Saturday, February 23, 2013

Goth Quiz- Romantic

I've always had a soft soft for silly online quizzes, as I'm sure you would know if you read some of my earlier posts. Lately, we have been doing this quiz, by MalakronikMausi.
Here are my results!

You Scored as Romantic Goth
You are a romantic goth, better known as a traditional goth. You are probably quickly identified as a goth by outsiders. Black lace, bats, and moonlit cemetaries are just a few of your favorite things. Click on my name to take my other tests if you liked this one.
Ethereal Goth
Romantic Goth
Old-school Goth
Perky Goff
Fantasy Goth
Death Rocker
Anything-Goes Goth
Confused Outsider
Understanding Outsider

I should note that this quiz tended to lump in vampire aesthetics in with Romantic aesthetics. While I can see their logic here, and it does suit my personality and aesthetic choices to a T, not every Romantic Goth is going to be enjoying the vampire culture and aesthetics as much.

xxx Lilly

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Goth Challenge 2013- Parts 11 and 12

  • Three trends I wish would come back

This is difficult to answer as Goth doesn't really have 'trends'. (Remember that this challenge was originally Lolita, which seems to have trends coming and going)
Many local Goths in my scene continue to wear their own personal fashions for years and years, obviously with variation, but the key trends remain consistent.

-Number one would be the trend of wearing a black velvet, or similar, ribbon around ones neck or wrists. Being a fan of vampire aesthetics, this accessory is from the notion that you were hiding a fresh or healing bite mark from other members of society. For people who aren't vampire fans, this trend also nods to the film Orphan, and other similar films. If you haven't seen it, I won't give it away, but watch it. I love that movie.

-Fringe-less hairstyles. I don't have a blunt fringe. I adore them completely, but I don't think they suit me and am too scared to try it. I just that the absence of fringes were seen a bit more often.

- Maxi skirts. Ok, so this has never been unpopular with Goths, but I want things to stay that way!

  • Combining other fashions with Goth

I am a fan of vampire aesthetics, fairy aesthetics and many Japan trends, but honestly I think that a Goth wearing any creative and expressive outfit is wearing a Goth outfit, as their penchant for Goth will probably shine through. So yeah, it is all down to individual inspirational pictures, pieces and outfits rather than a set style. Just my opinion of course!

xxx Lilly

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The End of the Teenage Years

Monday week, so in nine days from now, I will be twenty years old. I actually cannot believe this is happening to me. I've been a teenager for nine years, and it's has felt like thirteen years due to the whole acting/being older naturally.
However, this can only be a good thing. My teenage years haven't really been the best. There has been some good points, obviously, but I've dealt with more drama, heartache and isolation than anyone wants to experience.
Not to mention that being an 'Adult', rather than a teenager (because, let's be honest, I've been Adult for the past 4 years.), has it perks. I'm still very very young, I understand that completely. But there is a vast difference between nineteen and twenty for someone like me. Also, on the VERY SAME day I'll be beginning my second year of university, which is fun... Things won't be so scary and new. High school is now far behind me.

And hopefully strangers will stop patronising me when they find out my age, or criticise my relationship with my boyfriend and I will no longer have to deal with all of that bullshit any more  (Who am I kidding? That won't stop. I just wish things will ease up a bit...)

Its time to get a job and start being more professional. Not that I'm not already professional, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
Now is the time to rethink my appearance as well. I won't stop the striped stocking and socks, because I love them. But I will be retiring some of my less loved articles to op shops or charity donations, and to try and make more of a completed wardrobe.

xxx Lilly

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vampires and the Mainstream

Disclaimer (Just in case it's not already obvious): I do not believe that vampires exist in reality. I do not believe that I am a vampire. XD

This was touched on briefly on our Facebook forum while we were discussing the impact of mainstream culture on Steampunk, and I used this example...

'I didn't stop loving Vampire-culture just because it was mauled and mangled by the mainstream, I just waited for things to simmer down, which they did.'

And that got my mind working. I mean, I like Steampunk a lot, but I love Vampire aesthetics the same way hardcore Steampunkers and Steampunk fans do. It is a part of my soul and something I've been attracted to my whole life.

For me, vampires represent something deep within my mass of grey matter that resonates with me.
Honestly, I'm not sure if now is the time to write about that, as it's nearly 3am and I am getting sleepy. Perhaps that will be a post for a later date, if I'm feeling brave enough. 

So vampire legends, belief and stories have been part of human culture for thousands of years, with many different civilisations having their own interpretation of a creature that, at the most basic level, feeds off human blood. Some crafty writers, such as Bram Stoker, noticed this legend that was capable of creating real fear in people, so he wrote a story about it, Dracula. What is even scarier is that he based the character off a real, violent person, Vlad Tepes. Not to mention that there are real human beings that have possess vampiric qualites throughout history. Erzsébet Báthory, for example, was a woman who believed the blood of virgins kept her beautiful.

It is clear that vampires have been part of culture since for ever, so why is now at all different? (Contiued to be edited at a very reasonable hour when my brain was no longer slush) Well, in some ways it isn't. Vampires have still been used to scare people, but they've taken on a romantic illicit appeal. Think of the grandeur of Christopher Lee or the sex appeal in The Lost Boys.
In the last 10 years things took a turn for the worst however, with Twilight essentially making vampires 'Tame'. They were no longer exclusively scary, dark and evil beings. Not to mention that they were essentially immortal and had no weaknesses what so ever, except multiple other vampires. So relatable! (Sarcasm.) Sure there were a few evil-ish ones, but the main characters were 'vegetarian' and SPARKLED! NOT SCARY! (Enough allcaps...)

Vampires were now squeaky clean for a few years, with people asking me every day 'Have you read Twilight? I think you would like it.'
The answer is 'yes' I have read Twilight. I've read each of the four books, and I don't like it. Most Twi-haters, however, have not read the books. I don't see how anyone can hate something they haven't experienced, but I guess prejudice is all too common in society at the moment.

I actually believe that despite the Twilight-mania that we all had to suffer through is dying down, Twilight has impacted vampires for evermore. We wont ever get back to how things were before, but now mundanes who normally would roll their eyes, shudder or even avoid me, now show slight amounts of interest or at least don't mutter expressions of 'freak!' to their friends.

I don't think all vampires need to be scary, but I do think that vampire lore is important, an if an author is going to remove/add/change or vary vampire lore they need to do it right! They need to make it believeable. Anne Rice did this. She reinvented vampires and vampire lore and it worked oh so well. Stephanie Meyer also did this, by removing every single piece of vampire lore (Even fangs! Shock horror!), and replaced it with glitter. Not to mention the ultra-conservative views that are not so subtly injected into the book, many which conflict with my values and personal choices... ahem.
So I spent a few years fuming about the destruction of vampire culture. At that time I hated True Blood and didn't want to watch the show or read the books by Charlaine Harris. (That changed...) I refused to buy any of the shirts that had fangs printed on it or slogans such as 'Most girls want to be a princess, I want to be a vampire'! And honestly, I do regret that, not because of the cheap clothing with the wanky print, but to cut up and to mod and customise into new stuff. Especially because nowadays you don't see those sorts of pieces anywhere.

Anyway, last summer, when I was finished with high school, recently separated from my first serious 2 year relationship and waiting for uni to start. I was pretty bored and upset, so I spent the time watched True Blood season one and a bit of season two, as well as lots and lots of other junky shows and movies. And yes, I got hooked on True Blood. I liked the sexy vampires, the large quantities of blood, the booze, the fact that the show deals with lots of real issues such as sexuality, drugs, religion and racism. Finally it seemed that the mainstream had gotten it right! These vampires represented everything I wanted in a vampire TV show. Real fangs (although it peeves me that they are not the incisors. I'm a purest!), an aversion to sunlight and silver as a weakness. These vampires were vulnerable and actually in a lot of danger due to their addictive blood. Not to mention I loved Harris' new interpretation of vampires and the acceptance of vampires within society. 'Coming out of the coffin'. That's just great. It's new and fresh, but enough lore to be faithful to vampire legends.

So I'll continue to watch vampire films, read vampire novels both tasteful and trashy, and wear vampiric attire on ocassion. I don't really care if the mainstream have another vampire-fad, I just hope that it is not so squeaky clean. That these beings are capable of creating a lot of harm if necessary to the plot.
I'll continue to indulge in thick red drinks and lots of red wine, red lip colour and pointed nails even if every single teenager is doing that very same thing, or vampires vanish into obscurity. And I won't stop loving (almost) everything vampiric any time soon.

Anyone else who is feeling disillusioned it whatever used to make their heart beat that little more, I say 'Please don't give up, yet!' Things will get better eventually, whether you're into games and the popularity of casual games has left a bitter taste in your mouth, or a passionate fan of Steampunk who utters a little cry everytime they see something like Justin Bieber attempting (failing) to do Sp and then have to watch in horror as all the little fiends want to cram cogs onto their school jackets. =(
Just stick things out, maybe take a little break if it really is depressing and making you loose faith in life, but rest assured that like all things in pop culture, people will get bored and quickly look for something else to satisfy their increasingly short attention spans. And then we can emerge, relatively unharmed and continue to revel in what we love.

Please, share any other experiences in the comments below!

xxx Lilly

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Goth Challenge 2013- Parts 9 and 10

  • 5 keywords that describe my personal Goth style
Vampire, Romantic, Burlesque, Cabaret, Deathrock
  • How I first found out about Goth fashion
I've been exposed to Goth fashion and culture all my life, seeing people wearing the clothes on the street, in editorials and protrayed in films and on tv, and always been facinated with it. Goth fashion was something that I slowly and naturally began incorperating into my outfits ever since I was able to make concious choices about my clothing, until it overtook everything and all of the 'non-Goth' clothing had all been sent to second hands stores to, hopefully, find a second (or third considering I've purchased 2nd hand clothes all my life) life in a new home. As I've said countless times my style is constantly evolving and changing so I think that even in a year or so I will have changed my personal style and some of my current outfit will be recycled.

Sorry again for another mini-post. Hopefully soon I will have something more substantial to post about!

xxx Lilly

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Classical Music

Is is just me or does it seem odd to anyone that I am a classical musician who dedicates most of my day to the study of music yet I rarely post about music on my blog?

I think that this is because I find music an aural experience mainly, and that itself is impossible to express through text. Also, having this blog gives me the opporturnity to express and explore my interests that otherwise I wouldn't have the time for, considering I'm studying music full time at the Conservatorium. I don't post very often here at all, and that is sad. I have been making the effort to post more often lately, and I hope my loyal followers have been appreciating that. =)

Oh, and I've been featured on Dark Side of the Net recently. Seeing their little blurb about me made me realise that this blog doesn't really reflect the main interest of my personality and current focus and life goal.

So anyway, would anyone like me to post music related content? Such as beautiful pieces of music, interesting facts or posts on the musician's lifestyle? Please let me know! I would love to share with you all such a dominant part of my life even more.

xxx Lilly

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Laced Eyeliner tutorial

This is a look I wear reasonably often out to clubs and the ocassional daytime event (like the recent picnic for example). I actually thought this look was pretty common place, seeing people such as The Green Fairy wear it out regularly, but while clubbing and attending events many Goths of all ages ( including ladies who have been dressing up for many more years than me) asking how I created the effect. So, I decided that it would be a great blog tutorial.

The makeup will look a little something like this... (these photos were quickly snapped while I was in the middle of getting dressed ready for bi-monthly Melbourne Goth night Requiem, and may have been a drink or two down already.... XD)
This was my makeup on Saturday night, before my hair and outfit was done.

 This look is simple enough. Begin with your regular foundation and powder routine. I would suggest that you completed almost as much of your chosen makeup as you can, leaving this as the final technique. Perhaps leave you lips bare for the moment though as you hands may smudge the lipcolour or the lace/net you use could very likely lift away and even transfer any product ruining everything. And, you don't want that. Really.

Depending on whether you want to wear fake eyelashes, or like me have naturally long lashes, skip the mascara until afterwards too. You'll know why soon enough...

Now, take an old pair of lace or fishnet tights and find part of the pattern that you like. Remember that the transfer on your face will be the reverse, so find a pattern with lots of space, rather than something with a lot of material. However, a good amount of material is important to create a contrast. The stockings I used this time didn't have a thick weave, hence the slight blending.
I highly recomend you trial this makeup before you do your final makeup, as the pattern you choose will affect the look you want 100%. I would also recomend choosing a regular pattern like fishnet, as I think uneven patterns (for example a floral lace) look a bit silly. But that's just me.

Find the crotch of the tights (please ensure they're washed!) and stretch that over your face with the pattern lining up to wherever you want it. It needs to be quite taught to follow the contours of your face, so keep your hair up and in a bun if it is long. Most likely it will be up for your makeup anyway. Once you've begun, you can't really change it, so make sure it's right before you start.

Now, take a flat foundation sponge or flat powder puff. Trust me, don't use a brush, even a Kabuki brush, as the bristles flick the product around and under the lace and it just doesn't work at all.

Having yor hair styled over your temples will make this look more blended and less 'suddenly prints on the face' XD
Dampen it ever so slightly and then liberally press it into your desired pressed powder eyeshadow or blush and lightly tap off the excess. Press it firmly onto your face with even pressure as desired. Here you can be creative, creating a gradient or even multiple colours. I personally like this technique on my temples fading around my higher cheekbones ands forehead, similar to contouring. I found that pressing firmly but not excessive dabbing achieved the best result. Going crazy with the dabbing of the sponge just made a blur of pigment similar to using a brush, but too light pressure looks silly or fading.
Please excuse the bizzare eyebrows. Like I said I was still only half dressed =S

Once you believe you've achieved you're desired look, carefully lift the stockings out and then over your hair (finish your hair afterwards). You can use a brush to reduce the severity of this look or to blend the edges, just be gentle. If it is really full on I would suggest to use a makeup removing wipe and gently wipe off the sections you don't want, and then fill in with foundation or powder if necessary. This can also create a striking line across your cheek. XD

Something that I didn't do in these photos was choose stockings that have a thick weave, hence the slight blending.

In these photos I sealed the makeup with some sealing gel mixed with some cosmetic glitter using a coarse Kryolan sponge. The flash I used doesn't really pick up on the glitter, but there was a lot! This look can be bit fragile if you don't set it with something like a sealing gel or spray.

Other makeup for this look was hot pink and purple eyeshadow with gold, gold glitter and black mascara and liquid eyeliner, plus foundation, just fyi.

I hope you enjoyed this makeup tutorial. Please give me some feedback in the comments!

xxx Lilly

The Goth Challenge 2013- Parts 7 and 8

Why I wear Goth fashion? 

My personal fashion choices come naturally to me so if I wore anything else I wouldn't be true to my own heart and personality. However, my fashion choices do change with time as my personality and interests develop and mature.

Why don't I wear Goth all the time? 

Honestly, I wear simple Goth fashion every day. The ocassions when I don't I either have a performance, a super lazy day or just have nothing clean and suitable. I do enjoy dressing up on special ocassions though. I don't go 'all out' each day simply due to time restrictions in the morning, not to mention overall lack of interest when I know I won't be going out anywhere.

xxx Lilly