Toronto Goth fashion & travel guide! Gloomth clothing, 2013 Tokyo Japan Gothic Halloween party.
Notice something different? Haircut! My head feels much lighter; my stylist took off several inches. I think it’s a fresher look, what do you think?
Halloween is near and I have big travel plans, which I will announce soon. Until then, let’s get in the mood with a guide to Gothic Toronto below. And if you’re in Tokyo on October 12, you can’t miss my dear Yukiro’s Spooktacular party… Read to the end for your VIP invitation!
I shot these photos in Vancouver (Robson Square Eagle statue). The rain gave me an excuse to pop open my Hyoma eyeballs umbrella from Izzue Hong Kong.
Studded silver and black top: by my friend and Hong Kong designer, Spider by Natalie Lam. Those of you with sharp memories might recall I wore this as a dress on The Doctors (medical daytime TV show where I spoke about bagelheads). Dorothy Perkins makes a similar studded dress.
Mary Jane shoes: Demonia. They also make sexy buckle boots.
Little black purse with metal chain: got it at the Izzue Hong Kong store. Very similar to this See by Chloe purse.
Red lipstick: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist, one of my favorite cosmetics brands.
Eyeshadow: purple, black and white shades from the new “Cold Chemistry” collection by Sugarpill Cosmetics – thanks Shrinkle, I love your makeup!
Now, for my guide to Toronto Goth fashion and nightlife. Over the past few years, I became friends with Taeden Hall, designer of a dark and romantic clothing label called Gloomth & the Cult of Melancholy. (Remember I wore her dress to the Luisaviaroma Firenze4Ever dinner?)
Gloomth is based in Toronto, and has a cult following among Gothic Lolita and Victorian fashion lovers. To get the scoop on the Ontario Gothic community, I chatted with Taeden and her friend Laura (editrix of online magazine Morbid Outlook, DJ, and director of tribal fusion bellydance troupe, The Serpentina North Ensemble).
How did you first become interested and involved in Gothic underground fashion and subcultures in Toronto?
TAEDEN: Honestly, I had never heard the word “gothic” until I was about 17/18 years old, this was before the Internet was widely available. I had no clue that there were people out there that looked and felt like I did. I didn’t really have a name for the style I wore, it was heavily influenced by really bad vampire books and even worse movies. I moved to Toronto officially when I was 18 and was already fascinated by Gothic culture and fashion, so the first thing I did was walk right up to the first “Gothy” girl I saw at my university and made her be my friend. It sounds so lame now but honestly that’s exactly how it happened. I’m a doofus. She and I started going to the local clubs/events and meeting more like-minded people.
LAURA: I’ve been kicking around the Goth scene in the US back when I was a teenager (early 90s); I moved to Toronto over 3 years ago because I feel very at home in this city.
Can you tell me how the Gothic scene in Toronto originated and evolved? Are there aspects that are distinct to this movement?
TAEDEN: I read once that a major city is one that has a minimum of 10 full-time Goths. As for the scene developing in Toronto, I think it came about as it did in many North American urban centers – sort of an offshoot of punk and New Wave – from “new romantic” to “Gothic”. Eventually you get enough people feeling the same way and they open clubs and spaces to congregate in – thus the subculture expands. I think Toronto’s “Gothic” scene was really tight-knit for a very long time, the same people running the same events and hosting the same shows. I also think the scene here was really connected to the underground art scene also, which is true of many subcultures.
LAURA: Toronto has been a big EBM town for 10-15 years and there’s a strong cybergoth contingent, although the trad Goth and deathrock scene is making a revival.
How would you describe Gothic fashion in Toronto? Which styles, brands, looks are popular? Has it changed over the years?
TAEDEN: What’s considered “Gothic” now is nothing like what was considered so when I moved here. I think there’s more of a mainstream influence on the culture and fashion than there has ever been. The internet makes it incredibly easy to find the clothing and the music, which was not the case 10+ years ago. At the clubs you see everything from decked out cyber and fetish kids to casual black-skirt-black-top girls. On the streets it’s definitely less dramatic for the most part, lots of big boots and short skirts, babydoll t-shirts printed with whatever comic/movie/slogan/band/thing.
LAURA: Cybergoth complete with big dreadlocks/plastic tubing hair and platforms is very prominent among the younger generation here. Big boots and short skirts are also a very Toronto look.
Can you recommend some Toronto or Ontario-based Gothic clothing brands, designers and shops?
LAURA: Designers include Gloomth, Plastik Wrap, and Futurstate, while stores would include Borderline.
What is the Toronto alt/EBM/fetish club and bar scene like?
TAEDEN: The Goth club scene in Toronto is somewhat sparse. There are some really well-attended fetish nights in the city but the “Gothic” club scene mainly involves the same couple of nights at the same places. “The Velvet Underground” (Queen St. West) has a decent night on Thursdays and lots of people attend “Neutral” on Fridays/Saturdays – others include and “Bovine Sex Club”.
LAURA: Velvet Underground on Thursdays and Neutral on Fridays are great for dancing, but the fashion is very casual. The best dressed can be found at fetish events like Fetish Masquerade and Subspace alt and body mod club.
What do you predict for the darkwave scene in Toronto? Is it growing, changing?
TAEDEN: It’s hard to predict where the scene is going in Toronto. It would be great if people could get some new nights and events going, but it’s always hard to get everyone on the same page and people are notoriously reluctant to try new places. I think “Gothic” style is going to keep being subdivided into a multitude of categories and tribes within those.
LAURA: Definitely. As I mentioned earlier, I think things are coming full circle and the traditional Goth/Goth rock/romantic and deathrock looks and music are being revived and inroduced to a new generation.
(The four watermarked photos are courtesy of Gloomth – check their Facebook page for upcoming events, such as tea parties.)
Now, for a Japanese event. Are any of you in Tokyo on Saturday, October 12? Then you must celebrate Halloween with my evil queen.
Yukiro is debuting a Goth-Glam party, Die Schwarze Frau presents: A Halloween Spooktacular. This night of terror includes performances by Japan’s darkest bands and DJs (see flyer above).
Yukiro will be doing up to EIGHT costume changes throughout the night, including cosplays of famous Gothic divas. There will be a pro photobooth, and dress up contest featuring a dance-off-duel. Prizes include about $500 US worth of plane tickets… you don’t want to miss this chance to jet-set.
Here are all the details you need to party with Yukiro and friends.
When: 2013.10.12 (Saturday). Opens 4pm, starts 4:30pm.
Where: Morph Tokyo in Roppongi (district of Tokyo, Japan)
Entrance: ￥3000 with a drink ticket included. If you wear a costume, it’s ￥2000 and you get a drink ticket.
RSVP & more info: On this Facebook page
What will you be doing this Halloween? Have you figured out a costume yet?
Check back soon for my All Hallow’s Eve plans… as you might have a chance to celebrate with me! Any guesses about where I will be?