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."


30 November 2009

(Blurred) photos from Liverpool fashion fair

Back from the Shopping event (from last weekend) but still, busy as usual. I managed to find time to post the pics from the fair. I apologize in advance for the awful! quality of the pictures (they were taken with my mobile).

On the second picture, you can recognize my rail -most of it black ;)
The girl smiling with the glasses is Gill, the owner of the boutique where I sell my collection through and another designer, Andrea, who makes the petticoats herself. You can find their links here: http://www.theblackwardrobe.com/pages/links

27 November 2009

Shopping event, Liverpool

Dear all,
I haven't posted for a while because I have been so busy!!! I haven't even had the time to post about the fashion fair I am at this weekend:
Passion for fashion.
Passion For Fashion is a 2 day fashion, held in the The LIVERPOOL EMPIRE Atrium. (Lime st, next to the train station, Liverpool)
You can find established and up & coming Designers, Vintage, Hand Made, Retro & Selected High Street under one roof.
The Event is open to the public and is just £3 to enter so if you love your Fashion you can't miss out ..

It is open on:
Friday 27th Novemeber 10-6pm

Saturday 28th Novemeber 10-7pm

Come and see me!

09 November 2009

One for all those taxidermy enthusiasts: The Little Shop of Horrors

Here is a post for all those taxidermy enthusiasts, thrilling to do some christmas shopping. Yeah, that's right. You can shop real taxidermy in a real shop now.
I came across this little shop by accident. The Little shop of Horrors is a creation of an intellectual group called
The Last Tuesday Society. The Last Tuesday Society is a ‘Pataphysical organization founded by William James at Harvard in the 1870s. As its own website states, "It is devoted to exploring and furthering the esoteric, literary and artistic aspects of life in London and beyond". There are all sort of oddities you can buy at this shop. To mention a few: human fetuses, broken children's toys, carniverous plants...etc. I wouldn't mind to go and have a look what monstruosities I may find. Sounds promising...:) here is the link: http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/shopevents.html

07 November 2009

New items!, "High-waist pencil skirt with faux "train"

50s Office
I am still updating my website with all the new pieces I have been making. This little number is one of my favourites. It is a very pin-up/1950s style pencil skirt with a "train" at the back -remember those tails of fabric they used to wear at the back of the skirts, back in Victorian times?-. You could still wear it at front, though. It would look nice too because the pleated piece of nude soft net is not thick so it doesn't make you look "bulky".
It is below-knee length, in stretc
h black jersey. You cinch it on the waist with the satin tie. The sophisticated waistline is finished with a black satin trim. It also features a lace bow adornment at the back, which is detachable so you can take it off and use it as brooch for something else!
It is £48 (bargain!) and here is the link to my website for more pictures.

04 November 2009

New items!, "Puff-sleeved top with ruffle lace panel"

Here is another new item I made and didn't have the chance to post...until now.
Look sexy...in red and lace
Look sexy...in red and lace by THE BLACK WARDROBE
This beautiful puff-sleeved top is made of red jersey and features a delicate lace panel on the chest with a ruffle and velvet ribbon. It is only £45 (bargain!). Hope you like it.
Here is the link to my top's page: http://www.theblackwardrobe.com/product/puff-sleeved-top-with-ruffle-lace-panel-30

02 November 2009

New items!, "1940s style peplum top"

After coming back from the Whitby Gothic Festival, work has been piling up....as usual. There are some new items I made specially for the festival and I didn't have the time to post on the website. So this is one of the jobs I will prioritize over this week. Hope you like the new items.

The first one of my list is this gorgeous red top with peplum, very into the 1940s style. Long puff sleeves and lace middle panel. It is only £45 (bargain!)
I can imagine it being worn with a pencil (as shown in my polyvore set, twinned with my pencil skirt) or any other fitted skirt to show off the flared peplum or for a more casual look with jeans.

Here is the link to my top: http://www.theblackwardrobe.com/product/1940s-style-peplum-top-with-lace-panel-29

26 October 2009

Preparation for Whitby Gothic Festival, part 2

Recently, the organizers of Whitby Gothic Festival sent me the almanack (a short paged booklet or magazine containing relevant information about what's going on in the festival). There are also adverts of the companies that will be trading at any of the venues among the town.
Have a look at the pic, there is a map showing where all these venues are situated and most importantly, there is an ad of The Black Wardrobe!

22 October 2009

Enchanting earrings

Etsy.com is always a very inspiring place to be and browse (I used to place my items in there before having my own website) but shame that everything can only be posted in US dollars only. Anyway, everynow and again you find an artist that really really inspires you. This case is been a little shop called Peresephoneplus. This company makes gorgeous earrings, all enamelled images framed within filigree frames, finished with little hanging drops such as crystals or gothic charms such little bats. Here are some pics of my my favourite ones.


20 October 2009

Preparations for Whitby Gothic Festival, part 1

I will be trading at the Whitby Gothic Festival for the first time so I have already started to prepare myself although that doesn't minimize the hysteria and stress I am going through..... I just received my bags a couple of days ago and I have already decided how I will design them. I quite like it. Simple but easy to understand, my logo and my website and I will add some of my business cards inside the bags too. The bags are black, made of paper (recycled paper, they told me). They are not boring matt but not shiny either. the paint coating it has a subtle satin like finish that I really like. I was made up.

16 October 2009

Red sequined gown

I don't usually publish pics of dresses or any kind of private commissions I take. I don't know why, maybe because they are exclusive items I made under someone's request so I though it would be innapropiate to talk about it or maybe they wouldn't like to be posted on the blog. No clue, I never asked really if they would mind. Anyway, I have just posted some pics on my facebook and I though it would be nice to show the last dress I made. I am so proud of it, is just gorgeous. It is a very sexy "Jessica Rabbit" like gown, all made of red sequined fabric, strapless, sweetheart bust shaped dress with boning and cups (to keep everything on place). The cut is fitted until the knee and then it opens up in a subtle bell shape, more or less like a mermaid-style but not quite. The girl who I made it for, Vicky, was very pleased with the dress. It really flatter her figure, it pushed up her bust, framing it beautifully, it slimmed down her waist (thanks to a strategically well placed satin bow tie in deep red) and it well defined her already hourglass shape. The best part, I have to admit, was the moment her boyfriend's saw the dress on her, for the first time. He went white..... Lol!

09 October 2009

Corporate Goth: the shift dress

The first time I heard about Corp. Goth I though: "wow, useful black clothes for work without all the drama of victorian-themed or all other full length gowns..." I was wrong, I never managed to find anything similar to what I do.
The main reason I started my fashion label it was because I wanted to offer dramatic clothes for the everyday life (I didn't see anyone in the alternative scene offering that and I still don't). However, that means that it doesn't always have to be a gorgeous gown with overwhelming amount of detailing and embellishments to reach that dramatic look.
I have just found a picture of Carol Vorderman (as far as I know, she is not into alternative fashion). She looked like a very stereotypical femme fatale only because she was wearing a very simple but dramatic dress, with pointed shoulders!

She looks gorgeous, mysterious, sexy and most interesting, unique and different!
The dress is not designer and is not alternative, is from the Victoria Beckham collection.
I have to admit that I have surprised myself by liking it. The pieces are classy, wearable but not boring and very feminine. They really flatter the figure by accentuating the hourglass shape. This picture of ms Vorderman is a proof that you don't need to be skinny to look stunning. If you are still unsure, have a look at mrs Beckham wearing similar dresses and tell me. Who do you think wears them best?
This is the link, if you want to read the full article.

28 September 2009

Sweet things for Halloween

I am not really into Halloween but I came across some decorations in John Lewis and I just couldn't resist!

Please, have a look! Everything is so cute!
My favourite is this beautiful water globe with a haunted house. When you shake it, all tiny devilish bats fly all over the little mansion....

Oh by the way, I will have a stall at the gothic weekend festival in Whitby (East Yorkshire), this halloween. If you are coming, please come by and say hi!

11 August 2009

Trends for winter 2009-10: Vintage!, part 1

I have already commented in one of my old posts that there is going to be a return of vintage fashion in the next season. Specifically, 1930s due to the similarities between the current financial crisis and the Great Depression. I had a peek to a couple of magazines this month, (now is when they are releasing recopilations of catwalk pics) and the first designer I will post about is going to be: the great Alexander Mcqueen.
The velvets: so dramatic, gothic, alluring and sophisticated!
The furs: so 30s and they really deserve a great come-back. British weather asks for them to be worn at all times!
The tailoring: again, very 30s but also very feminine, practical and flattering to all body shapes.
I also love the details of the cane and those gorgeous pvc stilettos, they add some kind of "fetishe" air to the whole look, making it look even sexier and more "femme fatale". Gorgeous...

08 August 2009

Gothic art

I came across this artist that I think she really needs to be mentioned, specially, if you are a Mark Ryden or Tim Burton fan!

Natalie Shau is a talented young digital artist from Lithuania. She specialises in blending photo manipulation, 3D design and digital painting to create her often creepy, gothic doll, fairytale figures. Natalie’s inspiration for these renditions comes from lowbrow artists such as Ray Caesar, Trevor Brown and Mark Ryden. Her style is a macabre to grotesque “baby art,” heavily influenced by religious imagery and fantasy art.

The image on the left is called Carousel for Birthday.

You can find more info and read about other artists on this link:

04 August 2009

How to get that hourglass shape??

Loulou made a fabulous comment on my last post, she stated; "This (about hourglass shape) is not a matter of being born so, this is a matter of WILL. The Hourglass shape does not make compromises with lazyness".
Which is SO true. When you look at the divas of Hollywood (retro and modern ones) they have amazing bodies under those gorgeous gowns. That is not natural....I will tell you the secret: UNDERWEAR!
If you thought that this was a thing of the past, you couldn't be any more wrong. Bridget Jones knickers never ever left most ladies wardrobes. That includes Hollywood secret boudoirs...
It goes without saying that the boning of a strapless dress is not enough to hide those little "bumps" and it doesn't guarantee you the dress will not sleep down, revealing your intimacies...
The most common "control underwear" pieces are corsets, high-waist knickers (aka Bridget Jones knickers) and bras for all shapes and sizes.
They are use not only to disguise but to reveal and reafirm!

You can find this control underwear/shapewear in retro style, like the ones our mums and grandmums used to wear!!!
Here are some websites, have a look!


29 July 2009

The new retro trend: Hourglass shape

According to a british survey, british women prefer to achieve that gorgeous hourglass shape, so popular 50years ago, than being a long thin square (a.k.a size zero).
This is another hint that proves us old fashions are best and they are coming back, hopefully to stay!!

Among 2000 women who were surveyed, 60%percent admitted to being either an "apple" or "pear shape,". 75% percent said they wanted a figure like Catherine Zeta-Jones or Marilyn Monroe.

A top-10 list of female celebrities whose shape inspired women was topped by buxom TV cook Nigella Lawson and actresses Helen Mirren, Judy Dench, and Joanna Lumley.

Another surprising detail found on this survey was that despite being the biggest in the continent, brit
ish women don't see themselves as "obese" and only 10% wanted to be "slim". This is a huge contrast with french women, who are the slimmest, and see themselves as "fat" (statistics say that around 6.7% of french women are dangerously thin).
Between 1993 and 2004 the proportion of obese people rose "significantly", from almost 17% to 24.4% among women, according to University College London researchers.

In my opinion, this attitude can have its good and bad sides.
Good things:
-women are starting to accept who they are. Slimness is not synonymous of beauty. Everyone is different, there is no need to followed a certain pattern in order to be "accepted" by the norm.
-It seems that there is an effort to abandon that "sloppy" attitude about looking good and adopt a more positive one by working a healthier hourglass silouette instead of just losing weight.

Bad things:
-Forcing your body to have a small waist while still being "big" in the rest of the body is not a good idea. Have a look at pics of the 50s (Marilyn M., Sophia Loren, E. Taylor...they weren't size 8 but not an unhealthy size 30 either...it was about a well toned body -everything on its place- AND a small waist) That is the perfect silouette.
-Some people in Britain should really really change their diet. I'm sorry but it is the true. There are people out there who are big not because they have been genetically "unlucky" but because they are basically eating rubbish and do not do any exercise. This retro silouette shouldn't be used to justified obsesity ("lets just put a corset on and I will look like La Loren"). Things don't work that way. Being overweight just for the sake of being it, it is not a valid excuse.

25 July 2009

My Facebook page!

I created my facebook page ages ago!!! but I just didn't know the exact address. I know, stupid...., never mind. I figured it out today! It is so complicated and long!, no wonder that I couldn't find it!

Please, become a fan!


23 July 2009

Vintage beauties: Public Enemies's film locations

As well as the fashion and the gadgets (oh god, what cars!) another great beauty of the film Public Enemies are the locations. I had the pleasure to find pictures of some of the buildings featured in the film.

You can find more pictures at the flickr set Movie set for Johnny Depp movie "Public Enemies" (Columbus, Wisconsin)


19 July 2009

Mobs, gangsters, mafia and Johnny Depp!

Being a big fan of Film Noir and the 1930s, it was a no-brainer that I had to go to watch this film: Public Enemies. All reviews I had read were...hmm...not so good, however I was still tempted to watch it for several reasons: it is based in The Great Depression, it is about an interesting story (mafia), great actors, among them, the incredible Johnny Depp (who is astonishingly talented, in my point of view). If another actor would had played this role, I don't think the film would has been as good as I think it is. Specially if the chosen actor was Leonardo Di Caprio.........aaaaaghgh!
Marion Cotillard is absolutely great (powerful, dramatique! and somehow unconventional which makes the character even more attractive). I had already had the pleasure to watch mademoiselle Cotillard in another great film: "La Vie En Rose". That woman is seriously talented!
Another great piece of
acting in this film is, without a doubt, Christian Bale, whose toughness and elegance adds a bit of spice to some scenes. Although, I have to say, in some scenes I didn't know if I was watching Bruce Wayne or Melvin Purvis...
I don't know if people knows this but
the film is based on a true story. The characters WERE real and aparently, it seems to be historically accurate (at least, that's what my boyfriend -mafia aficionado- says. He knows a lot about mob history). The film is an adaption of Bryan Burrough's non-fiction book Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the film, I wasn't dissappointed.


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