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? :-)