Monday, August 27, 2012

More Metal Couture - Balenciaga "gold leggings"

Metal Couture is not strictly alternative fashion, and not necessarily subcultural, because really it is more art than subcultural fashion. Particularly in its extreme form, like these Balenciaga gold leggings

These are from their 2007 runway show. Designed for them by Nicolas Ghesquier.
They are gold, they are made as special orders, and they cost $100,000....add I would love to see a close up pic.
I don't think Balenciaga sell a lot of these. But great to see them pushing the edge of the envelope and making some outside the square interesting eye candy. 

Givenchy Septum Ring

Givenchy are of course one of the big labels, and despite the fact they used a tran model recently, I would have thought they were more mainstream than some of the more fringe leaning designers.

Thus I was suprised when I saw the Givency Septum ring. I saw a number of comments about this online about people saying they would get their septum peirced just to wear one!
Very nice - we approve.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Photography of Marco Ribbe

Marco Ribbe dabbles in subcultural fashion photography... but I particularly like this steampunk series...some serious emphasis on steampunk, interesting corsetry design, and a particularly stunning model.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Carpe Noctum Fashion Parade - Review

 Carpe Noctum is now the largest and most prominent alternative fashion show in Australia. Following Circa Nocturna going into hiatus, and the Under the Blue Moon festival finishing up in Sydney, Carpe Noctum is now the default major alt fashion event in the Australian Fashion calendar.
Apart from the obvious "there ain't no one else"... the prominence of the show is also indicated by its support from a number of interstate designers.

Carpe Noctum is new for 2012.... not part of a mainstream fashion show (like Worn Wild or Circa Nocturna), it is part of an Alternative Festival called the "Fiend Festival". Interestingly, as part of the larger festival event, on site in the same venue were bands and a large market. Many of the designers also were represented in the market, thus creating a nice synergy between the different aspects of the event. Certainly, many of the gothanistas /fashion alternatistas  that had seen the show took the opportunity to talk to their favourite designers at their market stalls.

I participated in the show with my own label, but was really impressed by the designers..the amount of work they put in, and the level of creativity for the outfits was very impressive. Most of the designers had been in previous shows, so there was certainly a body of experience that was applied to this show that made it quite professional. The designers certainly have matured, and the show benefitted from that.

Beserk Clothing (QLD)
Beserk are long standing supporters of the alt fashion events, having been in previous shows in Melbourne for at least 4 years. This is a very professional, successsful label and their work was edgey, sexy and rebellious. Rockabilly influences, with dark edges. At the same time, out of all the work, Beserk has a good grip on what sells and the outfits were more Pret a Porter than others.

Harpi (QLD)
Harpi's work is more edgey andsolidly subcultural. Gothic outfits, with may be a touch of military influence and industrial overtones. Lots of great use of pinstripes...and curves! Some Great designs, and in many ways different to previous ranges...was great to see her presence having jaunted down from Brisbane.


I personally really like LeLash's work. It had elements of goth/subcultural and industrial..much of it was ready to wear, in a subcultural context at least, and the modelling and makeup was very original and impressive. Interesting Sci fi influences (as were quite a few of the designers).

Assassinus (VIC)
This is my own metal couture and jewellery label, so I won't comment, except to say...I was happy!

Clockwork Butterfly (VIC)
Clockwork Butterfly was definitely one of the highlights of the show. The designers works with costume, and has indeed put on her own substantial shows. She has a very good grip on historical costume, though her work itself is steampunk, with a good solid grip on historical authenticity. The workmanship and sophistication of the work shown of the catwalk was pretty impressive.

DuskMoth designs (Vic)
DMD are longstanding veterans of the alt fashion scene, and have a well developed label now that is generally pretty known within the alt fashion community. They have an ear to the ground about what people like, and are quite goth in their tastes. They are often leaders in trends. Apart from their outfits, they also have a wide range of accoutrements. They put a big effort into their models and quite a few comments.

Elliven (VIC)
This label was probably one of three big talked about labels in the show. This was the  designer's, Surgical-Steel, first show....and he made a *very* impressive debut, with some very interesting, sophisticated and original designs. Steering away from some of the general trends in alt fashion Elliven pushed geometric designs, with artistic makeup and used models with presence. Very much the talk of the show, and people will be waiting with baited breath to see what they come up with next.

Miss Kittiness (VIC)
Miss Kittiness is a relative newcomber to the Alt fashion event scene, how arrives with gusto! From the looks of what was on the catwalk, her style was influenced by baroque, Victorian and Rococo..and very much in the vein of Loli fash. Will be interesting to see what she comes up wit in the future.

Petticoats & Gallantry (VIC)
This label is one of the darlings of the Lolita scene, and with good produces some great outfits that are clearly loved by that community. She is clearly a talented designer, and her the size of the range of designs and accoutrement was very impressive (she had a presence at the market, and the range of items she has was impressive. Some of my friends who are real fashionistas are quite the fan of her, and her designs and stage show was quite impressive.


Steph from Z entity (also the force behind one of Melbourne's most prominent alt fashion retail establishments, VNV Boutique) very much has outdone herself, with this year's work. Z Entity has been featuring in alt fash shows for probably 5 years now, and this would be her best show yet. A lot of work was put into the edgey, horror-dark themed designs...similiarly a lot of work was put into the models and the makeup...its was clear the amount of work had been put into the show. Interesting imaginative and somewhat sexy stuff for men and women, all ready to wear.

Zombified Cupcake Boutique (VIC) Alexa Traffic Rank for
Very cute somewhat 50's inspired, colourful, this designer was one of the new ones for the alt fashion scene, but certainly came with pinache and presence. A great show, colourful...and each model bearing cupcakes.

Overall....probably the only negative, and something that had been mentioned by designers, was that the show was a tad early in the day, and possibly could have been a bit less prices to get in...that said the shows were certainly well attended, considering. The show ran like clockwork, and it was certainly percieved as such.
I believe there will be another show next year, and would definitely recommend going as it is the primary catwalk event in the alternative fashion calendar.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fiend Festival Review

Fiend Festival ran yesterday, and it was big! The Festival was a large event, and run by the team behind Fiend Magazine.

This was quite an ambitious event, and fairly large. With the demise of Under The Blue Moon, the concept of the large alt festival, covering various aspects of the alt community and subculture, has not been apparent. Fillin the gap, The Fiend Festival is the largest alt event run in Melbourne.

Attempts at running an alt festival, not just including bands, but art, fashion and culture have been made before (The Circa Nocturna/Carnivale Nocturna two day event in 2008 and the DV8 Bizarre Music Festival featured an event with bands, fashion and markets).
However, The Fiend Festival is probably the first alt festival in Melbourne to cover a number of aspects well, with a significant Fashion parade, a large market of 50 stalls, a big line up of bands including overseas acts, and a reasonable art exhibition (though probably a tad small in the context of the venue).

The Venue was Revolt Art Space at Kensington, an old factory with an amazing feel (I spoke to the artist in residence who does some of the interior deco, - he is a blacksmith who does Movie props and who was trained by the main armourer for Lord of the Rings!). It is a big venue, and has an amazing rustic Victorian feel to it.

The Markets were quite amazing. In the context of alt markets..this is as big as you get. The Black Market has been running for some years on personal property, this is the first time it has gone commercial. 50 stalls is as big as you will get (I think the record was 70 in the past), and there was some very interesting stuff. Lots of clothing, nick nacks, actually not much second hand, a lot of things made by local designers. The designers that were in the fashion show were grouped together, which was good. Kudos to the organiser, Tarley.

Carpe Noctum was pretty amazing, and will be the big alt fashion event for the year. It featured 10 designers, and some big names, including some interstaters and many designers who have been in Circa Nocturna and other shows. It ran for about 2 and a half hours, and was separated into three sections, which was great. Layout was effective, with a long runway and the seating was not deep so everyone got to see. A great opportunity to see some of Australia's best alt fashion designers, and one of the few oppotunities for alt designers to get their work up on the catwalk, unless they are prepared to pay the *enormous* amount of money that the main festivals charge. Brilliant job by the organiser, Susan Illingsworth. (Be on the lookout for my separate review for CN soon).

I'm no art critic....but the Art Exhibition was pretty good. It was effective in that they had a range of artists represented working with different media in different styles, and really just a taste of each. The work was generally pretty sophisticated, and wasn't bogged down in too much subcultural dwelling on the macabre or the predictable. Some great talent, I would have liked for it to be bigger, but given the venue size and the context of the event, it was probably proportional to what else was going on. Was right next to the market and the bar, so you could wander in with a drink and have a look.

Unfortunately, I didn't see the bands (including Hocico (Mex), Hanzel und Gretyl (NYC) andShiv-R (Syd) amongst others), so I can only review the other three aspects.

Overall, Fiend Festival was really a one of a kind event, and a great nexus for many creative people to have their performance seen, and for people to go along and see what a variety of creative output from the alt community, in an amazing venue. Well done to Gerry and his team for taking it on, and we hope to see another one next year.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

World Goth Day (Again)

As well as writing this blog ( I like writing) I also nick on to Wikipedia and write articles about subculture on there. I just did this on World Goth Day, and spoke to Martin OldGoth (my buddy Rachael suggested I speak to him) who was one of the two founders. He was awfully nice, despite still recovering from Wave Gothic Treffen, and answered a few questions for me.

Anyways, I thought I would replicate it here. You can read it on Wikipedia as well:

May 22 is World Goth Day [1] The Official World Goth Day site defines it as "a day where the goth scene gets to celebrate its own being, and an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world" [2]
World Goth Day originated in the UK in 2009. BBC Radio 6 was looking at a number of music subcultures. Goth DJs Cruel Britannia and Martin OldGoth got an event up and running. It was decided that May 22 would be the day when this event would be held regularly. [3]
The tradition continued and spread outside the UK, with a website being initiated to coordinate and advertise events worldwide.[4]
World Goth Day celebrates the sub cultural aspects of the Goth subculture. Aspects of the culture like fashion, music and art are celebrated by fashion shows, art exhibitions and music performance. Many of the events feature local Goth bands, and some have taken on a charity aspect with events in the UK and Australia supporting favoured charities like the UK Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity that tries to curb prejudice and hatred against subcultures. [5]
The event has evolved to be now celebrated by goths all around the world, including the UK, the US, Australia, Singapore abd South Africa.

Alt Labels in the "Launch Your Label" Competition

I noticed this new competition for fashion designers being discussed on Facebook, and thought I would have a look at the designers running in it. Quite a few are alt designers.
Launch Your Label Australia 

One Wear Designs are currently running this has the noble  aim of giving a leg up to new designers. Winners get $12k and some promotional opportunities. Thought it interesting, in that although its a general competition, there are quite a few alternative designers in the running. Also, interestingly, it is aimed at Fashion design labels, but they include Jewellery designers in the mix as well (some people, when they speak of Fashion labels, will be referring strictly to garments, but jewellery peeps are welcome). There is one bag designer as well.

Anyway, having a quick glance at the current people in the running, I noticed some very talented alt fashion designers.

  • Licorice and Cream (new alt Victorian designer)
  • Dolly Q (Exquisite Victorian alternative, corseteer and wedding couture, and alt fashion catwalk veteran).
  • LeLash (interesting alt fash Sydney designer, will be in Carpe Noctum next week)
  • Matt Bylett (Latex designer from Sydney, has been on the catwalk at Circa Nocturna and in Sydney shows and does some amazing and fantastic work - probably Australia's foremost Latex designer)
  • Lonely 8 Bit heroes (who may be alt fashion designers, depends on your definition).
  • Jack and Lou (Historical influenced, so possibly a bit of subcultural cross over once again, not sure if the designers themselves would describe their work as alt fashion).
  • Tentacle Threads (some great alt designs, and also a veteran of Circa Nocturna. Currently they are doing the best with the votes at 212).
  • Rebecca Cobbing (From Sydney, did CN last year)
So not sure what this says about alt fashion designers popping up in mainstreamey competitions - but I think it is good! Quite possibly it is an indicator that the alt design world is maturing, getting professional, and taking the fight to where it needs to go. Definitely a way to raise a profile. It's a good thing, and I wish them the best of luck.

So....if you like alt fashion designers, go onto the site and vote for your favourite!