Thursday, December 17, 2009

The very stylish Dave Vanian

Dave Vanian has been in the music world limelight since 1976.
Vanian is a bit of living subcultural fashion. Being one of the original goth lead singers to get a profile, he provided a leading influence on goth subcultural fashion. What he wore, really influenced what a lot of goths wore in the 1980's, and still wear to this day (especially the more traditional styled goths).

Anyways, some pics of Dave Vanian through the years, in his own inimitable style.

The original vampire esque look (late 1970's - early 80's).

The hair, the white streak. Classic Damned and classic Dave Vanian (mid 1980's, the era of teased hair!)

Lately (2005)

Dave Vanian, along with Siouxsie Sioux and Robert Smith, would probably be the triumvirate mainly responsible for influencing goth fashion, particularly in its early days.

Video of him singing Eloise.... so much white!

Mr Vanian, a toast to thee!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Boots with metal

I recently did a post on the original boots with Metal detail... New Rocks.

I noticed recently a slight trend with incorporating metal in boots - Lady Ga Ga featured some Alexander McQueen boots featuring metal decoration. Very nice. The amount of alternative fashion the Lady does portray in her clips is damn impressive!

These two are collaborations between Terry De Havilland and Melbourne Jewellery esigner William Griffiths. I've written about William a few times here (he is one of my fav jewellers), his jewellery is very cutting edge, and he takes the edgier side of life and is want to give it life through his jewellery.
Here he has added some of his work to DeHavillands latest line of footwear.... including a play on the word stilleto (stilleto can mean the high heel of stilleto shoes, or is the name given to a type of knife).
Anyways...very nice work by both of them here.

For more of De Havillands shoes, see here:
Article from Vogue UK -
And for William Griffiths Metal Couture range - here's his newish website (he has a store in Melbourne, but is stocked in various shops)

Lady Ga Ga - more Metal Couture

Lady Ga Ga says she has been bankrupt 4 times... because she spends too much on fashion.
Who knows if thats the truth? I love her visuals and she has cottoned on to Metal Couture, employing it in her film clips.
She is also a frequent user of Manual Albarran pieces... he does some very intersting work.
I'm still researching who makes her stuff, hard to track down.

I would love to know who made this for her. My friend wants me to make one of these..the metal corset I could do, but the spinning wheels are a bit beyond me.

This is a Manual Albarran face jewellery piece. Easily recognisable, I'm guessing its made of brass. His work is very distinctive, and he tends to make work for male models, where a lot of the other metal Couturists make work for females.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Emo Hair

Emo Hair.

Weeeeell...a little post about Emos and their hair. They have plenty. Have you ever seen a bald emo? NO! The guys have the most obvious. Hair is generally dies black, semi long, and hangs over one eye. It looks a bit like an anime character. Tre dark and mysterious. (Hey, with eyeliner, I think looks pretty good. And there is ALWAYS eyeliner). To me, it looks very rawk, mainly because Emo hair is very influenced by their fav band looks.

Sometimes its teased up as well. A bit Brian Molko-esque

Over both eyes... See. I told you there is always eyeliner.

Other variations are with colour.

Emo gals...

Like the guys over the one eye anime character look but long and with colour. And more eyeliner.

Blonde...not sure if this is completely emo esque or not. Hard to say....

This one....tre cool. Geometric with ribbon.

Emo - was it the subculture of the 2000's? Will it be around in 10 years?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Emo clothing

Is Emo dead?

Emo was massive about 2 years ago, where young goths loitering about public places were replaced with young Emos loitering about public places.
About a week ago, I heard some students on the train saying that Emo has dies, and changed its name to "Scene" (no idea?)
Despite all this, two days later I saw an Emo couple, also on the train, looking suitable dressed.

Following the success of bands like My Chemical Romance, AFI, Fall out boy and many other eyeliner wearing types, the EMO clothing and subculture was spawned and adopted by thousands of young things in the UK, US and Australia.

At a cursory glance, Emo subcultural fashion looks a bit like Goth. A lot of black, long straightened hair, eyeline. Its also quite androgynis, which Goth has become over the years. In my opinion, Emo guys look most like Goth guys - there has been signicant influence on each other, in hair styles at least.

Emo initially got its fashion inspiration from the Emo bands and what they were wearing.
Long skinny jeans and T shirts, often black. T shirts may have Emo band names on them.

Studded belts and black wristbands are common.
Converse sneakers, skate shoes are worn, and white or coloured, in contrast to black clothes.

As mentioned, hair is often straighted, and the guys have the "Little Nicky" straight hear, with bangs, often over one eye.

Anyways, I think Emo subculture has hit its peak and may be on its way out. It certainly has some cool fashion associated with it, and I know at least one person who will be sad to see cute Emo boys disapear from the subcultural landscape! :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Rocks.

New Rocks.

I first saw New Rocks in (I think) about 2000. I was in England, in Camden, with the then girlfriend. We saw some cyber gothy people off in the distance. They were wearing these big boots. I was in awe of them...they were tall!!!!! They didn't have anything like new rocks in Australia, and the whole Cybergothy thing was pretty new to the UK, and completely an unfamiliar concept to us.

Anyways, these Cybergoth gals and their big boots wandered off, and we kept shopping in Camden, and came across a shop that sold them. We could look at them close up....they were amazing. We thought they were like a peice of weird art, and I remember saying that they could equally belong on display or on your feet.

We were back in Australia, and the same girlfriend bought me a pair, to make up for a rather major faux pau on her part. Presumably I can keep wearing them forever..the heels are four inches high, so they will never wear off. The boots are solid construction, like armour (and I'm an armourer, so I'm qualified to say that!). I loved them, they were amazing. And they still are.
Only thing is they aren't as unusual as they were when I first bought them.
Then again, what is?

New Rocks, Muy Sympatico.

Eventually New Rock started making girls boots, and corsets and various other things, but as far as I'm concerned, the original big chunky boot is the true New Rock boot. They very much remind me of when the Doctor Martin boot appeared, made a similiar sort of impact, big, weird footwear, except the New Rock Boot was a hellish weird looking thing, and not associated with violence like Docs were. In fact, unusually, for a big chunky, aggressive looking boot, they were very often worn by females.

They are a subcultural fashion icon. In 20 years time, I think we'll probably look back on them and remember of the early 2000's. May be we will laugh..... who knows.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pics from a very stylish Russian gothic wedding

Well....not strictly fashion, as the fashion or designer isn't identified, and photographically, these are really wedding pics rather than fashion pics per se, but anyways.... they are some pretty damn stylish images.

Photography of a Russian goth wedding featuring some exorbitant hair, makeup and fashion in these shots.
I noticed this on a tacky wedding site . The site features pics from people's "tacky" weddings. Not sure I agree with a site devoted to this, I'm sure the people getting hitched didn't think there wedding was tacky... but anyways.

Someone posted these pics to the tacky wedding site. Instead of people's usual mundane derogatory comments, most people's comments were about how good the pics were... very complimentary. On a site that's main purpose is ripping into people's tacky wedding shots, to turn the maddening crowd into enthusiastic appreciative onlookers, is a pretty big compliment for the couple featured.

Anyways, the pics. Unfortunately can't credit the photographer, its all Russian to me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blue Suede shoes - Rockabilly Creepers

Pointy toed leopard Skin Rockabilly Creepers, with crepe soles.

I like Brothel Creepers. Brothel Creepers got their name because the soles were quiet and allowed people to "creep" and not be heard. Well, that was the story I remember from years ago. Apparently they were invented just after WW2, the crepe soles were an innovation used in military footware in North Africa.

They are big shoes, with big Crepe soles. People like big shoes. 20 years ago, they were expensive imports only available at specialist shops in Sydney. They normally used odd(exotic) material on the top of the instep, which apart from the big crepe soles, was the other feature. The instep would have patterns, or be made of fur, or a bright red or purple colour.

They were not subtle..and correspondingly very popular.

I love creepers. I'm not a fan of Rockabilly clothing generally . When I first got into subcultural fashion, ...2o years ago(eeep)... I was more on the mod side of things. And mods and Rockabillies didn't get on back then. Mod was very English, and Rockabilly was very American.

However, now, I love the deathrock/psychobilly gothabilly sort of spin on Rockabilly.
This aside...I always loved Creepers. The infamous "Blue Suede Shoes" made famous by Elvis.

I used to hang with Rude boys, and they even started wearing rockabilly shoes. Creepers became an accepted part of the Rude boy subcultural fashion, even though the original Rude boys (or mods, or skinheads, the other subcultures that related to rude boys) of course never wore Rockabilly footwear). From memory, Madness, the Two Tone ska band wore crepe shoes, so I think the Rude boys picked up on it from there.

In a subcultural sense, Creepers are interesting in that they cross subcultural boundaries. Many subcultures wear them... rude boys, Rockabilly, new wavers, psychobilly, greasers and goth, and apparently Japanese Visual Kei.

Just talking about them wants me to go and buy some.

Red Suede, extra high crepe soles and leopard skin instep.. now we are getting somewhere.

These ones are a bit Gothanista (Fashionista + Goth), high crepe soles, leather (?) uppers and flames.

Is it wrong to covet another subcultures fashion items?. Post subculture philosophy says to use it all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Science Fiction Fashion #2 Star Wars

Princess Leia's costume - by John Mollo (not bad for a guy who normally writes books on 19th century Napoleonic uniforms).

Science fiction fashion #2.

Well its not exactly Alternative fashion, but Science Fiction influences my work, so Alternative fashion often walks the romantic/fantasy side of the more mundane.

Fashion of Star Wars. I saw the first Star Wars when it came out in 1678 (yep that makes me oooold), and being a bit of a lover of historical fashion (and history) I was aware of John Mollo's work in history fashion uniforms.
Mollo was an expert in uniforms and military clothing, so George Lucas got him to design the uniforms. The uniform designs are heavily influenced by German WW2 uniforms, and helmets.
Star Wars was his first, Mollo went on to work in film costume design, including movies like Tarzan the legend of Greystoke, Air America and White Hunter, Black Heart.

More on mah man Mollo here at Wikipedia

Even more impressive, he didn't work on the recent Star Wars movies, so he is, in no way, not even remotely responsible for Jar Jar Binks.

Stormtrooper dressed for a bit more than snowball fights

Mollo's designs for Jabba the Hutt (originally he was cast as a humanoid type character, before they ended up with the 3 ton Jabba we know and love today)

Oh, by the way, if anyone out there reading this has only seen star wars 4, 5 and 6, whatever you do, don't see 1 2 and 3.

Phantom Orchid

Just stumbled upon this photographer - does some nice fashion (and other) oriented wrok.

Phantom Orchid - have a look at the burlesque pics.

And fukking brilliant web design too. Problem with being a good artist methinks, is that you need to have a good site otherwise it just doesn't do your work justice.

Circa Nocturna

Circa Nocturna once again rolls on. The longest running Alt fashion show in Australia, is on once again...and accepting designer applications.

Go to for applications.

I usually get involved in running it but am stepping back this year - after 5 years I am weary, need to focus on my own work, and need to hand over to others to give it new blood. I think this was good thinking, after seeing what the new organisers have planned...its looking good!

CN runs in March 2010. Huzzah!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fashion in Science fiction #1 - "Big badda boom!!!"

Next five posts will be about my favorite fashion in SF media. Much fashion in SF movies is ridiculous...its seems very hard to get it right, particularly with a small budget...however, some is very interesting indeed. Very often the trouble with SF is that they are trying to predict the future of fashion....which is of course impossible.

The smart costume designers go for a retro look so the fashion doesn't date (think of some of the 40's inspired looks in Batman, and the flim noir 30's looks in Blade Runner).

Where costume designers try to predict the future, it normally goes quite wrong. Think of futuristic fashion in some of the Trek movies, Logan's Run, Forbidden Planet.
Futuristic fashion, not suprisingly, always looks like how people at the time would of imagined fashion to look like. This is particularly evident to fashion from 50's era SF, which in trying to predict fashion of the future normally looks very retro to modern eyes.
Any movies from the 80's trying to depict fashion on the future is often flawed because it has to include 80's hair!.

Anyway, one of my favorite futuristic fashion depictions is in the Fifth Element. Also one of my favorite directors (Luc Besson) and one of my favorite designers (Jean Paul Gaultier). Gaultier got a tiny budget to do these costumes, and swore he would never work with such a small budget for a film project ever again.
If you are interested, there's an interview with him on the DVD extras in which he discusses his work, and also some fashion tests shots of Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich's outfits.
He has worked on a couple of movies, including Pedro Almodóvar's Kika, Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's LThe City of Lost Children, as well as Marilyn Mansons and Madonna's stage outfits.
Not too mention his fashion range and his perfume... Gaultier is a very busy man..and my hero!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Treesje Mortale Clutch.

This is the Treesje Mortale Clutch.

I like Treesje handbags out of California. It's got the dark aspect going, but not too gauche. The rest of their work is pretty standard handbaggery, but this one stands out from the sea of handbags out there.
Methinks, in ...some ways, this is the key to success with handbags (and May be with jewellery). Standing out from the crowd, getting a hook to grab people's attention.

It obviously borrows from Street Style...goth fashion being influential on mainstream fashion once again. What would they do without us? :-)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Out there hoodies

Oooh - I'v been using Deviant art for a while for my photography - I just noticed there is a fashion section on there.

Anyway, these hoodies caught my eye. People don't do enough interesting things with hoodies, and even less people wear the crazy ones - well outside raves, bush doofs and clubs. Here's some interesting ones from Grapevinefires

Lady Ga Ga and Dolce and Gabbana

Bad me! I haven't been posting lately, then I do two in the space of two days.
This irregularity ain't good for a blog, methinks.

Mi compadre Danielle from Dolly Q spotted Lady Ga Ga's dalliance with metal couture and gave me a heads up on it.

Its a Dolce and Gabbana corset that was sent over especially to the US for Lady Ga Ga's latest clip.

Personally, I'm not really a Lady Ga Ga fan musicwise... hip hop/urban being one of the few areas of music I don't go, but I love how she plays with fashion in her profile, via the "House of Ga Ga" look.

I don't know how D & G made the corset, from what I 've heard about their previous corset, it could be chrome plated brass, so could be press formed, or if its a one off, it could be rolled out with an English Wheel.

This corset has been about a bit - another pic of it on the catwalk, with a Thiery Muegler metal couture piece on the left.

See the corset here in the "Papparazzi" clip -

Manuel Albarran

Manuel Arbarran is from Spain and is an astounding metal couture designer ( Metal Couture designers? - never quite sure to say jeweller or designer). I have read his stuff is being worn by Lady Ga Ga,.....great to see some edgey alt fashion metal couture designs getting some publicity.

I love his website - very dark and complements his designs very well.

I love the way some of his work fuses headwear with a necklace and mask.
He doesn't have a lot of details on what he is using, but looks like he is using thin stainless, silver, or what could be thin chrome plated brass. Seems to be a trait with metalworkers in fashion...don't give up the company secrets. Fair enough.

He's been doing metal Couture since 2000 at least, which makes him one of the older names in the very limited world of Metal Couture fashion, including some catwalk stuff, and design contribution for calendars.

Lots more amazing pics here:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Viona 2

Ok, I have been writing this blog about my passion, alternative fashion, for about 2 years now.

And not once have I written about a designer or artist twice.
Until now.
I will call this the Viona rule. That is, I promise not to write about an artist or designer, on this blog, more than once.
Unless they are Viona Lelegems.

Everytime I think photography is just too hard, I have a look at her work and get reinvigorated.

Here's some more of her more recent work. She shoots, she designs and makes the outfits, and in my mind the work of the Auteur, someone that does it all, is oft going to have the edge on other stuff.
And she's a goth. And beautiful.
Ok, I'm gushing now, this is embarrassing.

All work (c) Viona Lelegems

Medieval influence on Alt fashion

Medieval goth

After just coming back from a medieval weekend near Sydney. Lots of medieval clothing, tents, crazy stuff.

I was wondering what medieval inspirations there are out there for alt fashion.
I think most of the medieval inspiritations end up in gothy clothing, both share a love for romance and the swishy long sleeves romantico goth is very close to some styles of medieval (or medjeval) fashion.
Found this site. Not great photo's, and the clothing doesn't really grab me.
But I thought is they got some good models and a good photographer, some of these outfits would be interesting. Particularly put together with some other more edgey fashion.

This place is called Anne Larochelle. They employ 17 people in Quebec.... medieval style clothing is bigger business than I thought.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nick Cave has a son - and he is a model

Didn't know this, but Nick Cave has a son Jethro, and he is turning into a successful model. To me, he doesn't look amazing, (hey but beauty is in the eye of the beholder) so I guess the surname may have helped him along.

Second generation goth? Not sure about that.

Lots more pics here, if you are interested.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fiend Magazine.

Ooooh - listening to Ladytron's "Destroy Everything You Touch" - at the moment.

Fiend magazine is a colour mag covering Alt culture in Australia. It is tre nifty. Originally called "Goth Nation", the mag started as a black and white, with a few colour pages about 6 years ago. With a name change, it grew into a biggish colour mag distributed via newsagents throughout Australia.

It stopped being printed last year, and has now been re-launched with new management.

Anyways..... this issue has quite a big alt fashion focus, including a spread of colour pics of the fashion show I am involved with Circa Nocturna - some Great pics by Mark Doyle Photography. So have a look if you are near a stockist.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Alt Fashion shows....

There aren't that many! For some reason, alt fashion shows really haven't taken off.
I'm not sure why. I work with Circa Nocturna in Melbourne, and its quite popular.
Largely i think, because it is so different.

So what alternative fashion shows are there to see in the wide, wide world??? As far as I'm aware, there are four big shows that have run at least a couple of times

Toronto Alt Arts and fashion Week. features over 200 designers and artists.

London Alternative Fashion week. Huge fashion week with many designers, been running for about 10 years. Run by ALTERNATIVE ARTS

Lunamorph - Sydney Gothy alt fashion show, run as part of the Festival of the Blue Moon.

Circa Nocturna - run in Melbourne Australia. Been running since 2004.

Gala Nocturna - Neo romantic ball (with some fashion) Gothy/ dark romantic fashion show in Antwerp, Belgium. Looks amazing, would love to go to this. Someday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Metal Couture

Metal Couture....the term lately has been appropriated nicked by people selling heavy metal band T shirts, however it of course properly refers to high end, metal jewellery for the catwalk. A lot of metal couture stretches the concept to the point that the metal becomes clothing. Considering how uncomfortable metal normally is when worn, this is no mean feat!

I do Metal Couture with Assassinus, however there are some big names out there that do some amazing stuff. Though, generally, despite the fact that jewellers are everywhere, people who do metal couture for the catwalk are rare. The catwalk doesn't really cater for jewellery, its too small and hard to see, and can be lost in amongst the clothes. It disapears in photography as it is not obvious in full body shots. The skills it takes to make metal couture are not necessarily the sort of skills you will pick up in a normal design course, or a normal jewellery apprenticeship or art degree.

Shaping a metal mask to fit an individuals facial features is not a simple (or common) task. The trick with metal couture is getting it to curve and fit the body. Good metal couture, in my opinion, follows the outline of the body and flows with it. Of course some artists can use flat sheet in metal couture.

When jewellers put their work on the catwalk, they have to either use really minimalist clothes (like catsuits), plain clothes, or have the models not wearing many clothes at all, so the jewellery stands out.
Metal couture is generally more obvious than traditional types of jewellery, like rings and necklaces. Metal Couture tends to be big!!!

Here are a few Metal Couture artists currently active.

Firstly William Griffiths. He does some very pretty stuff, and a lot of influence from tatoo designs, cyber esque stuff (with some Gieger influences), and interestingly, gothic and gothic architecture (he does some lovely rings based on gothic cathedrals). He is often referred to as a "Gothic" jewellery, which is patenty untrue, gothic influence is only evident in part of his collection.
He does do Metal corsets and headpeices.
He is Australian, was based in London, but back now in Melbourne where he has his shop on Gertrude st, Fitzroy and is stocked all about the place.

Manuel Albarran is from Barcelona (you have to pronounce it properly dahrleenk, the c is a lispy sound). He does lots of pretty work with masks and formfitting corsets. He studied in fashion and interestingly makes normal (textile) corsets, as well as metal couture. This is rather an unusual combination as metal couture people normally start as jewellers.

Frank Strunk III seems to do mainly art work involving rusty bits, though he has done some Metal Couture. They are mainly simply cones and some worked sheetmetal.
Personally, I prefer his metal purses.

Assassinus I've been working making armour for 16 years now, so developed an understanding for how metal fits on to the body, and how you accommodate for movement.Armoured fighters have to be able to move very fast.
Anyway, this gives me an appreciation for how metal can both look, and work with the body. Historically authentic armour production is not very creative in some ways, as you have to stick to historical precedent, so I eventually stopped doing it and started doing Jewellery within subcultures.
Assassinus at the moment works in copper, Brass, stainless and mild stell, and has recently started producing corsets in Perspex. Corsets, bracelets, vambraces, necklaces and strange collar things.

Thierry Mugler. While originally a fashion designer first active in Paris in the early 1970's, Muegler has dabbled in many varied activities including writing, perfumes, directing and metal couture.