Archive for leather

Nice Boots

Posted in Clothes, Fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2011 by vprime

It’s been a tough week. Let’s look at some footwear.

Boots are well-known Goth aphrodisiac. From pointy-toed and elfin to platform stompers, Goths love boots. I have far too many pairs, so I’m endeavoring to wear some of them more often. It’s still quite hot here and I haven’t done well on that front. Boots are just another reason Goths love Fall/Winter. The Goth look is really not engineered for survival in hot climes.

All the above are covetable boots I’ve found recently by summoning the astral travelers of the intertubeway. (Note to self: “Intertubeway Army,” perfect name for a Gary Numan-internet meme crossover tribute band.) On the top left, we have black iridescent Doc Martens. Nineties nostalgia is in full swing amongst the youths, which may explain why I’ve noticed a resurgence in popularity of Docs. There are many more finishes and materials than were available in the 90s. Oxblood used to be exotic, but now there are metallics, neons, and fabrics. I’m actually quite in favor of kids jumping on the Docs trend if it means the company can offer greater variety. I haven’t seen these in person yet, but I have a ridiculous interest in anything with that oil-slick reflectivity. Anecdata suggests that the quality of the current line of Docs is nowhere near what was available in the 80s-90s. I do have several pairs of Docs and I have noticed that the fit is a bit different. For example, these Dr Marten Alloys I wore for Dragoncon. Even though I ordered the same size I always get, they felt huge. My foot was slipping around inside the boot all day, even with two pairs of thick socks on. The material was also quite soft. I understand the upper was meant to be distressed, but it had no stiffness to it at all, which further exacerbated the foot-slipping-around business. Because the sole is quite heavy and the upper is very soft, every time I picked up my foot I felt the weight of the sole shifting.

Well, proceeding. In the opposite corner, we have platform boots from Velvet Angels. These have contrasting textures and a metallic heel. A thick heel like this on a platform boot is a must for me. I don’t know how people do it with those little cocktail-straw heels, but then I wore combat boots exclusively through most of my 20s and I’ve never had the knack of being totally comfortable in heels. I’m fine for short events, but I certainly couldn’t, say,  walk around a city in heels of any sort.

Just under the iridescent Docs we have a pair of platform boots from Topshop. Again, chunky metallic heel. I’m pleased to see that there won’t be any shortage of chunky platforms in shops this Fall/Winter season.

To the right, we have a pair of belted platforms by Dollhouse. Loads of buckles are totally Goth, just ask Edward Scissorhands.

On the far right, glitter booties from Baker’s Shoes. I like this thick, yet tapered heel and the pointed toe. These look like great boots for a long skirt. Glitter-encrusted stuff is appealing to me, though I normally avoid anything to femmey-cutesy. I say that’s my inner Ziggy Stardust emerging.

Back to the lower left corner, we have a pair of extreme pointy toes from Fluevog. I’ve always wanted a pair of Fluevogs, but have yet to fulfill that desire. I love how unique their styles are, but there’s often one sticking detail that keeps me from ever pulling the trigger–besides the price. I’m a bit gun-shy on expensive boots since I destroyed a $400 pair of New Rocks in two months. Yes, that’s right. These are almost perfect 80s deathrock-style cockroach kickers (also called winklepickers). The one large buckle is a nice detail. I’m less thrilled about the fold-down top–which looks kind of sloppy to me–and the wooden heels. These kinds of shoes can go very Country and Western on you if you aren’t careful. I suppose that’s great if you’re Ian Astbury. It’s not for me.

Side note: can anyone explain why so many British dark/Goth rock outfits were doing all this American West stuff? I mean cowboy hats, cowboy boots, Native American mythology and imagery? Is this about equivalent to the American Goth with the fake English accent in a tailcoat?

Finally, in the lower right corner a pair of low-heeled black boots by Kickers. These look like perfect everyday boots. The lower heel seems quite manageable. Gunmetal buttons reference Victorian-style ladies boots while keeping the overall look modern. Because there isn’t an excess of ornament, these would be quite adaptable to different situations.Perhaps not as exciting as glitter and all, but a pair of nice, basic boots.

If you’d like to see these boots in their native habitats, please click here for my Kaboodle styleboard.

Planning on acquiring any new boots soon? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Hell Bent for Leather

Posted in Clothes, Etsy, Fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by vprime

I just finished another draft of an article on male subcultural styles, so of course I was looking at pictures of Rob Halford and thinking “damn, I don’t wear enough leather.” This is an entirely natural and understandable thought, as it’s hotter than Lucifer’s balls right now and I can’t even keep up with makeup before it all melts off my face. Also, it is only cool enough to wear leather perhaps 3 weeks out of the year here, and I am constantly guilt-tripping over this truly fantastic leather frock coat my husband bought for me in London—which I haven’t even worn yet because it’s usually too hot and also, where the heck am I going that I need to wear a leather frock coat, Transylvania? It just seems far too anticlimactic to haul the thing out and go groceries shopping in it. It won’t be leather weather for a few more months. Regardless, I have leather on my mind and it’s far safer to write about it than shop.

Exhibit A:

Skirt by Jitrois available from Stylebop.com

I really want a leather skirt like this. Just below knee-length, plain black without any lacing or big visible zippers. The length is important, as the look I’d like to achieve is something in the vein of Gothic Schoolmistress or Annie Lennox: Sadistic Event Planner (see Exhibit B), not Professional Groupie or Kellie Bundy. All I can seem to find in a sane price range (less than I paid for my car, please?) are skirts that are too short, too biker-y or fringed. *Shudder* I think for something like this, faux won’t do, as vinyl tends to be thicker, heavier and stiffer than the real thing. Vinyl lacks that magnificent leather smell. Then there is also the possibility of the vinyl peeling off the fabric base, an issue that I hoped to have given up when I stopped buying stretchy PVC goth Lip Service clothes.

Exhibit B:

This is not Annie Lennox, but it fits that 80s power business thing.

Exhibit C:

Annie Black Leather Spats by AudraJean on Etsy.com

I realize these would look ridiculous on me. I’m short and have daikon legs, but damn, these look pretty cool. The option of switching shoes would make these fun to play with. The whole strappy-leather effect reminds me of Aeon Flux, which has probably influenced my mind far too much. An accessory like this is more likely to be yet another item that can really only be worn at clubs or meetings of the Scorpius Appreciation Society, so I may just admire these from afar for a while. After all, I’ve got two English degrees to feed.

Exhibit D:

Leather Harness by Zana Bayne at Zanabayne.com

Gasp! It’s not black! Zana Bayne has a unique take on leather accessories. This harness would be an excellent way to put a plain outfit over the top. Again, it looks like something I picture characters wearing in Aeon Flux (the cartoon, not the bad movie). I sense a thread here. I actually wouldn’t prefer something like this in red. Red is less flexible. There’ s something about all black that demands depth, textures and attention to shape in order to create subtle contrast. Monochrome invites attention to the fine details that always strikes me as much more luxurious than using colors to create that difference.  Over time I’ve come to realize that red and I don’t always get along. I no longer wear red clothing or nail color, but I will do red hair or lipstick. Magenta is a much better choice for me.

Bayne keeps an interesting blog at www.garbagedress.com. Her semi-goth personal style is intriguing and I experience much envy over her boots.

I could continue. I haven’t even touched Demeter Leather fragrance, black leather opera gloves, boots, leather-bound journals, leather bracelets, dresses or jackets. A follow-up post may be required.

Before I vapourize into a cloud of ectoplasm, I do want to say that I am working on a longer, in-depth post on melancholy. I’ve also got so much makeup I want to review, but I don’t want to photograph myself in it because I always come out looking like a nerdy version of Mrs. Swan trying to do deathrock. Thusly:

I am embarrased that I even know who this is.

Picture that with huge glasses and you’re most of the way there. So, maybe I’ll write about my makeup, or not. It’s all up to the ennui now.

 

Requiem For a Boot

Posted in Clothes, Fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by vprime

I saw them first in the Topshop in Oxford Street. Chaotically loud music blared over the three levels of clothing in cheap and stupefying profusion. The boots were tumbled together as though tossed aside at a peg-legged orgy—a mass of single specimens vaguely hinting at the idea of rows on the shelves. I didn’t buy them then, even though they clearly appealed to me with their aggressive silver toes and metal heels. That toe was like the beak of a cyborg vulture. I touched them—real leather—and idly turned them over thinking that while they were lovely I of course would have nowhere to wear them when I returned home. I rarely have occasion to stray from my uniform of dark denim, ironic black t-shirt and pointy-toed flats worn with stripey socks at home. So I left them there for some girl with a more adventurous life.

When I ran into them again two days later I couldn’t resist trying them on. Oh, they looked good. Even though I knew I would likely wear them once to some bar, internally complaining the whole while that my feet hurt, I could not resist them again. I ponied up the 120 pounds and stuffed the boots into my backpack in triumph. We were off to Berlin next and I hoped I’d have a cause to wear them there.

I made it to Berlin, but my luggage didn’t. The boots sat in my suitcase, which was in turn in some dark secret room in Tegel where lost luggage goes to die. I waited for the boots to come to me. After five days, we left Berlin without the luggage. All I could imagine was that the bottles of Lush shower gel that were sharing the luggage with the boots would burst all over them, destroying the leather or worse.
It was a few days after my return home that the luggage was delivered to my house. I dove into the bag and pulled out the goo-free boots. They looked as wicked as they had in the shop. I placed them in my closet with satisfaction.

On Valentine’s day I grabbed the boots. Finally, I would try these ass-kickers out. I had on already a black dress and lace stockings. I stuck my left foot into the boot and zipped it up. Awesome. I went to put on the right boot. The right boot. Where was the right one?

I had two left boots.

They’ve gone back in the mail today for a refund. And they are sold out completely online and in the stores.

Sniff.