25 December 2009

Modern 1930s futurism: La Chapelle

One of the things I like from the 1930s was futurism. Back then, the architectural and graphic design was very sleek, geometrical and simplistic. If you add on top of this, a great lighting and impressive colour scheme, you get an amazing graphic sceneario....and that's what the iconic photographer David LaChapelle has just achieved, again. I love it!
Here are some inspiring photos, with Lady Gaga!

21 December 2009

Gothic Hairstyles: Could you pull off the Frankenstein's bride look?

I have been thinking about this, for ages. My mum keeps insisting in having a white lock on her sleek raven black hair. She is not a goth, her skin is not pale but olive and she doesn't wear black clothes...never! She is the typical latina who loves very! bright colours (such as lime green or bright orange) PUaghh..!. Umm.....I am not convinced. I don't know about her but what I know is that is a look that is hard to make work and it's high maintenance but actually, I reckon some people could pull it off, if:
1/ You are young, look young or even have a "young attitude"; in other words, if the white lock starts to look like you are not bother in covering your grey hair anymore, then it loses all its glamour. (Sorry, mum, I have decided it is going to be a "no").
2/I suspect it only goes with raven black hair, not with any other lighter shades or the contrast will lose its glory, although it would be interesting on deep red hair, too! (Remember Geri Halliwell from Spice Girls?).

3/I am not sure about the skintone, but I still think it looks best with fair skin colour although I have to tell you that one of my examples, Metal Sanaz (4th pic) looks great with it.
4/ It doesn't have to be platinum/white a la Daphne Guinness, I have noticed lots of rockabilly girls, such as Missy Malone (3rd pic) are adopting a more golden shade which I really like!

19 December 2009

Film noir, what's that? - Part2

As I mentioned in the 1st part of this "multi-post", this post is about the concept of "femme fatale", specifically film noir femme fatale. A femme fatale is a villainous woman who uses her sexuality to achieve her (usually selfish and maquiavelic) own gains. The expression is obviously french, meaning "fatal woman".

She is often portrayed as a sort of sexual vampire; her dark appetites were thought to be able to leach away the virility and independence of her loves, leaving them shells of their forver selves. Only by escapign her embraces could the hero be rescued. On this account, in earlier american slang femme fatales were often called vamps, a word that is associated with the fashions of the 1920s. (this paragraph is taken from

As I said in the earlier post, the femme fatale is in my opinion one of the key elements of any film noir because she is usually the main trigger of the drama and as a consequence, the fatal ending of usually all main characters in the story. In short sentence we can describe the femme fatale as a selfish bitch who basically creates the whole mess and tries -unsuccessfuly- to get away with it when the whole plot is discovered.

Femme fatales are usually portrayed as independent strong individuals with brains (something socially unacceptable back in those times). This, combined with a strong attractivenes and beauty, configures a deadly weapon to use successfuly on any man.
Very often, the storyline is as follows:
She uses her strong sex appeal and beauty to seduce fragil and disillusioned main male character into committing a crime (usually murder). They fall in love (although I usually suspect that she usually pretends but you never know in those films as everything is done "subtly"). He loves her so much that he committs the crime. By doing so, he trapps himself into her diabolic persona. He can't get away from her now. He has become a criminal, like her. When they get caught, usually the consequences are fatal for either him or both. But mainly him.....(You usually feel sorry for him, at the end).

18 December 2009

Film noir, what's that? - PART1

Everynow and again when I get approached and asked what my collections are about. I always answer "film noir". It is my main theme as well as black because it encompases a combination of my two main passions: Old Hollywood Glamour and Gothic or Dark. However, I am starting to suspect that not everyone has a clear clue of what film noir represents or "looks like".
You have the Old Hollywood Glamour style that everyone recognizes: it is a concept that can perfectly cover the period from 1930s to the 1950s. Very elaborated hairstyles, usually involving curles and waves, grown up and sleek make-up, whose trademark is the red lips and to finish the look, sultry and long gowns with a sophisticated "Haute Couture" feel.
You keep that as base and make it dark, much darker and more sexually conceptualized and you will get more or less what film noir is about. In order to understand what the whole thing is about, there are two key elements to know: 1st, the film noir concept (the aesthetic, themes or usual storylines) and, 2nd, the femme fatale, which, in my opinion, is the key element of this stories because is usually the main element that triggers all the problem and as a consequence, the fatal ending.

I have split this whole thing in two parts: part1 the concept, part2 the "femme fatale" issue. Enjoy! The below text was taken from this link: http://www.filmsite.org/filmnoir.html
Feel free to click on the link and read more on the original site.

Film Noir (literally 'black film') was coined by French film critics who noticed the trend of how 'dark', downbeat and black the looks and themes were of many American crime and detective films released in France to theatres following the war.
Classic film noir developed during and after World War II, taking advantage of the post-war ambience of anxiety, pessimism, and suspicion. It was a style of black and white American films that first evolved in the 1940s, became prominent in the post-war era, and lasted in a classic "Golden Age" period until about 1960. There were rarely happy or optimistic endings in noirs.

Very often, a film noir story was developed around a cynical, hard-hearted, disillusioned male character who encountered a beautiful but promiscuous, amoral, double-dealing and seductive femme fatale. She would use her feminine wiles and come-hither sexuality to manipulate him into becoming the fall guy - often following a murder. After a betrayal or double-cross, she was frequently destroyed as well, often at the cost of the hero's life.
The primary moods of classic film noir were melancholy, alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, disenchantment, pessimism, ambiguity, moral corruption, evil, guilt, desperation and paranoia.

Heroes (or anti-heroes), corrupt characters and villains included down-and-out, conflicted hard-boiled detectives or private eyes, cops, gangsters, government agents, a lone wolf, socio-paths or killers, crooks, war veterans, politicians, petty criminals, murderers, or just plain Joes. These protagonists were often morally-ambiguous low-lifes from the dark and gloomy underworld of violent crime and corruption. Distinctively, they were cynical, tarnished, obsessive (sexual or otherwise), brooding, menacing, sinister, sardonic, disillusioned, frightened and insecure loners (usually men), struggling to survive - and in the end, ultimately losing.

Storylines were often elliptical, non-linear and twisting. Narratives were frequently complex, maze-like and convoluted, and typically told with foreboding background music, flashbacks (or a series of flashbacks), witty, razor-sharp and acerbic dialogue, and/or reflective and confessional, first-person voice-over narration. Amnesia suffered by the protagonist was a common plot device, as was the downfall of an innocent Everyman who fell victim to temptation or was framed. Revelations regarding the hero were made to explain/justify the hero's own cynical perspective on life.

Film noir films (mostly shot in gloomy grays, blacks and whites) thematically showed the dark and inhumane side of human nature with cynicism and doomed love, and they emphasized the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark and sadistic sides of the human experience. An oppressive atmosphere of menace, pessimism, anxiety, suspicion that anything can go wrong, dingy realism, futility, fatalism, defeat and entrapment were stylized characteristics of film noir. The protagonists in film noir were normally driven by their past or by human weakness to repeat former mistakes.

Film noir films were marked visually by expressionistic lighting, deep-focus or depth of field camera work, disorienting visual schemes, jarring editing or juxtaposition of elements, ominous shadows, skewed camera angles (usually vertical or diagonal rather than horizontal), circling cigarette smoke, existential sensibilities, and unbalanced or moody compositions. Settings were often interiors with low-key (or single-source) lighting, venetian-blinded windows and rooms, and dark, claustrophobic, gloomy appearances. Exteriors were often urban night scenes with deep shadows, wet asphalt, dark alleyways, rain-slicked or mean streets, flashing neon lights, and low key lighting. Story locations were often in murky and dark streets, dimly-lit and low-rent apartments and hotel rooms of big cities, or abandoned warehouses. [Often-times, war-time scarcities were the reason for the reduced budgets and shadowy, stark sets of B-pictures and film noirs.]

Some of the most prominent directors of film noir included Orson Welles, John Huston, Billy Wilder, Edgar Ulmer, Douglas Sirk, Robert Siodmak, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Henry Hathaway and Howard Hawks.

11 December 2009

New items!, "1930s style LBD"

Hello everyone! I hope you haven't lost your nerves over the stressful christmas shopping. I have been posting new items on my website. Here is one of the latest ones.
It is a LBD (I will never get tired of making them, they are timeless and practical!). Made of black punto de Roma jersey. So it is completely elastic. It is very flattering and classy, very very heavily inspired by the 1930s silouettes.
It is only £70 (absolute bargain, remember that I offer free UK p&p)

The top is fitted, with a squared neckline that sits just above your bust (very flattering to your neckline but without revealing cleaveage at all).
Short puffed sleeves (perfect to uneven the overall shape so the hips don't end up overpowering the silouette).
Graceful bias cut flared skirt with trumpet shape that evens out from your knee. (This shape is "the one"
for hourglass and pear shaped bodies as well as shapes with small hips that desperately need to create a smooth curve).
Ages ago, I spotted Dita Von teese wearing a dress that reminds me a lot of my dress. It is a gorgeous piece made by the incredible Roland M
ouret (although, Mouret's dress is a pencil skirt not flared). I created a polyvore set with both items. I hope you like it.

Here are the links, enjoy!
Don't forget to join my fanpage on facebook! The link is on the left side of the page.


08 December 2009

Fabulous review from Alt Fashion

The Black Wardrobe has been reviewed on Alt Fashion magazine!
Here is a resume. You can click on the link to read the full article.

"The Black Wardrobe is a label that sets the pace for glamourous fashion in black. With touches of vintage inspiration visible in the labels key pieces. Dresses have an element of film noir starlet's about them; with touches of lace, bow trims, and sultry but classic cuts."

"A true alternative for vintage enthusiasts, classic pin up fashions, and those into a bit of rockabilly chic with a twist. Whether you want a classic more defined look, or a piece that captures dark gothic elements with a more mature look."



Related Posts with Thumbnails