Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Longest Running Sitcoms

A list of the longest running Sitcoms (sorry nothing to do with Alt Fashion.... just had to put this somewhere!)

#1. “The Last of the Summer Wine” - 31 Seasons  (1973 – 2010) 37 Years

#2 “The Simpsons” - 23 Seasons –  (1989 – present) 23 years

#3 “Only Fools and Horses” 22 Seasons –  (1981 – 2003) 22 Years

#4 "The Jack Benny Show 15 Seasons" (1950 - 1965) 15 Years

#5 “(The Adventures Of) Ozzie And Harriet” - 14 Seasons  (1952 – 1966) 14 years

#6 “South Park” - 15 Seasons  (1997 – Present) 14 years

#7 “Are you being Served” - 13 Seasons  (1972 – 1985) 13 years

#8 “King of the Hill” - 13 seasons – (1997 – 2010) 13 years

#9 “My Three Sons” - 12 seasons  (1960 – 1972) 12 years

#10 “Rab C Nesbit” - 11 Seasons  (1988 – 1999, 2008, 2010 – present) 12 years

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World Goth Day

World Goth Day originally started in the UK. BBC 6 was looking at a number of music subcultures on May 22nd 2009, two goth DJs got together DJ Cruel Britannia and Martin OldGoth and organised an event. It was decided that May 22nd would be the day when this event would be held regularly.

The tradition continued and spread outside the UK.

World Goth Day celebrates the sub cultural aspects of the Goth subculture, including fashion, music and art. Many of the events feature local Goth bands, and some have taken on a charity aspect, supporting the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity that combat and prejudice and hatred against members of subcultures.

The event has seen celebrations all around the world, including in Australia, the UK, the US, Singapore, South Africa.
Great article on World Goth Day here:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Military influence on Subculture - When is it bad?

Marilyn Manson screengrab from the fight song Filmclip. This is a Waffen SS Officer cap, with the TottenKopf(skulls) and German Eagle Insignia removed.

Metamaphose, and EGL (Elegant Goth Lolita) designer from Japan caused an uproar in the Lolita Fashion community, when they released this outfit, and some others. The uproar was based around the fact that they were supposed to resemble Nazi uniforms from WW2. In fact, they don't really resemble German uniforms at all, except for the German eagle insignia.

18th century military officers uniform influence in this gothic outfit. "Military Style Jacket" from Horrorshop.

Not so subtle SS Officer uniform with trenchcoat on a Japanese girl, including the SS cap.

I was at a alt fashion show, Circa Nocturna, and one of the designers had some military influence in her work. Most of it was German Wehrmacht, German Waffen SS and some Russian Military uniforms from the same era. Interestingly the designer herself was Russian.

An odd thing happenned. My older friends, in their early 40's and late 30's, were apparently quite unimpressed with the military references, mostly the Waffen SS (which I thought was prevalent in mainly one design) ones. I think some of them were going to walk out.

Howwever the majority of the crowd, who were generally younger, didn't seemed bothered by fact, they couldn't work out what the issue was. Obviously to us older types, who grew up in WW2's after affects, are more affected by it. But I wasn't actually sure if the younger people there (1) were unfamiliar with the war and the symbolism of the uniforms or (2) were familiar with it, but didn't think it was an issue.

I myself was going to buy one of the jackets, but my Girlfriend (older) threatened to disown me if I did.

In any event, Subcultural fashion, and subcultural fashion worn on stage by musicians, loves to shock, and if you can get some shock out of referencing some thing that annoys people, then you may get your mediabytes from it. And in some cases, the only bad publicity is no publicity. Sex Pistols used swastikas on T shirts to annoy the public - they (or Malcolm Mclaren at least) were masters of shock publicity, and it made them what they were. Certainly Marilyn Manson also benefits from the shock value of military fashion.... and it fits with his general modus operandi of wearing whatever he has to the looks cool, but stil shocks. Ahhhh Mazza....bless your fishnet socks!

Are military uniforms sinister, or just historical influence on fashion though? How far back do we have to go before something is benign. Are WW1 uniforms ok, but not WW2 uniforms? Are 19th Century British redcoat uniforms Ok?. Are the German Uniforms from WW2 not ok, but the Russians ones fine? Are the Wehrmacht uniforms ok, but Waffen SS no good?

I don't have the answers to these things, my answer is that what is good to wear or not to wear may often be contextual. I like military influence on fashion, but at the same time, care should be taken to not deliberately offend. Certain countries take more offense than others... certainly Nazi Fashion seems not to offend some in South East Asia.

Military influence, or in this case, Nazi influence in subcultural fashion can

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Gothic Ruth - The Ruff in Goth Subcultural Fashion

Goth Ruff as part of a Goth Elizabethan inspired outfit, from Gala Nocturna 2010.

2 Ruffs on Victorian Goth Outfits. Wave Gothic Treffen 2009. (c) Rachael Black
Goth Victorian Inspired outfit, with Ruff. WGT 2010 (c) Rachael Black
Ruffs at Wave Gothic Treffen. WGT 2010 (c) Rachael Black

Continental European goths have taken to the ruff to some degree, as part of their overall interest in historical fashion and acoutrement. The ruff can be seen in the goth subcultural context in two places, at Gala Nocturna a ball held yearly in Belgium, and also at the large Gothic Wave Treffen Goth festival. In particular, at WGT, the Victorian Picnic is the main event where historical fashion is flaunted.

Worldwide, these are probably the two main focal points for elaborate and the most exquisite fashion in the goth subculture. Certain German, Belgian and Bulgarian goths focus on the historical fashion and strive to make their outfits and makeup as elaborate as possible. Its within these groups you will see such a strong focus on historical style, within the general milieux of goth subcultural fashion.

Goth subcultural fashion in this form is rareley seen in Australia, the US or the UK, though it is not unlike some of the focus on elaborate historical clothing, in particular the Victorian era, amongst some Japanese subcultures.

Viona Ielegems has a strong focus on historical goth fashion, and ruffs are sometimes seen as part of her work. She makes her own outfits and photographs as well.

Gala Nocturna - held yearly in Antwerp, Belgium

Wave Gothik Treffen held yearly in Leipzeig, Germany

WGT pics courtesy of Rachael Black (her blog is Fade to Black - the Art of Makeup )

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Ruff in Modern Couture.

The amazing Viona Ielelegems - photographer and costumier. Features a range of historical influence in her work, including ruffs.

Modern Haute Couture Ruff. Gaultier, Westwood and pearls by Mikimoto. From Russian Vogue, 2010. Photographer: Sharif Hamza.

Ruff from Russian Vogue shoot. Pearls by Mikimoto, couture by Maidon Martin and Margiola Artisani. Photographer: Sharif Hamza.

Gareth Pugh's Ruff, for his Spring 2009 show.

Lady Ga Ga wearing a ruff on a flying Piano (...of course). Ruff and latex outfit by Atsuko Kudo.

Close up of ruff by Atsuko Kudo

What is a ruff? You may have seen portraits or portrayals of Queen Elizabeth wearing large cloth collars, generally white. Ahhh..those things! That's what a ruff is.

Ruffs were originally a decorative piece of material at the edge of a shirt, a small collar. Like a lot of fashion, they took on a life of their own, evolving to a larger size, and becoming a separate garment to be worn around the neck.

At their extreme they grew to be about a foot wide. They lasted about 100 years, roughly from 1550 to 1650....and lingered as clerical clothing and some cermonial dress.

More recently, Ruffs have made a reappearance with Lady Ga Ga, in some haute couture fashion, and the odd photoshoot. Design house Atsuko Kudo, who specialise in Latex wear, make Lady GaGa's ruffs. Each one uses a couple of metres of latex, because of the concertina nature of the ruff.

Gareth Pugh, like his fellow Brits Galliano and the late Alexander McQueen, takes influence from historical fashion. His spring 2009 show featured some black and white ruffs, as part of a number of ensembles.

Russian Vogue featured some Ruffs in a photoshoot of theirs - I have been trying to work out who the creator was, but my Russian isn't too good! :-). If someone can work it out, please tell me.
Ruffs are highly unlikely to be seen in the officeplace, or down the local nightclub, but can still make a fashionable presence on the catwalk and in high fashion the ruff would still be alive and kicking to some degree 500 years later.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Raver Fashion

"What goes up, must come down" - Human Traffic

Old skool ravers in boiler suits

Cyber goth/ cyber ravers

Cyber ravers

I was talking to a rave wear designer friend of mine - the interesting conundrum, with ravers in Melbourne at least, is that there are thousands of people that attend raves, but not that many of them wear raver fashion - a lot of them wear normal clothes. In contrast, you may get 200 people at a goth club, or 300 people at a heavy metal gig....but everyone (bar the odd girlfriend who hasn't been converted yet) will be wearing the subcultural attire.

In Melbourne, this has led to the situation where there are far more goth shops for clothing, and a lot more goth designers, than there are for ravers...even though rave attendees outnumber goths 50 to 1. Largely, people going to raves don't get dressed up - they wear their mainstream clothing.

My immediate answer to this is, that raves and dance music are too successful - the club environment and music has left the distinct confines of its subculture and attracted attention from a lot of mainstream people. You see a similiar phenomenon with gay clubs...they get successful, straights start turning up, and then the gays have to move on. Raves get huge and successful, then the mainstream people move in. Goth clubs generally have pretty strict dress codes...and never seem to draw the mainstream crowd in large numbers anyway.

I did the rave thing, when I was young enough too......, mixing it with goth a bit. Rave clothing is pretty cool...and it always struck me that out of all the subcultures, rave clothing (and may be hip hop threads) connect to the music. Other subcultural clothing could often exist on it own, without music. Rave clothing only sort of makes sense in the context of dance music, that ravers listen to. Rave clothing, is also, really fun, and to a degree, pretty practical for dancing. Considering that some people will dance for hours at a time, and then off to another club for more dancing, it has to be.

Anyways, on to Rave Fashion. Like a lot of subcultural fashion, rave fashion has gone through changes, and has its subtypes.

The orginal ravers, from the Summer of Love 1992, bright colours, dummies, and whistles, boiler suits and chemical/dust masks.

Feral ravers, basically ferals that are at bush doofs, with a bit of augmented rave clothing. Modern day hippies.

Cyber ravers - a lot like cyber goths, with the falls, and may be big boots, but with lots of neon. And possibly bright makeup.

Individual items include phat pants, big glasses, fluffy furry leggings, runners good for dancing...and of course, glo sticks!

If you want to have a look at some interesting raver fashion, have a look at my buddy Fi's label, Vicious Klothing...I love her dino hoodies with the spikes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Contact! Contact Lenses in Rock Music and Subcultures

Amazingly, contact lenses go back to 1888, when they were made of glass. Plastic ones were invented in the 1930's.

Contact lenses have actually been employed in movies since the 50's and 60's, generally for use in science fiction or horror themed movies or programs. Children of the Dammned, made in 1963 featured an array of unearthly creepy kids with identical contact lenses - "beware the eyes that paralyse".

Pete Burns from Dead or Alive, ever willing to experiment with fashion and to take a chance, was quite possibly the first musician to wear contact lenses as part of his rock persona...this shot of him wearing them is from 1981.

Of course.... the man who made the contact lens one of his signature effects is Mr Manson. Manson started wearing contacts regularly as part of his rock persona, from the "Smells like Children" era, 1994 onwards. In particular, he was known for wearing a light coloured lens in one eye, and his other eye normal. For many years after 1994, publicly it was pretty rare he was seen without Contacts.

Wes Borland from Limp Biscuit was always seen wearing contact lenses, from his early days in the band. He adopted a fantastic element to his on stage persona, wearing not only contacts, but often elborate costume and makeup. It was quite at odds with the rest of the band who wore relatively everyday hip hop/metal clothes.

Recently Lady Gaga, in her continued search for something to give her an edgier element, has started wearing contacts. Generally, she wears larger black ones.

Contact lenses are worn by many elements of subculture. Contact lenses are common amongst goths, though possibly more so industrial than traditional goths, and certainly Mansonites.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


What do you say about Marilyn Manson?.

I was at one of his concerts, about 10 years ago, and a slightly older rock chic was there with her son, and said "its all been done before.... he's just a new version of Alice Cooper". In terms of alt fashion, makeup, stage presences, and music style, indeed there is a bit of truth in that....the shock element goes around and comes around. But I think to right him off as just another version of Alice is probably a bit of an understatement.

Manson does have a bit of a twist. He's a talented musician, but very much into the image of his band. His use of visual imagery on stage, on his album covers and in particular his direction of his video clips is almost a separate art form to his music.

He has given his own brand of art a name Celebritarian Corporation.Apart from his art, filmclips, and stage performance, he has spent some time producing a movie based on Lewis Carols "Alice in Wonderland". The clips released from this movie were disturbing enough to some of the public that it may have related to the project being put on hold indefinitely.

....the teaser trailer...and yeah, a tad controversial!!!!

In terms of fashion, Manson has always gone for an industrial Goth look, and inspired a lot of goth fashion. His constant use of contact lenses (he is rarely seen without them) and his "red stripe over the eyes" is a well known look. HIs use of Nazi/fascist inspired black uniforms too is a Manson staple. Lots of pinstripes in suits. hats. A lot of his notable fashion hallmarks have made their way into goth wear during the 2000's.

I love his work, while he has not got the profle he once had, his combination of interest in fashion and art has always given me a lot of respect for him.
Go Mazza!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Myspace and alt fashion

Man.... I need to spruce this blog up.... I still have Myspace pages on here.
I remember when Myspace for alt fashion, designers, modesl and photography was massive. Now its mostly bands and the owners (the packers I think?) are trying to sell it off at a bargain price.

Circa Nocturna 2011

Once again, Circa Noturna has been deployed to the alt fashion world. I helped with the 5 person org team to get this one up.... it wasn't easy, first time I have done it with a baby.

After 7 years, this is our last Circa at this size, we plan to make more regular CN events, at a smaller, boutique level.

Here are some pics from our Official Photographer, Mark Boyle, who does some great work. Lots of Circa Nocturna pics on the web, just do a Google search. We were very happy with the size, two shows of about 300 people each, so quite chuffed. Still didn't make that much money though.... too many cost blowouts.

If you are an alt fashion designer anywhere in the world, and would like to consider being in the show, give us a hoy!

Now, on to the pics.....