09 December 2010

Fashion catwalk (better image)

As I promised, this is the video (with slightly better image and more close-ups) of my mini-catwalk at the Liverpool Design Show. Hope you find it better.

06 December 2010

I suddenly became a Goth.....part 6

Here we go again, I always think this feature doesn't have a future but you always find someone who at some point in their lives, decide to embrace the beauty of Darkness, even if it is just for a short (very short) period of their lives. The last victim of this episode is Taylor Momsen. I didn't have a clue who this girl was till I saw pictures of her all over the net recently.
It turns out she is on Gossip Girl (I only watch a couple of episodes of those TV series and this girl's face still doesn't ring a bell to me...) Anyway, I can see and smell that this is another case of youngster rebelling against her -very early from nappies day- day-life responsibilities. Seeking a very extreme way of exploring her persona, style and, I might guess, freedom, before she hits 25 and decides what to do with her life.

Some of her style attempts are better than others, as you can see the first picture couldn't scream more teenager even if she tried (although I love that deep-red lipstick!). The other two looks are more sophisticated, this second picture reminds of Mary-kate Olsen, it is very much of her romantic style.

The third picture is my definetely favourite, key pieces to watch here that I love:

A/flattering lace dress showing figure and bust. Over knee length (how elegant and grown-up)

B/Glamourous bohemian, almost distressed but still groomed, up-do. (Think of Tippy Heddren just after being attacked by those birds ;)

C/Vamp but understated make-up: soft smokey eyes and hard deep-red lipstick, very fair foundation but without looking too artificially pale, as she decided to use flour.

What do you think?

01 December 2010

Black glossy wellies for your dark outfit in the snow

The weather in the UK is getting snowy, it started in the North and East and now it has spread across the rest of Britain. Weather forecasters say it will get worst. SO now it is time to get some wellies (if you don't have mountain boots) before you fall and break your nose.
I don't need glossy black wellies but I want these!! I already have a pair of matt black wellies, it took me ages! to find them as all wellies are colorful happy-go-blindy, with the brightest rainbow inspired colour-scheme I have ever seen outside of a kidswear department. Somehow, someone assumed that wellies are just for kids. This is the same issue I see happening to alternative fashion too. Why everything out-of-the-norm is meant to be just for anyone below the age of 20?!
I, as a walking being, do need wellies as well that will complement my black outfit. I am short (around 155cms/5'1"),
I don't want to wear something that'll make my legs look shapeless and much shorter than what they already are!
Therefore, I didn't discourage and didn't stop searching till I found my lovely plain go-with-everything black wellies....in a menswear department.
I was lucky, apparently some men are a shoe size 39(EU) / 6(UK) .
I love these wellies. Needless to say that they are menswear...(f###ing hell!), Only sizes 7 and 8 (UK) are available, so if you are fortunate/unfortunate to have big feet, grab them while you can. So far, walking on the snow hasn't been as traumatic as last year. But one more thing...Do not make the same mistake, as I've done, of wearing them with soft light socks. Wear them with very chunky fluffy socks. Otherwise, it will be agony to walk with them, they digg into your ankles when you try to twist your feet to go up/down the stairs or to just walk!
This is the link:

29 November 2010

New spiders!

My spider-brooches were the stars of the show. Every single one I did, it sold. I have expanded my colour scheme (you'll be glad to hear) and I am hoping to experiment with more colorful schemes as well as keep improving my techniques, so watch this space...
You can find more pictures on my website: http://www.theblackwardrobe.com/category/accessories

25 November 2010

Fashion Catwalk.mp4

I took the chance to film the mini-catwalk of my clothes. The quality is not very good, I am afraid. I think the other video is better, which I-ll post soon.

23 November 2010

New clothing items!

Because of The Lpool Design show, I haven't had the time to update the blog with my new items, some of them finished just before the show. I will be posting them in the next following days. I hope you like them.

The first item is a over knee-length dress, with puffed long sleeves. Heavily inspired by the 1940s starlets such as Veronica Lake, this figure-hugging little dark number features a draped neckline and a pencil skirt with an interesting drape on the hip. It is made of two different shades of black crepe-like jersey to add more interest to the garment.

The second item is another over knee-length dress, with puffed long sleeves. Very 1950s style, I designed this dress thinking of those funny pics of Marilyn Monroe with her do-I-look-smart? glasses and secretary style dresses. It features a square neckline trimmed in velvet with a bow on the side. The skirt is fitted with a slight godet, giving it a sleek A-line shaped, which I think fits better and looks less ridiculous than those very pronounced fish-tail skirts.

Click on the links to see more pics of my dresses.


04 November 2010

BW will be exhibiting at the Liverpool Design Show

Hello everyone! I am thrilled to announce that my little fashion label will be exhibiting at The Liverpool Design show.

If you would like to have a look to my gothic/vintage inspired pieces (both clothing and jewellery), don't hesitate in coming over to have a look, on Saturday 20th to Sunday 21st November. From 10.00am to 5pm.

The Liverpool Design show will take place in the sumptuous neo-classical surroundings of the grade 1 listed St George's Hall. (Liverpool city centre, in front of the main train station).
Alongside established designers, this shows gives the chance to meet young and undiscovered talent in the fields of fashion, accessories, jewellery, decorative art and furnishing.
Tickets cost £5 online, £6 at the door. If you would like free tickets, please email me.

02 November 2010

Interesting Victoriana links: VictorianLondon.org

If you are into Dark stuff AND Gothic, it is very very likely that you'll be into victoriana. This is my last discovery.

This very resourceful site is the creation of writer and victorian afficionado, Lee Jackson. Anything you want to know about victorian London, you'll find it here. History, economics, personal stories, literature, maps...Everything! And if you can't find what you want, you can email the writer.
It is a great page for both research and pure nosiness. His blog is worth having a look too. It includes more interesting links.

31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Feliz Dia de los Muertos! or Happy Samhain/Halloween (for all those anglosaxon-speakers out there). Either you are in a Gothic Festival, at the cemetery visiting your loved ones or at home, watching whatever who knows, I hope you are having a good nice quiet day.
I am in situation C, although the telly is off. It is still too early and Sunday! so there is nothing interesting to watch. If I was in Spain, I would probably had gone for a nice walk to the Cemetery. As you know, this festivity is Catholic, people go to clean the tombs of their beloved ones, or just to leave them some flowers. I don't think they do this here in the UK nor in The States. Anyway, have fun and relax. Because tonight, your door-bell will not stop ringing... "Mwahahahaahhaha"

Picture of the famous
Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. Copyright of Till Krecht.

05 July 2010

Lady in Red (Me) in a 1950s themed wedding

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I were invited to a wedding in Morecambe. It took place in a gorgeous Art Deco hotel called "The Midland".
As usual, in weddings, I wasn't sure what to wear, as you don't want to out-stage anyone, even the dogs, specially in wedding where you don't know anyone and you are not a relative (the groom was an old friend of my bf).

I just f
inished a couple of designs that I will soon upload to the website.
One of them is the one I am wearing in the pics below. It is a red maxidress in silky vibrant red viscose jersey. I wanted to go for a 1940s inspired look, with a bit of Valentino glamour flair as well, so I teamed this gorgeous red maxi with black satin accents and a crystal silver necklace that I made (coming soon to the website).
It turned out to be very appropiate as the wedding was vintage themed (1950s, as you can tell by the ice-cream van and the bride's gorgeous dress, adorned with organza roses. It was made in the USA).

01 July 2010

Style icons: Ronit Elkabetz (who?)

I came across this lady through the House of Harps blog. Her style is amazing, a perfect mix of Vintage and Dark. Her romantic hairdo is a modern reminiscent of the 1900s edwardian style up-dos.
Her make-up is subtle, understated but still dramatic (take note of the smokey eye make-up in brown and purple shadows)
I had never heard of her before, neither had you (I presume)...

19 June 2010

Gothic make-up tips: smokey eyes

As I promise in my last post (Gothic make-up tips for the summer), I have arranged a post about how to do smokey eyes.
It can be done with all the colours you can
think of, but still, the most popular option is black and its closest shade, charcoal. You can go for the dry look or the wet one. I tend to go for the wet look in summer.
I have found two very interesting tutorials which are very similar in technique but with slight changes.

(Pictures with explanations)

(YouTube video of fellow blogger "TheMakeUpGirl")

The main focus is: you apply black paste or paste for eyeliner (picture2, MAC has a wonderful one that I use on its own and as an eyeliner) and powder eyeshadow (to keep it on place and avoid the hideous lines of excess pigment sitting on the wrinkles of your eyelid).
The trick with black eyeshadow is to smudge it softly at the end of the eyelid and on the corners. Otherwise, it would look messy and unfinished. You can achieve this by doing it softly with either a brush or your fingers... or in t
his tutorials, using a second shade wich is closer to your skintone. It could be brown or a lighter shade such as cream or white and it is applied before the black colour.

As I had already said, I tend to go for the wet smokey look in the summer. Either I use this black paste on its own (which is quite tricky because is not oily, is dry) or I use the "multi-effect" eyeshadow from Manhattan cosmetics. This eyeshadow gets a bit more intense and shinier when you wet it with a bit of water.

What these tutorials don't tell you and I will, because you MUST know this. Keep a tissue (with make-up cleanser) close to you because when you apply the black eyeshadow some bit of the powder will fall on your cheek and once you rub it, you get your skin all smudged in black. What I use to prevent this, is an special brush that you can find everywhere. It is used to apply powder as well, but the good thing is that will sweep the eyeshadow away without staining the skin. It is usually very wide and has the shape of a flat fan.

17 June 2010

Gothic make-up tips for the summer (olive skin)

Here is the kind of post that my followers love to bits: fashion tips! Everytime I do one, it seems like half of the internet stops by to check it out. The visits go through the roof!

One of the main problems of Gothic fashion is that is a winter fashion. For british goths/goth enthusiasts or people who live in Britain, this is not a big problem; as summer doesn't exist here. However, for the rest of the world, specially in the Mediterranean, this becomes a huge huge problem. So, after so many requests, I am starting my new fashion tips series: Gothic fashion for the summer. This post will cover some make-up tips for olive skin, as this is the tricky one, and no-one seems to have bothered with the subject.

During summer, I don't know if this is your case, I cannot wear full make-up because the sweat will sweep it away. Therefore, the old school trick of applying talc or white powder to make you look paler doesn't work anymore. It is time to confront the golden sun-tan your skin is achieving and embrace it. This means, either leave it plain, naked; or use a blush to accentuate it (pastel or deep 80s style strawberry shades)

I am pretty sure, you must be wondering how you can still achieve that "dark" look, then? You can still dramatise your eyes with deep eyeshadows and/or deep make-up. It is not going to look as edgy as it would on a fair skin person. It would look slightly more harmonious as your skin is alread
y dark and any light shades you apply to it, it would absorbe them.

These are the options I can think of:

(deep make-up on the eyes, and that's it - no dark lips, no shade on cheeks). It doesn't have to be always black or grey. You can still achieve amazing dark results with other deep colours such as gold, turquoise or deep blues (I'll do a post about).

However, with the black or grey colours, you can achieve the exact density of pigment you want on your eyes.
You can make it soft so the eyeliner stands more or for a daily look (see picture1) or you can make it properly pitch black (see picture3), however this one is extremely difficult to apply because is incredibly messy. So while I am writing this post I am arranging the next one, which will be about its -several- methods of applying.

e your skin is of an olive shade (due to sun tan or genetically), you can get away with a full make-up look, during the sunny day.
I have broken down this idea in two further option
s you could go for:
red lips - for a classier look but still lo
oking very vamp (picture2),
dark lips - for an edgier and alternative
look. These can be black or any other extremely deep shade of red and purple such as aubergine (picture3).

As you can see, both full make-up looks work well with either soft blush or deeper strawberry shade.

15 June 2010

Fashion inspiration: Interview mag, June-July issue

Very rarely I find inspiring editorials among the summer issues. Suddenly, everything is just pastels, pinks and bright/neon shades that could easily blind you if you are not careful!
Don't get me wrong, I like pastels and some bright but strong colours such as deep red (my favourite!), deep blues and greens but I am still fond of my black, even in the summer.
This editorial is very interesting, it has all the elements I like: gothic, a bit of fetishism (but not to the point of being pornographic and therefore, might get the ban from Blogger) and with a vintage twist.
It features an unrecognisable Megan Fox as a lady Vamp who is doing dirty tricks to her clone number #2, who is a mannequin.

I love the stylism, is quite summery - if we ignore the fur, unless you are living in Scotland or Iceland - the bob is stylish, simple but still keeps the vintage flair.
The make-up is beautiful, although I think it would only work if you are extremely pale. Otherwise, forget about achieving that soft gothic flair with a golden sun-tanned skin-tone. It just wouldn't work. But hey, if you think otherwise, comments are welcome. I do like debates...;)

Here is the link to the full editorial:


17 April 2010

New items!, "black rose tote bag"

Yet another new item I have added to my website.

This beautiful dark beauty is made of canvas like the earlier tote bag and it has this black rose bouquet that I hand-drawn. The difference from the earlier one is that this tote is flat, it doesn't have depth and the bouquet is not so "full". Although you can still perfectly fit a magazine of DIN-A4 size book or publication inside it.

It features a black and white polka dot fabric panel at the bottom and the handles are made of the same fabric.
The interior is a minuscule tiny polka-dot fabric in black and white as well, with a slight contrasting zip in biscuit/cream colour. It also fastens with a very strong magnetic fast.
At only £25 is a real bargain.
Let me know what you think.

Here is the link for more pictures:


15 April 2010

New items!, "Polka-dot black rose tote bag"

More new items I have added to my website. (More bags!)

This romantic dark piece is made of strong cotton canvas fabric, in a natural colour. Its main feature is a beautiful bouquet of black roses that I hand-drawn myself onto the fabric. The touch of black lace and the black fabric with tiny red dots intensify its gothic flair.
The inside is fully lined in black poly-cotton fabric, with a big open pocket to keep your mobile/i-pod/keys within easy reach. (There is nothing I hate more than spending more than two minutes "exploring" the bottom of my bag trying to find what I am after...Some people have described my bags as "Mary Poppins' bags" because of the amount of sh#t and unthinkable things I came across while looking for something. Examples? a lighter (I don't smoke), a knife (I used to fix the micro-tiny screw of my glasses), euros (I only use them when I go home, to the continent or even worse! plane tickets from last time I went home....half a year ago!) chocolates or chewies that had expired quite a while ago...newspapers that are a week old...

I think I need help. I keep complaining but it keeps happening....

Anyway, here is the link if you want to see more pics of this gorgeous gothic inspired tote bag. It is only £28!


13 April 2010

New items!, "Vintage style framed bag with flower print"

I am thrilled to announce that I have new items on my website. All of them are accessories, bags!, which are really my obsession, well above shoes. So I decided what better items to expand my accessories range than with my favourite items. Hope you like them.

My first item is an elegant and classy vintage style framed bag in a medium size. I have always loved this type of bags, they can hold more than what you might expect! Specially if they are not stiff.

This fabric print features a big floral print in deep red and dark green. I think they are poppies but I am not quite sure.

Sturdy glossy metallic frame with big snap lock in deep red. (Very easy to open and not painful!)

This beauty is handmade by me. It is for sale on my site for £34 (shipping costs are free in UK). Let me know what you think. I am so in love with it.


06 April 2010

Fabric care, acrylic jersey.

People keep asking me how to look after the fabrics with care, specially if they are black, as dye is very easy to wear off with time or washes. This is why I am going to start to recopilate posts with fabric care instructions and I will link them to my pieces' descriptions pages on my website. I think that would be very useful for shoppers as it will give them an idea of what kind of texture to expect. As usual, if anyone is still unsure, I will welcome enquiries, via email or phone.

The first fabric I will speak about is jersey, acrylic jersey, to be more specific, as most of my pieces are made of this comfortable and extremely versatile fabric.

Acrylic is a fine, soft and luxurious fabric with a good drape-able quality. It gives warmth without weight. It is basically a fantastic substitute of wool but without being too hot so you can actually wear it throught Spring and even in the early days of Summer.

Acrylic fabric was first developed by DuPont in 1944 and in 1950 it was commercially produced for the first time. Initially it was used for outdoor purposes but now is commonly used in apparel too.

Characteristics of Acrylic Fabric, very similar to wool:

It is lightweight, soft and warm.
It dyes well. It absorbs and releases moisture quickly thus allowing the fabric to "breathe".
It is resilient, strong, flexible. It retains its shape (which makes it excellent to ironing, it is very sensitive to heat so whatever shape you want to apply with the iron, it will adopt it and keep it).
It resists shrinkage and wrinkles. (It still does wrinkle, though, but it is extremely easy to iron, I prefer to steam it. That way is easier and quicker).
It is resistant to moths, oil, chemicals, and sunlight degradation. (Good news for all of those who like to wear plenty of black under the sunlight).
Like most of synthetic fabrics, it is static. And, like wool, it can suffer from piling and abrasion problems. So if you want to keep your item looking like brand new for longer, you can opt for dry-cleaning instead of cool washing.

02 March 2010

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland - a first look through the looking glass

As a Tim Burton's fan, I can't wait to go to the cinema to watch the last colorful but dark film "Alice in Wonderland".
Here is a critique I found on the Guardian website:
Burton's version will be a sort-of sequel in which a 17-year-old Alice returns to Wonderland, allowing for a darker, more adult-orientated vision that takes in characters and storylines from both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Frankly, the sight of seven-time Burton collaborator Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, resembling a dayglo-version of Adam Ant in his heyday, with a bit of Ronald McDonald thrown in for good measure, looks enough to have most small children running screaming from the room in terror".

Now we are talking!...

25 February 2010

Illamasqua, make-up for the alternative diva

I was just checking out the blog of make-up label Illamasqua and I came across one of its ranges: NOIR!
The collection is described as: "For the femme fatale of the night. Erotic. Cruel. Uninhibited.
Noir explores the dark side of your psyche. It lures out the 'other I'. This collection is a tangle of the dreamlike and the brutal, the black and the white. The colours are bold, baroque and deep. The effect – edgy, accentuated glamour.
Noir is a classic. It’s complex. It's a dance with the devil".
The pictures are amazing and the products look very nice. It is pricey but not expensive (same price range as M.A.C). I still haven't had the chance to test if it is any good as it is only available in Selfridges Manchester Trafford Centre (I am based in the NorthWest, remember). There is no Selfridges in Liverpool and when I travel to Manchester, I do not go as far as Trafford Centre!. I just hate that place, so overcrowded, more of the same.....aghgh!
Here is the link:

19 February 2010

Loving the Dark doesn't mean loving to be dead.

While everyone in the fashion world are still coming to terms with McQueen's death, tributes to his persona are being held in most of the key fashion places such as the fashion weeks (London and NY so far...) and London department stores such as Libertys.
Mcqueen was one of my favourite designers because he was a master of theatrical and phantasmagorical outfit and stage creations. A master of the Haute Macabre. He combined a complex and amazing mix of haute couture out-of-reality pieces with wearable elements. Obviously, his creations (at one time very very gothic and alternative) became stated, commercial -yet still creative- pieces that some people confided me that were mostly made by students and apprentices....

Because of his death, there are some testimonials that have brought out, yet again, some false stereotypes about Goths and other Dark enthusiasts, like me, like McQueen! and I want to clarify them. I am sure most of you who read this blog will agree, but as usual, I welcome and encourage! any comments or opinions. For instance, I have read that Karl Lagerfeld said:

"There was always some attraction to death, his designs were sometimes dehumanised..."
"Who knows, perhaps after flirting with death too often, death attracts you,"
he apparently added.

No Goth, I think, or at least the few I have met in my life are dreaming of killing themselves. An enthusiasm for the Dark, means just that. There are cases and there always will be of people who are attracted to the Dark because they are depressed (or freaks!), so they find it easier to connect with Gothic because they already are "living in the gloom" but that is not usually the case! I have always loved Gothic and I didn't know such a thing existed as concept until I met two girls in high school and told me..."actually, this thing you like and admired so much is called Gothic".. Back then and still now, I have no intention of killing myself, despite still enjoying having quiet walks down the cemeteries, admiring the gorgeous stonegraves.
McQueen was in a state of depression, he even left a note, and his mum (the closest person to him in life, it has been stated) was just gone. I bet you that when he did kill himself, the last thing he would be doing was choosing what fabric would go in his coffin. There is nothing romantic about Death, Robert Smith once said. How true....

Here is the blog where I got this wonderful picture:

Here is the article if you want to read more:

16 February 2010

Spooky victorian animated portraits

While surfing on the net, I came across this spooky thing. I think is fabulous but I wouldn't like to be staring at them at candle light. The effect is so incredibly realistic that it can really scare the hell out of you if you are not aware of its fakeness. Although the pictures are unframed -you need to buy the frame somewhere else- they are incredibly cheap at $10-25, (that would be around £10, I think)
Have a look at the original website. It is from America, though.



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