Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole, Or Character Week Day 3

I'm sorry to do it to you all, lovely readers, but I'm going to momentarily drop into the well of the cliche Goth again today, dressing as that Goth/Lolita/all-alternative-persons beloved wandering child, Miss Alice, of Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass fame. I will admit to simultaneously being an Alice fangirl and a bit of an Alice snob; I love the original books unconditionally, and I decently *like* many of the gajillions of adaptations of them, but the only two that I really LOVE are SyFy's Alice and (of course) Tim Burton's in-spirit 2010 sequel. Again, the incomparable Colleen Atwood's designs make me drool desperately and start eyeing my sewing patterns to see if I have anything that could make a decent facsimile. Alas, I haven't my sewing machine with me, so this was the Alice I pulled from my wardrobe:
Clock pendant-Thrifted
Black cardigan-Goodwill
Blue camisole-Ross
Blue taffeta underbust corset-Punk69
Black lace skirt-Arc
Blue and black striped socks-Buffalo Exchange
Black boots-Target
I thought I did a decent job combining the feel of this (whimsical, Victorian, and blue):

With this (modern and easy-to-wear):

I think it turned out pretty neat, having an "Alice-y" feel without being too costume-y. Although, costume-y be damned-if I could get ahold of/make this dress, I would wear it at least once a week. 
A girl at Starfest last year had made a pretty close replica, and I was so jealous of her. Not only did she have mad skills, she had a boyfriend who was willing to dress up as the Mad Hatter with her. They were both incredibly awesome, and I loved getting to hang out with them. 
Also, I don't doubt that most of you have seen Tim Burton's version, but if you haven't seen the SyFy one with Caterina Scorsone, please get ahold of a copy. It's well written and interesting, and it has a really fantastic cast. (No, seriously-Kathy Bates, Colm Meany, Caterina's awesome.) 
And now for a bit of literary nerd-anger, if you'll allow me: My only big issue with both it, and Tim Burton's, is that they combine the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts into one person. THEY ARE TWO COMPLETELY SEPARATE CHARACTERS! No, really. Other than Alice, there is no crossover in the books as to characters. The wold of the Looking Glass is separate from Wonderland, and though I'm ok with them being combined for storytelling purposes (neither book is really long enough to turn into a movie on its own), it really irks me when people act like the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts are interchangeable. This is the Queen of Hearts:
This is the Red Queen:
YOU SEE? TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE! Not to mention, the Queen of Hearts is evil, crazy, and generally prone to decapitations, while the Red Queen is kind in a loopy sort of way and welcomes Alice to be a queen when she finally makes her way across the chessboard. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the book is the absolutely insane conversation Alice has with the Red Queen and the White Queen when she finally arrives at the end of the chessboard. One of my favorite bits:
Here the Red Queen began again. 'Can you answer useful questions?' she said. 'How is bread made?'

'I know THAT!' Alice cried eagerly. 'You take some flour—'

'Where do you pick the flower?' the White Queen asked. 'In a garden, or in the hedges?'

'Well, it isn't PICKED at all,' Alice explained: 'it's GROUND—'

'How many acres of ground?' said the White Queen. 'You mustn't leave out so many things.'

'Fan her head!' the Red Queen anxiously interrupted. 'She'll be feverish after so much thinking.' So they set to work and fanned her with bunches of leaves, till she had to beg them to leave off, it blew her hair about so.
Now, I'd say fanning someone's head with leaves is rather the opposite of ordering it lopped off, wouldn't you? :)
For more literary nerdery + outfit awesomeness, come back tomorrow to see me venture back about forty years before Alice and company to the time (and books) of one of my absolute favorite authors.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Character Week Day 2: She Really Is A Funny Girl!

If you just finished that song lyric, congratulations. We'd get on spectacularly. Today, I took a little style inspiration from my fave Disney princess: Belle! I was super-obsessed with Sleeping Beauty when I was little, but when I got older, I realized that Belle is totally my favorite Disney princess. As a bookworm girl growing up in a small town, I felt we had a lot in common-and I loved that she stood up to Gaston, something that I wasn't always able to do with the bullies in my school. Plus, how fantastic is the ball gown she wears?
Not that her blue dress from earlier in the movie, or her pink dress she wears in the snow aren't fab, but...A BALL GOWN! Of course I had to take that as my outfit inspiration!
Yellow jersey knit blouse-Repeat Boutique
Black underbust corset-Punk69
Yellow silk skirt-Arc
Black heart tights-Forever21
High-heeled Mary Janes-Ross
So obviously I wasn't going to wear a ballgown to school, but I thought I did a pretty good job of replicating the feel of her outfit in an everyday look, from the fullness of the skirt to the poufy sleeves on the top. And when I went to dinner, my best friend's boyfriend was like "Hey. You look like that one chick..." Smiling widely and feeling my mission was accomplished, I waited for him to say "Belle." Instead, he said "That girl from Watchmen!" Well. Silk Spectre wasn't what I was AIMING for, exactly, but I don't think he was wrong:
Obviously mine is a lot more covering, but darn if he wasn't right; the silhouette and the color were very similar indeed, once you counted my corset and black tights. I ended up with an unintentional twofer today, so...yay? I think it's doubly funny, though, because...can you  think of two movies more diametrically opposed in tone? Ha! Tune in tomorrow for something very rabbit-hole-y-I promise you won't be disappointed!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Worst Pies in London, or (unofficial) Movie Monday

Hello, and sorry that last week kind of fizzled-but I'm hoping that this week will make up for it! Today, I decided to participate in Sal Kaye's Movie Monday for the first time-and to kick it off, I wanted to use one of my absolute favorite movies, Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd. And then I realized it wasn't official Movie Monday, but I decided to do it anyway and carry on the tradition. I know it's a total cliche, but I love that movie so much-the music is gorgeous, it's beautifully shot and acted, and holy crap, does it look good. All the costumes are flawless, thanks to the amazing Colleen Atwood, who is kind of my role model as a costumer. I would seriously wear them every day if I had the money; I mean look at this:
And this:
Holy crap, I want that swimsuit so friggin' bad.
Alas, I haven't the resources of a large movie budget, so here's my humble attempt to replicate the awesomeness of the movie's costumes from my wardrobe:
Black lace blouse-DAV thrift
Black cami-Arc
Black and white pinstripe underbust corset-Punk69
Green, red, and blue plaid skirt-Arc
Black lacy skirt-re-made by me from thrifted prom dress
Aaand, because you just can't have a Tim Burton movie without stripey tights, I wore mine today. No one could see them, but I knew they were there, and that's what counts, right? :)
Black and white striped tights-Target
Black Doc Marten-alikes-Wal-Mart
I really enjoyed wearing this outfit-it was like having my own little secret identity, a joke that no one was in on but me. I spent the day humming The Worst Pies In London and Nothing's Gonna Harm you under my breath. I love the character of Mrs. Lovett so much; she is a total bad girl, and I love her shamelessly disgusting practicality and the way she takes advantage of every situation. Plus, I might be a little biased because, as an alto, she's one of the few female leads I can actually sing! She's not an admirable character, but she is intriguing, and I love the way HBC played her. No one can ever replace the inimitable Angela Lansbury, but I think HBC made a great Mrs. Lovett.

By the way, I liked the idea of dressing like a character from a movie or book so much that I decided to do it this week as my weekly theme. Tune in tomorrow to see my spin on my favorite Disney princess!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Catching Up To Do Or, Leftovers Week, Day 1

Hello, readers! Since I'm on Thanksgiving break and not wearing anything more impressive than sweats and old T-shirts, I thought I would use this week to catch up on outfits that I wore but didn't have a chance to blog. I wanted to go ahead and finish off my Goth (Stereo)Types from last week today, followed by the undone outfits from my Black and Green Week tomorrow and a couple of other assorted randoms for the rest of the week. So you'll have the great privilege of two (or more) outfits per post for the next few days, you lucky dogs! I really do promise to try and be more regular about updating-it's just my teachers seem to looove to give more homework on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and as much as I love blogging and all of you, my schoolwork does take slight precedence. But seeing as I don't have any this week, I've got no excuses, so here are the outfits! This was Wednesday's; I was going to a Cherie Priest  booksigning, so it seemed only appropriate I should wear Steampunk Goth.
Image copyright Megan Balanck
I do love her outfit-it is quite nice. But I not having my browns at school with me, this was my take on Steampunk Goth:
Pearl choker-Inherited
Cream-colored mini top hat-eBay
Black lacy blouse-Goodwill
Cream t-shirt (underneath)-Goodwill
Black and cream ruffled underbust corset-Punk69
Layered black knee-length skirt-Arc
Cream-colored petticoat-Buffalo Exchange
Lace leggings-Claires
Combat boots-Ross
I had bustled both sides of the black skirt initially, but lost one of the pins holding it up before I took the picture and didn't realize. I got a lot of nice comments on this outfit-one of my friends at work said I looked like a little Victorian china doll, a classmate told me it was "so far beyond adorable", and my boss said she never tires of seeing my inventive new combinations of clothes. I like to think the boots kept it from being too precious or girly, but even if it was, who says being girly is a bad thing? I thought about doing Victorian Goth, but that requires a modicum of historical accuracy, which requires wearing your corset UNDER your clothes, and I just can't do that-my corsets are so pretty, they deserve to be shown off! Fortunately, steampunk, bless its anachronistic little heart, has no such compunctions.  

I did change a little bit before going to the book signing, swapping out the skirt for a long one (because it was COLD!) and wearing the cream-colored blouse with a black lace shrug instead. Here's me with the amazing Ms. Priest at the signing-she was so nice and fun to listen to!
Thursday seemed almost kind of anti-climactic after the fun of Wednesday's book signing, but I decided to take a little risk and do a SFS (safe for school!) version of Fetish Goth.
Now, that probably sounds fairly contradictory, but I like to think I accomplished it! Apologies for the slightly blurry pic, my mom took it when we were in somewhat of a hurry:
Black sweater-Goodwill
Red PVC corset-The Crypt
Red lace skirt-Arc
Bow-patterned fishnets-TJ Maxx
Demonia heels-The Crypt
The heels were my 20th birthday present to myself-they were $44, which is A LOT (like, anywhere from 4-10 times as much) more than I usually spend on one pair of shoes, but they were so pretty, I couldn't resist. I wore the sweater because the corset is EXTREMELY fetish-y, with the side buckles, front lacing, and PVC materials, and gives pretty deep cleavage, considering my rather modest bust. For someone who is basically pretty shy when it comes to matters of sex (I have a close girlfriend who likes to tease me by going into stories of her sexual exploits, just so I'll turn bright red and mutter about smelling dinner burning before running off), I do often find myself strangely drawn to the fetish-y side of Goth. I love the look and feel of PVC and latex, and find a lot of the shapes/structures associated with fetishwear aesthetically pleasing. I guess my corsets make me more dominatrix-y than I knew-when I dressed as a hippie for a walk-on role in a classmate's movie, another classmate on the shoot commented "Wow, you look really un-dominatrix-y today!" It must be the corsets. Oh well-it adds to a sense of mystery, I guess, and lord knows I could always use more of that!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cry, Cry Baby Or Goth (Stereo)Types Day 2, Gothabilly

For Day 2 of Goth (Stereo)Types week, there was really no question of what I wanted to do: Gothabilly (as she calls it), or rockabilly, as I call it. I do have a certain affinity for 1950s style clothes-it's probably my second favorite clothing era after Victorian, and the shillouettes are fun, sexy, and suit my figure quite well. In fact, before I officially started calling myself a Goth, I used to tell people I dressed like the lovechild of Tim Burton and June Cleaver on her way to the Ren Faire. This outfit is a lot closer to the example pic than the one yesterday!
Image copyright Megan Balanck
And here's my version of a Gothabilly outfit:
Pearl necklace-Inherited
Polka dot blouse-Goodwill
Polka dot skirt-Goodwill
Wine colored underbust corset-Canal Boat Trading
Fleur-de-lis tights-TJ Maxx
High heeled Mary Janes-Hot Topic
I actually wasn't planning on wearing a corset today, but when I put the blouse and skirt on, it fairly screamed POLKA DOTS-which, while not a BAD thing, per se, also wasn't what I was going for. So I tossed on the corset to break up the pattern and add a pop of color, and presto! I like the touch of red, and I think the dark wine color is a little more unusual paired with black/white than a bright scarlet. Watch me branching out my color combos like a boss. :P And I am truly sorry you can't see the pattern on the tights better, and I couldn't get a picture of them to turn out, because they. are. Fabulous. Covered in fleur-de-lis and subtly sexy, they make me so happy! And what is the point of living if your legwear doesn't make you happy? Not much, says I!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Goth (Stereo)Types Week Day 1-Perky Goth

Hello! Last week was nice and all (and I promise I will post the two missing outfits next week, when I'm on Thanksgiving break and won't be wearing anything more impressive than a Star Trek t shirt and Mickey Mouse fuzzy pajama pants), but I almost find the color weeks...boring after all the fun I had doing various themes in October. So, I wanted to go back to unique, wacky themes-but where to start? Fortunately, as I was surveying my closet, the thought "I can wear so many different styles of Goth!" popped into my head, and I immediately flashed on Black Waterfall's great Goth (Stereo)Types artwork, and went "Ah-HA! I've got it!" So, each day this week, I'm going to dress in my own version of one of the looks. Today, I was feeling very PerkyGoth (which is what I normally am, know, this was stylewise rather than personality-wise!). 
Image copyright Megan Balnack
I'm not going to lie, I showed this picture to one of my friends and she was like "It's YOU! Did the artist draw that off of YOU?" So, I wanted to do my own spin on the PerkyGoth bright-colored look:
Sorry for the blurry pic-my camera was not focusing for some reason today!
Black and silver pinstripe blouse-Arc
Yellow tank top-Forever 21
Black underbust corsetlet-Fusion Federation
Black and yellow Tripp skirt-Buffalo Exchange
Black tights-TJ Maxx
Black and yellow bee socks-Flossie MacGrue's
Platform Mary Janes-Goodwill
I could have done the pink, but I was feeling more yellow today. As the website's lovely description informs us, Perky Goth is not so much a style as it is an attitude-and one I feel I tend to radiate. Who says death, bats, skulls, and other assorted dark whimsies must be gloomy? Pish tosh, says I. I can wear black, skulls, and bats to my heart's content-and still radiate giant rays of sunshiney happiness. Because I'm awesome like that. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Monthly Homework Assignment: Naked Faces

To be honest, Professor, I wasn't too enthused about this homework assignment-but I decided to do it anyway, because I'm a good student like that! Here's the thing-you will almost NEVER see me in real life without makeup. Now, the casual viewer might find this puzzling, as I don lipstick perhaps two or three times a month (if I remember), am a disaster with eyeshadow, and I can't even really do eyeliner. However, I am an A-1 level expert in foundation and powder. I do concealer and coverup like nobody's business. And I still feel like people are secretly grossed out by me. Why? Well, here's my naked face:

This is me, right out of the shower. The picture doesn't show it near as much as it does in real life, but I have pretty awful skin. Just my luck-the one time I want to actually show what my skin looks like, and the light/camera Photoshops me without my consent. My pores are huge, I constantly have zits, and even on the very rare occasions when I don't have two or more actively growing pimples, it's guaranteed that I will have scabs healing over from the last ones. I have moderate scarring one my cheeks and chin, and just generally feel awful about how my skin looks when I don't have the friendly help of NYC and Neutrogena. I've had acne literally for as long as I can remember-my mom says I first started getting pimples when I was five or six, and I've never stopped.

I've had many wars with myself over my skin, especially as I've gotten older. As I have become more fervently feminist, I've tried to talk myself out of wearing makeup all the time; after all, very few women actually have perfect skin, and it's just another in a vast, overwhelming set of  impossible patriarchal beauty standards. I've told friends who also have acne that they are beautiful, and meant it entirely. After all, why should a measly thing like a couple of zits stop someone from being pretty? But saying it to others and believing it about myself are two entirely different things.

It's kind of sad, actually how much my skin dominates my thoughts and my life. I know that I feel truly comfortable with someone when I can be around them not wearing makeup and not feel self-conscious. When I'm all dressed up in a pretty dress and corset, with my hair done nice and full-blown lipstick and eyeshadow (with the eye makeup preferably done by someone else!), I will look in the mirror and think: Wow, I could almost look pretty-if it wasn't for my skin. I kinda want to punch commercials that say things like "Love the skin you're in" and then use models with flawless (or flawlessly airbrushed) skin-of COURSE it's easy to love your skin when it's perfect! I carry a powder compact with me everywhere and ruthlessly blot at any sign of shininess or oiliness-in addition to my acne, I of course have a daily oil production that rivals the output of the entire Middle East.

Sometimes it seems as though I've always been at war with my own skin-a neverending battle in which it trounces my self-esteem, my confidence, and my faith in myself. There's a little, niggling voice in the back of my head that always whispers at me because of my skin-it says things like "See that guy over there? He might talk to you, if you weren't covered in zits." Or "Are you just wearing those outrageous outfits so no one notices the person underneath the clothes?" I know this voice is silly, that it's stupid and wrong and that no one else actually thinks that way; that doesn't make it affect me any less. However, every exercise like this; every time I see other beautiful, brilliant bloggers who aren't Photoshop perfect but are nonetheless lovely; every time I go out in public without makeup, as I did today, and no one screams or snickers or flees in terror, I feel like I gain a little bit of ground. And maybe those little bits will add up into a lot, and I will feel comfortable in my own skin. Until then, I'll keep trying; I'll put on my primer, my foundation, and my powder, and I'll pretend that makes me feel pretty and perfectly confident. Maybe, if I keep pretending hard enough, someday it'll stop being pretending and start being real.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Green and Black Day 2

Hello! Sorry to have missed yesterday, but I have an outfit picture to share! I am prepping to shoot my film for Production, so I will still try to post, but they might be on the brief-ish side-not as much unrelated, witty discourse as usual. Also, I wanted to make this a double post, but internet failure is not letting me upload the second picture, so I will do the double post tomorrow instead. So without further ado, here is yesterday's outfit:
Black lace blouse-Arc
Green cami-Arc
Buckled underbust corset-The Crypt
Black pleated skirt-Goodwill
Green tights-Target
Black Mary Janes-Ross
It's simple, but I like to think it worked! Hmm, not much else to say about this outfit, except that I always feel rather Peter Pan when wearing green tights. And that's fun! These are more teal then true green, TBH, but when you haunt the discount bins at Target to feed your tights addiction, you take what you can get. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Back to Black (And Green)...

Wow, after October's patterns and the craziness of the first week of November, it seems almost...pedestrian to go back to my color-themed weeks-when I have the time between class, work, and everything else to breathe, I might have to come up with some different unique/interesting themes! But for now, I'll just settle for a slightly less than typical Goth color combo, though one of my personal favorites: black and green:
Black lace shrug-Love Music
Green cami-Forever 21
Black underbust corset-Punk69
Black plaid taffeta skirt-Arc
Black tights-Wal-Mart
Black Mary Janes-Arc
Words cannot express how happy this skirt makes me. Full, ruffled, wonderfully rustle-y taffeta, in a unique, pretty plaid-and it spins like nobody's business when I twirl in it. (Any fool knows this is the number one measure of awesomeness in skirts!) My roommate said I looked very Scottish today, and I took it for the compliment it was. Stay tuned for more green, and brace yourself for a series of really bad puns in my post titles for the rest of the week. :P

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feliz Cumpleanos y Dia De Las Muertas

Goodness, but won't tomorrow be a letdown after three special themed posts in a row! Monday was Halloween, yesterday was the Monthly Theme Post, and today was a twofer: my 20th birthday and Dia De Las Muertas! I wanted to celebrate by wearing one of my favorite color combos, wine and black. I normally would have gone with something a little slinkier/sexier (I always like to feel a year prettier!), but it was freezing and blizzarding today, so I compromised with a worm but elegant outfit:
Square-necked black peasant blouse-Goodwill
Maroon underbust corset-Canal Boat Trading
Double layered black chiffon/wine satin skirt-Goodwill
Black broom skirt (underneath)-Arc
Fake Doc Martens-Wal-Mart

I bustled the chiffon portion of the skirt with pretty pins, then wore this lovely heavy black microfiber broom skirt I scored for $3.50 at Arc underneath it for warmth. I was wearing two pears of sweater tights, too, so I was nice and toasty even in the blizzard weather!

I originally wanted to do a Goth retrospective on my style evolution today, but I need to get some pictures from other sources I don't have with me in order to do that, so instead I'll leave that for later and talk about my fantastic birthday instead. One of my classes got out early today, so I went to the Dia De Las Muertas celebration they had on my college campus today with one of my best friends. She bought me a cute skull necklace (which I'll post pics of tomorrow), and painted my face:
Afterwards, I went out to dinner at Noodles and Company with my other two best friends, still wearing the makeup. It was fun! I've always said that being born on All Soul's Day meant I was fated to be a Goth, so I loved being able to properly celebrate what I think is a beautiful holiday. A celebration of the souls of those passed on, with cheeky nods at death and the inevitability of our own mortality? Sounds pretty Gothic to me! I had a lovely birthday, and I hope that next year's 21 will be as nice!  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My First Award!

Wow, I don't usually do two posts in one day, but I was very pleasantly surprised, when checking my blogroll, to discover the amazing Irish Phantom Cat had awarded me the Gothic Blogger Award!
Isn't it just too pretty? I feel so honored-I didn't know my little outfits/ramblings were good enough for any kind of award! Thanks, Rebecca-I really appreciate it! Now, the instructions say to pass it on to three of my favorite bloggers, and I've seen a lot of my lovely amazing compatriots with this (VictorianKitty, Sabayon, and  Amy among them), so I would like to second the nominations of all the ladies above, and add:
Darker Fashions-I always love this fashion/review blog-it's really fun to see the newer Goth styles and clothing items-and read the fabulously snarky commentary. I don't always agree with Khar (I happen to love sweetheart necklines!), but the blog is always entertaining and a good read-and it's cool to see how many different styles there are.
Bloggery Of A Gothcat-Kitty Lovett always looks cute. And she loves cats. And writes entertainingly. What more can one ask for?
The Walrus Room-Sary has a great variety of posts about all kinds of things. Her photos are lovely, her outfits are always cute, and I might be a tad bit jealous of how effortlessly pretty she always looks. Love her!
Le Professeur Gothique-I wish I had her as a professor-I feel like we would get along very well! Smart, funny, and insightful, she is always a joy to read and her outfits are amazing. I know she's always teaching me a thing or two! (Sorry, couldn't resist!)
I love how supportive/amazing the Goth blogger community is. It's so great to connect with people who share my love of all things dark and wonderfully whimsical, and seeing all the pretty outfits and fun ideas (along with thought-provoking and gorgeously written posts on more serious subjects like what Goth is, what it means to be an individual, and body image and appearances) just warms my heart every day. Love you all!

Monthly Theme Post-Gloves!

Wow, I can't believe it's already time for another Monthly Theme Post!

This month's theme was Gloves/Armwarmers, and I was more than happy to oblige!
Necklace-Inherited from my grandma
Black t-Wal-Mart
Red bubble corsetlet-E-bay
Long black satiny opera gloves-Gifted from a friend
Vintage circus-print skirt-Arc
Red tights (underneath)-Target
Floral fishnets-TJ Maxx
Victorian boots-Ross
Bit bigger picture than usual because there was so much fun detail in this outfit! I know, I know, the theme is gloves (and don't you see my simple-yet-fab ones?), but I just couldn't resist a couple of detail shots of the amazing print on this vintage skirt I got for $4(!!) at Arc the other day:

Isn't that print just too much fun for words? When I saw it, I was immediately like "YES!" I thought it would be perfect paired with the elegant long black satin gloves, which, in my mind, have a bit of a circus-performer vibe to them. I have to take them off to use the computer, but when I have them on, they look super-fantastic! I usually wear handwarmers or fingerless gloves (I could do about 18 posts on the subject), but I feel like these definitely have that certain elegance that makes me feel as though a butler named Wadsworth will appear to offer me tea and crumpets at any moment. Happy all soul's day! (Also, tune in tomorrow for my birthday post-in which I will reflect on my personal evolution into Goth! /blatant self promotion.)