Brand Spotlight

Christian Louboutin and The Good Samaritan

So, as planned I went down to London on Monday with my best friend to try on a pair of Christian Louboutins. We decided to make a day of it, so we had a wondrously lavish afternoon tea in Laduree before going upstairs to the Louboutin boutique.

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I had the Othello tea, which was stunning and my best friend had the Marie Antoinette tea.

Next, came the Louboutin boutique….

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I originally planned to buy the Pigalles, but found that the Decollete fit a lot more comfortably (pictured left) and then I totally fell for a pair of flats called Rivierina in black patent.

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So, the decision is mine. Astoundingly, one of my anonymous followers on Instagram has offered to buy me the Decolletes as a gift, so I’m now going back down to London to one of the main Louboutin boutiques to pick up my new Loubies!

A huge, massive thank you to the Good Samaritan who has bought me my first pair of Christian Louboutins. You have no idea how happy you have made this lady 🙂

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Christian Louboutin

So, it’s been around two weeks since I last wrote and I’m so annoyed with myself. Though, not entirely my fault, I was struck down for just over one of those weeks with Bacterial Bronchitis and although I’m still coughing, I’ve managed to get back to my usual routine of nail painting and planning activities!

What’s happening? Well, right now I’m waiting for my 2nd coat of Christian Louboutin nail varnish to dry on my fingers and toes as on Monday 29th I’m taking my best friend to London for the day so I can try on my 30th birthday present – a pair of Christian Louboutins.

See, I’ve loved Christian Louboutin shoes for years. The red bottom is the most deliciously devilish feature on a pair of shoes I’ve ever seen. They’re not only a statement, but they are the ultimate in high end luxury. They’re elegant, graceful and tasteful.

I’ve had my eye on the Pigalle model for years now as I’m a huge fan of pointed toes. I find the point to be quite sexy, powerful but also quite restrained. Round toes make me feel young and girly, yet a point makes me feel womanly and strong.

I have one pair of stilettos and I paid £6 for them from an antique shop. They’re original 1950s stilettos and unfortunately, they have now seen better days. I painted them myself, as they were a sorry looking ‘ivory’ (with dark marks) and the soles were plain black. I couldn’t afford Loubis so I grabbed two tins of enamel paint and painted the shoes black and the soles red.

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I was even asked by a man in a nightclub if they were Louboutins and I couldn’t help but say yes! I was so ashamed!

So, I turn 30 in June and my amazingly wonderful boyfriend is treating me to a pair of Christian Louboutins. I can’t begin to explain how lucky I am to have a man who will save for months and months so he can buy me something I really want to mark this milestone in my life.

Here’s a picture of the Louboutins I’ve been ogling:

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But, I can’t decide between the kid leather pair or the patent pair. I love patent leather and have 3 black patent 1950s handbags all slightly different from each other. So, the black patent Pigalles would match them all. But, patent leather shows up scratches, so do I want the kid leather pair so they can be polished regularly?

Decisions, decisions.

 

Post-Apocalyptic Style

Six or seven years ago, I was dressed head to toe in All Saints clothing. They were making clothes that really appealed to my dark side; with their trademark asymmetrical cuts, slouchy pirate style clothing, dresses with Vivienne Westwood inspired handkerchief hemlines and t-shirts emblazoned with terrific artwork by the wonderfully macabre artist Laurie Lipton.

I was absolutely in my element… and then something shifted. Fashion trends changed and All Saints became a completely different animal. It went down a very minimalistic route, and whilst I like to call myself a minimalist goth, this was just, in my opinion too… plain. Uninspired, even.

For years after I struggled to find fashion like it, until I stumbled across a German fashion site called Orimono that offered mostly men’s fashion, but also some women’s and some unisex clothing too. I found a piece from brand called Preach and a piece from Thom Krom that just jumped at me straight away. They weren’t on the lower end of my budget, but I knew I had to have them. Here they are modelled on the site:

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Image copyright Orimono.eu

and here are they are on me:

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Thom/Krom – The night is your friend, my love.

 

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Preach Clothing

Here is what a poor minimalist Goth’s wardrobe looks like right now:

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It needs filling… clearly….

A Shloermergency! Sponsored Blog Post

So, it’s nearing the end of January at lightening speed and whilst I’ve not personally attempted a Dry January, I do know people who have – How have you done?

If you have been living under a rock, you may not have heard about Dry January, so what’s it all about? Well, it’s exactly as it sounds – you take one month off from drinking any alcohol whatsoever – this can be to improve your health, to save a few pennies or just to see if you can do it. Loads of celebrities have got involved and it’s also a great way to have a healthy start to the year.

My friends at Shloer have been excited to get involved and help anyone struggling with Dry January, but fear not….

It doesn’t need to be a #Shloermergency – they’ve got a hotline for you!

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Are you tackling Dry January? With February fast approaching, if you’ve succeeded so far, you will be pleased to hear that research shows it takes 21 days for your habits to change.

But don’t worry if it’s been hard work – with only two thirds of people traditionally managing to complete Dry January, Shloer has stepped in with some help to keep you going. The Ultimate #Shloermergency Guide is filled with support and tips to get you through the rest of the month, and there’s more – we’ve created a #Shloermergency email address just for journalists where you can send us an urgent SOS for a delivery of Shloer Light on those really bad days. Just email SOS@shloer.com!

At just 22 calories per 100ml, Shloer Light is a sparkling grape juice drink that is sweetened with a naturally-sourced stevia leaf extract and is free from all preservatives, artificial colours and flavours.

Click HERE For the Dry January Ultimate Guide and for more information on Shloer please visit http://www.shloer.com or join Shloer on Facebook or Twitter (@ShloerOfficial) and tell us how you get through Dry January #Shloermergency.

RRP £2.25 / 750ml bottles

Available in selected supermarkets nationwide

 

 

 

Rock and Roll Jewellery

When I was in my early twenties I briefly dated a blues musician and one of his good musician friends – Joanne Shaw Taylor – a no holds barred guitar goddess; go look her up – showed me a gorgeous piece of jewellery she had recently acquired. She told me it was from a shop in Covent Garden called Crazy Pig Designs.

My boyfriend at the time was also interested in this so called “Rock Star jewellery” so we both went down there for some window shopping. I wasn’t particularly on the market for a piece of jewellery but it’s one of those things when you know, you know; the one… it just talks to you.

So, in about 10 minutes flat I’d treated myself to a rather sensational looking sterling silver ring for my middle finger. Now, I’m not talking about just a sensible sized ring for a lady, this is a motherfucker of a statement in the shape of an anatomical skull hand crafted for a proper woman (or man, as it’s unisex). It’s not for the faint hearted!

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Image copyright Crazy Pig Designs

 

Crazy Pig designs is the brainchild of the crazily talented silversmith (and guitarist) Armand Serra. His edgy, macabre and purely rock and roll silversmithing skills have continued to be commissioned by a long list of musicians, celebrities, actors galore since the 1980s. I do believe he started his silversmithing career at The Great Frog in London before he started his own Crazy Pig Designs (named after a band name he wanted but his band mates vetoed) and I am so glad he did. Armand’s designs are incomparable in quality and life-likeness. The image below shows my Crazy Pig ring called the Live Skull ring which is the best anatomical skull ring I have seen; believe me, I’ve looked at so many skull rings and none of them are quite as good as this one.

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My love for this ring has not diminished, if anything, I love it more than ever. As you can see, it rarely leaves my finger. The quality of the silver is outstanding, it is so heavy -it’s solid silver not hollow and looks as amazing now as it did the day I bought it over 5 years ago. It’s my pride and joy, my baby. I wouldn’t be me without my Crazy Pig Live Skull ring and I simply cannot wait to add more to my collection.

Here are a few of their pieces that I am hoping to add to my collection over the next few years (when I’m not saving for a house deposit!)

The Tudor Wing Pendant

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Image copyright Crazy Pig Designs

The Devil Made Me Do It ring

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Image Copyright Crazy Pig Designs

and the XL Skull Bracelet (a very large statement indeed!)

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Image Copyright Crazy Pig Designs

 

The loves of my life; The Mediaeval Baebes

As I’ve said many times before, I was a strange child. I was strange in that I absolutely adored listening to folk music (thank you, again, Mum!) and remember seeing the original Steeleye Span at The Stables in Wavendon back when it was just a shed – I must’ve been around 12 years old.

I first heard the Mediaeval Baebes on VH1 singing Gaudete, a song I already knew because Steeleye Span did a version at The Stables. As soon as I heard the Baebes’ arrangement, I knew I’d found something rather special.

The Mediaeval Baebes are an all female choral group who write their own arrangements to traditional medieval songs and poetry. They have a backing group of very talented musicians playing traditional medieval instruments.

As soon as I saw that their 2nd album Worldes Blysse had been released, I knew I had to have it. I can remember opening it at Christmas as playing the album on repeat, with the lyrics in the album cover. I just had to know all the lyrics and I can now recite Mediaeval Baebes songs in Italian, Medieval English, French and Latin (I’m sure I’ve missed some!) and I can’t be prouder of that fact. There is something about the Baebes music that appeals to the deeper parts of my soul. It’s like I was born to hear this music.

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I first saw the Baebes perform live at The Stables when I was around 15 and a few times at Berkeley Castle Joust where I managed to get the courage to have a poster signed by them, which of course, I still have (and will be proudly displayed when I have my own place!) and I’ve also seen them at Birmingham Cathedral for a wonderfully festive Christmas concert and last year at Loxwood Joust .

I’m also happy to report that the (other!) love of my life, my partner loves the Baebes too, so now instead of dragging my Mum along, I get to take my man instead!
(Cue me wanting the Baebes to perform at our forest wedding one day!)

In 2010 the Mediaeval Baebes put together an opportunity for us ‘normal’ folk to learn a couple of their songs and sing alongside them in a mini concert in front of our friends and family. Of course, I had to do it! It was a fantastic (if, very nerve wracking!) day and I got to sing with two of my favourite Baebes – Katharine Blake and Bev Lee Harling. Sadly Bev is no longer singing with the current Baebes lineup.

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My love for the Baebes has never waned, although they did lose me a bit when they released Undrentide, which was a bit too new-age and modern for my tastes and I’m pleased to report that the Baebes are sounding more like their original selves than ever before!

One of the many things I love about the Baebes is their professionality when they perform. They are always so tight, their timings are beautiful and you can see how much work Katharine puts into writing and arranging the songs. I am a huge admirer of Katharine Blake as a musician, a true artist. Anyway, enough blowing smoke up their ass!

Here are a few pictures I took at the 2015 Loxwood Joust…

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So, if you’re into medieval music, folk music, acapella or classical music, I cannot recommend the Mediaeval Baebes enough. The Mediaeval Baebes have played such a huge part in my life and I can say I am a forever fan.

From the young geeky bespectacled girl singing along at the top of her voice at Berkeley to the twenty something woman at the front singing along at the top of her voice, a fan for life x

Fashion – friend or foe?

When I decided to start blogging I thought it would be easy because I was an individual. I was often admired by my peers for being different to the masses and standing out in the crowd, so I thought ‘okay, I should use this’…

It wasn’t until I joined twitter did I realise just how big the blogging pond is. Like anything in life, you have to compete with others if you want to get noticed or get ahead. But, just how different am I really?

During my formative years I was picked on for my eccentric fashion choices. At the age of 14 I was shopping in Camden, wearing platform shoes and purple lipstick. It may not sound so strange now – thanks to the wonderful fashion world bringing 90s nostalgia to the fore – but back then, I was odd, different and strange. Uncool even. Desperately uncool.

But it seems that the fashion choices I made as a teenager are what the cool kids are wearing now (boy do I feel smug that I got to wear it when it was uncool, the very definition of cool!) so I am a little upset and confused as to why I cannot find anything to wear as a twenty something goth who doesn’t want to be cool?

What I’m trying to say is that while I absolutely, 100 percent applaud companies like Killstar, Dolls Kill, Ironfist and Disturbia (to name a few) who have in essence reignited the alternative fashion culture, I have to say that I just don’t like much of it at all. (Please don’t hate me, I’m just being honest!)

 

 

I was definitely interested in the occult when I was younger and pentagrams were my favourite shock tactic. But as I’ve matured, I’ve realised that I’m about as Wiccan as I am Catholic. I’m not a witch, I’m a goth who loves black, so do I really want to wear something with a pentagram on? (Hence why I haven’t bought the Disturbia swimming costume I blogged about the other day!)

So, where do I go from here? Well, I’m redefining goth to suit me – I’m a minimalist goth. I shop in any shop that sells anything black and see what I can find to suit me.

As of this moment, there are no high street shops that cater for the look I create for myself…

  • I love ‘off the shoulder’ because my collarbones are sexy.
  • I wear long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves because my arms aren’t the best part of me.
  • I never wear skirts or dresses above the knee because I’m pear shaped and wasn’t blessed with good legs (I dress for the size I am, not the size I wish I was!) so this leaves me out of a good 90% of modern alternative brands like the ones I’ve mentioned above.
  • The majority of the dresses are either really really short or really really long with a thigh high split.
  • The tops are usually cropped which for a country where size 16 is the average size, doesn’t bode well at all.

I’m all for other people dressing in whatever the hell they like. I’m not here to tell people to cover it up, I’m simply saying that I like to cover mine up. Elegance is something I have admired since I can remember. Sadly, elegance isn’t trendy right now, so I’m very limited in what choices are out there for someone who wants to be gothy and elegant.

When I say I’m a minimalist goth, I’m saying I like simplicity. I wear plain black tops with very little details on. I like asymmetrical cuts reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood. I like form fitted dresses like the Monica dress from Pinup Girl Clothing. I like black cowboy boots. I like leather jackets. I like plain skinny jeans (without tears in, dear Lord how scruffy) and I like opaque tights. I like to wear one ring on the middle finger of each hand because more than that looks cluttered. If I’m wearing a necklace I won’t wear earrings and visa versa. I like flared trousers whether they’re in fashion or not – they suit my curves. I like the dystopian look if done simply.

It’s all about creating a look that enhances not detracts. That to me, is what being a minimalist goth is about.

In the next few blogs I am going to be writing about a few fashion designers/brands that I do like. Unfortunately, I have champagne tastes and a beer budget so images of me wearing these brands will be few and far between. However, I will always strive to save up and buy a couple of capsule items from these designers so I can show you first hand just how amazing they are. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pentagram Swimsuit – Disturbia Clothing

It’s 2016, the year that I turn 30.

I’m not a huge fan of birthday parties, but I am a massive fan of pampering and massages, so I’m gathering my girl friends for a bit of a session at a local spa for the day.

I am SO tempted to buy this swimsuit for my spa day!

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82% Nylon 18% Spandex swim top with Pentagram shaped straps. Adjustable back straps. TAG YOUR PURCHASE: #disturbiaclothing IN STOCK & SHIPS WITHIN 24 HOURS

Source: Pentagram Swimsuit – Disturbia Clothing

Book Review: The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

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So, my partner is a massive Tolkien fan and whilst I’m not a fan of Lord of The Rings in any capacity, I do trust his recommendations for books. Before we met, I’d already devoured the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin, so after my partner finished reading The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, I decided to give it a go based on his recommendation.

Let me start by introducing the mysterious Kote, the protagonist. He’s a rather good looking, fiery haired young man who runs an inn in a small town called Newarre. Things aren’t quite what they seem, when a travelling scribe known as Chronicler comes sniffing around asking questions about the legend of a man called Kvothe and strange things start to happen.

We sit down with Kote and Chronicler and hear Kote relive his fascinating past as Kvothe (the man, not the legend). Stories of travelling actors in wagons, magic spells and forces of evil that eviscerate his entire family.cover-paperback-wise-man_277 The Kingkiller Chronicle is a trilogy, but only two books have been published so far, so I am yet to read the third, but after I demolished the second book The Wise Man’s Fear I felt bereft – I needed more Kvothe in my life.

You know you’ve read a great book when you miss having a fictional character in your life!

 

 

Brand Spotlights

Over the coming weeks I shall be writing a few blogs about a few brands, designers, independent businesses and friends that I believe need to be talked about and admired.

I am a firm believer in helping those around you rather than competing blindly and carelessly to get yourself ahead. While this may not be the best way to make money, I believe authenticity and integrity are more important. Of course, money helps (especially when you are naturally more disadvantaged than most) but it’s not the be all and end all.

So keep your eyes peeled to see where I shop, whose music I listen to, what I like to drink and pretty much everything I like!

If you’re looking to get your name out there (like myself) feel free to get in touch. Email me at bethvonblack@hotmail.com