Misrepresentation in the Goth community/Interview with youtuber Hello Batty

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been a while but college has gotten pretty awful with all the work. The October issue of Carpe Nocturne came out last week and my article about goths of color and an interview with youtuber Hello Batty was published. I got to meet and talk to many other goths of color about how excluded we all felt in a subculure that glorifies whiteness and being pale. Not everyone got featured in the article but the people that were not in it I decided to put them in this blog post. Here is the magazine article. The main question was, “Can you tell me your experiences with being a goth poc? Did you ever feel excluded or told that you didn’t belong?”

NS

LC

Extra submissions from other goths:

Jadis DeHere  – “In general, being a goth POC gets your hostility from both sides. You have other POC asking you why you’re into “white people music” and you have goths saying you’re not goth enough because of your heritage. In my personal experiences, I’ve had goths make snarky remarks about my hair (comparing me to Nicki Minaj). I’m heard goth talk about the shape of certain body parts and how it looks odd in goth clothes. There are also microagressions that goth POC face constantly such as the stereotype that all goths are pale skinned. Non POC goths sometimes wear faux dreads, belly dancer’s outfits, or bindis but refuse to hear us out if we say are offended.”

James Fox” I’ve had varying reactions from people within the scene over the years, some ask me what I’m doing here (not in an angry way more a childlike and naive way) others assume I’m just putting on some kind of fancy dress costume and when I get home I’ll go back to baggy jeans and trainers, lot’s of people have assumed that I’m a drug dealer(I went through a massive phase of being asked for drugs at EVERY gig I went to a few years ago!) and quite often people try to talk to me with good intentions but come off as offensive/patronizing.
When I go to clubs/gigs I’m well aware I’m quite often the only POC there and I can deal with that but the type of situations I’ve just described heighten that isolation which makes me anxious this also make it a bit of a nightmare when it comes to dating as I feel people within the scene have a type and I’m miles away from that so I rarely bother approaching anyone cause I just assume they’re not interested.”

April (Noviceworks-tx.tumblr.com)” The issue was though—I never saw non-white people celebrated in gothic art, photoshoots, etc until a few trickled in sporadically around my late teens, not including the Gothic Lolita sub-bubble. And even then, the emphasis on being as pale as possible was really damaging. The general Goth aesthetic really reinforced the white supremacist ideals of beauty that already permeate the world at large, and it’s not really surprising considering the other values of the century classic goth is meant to emulate. 

And in keeping with that, the more opulent styles of Goth—classic, vampire, romantic, etc—all center around worshiping the upper class of an era that got it’s wealth from ravaging POC countries. It would get really awkward looking at Victorian styles, or hearing people want to ‘go back’ to that era when I had in mind that I’d most likely be a slave in a sugar cane field at the time. The Gothic gods of literature, say HP Lovecraft, would have all been disgusted at the idea of me being able to read their work, and that always KILLED me.”

Patty (carryonmywaywardangel.tumblr.com)“The strangeness when being a POC that is an ally for others, you can see the appropriation everywhere in Goth culture.  Ankhs, crosses, typical religious symbols worn for their darker aesthetics.  And also, the fashionably offensive and off-putting way Western goths try to incorporate Asian themes.  From their flimsy fans to making their eyes purposefully thinner than usual. I understand they are appreciating Asian culture in their own way, but it’s racist.”

Many people came to me and thanked me for writing about this topic and I’m glad I could help inspire and motivate others!
Here is my article with Hello Batty that was featured as well.
NS
I had been working on this interview with her for quite some time so it’s great I got it finished! She was a delight to talk to. Click on the photos to view them better.

Campy, creative, pop culture inspired headpieces by THE FAB HATTER

I spend too much time browsing instagram for inspiration and interesting things to write about. I’m a huge fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race and was looking through the tag when I came across some amazing head pieces by someone named The Fab Hatter. Their name is Fang and lots of their pieces are influenced by what the queens on RPDR wear along with Fang’s own touch of unique styles.

01 - H1zKRiu

Fang (pictured above with one of their works) was able to do a small interview with me so I could learn more about where all these ideas come from.

What are your inspirations for making your pieces?

Fang: Basically, 90% of what I see I want to turn into a hat, but my major influences include
drag queens, club kids, art, pop culture, toys, taxidermy, animals, and food. I have absolutely no fashion or millinery background, I studied genetic engineering and politics, so I’m no constrained by traditional ideas of what a hat should be.
Almost all of my hats are made of unusual or found materials.

How long does it take you to make each one and how did your business get started?

F: Sometimes hats take years to make as I gather the parts or just because I get side-tracked with other things.

Generally speaking, prototype hats takes 10-15 hours each of actual construction time to make, once I get the technique down I can typically make them in around 2-5 hours.05 - kul4pJs

I started making and wearing unusual hats a few years ago. It was after watching S1E1 and seeing Ongina’s Barbie headpiece that I realized hats didn’t have to be so mundane. I started with a lobster hat inspired by Salvador Dali. It was made out of a mouse pad and a loofah. Later, I traveled extensively overseas. I had to travel light so I would stick my souvenirs to a hat and wear them around. My hats started getting me a lot of attention and I had a lot of people buying them off my head or asking me to sell them online, so that’s what I did.

Lacey Noel modeling a piece inspired by season 3 RPDR winner Raja

Lacey Noel modeling a piece inspired by season 3 RPDR winner Raja

I see you’re a big fan of Rupaul’s drag race! Who were some of the queens you were rooting for this season? Has any queen from the show seen your work?

F: My favorite queens of this season were Max, Violet, Trixie, and Katya, in no particular order. I’ve already made a couple of Trixie Mattel inspired hats. My favorite Queen of S8 will be Kim Chi, because I don’t understand how she WON’T be cast.

Generally speaking, I love queens who wear hats. My favorites overall are Raja, Manila, and Ongina.

I live in LA and I go to World of Wonder events so I’ve met a few queens there or just hanging around the city. A few of them follow me on social media and have even contacted me stating that they love my pieces too! Off the top of my head, some queens that have seen my work have been Rupaul, Phi Phi O’Hara, Manila Luzon, Ongina, Raja, Raven, Morgan McMichaels, Kelly Mantle, and Langanja Estranja.

I also made the “Carrie” hat that won “Top Toot of the Week” on the Dragcon episode of the Fashion Photo Ruview.

What are some of your favorite hats you’ve made so far?

F: I love all my hats as I’m my own muse. I wear them everyday, I never go out without a hat, even if it’s just for something mundane like going to the grocery store.

My lobster hat that started it all is probably my favorite for sentimental reasons. I also have a percher hat made out of beetle wings for when I want an understated look. I also just made a museum gallery top hat that has digital paintings that play slideshows of modern art.

Do you have any other pieces in the making? If so, can you give us a hint of what they’re influenced by?04 - 6uUiNcM

F: Last year when I counted I had over 617 hat ideas, for real, that I want to make. I get inspired by something every day. They’re influenced by everything, but the ones that are going to be coming out soon are some hats inspired by art (particularly surrealism), animals, drinks, and monuments. I’ll also be making more drag inspired hats.

I also plan on making unusual hats for chemo patients. They would be close-fitting hats cut to resemble haircuts, but they would be made out of interesting patterned wool. Think neon blue bobs, leopard print Josephine Baker hairdos. I’m still a couple months away from launching that. I need to raise up the money for materials and I need to take millinery classes.

I’m a big supporter of giving back and doing volunteer work, I volunteer at least one full day a week doing charity work. Right now I usually volunteer at a hospital with the critical carepatients or in the Emergency Department. Also for every $100 I sale I donate at least 1 hour of time to charity, since these sales allow me to have a more free schedule that allows me to both continue with my studies and to volunteer.

02 - huFu54x

Where can you find The Fab Hatter?

Tumblr
Deviantart
Etsy
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

Goth/Alt people from around the world #4: Redtail

SONY DSC

What’s your name? (Or what do you go by?)
Redtail

How old are you?
mid-twenties, let’s not get into detail.

SONY DSC

Where are you from?
Taipei, Taiwan

Describe your style.
If I have to put my main style in one term I might say Witchy New-Romantic.
But it’s more like an 90’s take of it.
Like somewhere between Rozz Williams, Boy George and the movie The Craft.
It’s still very dark tone goth style with all the black, leather and lace.
But also mix with print, and some colors here and there, like the old goth pun “putting the fun in funeral.”
Big earring, choker and hats are pretty essential for my outfits.

SONY DSC

How did you become interested in your style of fashion?
I grow up with 90’s anime, that says extreme lots about me.
There was a lot of dark and androgynous style going on back there, Gothic Lolita was my very first introduction to gothic culture.
Also like every goth of my generation, The Addams Family and Tim Burton happened.
Music is definitely another big turning point, way before I got into the goth theme I was into more pop-punk and J-Rock style of music.
Which reacting as my beginning of rather alternative style, then it just keep evolving and maturing as with my musical taste.

Where are you favorite places to shop for your style? Or do you make your own clothing?
Second-hand and discount sessions, or discount session of second-hand store.
Main reason being that’s the only place I can afford, but that also representing more of a trad goth/punk spirit in my opinion, or in my defense.
But for real, even if I’m wealthy i would still prefer second-hand, you can find stuff that’s way more interesting in the market and the finding progress is a fun adventure.
And it’s way better to just wear things actually from the 80’s and 90’s than the resemble of it.
I make some accessory myself, and do modification to my clothes as well. Again, trad spirit.SONY DSC

Who/what are your influences?

Music of course.
80’s Goth, New Romantic to 90’s Alternative Rock and Industrial especially.
Also 90’s anime/manga like I mentioned earlier.
Harajuku fashion had very strong impact on me when I was younger, and you can still sea some leftover from that here and there.
But I would say my biggest inspiration is from clothes itself. Since shopping for me is more about what I can find than what I want to find.
So while I got a taste reflating out of music, styling is more about how I could mix those pieces I got and create my own style out of it.

What does your fashion taste say about you?
My dark interest, some hints of music taste, but most importantly, I’m being true to myself.

SONY DSC

Redtail is absolutely one of my top fashion/make-up inspirations on Tumblr.

You can follow them right here.

SONY DSC

If you have a cool alternative/goth style you would like to show off, send me an email!

Goth/Alt people from around the world #3: Manic Moth

tumblr_nc1lnn35A81sn8o3fo1_500

A young illustration student that has a passion for Gothic fashion and fantasy, she has one of the most interesting styles I’ve come across so far.

What’s your name?
– I go by Manic Moth

Where are you from?
– I’m from Germany

unnamed (1)Describe your style:
– My style is influenced by all kind of different Gothic styles but I would say that my main source of inspiration is fantasy literature. I love all kind of dark fantasy creatures and I try to reflect their morbid beauty in my style. For that I try to achieve a costume-like look that’s inspired by these creatures. Aside from fantasy I am also often inspired by historical art and fashion.

How did you become interested in your style of fashion?
– I was never really interested in “normal” fashion which changes all the time. Since I was a child I read fantasy literature and I was very interested in history as well. I thought that everything I read in those books or saw on old paintings seemed much more interesting than the fashion you can usually see in the shops. Later I got into Gothic music which is a genre that influenced me very much. I loved the morbid and melancholic beauty of the music as well as the Gothic looks.

Where are your favorite places to shop for your style? Or do you make unnamedyour own clothing?
– I can’t name any specific shops where I mostly buy my clothes since I rarely buy something new. There are some German websites though, like kleiderkreisel.de where you can trade your clothes against the clothes someone else doesn’t want anymore and I found some really nice pieces there. I also got a lot of stuff at lingerie stores that I just wear as or over my regular clothes. Some of my outfits I sewed myself, but there I mostly redesign stuff I bought rather than creating something new from scratch. When it comes to shoes I would recommend the brand Demonia.

Who/what are your influences?
– Fantasy, history, Gothic music and style.

What does your fashion taste say about you?
– I don’t know if it really says something about me besides that I love the dark beauty of things and that I hear Gothic music although I would hope that it creates something magical compared to all the typical fashion that is aimed at selling you goods instead of letting you create and fulfill yourself.

tumblr_nk8hp7ktt31sn8o3fo1_500 tumblr_n3sbe4A5Ui1sn8o3fo1_500

I loved learning about her out-of-this-world diverse styles.
You can find her on her Tumblr: Manic-Moth

If you have a style you’d like to show off, please check out the “Want to be featured here?” link at the top of the page!

ANNI PENG Co-Founder/Creator of unisex concept store BROKE BITCH

25 copy

Anni Peng and her husband were sick of the gender roles that we are forced to live under from birth. So in April of 2014 they created the BKBT Concept store to knock down societies rules and expectations. They claim to be one of the few businesses that enforce unisex fashion and I can believe it. Most stores in person and their websites still have the typical “guys only” “girls only” sections. Their mission is to “create a shopping experience where people would shop freely, and we believe that social norms cannot determine our gender roles, primarily, the way we dress. We believe in gender-neutral roles.”

12-LACED FISHTAIL PARKA-brokebitch-unisex-fashion

Along with learning more about her work, I asked her a few questions about herself personally to learn more about the rad person behind the influential brand.

Here’s her short bio:

PENG: I graduated from The University of Oregon 2013, majoring in neuropsychology and philosophy.
Fashion and business have always been my passion, so my husband and I started BKBT Concept (Broke Bitch) in April, 2014. We’ve been growing the business as of late, I am the creative director, helping establish the aesthetic of the store and shopping experience on our site

What’s everything you do for a living these days?

PENG: I am the Co-founder and Creative Director at BKBT Concept full time.

How would you describe your personal style?

PENGI don’t really try to put myself in any category, I dress for my inner feelings and for my soul, not particularly for particular person or societal group. I definitely prefer the dark silhouette/goth style.
I started dressing like that at around 15/16 years of age. I was even in a goth band! Haha.

Since you were in a goth band, are you still involved with music in any way? I just find all of this so cool. 8 copy

PENG: I am currently not involved in any music, because the business schedule can get really crazy sometimes! However, if I have a chance in the future, I would continue!

What kind of things inspire you with your fashion?

PENG: Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens are my muses. I was also heavily influenced from X-japan, Malice Mizer when I was a teenager. Haha.

4

“BKBT Concept regularly blurs the boundaries between genders, we want to provide a fit in our clothing that allows the consumer to express themselves without limitations.”

2

You know another cool thing I forgot to mention about Broke Bitch? They show a diversity in models. All of this is taking a step forward in the right direction. I hope for big things for Anni and her husband with this and their projects.

You can find them on their store’s website: bkbtconcept.com

Their twitter: bkbtconcept

Anni’s instagram: pimp_ap

Anni’s website: AnniPeng.com

1

Goth/Alt people from around the world #2: Cynthia

tunic

How old are you?
26.

Where are you from?
Oklahoma.

Describe your style.
It’s pretty diverse. My style runs from classic mori fashion with tons of lace and ruffles, to strega/dark mori with all sorts of dark layers and textures, to romantic gothic fashions with velvets, lace and fishnet, to classic minimalism. It depends on my mood that day. If I had to pick one style to define me, it would be a gothic-leaning strega style that I dubbed “shadow strega” when all of us on Tumblr were in the spirit of labeling our personal “substrega” styles a while back.

How did you discover mori kei/dark mori fashion?

getting dressedI think I must have seen pictures on Tumblr, but I didn’t know what it was or where it came from. Eventually one user I follow used the “mori girl” tag, and I had a word for what I was so drawn to. As I researched mori and dark mori online I found that they fit my personality perfectly.

scary dress Where are you favorite places to shop for your style? Or do you make your own clothing? 
I prefer to shop at thrift stores, but small boutiques are often a good source for ultra feminine, frilly clothes. Really, suitable clothing can be found anywhere as long as you know what to look for. I like the idea of making clothing and I do sometimes alter clothes I find, but I’m not good enough at sewing to make it much of a habit!

Who/what are your influences?
I’m influenced by concepts or general aesthetics more than people or characters. Antiques; the Victorian era; the 1920s; nature; witchcraft; divination; literature in the gothic, surreal horror, mystery and fantasy genres; Tim Burton; Guillermo Del Toro; Neil Gaiman; dark music (especially dark ambient); Alice in Wonderland; The Secret Garden; Silent Hill; Halloween; haunted houses and other such nonsense all influence my style as I attempt to channel them into the medium of fashion. Also, I really like Stevie Nicks’s style!

Stone LionWhat does your fashion taste say about you?
I think it reflects my experimental and curious nature, and as a pagan witch it’s also an outward expression of my religious and lifestyle practices. I would describe myself as whimsical, and my style tends to show that, I think. I’ve had an urge to dress like either a fairy tale heroine or a witch since I was a kid, and I finally have a socially acceptable outlet for that.

A thank you to Cynthia for her participation!
Do you have a cool goth or Japanese inspired style you would like to show off on Night Fever King? If so, please send an email to nightfeverking@gmail.com.

Goth/Alt People From Around The World #1: Victorian/Gothic Lolita Anna Hako

Here is the first article of a series I’ll be posting often (along with my regular posts)that are submissions celebrating and showing off the creative and impressive Goths and all other kinds of Alternative people from around the world! This is Anna.

IMG_1926 2

How old are you?
I’m 24.

Where are you from?
Helsinki, Finland but I’ve lived in the US, the UK, and Germany as well.

Describe your style.
It’s a mixture of Victorian goth, corp goth, and gothic lolita. In my daily life, comfort is more important than looks – especially since I’m a milliner and work with small embellishment, chemicals and paints all the time – so I am sadly dressed down quite often. But when I get the chance to dress up, I go all the way. Which style dominates the look that day depends on my mood. I have a few medical reasons which stop me from getting piercings or tattoos and restrict dyeing my hair so some times I feel that I’m not able to express myself fully. It is something I have learned to live with but it has definitely been a factor in the direction my style has taken.
DSC_0829 3 pieni 2

How did you become interested in your style of fashion?
I had a friend who asked me if she could style me as a rock chick back in the 8th grade. She wanted to do it just to shock everybody, but I found myself really liking the alternative look so I stuck with it and the style started to evolve. I started out looking much more cyber goth than I am now!

Where are you favorite places to shop for your style? Or do you make your own clothing?
I make my own headpieces as that is my craft, but most of my clothes are thrifted. I go to a lot of second hand stores and recycling centers because they’re cheap and I want to support recycling. I like giving clothes a new life, so sometimes I modify the old ones I find to suit my look. I don’t shop at “real” stores much, though I do visit the alternative stores in Helsinki every now and then. When I’m in London, I explore Camden Market and stop by stores like TK Maxx when I get the chance.

Who/what are your influences?
History, music, literature, and other goths, mostly. I’m quite fond of things that are elegant and cute yet macabre, which is why I think Victorian mourning fashion and the music of The Birthday Massacre have such an impact on me. On top of mourning fashion, I enjoy the lighter side of historical fashion, such as rococo, and places like Victoria and Albert Museum in London are a great source of inspiration for me.
It’s such a cliché, but I’m also really inspired by the death; I could probably live at an old cemetery and I could never have too many skeleton items. I think the whole goth scene is very inspiring as well, it’s impossible to look at all the diversity and talent and not be influenced by them!

IMG_1196 3

What does your fashion taste say about you?

It definitely makes people think I’m “dark” – whether that is positive or negative is another thing. I hope my fashion taste gives some clues about the things I enjoy and I hope it also conveys who I am as a designer. I think the “sweet yet macabre” influence shines through clearly. I am quite open about my “un-goth” likes as well, so people who think they have me figured out are often surprised to learn that I’m not all cemeteries and goth rock.
It’s a shame there is a lot of misinformation about goths because people seem to make negative or otherwise incorrect assumptions very quickly. I hope I can change that when people actually get to know me.

Do you have a cool goth or Japanese inspired style you would like to show off on Night Fever King? If so, please send an email to nightfeverking@gmail.com.

66708_10151810576402990_1679031013_nYou can find Anna on her Tumblr right here.
Much thanks to her for her participation!