August 1 Theme: Bow Overload

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Okay, this month’s theme might appeal to a more limited audience than usual… But I wanted to feature something really girly-girl for August. Hopefully this theme will bring out the Gothic Lolitas and anyone who just likes to feel playfully feminine. Or, feel free to get creative; I have faith you can interpret Bows in some unique way.

I have spent so much money on re-vamping my work wardrobe over the past few months, that I finally broke down and simply had to get on eBay and buy a few distinctly Goth-Victorian items. I’d been wanting something bustle-like that could be worn on top of my existing skirts to help give me more variety. Bustle skirts are awesomely stunning, but as an over-skirt they have far more potential for those of us who get bored with wearing the same item the same way too often. I’ll be able to mix and match this lovely, versatile piece in many ways!

The hair bows are self-made. I love the shape of them, which is the result of using wire-edged ribbon so they don’t lay totally flat. I attached some satin rosettes to give them more interest. The bow choker is another self-made hair bow that I just temporarily safety-pinned to an existing choker (also self-made) for the evening.

The gloves were a Christmas gift from Mr. Kitty.

I love the silhouette created by the flowing ruffles of the over-skirt, combined with the sleek velvet pencil skirt. I got the skirt at Express at least 15 years ago. It originally had an a-line shape but I didn’t find that too flattering, so I modified it to my taste.

I just adore the super-shiny bow topping the back of the over-skirt. Simple, but just dramatic enough!

Now, ladies and gentlemen, bring on the bows! 😀

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Red & Black Week, Day 6: A Night at the Pantages

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This is it!  Day 6, and the conclusion of an amazing week of Red & Black Gothy Blogging!  Show us what you’ve got for the grand finale, and be sure to check back tomorrow for a recap of everyone who participated.

Questions about this theme? Visit the Red & Black Week Rules and FAQs or e-mail me.

In the interest of full disclosure, please be aware that I had to recreate this look. 🙂 The event I actually wore it to took place on October 31, 2010, before I had even dreamed up my blog. But I kept remembering it when I was contemplating this year’s Red & Black Week…

The big event was the final night of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. I managed to turn my dad into a Phantom fan when I took him to see it at the Pantages back in 1999. When he heard in 2010 it was closing down for good, he was determined to attend one of the final performances. Dad, Mr. Kitty an I actually went twice in one week; once sitting front-row center, then again five nights later about half-way back for the final performance. It was an amazing experience. And one of the only times I’ve gone out in an evening gown and actually NOT looked out of place.

This gown is by Jessica McClintock, who I suppose you could say is my favorite designer for formal wear. The dress I wore for the first Movie Monday was also from her line (sadly, I had to retire that dress after that wearing), and I have one other that you’ll see sometime soon.

The necklace and earrings were from a random no-name accessory store in the mall, back when I lived in Burbank. My wrap was just a long piece of tulle, right off of the bolt. I suppose I could’ve at least sewed some trim on it, but who has the time?

This August, we hope to go see the “modified” version of Phantom currently running in Vegas* before it closes in September. Mom’s not into the theatre at all, so I guess she’s staying home petsitting. 😉

* Blech -I hate everything about Vegas… but what’s a fan girl to do?

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Red & Black Week, Day 5: Contrast

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I must apologize for not getting to comment yet on everyone’s posts from yesterday. It was a very challenging day at work, and I just needed to rest when I finally got home. I promise tonight I will read and comment on all the posts from both yesterday and today. So keep them coming!

Questions about this theme? Visit the Red & Black Week Rules and FAQs or e-mail me.

 

I bought this corset ages ago (as in, not even this century), before I knew much (as in anything) about the importance of quality in corsetry. Naturally, the plastic boning in this thing bends and bulges in very unflattering ways and is getting worse over time. Still, it’s very durable for an inexpensive piece, and I love the drama of it, so I’ll probably hang onto it until it starts to wear out.

I think pretty much every Goth girl has a corset similar to this one, so I’m definitely not winning any points for originality today! I hope my necklace by Artwith Latex can make up for that! This was the first piece I ordered from them (I’ve since acquired a choker/bracelet set), after seeing an ad in Gothic Beauty magazine. All of their pieces are amazing, and the creation process sounds like a true art form. The only problem is the necklace tends to shift gradually as I move my head throughout the evening, so I hold the center part in place with a tiny piece of fashion tape.

Today’s makeup is inspired by the work of Madame Noire. I often wear red in the crease, but I tried blending more black into it for this look. These photos are from last weekend, and naturally this week Ms. Noire did a tutorial on a more subtle use of red shadow, which I like much better than my heavy application. I love very heavy makeup in dark clubs, but next time I want a more versatile red shadow look, I’ll be using her tips for sure!

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Dancing the Old Job Out of my System!

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As promised in yesterday’s post, we went out dancing to celebrate my last day at the old job. I had been wanting to wear an all-magenta outfit ever since I did my all-purple outfit back in January. I had my magenta (cheap Frederick’s) corset in mind but it turned out to clash quite badly with this skirt from Newport News. Different shades of magenta usually go quite well together, so I was a bit surprised. Luckily, I also had this lace-front cami from Newport News that was a perfect match. So I topped the whole thing off with my black underbust corset to dress it up properly for the club. I replaced the blazer with a magenta satin shrug I recently found on eBay. I now have this shrug in five colors!

The down side to this outfit was, while it looked fabulously fuchsia in the photos and while standing in line at the door, once we were in the club everyone complimented me on my red outfit. 🙁 Yep, under nightclub lights everything looks either black or red. Not that an all-red outfit wouldn’t be spectacular, but it wasn’t the look I was going for. Let’s save that kind of thing for the first week in June, shall we? ;-D

Pardon my bandage! This is what happens when you try to open a bottle of nail polish with needle-nose pliers because you’re too lazy to go downstairs for regular pliers! 😉

I’ve spent so much time exploring “new job makeup” lately that I was dying to do something dramatic. You’ve seen this look before (no, I’m not all that experimental with makeup!). It features my Ben Nye Lumiere shadow in fuchsia, along with a healthy dose of black.

My lips are Morgana Cryptoria’s Diabolic Druscilla with a bit of Ulta gloss on top and a heavy black outline. I’ll be posting a tutorial of this look next week! My nails are Gelish gel polish in Starburst, topped with Orly (regular polish) in Bubbly Bombshell, which is a SUPER GLITTERY MAGENTA. Oh, true happiness! I’ve been doing my nails in gel polish lately instead of getting acrylics, and I am SO happy with the results. But that’s a topic for another post. 🙂

For my hair style, I simply put my hair in a ponytail, braided it, added a fake chignon and wrapped my braid around it. The headpiece is something I made myself a long time ago with a velvet headband from random accessory store and a floral spray and bit of tulle from Michael’s. I was so delighted that it matched my skirt and cami so well!

Do you ever do a “quick change” to go from work to club-wear? What’s your time-saving secret when you don’t have a full two hours to get ready for the evening?


All images and text © Sophistique Noir Gothic Fashion Blog. Do not use any photos or text from this blog without providing a credit to me and a link back to the original post.

Monthly Homework Assignment: Artistic Inspiration

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Le Professeur has tasked us with another fantastic challenge for April’s Monthly Homework Assignment. This time, she asks us to create a post inspired by visual art. I was a bit sad that I so recently featured my dress covered in ladies from classical art for my March 1 Gray Theme… But that’s what challenges are for: to push the limits of our creativity and encourage us to come up with new ideas.

Today’s post is inspired by the fairy artwork of Amy Brown.

I’m not necessarily a huge fan of fantasy art, but I’ve always loved Amy Brown’s fairies. My attraction to them can most definitely be attributed their stunning sense of dark fashion. Many of her fairies represent a sartorial ideal to me, and have probably been somewhat of a subconscious inspiration to me in building my wardrobe over at least the past 5 years.

In contemplating my solution to this month’s homework assignment, I explored the Web sites of various “dark” artists before it dawned on me that without question, Ms. Brown’s work would be the perfect source for a visual art inspired look. And the image that immediately spoke to me (and that I knew I could emulate to a respectable degree while being true to my own look) was:

SOURCE: Amy Brown

Thanks to Mr. Kitty for the wonderful art direction on this one, as on most of my “special” posts. He is so much the other half of my brain, he always knows exactly how to help me get what I am looking for. He also keeps me from getting frustrated by reminding me that humans actually cannot exactly recreate poses taken by characters in watercolor paintings… At least, not without dislocating my left shoulder and removing a few vertebrae…

Next time we go clubbing, don’t be surprised if I end up dressed like another of Ms. Brown’s elegant creatures!


All images and text © Sophistique Noir Gothic Fashion Blog. Do not use any photos or text from this blog without providing a credit to me and a link back to the original post.

Flowy, Drapey Silk

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Oh, how I love this uber-romantic silk skirt from Newport News. I love it so much, in fact, that you will be seeing a record number of photos today! I try never to go with more than three or four, or maybe five for a special occasion, but between the skirt and other fabulous details on this outfit, I just couldn’t choose my favorite shots.

Despite the crazy number of photos, I still failed to capture the delicate beading that flirts with the bottom edge of this skirt. Look closely – it is there, and it is fabulous.

A skirt this gorgeous deserves nothing but the best accompaniment. I paired it with a simple, ruched-sleeve sweater from Frederick’s, a lightweight crocheted scarf (a gift from my mom), and two Christmas presents from Mr. Kitty: fingerless satin gloves from Greatlookz and this stunning Orthodox Cross Locket from Alchemy Gothic. And my typical ankle-strap platform heels from Pleaser.

While we were out of town over the holidays, I was having crazy urges to put my hair “up.” The climate where we were visiting was so different for the desert I am used to that I couldn’t do a thing with it other than a tight, low bun (and a few artificial embellishments) so as soon as we got home, I went into a huge Loose Bun on Top of Head phase. You’ll be seeing that look from time to time over the next few months!

This particular evening, I adorned the bun with a feather hair clip from Forever 21, three homemade rose flower clips and a curled tendril. No, my hair doesn’t hold curls. Not with heat, gel, hairspray, setting lotion or a combination of all of the above. That’s okay, as I was happy with the slight wave I ended up with by the time I was finished taking the photos!

My nails aren’t black, but rather a very, very dark plum. Okay, basically black, but really not black! 😉

Monthly Homework Assignment for February: I forgot I even had this!

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Le Professeur Gothique’s Monthly Homework Assignment for February was to find something buried in our closets that we had forgotten about, and put it to use! When I saw her announcement for this theme, a certain item instantly popped into my head (okay, so it wasn’t exactly forgotten, at least not literally). I hadn’t worn it for years, yet any time I looked at it I refused to even think of getting rid of it. I initially took this as a sign it was destiny that I should put this relic back into my outfit rotation. Now, I’m not so sure… ;-D

Yes, the item in question was this velvet cape. I bought it ages ago at Hot Topic and used to wear it to the clubs religiously. Partly because I was more into the vampire-oriented fashion that was popular in the scene at the time, and partly because I just didn’t have many options in my wardrobe back then. I still think it’s lovely, but it’s just not “me” anymore. And oh, the cat hair. I removed cat hair, put the cape on, removed cat hair again, took photos, removed cat hair again, went downstairs, and was about to remove the cat hair AGAIN when I finally decided to change into a different wrap. You can expect to see this cape one more time, when I do a “cleaning out my closet” post! It would be the perfect addition to a cat-free home. 😉

My dress actually fits into this theme as well. A “vintage” piece by Shrine Hollywood (vintage meaning about 10 years old, which I would say is vintage for Shrine!), I used to wear this empire-waisted gown to every wedding where black was acceptable. At some point, I just stopped wearing it and it sat in the “very fancy” section of my closet, feeling unloved. Unlike the velvet cape, when I put this dress back on my love affair with it was instantly renewed!

I thought it would be a perfect time to showcase this dress here on the blog, in light of our recent discussion regarding the empire waistline. Some of you expressed a preference for this style when applied to long dresses, some on short dresses. Some said they love the look altogether, and some declared that it just wasn’t for them. I was glad to see such a diversity of opinion on the subject, as I had previously thought it was a “love it or hate it” kind of thing.

I wore this outfit to a club. As much as I continue to love the dress, I have to say that I realized I don’t care to wear full-length empire waists to go dancing. Something about how it hangs, while being so elegant and statuesque while standing still, felt frumpy and awkward while dancing. It didn’t move with my body the way a skirt hitting at the natural waist would. I kinda felt like I was dancing in very fancy pajamas… I’ll still be showing this dress a lot of love in the future, but I’ll save it for dinners and other more sedentary events.

Yes, That IS a Bat You See…

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I think it’s probably obvious by now that, aside from the stylized bat tattoo on my shoulder, I don’t often adorn myself with Halloween iconography. But this top was just screaming at me in a little shop on Melrose quite a few years ago. He’s such an adorable little guy, and I love the mix of textures with Mr. Bat being sheer. I love to pair this top with my PVC corset, and this time I thought the ruched fishtail skirt from Newport News seen here and here would be a good companion to the snug, long-sleeve top. Barely an inch of skin showing, yet I felt awfully sexy wearing this to the club.

So, can you tell I have socks on underneath my open-toe platform sandals (which are from Pleaser, btw)? Yes, this is what we have to do when we have a sore toe for no apparent reason but really want to go out dancing. The open toe shoes gave the sore digit room to feel better, but these shoes rub too much on my feet for constant movement. That’s where the nice thick socks came into play. Not too noticeable with a skirt that nearly touches the ground, and I was able to dance the night away in total comfort.

My toe stopped hurting the next day as suddenly as it had begun, in case you were concerned. 🙂

What’s your opinion on Halloween imagery in Goth fashion? Love it, hate it, or somewhere in between?

Surprisingly Purple

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Sometimes I think I’m going to run out of interesting outfits to post, you guys will get bored and then no one will read my blog any more. Seriously, when you wear all black, it gets difficult to come up with unique ideas regularly. When choosing my latest club outfit, I was having a rough time because I wanted to do something I’d never done before. So I wore all purple.

I paired one of my silk blouses from Bebe that I’ve shown you before with the purple version of my Speigle Daytime Satin skirt, and topped it off with a stunning purple panel corset from Timeless Trends (also seen on this blog before). I think I successfully demonstrated how the same pieces can be remixed to create drastically different looks. This corset is quickly becoming one of my favorites, as it is incredibly comfortable and so well made!

And I sure stood out at the club. Unfortunately, thanks to all the red lights, no one could tell that I was wearing all purple. But they definitely could tell “it wasn’t black.”

Do you ever wear mostly non-black outfits to Goth events? If so, is it an attempt to stand out amongst the crowd or just to satisfy a personal need for variety?

Monthly Homework Assignment for January: Ice, Frost and Snow

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Le Professeur’s Monthly Homework Assignment for January was to create a post inspired by ice, frost and/or snow. Several ideas rushed into my head for frosty outfits, but in the end I chose to go with ice. We don’t get a lot of snow or frost in Southern California, but there was once a time when Hollywood loved to sparkle like ice. As you have probably noticed, I love to pay tribute to that era whenever I can.

This whole outfit is built around the fabulous necklace, a Christmas gift from my friend Jennifer. The dangling rhinestone reminded me of icicles. Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me a timely piece of inspiration!

Of course, once I had my heart set on wearing rhinestones, I went all out. I haven’t glued things to my forehead in years, and I found I kinda missed it. 🙂 I even swapped out my usual hoop earrings for something much fancier. My eyeshadow is a shimmery white from Ben Nye’s Lumiere luxe powder collection (plus my usual Ben Nye black pressed shadow in the crease).

The metallic mesh purse is from a random mall store. It was the perfect companion for all of my icy sparkle, and a little frosty in its own right.