Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween and happy friday, my friends! I hope you're getting ready for a nice day, even if its just curled up with some fun Halloween movies and a bag of candy. If you are going out tonight, please be safe and have fun!

I have one lecture today so I'm not wearing anything too crazy, but here's what I've got on at the moment:
























































Outfit details:
Blouse, belt: Torrid
Dress: eShatki
Jewelry: Various
Fishnets: Amazon
Shoes: Payless
Fangs: Scarecrow

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reader Question: Goth Menswear (and Fan Art)

Hey was wondering if you could help me out, do you have any style tips or know any good sites that do men's goth wear? I spend a lot of time in charity shops and even volunteer at one so about 75% of my clothing is second hand and I have no problem finding clothes that can be turned goth but I never find anything for men! Any ideas? 
-Alex

PS: Love the blog, whenever I'm feeling out of sorts your blog takes me right back to my mental graveyard.
PS: PS: I found this during a clear out it's an old picture I drew of you.

Thanks for writing in, Alex! And thank you even more for this drawing, it's so cute! Ah! I'm really flattered and pretty speechless about it, so just imagine me flailing my hands in gratitude.


Moving on to a little discussion about goth menswear. 

Now, I'm not a man and beyond a certain, ahem, fascination with men in suits, I don't know a lot about menswear. What I do know is that there are a few different types of looks you can look into so I'll start with that. This is by no means a comprehensive directory of men's fashion in Goth (I won't even begin to try and explain how one goes about achieving a rivethead or cybergoth look, there are some things I'm just not equipped for), but it should give you some idea:

Casual


The most basic Goth menswear is pretty casual. Sticking with basics of jeans (black, gray, or darkwash) and black t-shirts, you can then embellish with interesting modded jackets, vests, wallets, shoes/boots, band shirts, etc. you'll make the look more Goth. The best place to find these kinds of accents (particularly band shirts), in my opinion, is humble eBay, but there are also some wonderful graphic tees on sites like Spiral Direct or Kinky Angel that you might like. As always, for boots look for respected companies like Demonia, Dr. Martens, and New Rocks but don't turn down study combat boots, black dress shoes, or canvas sneakers in a thrift store.

TradGoth and Deathrock


To embrace an edgier tradgoth or deathrock style you're going to want to add a lot of DIY touches to your look. So, yes, start with the basis of jeans or trousers and a band shirt, but add more customized details. Band patches or pins, bits of lace or fishnet, chains, studs, etc. will all add a darker vibe to an otherwise ordinary outfit. Again, for patches and pins eBay is a good bet, but also Etsy can yield some interesting fonds. Be sure to check out makeup and hair tutorials on youtube to complete your look. 

RomantiGoth and Victorian Goth


For this look think Dave Vanian's vampire phase: poet shirts, jeans/trousers, velvet and lace touches at your sleeves or collar. While they can be quite expensive, I recommend Gallery Serpentine for beautiful, elaborate jackets and vests (and remember, if you're basing your wardrobe mostly on thrifted finds it's easier to justify the cost of one or two more expensive pieces.) If you have a more Victorian aesthetic consider looking to style examples like the young count from Bram Stoker's Dracula. You'll want more historically accurate clothing here, in black with touches of color, and for that I recommend Gentleman's Emporium.

Corpgoth


Lastly, Corpgoth, which is pretty much general officewear with a fancier twist. Think: suits, trousers, jackets, button-ups, scarves, fancy shoes, etc. with gothic details in the tie, wrist cuffs, etc. For inspiration look to Tumblr user Sinister Sartorialist, who I've been a fan of for ages and who has happily provided a guide to finding menswear and building a lovely wardrobe.

Now, your personal style probably isn't going to fit into just *one* of these categories. You'll probably blend a few elements together, or switch between them on a day to day basis. The thing about asking for advice for a "Goth" look is that there isn't really one look, and your personal tastes impact it a lot. In general I'd say in thrift stores you're going to want to look for well-fitted dark jeans, suits/suit jackets, graphic t-shirts (if you can find them), leather jackets, old ties, and button-up shirts. Of course, if you live somewhere where there aren't a lot of alternative types you're going to have a harder time finding Goth-appropriate clothing, but don't underestimate the effect a bottle of black clothing dye or some DIY accents can have on something you found in the 99 cent bin.

Readers, do you have any suggestions for Alex for where to find Goth men's clothing? 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The 5 Best Vampire Movies

Happy almost Halloween, readers! While our Halloween festivities here in Scotland are a bit limited, I've been loading up on wonderful Halloween movies to pass the time. Of course, for me, that includes a lot of vampire flicks. So, I thought I'd list my top five vampire movies of all time.



The Hunger

Is there anything better than David Bowie being a vampire? Well, perhaps David Bowie being a vampire in the same movie in which Peter Murphy sings Bela Lugosis Dead in a cage. While the movie isn't what I would call a horror movie, it's amazingly atmospheric and I always recommend that other people watch it. Yeah, it's just great.

Interview with a Vampire

Around the time everyone on the internet was making fun of Tom Cruise's acting career and religious views, I was a young babybat and had just watched Interview with a Vampire, so I didn't understand that at all. While Queen of the Damned is also a fun movie in a different kind of way, this is just simply one of the best vampire adaptations of the last few decades, no question.

Horror of Dracula (or, Dracula, 1958)

While there's plenty of blood to be had in the previous few movies, I wouldn't call them gorey in particular. However, the stomach-churning scene in which Christopher Lee rakes pieces of his own face away just stun me. If you don't remember that scene, it's because it was cut out until it's restoration in later Blu-Ray releases. Boo!

The Lost Boys

Okay, so we've got older vampires down, but what about young heart-throbs? Kiefer Sutherland's David probably cemented my attraction to guys that look like Billy Idol (also Spike from Buffy, obviously) and there's no replacing the camp fun that comes from hanging out with other Goths and quoting "It's fun to be a vampire" at each other.

Bram Stoker's Dracula

On the darkly romantic side of the classic Dracula tale is Bram Stoker's Dracula, a supremely beautiful movie with a haunting soundtrack and lovely costumes. I hadn't watched this since my early teens so when I re-watched it recently I ended up buying the soundtrack and humming a lot for the next two days. Definitely not to be missed.

What do you think, readers? What is your favorite vampire movie?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Death Becomes Her

Hey guys! Today's midweek post is just a quick excuse to say hi and show off an event that looks like tons of fun. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the biggest and best art museums in the United States, has a new show up starting from yesterday called Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire.


Here's a quick blurb from the press release:

The thematic exhibition is organized chronologically and features mourning dress from 1815 to 1915, primarily from The Costume Institute’s collection. The calendar of bereavement’s evolution and cultural implications are illuminated through women’s clothing and accessories, showing the progression of appropriate fabrics from mourning crape to corded silks, and the later introduction of color with shades of gray and mauve. 

I've posted about the Met's collection of gothable clothing on this blog before, but it's worth noting that they have a fabulous collection and this show looks like it's going to be great.

If you're interested in seeing the exhibition, it is running from October 21st to February 1st of next year. Obviously I'm in Scotland for the moment, but I'll be visiting the states in January so I might be able to pop up to New York while I'm there.

Would you go see the exhibit? What do you think should be included?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reader Question: Disguising Un-Goth Wall Colors

Dear Mary Rose,
Hello Mary Rose, can you help me? I have just moved into a new house with my parents and, since we're renting, we can't paint the walls. Unfortunately the walls of my room are pale yellow! So un-goth! Do you have any advice for how to make my room look gothier despite the wall color?
Ellie

Hello Ellie! Yes, I do think I can help. Like you, my bedroom color is pretty not Goth. I've got robin's egg blue colored walls and, while they're pretty, they don't match much of anything. While I had plans on and off to paint the walls gray for several years, it stopped being a high priority when I went off to college and started only spending four months of the year at home.

My room, 2012


So, here's my advice for making the best of what you have:

Divert Attention!

If you have a really interesting focal point to your room you can draw attention from the wall color and make it impact less. Your distraction can be anything that you think makes your room special. Beds are the most obvious option because they tend to take up the most physical space in a room, so deck yours with a canopy, a beautiful headboard, or an interesting bedspread.

In my room, the distraction I tried to make for myself is the bookshelf area, which features an amazing piece of art by tumblr user jaynejezebelle and is framed by black curtains. It's the space I mostly look at while I'm on my bed, so it makes sense for me.

This kitchen is painted a pale yellow cream color, but that's not what you were looking at, were you? I thought not. ;)


Cover up!

If you can't change the wall color, try to cover it up with things that are the color you want. Posters, tapestries, cork boards, photographs, or even pieces of clothing can serve as interesting wall decor while hiding as much of the wall color as possible. There are also brands of removable wallpaper, but they do tend to be rather expensive so it probably wouldn't be the best idea for short term accommodations.

A note about safety: If you are using fabric wall hangings, tapestries, or clothing, please please please please please mind any candles you might be using. Do not leave them next to (or under!) the fabric on your walls and extinguish them before leaving the room.

Posing a big baroque mirror like this one across from something dark will both cover the yellow wall and reflect darkness into the room. Or, if you pose it across from the window it will provide light to keep all of the black things you've added to cover the yellow from drowning you. 


Add Spook Elsewhere

If you have an unusual wallcolor, you probably won't be able to get away with "un-goth" details and still end up with a Goth look. I'm not asking that you throw away everything that isn't Goth, but if you want the room to stay spooky looking then definitely expect to add more Goth details to balance out. Luckily for you, it's Halloween season! so it's the perfect time to shop for Goth decor at your local crafts or department store.

Another note: Unless your mess is really spooky, like you've got coffins and bats scattered about everywhere, mess tends to make a room look less Goth. Keeping things tidy will help your aesthetic a lot.

Incorporate it!

While pale yellow isn't a very easy color to integrate with black without looking like a bumble bee, you can do your best to incorporate little bits of it into your decor so it looks like less of a mis-match. Gold and yellow details in your hardware or other pieces of decor will complement it nicely. By the same token, try not to use a color that clashes. Purple might be a lovely and Goth-y color, but it will make the yellow stand out more. If you must have it, keep it away from the walls so the distinction is less obvious.

If you're into medieval and tuscan decor, I find that a lot of rooms with that inspiration have yellow or cream walls. Just add wrought-iron, natural wood, and rustic details and you have a beautiful tuscan-like room.



I hope that helps! Readers, what advice would you give Ellie to help work her way around an unfortunate wall color?

And, as always, feel free to send me a mail and suggest topics or ask a question.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

50 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

Can you believe pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored things aren't really big here in Glasgow? I know, it's a travesty. But luckily I've got a list of pumpkin recipes I'm intending to try as soon as I can just so I can get my autumn pumpkin fix. Many of these are vegan friendly, so have a look:



Drinks:

Pumpkin Pie Latte
Spiced Pumpkin Eggnog
Pumpkin Caipirinha Cocktail
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate
Thanksgiving Cider Cocktail

Desserts:

Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Cake with Whiskey Whipped Cream
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
Pumpkin Passion Cupcakes
Pumpkin Roll
No Bake Vegan Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pudding
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tarts with Vanilla
Gluten Free Pumpkin Mousse Tarts

Breakfasts:

Pumpkin Spiced Crepes
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Baked French Toast
Quinoa Pumpkin Pancakes
Jack-O-Pumpkin Vegan Breakfast Sandwich
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Pumpkin Yogurt
Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Breakfast Casserole

Soups:

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili 
Pumpkin Soup
Curried Pumpkin Soup
Creamy Pumpkin Lentil Soup
Pumpkin Chili 
Golden Trio Chipotle Fall Soup with Crispy Tofu

Entrees

Creamy Chicken and Pumpkin
Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas
Pumpkin Biryani
Pumpkin Apple Harvest Rice
Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta
Pumpkin Fried Sage Flatbread
Miso Roasted Pumpkin and Grilled Tofu over Udon Noodles
Pumpkin Bean Spaghetti
Pumpkin Risotto
Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
Crispy Tofu Sandwich with Sweet Potato

Other:

Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin Chutney
Toasty Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters
Pumpkin White Bean Chipotle Dip
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
Pumpkin and Kale Hummus
Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Swirl Dip
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Pepitas

To have a look at what other recipes and foods I've been loving lately, check out my Pinterest board. 

What is your favorite pumpkin flavored food?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Playlist: Darkly Cinematic

I've been a sucker for a good movie score since the first Pirates of the Caribbean film and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There's something about the atmospheric quality to the music that I really adore, and it's great for those music videos you direct in your head on long car rides (you know the ones.) On Youtube I made a playlist of my favorite movie scores and atmospheric-type music that I've been listening to lately: Enjoy!



What is your favorite movie score?