Saturday, 30 June 2018

Travel Beyond the Crypt Sainte-Chapelle, Louvre Museum

On my last day in Paris, I originally wanted to visit Pere Lachaise Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Paris and the burial ground of Oscar Wilde as well as other icons such as Frederic Chopin, Jim Morrison and Eugene Delacroix. However, it still didn't stop snowing from the previous day, so public transport including taxis were still messed up. I stuck to central Paris as I was travelling back to England later on that evening.

I decided to visit Sainte-Chapelle instead, which has free admission for any EU nationals under 26.

The outside of Sainte-Chapelle is pretty hard and not that impressive to photograph since it is surrounded by other buildings and in a crowded area, but the inside more than makes up for this.

The chapel was started in 1238 and finished in 1248, commissioned by King Louis IX to house his collection of religious relics.

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

The inside is amazingly beautiful and one of my favourite sights during my trip. I received so much inspiration from seeing these beautiful purple-hued stained glass windows, for jewellery, clothing and more.

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Sainte-Chapelle, or at least the parts open to the public, is not very big so it doesn't take too long to view it. After Sainte-Chapelle, I visited the Louvre Museum.

  Louvre Museum, Paris

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, is the world's largest museum (as well as the most visited) and contains over 38,000 pieces of art. The museum is indeed absolutely huge, and days would be required to view every single piece, so it's best to pick which pieces you'd like to see or make a very quick pass through the entire thing. Among the most famous pieces are the Venus de Milo and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Venus de Milo at the Louvre Museum, Paris

Venus de Milo

The Three Graces sculpture in the Louvre Museum, Paris

Although Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa are by far the most famous pieces of art held in the Louvre, and I saw both, the sculpture above was my favourite and unknown to me before visiting the museum. It's The Three Graces, or a reproduction of the original statue, which was carved by an artist unknown and lost in the sands of time. It's quite hard to find information on this statue, since there's a more well-known statue of the Three Graces in existence.

What I love most about the statue is that the depiction of the Three Graces, Roman/Greek goddesses the very embodiment of grace, beauty and youth, was conceived and carved because they were considered the epitome of beauty and perfection. Whoever carved it considered their bodies to be perfectly beautiful, and look, they have what are considered "tummy bulges"! Too many people nowadays are obsessed, or get depressed over not having a perfect body with a perfectly flat stomach that stays like that all the time, but many people don't realise that perfect bodies don't exist; even people who dedicate their lives and careers to fitness admit that flat stomachs don't stay that way forever, and they consider it a good day if it stays past mid-morning. Naturally I have my own body insecurities but seeing this statue, and knowing that even thousands of years ago, this body was considered beautiful and perfect, with natural curves and bumps, is very comforting and I hope it comforts others too.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, Louvre Museum, Paris

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, carved around the 2nd century BC, around 190-200 BC.

Desserts in London and Paris

The last photo I will leave you for my trip is all the desserts I devoured during my London and Paris trip! Like I mentioned in a previous post, I had a list of highly rated patisseries I would've liked to visit, especially in Paris and I'm happy to say I managed to tick most of them off of my list. Some of the patisseries I visited were Des Gateaux et du Pain, Angelina's, Cafe Pouchkine and Un Dimanche a Paris. Each and every dessert was amazingly delicious; I'm an absolute fiend for desserts and these definitely satisfied. I'd recommend brushing up on and visiting lots of patisseries if you go to France!

There were many other places I would've liked to visit on my trip but simply not enough time to cover them all. Do you have anywhere spooky you'd recommend to visit in Paris, such as the Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures, which is on my list?

 

Friday, 29 June 2018

My Take on Cyber Goth Fashion

Recently I have been getting inspired by futuristic Cyber Goth fashion, but not your regular take on it - I'm not personally into the neon colours, Cyberlox and glow sticks that are brought to mind when you normally think of Cyber Goth fashion, and prefer an all-black (or almost all black), sleek look that I feel is more of an authentic interpretation of futuristic fashion. I had the chance to get a few things from Cyberdog and other places, which prompted this little fashion muse, so I thought I'd share my items and interpretation of Cyber fashion.

One Cyber fashion inspiration from media that is hugely influential to my take on this fashion is Rachael from Blade Runner.

Rachael from Blade Runner - fur coat

I think she is so so cute and love the fashions she wears in Blade Runner. Just look at that fur coat!

Alice from Resident Evil Retribution outfit
Although the credibility of the Resident Evil films are dubious at best (except the first, which is pretty good), I'm a huge Milla Jovovich fan and her outfit in Resident Evil: Retribution is something I'd 100% wear the fuck out of, even though I never usually wear trousers!

Leeloo from Fifth Element

Leeloo from Fifth Element

Leeloo from Fifth Element bandage dress

This may require a little more imagination, but Leeloo Dallas from Fifth Element is another inspiration of mine; if Leeloo from Fifth Element only wore black, that'd be my kind of Cyber fashion! I don't think I'd wear her white bandage outfit but I love the simplistic style that is still very futuristic.

Air hostesses from Fifth Element
Even the air hostess' outfits in Fifth Element can be drawn from - they already look like pieces that could be sold by Cyberdog right now.

Trinity from The Matrix

Another inspiration is Trinity from The Matrix; although her take is a little more masculine than my personal taste (again with trousers), she still has a very chic look I can take inspiration from.

Grace Neutral
One real life inspiration you can look to for realistic futuristic style is Grace Neutral, whose look is inspired by aliens and other worlds. She has modified her body and look to reflect how she feels inside, including tattooing her eyes, undergoing ear pointing, tongue forking and scarification to name but a few procedures.

Out of the real life images and looks you get when you search for Cyber Goth fashion, these are some that I take the most inspiration from.

Cyber goth fashion

Kali Noir Diamond, cyber goth fashion

Cyber goth outfit

Here are the pieces I picked up from Cyberdog to put together my sleek black Cyber wardrobe.



Cyberdog Fang Skirt
Fang Skirt (discontinued)

Cyberdog Mistress Shrug
Mistress Shrug

Cyberdog XXX Torture Dress
XXX Torture Dress

Cyberdog XXX Safety Bra
XXX Safety Bra, mostly to layer under other items

Cyberdog Circuitry Dress
Circuitry Dress (discontinued)

Cyberdog Circuitry Bustier
Circuitry Bustier (discontinued)

Cyberdog Bat Peek Jacket
Bat Peek Jacket (discontinued, not sure if this is the proper name for it as it's hard to find any info)

I also got a dress from Disturbia that has been on my wishlist for a while, so it came about at a good time.

Disturbia Barbarella Dress
Barbarella Dress

Here are a few items still on my wishlist that would fit in with my Cyber wardrobe now.

Lip Service Erotomechanics Halter Dress
Lip Service Erotomechanics Halter Dress

Lip Service Hyper Intelligence High Neck Dress
Lip Service Hyper Intelligence High Neck Dress

Cyberdog Subsonic Dress
Cyberdog Supersonic Dress

Cyberdog Strapper Longsleeve Top
Cyberdog Strapper Long Sleeve Shirt - the Fang Skirt in red would go amazingly with this top as well

Cyberdog Andromeda Mesh Dress
Cyberdog Andromeda Mesh Dress

And here are some pieces I already owned in my wardrobe that go with the style as well. An important tip when expanding your wardrobe without going overboard is shop your stash, use what you already have!

Ghost of Harlem top
Ghost of Harlem top purchased in Japan

Glavil top
Glavil top purchased in Japan

Black pleated leather skirt
Pleather pleated skirt found in Mode Off Ueno

Pennangalan Transmuter Boots
Pennangalan Transmuter Boots

I could do with some more accessories to fit the style. I like simplistic jewellery when it comes to Cyber Goth, with lots of silver or gunmetal black metal.

Black O Ring Choker
My Black O Ring Choker from my store is simple but so versatile. I end up wearing it a lot with Cyber outfits.

Metal O Ring Bangle

I love these O ring bangles in black and silver (available here) - to me they look futuristic but I am also aware some people wear them or may think they're for BDSM purposes. It's a hard balance for me, wearing O ring jewellery without people thinking I'm wearing BDSM items. Can you believe that I first made my Heart Ring and O Ring Chokers purely for fashion purposes? They were (and still are) very popular, and I was happy they were successful, but a friend turned to me and said "...Yeah...you do realise they appeal to the BDSM market, right? That's why they're popular" and I was like "...Oh. Hooray?"

Metal O Ring

They also do a ring version of the bangles above (available at the same link). I would love a choker version as well, but again, that would be very close to those infinity slave collars. The other reason I haven't bought these is that they're made of mixed metal/zinc alloy; I'm allergic to cheap metals like nickel, copper and zinc, and as I've gotten older (the ripe old age of 24 as of writing this haha), I much prefer paying a slightly higher price for better quality items (not just jewellery) that are made of higher quality materials that will last longer. I know that if I wear these items, they're going to give me a rash, and after a few wears, the plating will wear off, exposing the copper colour underneath.

I would love to make some stainless steel versions, since I can't find anyone else who does them, but at the moment finding jewellery manufacturers with small MOQ is quite hard. Hey, hit me up if you have any sources, or happen to know for sure 500 of these bangles, rings and chokers would sell haha!

The closest I've found to stainless steel versions of the above is this Etsy store, Terginum, based in Germany, but again, they're very BDSM orientated. Their items are reasonably priced and look high quality though so check them out! I may even contact them to see if they'd do a custom order of the aforementioned items.

Here are a few looks I put together encapsulating my take on Cyber Goth fashion.

Cyber Goth Make-up

Untitled
This one gives me such Blade Runner vibes, I think it's because of the slight graininess of the picture.

Cyber Goth cut crease make-up

Cyber Goth girl

Untitled

Cyber Goth outfit
This was a while ago at last year's Whitby Gothic Weekend, so it was really a very early start into my Cyber venture.

Well, there's my take on Cyber Goth fashion. This kind of turned into an essay of all black, simplistic futuristic fashion, didn't it? I find putting together these kind of essay/moodboard mash-ups really focus my style so I enjoy writing them. It arranges what I already have in my wardrobe that works with the fashion, and what staples are next on my shopping list. What do you think to this take on Cyber Goth? What's your personal version of it?

 

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Travel Beyond the Crypt: The Palace of Versailles

On my third day in Paris, I visited the Palace of Versailles, which is outside of Paris. I've always wanted to visit the palace, since I love Marie Antoinette and the Sofia Coppola film starring Kirsten Dunst. I know the Palace of Versailles is not particularly spooky, but I'm a self-confessed Gothic Princess and I know others will feel the same about themselves so I thought I'd include it anyway. There's something that goes hand in hand with the Gothic lifestyle and the opulence of royalty, wouldn't you agree?

Some points in this article you may like to keep out for is free entry for under 26 year olds and my experience wearing Lolita whilst visiting the Palace of Versailles.

The Palace of Versailles, France in the snow

It snowed the night before and the palace looking amazing in the snow.

An interesting thing to note is that many attractions in France, including the Palace of Versailles actually have free admission to any EU nationals under 26. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the Palace of Versailles also applies so if you're under 26 and live in the EU, don't bother buying a ticket! Just head straight to Entrance A of the palace and present ID showing proof of age. The regular ticket price for the palace is around 18 Euros at the time of writing, and the entire grounds ticket is 20 Euros so it's actually a pretty good saving.

Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, France

The beautiful Hall of Mirrors, arguably the most famous room in the whole palace. Mirrors were a rare and expensive commodity when the room was constructed in 1678, so the whole room was a show of wealth and power, as if the entire palace wasn't enough haha!

Ceiling artwork in the palace of Versailles, France

The whole palace is absolutely breathtaking, and covered head to toe in beautiful artwork and sculptures by many famous artists. Here is just one of the beautiful pieces of art on one of the ceilings in the palace. I can't remember which, as almost every ceiling is covered in amazing art like this.

I did take a few more photos of the palace rooms, but to be honest, other people and the official photos are better depictions, since some rooms were too large to photograph properly without the shot being full of tourists.

I wore Gothic Lolita whilst I visited the Palace of Versailles, and I know there has been some concern and experiences from other people about wearing Lolita whilst visiting the Palace. Some people have reported being turned away wearing Lolita because the staff think they are in costume, or don't want other tourists to think they are part of the palace/staff members, dressed in period costume or for photo opportunities. I cannot speak for those who wear Sweet or Classic Lolita, as that undoubtedly looks more in-theme with the palace, and could more easily be construed as a period costume, but I didn't experience any discrimination or being turned away whilst in Gothic Lolita. I wore Metamorphose's Secret Laboratory JSK but I did have a coat on over the top because it was cold; however, the silhouette could still easily be seen, and I had to remove my coat whilst going through security and whilst dining. The staff never said anything about my outfit, in fact they complimented it, and although I got some stares, compliments from other tourists and someone ask to take a photo of me, that is nothing out of the ordinary for me any time I am in Lolita so I don't think too much about it. Your experience may be different though, so perhaps take precaution against wearing anything too Rococo or Marie Antoinette inspired.

Snowy trees in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, France

Not too many people were in the grounds, since it was a bit cold, continuously snowing and windy. The grounds looked exceptionally beautiful in the snow. These trees look like the little plastic ones you decorate Christmas cakes with!

Statue at the Palace of Versailles, France

Many of the statues' beauty was enhanced by the snow, such as this one encircling the water feature.

Gardens of the Palace of Versailles, France

The grounds of the palace are insanely, almost incomprehensibly huge and covers much countryside. The Domain of Marie-Antoinette, the little village she had constructed to escape the stifling royal life, is far off to the right and is a 25-30 minute walk. I would've loved to visit it, but it was pretty cold and windy as I mentioned above. I bet the area was pretty much, if not entirely empty though, and would've been a sight to behold.

I would love to visit the palace again when it isn't snowing, and especially make the trip to see the Domain of Marie Antoinette.

It snowed all day whilst I was at Versailles, and it actually messed public transport up a lot trying to get back to Paris. I ended up taking a different route back than intended and unintentionally exploring different parts of Paris than I would've by taking a taxi like I originally desired.

Unknown church in Paris, France

The diversion meant I got to discover this lovely church, however.

Parisian apartments at night whilst snowing, Paris

I also took this interesting photo near the Parisian apartment I stayed in during my stay. I don't know if you know the video game Lara Croft: Angel of Darkness, but a lot of it is set in Paris and has a dark, atmospheric, almost film noir feel to it. It perfectly encapsulated my feeling of Paris whilst I was there, especially at night and even more so when it snowed.