day is precious and an occasion!" I just don't often pause to think that it's really true. I say things like "Life is too short to wear boring socks", but I don't like being reminded that sometimes, life really is too short. I know that there will come other funerals, and I will have to pick out other clothes; but I pray that I will never have to go to one for someone so young again. And maybe next time I go to the graveyard to have tea, I'll stop for a moment and say a prayer for all those who ended up there before they ever have a chance to really live, and give my thanks to God for the simple blessing of being alive.

R.I. P. Stetson Lockhart, December 17 1992-June 17 2011.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Extra, Extra, Read All About It: International Steampunk Day Is Here!

Yes, yes, it's Flag Day, blah blah blah. Pish, tosh, and likewise pooh, says I-who cares about flags when you can have STEAMPUNK?! Considering it was my "gateway drug" to Goth, and I still love it to pieces (just Goth is easier for everyday), I of course simply HAD to celebrate by giving my outfit today that extra-Victorian tinge:
 Hat-Buffalo Exchange
"Pearl" necklace-???
Black pintuck blouse-Goodwill
Newsprint corset-Punk69
Black and white striped handwarmers-Claire's
Ruffly black skirt-ARC
White mary-jane heels-Hot Topic
 You can see our cool genuine Victorian lamp in this picture, and also the top half of my kitty, Padme. I thought the lamp was thematically appropriate, and cats are always cool, hence the inclusion of this picture.
I LOOOVVE this corset. I originally saw it on GoodGoth, and wanted it so badly-but they charge $119.95 for it, which is too rich for my blood. I would visit the website and look at it longingly, then sigh and go away without ordering-so imagine my delight when I found it on Punk69, where the corsets range from $28 to $40! That, I can do-so I finally got my long-awaited newsprint corset, and figured it was ideal for a steamy outfit. Prepare to see this corset a lot, because I can already tell that it's gonna be one of my all-time favorites. Did any of you have a longed-for but too-expensive item that you were able to get for a better price elsewhere?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gypsy Goth and Geekery

Hello, and welcome to the first geek installment of Geeky Goth Girl, with bonus outfit post! Today was really fun-I went to church with my mom, to lunch with my cousin, and then to see X-Men: First Class, which really was, pun intended, a first-class film-as I'll discuss in my review. Here's what I wore today for my fun day:
Black peasant blouse-Goodwill
Magenta corset-Canal Boat Trading
Multi-colored patchwork skirt-Mellow Yellow 
Copper ballet flats-Wal-Mart

Here's another pic, that shows the detail of the skirt-ths skirt is so awesome and fun to wear. It's actually a wrap skirt, I just tucked the ends of the ties up into my corset. This outfit is very Ren Faire, I know, but I personally love the Gypsy/medieval-ish feel of the whole thing-I love feeling like a handsome knight is going to come by at any minute and scoop me up on his horse! Speaking of handsome guys:


Oof! These two definitely aren't just pretty faces, but danged if the pretty doesn't help. I wasn't honestly too sure I would like X-Men: First Class for anything except the man-candy; unfortunately, the too-busy X-Men 3 and the beyond-awful X-Men: Origins: Wolverine (or however the hell that was punctuated), had significantly lowered my expectations for X-Men movies. When the combined hotness of Hugh Jackman, Lieve Schrieber, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Monaghan, and Taylor Kitsch can't distract me from how bad a movie is...that's a bad movie. So I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the series at a return to the height of it's X2 form in Matthew Vaughn's expertly directed, tightly paced, and overall well-acted X-Men: First Class. Spoilers ahoy, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't read!

I must confess, I'm not the hugest X-Men fan in the world; I'm more of a DC girl than a Marvel girl when it comes to comics. With the exception of Joss Whedon's run on Amazing X-Men, I haven't really read many of the comics. Almost all of my non-movie knowledge comes from the animated series and X-Men: Evolution, both of which are excellent (in my opinion, better than some of the movies!), or TV Tropes, so I'm not nearly the stickler for canon in X-Men that I would be for, say, Birds of Prey or Nightwing. That said, I was still a little leery of this particular film-I didn't know if they'd be able to really justify having Mystique, who I always felt came off considerably younger than Charles and Erik, as growing up with them and being the same age, but they did! I'm not going to give a point-for-point recap (I'm not the Agony Booth!), but I will point out what I found to be most satisfying about the film:

*Besides bringing a buttload of hotness, the two leading men also gave really quite wonderful performances. Michael Fassbender actually does bear a striking resemblance to Sir Ian McKellan, but beyond that, he brings the same richness of character to Erik/Magneto as Sir Ian does. Throughout the film, he really shows us all the conflicts that inform Erik as a person-you understand his drive for vengeance, and you kind of want him to win, even as you feel he's going a little too far (or, towards the end, a lot too far.) It's a mark of a great performance, in my mind, that even though Magneto going evil is a foregone conclusion, you keep thinking that maybe, just maybe, he'll stay good. James McAvoy is no slouch either-though the physical resemblance between him and my old-man crush for the ages, Patrick Stewart, is minimal, he has the attitude down pat-a great combination of near-Shakespearean gravitas, combined with a twinkle of wry humor. His Charles Xavier is a slightly arrogant but ultimately idealistic young man poised on the edge of greatness-and a man struggling to save a friend from the abyss. In both roles, McAvoy delivers beautifully

*Jennifer Lawrence as young Mystique-I thought she was great in Winter's Bone, and she certainly doesn't disappoint as Raven/Mystique-she's sweet, vulnerable, and conflicted, and I just loved her. I haven't yet read Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games books, but I want to now because Jennifer Lawrence is going to be in the movies-and from what I've heard about the heroine of those books, I think Lawrence is going to give one heck of a performance.

*Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast. He's always been my 3rd favorite X-Men character, after Rogue and Gambit, and I loved this particular portrayal of him as a kind, brilliant boy who desperately wants to be normal. I never really cared for Nicholas Hoult's character Tony on Skins (I just can't go for assholes, no matter how cute they are), but I loooved him in this role and found him to be completely adorkable in it.

* Short but clever cameos from Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Rebecca Romjin as older Mystique. 

*Two really good jokes about going bald from Charles.

Overall, this movie was just fantastic. I've gushed about the acting here, but the direction, design, and editing are all pretty damn amazing too. There's one particularly spectacular bit of editing, in the "training montage" when the good guys are getting ready to fight the bad guys, and they use shifting comic-panel-style lines to transition between segments. I traditionally don't care for training montages, finding they tend to be goofy and over-the-top with strong callbacks to bad '80s sports movies, but this one was really well-done. It was very well-written, and did a good job of fleshing out the characters and driving the plot forward in a very small amount of time-compression storytelling at its finest. If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it; and if you have, what did you think? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Red and Black Week Finale: Hypothetical Outfits Ahoy!

Hi! I was feeling under the weather the past couple of days, and was very sad to miss two days of the lovely VictorianKitty's Red and Black week, so as compensation and as a celebration of the last day, I put together a bunch of hypothetical red and black outfits-kind of like a Polyvore set, only with items from my own wardrobe! Apologies for the rumpled state of several items-I am right in the middle of sorting through my wardrobe right now, and it's not in the best state as a result. Here they are:
 Here's a more formal-ish-I might wear it if I ever went somewhere more dressy!
Black brocade corset-Punk69
Red and black satin skirt-Savers
Black and red polka dot dress-Hot Topic
Red fishnets-Wal-Mart
Black, red, and white polka dot shoes-Wal-Mart
 If I was wearing this in real life, I would wear a black tank under the sheer blouse, but I was too lazy to dig one out for the purpose of imaginary outfit photos.
Sheer batwing flower-print top-Inherited from my mom
Black underbust corset-Punk69
Black and red brocade skirt-Savers
Black mary jane heels-Hot Topic
 This is actually a full-on 1980s taffeta formal dress. I don't know what it says about me that one day I wore it to class with a sweater and no one even batted an eye. I love it-it's so fun and swirly, and it has a built-in petticoat underneath for fluffiness.
Black pinstriped blazer-Goodwill
Red taffeta formal dress-ARC
Black kitten heels-Ross
You can't really see the detail of this top, but it's one of my favorites-solid black stretch bottom with a fishnet top and sleeves. As for the vest, I love it-it's double-sided, red and black, and equally pretty on both sides. I was rather proud of myself for how much of a steal I got it at-I paid $10 at Buffalo Exchange, and the similar ones they sell at the Renaissance Faire usually run about $60, so yay me!
Fishnet top-Thrifted ages ago, dunno where
Vest/corsetlet-Buffalo Exchange
Lace skirt-ARC
Red tights-Target
Black sneakers-Savers

I know these would show better on me, but trust me, you do not want to see what I look like today-it's not too pretty. Y'all know what I look like from my past posts, so just imagine 'em on me! And many many thanks to VictorianKitty for this awesome week-I'm already plotting a couple of my own blogging challenges, thanks to her! *insert evil laugh here* These are all either outfits I've worn in the past or plan to wear in the future, so it was fun putting them together. Also, you do not see half of a stuffed frog in the right side of each picture. I don't at all have an enormous collection of stuffed frogs. These are not the droids you are looking for. Carry on. 

P.S. I'll finish modifying the dress I posted earlier at some point when I get feeling a little better. Pics forthcoming!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Black and Red Week Day 3

Sorry, no continue on the DIY on account of some things unexpectedly coming up today, but I do have an outfit post!
 Mini top hat-eBay
Necklace-Repeat Boutique
Sparkly black dress-Thrifted
Red and black corset-Punk69
Black sling-back patent shoes-Savers
 Here's a better picture of the main part of the outfit-I apologize for looking so sulky in both these pictures, I have no idea why I have that expression on my face-I'm really quite a cheerful person, generally! And I know some people hate tiny top hats for whatever reason, but I love them, and they make me happy, so I continue to wear them.
 Sorry for the blurry pic, I'll try to get a better one later on-you'll be seeing this necklace A LOT, since I adore it and wear it all the time. it's a little goblin with the most mischievous expression on his face. Plus, some of the old fuddy-duddies in my hometown think it's a demon, and this upsets them, so I carry on wearing it with my most cheerful smile. (Yes, I can be somewhat evil at times. But only to people who make snide and totally unwarranted comments about my outfits.)
Here's my attempt at a detail shot on the dress-it really doesn't do it justice. It has these great sparkly sequin patterns, and tons of little mesh flowers, and I adore it-along with my two ruffly black jersey dresses it is one of the essentials of my wardrobe. It's cute, fun, unique, and flirty-and super comfy, always a plus.
Hope this makes for a sufficient red and black outfit-I wore it to band, and got one snide "What are you supposed to be?" and three "You look really good"s, so overall, I think I'm doing pretty well, considering I live in Redneckville, USA, where anything other than jeans and a t-shirt gets you tons of funny looks, if not outright verbal abuse. I'm actually not really going anywhere for the rest of the week, but I kind of want to put together some other cool red and black outfits, just because I enjoy doing it. I love the idea of theme weeks personally, since I kind of do it unofficially myself during the school year-on Sunday I decide what color I'm going to wear (well, what color and black!), paint my nails to match, and then have my outfits all set up in a general-ish fashion. You'll all see this if you have the patience with me to read through to the middle of next August-the only reason I didn't do it in May was because I had really limited space (living somewhat illegally in a friend's campus housing makes for fun adventures!), so it was basically whatever stuff I could fit into a suitcase + whatever stuff I picked up while thrifting. It worked out, though- I am very bad at "packing light", so to speak, and it was definitely an interesting exercise for me!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Red and Black Week Day 2-Sew Very Goth Installment 1

No outfit post today, as I was just hanging around home and thusly wearing a rather unspectacular and somewhat un-Goth-y cat-hair covered t shirt and athletic shorts; but in honor of Red and Black week, I pulled out an old dress I'd thrifted ages ago with the intention of re-doing it and then shoved in a drawer to age, like cheese. Here's the original dress:
 Sorry it looks like it's been run over by a steamroller, but it's rayon and it was in a small drawer with several other articles of clothing for at least a couple of years, and I was too lazy to iron the whole thing just to get prettier pictures before I chopped it up. So on to the good, the bad, and the positively ugly of this dress. The good:
 Pretty, adjustable corset-like lacing loops on each side.
 Lovely flowery (if wrinkly) fabric, and nice, elaborate buttons. And now, the bad:
 Ruched, puffy-at-the-top, skinny-at-the-bottom pegged sleeves. Sleeves that Joan Collins circa Dynasty would reject as too ugly. Sleeves of pure, undiluted EVIL! And the ugly comes with them:
 THEY HAD INTERFACING IN THEM TO MAKE THEM PUFFIER AT THE TOP! Words cannot express how sad this made me. I wanted to take this dress by the shoulders and shake it, saying "Honey, please. I know Interfacing seemed all stiff, crisp, and alluring when you met, but trust me. It's no good for you-it's holding you back from being the dress I know you can be. Break it off, now, while there's still time!"
 Needless to say, the sleeves had to go. 15 minutes with my seam ripper later, they were history-and the interfacing with them. I thought about just turning the armscye facings in, but decided that the bodice as is was a little too boring and pedestrian for me-but what to do instead?
It was late, and I didn't want to finish-but what I'm going to do is measure straight across the bodice from the top button, cut it off even, and then add some pretty straps, perhaps ribbon or braided, for a cool '50s retro feel. Stay tuned for that, the skirt alterations, and an actual outfit post tomorrow!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Red and Black Week Day 1, and an apology

Hey, guys-sorry for my absence, but I've been crazy busy moving back home from Denver, so I haven't had either spectacular outfits or the time to blog about them today. Here's my (late, but still there!) post for day 1 of the lovely VictorianKitty's Red and Black week-a blogging challenge I accepted with gusto, those of course being two of my fave colors. This is also my first Churchgoing Goth post-i.e., what a Goth girl wears to church, being true to both her respect for her faith and the people in it and her dark and spooky self. It's really not as hard as you might think!

Black lace blouse-Fusion Federation

Red camisole-Somewhere in New York

Black and red patchwork skirt-Savers

Sandals-Demonia via Goodwill

I love this skirt-it is so fun, gorgeous, and unique, and never fails to get compliments every time I wear it.

Here's a close-up of some of the different fabrics in it-it's three tiered bands of patches. In other words, awesome!

One of the last things I did with my best girlfriends before leaving Denver (sniffle) was redo my nails, specifically for Red and Black week:

Both these polishes were filched from my friend Kira-the under is just a drugstore red, and the black is the OPI crackle polish, which I'd wanted to try but didn't want to spring for. I like the effect, but I don't know if I like it enough to spend $8 on a bottle of polish for it. I tend to pick up the $2.00 store brand polish at Walgreens-when you have my job (costumer for the university theater program), polish chips and flakes off so fast -even when I've picked up nicer polish on sale, it still gets scratched off by pins or chips when I pick up bins of fabric. It just seems silly to spend a lot on something that'll only look good for a couple days. I enjoy painting my nails, I just don't spend a lot on it because it's hard for me to maintain. Do any of you have beauty habits that you enjoy but don't particularly indulge in financially for whatever reason?