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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Gothy hair extensions

Goth and Industrial hair extensions, falls and accessories are a great way of changing your look from day to day, as well as being more extreme in variants of colour, style, material and texture than any form of traditional hair extensions. No ‘natural look’ here!

Cold Cyber Princess by ~TheTerrorCat
They are very often home-made with supplies bought from craft stores, although companies like Plastikhaar and HeadRazor specialise in these accessories. Popular synthetic materials for falls are plastic, wire, wool, foam, tubing, and of course synthetic hair/dreads (although human hair dreads are also sometimes used).

Here's a brief guide to the various types of extensions available.

Clip-on falls.These are quite the simplest kind of fall available, and merely clip on over a ponytail with a crocodile or claw clip. Therefore they can be instantly attached or removed. These falls are available in all kinds of styles, and are usually sold in pairs so that they can be worn on either side in pigtails. They are usually made from synthetic hair. They are simple to attach but may fall (no pun intended!) off if the clip is not good quality or your ponytail is thin.

Tie-in falls.These falls are attached to a ponytail band or ribbon so that they can be tied in over your own hair. These are often in cyber or industrial styles – see Miss Needles for examples. Again, these are usually sold in pairs. They can be very heavy.

Clip-in fringes or streaks.Does exactly what it says on the can. You can also get fake fringes (aka bangs) on a hairband. This is a good way to update your look without going for the chop, but it might look obviously fake unless it's good quality.

Pinch-braided falls.
Pinch-braiding is when the synthetic materials are braided into your real hair. This allows the hair to be snipped off when you want to try something new. Be sure to track down a certified stylist for this.

Synthetic dreads.Synthetic dreadlocks are temporary and can be removed without damage to your own hair. They can be quite expensive as they take longer to attach than other types of extension. It might be worth learning how to do your own if you have the time and patience.

The most usual method of applying dreads is braiding your real hair, then wrapping each braid round and round with synthetic hair and sealing into place with heat and/or glue. At this stage they are known as ‘sticks’ or ‘silky dreads’. For more realistic dreads, the surface of the wrapped ‘stick’ can be teased to give a more matted appearance, or the piece of wrapping hair can be back-combed before it is wrapped round the underlying braid. You can either braid all your own hair first, then use separate pieces of hair to wrap around the braids, or, you can use just one piece of looped-over extension hair to make the entire dread.

If your own hair is quite short, you can simply have synthetic hair braided into your own hair until it’s as long as you want the dreads to be. This method involves no damage to your real hair, since it’s all tucked away inside the dread. When you get fed up of the dreads, you just snip the end of the synthetic part off, unwrap the dread and un-pick the braid underneath. The biggest drawback with this style is that it can be painfully heavy – that’s a lot of hair attached to your poor head! These can also be the most expensive style of all.

Semi-permanent hair extensions.These hair extensions can be made from synthetic fibres or real human hair and are glued onto thin strands of your own hair. They come in loads of amazing colours, and you can have various styles done with them - a full head of extensions to give length and volume, or bright streaks of colour. They have to be applied by a professional, which can be pricey, but they last for six to eight months. If you choose human hair extensions, you can do anything with them that you can with your own hair - hairdrying, straightening etc. Synthetic extensions can be hard work as they hang dead straight and as such can look very unnatural, plus you can't use any heated styling equipment on them.

Braids.
Braiding synthetic hair into your real hair is an easy and relatively cheap way to extend your hair. Braids are also one of the easiest styles to DIY – all you need is strong arms, several packets of synthetic hair, and time! You might also need someone to help you with the ones round the back...

Goth gossip: Fans of The Cruxshadows are probably aware that frontman Rogue and his wife, fellow band member Jessica, have been expecting a baby... the sonogram was posted on the CXS news page in December, but there has been no word since - does anyone have any updates on the arrival status of the bouncing baby Cruxshadow?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

FaerieWorlds and FaerieCon

Many conventions and festivals in countries all over the globe are either popular with Goths, despite not being Goth-specific, and/or are considered to be welcoming and friendly to even the most unusual-looking of us darkly-clad spooksters. Many of the most Goth-beloved cons include anime and comic events, steampunk events, horror expos and faerie fests.

Every time I come online this summer I seem to discover a new faerie fest, which are, obviously, events and gatherings dedicated to faeries and the faerie subculture. A lot of Goths are interested in faerie, be it via folklore, aesthetics, or something as simple as modern faerie fashion (which reminds me, I bought the sweetest white fairy wings last fortnight for - get this - £3.50!).

Some of the biggest events are those which take place annually - for example FaerieWorlds in Oregon, 'the premier mythic music festival on the West Coast'.

For me, the big draw of FaerieWorlds is the sheer amount of stuff going on - from artists and musicians to entertainers, and even an arts and crafts vending village, I can't imagine there being a single boring moment. Plus, faerie events are a wonderful excuse to dress up in one's most spectacular finery.

But those on the East Coast should not despair - FaerieWorlds has a sister event, FaerieCon, taking place annually in Maryland. I think their own website describes it best: "Array yourself in your most beautiful faerie finery, don your wings, gather your friends and family and cross the threshold! Once inside, you will find the largest gathering of faerie artists and authors in the world who look forward to meeting you, amazing, magical apparel, beautiful jewelry, mysterious masks, handmade crafts, fashion shows, performers, musicians, storytellers, exhibitions, panel and workshops.

"And at night, the gates of Faerie open once more at the Good Faerie and Bad Faerie Masquerade Balls, acclaimed the last two years as the astounding highlight of FaerieCon. Look deep into your heart: are you a Good Faerie or are you a Bad Faerie? Make your choice, create your costume, and dance the night away in the Magical Realm.

"Surrender to the glamour of faerie and join us!"

Doesn't this look AMAZING?!

Goth-friendly attendees at this year's FaerieCon include artist Amy Brown, the band Qntal who will be playing at this year's Bad Faeries' Ball, faerie musician Priscilla Hernandez and author Melissa Marr (a personal favourite). Previous performers at FaerieCon and FaerieWorlds include the bands Faun and Rasputina.

P.S. So I'm thinking I'm probably going to take the plunge and shave my eyebrows off today, I'm sick of constantly plucking to keep them thin, a nice clean shave would be so much easier. I'm just terrified I won't be able to draw them on right again! But if I can do it, anyone can, so I'll let you know how it goes. :-)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Vampire: Prince of Dorkness

Parajunkee's View Vampire Challenge, Review #10 - Diary of a Wimpy Vampire: Prince of Dorkness by Tim Collins

Warning: may contain spoilers

"You see all those vampire fans mooning around with their pale foundation and black clothes, but if they had any idea what it's really like, they'd jack it all in and take up stamp collecting instead," - Nigel Mullet.

Having only read a couple of chapters of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the series that this mash-up by Tim Collins affectionately mocks, I can still say, unfortunately, that I prefer the Wimpy Kid to the Wimpy Vampire. Unfortunately-named teen vamp Nigel Mullet has that whiny, pseudo-intellectual Adrian Mole thing going on, which got on my nerves after, oh, three pages. However, I read almost the whole thing with a smile on my face.

Prince of Dorkness is the second book in this series, and I picked it up in the library whilst looking for some light-hearted reading material for a train journey. It is certainly a long stretch from the beautiful, romantic, dangerous vampires of Anne Rice and Poppy Z. Brite - Nigel is squeamish about biting people and prefers to have his vampire parents fetch blood for him; also his trials and tribulations include P.E. lessons, trying to stop his girlfriend Chloe getting ideas from paranormal romance novels, and acne.

The main plot concerning Nigel's rivalry with unibrowed werewolf Jason was, for me, certainly not the best or funniest part of the book - I preferred random comic moments such as Nigel losing his vampire powers when about to perform a supernatural acrobatic routine at the school talent show, the school Goth gang discovering religion, and cringing at the excerpts from Nigel's attempts at writing vampire fiction.

Nigel, despite being massively annoying, is oddly endearing - I expect most teens with siblings will be able to empathise with his family 'troubles', whether they drink blood or not. However, books like Prince of Dorkness demonstrate aptly how much vampire fiction has changed since the pre-Twilight era - Bram Stoker wouldn't know what to make of it!

Nonetheless, overall a very funny book. Despite the title I still feel it has more in common with the Adrian Mole series than the Wimpy Kid books, but young fans of vampire-lite cheesy fun such as Vampire Kisses are likely to enjoy it. Not the best I've read for this challenge, but it made me laugh out loud a couple of times and certainly wasn't bad.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Goth beauty: dramatic eyebrows, part two

Welcome to part two of my 'Goth eyebrows' mini-series - as promised, tips, tricks and techniques for drawing on your brows if you've shaved them off (or if, like me, your natural eyebrows are thin, fair, and invisible to the naked eye). If you missed the first post, you can find it here.

Your new brows can take any shape that you like... for a clubbing or festival look, many Goths like to have an extreme diagonal arch up the forehead, as demonstrated by Adora BatBrat in this helpful (and cute!) tutorial vid. Please be careful with those scissors!


As you can tell from this video, possibly the best and most common tool for drawing on new brows is simply liquid or gel eyeliner - you can also use felt tip liner but be warned, it might smudge easier and the line is likely to be thicker and possibly blobby. You will need steady hands but this will come with practice - it may be worth experimenting with liquid liner for a while before shaving off your eyebrows or you could end up with a disaster on your hands on the first day of college...

There are, however, plenty of other options. Because I do have eyebrows, albeit very fine ones, I like to draw on my brows with a soft black eyebrow pencil. This allows for a more natural daytime look whilst still being very thin and hopefully dramatic. Keep your pencil sharp for a precise, defined line, or allow it to soften for a natural look (preferable for school or work).

My brows
If you have fair or fine brows, you can also use an eyeshadow a shade or two lighter than your hair colour to define them - or, if you have unnaturally-dyed hair or coloured streaks in your hair, e.g. purple or blue, you can use a matching eyeshadow colour. (You can, of course, use a coloured eyeliner to draw on your eyebrows if you have no brows at all.) It's surprising how creative you can actually be with eyebrows! One of my favourite tips is from the Green Fairy, who paints her brows on with green glitter make-up.
If using eyeshadow or glitter, use a fine and slightly damp brush to paint on the shape that you want (this is where it's handy to have a fine natural brow that you can use for guidance). It may be helpful to rest your elbow on a flat surface to stop your line wobbling.

To create that smooth even line with whichever medium you choose, mark where you would like your eyebrows to begin - do try to make it level! It sounds obvious, but I tend to tilt my head like a curious bird when doing my make-up which often leaves me with wonky brows...

As you begin drawing, you may find it comfortable to rest your hand against your cheek bone, brow bone or even against the edge of your mirror if you're standing. If you draw the line too thick, don't worry - use a damp cotton bud to wipe away any excess. Matching your brows is the hardest part, but this comes with practice, and is easier with an eyebrow pencil than liquid liner. Just take your time to start with and don't panic if you can't get them EXACTLY even - most people's eyebrows are not precisely symmetrical anyway.

If you get caught out with a broken pencil or run out of liquid liner, you can in a pinch use a kohl pencil as a quick fix. This is far from ideal as the line is usually too dark and too smudgy - run a cotton bud over it to pick up any excess, then pat liberally with your usual face powder to lighten. Fix with hairspray if you have some handy.

Job interview? Tentacles and Teacups comes to the rescue with this great tutorial for drawing on natural-looking brows. ;-)

You can achieve an almost endless variety of looks with drawn-on brows. Here are a few to inspire you:
Source: Photobucket
Yes, this is a 100% unisex make-up tutorial... lack of eyebrows is definitely one Goth make-up trend that the gentlemen of the scene can definitely get in on... there is of course the no-eyebrows-whatsoever aesthetic pioneered by shock rocker Wednesday 13, but that hardly requires a tips-and-tricks page, now, does it?
Source: YouTube
An extreme arch creates an exciting look.
Source: misssuperstar.tumblr.com
Goth Goddess of Tumblr, Miss Superstar ("Being beautiful is defined by how I am feeling not by your perceptions,"), has the most gorgeous diamante brows (argh. I plowed through Tumblr for two hours to find this pic. Not even kidding).
Source: Tumblr
One of the best things about shaving your eyebrows is being able to incorporate them into some seriously dramatic make-up looks, as demonstrated by Razor Candi.
Source: We Heart It
Spiderwebs, dots, curliques and other designs give extra interest to your make-up look - just practise, practise, practise before you leave the house!

And last but most definitely not least, the undoubted Queen of Spooky Brows has to be Mrs. Neil Gaiman herself, the badass Amanda Palmer:
Source: Google Images
This woman has the most incredible liquid-liner skills I have EVER seen. Amanda, we salute you.

Well goodnight darklings, I've been really ill this week so I'm kinda proud of myself for keeping up with blogging - I can't even see Dan because one of his close relatives has a severely low immune system so he can't visit when I'm sick. :-( Been feeling rubbish since Wednesday so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day! Thanks for reading. ^^

Friday, 24 June 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: casual Goth

Casual Goth is, if I might make so bold, a fashion subset that all of us dabble with from necessity at one time or another - some of us when just starting out in the Goth scene, some due to school, college or lifestyle, and some simply from preference.

Source: Google
Of course, casual Goth probably means something different to each of us, but staples are likely to include black jeans, some plain black skirts of varying length, a simple, sturdy pair of black boots (many younger Goths wear Converse-style canvas boots as part of their casual attire), some black T-shirts (band T-shirts and slogan T-shirts being obviously the most popular), a jacket, hoodie or blazer, and accessories such as armwarmers, necklaces, tights and studded or bondage belts.

Hair and make-up are usually kept simple - a smoky eye and nude lip are often sufficient for this look, whilst low-maintenance, low-fuss hairdos such as pigtails or ponytails, or just leaving your hair to do its own thing, are the ticket.

Brand name pieces can be useful for a casual look on those days when you've just rolled out of bed and need to get going pronto, but beware - too many brand pieces together tends to be obvious and creates an image more mallgoth than casual. Brands which do a handy-dandy selection of casual streetwear include Spiral, Criminal Damage (nowadays more scene/emo style than Goth, but they still have some nice pieces), Hell Bunny, XS Punk and Living Dead Souls. But just to reiterate, I would advise mixing-and-matching with thrift store or army surplus pieces to show that you didn't just buy an Insta-Goth Kit. (This also means less stress on your wallet!)
The essence of casual Goth, basically, is to pare your dramatic wardrobe down to the most practical essentials whilst still keeping that sense of dark style. As I've said before, most of us can't wear bustles and corsets from day-to-day, but that doesn't mean that we don't want to look like ourselves and keep our personal style intact. If corpgoth is the go-to look for the working Goth, casual Goth is best suited for the darkling attending college or uni.

Juliet's Lace has a lovely article about casual Goth fashion which I highly recommend that you check out.

Goth gossip: Throbbing Gristle's record label, the infamous Industrial Records, has been 'officially re-activated' and has re-released TG's entire back catalogue.

P.S. No, I haven't forgotten about the upcoming closet culling, if I may pinch a phrase from Gothic Charm School. I'm just waiting to get a decent camera and work out some sensible postage charges for overseas. Current goodies include a velvet blazer, a Cyberdog tank top, and a pleated tartan mini. ;-)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Dreams Divide, Killing For Company and Die So Fluid, Southampton, 5.3.11

I have a tendency to overdress, and heading to Southampton to see female-fronted metal act Die So Fluid with my best girl Jo was no exception.

Jo and me in my kitchen pre-gig. That's my natural look. ;-)
Before the show we settled down with a bottle of cider each, little realising that the guys we were sitting by were members of support act Killing For Company. D'oh. (However, we ended up sitting by one of the guitarists later on - apparently he told Jo she was pretty. ^^ )
Mmm, strawberry cider goodness!
As we were some of the first people to arrive we managed to settle ourselves on a bench quite close to the stage. However this was pretty much wasted effort - as the first band, electro-Industrial act Dreams Divide, took the stage, it only took a couple of bouncy notes to catapult me onto the dance floor. ;-)

This was Dreams Divide's first gig and I was majorly impressed, I really enjoyed their set. I was shocked when the vocalist, David, announced that this was their first ever show - the performance was polished and energetic. Not to mention, their music was really catchy and great to dance to, I will definitely be downloading their album as soon as I get some cash!

Some crappy pictures of an awesome band... I really should upgrade my cameraphone. :-/
Between sets we had a good giggle at the DJ, who was wearing sunglasses indoors *rolls eyes*.

Dreams Divide had been an extremely pleasant surprise; I would definitely peg them as an up-and-coming act worth checking out. I was less impressed, (sadly, because they seemed like nice lads) by Killing For Company - don't get me wrong, they were talented musicians, just not to my tastes.

They are described as 'alternative rock', but I didn't think they were especially exciting. Nothing about their music really caught my attention; ten minutes later I couldn't remember a single riff or lyric. Judging from rave reviews I have read online, however, I'm probably in a minority, so if Lostprophets-meets-Nirvana-meets-Stereophonics sounds appealing to you, go check them out. ^^


Die So Fluid arrived on stage to thunderous applause, and within ten minutes the area directly in front of the stage was a mass of writhing bodies. Singer Grog looked beyond fantastic in some sort of holographic catsuit (!) with feathered shoulders, and seemed cheerful and chatty, happy to banter with the audience. One fan had apparently been travelling around all the way from Wales to catch every show on this tour.

Die So Fluid's alt metal sound has built a good reputation for the band amongst the UK alt scene, and it was good to hear them play a mix of audience favourites from their three albums, with most of the standout tracks coming from their newest release The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime.

Grog's vocals are incredible - strong, raucous, but oddly melodic - and do more than justice to the strangely poetic lyrics, which often cite folklore and mythology, suiting what several other online reviewers have described as an 'epic' sound.

The set seemed to be over very quickly, although this may have just seemed so because it was such an outstanding show. Thinking back, they did pack plenty of songs into what seemed to be a short space of time.

Sadly we had to leave immediately after the performance so we missed out on the meet-and-greet, but this was one of the liveliest shows I have been to for a while and certainly Grog has the best attitude towards the audience, very friendly and down-to-earth even whilst on stage. Definitely a ten-out-of-ten show, what a great night!

Jo has a theory that Grog and I look alike. I think it's just the hair. What do you think?



Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Goths and ignorance, part two

The second thing that has annoyed me lately is a thread on Yahoo Answers. Or rather, the comment, "A Muslim Goth... there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Muslims cannot be Goth."


I am already aware that there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding Goths and race, let alone religion. In fact, I was recently having lunch with someone I'm very close to, who remarked, during a conversation about this blog, "You should find out if there are any black or ethnic minority Goths," and then laughed. :-/

But I find it irritating that people whom, as far as I can tell, are neither Muslim nor Goth, feel able to comment with such arrogant authority on a subject they clearly know nothing about.

I would have thought that it was up to the individual to decide whether their faith, be it Islam, Christianity, or any other, was incompatible with Goth culture.

Goth, as it happens, is highly versatile, and I suspect that a lot of Goths from many religions find this helpful when integrating Goth fashion with their own culture. Goth can be modest - you don't have to show any more skin than you feel is acceptable, it doesn't have to be skintight or revealing - it can be understated and simple, it doesn't have to involve any symbols such as crosses or pentacles.

And you're most definitely not 'less Goth' if you wear a hijab, for goodness sake! Part of the point of Goth fashion, and the reason why it is so wide-ranging and varied in style, is because it can be, and should be, adapted in any way to suit the person who wants to wear it.
Source: Google Images
A Goth Muslima... yes, they exist.
I have a theory that many people who follow a religion and who are also intrigued by Goth are uncomfortable about integrating the two because they have heard some of the typical myths about Goth: you must be a Satanist, you must listen to Marilyn Manson or some form of anti-Christian or anti-religious music, you must file your teeth into points or drink blood.

Well, none of the above are true.

Anyone can be Goth. Yes, anyone. Any size, age, race, religion, gender, ability, sexuality, nationality, etc. Goth is not specifically 'for' white people, atheists, women, skinny people or people without disabilities. It's a subculture, not an exclusive club with a dress code.

Goths and ignorance, part one

Happy belated Solstice, everyone!


Following on from my recent post about how the mainstream misunderstands the Goth subculture, I have been discovering a lot of ridiculousness online lately relating to Goth (more than usual, anyway), so before I get off my high horse and stop complaining about how people insist on maligning an entire group of people they know nothing about, may I present a two-part rant about the things that, lately, have annoyed me the most.
Tumblr_lmviwplarc1qkvquho1_500_large
Source: We Heart It
Firstly, when I posted about the horrendous 'Goth kittens' debacle in abovementioned previous post, you guys were understandably sickened and not a little outraged. However, I was alerted by Siouxsie Law to an extraordinary article on Above the Law, which Siouxsie tells me is usually a brilliant website and boasts thousands of hits a day. (Check out Siouxsie's post on the subject for a far more balanced view than mine.)

Staci Zaretsky, when writing about the Goth kittens case, had obviously read some different articles to the rest of us, as she decided that the kitten-piercing lunatic at the centre of the case was - yes, you've guessed it - a Goth. Now, there is no evidence anywhere to back this up, save for a brief mention in some article or another that the woman has a single facial piercing. Last I checked, it took a little more than a hole in the face to qualify someone for Gothdom, otherwise all those eyebrow-pierced chavs in my hometown are in for a nasty shock.

Just to clarify: Holly Crawford, crazy kitten piercer, is not a Goth. (If she was, she probably would have known enough about the values that most of us hold to realise that no other Goths would be interested in buying mutilated kittens off eBay.)

Now, for your displeasure, here are my top quotes from Staci Zaretsky's rude and poorly-researched article 'Piercing Your Cat Will Not Make You Better At Being A Goth'. (Well, I can't argue with the title, at least.)

1. "If you want to look like the latest incarnation of Boy George, and thereby make your family embarrassed to be around you, then go for it."

Gee. I'm glad you feel entitled to make these kinds of comments regarding the family lives of thousands of people whom you know nothing about. Families who know that their spooky kids are still just people are probably embarrassed by this article.

2. "Your kittens don’t have daddy issues like you do…"

Leaving aside for the moment how highly offensive this is, why don't we make nasty comments about an entire subculture based on the actions of one extremely stupid woman?

3. "Crawford was found guilty of animal cruelty, and then sentenced to six months of house arrest, followed by probation. But Crawford decided that she didn’t want to spend six months at home. I guess she was afraid that her CD player would break and she wouldn’t be able to listen to The Cure on repeat all day, every day. Or maybe she just didn’t have enough Manic Panic hair dye to survive for that long all on her own."

Again, judging a subculture instead of a person. I do hope that Staci felt silly when it was pointed out to her that actually, Crawford isn't a Goth, and all of these vitriolic comments were a little bit wasted.

4. "And so, as logic would properly dictate (at least for those of you whose faces don’t jingle when you walk), you cannot pierce your cat in Pennsylvania."

Right, so the implication here would be that Goths with facial piercings are stupid? Well, at least we don't write insulting articles bitching - irrelevantly, as it turns out - about an entire subculture, because we have the nous to realise that some people might actually find that offensive.

Now, the nicest thing about this whole affair is that when Staci was alerted by Siouxsie Law to the fact that she had got some major issues seriously wrong, she posted an apology via Twitter (although I do feel that some sort of addendum or better yet, some heavy editing, should be applied to the original article).

Staci doesn't seem like a bad sort overall, but what irks me about all of this is that had this article been about any other group in society, e.g. Muslims, the elderly, cheerleaders, Asians or women, there would have been massive uproar. The fact is, websites and newspapers with thousands upon thousands of readers have almost free rein to imply or say straight-up anything whatsoever about Goths, but if Above the Law's comment, 'no one cared about most Goth kids when they were growing up' (and FYI, I think my parents would be quite upset about that ill-judged remark - as would Goths reading it who do have family issues, or who, for example, grew up in foster care...) had been applied to, say, black kids - can you imagine the legal fiasco that would probably have ensued?

Excuse me, we're people too... which is something I wish people would remember before they go posting rubbish all over the media.

Goth gossip: Actor Mel Gibson's latest squeeze is being referred to all over the interwebs as a 'Goth chick', which I wouldn't mind so much if many of the articles I've spotted weren't subtly poking fun at Mel's taste in women. Anyway, his Grecian girlfriend Stella Mouzi is a fetish model and, like most fetish models, has been photographed wearing such Gothy staples as corsets, PVC and oddly-coloured lipstick. However, snaps of her off-the-job reveal that, visually at least, she's not much of a Goth.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Adventures in corpgoth

So you may remember when I started my new temp job back at the office (my last day was Friday) I was determined not to fall into the jeans-and-T-shirts trap of tiredness and boredom and instead create a reasonably stylish corpgoth look for myself. It's probably fair to say that I failed. For the first couple of weeks I managed to get up on time and pull together a reasonably attractive and Gothy outfit, but for the latter half of my contract that extra half-hour in bed became more important than stripy socks or lacy cardigans, although I did at least manage to apply make-up every day, which was an improvement.

However I am learning, and I think that next time the trick will be to make sure that I own enough bits and bobs that I can mix-and-match each day without actually having to think about it; i.e. go shopping at Heavy Red and Qutieland and snap up some gorgeous blouses. A dressy blouse or shirt looks far more pulled-together than a T-shirt and would have done the plain black trousers that I ended up wearing every day (at least it wasn't jeans this time) a whole lot of favours, particularly if the blouse happens to be lace-trimmed, brocade or velvet.

I did take pics of my outfits daily for the first couple of weeks, but as they became more boring I stopped bothering. :-/ Oh, and some of my corpgoth attempts were, shall we say, not winners, so I won't post those here either. But there were some outfits that I was quite pleased with:

This was what I wore for the interview at the job agency.
Shirt: found in a skip (I know, I'm a hobo...)
Watch: Punkyfish at Argos, gift
Waistcoat (green velveteen, yummy): charity shop, £4
Trousers: Bon Prix, £12
Necklace: charity shop, £1.50
Belt: charity shop, £3.50
Trousers: as above
Shoes: from my mum
T-shirt: Panic! at the Disco concert
Bracelet: Simone's Jewellery, £15
Necklace (vampire fangs): Claire's, £4
Blazer: Travelling Trends fashion show, £13
Skirt: charity shop, £3.99
Shoes: as above
Scarf: Primark, £4
Edward Scissorhands T-shirt: gift
Blazer: Raven, £35
Socks: charity shop, £1.50
Maribou-trimmed cardigan: £30, Bon Marche
Necklace: gift from Dan <3
Purple vest: Tesco, £2
Charm bracelet: bought it from a group of Goth and Lolita girls at a school Christmas market in Basingstoke.
Skinny jeans: Primark, £7
Belt (Levi's): skip, again.
Trousers: as above
Belt: as above
Jumper: Primark, £4
Necklace: Claire's, £4
Jumper: £4, charity shop
Skirt: £5, vintage store
Stockings: £1.50, charity shop
Heels: £4, charity shop
Necklace: £4, Claire's
Jumper: Tesco, £6
Skinny jeans: as above
Uggs: charity shop, £3
Belt: as above
Silk scarf: £18, Mooch...
Tunic: £4, charity shop
Necklace: gift
Worn with black bootcut jeans.
An obligatory office-bathroom-mirror photo. With hindsight, closing the stall doors would have been adviseable. :-P I like to call this look, "Help, a giant corsage is eating my head."
Corsage: £1.50, Primark
Necklace: £1.50, Primark
Jumper: £4, Primark
Belt: £35, some alt shop in Southampton
Trousers: as above.

Well, that's probably enough of me for today. Thanks for reading. ^^

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dark and Goth-friendly music #12: trip hop, Mittelalter and more

Yup, I still have yet more content for these music posts... just as a reminder, we are now in the spectrum of 'genres and bands which may not be specifically Goth, but that are popular within the Goth scene'.

Trip hop
Trip hop is a form of downtempo electronic music and has inspired many Goth-beloved artists such as Collide. It developed from the hip hop and house music scenes and is characterised by a bass-heavy drumbeat, breakbeat rhythms, a mellow tempo, female-dominant vocals and often - this bit is key, I reckon - a melancholy and surreal aesthetic. Many trip hop artists were inspired by post-punk bands - Tricky and Massive Attack, for example, have covered and sampled songs from Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure - and have in turn inspired bands such as Nine Inch Nails.

Trip hop and trip hop-inspired Goth-friendly bands include: Massive Attack, Portishead (who provided the audio for the tear-jerker animation created by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation), Hungry Lucy, Lunascape, Collide, Antimatter.

New Age
New Age music is an umbrella term for styles of music that are considered to be relaxing and artistically inspiring. Samples of nature sounds and hypnotic, repetitive melodies are often used. Much New Age music features Native American, Tibetan or Gregorian chanting, with the latter being especially popular amongst the black-clad throng. Lyrics may be based on mythology, such as Celtic legend or Faerie folklore.

Goth-friendly New Age musicians include: Enigma, Enya, Tori Amos, Deep Forest, Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard, Loreena McKennitt.

Source: Photobucket
Tribal belly dance music
Many Goths are interested in bellydance, particularly Gothic and tribal fusion styles. Therefore it's no surprise that a lot of Goths enjoy listening to the music that accompanies such styles of dance. In fact, Goth model Wednesday Mourning is reportedly a fan of Beats Antique.

Tribal fusion musicians include: Beats Antique, Jehan, Pentaphobe, Mosavo, The Upper Egypt Ensemble.

Pagan rock
Pagan rock is created by and/or for those who follow occult, Pagan and neo-Pagan faiths or traditions; the definition is also sometimes stretched to include bands whose music is enjoyed and embraced by modern Pagans, such as Goth rock band Faith and the Muse. Bands making this type of music often address occult themes and may use Pagan imagery in their lyrics and artwork.

Bands which are or have been defined as 'Pagan rock' include: Inkubus Sukkubus, Cauda Pavonis, The Dreamside, Faun, Qntal, Rhea's Obsession, The Shroud, Turisas, Unto Ashes, In Extremo, Aesma Daeva (most of these bands are also considered 'Goth').

Medieval rock
In the last edition of this music gide, I mentioned 'medieval' bands. Fans of those bands may also enjoy bands which come under the subgenre of 'medieval rock', aka 'medieval metal' or 'Mittelalter'. I will later be touching on genres of metal which many Goths enjoy (stop looking at me like that, tradgoths, there IS plenty of crossover nowadays between Goth and metal - one look at the WGT line-up for any given year proves that), but Mittelalter enjoys possibly the most crossover as one can usually admit to listening to it without any tradgoth eye-rolling.

This genre of music blends hard rock or heavy metal music with Medieval folk music and emerged from Germany in the 90s. It is often characterised by the use of traditional folk and Medieval instruments.

Mittelalter bands include: Corvus Corax, Subway to Sally, In Extremo, Schandmaul, Tanzwut, Morgernstern, Schattentantz, Letzte Instanz, Cultus Ferox, Saltatio Mortis.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Guest post: A Goth's guide to miniskirts

Amy says: I'm sure you all remember Claire, who was my first ever guest poster on this blog. You can now also find Claire at Mad Girl Anachronisms. All photos belong to Claire and are used with her permission.

Here is a simple guide for wearing miniskirts. Some of it might seem like common sense, but hopefully it will provide you with inspiration and some helpful reminders.

- There's no need to ignore miniskirts all winter. If you wear thick tights or leggings under it you should be plenty warm.
  • While flowing, loose-fitting skirts will blow around in the wind, fitted skirts made of thicker fabrics will not. Here's an example of a windy day skirt:
  • Don’t wear a mini without tights if you’re going to sit in a hot car with leather seats. If it’s unavoidable, bring something to sit on that won’t leave a funny pattern on your thighs.
  • If you’re not wearing tights, or you’re wearing tights that are fishnet or lace, make sure to put sunscreen on. Nothing is more annoying than using body glue to keep your lacey thigh-highs in place and then realizing you forgot sunscreen.
  • If you’re going to wear a mini to take a walk in the woods or something similar:
- Don’t wear delicate fabrics such as satin
- Don’t wear anything with ribbons or d-rings hanging off of it (you might get caught on a tree if you do)
  • When checking to see if a skirt is too short, make sure you can walk up stairs without your bum showing (unless that doesn’t bother you of course, to each their own).
  • If it is too short, try wearing another skirt or a petticoat under it. This will also add some lovely volume.

Minis are versatile and can be used for all styles of goth fashion, such as:
  • Steampunk
  • Trad goth
  • Perky goth

Friday, 17 June 2011

Goth misunderstood

I hate to get all 'people just DON'T underSTAND me because I'm SPOOKY' and whatever (most of the time, anyway), and particularly following yesterday's Goths-behaving-badly post I can see the irony, but I have noticed a few articles and whatnot popping up over the web lately (thanks to SpookyWebs, I now seem to be a lot more in-touch with all the latest tidbits of news) that prove just how little the mainstream understands Goth as a subculture.

I think I can sum up this lack of understanding with two examples.

1. The case of the Gothic kittens.
I believe I mentioned in a former post (wayback when) that a woman in Pennsylvania had been taken to court for piercing kittens (yes, unfortunately you did read that right) and attempting to flog them on eBay as 'Goth kittens'. Which is sick in SO many ways. For starters, don't you have to be massively psycho to stick a needle in an animal (vets excepted)?!

Thankfully, this week the news broke that this dumb bint has been convicted of animal cruelty - and the kittens, you will be pleased to know, have gone on to lead happy and healthy cat lives.

Now, the reason this shows a lack of understanding of Goth culture (or so I feel) is this: the target market, surely, for something advertised as 'Goth' would be, that's right, Goths. But no Goth in their right mind would cheerfully purchase an animal that had been tortured; and would certainly not endorse such an act.

Other attempts to make money out of Goth as a consumer market, most considerably less disturbing than the case of the Goth kittens, have misfired due to a similar lack of understanding of Goth. The movie Queen of the Damned, for example, went down like a lead balloon amongst a large portion of members of the scene because Goth is not actually about blood, sex, and rock music. Stamping spooky 'Satanic' symbols all over something is not going to automatically make Goths want to buy it, neither is blood, guts, violence and fetishism simply for shock value.

Goths tend to actually appreciate aesthetic merit and some form of poignancy, satire, wit or intelligence, rather than just painting it black, piercing it and giving it a death metal soundtrack *rolls eyes*.

Also, just because it has vampires on it, does not mean we will buy it.

Amanda Tea
Source: Tumblr
2. The classical music divide.
This year's Wave Gotik Treffen happened to coincide with Leipzig's festival dedicated to the classical composer Bach. Shock! Horror! The media came up with such catchy phrases as 'world collide!' But actually, as the organiser of the Bach festival points out, "The Wave Goth Meeting is a good extension of the Bach festival and vice versa, and a lot of the Goth fans come also to listen to the classical concerts."

What?! You mean spooky and black-clad doesn't mean uncultured heathens? But... but surely leather jackets and skulls must mean that we spit in the street and swear at little old ladies! We're tough! We're scary! We're... well, not, actually. In fact a lot of us like things such as lace, tea, books, quiet churches, and music incorporating piano or violins. But doesn't that sound like someone who might enjoy classical music? Duh.

This sort of misunderstanding of Goths and their often surprisingly refined musical palette was demonstrated ably in Glasgow a few years back when staff at the Gallery of Modern Art played classical music to deter Goth kids from lurking on the gallery steps in large groups. They were most surprised when the attempt only encouraged more of the black-clad types to congregate.

Perhaps they should have played the Spice Girls instead.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Goths arrested for desecrating cemetery

In April, Russian Goths arranged Night Walks in the Severnoye Cemetery, which to me sounds like a lovely idea and something somebody in the UK should certainly organise. Unfortunately, this charming event has resulted in disaster, with three Goths being arrested for grave desecration.

Severnoye Cemetery
Source: Google Images
I don't know about you guys, but I'm shocked by this - I know you get assholes everywhere, in every subset and counterculture and cross-section of society, but I just can't understand why members of a subculture who, on the whole, find cemeteries a beautiful, welcoming and peaceful would choose to damage about 40 - yes, 40 - gravestones, including those of soldiers.

A sarcastic well done to these three idiots, who have not only brought further shame and suspicion on Goth culture in a country where legislation to outlaw Goth music had already been considered, but have now put those of us who do enjoy spending quiet, peaceful time in cemeteries, doing harm to nothing and no one, also under suspicion.

I would like to point out to any non-Goths reading this that the majority of the members of Goth culture would be appalled at such behaviour, and ask them not to judge this majority by the actions of a stupid few.

Goth gossip: NIN frontman Trent Reznor raised $645,000 for treatment for an ill fan by selling exclusive VIP tickets to the band's last tour, including (for varying prices) backstage passes and dinner with the band. Go Trent! (This was back in 2009 FYI, old news!)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives 1

Hey, new thing! Check out the sidebar for SpookyWebs Daily, a curation widget featuring dark culture news, articles, free downloads, vids and more, selected by me from around the web. There will be different content daily (hence name) or at least, that is the plan. But free downloads and relevant Goth gossip will still be linked in general posts so you don't have to worry about missing anything...! Let me know if you think SpookyWebs should stay! (Or if the animation is annoying and I should turn it off...)

Parajunkee's View Vampire Reading Challenge, Review #9 - Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives 1 by Ellen Schreiber and REM

Warning: may contain spoilers

Ah, what can I say about Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses series? Delightfully cheesy, vampire-boy-meets-Goth-girl fun that makes the fourteen-year-old mallgoth in me clap her hands with glee and my nineteen-year-old getting-there self roll my eyes affectionately. Hey, I even interviewed Ellen Schreiber herself for Mookychick a little while back... (shameless self-promotion...).

Naturally I was thrilled to bits when I finally got my sparkly-manicured mitts on a copy of the first book in the Vampire Kisses spin-off manga series, Blood Relatives. If you haven't read the original VK series, Blood Relatives boasts a handy introduction. If you're a hardened VK fan, there are no spoilers thus far.

Source: Google Images
Anyway. One of the things I enjoy most about VK is the attention to Gothy fashion, and so I was glad that REM's illustrations and outfit designs for Raven and her vampire boyfriend Alexander did not disappoint. I also appreciate the name-dropping of Switchblade Symphony; accurate musical knowledge is always a point-winner in my book (no pun intended).

The storyline is not quite rip-roaring - as is usual for manga series, the first volume of Blood Relatives gives little more than an introduction to the characters and sets the stage for things to come.

Raven and her real-dead-vampire boyfriend Alexander are the only Goths in a small town but they are more than happy together - until Alexander's evil half-vampire cousin Claude and his gang of marauding bloodsuckers come to Dullsville in the hope of turning themselves into the vicious vamps they feel they deserve to be. And Claude has a score to settle with his charming cousin...

This is quite a cutesy book, with the world's most unthreatening bad guys (although Alexander's ex Kat is a bit of a bitch), and deserves more credit for artwork than plot, but it's good light-hearted Goth fluff, well-suited to younger readers or those looking for an adorably cheesy read. Oh, and look out for Raven's one-liner comebacks to snotty cheerleaders at school... ^^

Free download: Grab the new Haujobb single Dead Market for free at Haujobb Music.

Goth gossip: Steampunk laptop creator Datamancer is now taking pre-orders for his amazing, fully-functional, custom-made wood and brass designs - but they'll set you back thousands of dollars. Read about it here.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

An International Steampunk Day non-post... oops!

Today is International Steampunk Day!

I'm not dressed in anything even vaguely steampunk-inspired because I became aware of this event about, ooh, 30 seconds ago...? But add June 14th to your calendars for next years, darklings, we'll make an event of it. ;-) Thanks to Still Dark for alerting me to this!

Oh sugar! I just noticed the time - I'm supposed to be ready for the pub in ten minutes and I'm still in my boring work clothes!!! I do apologise for this non-post and I hope you will forgive me... In the meantime, go to Still Dark and read all about Steampunk Day!

Source: Steampunk Couture
P.S. For the two or three people who commented anonymously today and yesterday (or you could be the same person, for all I know) saying that myself and two other commentors were, alternately, 'posers' and not 'real Goths', based on 1) a commentor's age, 2) a second commentor's spelling mistake and 3) a picture of a T-shirt, yes I deleted your comments. Last I checked, a person's Goth-ness was not judged on how old they are, how well they can type or whether they like different things to you (yes, people can like very different things than what you like and still be just as Goth as you, your 'stupid' might be their 'funny and ironic'!). If you are insecure about your place in the subculture and as such wish to prove your superiority by judging other Goths anonymously over the internet, there is already a site for that. Don't bring that shit over here, thanks.

P.P.S. On a much nicer note, giveaway winner Oliuae received her goodies today and sent me the loveliest e-mail, with pics. Thanks so much Oliuae, I'm really glad you liked the stuff! <3

Monday, 13 June 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: Celtic and Pagan Goth

I am writing up Celtic and Pagan Goth together as there is probably not enough information on each to make two separate posts; plus, the two are extremely closely related - either could be described as a sub-sub-genre of Medieval or hippie Goth.

Inkubus Sukkubus show how it's done.
Source: Google Images
So what makes these styles different from the above-named subsets, and from each other? The clue's in the name really. Celtic Goth is visually close to Medieval Goth but with strong Celtic influences, such as knotwork jewellery and outfits inspired by Celtic legend or history. Needless to say, Celtic Goths often enjoy folklore and music related to or inspired by their namesake, and are often known to adopt Gaelic scene names such as Brom (masculine, 'raven') or Maeve (feminine, 'intoxicating one'). Many Gothic and ethnic clothing brands have a Celtic-influenced line, or at least several pieces, for example Nomads and Dark Star by Jordash.

Why are Goths so intrigued by the Celts - more specifically, the ancient Celts? Well, Celtic history is steeped in legend - faerie queens and warrior kings, mythological creatures both treacherous and beautiful such as the Dana O'Shee (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have a 'Dana O'Shee' perfume, and describe them thusly, "In Irish folklore the Dana O'Shee are a fae, elven people that live in a realm of beauty, their nobility akin to our that own Age of Chivalry, eternally beautiful and eternally young. They surround themselves with the pleasures of the Arts, they live for the hunt, and to this day can be seen riding in procession through the Irish countryside at twilight, led by their King and Queen. However, the Dana O'Shee are not benevolent creatures, despite what their unearthly beauty may imply. They are vengeful and treacherous and possess a streak of mischievous malice, and many have whispered that their true home lies deep in the shadowed groves of the Realm of the Dead. Hearing even a single chord of their otherworldly music leaves one stunned and lost to the mortal realms for ever, finding themselves prey to the Dana O'Shee's hunt or enslaved in their Court as servants or playthings."

Additionally, the beauty of the Celtic nations evokes an almost fantastic splendour; the rolling hills, misty glens and ruined castles that are seen as almost synonymous with the word 'Celtic' possess a dark, etheral beauty that is most pleasing to many of those who favour a Gothy aesthetic.

A Pagan Goth might be a Goth who chooses to follow a Pagan religion or faith such as Wicca or Neo-Paganism; the term is also used to describe a style of Goth that is visually close to hippie Goth, but incorporating traditional Pagan symbolism such as pentacles, moons, athames, besoms (broomsticks), bats and many more.
I found this Polyvore set on Google Images - it combines both Celtic and Pagan influences.
There are many visual similarites between Celtic and Pagan Goth - a tendency towards loose, flowing, Medieval-inspired clothing in fabrics such as cotton and crushed velvet, a fondness for tie-dye and jewel tones, hair often worn long for both men and women.

Musically, Celtic Goths may prefer Celtic-inspired music or music with an obvious Celtic influence such as Corvus Corax, Flogging Molly, and traditional Celtic pipe and harp music. Pagan Goths may enjoy bands such as Faith and the Muse, Inkubus Sukkubus and The Moon and the Nightspirit, which fall under the label of 'Pagan rock'.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

A glimpse inside the Goth Guide

Yikes. When the green fairy (no not you Steph, I meant the drink) came to visit last night, I think she had stompy boots on. This is only the second (actually, third) hangover I've ever had, and it hasn't gotten any funner. Ah, yes, this is WHY I rarely drink.

Today I wanted to do a bit more of a personal post, I hope you guys don't mind. I want to give you a glimpse into what goes on 'behind the scenes' at GothGuide HQ (my mum's living room) and a little bit of insight as to what you can expect from me in the future.


Cheesy pose, I know.
You can see more from this shoot in my guest post for Sophistique Noir.
The number-one comment I get from family and friends about this site is, "Why aren't you making money from it if you get so many hits?"

I haven't signed up to Google Ads because I wouldn't have any control about what would be advertised here, and I'm uncomfortable with that - I would not be happy promoting, actively or otherwise, products and services that I haven't seen, used or could honestly recommend.

I also am not selling a product - sure, I could make a Goth Guide book, but it would only be a re-hash of what I say on this blog, and other people have already done it better. Also, this blog has the advantage of letting me interact with my followers, drool over other people's blogs, get other people's ideas and advice, and make friends (I get weirdly attached to my online friends, you have been warned. Dan and I are in talks about travelling the world, and I promise I will make as many side-trips and arrange as many meets with you as I can, although it almost certainly won't be any time soon unless I conveniently win the lottery. Which would be nice, actually.). I do have a bookstore link in my sidebar to my fiction works, but that's mainly for show, I've sold one book in six years and I write them for fun, not for profit. ;-) They're not that great because I write them primarily as my own form of escapism, not to part others from their hard-earned cash.

I do, however, hope to be offering a few items for sale here soon, I'm just figuring out the logistics. Don't get excited, I just decided that five wardrobes was possibly excessive and thought I might see if anyone was interested in some second-hand Gothy bits-and-pieces for low prices. A bit of an online garage sale, if you will.

And in the long-distant future... well, my ambition is to bring out my own range of perfumes and make-up (that's why I'm taking a make-up course), all hand-made and designed by me, and yes, I would possibly use the Goth Guide to help promote this with occasional tutorials and the like - however, this will NOT become an advertising site; you can follow any of my tutorials with ANY products, not just the ones I list. Why? Because I never expected this site to be any kind of success and I do not intend to trade on what, hopefully, I can consider my 'good name' and reputation.

Following my recent poll, I'm intending to introduce some more kinds of posts and mini-series into my blogging activity, including:
  • movie, CD and product reviews as well as just book reviews
  • mini-guides to other alternative fashions and subcultures, I have done a few of these already and they always seem to prove popular ^^
  • home decor and gardening posts and tutorials
  • a series on Goth travel, e.g. Gothy places to visit, and first-person 'tours' of places I visit
  • spooktacular dates you should mark on your calendar
  • music recommendation posts and possibly band profiles
  • dark legends and folklore
  • reviews of token Goth characters in both niche and mainstream books, TV and film
  • interviews with other Goths from around the world (yes you can volunteer yourself, yes I know that The Green Fairy (now I AM talking about Steph) is also doing interviews, we have had a chat and realised we each thought of a different focus, so yes you can be interviewed on both blogs if you so wish) and hopefully, when I get brave enough to approach some people, influential designers, artists, musicians, and writers who we know as stars of the Goth scene. Fingers crossed, anyway.
I might also be popping up on some other places around the interwebs, I'm in talks with a few people at the moment - who have contacted me via this site, blogging really does create some great opportunities!

Lastly, on the subject of 'behind the scenes', I really wanted to thank you all for what I consider the success of the Goth Guide - all right, this is no Gothic Charm School but I do work hard on this site, and to have over 300 followers and - get this - an average of 2500-3000 hits a day over the last month is, for me, absolutely phenomenal and I love love love coming online every day to check my stats, read all your comments and go take a sneaky peek at everyone's blogs. ^^
A screenshot from my Blogger Dashboard, in March this year.
Just one reason why I love my readers.
Without wishing to get *too* gushy, I have met some really amazing and inspirational people via this site - Steph, Kitty, Amy, VictorianKitty, SiouxsieLaw, Sary and Boots just for starters - and look forward to checking out everybody's updates every day. We have such a great community here!

I write everything for this site at my family PC, usually with a cup of tea somewhere close by and wrapped in a black fluffy dressing gown. I'm not trying to look cool, I might not have make-up on, and my hair's probably a mess (it is right now, anyway!) but I've still made friends with some ridiculously talented and well-dressed people, most of whom live on the other side of the world - tell me that's not amazing.

Also, sometimes I've had a really crap day and someone's left me a comment so nice that it's turned the whole day around; sometimes I'm stuck for ideas and there's a note that gets me motivated again... and just knowing that there's this many people who give a flying one about whatever I'm rambling about that day is pretty awesome in and of itself. =)

Yeah, OK, so I'm getting a little gushy. Bite me - I still love you guys, thanks so much for all your advice, talent, brains and beauty, for cheering me up and for all your support.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Parent-friendly Victorian deathrock

This post is a reader request from Qwack, who asks, "What's a good, parent-friendly way to mix the Victorian and Deathrock looks? I'm weird... I like reading while listening to Christian Death or whatever. By parent friendly, I mean no whips, chains, teased hair, deathhawks, PVC, shaved eyebrows, paleface, excessive makeup, little fishnet, boots that have heels more than two inches, and you get the picture... and that wouldn't kill the little money my parents and I have. Seeing as I'm twelve, that's like... nothing."

(Seriously, you're twelve? You comment here all the time and I never guessed you were so young!)

Firstly, I am going to give you my favourite piece of advice - charity shops/op shops/thrift stores. The image I'm creating in my mind of your preferred style sounds as though it needs blazers, frayed black denim goodness (ripped jeans and frayed skirts, easy to do yourself with a pair of scissors and a cheese grater), Victorian-esque blouses, and smart shoes (perhaps brogues for a Victorian-ish look, Mary Janes or flat, sensible boots - you can find similar styles of shoe in many high street stores for reasonably cheap prices) as basics. Since most of these items are wardrobe staples, you'll easily find some suitable stuff in secondhand stores at bargain-basement prices. Also try army surplus stores and markets.

Subtle deathrock!
Source: Tumblr
Whilst browsing thrift stores, see if you can find any T-shirts with interesting designs on - these can be cut out and fabric-glued, pinned or stitched onto other items. Speaking of interesting designs, patterned tights are currently everywhere, so if fishnets are out, try polka dots, bows, spider webs, stripes and other patterns. Primark have some great designs for around £2 a pair.

No excessive make-up? No problem. Try applying a lighter colour (eg. light pink, white) to your inner eyelid and blending outwards into a darker colour (e.g. black, burgundy, purple). Apply a thin line of liquid eyeliner across your top lash line and add black mascara. It's really simple but very flattering. Alternatively, this style, this one and this one are examples that keep the look simple, but dark.
Source: Google
As for no deathhawks or teased hair, there are a myriad of other styles that would flatter the discerning Gothling - if you own a pair of crimpers or mini-crimpers, you can use them to add texture and interest. Crimp all of your hair or just sections. I strongly hold that crimped hair looks awesome with or without backcombing. Dead straight hair is always a popular style. You could use clip-in streaks for flashes of colour - to make this more parent-friendly, use a 'natural' colour that contrasts with your own hair colour, e.g. blonde if you have dark hair, black if you have red or blonde hair. If you think you can get away with it, you can always go a little wilder, e.g. pink, red, turquoise, purple etc. Use your own discretion as to what your parents would be OK with.

You can have fun with up-dos, to. Zulu knots are always fun. ^^ (Tutorial coming soon!) What about plaited buns on either side of your head? Elegant, but a little quirky. ;-)
Source: Photobucket
Also, stock up on accessories. Patterned socks can be bought from basically ANYwhere on the cheap; try fancy dress shops for lace and fishnet gloves as a cheaper alternative to stores like Claire's (you can also usually find some fun skull jewellery). Safety-pins and badges can be added to anything.

Also, I'm sure my readers have some advice that they can share, so check out the comments below.

P.S. I thought the images in this post could possibly provide a little inspiration - let me know if I'm barking up the right tree!

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