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, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. 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.

Goth 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, the expression of that in Goth rock. It 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 (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, 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. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Green In The Gloom

I wanted to try and take some pictures to show my make-up, but all the pictures close enough to show it came out awful. Even in these, it just looks like splotches and all the details of the leaves are lost. I've actually got black and silver gilt leaves all on one side! As such I decided I would rather showcase that my hair has recently been dyed again and is now a green ombre effect, darker at the bottom. This photograph was taken in my new study, which is mostly lit with purple string lights (spiders, five-pointed stars, fiery swirls, bats...) and is purple and black with greyscale Gothic architecture wallpaper. It is not quite finished yet, but I hope to do a room tour video when it is. 

Selfies by the HouseCat

These photos have been subjected to filters and editing. I tried not to get too carried away - mostly just made things lighter and brighter and tweaked the colours a bit. Some of them have been subjected to a soft-focus effect in order to attempt looking prettier and more ghostly.. I am not good at this creative editing thing! 

Selfies by the HouseCat

The bat necklace is by Alchemy Gothic, and I think the winged skeleton pendant is too. I wish I had my selfie booth ready so I could have taken some pictures of today's outfit because it is rather Morticia Addams-esque, with a black wiggle skirt and a top with long bell sleeves, both in black velvet. The selfie booth is going to go into that recess visible behind where I'm sitting in these selfies, but as you can see currently lacks proper lighting. I first need to get the shelves above my desk sorted, and then mount lights onto those, angled into the corner... SO much to do! Thankfully Raven has put in a considerable amount of work into helping me with my study and the decorating and I am eternally grateful. 

Selfies by the HouseCat

I think these photographs are probably the worst for filter abuse, especially the one on the left! I was trying to look all spectral and 'spooky'... I probably shouldn't try so hard! I get quite self-conscious and perfectionist trying to get good selfies - I end up taking a whole load trying to get a small selection of really good ones, then end up disliking most of them, not being able to pick one that really stands out of the mainly mediocre ones that aren't blurry or really awful, and then collating them all into a collage because then they're tiny and it is harder to see the flaws. I'm torn between my vanity in trying to appear pretty (and find SOMETHING to fill my blog with in lieu of properly written content); and my lack of photographic ability. 

I don't smile much in photographs because even if I'm genuinely happy, it looks either goofy or fake (plus I have bad teeth, even after orthodontics) and then when I try to look serious, I either look angry or miserable. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Highland Lolitas Tea Party Club Calendar Photoshoot

A while back, our tiny, nascent Highland Lolita community was lucky enough to get a slot in the upcoming Tea Party Club. After issues finding a photographer, Laura Johnson of ::TahDah Photography:: did our photoshoot, and the location was the tropical house of the Inverness Botanic Gardens. Sadly not all of our community could make it, so our gathering was really tiny indeed. As well as the group photographs, we each got our own individual photographs. 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

I know there are others in the area who have an interest in Lolita, and when I come across people who are interested, they are usually quite surprised to find that there is Highland community, so hopefully our increased visibility will be great for local Lolitas who might want to get into the fashion, but are a bit nervous because they don't think there is a community out there for them. We're a Highland group, not just an Inverness group, and Lolitas from Aviemore to the Islands are welcome to join our group; obviously the large geographic area may make it difficult for some Lolitas to attend all meets, but we have a Facebook page and are quite social. We're not one of those communities that is all about the photoshoots - we like to sit down and chat! 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

My outfit for the photoshoot was actually not the one I initially planned - I wanted to go wearing a hand-made skirt I'd done, but I spilled tea down it and had to do a last-minute outfit change! I wanted to do something quite elegant, and I ended up with this outfit, which is a bit 'La Belle Époque' inspired, especially in terms of the curled hair, and the cape/cloak/fringed thing and my being quite cinched into a proper corset under all the layers of dress. I am not sure how I could incorporate one of those big hats into Lolita, even if I owned one, so I went with pinning fabric flowers into the hair of my wig instead. I know I'm a bit older than a lot of Lolitas, who seem to be in their late teens or early twenties, and I feel that what I wear in Lolita ought to suit my age a bit more, so I am going for more A-line skirts, a more classic feel (even when I always wear black) or a very definitely Gothic feel, rather than a 'cute', 'adorable' or 'kawaii' feel. I don't have a 'cute' face any more; it's more rectangular and angular (useful for Ouji!), and my figure has got curvier as I've got older (even without the corset). I used to have a very boyish figure, more angles than curves, but now I've filled out a bit more. I actually quite like going for an elegant look. I think it fits in better with my overall aesthetic preferences. I feel like it is more a kuro Classic co-ord than a Gothic one. 

Photograph by TahDah Photograph. I like the visible vine pattern!

After the photoshoot, we all convened in the Botanic Garden's café, which has wonderfully whimsical mismatched vintage crockery with chintzy florals - perfect for the sweet Lolitas, more difficult for me as I looked for a plate to match my outfit! I think the best thing about our community is how we're all very social. We're a small community, so that probably helps avoid some of the issues that you get with really big gatherings and people trying to mingle between set tables or just that large gatherings can be daunting for a lot of people (myself included). 

Photograph by Keara
I had to get at least one photograph with my Restyle cathedral handbag. It is my favourite bag and my university satchel now! 

Outfit Run Down: 
♕ Head-dress: hand-made by me Fabric flowers: various including Claire's Accessories, H&M, etc. ♕ Necklace: Phoenix1900 on eBay ♕ Blouse: New York Laundry, with collar attached by me ♕ Cape/Shawl/Thing: Blue Inc. with shoulders/sleeves altered by me into ones with pouf-y gathers ♕ Velvet arm-warmers: Sinister Dress: Metamorphose ♕ Tights: Primark Shoes: ShoeZone ♕ Bag: Restyle 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

We had a great day out at the Botanic Gardens, and I really enjoyed getting really dressed up for something. I am "fancy" by mainstream standards all the time, but I felt like I was really doing something special that day. I am working on building up a wardrobe including more layers and textures, and more elegant, flowing designs, not just in Lolita, but being a student and currently unemployed - AND having spent quite a bit recently of my savings on renovating the house we bought - means that I don't have much to spend on wardrobe expansion. 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting much in the way of current news on my blog. I have been decorating my study in my new house (I moved at the end of summer) and I've been really busy as a student, so I haven't had much time to work on this blog. Once I get the lighting sorted out, I will be able to use my newly built 'selfie corner' for outfit-of-the-day shots, and when I have more time to devote to writing, I will go back to writing about more in-depth Gothic things.

I really have to thank the photographer; she took on our photo-shoot at quite short notice and did a great job. Her Facebook page is ::here::, and her website ::here::. She is very professional, and does quite a variety of portraiture and family photographs. I thoroughly recommend her.