Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Brand of Choice 2016: RESTYLE

My Brand of Choice for 2016

Restyle is one of those brands that I've had an interest in for some time. Most people remember them for their highly popularized cameo purses. They've dabbled in a little Lolita, a little Trad Goth, but it seems that they've found their niche in the Nu Goth scene. I have been increasingly impressed with their emerging designs. They continuously refine their aesthetic with each new collection. Their jewelry is to die for. Take a look at their latest releases and you'll be left asking, "Alchemy who?" They are easily the best name as far as Gothic jewelry goes. Killstar can't hold a candle to them. Restyle's most recent clothing designs are leaning heavily into the bondage trend which I quite fancy. While body harnesses have been done to death, I'm taken with Restyle's ability to implement bondage in subtle and sophisticated ways. It's evident that they have a keen understanding of the female form. This is what earns them my title of brand of choice for 2016. They mix materials in ways that I cannot comprehend. If someone could teach me how to knock off their leggings, please do so, because I am freaking stumped! How do they do it without affecting the stretch of the fabric?! HOW? It's almost worth forking over the $50 USD to find out...

Restyle's most recent releases are largely influenced by geometry and occult symbolism. I'm a little over the occult thing, there are a few pieces I'm drawn to but I would hesitate to sport the pentagram when I'm not walking the pagan path. What I'm most attracted to is their latest hoodies and jackets with their unique use of construction lines to compliment the figure. They have a sort of Industrial Goth feel to them but are more simplified and feminine than the 90's trends we came to associate with that scene.

Restyle is one of those brands that is rethinking Gothic style (perhaps that's how the brand chose its name?). They are pushing the limits of design through experimentation. This is very encouraging. A brand that takes risks is exactly what we need for the future of Gothic fashion.

Unfortunately, because it's a European brand, there's little hope for Canadians to afford these pieces unless our dollar improves. Not to forget, according to their size chart I'm a large (?); this is especially confusing when American sites sell Restyle products without adjusting their size chart or making note of the differences. If you're wondering, I'm not a large, in Canadian sizes I'm a size 4/5 or small. Are girls in the EU especially petite? My hope is that in time these garments and accessories will be more accessible to North American buyers.

I'm really interested to see what new products they release in 2017 and if the brand will continue to steadily improve over time.

What do you think of Restyle?


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Too Different to Make Friends Part 2

Finding your path out of the darkness
(or into, depending on how you look at it)

I'd like to discuss my last post where I said we should negate the effect of self defeating thoughts by using positive affirmations. I recently read a book about emotional regulation. It talked about studies that revealed simply stating affirmations like "things will get better for me," are not sufficient enough. Instead, a person should draw upon memories of positive things that have happened in their life. The author encourages that you draw upon the past because it's grounded in fact.

I liked this because it expanded upon what I was going for. In my post, positive affirmations were more about developing a plan of action to overcome a negative thought.

A: "I can never think of what to say. I'm stupid."
B: "I can listen and encourage conversation by asking questions. I can read to expand my knowledge or seek experience."

In almost every example I provided the affirmation is that you can overcome the obstacle. I want my readers to believe that improvement is within your control. You are capable! You can choose to seek knowledge and experience, you can choose to surround yourself with loving and supportive people (and get rid of those that bring negativity into your life). What I neglected to address is the emotional aspect of negative thinking. 

While none of my examples were this simplified, if someone were to think "I will never find love" they might counter it with the affirmation "I'm worthy of love." ← I've actually seen this example repeatedly in my studies. I know that my kind of affirmation would look more like this: "I can find love, but first I have to determine why I think I'm so undeserving of it." Again, I guess my affirmations are largely centered around taking control and action but that's the kind of personality I have. If something is broken, I want to fix it. I seek answers. You might not be inclined to do the same. Perhaps you're stumped and you couldn't get past the "I'm worthy of love" affirmation - and considering how many self-help/health and wellness websites push that phrase, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that that's where most people get stuck. 

Why are these simplified affirmations so ineffective? It's because deep down inside a depressed person doesn't believe any of it. You can go around telling people you're beautiful and hate yourself on the inside. Just because we state something doesn't make it true to us. There has to be a degree of belief involved and in many instances our emotions (like sadness) will inhibit that belief from taking hold. In the case of "I'm worthy of love" you have to find evidence that you have been loved in the past. Once you have your memory you can draw upon it in your time of need. If you've been through a bad breakup and believe "I'll never find love," you could remember a friend who loves you unconditionally and assert that if they love you then there must be more people in the world who are willing to show you that same degree of affection.

But there is a major flaw with this approach - some of us may not recall or have not experienced a positive event. I think this is why my method is a bit better because instead of dwelling on the past or the uncertainty of the future, you're just taking the bull by the horns and committing to action. I have read articles which posit that imagining positive outcomes can also be a good tool to overcoming emotional barriers, but it's a band-aid solution. While studies have shown that a positive attitude will boost your prospects, I can't help but worry that you could get your hopes up and feel twice as hurt if you failed. It's like seeing the world in rose colored glasses. Simply imagining that a guy will date you is limiting your receptiveness to the various, unknown possibilities. He might be gay or he might not see you that way. When you've been hoping it goes well (especially for a long period of time) it can be unbearable when it fails to meet your expectations. If you happen to be the kind of person who does not handle rejection well and can easily get caught up in a whirlwind fantasy, you might be emotionally dependent and I really don't believe that just "thinking positively" is an appropriate technique for you.

Read onward.

The other day, I learned that I'm emotionally dependent. I should stop for a moment and clarify, as I stated in my recent post I'm "fiercely independent, emotionally" - these are not the same things! To be emotionally dependent is to require validation and self worth from others, whereas to be emotionally independent (and not in the clinical sense, but in the context of my self image) means that I don't share my feelings with others. Now that that's out of the way... I apparently seek validation from other people. I don't have much self love...or self esteem...or much of anything. I had been struck by the realization that I get hung up on rejection very easily, like scary easily. So I decided to investigate. The concept of emotional dependency seemed to fit and once I began reading about it I saw startling similarities in the "profile" of an emotionally dependent person with my own personality. It was embarrassing to say the least.

After reading countless psychological papers, I came to the conclusion that it all stems from my childhood, living with a narcissistic mother. But I digress, we'll explore this further in depth in another post. The point I'm getting at is that I found the suggested self help treatment tips for emotionally dependent people mirrored that of those presented in the emotional regulation book, as well as the other articles that I read. You can draw upon memory to base your beliefs in fact, or you can think positively and visualize positive outcomes. However, in the emotional dependency article, it warned that people who are emotionally dependent will take positive thinking to a negative extreme. Instead, you should visualize all possible outcomes. This way you're better prepared for rejection. 

We all feel hurt when we're rejected. Researchers have discovered that the brain registers rejection in the same manner as physical injury. Despite what the anti-socialist wants to believe, social support and community are integral to our survival. We were dependent upon it in our most primitive form and the instinct to connect with others is hardwired into our brains. If you feel like you could die because you're so lonely, it's not unwarranted, the reality is that we aren't meant to be alone. How do we manage rejection? I'd like to explore that in depth in the next segment, but for now the easiest way is to visualize all possible outcomes and remember that everybody has their reasons for not wanting companionship. Maybe the individual(s) you're pursuing are too caught up in work life or family, have no need for more friends, or have a different religious background than you. It's not always black and white, they might have a good reason for rejecting your companionship. Or they're an asshole, and all we can do when it comes to assholes is assert that they are the product of their environment. We take pity on them.

Apparently there is an app or game that you can play which purposely exposes you to rejection so you can develop a buffer against it? I might have to check it out. 

In conclusion, the best way to defeat negative thoughts are as follows:

Step 1: Identify and analyze the problem. 
Step 2. Develop the plan to rectify the problem.
Step 3. Remember a time when things went well OR visualize the possibility of a desired outcome.

For emotionally dependent people:
If you can't find a memory to assert yourself, instead focus on the plan. Don't imagine a possible desired outcome, imagine ALL possible outcomes. You will do better if you focus on taking action instead of day dreaming.

Let's apply these new techniques to a few personal examples of mine.


A: "I'm too different to make friends."
B: "I can learn to value my uniqueness and that which makes me different. I can seek out more social opportunities to afford me a greater chance of meeting someone who does accept my differences. I remember that I once had a friend who adored me because I was just like her, a weirdo! And even still, I have another friend unlike me who accepts me regardless of my eccentricities. I'm sure there are others out there like her."

A: "I will never be happy."
B: "I can commit myself to finding happiness through personal development. I can research what might be preventing me from attaining happiness, mentally or otherwise. While I have no recollection of being truly happy, I can imagine that it's possible so long as I try."

A: "I'm seeing my new 'friend' in a few weeks. I don't think he really likes me."
B: "I don't know whether or not he does like me, I can't assume what's going on inside his head. I don't want to believe he doesn't like me but I realize I need to prepare myself for that possibility. It could go either way and I need to remember that it's not a life or death situation, the thrill is always in the experience."


While I am expanding upon a lesson from the previous post, I think it's an important one. Our negative, self defeating thoughts pose as barriers to entering into healthy, social relationships. We have to maintain a degree of optimism, and for some being realistic is of the utmost importance. If you catch yourself daydreaming try picking up an engaging activity, like reading or something that requires manual dexterity, to draw your focus away from fantasy. If you find you're brooding and thinking negatively, I encourage you to keep a small diary in which you can jot down your negative thoughts, then revisit them when you're more calm to analyze them and create new affirmations. Search for memories that contradict your thoughts and record them in your diary as well, this way you can revisit them when you're lacking confidence or feeling blue. Don't be afraid to share your examples or experiences in the comments below.


Saturday, 10 December 2016

La Virgen de Guadalupe

I ♥ Jesus!

I wasn't exactly brought up in a religious household. Sure I went to church a handful of times in my childhood, made some palm crosses, sang songs, but I hardly remember any of it! Can I quote the bible? Hell no. Yet a part of me has always retained a fascination with religious iconography. Especially that of Christian iconography. Spanish Catholicism (in particular of Mexico) has yielded some of the prettiest depictions of La Virgen de Guadalupe. In high school I hoarded up altar candles with stickers of Jesus on them. What can I say? They look cool. My best friend shared in this fascination and at times we would teasingly tell people that we thought Jesus was sexy because he had a beard. She bought me a lanyard that says "I ♥ Jesus" on it, which I still own. Given this brief history of my adoration, you can imagine how blown away I was when Dolce & Gabbana released a sacred heart inspired spring collection last year. It was so religious. It was so fucking hot!

I gushed over the shoes with the secret cabinets hidden in the heel, the beautifully ornate clutches, the crowns and rose covered gowns. I have never seen anything so awesome in all my life, and I could hardly give a shit about D&G. The collection wasn't as well received as I had hoped, and only a few alternative shops began carrying designs that mimicked the style. I haven't seen any amazing knock offs of the shoes or clutches featured in the collection, and in my heart I'm hoping someone will someday endeavor to make a more affordable copy of them. At a few thousand dollars US a piece, it's just too far out of my budget. That being said, I did find a few items that could make an adequate knock off. What do you guys think?

Rock n Rose 
- Jesus Vintage Cameo Ring
- Beatrice Rose Crown Headband
- Eve Vintage Cross Ring
- Cara Metal Crown
- Valentina Oversized Mosaic Cross Necklace.

Gasoline Glamor 
-Baroque Cross Earrings (right)

I Still Love You NYC
-Luxe Cross Earrings (left)

Nasty Gal
-Sworn to Secrecy Embroidered Skirt & Top (right)

Dolls Kill
-Sacred Heart Top

For Love & Lemons
-Desert Rose Maxi Skirt (left)

Current Moo
-Muerte Rose Platforms (left)

Iron Fist
-Like a Virgin Boots (right)
-Like a Virgin Sweater.

- Luxury Rose Evening Clutch


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Trends for the New Year?

Goth Fashion in 2017

As the Soft Grunge movement fizzles out, the 70's Boho girl takes a much needed break, and black and white prints hit their plateau, what can we expect to see in the near future of our Alt and Goth scenes? Rather than intuit what could happen this year, I'd like to state what I'd like to see happen.

We have seen a lot of prints, we have seen a lot of chiffon, bondage, maxi dresses and Pastel Goth stuff, and after awhile it gets old. I decided to visit Attitude Clothing's website recently to skim over their catalog - and I should note, they used to host a separate site called "Extreme Attitude" for Goths but have amalgamated it all into one website, so any of my former links to them are probably dead. As far as clothing goes, it's much of the same. I have literally seen the same dress just in various printed fabrics. Can you imagine going to a party where every girl is wearing a Wednesday Addams dress but one is in tartan, one has skulls, one maybe has bats or coffins? Would you feel a bit bored by that? I know I would. I think we need to see more range this year.

You know what I'd like to see? Black denim. Texture. Fabrics that have structure to them. Modesty - freaking hell give us some damn modesty! We literally went full swing into baring it all, right down to the g-string knickers, and I think in order to recover from that it should go to the complete opposite. I would love to see something tasteful, modest and professional. More Corp Goth friendly outfits. I think that's what gets me, if you're a Corp Goth, you of all people must agree with how difficult it is to dress yourself with today's fashions. You're not allowed to show up to the office in a bralette. Likewise chiffon shows just a wee bit more than your boss would like to see. You know you can't get away with the prints because they're too bold and "out there". The exposed midriff is a bit...much. If anything, Corp Goths have been getting the short end of the stick during the entire Nu Goth/Soft Grunge fad. And I'm a bit biased, a lot of this stems from my feminist viewpoint, but I feel like a lot of young women are dressing like slobs anymore. 

I don't mind a bit of cleavage in the right setting, but parading around in your fucking underwear is utter nonsense. 

Perhaps I'm drawn to more modest and professional clothing because I'm aging. I'm getting older and I need to bare in mind that I can't get away with crop tops for much longer. That being said, however, we're in need of a cultural shift. We've gone through this mess with young women combating the male gaze by defiantly wearing whatever the hell they want (and I don't agree with this whole "objectification" thing, because many women are denying men their right to their sexuality. Boobs are hot, okay, guys will look at them and should not be made to feel ashamed for it. Fuck, I LOOK AT THEM). We've gone too far into this sexual liberation shit that it's become more like a spectacle. Girls are upholding Miley Cyrus as a pioneer for their sexuality when they should in fact be taking a good long look at Dita Von Teese - aside from her burlesque work, when she's not pouring champagne over her ass she is a well dressed, sexy and powerful woman (I prefer her as a blonde, but you get the point). That's how you fucking dress! I mean, people are reclaiming the word "slut" like it's a good thing. It isn't. There is a huge difference between being sexually empowered and being a whore.
Please, let's show the world what real sexy is.

When I look to the high fashion couture designers I'm seeing a lot of Elizabethan/Renaissance inspired clothing. We are seeing the return of puff, cap sleeves, court necklines, empire waistlines (babydolls), and some things with a cultural Scandinavian flavor to them. There are mandarin collars everywhere. There's no shortage of lace, even in the high fashion scene they just rehash shit all the time. Fendi's 2016 Couture collection is channeling my needs for texture, albeit in ugly manifestations lol. Fur, sculptural ornamentation, I need that shit this year! Silhouettes are leaning towards a-line, straight and slender with higher collars or long sleeves. There's some 70's revival still occurring, particularly in Elie Saab collections. While I often reject the mainstream fashions, especially those of fashion house designers, I can't help but acknowledge that they greatly influence Goth and Alt ready to wear trends. It's how all fashion works. Some Parisian asshole designer thinks AstroTurf would make a good jacket and suddenly we find it the next month in Forever21. 

It'll be interesting to see if the big sleeves and high collars catch on, perhaps in a more watered down form. 

What are your thoughts for 2017 fashion?


Monday, 28 November 2016

Cosplay by McCall's Papillon & Manikin

Steampunk and Lolita Cosplay Patterns

Meant to post about this sooner, especially as I'm very excited to see yet another Lolita pattern emerge from McCall's. Just two patterns this time around. The first Papillon (I know them as dogs lol) is a Victorian inspired tailcoat and women's lined short coat. Manikin is a JSK with blouse and overskirt.

Lined Swallowtail Coat and Lined Short Coat

Those interested in the Neo-Victorian fashion movement might be tempted to pick this pattern up. The pattern features a swallowtail coat, which I find very Jack Skellington-esque. It's a bit boyish for my liking but I figure that's the point. The short version comes in two different styles, with pleated ruffle and without, with side fastener or buttons. I quite like this short coat, I plan on making it for myself, hopefully out of a blood red velvet I've had stashed away for such a piece.

Dress, Overskirt, Blouse and Bow

This pattern features a JSK with shirred elastic back, lace up over-skirt and blouse with bow. I really like the blouse on this, it's very feminine and delicate and has a Victorian feel to it, I can see more than just Loli girls buying the pattern for the blouse alone. The tiered dress is cute but I think the straps could be a bit wider as they seem awfully skimpy. While the over skirt is a good idea I'm not a fan of the execution, I think the back is what bothers me about it. I'm used to seeing them positioned with the lace up in the front of the dress, but more importantly it doesn't look like it fits on the model. It seems underdeveloped and tight, probably the most costumey aspect of the entire outfit. That being said I'm sure with some drafting it could be brought up to snuff. It's a cute pattern. Probably too sweet for my wardrobe but I want that blouse in black.


These are certainly more wearable than most of the cosplay costumes that have come out and I really appreciate that. I like this trend of feminine, Victorian pieces, but I'm going back to my fashion roots and where all my interests began so I have a soft spot for this sort of thing.

What do you think, my lovelies?


Friday, 18 November 2016

Too Different to Make Friends

Battling an Inferiority Complex and Low Self Esteem

I haven't talked much on here recently, I'm sure many of you must be thinking it's work, home life or illness. It's kind of a mixture of all three, but most importantly my social life was taking a turn for what I thought would be the best...but it nosedived as I should have known it would.

I had an old acquaintance reach out to me. We hadn't seen each other in years. I was super nervous but optimistic, yet somehow when I saw them everything in me shut down and I felt terrible about myself. I ruined the entire outing by acting like an asshat and saying the stupidest shit imaginable.

What happened here? It's difficult to summarize. There are a few major contributing factors, like who this person was to me, what they are now, and how different we are from each other. But more importantly it brought to light that I still struggle with an inferiority complex and I still battle social anxiety. If it wasn't for either of those things I probably would have made a life long friend and not fucked everything up. Then again, maybe I wouldn't have. Who knows, the opportunity is probably lost.

I have been in isolation for over a decade. After I lost a good friend to drug abuse, I entered into University and got on with nearly no one. That's not true, I made a few friends but they weren't the outside-of-school-hours kind. Even after graduation I've never managed to solidify a friendship with anyone new. The only person left is my friend Liz from the 9th grade and I rarely see her because we don't live in the same city.

I'm always very standoffish when you first meet me or catch me in social settings. I clamp up, sound like I'm snapping when I talk, or shut down entirely. I'm fearful of doing and saying the wrong things, which only inevitably leads to actually doing and saying the wrong things. That's irony for you, isn't it? I've been told to get out more and that practice will help me to overcome my social anxiety but in a city this small it seems laughable to think that would work. I've looked at meetups, none of it interests me, there's a lot of business and coding groups in my city. I found one group of introverts which only made me laugh at myself because I'm not actually introverted. I'm just different.

That word...different. I think the majority of bloggers in the Goth and alt scene can identify with my struggle of being different. You know how it is...Don't talk about your fascination with taxidermy to anyone. Don't tell them you listen to The Cure or Joy Division. When they question why you always wear black don't say it's because you're in touch with your dark side, tell them you have a black cat and don't like the fur showing up on your clothing. Or if you're really like me, don't tell them about your choice to not have kids, how you reject societal norms, and that you feel like a boy on the inside (watch the shit hit the fan with that one). 

Social anxiety has been the bane of my existence for ages. I've always put on this facade of who I am. My senior years in high school were possibly the only years I was being honest with people. As a freshman I had been trying to please everyone, constantly joking around and acting retarded. It didn't get me anywhere, just a lot of acquaintances who didn't see me as more than a joke or someone to fill in the gaps between classes. It was like that in uni too, only it changed into me being more of a crotchety bitch who was trying to deflect attention from herself. I met some nice people but I guess I was so guarded it never amounted to anything beyond the occasional chat. Now I'm so inexperienced socially I forget how to behave in public. I talk to people like cats sometimes. I'm not kidding! I don't even remember who I am anymore. Am I me, or am I my clothes? Does that even make sense?

I tried creating a workbook to review the self defeating thoughts that keep resurfacing, the qualities I think I might have, and those negative ones that I know I do. I think this could be a helpful exercise for anyone else who may combat feelings of inadequacy. Has it helped me? That remains to be seen. I've clarified a few things but I still don't understand who I am and how it relates to everyone else.

Overcoming an Inferiority Complex 

Make a list of your negative attributes.

Self centred, igrnorant, uncultured, inexperienced, vulgar, avid non-conformist, judgmental, shy, low self esteem, brutally honest, negative

Can any of these attributes be corrected over time, are some of them exaggerations or untrue?

Am I self-centred? Probably. We all tend to be self-involved. If you're too selfless people walk all over you. I try to be more giving and outwardly interested. My vulgarity and ignorance is certainly something to be improved upon. I could swear less, talk dirty less and be more open minded. The best way to do this is to become a good listener and to think more before I speak. I could be more cultured and experienced if I only sought life experiences out, but finances and my location have made that rather difficult. The only way I've tried to overcome these barriers is by reading and trying to collect other people's experiences...it feels really fucking shameful when you can recall stories from friends but none of your own. Is my being a non-conformist a negative thing? That's deep. Maybe I reject a lot of things because of some internal struggle, like it's out of jealousy or something. Largely I'm not a non-conformist by choice, it just comes naturally and is certainly apart of my individuality and uniqueness. I think it's important to be unique. I'd rather that than being predictable and boring, so perhaps I'm being too hard on myself for being different. Shyness can be overcome in time but sometimes it's necessary to be shy. I need to stop being too honest and too open about everything, some things should be revealed over time. If I talk about the wrong things too early in a conversation people will believe that whatever it is I'm talking about is of the utmost importance to me because this is the first conversation, it's my first impression. I fuck that up a lot. Yet, there are some things that I think are important for people to know about me (this is good practice, you should try making a list of things you want people to know about who you are so you can be prepared for those first time interactions). I could also try to stay positive and change my attitude when I catch myself slipping.

What do I think is my biggest barrier to becoming socially accepted?

That is a hard question to answer, don't feel bad if you can't. I think this one takes some soul searching. My biggest problem is that I'm not receptive to socializing. I've conditioned myself to live without it and I've closed myself off from people. The reason I lost friends in university is that I didn't open my heart enough to being loved and supported. I'm fiercely independent emotionally. I act like I can do without even though I definitely can't (I might try convincing myself that I can, but the other day I said I would give up my art and everything I hold dear if someone would just "connect" with me on a personal level). I want to be more receptive, I have to determine the path to achieving that.

Make a list of positive attributes.

Mine: creative, unique, funny, caring, empathetic, sensitive, honest, trustworthy, supportive, emotionally intelligent, strong, driven, talented

This is always harder. Coming up with things that you like about yourself is likely going to take twice as long as the negative attributes list. Don't feel like that's weird, it's normal. It's also normal if some of these attributes conflict with your negative ones because we all have internal conflicts, we also over exaggerate our flaws. I'm self-centered but empathetic? Wtf? But I am. I am very interested in other people, I want to care for and support them emotionally yet I have difficulty unplugging from myself. I might talk too much about myself and not ask enough about them, although I do care to know them. Make sense? While these qualities are good I feel like the majority of them are not easily discerned by other people. There are things we know about ourselves that a stranger wouldn't. By randomly talking to me on the street you probably would not know that I am trustworthy. Some of these things are learned over time and the problem for me is that a lot of my attributes need time to be established. Someone would have to invest time in me to become aware of how loyal a friend I can be, therefore my first impression on someone needs to be freaking amazeballs. Hence, why I fucked up so supremely with my old acquaintance. He's not going to come back to find out more about me. I'd be very surprised if he did.

Analyze your self defeating thoughts.

Start with a self-defeating thought and then break it down with a positive affirmation. 


Self-defeating thought (A): "I'm not as good at art as Ladyfair is."
Affirmation (B): "But I'm far better at (x) than she is."

A: "I can never think of what to say. I'm stupid."
B: " I can listen and encourage conversation by asking questions. I can read to expand my knowledge or seek experience."

A: "No one is interested in what I think or feel."
B: "I cannot account for or intuit what another person thinks about me. I can only do my best and keep trying."

This next one is a hard one, it needs an affirmation to follow it but I feel it should also be further analyzed. 

A: "So-and-so hates me, I wish I had their acceptance."
B: "I should move on to find someone who values me."
^ If so-and-so does in fact hate me, and I'm not just over exaggerating something stupid I did, or internalizing something they said or did as an attack, then I need to determine why their acceptance is important to me. Who are they to me? What do they represent? Do I feel that knowing them can benefit me somehow? Can I find that benefit through other means (or other people)?

Every negative thought should be followed by a positive one. You need to find things you value in yourself and stop the cycle of self hatred, especially before you can make any real friends. Believe it or not, that negativity shows. It's in your mannerisms and your speech. Try practicing positive affirmations daily. You have to believe in them, though. If you catch yourself having a self-defeating thought acknowledge it as such. For instance, I struggle with OCD. I might think of setting my towel on fire. I know that I don't want to and that's abnormal, it's an aspect of my OCD and not a real belief of mine, therefore it's not what I really think. Your negative thoughts aren't real reflections of yourself, you're just having a shitty day, acknowledge them as shitty thoughts and replace them with affirmations. You might say, but Ladyfair, I really do hate myself! And that is such a fucking pussy emo thing to say. It's juvenile and unrealistic to believe that you have no good qualities about yourself. Find what they are and remind yourself about them daily. You have to change your thought process, that shit is not going to fix itself.

This is what I intend to do. I challenge my readers to do the same. Please share your experiences in the comments below. Next time I might talk about assessing your values and your ideas about friendship and socializing.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Cosplay Accessories from Cosplay by McCall's

New Accessory Patterns

I recall perusing the Cosplay by McCall's social media sites and had seen a few suggestions regarding Cosplay accessories. I couldn't help but agree with other posters, we need more accessory patterns. Whether it may be hats, body armor, gun slings or garters, we need accessories! All too often I have found costume patterns that feature stellar outfits but less than stellar accessories (hats are the worst of it, they're so poorly drafted they seem like afterthoughts). Cosplay by McCall's has released the first of it's accessory patterns; Stash, Rove and Fatale. Let's take a look at them!

Belts and Pouches

I'm finding in my spare time my sewing doodles are leaning more and more towards a kind of punky, post-apocalyptic Tank Girl kind of thing. I have plans for making harnesses and such, so this pattern appeals to me. I have to say I'm not crazy about the waist belt. It's shaped in almost a garter kind of way, where it tapers into the ass and the hips. Kind of an odd design choice given that it's bulky and very masculine. It's not a sexy looking belt, however the skill level for this pattern is very easy and if you want to keep things accessible to the newby sewists simplification really is the way to go. I prefer the hip satchel...or fanny pack (hooray for the 80's). It's much nicer looking overall. I'm excited to make it. 

Bolero Jackets

The bolero is a staple in many a wardrobe. This pattern reminds me of a few years back when Dieselpunk was a pretty big thing. You remember the military jackets and Lip Service's Gangsta Pranksta line (Google it). If you're itching to revive that look then this pattern might be for you. It features three different variations of the bolero, a mixture of cap sleeves, half sleeves, long sleeves, and a classic or mandarin collar.

Collar, Shoulder Armor, Leggings and Crown

This one is kind of weird lol. It's more like a Queen of Hearts costume, although I'm sure the high collar could be used for other period costume inspired stuff. It comes with instructions on how to make the crown, which again, is decent if you're looking to make a Queen of Hearts costume. The pattern also features "shoulder armor" - new to me. It's a puff pleather sleeve with lace detailing that fastens around the chest. Neat, not necessarily my scene but okay. The "leggings" are more like footless stockings or leg warmers. They're thigh high and stop at the ankle, and it's a damn shame too because it's probably the only thing I'd make from this pattern but I prefer covering my feet. I like the cage detailing at the top and the fishnet panel is a neat idea. This definitely has a Lolita vibe to it which is not surprising because it was designed in part by Ichigo Black.  


I'm happy to see some accessory patterns emerging, I'd like to see more of them in the future! It's also good to see more patterns in the "easy" and "very easy" skill ratings. I feel like the other patterns in the catalog would be too complex and overwhelming for those looking to break into Cosplay, so these patterns would be a good introduction for beginners.



Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Halloween Shopping 2016

Cool Halloween Finds!

If you're like me Halloween is every day. Many of the items being advertised as "Halloween" in the alt and Goth shop sites aren't exactly new or specific to Halloween, at least in my eyes. Much of which I would wear on any given day! Hell, I still have my Halloween panties collection and I wear my Hello Kitty Halloween jammies every month of the year. That being said, I thought it might be fun to do up two mood boards featuring pieces that I think reflect Halloween fairly well. 


I am a huge Universal Monster movie addict. I have the blu-ray box set and I adore breaking it out on a stormy night. In my catalog search I came across a number of items that screamed Universal Monsters to me. These boots are to die for!! I love them! Sadly they are a Demonia product but if I ever came across a pair on super sale I'd be tempted to scoop them, with those adorable little bats and that clunky Franken-heel, what's not to love? Pair it with these hot spiderweb stockings from Sourpuss and matching purse from Rock Rebel (I have lightning bolt earrings which would look stellar with this bag). I love the colour green, electric chartreuse makes my heart sing! I carried it into these cute bone hair clips from Kreepsville, with a skelly cat pin and Halloween necklace. The Vampyra mask is unfortunately only for decoration, although Sourpuss offers up plenty of vintage Halloween repro items, including a remake of a classic fortune telling game, this mask is intended to hang on your wall... I think it would be better if it were a real mask, don't you?

Shoes: Demonia Camel 201 
Brooch: Creep Heart Jellybean Cat Mini Pin
Bag: Rock Rebel Frankenstein Lace Handbag
Hair clips: Kreepsville 666 Gem Bone Hair Clips
Socks: Sourpuss 17" Knee-high Web Stockings
Necklace: Dolly Cool Halloween Cat and Bat Necklace
MISC: Vampyra Girl Vac-Tastic Plastic Mask

This is Halloween!

Here are some items deserving of Halloween! They're selling out fast, too, not surprisingly as I'm sure many ordinary shoppers see these as an adorable alternative to a Halloween costume. I have been swooning over this cream coloured Halloween themed frock for almost a year now. It's on my to-buy list. I just love classic vintage themed Halloween cats. I'm a cat person, mind you, so maybe it's just another aspect of my cat lady craziness. I think it's very flattering and not too in your face, there's something very reserved and feminine about it. This Lucy Fur sweater also features my favorite Halloween black cat design. I think it really pops and would look sharp paired with a tight colourful trouser. I'm also a fan of Sourpuss sweaters as so far all of mine have stood the test of time. The last dress features fun and girly Kewpie style costumed babies. I like it but not as much as other Halloween dresses. It's growing on me a little, the colour palette is fun and I think it would largely appeal to vintage enthusiasts or cutesy Goths. 

Left: Sourpuss Black Cats Gauzy Dress Cream
Center: Sourpuss Lucy Fur Sweater
Right: Sourpuss Halloween is Everyday Skater Dress


I've seen a few other prints from Sourpuss that are "Halloween" themed but I find them rather drab (black and white cemetery prints). What I enjoy about some of Sourpuss' new releases is that there's colour, something almost unheard of in Goth fashion. Halloween has an abundance of colour and I think it would be nice to see more experimentation in the future, for instance, the Lucy Fur sweater in orange would've been cool to see. Some more electric green or purple! Candy corn too!!! 

What are your thoughts? Find anything cool this year?


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Cosplay by McCall's Bow & Brine and Obi: Gādo

New McCall's Cosplay Patterns for Fall

Just in time for Halloween, if you're looking to go as a pirate this year or maybe you wish to don a beautiful kimono just to look pretty, McCall's has two patterns you might be interested in.

Obi: Gādo
Misses' Kimono, Undershirt and Obi with two sleeve and length variations

So this is a pretty cool kimono. I had sewn something similar when I was a teenager (huge Japanese geek at the time) and the kimono patterns that were available in my youth did not look this good. I'm hesitant to encourage wearing this for Halloween, mind you it's great for anyone in love with kimonos or anyone looking to use it for cosplay (you know, something far less insensitive). I like the cut of the shorter one, it reminds me of Lolita, I'd probably wear it without the sleeves, it just looks so gosh darn cute. It doesn't look like it would be that difficult to sew either. :)

Bow & Brine
Misses' Blouses

This pattern was designed in partnership with Seattle Cosplay. I have to say when I saw this I thought of two years ago when I made my own pirate costume. It's pretty cute but I'm disappointed that the cincher belt isn't included in the pattern, especially since it looks fairly easy to knock out. Instead the pattern features three different blouse variations; the one shown above with the sleeves gathered, another with sleeves ungathered, and lastly one with shorter sleeves. It can be made with a ribbon neck tie or collar but I honestly don't think the blouse needs any of that, it looks good on its own. Overall it's a decent pattern I just wish it had a little more oomph, something to accessorize it, like something else to go with it.


These are some cute patterns for what they are. It's a change from some of the very fantasy based costumes we've been seeing and I think it's good to have some diversity. The blouse pattern is versatile enough that it could be used for almost anything, and although the kimono costume lacks that versatility it's still a very pretty and well designed kimono which I haven't seen from any pattern company before. 

Would you wear these?


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Lolita Cosplay and Licensed Alice in Wonderland Costumes

Simplicity Cosplay and Alice in Wonderland Costumes

Simplicity has come out with a few new releases for fall, including some fucking stellar Star Trek costumes (check 'em out if you're a fan). I was just browsing their collections and came across another one of their attempts at Lolita. Now you may recall that I discussed their Rockabilly/Lolita hybrid (8127) in a post a few months ago. That dress pattern had been included with their normal apparel however this new pattern is listed within the costume category. These two new dresses are described as Cosplay instead of Lolita, although I'm hard pressed to identify what anime it's referencing. Also, there are some licensed Disney's Alice in Wonderland costumes which look nothing like anything from the animated film, instead they're more like that weird live action film with Whoopi Goldberg...
Simplicity 8233
Misses' Costumes

I can't help get the feeling they were trying their damnedest to make this girl appear as Asian as possible... What's with the "guh" look on her face? Is that supposed to entice us? It reminds me of soft core porn. The dresses look decent enough. I prefer the floor length dress because there's something about it that looks more balanced and refined. I'm really appreciative of the abundance of texture in both designs. I noticed the majority of the trim is pleated. I imagine without purchasing pre-pleated trim or owning a ruffling foot that would be a big bitch to tackle. Not a fan of the head piece. It looks like she's wearing a cake on her head. Overall it's not bad. Perhaps it wasn't refined enough to be considered apparel or maybe they felt it was too over the top? I still like 8127 a thousand times more but I'm curious to see how one of these dresses looks once sewn. 

Simplicity 8237
Misses' Alice in Wonderland Cosplay

When I saw these I assumed they were from the new Tim Burton film (which I've declined to see). Apparently they're Disney's Alice in Wonderland designs, they barely resemble the film they're referencing. The colours are there...but I don't think many people would make the connection to the classic 1950's animated film. Beyond the wigs, these costumes are actually rather generic and not too different from some of their out of print releases (i.e. Simplicity 4015, 2525 and 3685). I'm sure you could do better by combining a series of other patterns and end up with something more original. 

Simplicity 8234
Misse's Alice in Wonderland Cosplay Costume

Masters of Cosplay artistry have come up with some jaw dropping interpretations of Alice in Wonderland. A simple Google search can yield hundred upon hundreds of Lolita inspired attempts at Alice. It comes as no surprise that Simplicity would resort to stealing someone else's design given that there are so many out there to choose from. I'm sure this designer would be thrilled to find a knock off of their work nestled within Simpilcity's catalog. That's shady. It's not that hard to come up with your own Alice in Wonderland costume. I drew my costume interpretations for the entire cast when I was in high school. I'd share them on here...but maybe Simplicity would nick them from me too... Overall, it's a nice looking costume but their un-originality pisses me off too much to like it. 


I can't say I'm surprised to see them continue with Lolita/Cosplay costumery, however, I wish they had pushed the boundaries a little further. They seem too behind the times. Lolita and Cosplay have evolved far beyond these styles and I'd like to see something on trend. What are your thoughts?


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cosplay by McCall's SENTINEL and RENEGADE

New Fantasy Costume Patterns

I have to say that I'm pumped to see some more girly costume patterns from McCall's. Don't get me wrong, I like that they cater to both sexes. We should have more men's costumes because they've been overlooked in the past, it's just that as a woman I like women's costumes and these are awesome.

Tunic, vest, hood and bracers

I am very interested in Fae fashion. I haven't had much time to look into its current trends or to find new artists and I'm really bummed about that, but it's made the release of this pattern just that much better. I recall Simplicity releasing at least two Fae patterns in the past (1293 and 1251) and I wasn't overly enthusiastic about them (with the exception of the one hoodie). There was something juvenile about their construction, they looked childish but I think they were supposed to appeal to preteens. As far as I can tell those costumes are now out of print and I think they were only available for a few months. Maybe it was the below average designs, or perhaps the needle felting appliqués put people off (why not just couch?), but they were over and done with fairly quickly. I haven't seen a real attempt at Fae since then and I think that Sentinel comes close enough to the ready-to-wear clothing that Fae enthusiasts crave. I love the vest on this with the oversized hood. It's fantastic and the highlight of this costume. I like the idea of having a contrasting band in the front with a decorative trim. It feels very whimsical and the construction looks good. I'm not crazy about the tunic, something about the sleeves looks off but I think it's great when paired with the vest. I'm definitely not into the bracers. This isn't the first time we've seen them in the Cosplay by McCall's collection and they never look right to me. Something about their shape is odd...I can't place it. Are they too long? Maybe you guys know what I mean? The McCall's company already has a much better bracer design in one of their other patterns, Butterick 5371, which I think would've look better with this.

Halter top, underbust corset and belt

This is another pattern designed in part by Anachronism in Action. It's similar to the earlier corset patterns I have featured on the blog, only this one is way more complex, hence it's advanced skill rating. I'm too afraid to tackle this myself. Perhaps the underbust, it doesn't bother me, but the halter harness thing is overwhelming. It looks awesome and I'm jealous of anyone who can pull it off. You're definitely paying for the quality and skill in this pattern, that's a good thing, it's worth the investment because it's not just some skimpy shitty basic corset pattern. My only complaint is that the front of the halter is not as nice as the back, it's boxy looking and it's missing something, it's also so long that it's suffocating the models chest. It looks as though it should rise up another two inches. You can see in the side view it's compressing her bust in an unflattering way, which would need to be worked around. It might just be because that model has a fuller bust, who knows! It's worth picking up this pattern but remember to muslin the shit out of this because fit issues are bound to happen.


I'm happy with these releases, I'm sure some of you are drooling over the back of that halter. I'd like to see more like this from McCall's. It's very encouraging. I should note there's also been a bunch of new Yaya Han designs but I'm really not a fan of her stuff and everything that comes out any more appear to be derivative of her previous patterns.

What do you guys think of these?


Saturday, 23 July 2016

Cosplay By McCall's Valor, Spectral and Resistance

New Fantasy and Post Apocalyptic Costumes

Hello again! It's time for another wave of Cosplay by McCall's costumes. We're looking at two fantasy based costumes and one post apocalyptic/utilitarian style costume. My first impression is that they look ok, but let's deconstruct them.

Valor M2052

Men's Viking Costume

While I'm not blown away by this costume it's not as bad as its female counterpart, Intrepid. I would describe this as a generic viking costume, it's not an outstanding design. I suppose it offers up a good foundation for individuals who may desire a project that they can build off of. The vest and gauntlets are what help this costume, the lace up detailing around the back and shoulders kicks it up a notch. I only wish I could see something to that effect brought into the trousers. The fit looks alright, it's a tunic so there's not a whole lot of room for error. Similar to Intrepid, the pants seem a little off to me. I'm not sure what it is, they just have this tapered 80's look to them and they don't fit in the ass as well as they could (and that's a shame, everybody loves a good ass).

Spectral M2053

Women's Robe and Nightgown

***UPDATE*** I hadn't known the source for this previously, it is from the movie Crimson Peak. I gave it a watch, it's not a great movie by any means lol. I was disappointed to see that this robe is practically non-existent in the film. I planned to watch for the robe but I don't remember seeing it. I find it a little odd that McCall's chose to include the robe, it's not necessary and detracts from the costume. I think this pattern would've been fine with just the nightgown, which is very similar in design to the actual costume. I'm also disappointed that some of the other costume designs weren't used. This film is known for its exceptional visuals (especially given its lackluster script), there are many great dresses worn by the sister. As featured in the promotional poster she wears a crimson dress. I think that would've been interesting to include with the nightgown.

Okay, so I'm a little biased when it comes to this one. I hate this style of nightgown, I always have. But I recognize that fans of historical sewing and Edwardian fashion will enjoy this pattern. The lace along the cuffs and the pearl buttons are cute. The robe looks decent enough. I have a costume pattern from McCall's that features a similar sleeve style and I can see from the promo photo that they've improved the cut of it. I should note that the robe is lined and sewn in brocade so it ramps it up to an intermediate skill level. Otherwise I would think advance beginners could tackle the nightgown on its own, or maybe try the robe in more forgiving materials. I'm sure the costume is referencing some popular TV show but being the non-conformist that I am I can't identify it. I think it would make a good vampire costume though, it reminds me of Dracula's three brides.

Resistance M2054

Unisex Jumpsuit

No, not the game! Although I suddenly find myself wanting to play it. It's a jumpsuit! With all the belt loops and pockets you would expect it to have. This was a very good move on McCall's part. I think unisex patterns are good idea regardless, but here's a pattern that can be used for many purposes. You could use it for a military, SWAT, or NASA costume, a post apocalyptic costume, a Metal Gear Solid Snake costume, a Ghostbusters uniform (the original one, not that shitty fucking so called "feminist" one); the list goes on! I mean how many films, video games, anime or comics can you recall with characters wearing jumpsuits? TONS OF THEM. Hoorah! And the fit doesn't look that bad either. All you need is a pair of combat boots and you're good to go.


It seems as though Valor and Spectral should've been released with Intrepid (the viking women's costume). They have a similar style and design quality to them. Overall these are decent patterns. I like the jumpsuit but I hesitate to use it for the Ghostbusters costume because I do not want to be associated with that horrid film. I guess I might have to wait a year to see if this shit blows over. Who knows!

What do you think?


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Summer Fashions 2016

Slick Summer Picks

It's been awhile since I've sat down and devoted some of my time to fantasy shopping. There have been a few items that I adore, and I've seen them appearing on various social media store accounts. I enter contests whenever I can, hoping and praying I might be a lucky recipient of a new frock or pair of pants. Sadly nothing yet! Boo hoo. I guess I'll settle for mood boards. Here are my faves for the summer of 2016!

Pretty in Prints

I love garments with fun prints. I was drawn to the Wishbone Tank Dress because of its unusual asymmetrical design. At first I thought it looked unfinished but after seeing it a few hundred times I'm enjoying it more and more. It's quirky. People will stop and look at it. Likewise, this button up chiffon blouse features mirrored images of skeletons and is sure to draw stares. I love how they look conjoined! Lastly, the Holly Heartbreaker dress is sweet and simple, it features a keyhole back that's sexy and feminine.

Left: Wishbone Tank Dress by Iron Fist
Center: Stellar Skulls Chiffon Shirt by Fearless Illustration
Right: Holly Heartbreaker Dress by Killstar

Plaid to Meet You

It's no surprise that plaids have made their way back into my mood boards again. I have an affinity for them. I have always desired a plaid moto jacket and I just might have to splurge some day and buy this Jawbreaker jacket, aptly titled "Plaid to the Bone". I would also really like to add another plaid skirt to my wardrobe. I drafted one earlier this year, sadly it's much too warm for the summer months so perhaps this micro mini tartan bondage skirt will fit the bill. The only beef I have with the mini is that it's a little too short...I might have to size up just to cover my ass! Perhaps I should try this delightful high waist circle skirt with suspenders instead. I hope to create a knock off of it someday.

Left: Plaid to the Bone Jacket by Jawbreaker
Center: Skull Tartan Mini Skirt by Jawbreaker
Right: Tartan Highlife Pinafore by Banned Apparel

Fierce Footwear

And naturally we need a footwear mood board. At first when I saw the Bat Wing Boot from Iron Fist I was a little weary about it. It made me think of those hoodies with bat wings jetting out of the armpits, but I've grown to like them. Now they make me think of Morrigan from Darkstalkers. I like these platform mary janes because they look a little like creepers only more feminine. The bat detailing on the front is quite cute and I'd like to see this in a Pastel Goth outfit. The anklets on the end are sexy, I love how embellished they are but I'm hestitant to buy Demonia shoes ever again. I'll have to keep an eye on the reviews for these!

Left: Bat Wing Platform Boot by Iron Fist
Center: Demonia Bat Platform Shoes
Right: Demonia Poison Ankle Boot


I hope you're keeping cool in the summer heat! What do you think of these fashion finds?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...​​