Sunday, 18 September 2016

Where did all the fashion go?

Revisiting the Fashion World

I've been out of the fashion loop for a few months, as you know I've been busy. I decided to take this morning to revisit my staple fashion sites to have a gander at their new stock. I'm surprised to see that we're now moving further and further away from 90's fashion in the alternative scene. In fact, Dollskill, which has been pushing that Electric Daisy shit for nearly two years, seems to have gone full blown Burning Man offering little in the way of Punk, Rave or Goth and almost entirely features garments that are boho-chic or 70's inspired. I've been aware of the 70's revival thing for some time now but I never expected it to go this far. The catalogs from standard fashion retailers, like H&M, Urban Outfitters and Forever21, are swamped with these designs. The good news: bell sleeves. The bad news: ugly pants and sweaters. There's fringe...everywhere...

I think perhaps in a previous life I might have died in the 70's and that my soul resents the shit out of that decade. Or it could be that the 70's were my mother's teen years and I've had to listen to enough Creedence Clearwater Revival to make my head explode (yes, my mum is the sort to play the same song over and over and over again for hours). I don't know why but I damn near hate almost everything about that decade. When old 70's shows would air on television I would have a visceral reaction to them, one of absolute detestation. The film quality was so dark, there's something off putting about it, especially when it's contrasted by the technicolor films of the 50's that somehow managed to make all films thereafter look like total shit. I abhorred the hair, the high collars that I for some reason will forever associate with churchgoers, the pleated pants...just, uhhhhh.

Dollskill goes...70's...

Take note that I'm not disappointed to see the 90's go. I'm a huge fan of authentic 90's fashion and to see watered down versions of classic designs that I've come to depend upon was an uncomfortable time for me. To lighten my mood I hit up Killstar, House of Widow, Sourpuss... but I'm not seeing much of anything new (Lip Service appears to be in the process of re-opening). It seems that printed shit is still going strong with Killstar. I'm sure they're going to ride that out for as long as they can but damn. I've even seen new brands crop up that are offering essentially the same product; printed leggings, tees and dresses. You would think they'd look at a brand like Kreepsville 666 and realize it can't go on forever...although that brand appears to think so as they're still offering the same fucking skeleton dress that I bought seven years ago just in three different new colours. Woot. I don't even bother checking their site anymore because it's always the same!! It's not just the redundancy that bothers me it's the fact that printed items tend to not last very long. They crack, peel and fade, and like wallpaper they can get boring, fast.

So what's a girl to do? We're past the flannel prints of the 90's "grunge" movement, you can only style a slogan t-shirt so many ways; what now?

I'm trying to go back through old catalogs to see how fashion has progressed. I've looked at Lip Service magazine clippings and I can see the progression through the decades but I feel as though we've already revisited all the older designs. Cyber punk arm and leg warmers, bondage, PVC, fishnet, tartan, skinny jeans, medieval dresses, punk jackets, faux fur coats, rockabilly, psychobilly, Dieselpunk, Steampunk; what more is there? Have we exhausted the entire span of Goth and Alternative fashion?

What's to come?

I'm not sure how we'll continue. I'm not even sure what I'd like to see. Since we can no longer really look into the past to determine the future of Goth and Alt fashion, I feel there needs to be more experimentation with designs and textiles. Perhaps a new innovative textile could bring about a new Gothic substyle. What are your thoughts? Do you think we're doomed to repeat the same styles over and over again? What have you never seen in Goth fashion before?


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?

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