She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
- Lord Byron
Take a walk with me on the path of dark beauty I'm imagining Lord Byron speaks of. This is my particular fancy, but I respect that it may not be yours.
I throw this out there as a whimsy - merely something for you to ponder and accept or reject as it fits YOUR particular fashion sensibility. Always remember, no matter what you see or read - you have to always stay true to YOUR own vision!
Gothic is used to describe some of the most beautiful literature and architecture ever developed, most hailing from Renaissance times. And it is this type of fashion I desire. This type of gothic fashion I crave can depict death, war, and any of the many bloody, moody feelings of the shady sisters who wear them, while still being capable of rocking a runway. I want fashions that will make me scream!! Scream for more, more, more, of this specific kind of beauty from designers who venture down this dark and dreary path I love.
No Lolita types or harajuku girls for me. My style is sophisticated, and a far cry from sweet. It also doesn't veer off on a path of nose rings, tattoos, or safety-pinned garments, although I realize these elements are often used in gothic fashion of today. However, I am aware of many different styles of gothic because I've done my research. And I believe research can be the key for designers who wish to unlock their gothic style.
A true aspiring fashion designer, in my mind, needs to research all types of a genre to determine what best suits their aesthetic vision. Then if one digs rockin' a runway with a handcuffed wench, I'd be the last to rain on their parade. In fact, don't tell anyone, but I always love to be proven WRONG. All I care about is finding somehing scrumptious for my devine divas! So scoot on over to the library or surf the internet - YOU may define THE gothic look of tomorrow!
Okay, designers, you've heard my opinion, but do YOU have this challenge all figured out by now – or not?? If not, perhaps your guest judge may give you some insight….but first, the challenge:
Challenge 1 - Guest Judge Lori Lyon
Our first guest judge was the winner of the CDDC People's Choice last year. She was also the winner of this challenge in the first CDDC, so Larraine felt she should be the one to judge it.
This challenge is our little tribute to the King of Shoes, Joe Tai, who is very ill at this time. We want to wish Joe all the best and send our good thoughts and wishes to let him know we are thinking of him.
The first challenge will be to find a special pair of shoes and design an outfit around them...the twist...this shoe and design creation must be Gothic!!
Lori was gracious enough to give me some insight into judging this Gothic challenge.
When I talked with her, she wasn’t even sure there were enough Gothic shoes out there to get you inspired, so she suggested a bit of embellishment or that even creating your own shoes “might” be the key. That’s what she did to win this challenge, but for other Gothic offerings she's selected one of the styles now on the market.
“Even though I don't do too much Gothic inspiration in my designs, I do find it interesting, and I really love the Gothic and Lolita looks for inspiration. I also love watching Anime with my daughter which has these types of looks - also Japanese culture.”
She also advised we look at what is new. " There is a lot of goth style inspiration on the Fall 2010 ready to wear lines also. Runway shows and articles about current designs are great sources to reference."
And when pushed further for specifics, she replied, “ The one thing I will look at is if they really put thought into their design to make it cohesive-and whether they did their research on the subject. Also less is more sometimes - always stand back and look at your design! If you are unsure and think maybe something is too much - it probably is.
Most of all, I will look very closely at construction and fit – I am a stickler for both these things. I will take into account those that maybe are less experienced seamstresses, though.”
And she continued, “I'm hoping to see some really original designs out there. With this challenge you can get pretty creative with shape, and it doesn't always have to be black!
A tip: "I would steer away from doing black because it does not photograph as well and it makes it hard to see the details. If you noticed when I was in the competition last year, I only used black in the last challenge, and then it was a print. I steered away from black for a reason. It doesn't photograph well for competition.
However, it's not that I will judge anyone differently if they use black- I want everyone to use what inspires them. It's just an inside tip that I felt worked for me."
Thanks, Lori, this has been short, but very informative, I told her as she sped off to meet her latest deadline. But before she was completely out of ear shot, I heard one more thing, “Oh! The other thing is they should include in their short description of their design EXACTLY what led them to their interpretation to be sure we know how they meant it to be interpreted.
You can also look at HER pictorial bio on the Couture Doll Shop blog! Just scroll down the page. Remember, artist’s create what they like and I’ll just bet Lori isn’t into creating what she doesn’t feel will please her as well as the public – and occasionally, even a few judges of her own!!
Which brings us to another interview, one that will tell you what another judge expects overall in this competition. Judith Markich was one of our regular judges last year who will be continuing with this year's competition.
Her bio from last year is located on this blog at the bottom of the page. However, her time since the bio hasn't included much doll work. I'm afraid she's been somewhat overwhelmed by all the things she wants to do now that she and hubby are empty nesters!
However, Judith always enjoys sewing for the Modern Doll Collectors Convention. She likes to do an outfit for their charity event every year, and she passed along some pictures and a video of hers for our viewing pleasure! It features the conventon's theme of Kaleidoscope. Caution: Video contains music!
She also offered this insight into her judging: "My passion is for detail and proportion. Something out of scale added to an outfit can change the whole perception of the look. I also like to see a thought process behind an outfit emerge in the design." Ah, can you see what she's talking about in her Evangeline's outfit?? Can you meet her requirements while keeping your vision?? Guess we will find out soon!
And that's all the Goth tips or Judges info you'll pry out of me this week. But I didn't want to close this blog without pointing out some of the blog entries that exist about photography. Now don't get me wrong - I'm no expert - I'm just giving you information I've found along the way. However, the information for preparing pictures should be spot on as I coordinated with Larraine when I wrote it last year.
You Oughta Be In Pictures shows some novel info about photography, and gives tips on staging, backgrounds - well you get the picture. And When Size Matters deals with picture size, photo editing programs, etc. that you might want to be aware of before sending in your entry pictures. And, if all else fails, you can always buy the fabulous photography book from one of our sponsors, Pat Henry, of Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine.
Pat Henry's fantastic take on fashion doll photography, FDQ: In Focus, Digital Photography for the Doll Collector.covers everything from selecting cameras to setting up your photo studio, and many other wonderful tidbits. Take a test drive by checking out the FREE preview located here in pdf format. This is definitely something I'd recommend for your fashion library if you love designing and photographing your dolls!!!
Okay, my lovelies, I'm going to slither back into my cave and get ready for cocktails with Ms. Elvira. But if anyone reproduces the guy in my opening picture, send him my way - I happen to have a diva doll or two that would find him quite delicious.........IF they can pry him away from ME!!