|This top from :Punk Rave: has inner mesh sleeves.
The outer sleeves are velvet and split all the way to the elbow
|Me in my study: my aesthetics aren't limited to my clothes.
The velvet top I am wearing the Saphira top from :Punk Rave:
The first Goth shop I went into was actually a Hippie shop called Rod & Maureen's in Peterborough, that had a Gothic section in its upstairs. I was more into fantasy-inspired hippie clothes at the time, but I saw some gorgeous purple velvet dresses in there... The second was probably Mystic Rose in the Harris Arcade in Reading, where I wanted everything Raven and Alchemy Gothic made, but could barely afford a pair of earrings, then I went to the indoor market - St. Nick's - in Bristol - while I was in my Steampunk phase, and I bought my first ever made-for-Goth item, a black frock-coat, to wear with a white frilly shirt from a mainstream store, and green velvet trousers, and whatever brocade waistcoat I could find, a monocle and a cheap costume-shop 'top-hat', or with a high-necked blouse, and a floor-length purple velvet skirt from a hippie shop... I still have that coat, although I'm a now a bit too busty to fit it.
I wasn't allowed on eBay as a teen, and I didn't have PayPal, so I mostly relied on charity shops; mail-order catalogs and Goth shops were generally more than I could afford, and while my Dad didn't openly disapprove, he was hardly going to let me spend money on that sort of fashion. I rapidly learned that I wasn't going to find exactly what I wanted in Oxfam, and that I would have to learn to modify things, and rapidly learned to apply lace and better buttons to things, and how to do other simple modifications. With a limited budget, basic sewing skills, and a general lack of time and resources, I was a long way from looking like an evil sorceress-queen or a vampire lord, or really looking like anything that was vaguely put-together, but with patience, improving my sewing skills, and finally getting access to the great secondhand resources of eBay and the like, well as becoming an adult and having a full-time job, I could finally start to build a wardrobe that I really like.
|New hair-do required matching make-up
|My decor is stereotypically Goth in black and silver
To me, Romantic Goth embracing all the decadence, drama and fanciful things that many people only allow to be expressed in the realms of fantasy; there is no reason other than social acceptability to NOT to dress like that. Building my identity positionally to 'the mainstream' is something I think is pretty pointless, and I don't dress differently as some act of defiance, but it's not like I'm oblivious to the fact I stand out, that even many other Goths dress a lot more casually than I do, especially with the popularity of the more minimalist Nu-Goth aesthetic at the moment. I turn heads, and not always in a good way; I don't like attention even if it's positive, and while I disregard the negative opinions of strangers as irrelevant, it's a lot harder (and stupider) to ignore when that escalates to outright aggression. However, as I've written about before, I will never trade expressing myself for blending in.
I've noticed a slight decline in the Romantic Goth aesthetic - I think it was pretty popular in the '90s, and then with the explosion of Goth-specific manufacturers, became a lot more accessible in the '00s, but in recent years the Pastel Goth and Nu-Goth aesthetics have dominated, although the 'witchy' aesthetic that was previously characterised by white-on-black occult prints seems to be shifting to something involving more black dresses, with the same big black hats popularised by American Horror Story: Coven. There's also a lot of people into a Norse aesthetic at the moment - 'Vikings' 'Norsemen' 'Vinland Saga' and 'The Last Kingdom' probably contributing strongly to that! I think there's something perennial about Romantic Goth, and while which particular fantasy/supernatural icon or historical period dominate, it will continue. A lot of the older Romantic Goth brands seem to have dwindled, although some like Sinister and Dark*Star are still going strong, but new ones - like the sponsor of this post, ::Punk Rave:: are filling that niche.
I accepted the ::Punk Rave:: sponsorship because I've bought quite a few clothes from them in the past, and I've always been impressed by both the attention to detail and the quality. They're at the pricier end of the scale, so I tend to buy new clothes from them once in a while, but even secondhand they are well worth checking out because the clothes are durable enough that they'll still be in good repair. These are definitely clothes worth the money. I really love their take on the Romantic Goth aesthetic, as there's a lot of influence from Gothic Lolita and Visual Kei aesthetics, which is refreshing compared the usual Western fare. Unlike many Goth brands, Punk Rave actually show their factory on their website and have their clothes made within the company rather than outsourced to a supplier; this allows for a lot more oversight in quality, and my guess is that the better fabric choices came when they opened their own factory, as their very early garments had lace that really wasn't as nice as it is now. Punk Rave's lace is often FAR nicer than I see on many other brands - no scratch raschel lace! A $50 coupon is wonderful, and I will be putting it towards ::a lovely cloak:: from them, but my opinion isn't bought - I will only ever recommend brands I genuinely trust.
|What is that expression I've got??