hell bunny vixen dress & dollar-store pearls

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Let me first acknowledge that my absence this month has not been by choice. I had the flu for a solid week, followed by a laptop that blue-screened and a camera cord lost. I’m trying to upload photos in batches to my work computer, but it might be slow going for a while. That said, I’ve got a pretty significant backlog, so look forward to several posts over the next few days.

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You might recall that I resolved this year to wear 100% vintage. Yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. And not just because I bought this Hell Bunny dress in a fit of premenstrual pique. I’m just getting frustrated with my vintage collection lately. Three of my staple dresses are quite literally coming apart at the seams. I don’t treat them violently; the fabric is just plain wearing out. It bums me out that as we get further and further from the ’50s, I’ll have to start wearing more and more reproduction. That or attempt to fall in love with a later era.

It just bothers me that history is so transient. I don’t like displaying my collectibles; I like to live them. I wish I could actually read my 1890s Bible rather than shelving it, but paper splits and fabric thins.

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I do want to find better reproductions that goddamn Hell Bunny, though. Much as I like this dress, I prefer ethical fashion. Annika at Pineneedle Collective maintains an excellent ethical fashion directory, but not all of it is to my taste. Any other suggestions for high-quality, sustainably produced retro clothes? None of this flimsy ModCloth rigmarole.

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rockasilly

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Let me put it on the record that I’m not proud of wearing non-thrifted non-vintage. Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes you buy a Hell Bunny dress because Old Gold is having a 50%-off sale and you’ve just gotten new ink and you realize you don’t own any blue, like at all. And then sometimes you need to be screamingly blasphemous. So you hock a loogie on the vintage gods and pull out your best petticoat. (And somewhere in there you change your hair color. Pink just wasn’t right for the season. Fall is for feeling like a bombshell, not a pixie.)

I’m not apologizing for wearing a fast-fashion dress. That’s silly – who would I grovel to? Besides, I’ve come to think of fast fashion, unsustainable and shoddily made as it is, as junk food. One donut won’t clog your arteries; one dress won’t kill the planet. The perfect is the age-old enemy of the good, and I think my almost-entirely-thrifted wardrobe is just that: good enough.

And, I mean, I feel really freaking cute.

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merry clothmas

I’m pulling a leaf from Kaelah’s toothy little book and compling a “best of” post. 2013 wasn’t only my first full year of blogging. It’s the year my outfits and photography actually took on some semblance of a recognizable style. A far cry from 2012’s “throw some fabric at my body and hope it sticks”. I’m still a born-and-bred eccentric, but now I’ve got a bit more nuance.

This was also the year I started actually applying basic design principles to my shoots. The old stand ‘n’ pose can be fun, but I want to make art on lots of levels, not just the fashionable. I look now at my old webcam shots and want to burn every last one. I keep them on the blog because some of the outfits are passable, and also because it’s a nice reminder of improvement.

Here you’ll find my top 12 posts of 2013. Check back tomorrow or the next day for some 2014 inspiration porn. I’m also planning to list a few new Etsy items over the next couple of days.

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waterhouse heroine & windy witch 

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little red & splatter (plus a link to the bloody-shoes tutorial I did for Floral Prints + Common Sense!)

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strange doll & noontime ghost

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prairie luxe & baroness samedi’s in town

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grandma chic: dapper flapper edition & i was never here

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more mooring & keep matches away from me (plus links to Brent Gould Photography and Owlhurst Loft Vintage)

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Today I’m guest posting over at Floral Prints and Common Sense, teaching y’all how to make and style blood-spattered shoes. Head over and check it out (and I highly recommend following Floral Prints and Common Sense while you’re at it!)

psychobilly (qu’est-ce que c’est)

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Sometimes you just have to go full screaming loligoth.

Despite my frequently fluorescent appearance, I’ve long considered myself goth at heart. I feel most at home in the underbelly of the world, consorting with the macabre. Pondering death, and the attendant thrill in the pit of my stomach, makes me feel alive.

Goth was the first subculture I really identified with. I’ve since found less cliche ways to indulge my penchant for the dark, but I still smile on girls tottering down the street in towering heels and loligoth corsets. I cringe to remember twelve-year-old Skye thinking her Hot Topic kneesocks were the absolute height of MySpace cool, but sometimes I like to indulge her. This is how I desperately wanted to dress all through middle school.

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So I went fully magenta. Bleach and all. You might recall that my hair used to be like this. I started phasing out the bleach about a year ago in hope of still having hair by the time I’m forty. I tried to get into more subdued hues, but I just never felt it. Hot pink is my natural color. I feel my very best topped by a mop of magenta. So after considerable deliberation and consultation with a hairstylist friend, I’ve started bleaching again. Feels so right.

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I bought these shoes when I was 11 to give me a height boost under a long dress I’d bought for Halloween.

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Dress: Hell Bunny Shirt & Voltaire Necklace: Gifted Skull Pendant & Hair Bow: Battery Street Jeans Belt & Skull Necklaces: Old Gold Shoes: Dirt Chic Tights: Sox Market

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i refuse to make an eyeball pun

I’d wanted this dress since I was, oh, seventeen: I’d drooled over it at Old Gold since my freshman year of college. Two days ago, May 24th, was my birthday. When my mom placed the package from Dolls Kill Boutique in my lap, I just about knocked over the cake in my frenzy. I have now been wearing this dress for three straight days, and I seem unlikely ever to remove it. Details at 11.

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It fits me perfectly in every possible dimension. I can’t wait to wear it absolutely everywhere this summer.

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What to pair it with but the spiderweb jacket?

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Dress: Gifted; Hell Bunny via Dolls Kill Jacket & Necklace: Battery Street Jeans Belt: Old Gold Cardigan: Yard sale (for free!) Hat, Shoes, & Tights: Gifted

~

Obligatory plug for my new Etsy store, Dressed in the Dark Vintage. Like my Facebook page to see updates! As of yesterday, I’ve got oodles of new stuff to list. Vintage collecting and curating has been my main project lately. I’m also:

  • playing in a LARP on Monday evenings. I’m part of the changeling group, and I play a Vodou priestess named Cecile who was captured by Loa.
  • attending a monthly “costumed sushi” event with said LARP group. I don’t like sushi, but I love any opportunity to dress to the tens. Elevens, even.
  • preparing to go teach theater at a middle-schoolers’ summer camp for a week in June!
  • trying to tour all the graveyards in the greater Burlington area. Boyfriend and I visited Ethan Allen’s grave a few weeks ago. It’s less than a mile from his house.
  • racking up tattoos! I – dun dun dunnn – just got my second one a few hours ago. I’m lying here on my boyfriend’s couch trying to pretend my right side isn’t ablaze with irritated pinpricks. It’s a jack-o’-lantern. Pics very soon! For my next two, I want a bloody eyeball and the word “incantatrix” (Latin for “sorceress”).
  • lounging, boozing, rioting, and wishing desperately to be a flapper. I’ve already got the haircut.