My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Androgynous Aristocrat

It would, if you went by how I dressed in most of my blog posts, be an easy assumption to make that I am always very "feminine" by the traditional gendering of fashion. While I always love frills, I don't always go for skirts, corsets, long hair, and usual staples. I am actually quite fond of a more "tomboyish" or "androgynous" version of Romantic Goth fashion.  I love brocade trousers, waistcoats 'vests' to my American readers), frock-coats, pirate boots and ruffled shirts - the branch of Romantic Goth fashion that is derived from historical male fashion. It was not a very big step from that point to become interested in the fashion worn by the more Gothic-looking Visual Kei bands, Aristocrat fashion, and Ouji; the same aesthetic inspirations coming through in Japanese alternative cultures. There is a great overlap between Romantic Goth fashion and the Gothic Japanese street-fashions, and as I am someone that basically likes things that are frilly, anachronistically inspired and Gothic, I draw from both and mix and match. 

Selfies by HouseCat

I quite like looking somewhat androgynous. Since my late teens I have been quite curvy, which is not the most androgynous-looking shape, but I try and choose cuts and underwear that will to some degree make it less immediately apparent. I like playing with that androgyny because I don't actually see gender (the psycho-social aspect) as part of my identity. I have no particular dysphoria about my sex; I just see it as utterly irrelevant to who I am as a person, and not really part of my identity as a person on any fundamental level. but the rest of the world does not work like that; for as long as I can remember, I have had others try and define me and their expectations of me according to my sex and gender. This is one way I like play with, and try subverting those societal categories. 

Selfies by HouseCat

Being heavily made-up is probably a strange choice when deliberately aiming for androgynous, but the appearance I am seeking is something akin to more everyday, casual version of the styles worn by members of bands like Versailles Philharmonic Quintet, Moi-Dix-Mois, or Blood, and a little bit of Dave Vanian, Peter Murphy, David Bowie and maybe a small hint of Sharon Needles. I love seeing make-up on Goths and Gothic types of all sexes and genders. I think I end up looking more like an older teenage boy than a woman in her late 20's! I have a relatively angular face, which is useful in that regard. Any advice on make-up techniques like contouring to try and achieve this sort of look would be greatly appreciated.

Selfies By HouseCat

I wish I could post a full-body photograph of this outfit. I am wearing a long pirate-style coat by Dark Star which originally belonged to Raven, but as he began to bulk out more, it no longer fitted him, so I ended up with it and had it tailored to fit me a bit better. I had black brocade trousers on, and knee-high pirate boots. That is not my real hair, of course (that is still turquoise for now); it is a wig that was originally Raven's but I end up borrowing it far more than he ever wears it! I will try and get more photographs of me in Ouji and Aristocrat and whatever the Western equivalent in Romantic Goth fashion would be called. 

2 comments:

  1. I love the outfit and I love people who don't follow gender stereotypes and feel comfortable wearing different styles like this!

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    1. Thank-you :) What I've usually posted so far has been what would be traditionally considered quite feminine, so this and the "Vampire Prince in the Lost Garden" shoots were a bit of a departure, and I'm not sure how well received they were going to be. The silence I got on this post in terms of comments made me a bit nervous that people didn't like what I was doing, and were just being too polite to say. I'd keep wearing what I wear regardless of what people think, but I want my blog to have a reasonable readership (I have hopes that what I write is useful stuff, and that I'm making some kind of positive contribution), so alienating my readers is something I want to avoid.

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