Where Have Thou Been?

I’m well aware it’s been several months, if not more, since I last posted here. How terrible! But I have a good excuse, I promise you.

As of May this year I become a hairdressing apprentice. Something I honestly never thought I would do, yet it is probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a makeup artist, it compliments my already existing trade and will assist me in what I would ultimately like to do. That is, hair and makeup for film, TV, theatre and runway.

I spent 14 months as a salon assistant over 2015 and 2016 before heading off on my 3 month adventure in April 2016. After returning home, I tried my hand at retail, then found myself right back where I started, as a salon assistant. With the salon’s apprentice nearing the end of her course, I knew they were looking for a new apprentice and realistically, I was standing in the way of that. I ummed and ahhed over it for a good month, then finally decided that I would offer to be their apprentice. I love the salon, and I loved working there. It not only meant full time work for the next 2+ years, it gave me something to do that would eventually lead to another trade to have under my belt.

So, since May I have been working full time. Something I have never done before and definitely something I’m still getting accustomed to. As well as the fact that I do a lot of extra-curricular activities including, I haven’t had much time to prepare any posts for my blog and for a long time it just completely slipped my mind.

But I’m getting back on track! I have lot’s planned. Now that I have the most income I’ve ever had in my life, I have definitely taken advantage of it and bought all the things i’ve been wanting to buy for so long. Get yourself ready for reviews, outfits, hauls and all sorts of other things coming your way!

Maddy xxx

Pin-Up with No Pin-Up Gals

I’ve been into vintage and rockabilly fashion since I discovered it was a thing, at about age 13. My love of history and old things morphed into something that dictates my day to day style. Starting with one vintage style dress at age 14, and now able to do vintage hair styling and makeup. But the one thing that I have not had this whole time is friends who share a similar passion for all things retro.

There is a saying that “rockabilly is where punk goes to retire”, and seriously this could not be more true. The people who where true-vintage styles aside, rockabilly and pin-up is very popular with the above 30s who were some form of alternative in their teens and 20s. Whenever I have gone to rockabilly culture events (classic cars shows, etc.), I am surrounded by people considerably older than me.

However, it is not age that prevents me from making friends within the rockabilly community. Apart from the fact that it is definitely a minority, I have just found I do not feel as at home at rockabilly events, as I have at Goth clubs, metal gigs or Rock n Roll bars. And I cannot figure out why that is.

I will also quite freely admit that I like standing out. While retro-inspired looks are rising in popularity, it is still definitely a minority, and on a day to day basis, I look different. I have had people say things to be like “oh you’re that vintage girl”. I like people remembering me for it. And if I was amongst other pin-up gals, I’d just be one of the crowd.

I have one friend who quite enjoys the rockabilly culture through his love of cars, and we go to car shows together. But I suppose, like me, rockabilly doesn’t occupy his personality and style completely. My go-to look is definitely very 50s, but there’s so much more going on inside me that rockabilly. I am Goth, I am a metalhead, I’m a punk, I love the 60s, I love the 70s, and I love the 80s. I listen to show tunes, I read romance novels, I watch 70s British sit coms. And it is possibly this that differentiates me from the other pin-up gals out there, I’m not sure. What I do know is I am quite happy being a lone pin-up girl amongst my metalheads, my Goths, my punks, and everyone else.

Maddy xxx

The Gothic Shoe Company – Winkelpickers Review

I found the London based The Gothic Shoe company through youtube vlogger It’s Black Friday (a favourite of mine, as you know). She highly recommended their boots, so for Christmas I asked my parents to get me a pair.

I really wanted the four strap bat-buckle winklepickers in black patent leather, however that was not a listed option on the site. I emailed the company and they said I could have any boot in the offered materials. So I ordered from the listing that showed the boots I wanted in matte leather, and put a note in the field where you could add instructions saying I wanted them in black patent leather, not matte.

About two weeks before Christmas, the boots arrived. I opened the parcel to make sure everything was okay and guess what? They sent me the wrong boots! I had been a little concerned that my instructions would go unseen, which is why I checked to make sure I was sent the boots in the right material. But not only were they the wrong material, they were the wrong boot entirely! However, they were in my size.

I emailed the company a few times before I got a response (one of which bounced back). However, it was the Christmas period, and they are a small company. About a week or so after Christmas, I got a response apologising for the mistake and was told to keep the incorrect boots, and they would send me the right ones free of charge!

I now own two pairs of winklepickers! I want to try and find some new buckles to put on the incorrect boots, so that they are a bit more different from each other. Spare bat buckles definitely won’t go astray in my house!

The boots are absolutely beautiful. Beautifully made, with the classic thin, flat soles and very pointed toe. They feel hardwearing and they are fairly comfortable so far, but they are new leather so they will take some wearing in. The incorrect boots with the zip are slightly firm around my ankles, so I wear the zip unzipped a few centimetres and the top buckle loose. The size is perfect and while they look narrow, they seem to fit my broad feet perfectly.

The Gothic Shoe company are definitely the place to go for all your pikes and winklepicker needs! Every shoe is hand-made for your order. You can have a variety of colours and materials, as well as the option of seven different buckles from bats, to coffings, skulls, pentagrams as well as a few classic buckles.

I will definitely be purchasing from them again!

Maddy xxx

Outfit- Old School Goth for The Damned

The Damned have been a part of my life for my entire life. There is a large framed poster of their album Phantasmagoria on the wall of the study, and I grew up watching The Young Ones so I remember them from the episode “Nasty”. But it wasn’t until about the age of 17 or 18 that I really started listening to their music on my own accord, and not when Dad was playing them. Dad was a bit uncertain when they announced an Australian tour (because he has a thing about seeing bands from back in the day nowadays), but I eventually got him round to the idea!

So here is what I wore!

PVC Skirt – William Wilde UK. Purchased on their eBay 

Fishnet top – eBay

Printed tank top – Hand-me-down from Dad. I used to use this top as a night gown when I was a kid! It used to be his old room mates. They had matching ones. Dad’s one was purple.

Boots – The Gothic Shoe Company

Beads – second hand finds (or “thrifted” if you’re in the US)

Silver cross necklace – a souvenir from Jerusalem

Choker – a shop at Affleck’s Palace in Manchester, UK

Waspie belt –  Christine’s (Aus)/ Vivien of Holloway (UK)

Lace loves – Supré, but a VERY long time ago

Wrist cuffs – one is from eBay, the other is handmade by Breathcatchers, Amsterdam

And of course some funky Siouxsie Sioux inspired makeup, an essential for the trad-Goth look.

Growing up with two Goths from way back, this is the style I go to the most when I’m feeling the Goth vibe.

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Let’s get nasty!

Maddy xxx

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Time for Another Adventure?

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There is a shop in the Royal Arcade here in Melbourne called Spellbox, which as you may have guessed, is a magic shop. And not the magician/illusionist tricks shop, actual practical magic. Spellbox is your place to go for crystals, wands, magic kits, candles, and books on every type of magic and mythology you can think of. Whether you believe in magic or not, it is a beautiful shop that also sells gorgeous silver jewellery and incense.

Right up in the back corner next to the stairs, almost out of view, is a little wheel. It probably has an actual name, something like fortune wheel. It is basically a wooden wheel with numbers listed at random around it’s edge with a nail between each. When you spin it, a little piece of leather flicks between nails. When it stops on a number, it corresponds to a pigeon hole beneath the wheel that holds little cards. The cards will have what I guess is best described as a fortune on it, as well as instructions for the related bewitchment.

I spin this wheel every time I go in to the shop. The first time I ever spun with, back when I was maybe 8 or 9, I got the number 13, which was scary as I was born on the 13th. This time, I got the number 0, which I didn’t even know was on there. It felt a bit ominous at first, but was actually quite fitting. 0 was about adventure. It read;

“Take a risk, a chance, for this will enhance joy and romance. Follow your heart for bliss to impart and then an amazing adventure will start”

It was only just recently that I had started thinking about where and when I want to go overseas again. I switch from one plan to the other, probably thinking too much of previous plans and feelings rather than current ones. For example, when I was in Europe I felt like seeing more of Australia, or visiting somewhere thats no the UK or Europe. Now, all I want to do is go back to the UK and Europe. And, as always, I am thinking about it far too much.

Right now, I am dissatisfied with life. Not majorly, not enough to make me depressed, just enough to make each passing day a grind, with nothing to work towards. And for some reason, in my heart the only cure for me is to go overseas again. However, logic kicks in and tells me I can’t run away from my problems. Maybe I should stay a little while longer, until I’m happy here, so when I return I have something to return to.

The start of this year, right from the get-go, was a massive clusterfuck for me. January dragged on and one shit thing after another happened, beginning with New Years Eve. And I fell into this state where all I wanted to do was run away to Germany. Things are getting better, however this need to fly the nest (again) is still strong. I’m just not sure what I want to do, where I want to go, or when. This card is making me think it should be soon, but while I am dissatisfied, I am working on things. I’m building my experience in my art, I’m making new friends, I’m going out and attempting to enjoy life. For the first time in my life, I have money to spend and time to do things. But still, nagging at the back of my mind, is my need to travel.

I guess how I should interpret this little card is that travelling is definitely in my near future. Because I have been so unsure whether I should go again soon or not, this has cemented the fact that yes, I should go just somewhere in the next year or so. Whether it’s only for a few weeks, or a bit longer, just somewhere that’s not here.

Maddy xxx

Playful Promises – Review

Obviously in the end of year sales last year I bought quite a bit of lingerie. I was even talking to a friend and said that I’d gone a bit mad in the sales, not even mentioning that I bought lingerie. He straight away said “lingerie is always a good idea.” When I pointed out that I never mentioned that’s what I bought, he said “you didn’t have to”.

I’ve been lusting over Playful Promises for a long time now. But with travelling and unemployment, it wasn’t until the sales that I could actually afford and justify buying anything (not that lingerie needs any justification, in my opinion).

I went with the two bras I had been looking at the most, Portia in red and Cordelia in absinth. I wanted the matching knickers to both, but unfortunately they were out of my size in the Cordelia in absinth knickers, which broke my heart a little. Hopefully they will restock soon, however the sale is now over. Portia also has a matching suspender, however it was not available at all.

Overall both bras are awesome. They are well made, with strong boning on the sides that so far hasn’t buckled or dug in, and a 3-clip wide back strap. The elastic wide shoulder straps are covered in ruched satin, which looks lovely but has been ever so slightly irritating. The cups have no padding whatsoever and don’t really provide much cleavage. And as much as I love baring all, sometimes I just don’t want to show any cleavage, so it’s a nice change for me. And surprisingly, I do have plenty of clothes that don’t show any anyway. However, these bras would be perfect for a sheer button-up blouse. I went for a 34E (12E in Australia, 34DDD in the US), which fits perfectly around the back in both. However, Cordelia gapes a little in the cup, which is disappointing because she is my favourite of the two. I will just have to put some padding in, which I don’t normally like to do but in the effort to solve the gaping issue its the only option I have.

Portia is a vintage style bra, with stitching across the cup that was common on bras back in the day. It’s a bright fire engine red, with black lace across the edge of the cup. This bra fits perfectly. It gives a lovely shape, perfect for when I don’t want my boobs to look too obvious. The matching panty is a slightly too small across the hips, but loose in the back. I do have very soft hips so that’s quite normal, but I don’t often have digging in and baggy-bums. But I don’t care. I love the shell shaped front with the matching vintage stitch. It has a bit of a mermaid vibe, which I love. The back is sheer, which is very cheeky and I love it.

The Cordelia bra is a pale seafoam green with black lace covering the entire cup. It also came in a red and a blue, but I was really taken with this colour which they call “absinth”. As mentioned above, the cup in this bra is slightly larger than that of Portia. That may be caused by the slightly different shape of the cup. I still love it though!

If you are of a larger bust, such as myself, Playful Promises is the place for you. These two bras are two of the most “normal” looking styles they have. They have so many fabulous designs from A-G cups, and plus sizes in underwear and nightwear. And not too expensive either (outside of the sales, that is). I recommend them highly if you are struggling to find yourself some decent lingerie in larger sizes.

Maddy xxx

A Bandit from El Rodeo

El Rodeo is a one woman Sydney-based online store selling clothing and accessories inspired by rock n roll, old school biker culture and the wild west from independent labels. Amongst the items in store are vintage cowboy boots, concho belts, patches, velvet shorts and, the main attraction, a wide variety of awesome t-shirts.

I got myself three t-shirts from American brand Bandit. I have been eyeing up these t-shirts for a few months now, and finally when I had the money I nabbed them! “Keep your hands off my cans”, “Pistol Packing Mama” and, the pièce de résistance, “Eat Shit and Die”.

I am a pretty fowl-mouthed, dirty minded kind of gal most of the time, so I found these crude t-shirts absolutely hilarious and so fitting for me. I am also one for wearing clothes that make people stare, and I think these t-shirts might do just that.

They are a lovely, soft 100% cotton made to look old and worn around the edges. Normally, I am apposed to this stylistically worn look, however that is more in the case of band t-shirts being sold through fashion outlets. In this case, I love it. They suit the look and theme of the brand.

I can’t wait to get out in these t-shirts with my western belt and my old cowboy boots.

Thank you to Elisia of El Rodeo for having such a cool store, I will definitely be purchasing from you again! Check the store out here: www.elrodeostore.com

Maddy xxx

 

 

Fuck Me Gently with a Chainsaw

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So for a very long time, I’ve had my sights focused on being a costume designer. Those sights have kind of blurred in the past year, however I still love costume work. My work has never gone any further than high school musicals and plays. Even after I graduated, I was brought back to do the costumes for my school’s annual musical. So I was completely amazed when I was handed the honour of creating the costumes for a local amateur theatre company.

Originally, I’d auditioned to be apart of the show, but when I was informed I had not gotten a part, I offered my services in the costume department. I’d worked with this company before as a makeup artist, and had even done the makeup for one of the directors when he performed in a previous show. But without any proof that I could even successfully costume a production, I was put in charge of costumes.

Heathers: the Musical is based on the 1989 film of the same name, that stared Winona Ryder and Christian Slayter. It told the story of a girl called Veronica, who is stuck in the school’s resident popular group, the Heathers, called so because each girls name is actually Heather. Heather McNamara, Heather Duke, and Heather Chandler. When her and her new boyfriend, the mysterious and sexy JD, confront accidentally poison her, they use Veronica’s expert forgery skills to fake a suicide note. And so it goes on.

The musical was written by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. Laurence O’Keefe is the man responsible for the seriously catchy soundtrack of Legally Blonde: the Musical, so you can image what Heathers is like. I discovered this musical while it was still doing it’s off-Broadway stint in New York (it never made it to Broadway officially), right before the soundtrack was released. Many months later, it was a sensation. Everyone in the musical theatre circuit adores this show. It is catchy, emotional, and so cleverly adapted from the film. Every famous line is there (fuck me gently with a chainsaw), and many of the songs are taken from actual lines in the show.

It has been an honour to work with this production, which is in actual fact the first amateur production of Heathers Australia has seen. I hope to continue work with this company in the future, and maybe one day actually get to perform again.

Maddy xxx

Haul – Boohoo.com

Anyone in the Goth community, especially those of the trad-Goth persuasion, MUST check out boohoo.com. Anyone who thinks that someone of a certain sub-culture must only shop at places that proclaim themselves to be a part of that sub-culture, like the many Goth brands out there, are kidding themselves. Boohoo is what you might call a “normal” or “mainstream” online store, but honestly I can scroll through their products for hours, saving multiple things into my favourites (though unfortunately they seem to have gotten rid of that function).

My approach to boohoo.com is searching things like “velvet” or “lace” or “ruffles”. And the variety is amazing! You are bound to find something you like. As I did.

The Ona Ruffle blouse was the first thing on boohoo that I saw and was like OH MY GOD I NEED THAT. I have wanted my own ruffle blouse for ages, as I’ve always had to borrow my Dad’s which is far too big. This is a woman’s shirt, with nice curved side-seems and bust darts so it’s loose and flowy but not shapeless. It’s 100% polyester, but it’s lovely and slinky and softy and just drapes off the body. Unlike a majority of Goth-branded ruffle shirts, that are usually a cotton blend and can be quite stiff. It has cuffs and loose, large sleeves that hang nicely with the soft material. It’s a loose fit, so I got a 10. Normally I’d size up in a button up blouse to reach across my bust, but this fits perfectly.

The Megan Ruffle blouse was giving me major Adam Ant vibes. Again, 100% polyester but a nice soft feel, not as slinky and slightly heavier than the Ona blouse, which helps keep it sort of puffy. The ruffle reaches all the way around the shoulders, with a small yoke and necktie detail. It has elasticated wrists and wide sleeves, which give it that pirate (or highwayman) feel. I have teamed it with my faux-leather pants with lace-up detail down the legs that I got from Missguided and some hand-me-down belts from Mum, with what is the beginning of my New Romantic section of my wardrobe.

This last item didn’t come to mind as a Gothic piece, it looked a lot like a dress Brigitte Bardot wore. However I can see now that with the right accessories I could totally turn this into a bit of a Goth pinup or Morticia sort of look. Anyway, I have had my eye on the the Jen square neck dress for a long time. It’s 100% cotton jersey, so it’s lovely and stretchy and hugs your curves nicely. Though of course, an issue I constantly encounter, it’s very tight across the bust and back, but just a tad too big in the waist! I barely fit into the bust anyway so sizing down for my waist would not be any better. It’s not so bad, I just wish I could have it that tiny bit more fitted. I may look into taking it in myself. It is below the knee in length, and perfect as a “little black dress” sort of number.

All three of these items are currently on sale, so get in quick if you want them! They are unlikely to come back in to stock.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my first ever haul on this blog. I hope to make many more!

Maddy xxx

Brecht and the Ramones

I have visited the crazy city of Berlin twice in the last few years, and both trips I have made sure to visit two places very close to my heart. A short walk away from each other in the area of Mitte, are the Ramones Museum and Bertolt Brecht’s grave and residence.

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Dad, me and Mum out the front of the Ramones Cafe, Berlin. 2014.

I grew up listening to the Ramones, and could quite easily pin them as my favourite band. So naturally when Dad tell’s me there’s a Ramones Museum in Berlin, of all places, I wanted to race there. And to make things better (and easier for travelling) it turned out that Bertolt Brecht, my favourite theatre practitioner, is buried in a cemetery not too far from the Ramones museum.

I know visiting a grave seems a bit morbid, but I had wanted to do something Brecht-related while in Berlin. However, Brecht’s Berlin is long gone, and much to my dismay most tourist attractions focus on the war or the wall, not the weird and beautiful era that preceded both those things, where Brecht did most of his work. Sure, I could have gone to see a cabaret show, but it wouldn’t be Brecht as such. And the Berliner Ensemble, whom Brecht’s founded, only perform in German, which was not much good to me. So I found the location of his grave, and it seemed to be the best I was going to get.

We set out early in the morning, using the S-bahn from our flat in Kreuzberg, over the river into Mitte. Upon arrival at the burial site of Brecht, we discovered that the building alongside the cemetery is in fact where he resided in his later years, after returning to Berlin after fleeing the Nazis (he was Jewish). Tours were available of the house, so we set off to the Ramones museum with intentions of coming back for a later tour.

The Ramones museum isn’t a big place, and it also’ doubles as a cafe, visited by many famous people. Four euros gives you a lifetime membership and pin. Much to the cafe assistant’s surprise, two years later I returned, flashed my pin and re-entered the museum free of charge! The museum was founded in 2005 by Flo Hayler, who owned a large collection of Ramones memorabilia in his apartment. The collection continues to grow in size, and the cafe regularly host live music events.

Naturally, that same day I returned to the Ramones museum, I returned to Brecht’s grave. I noticed a number of folded pieces of paper sitting around the headstone, amongst other nicknacks. I figured they were letters. So, I pulled out my notebook, and wrote a letter to the playwright myself. A weird thing to do, I know. But it was Brecht’s work that made me fall in love with theatre, and made me want to work in theatre myself. If you are not familiar with Brecht’s work, I highly suggest you read up on him. He created my favourite theatre convention, Epic Theatre, which followed his”Vertfremdunseffekt”, also known as the alienation theory. It worked to remind the audience they were watching a play, by unusual lighting, partial costumes, musical numbers or actors playing multiple characters, amongst other things.

I know for sure that when I return to Berlin (and I will return to Berlin, without a doubt), I will also return to these two places. When you love something as much as I love the Ramones and Brecht, once is never enough!

Maddy xxx