Singapore Goth Shops; lolita, goth and alternative happenings

Earlier this year I posted about the Singapore Goth store Alice 88th  – which bizarrely is one of my most-hit posts – until I realised it ranked number 2 when “Singapore Goth Shop” is googled (this post is now number 3 on Aus google).

Anyway, I thought it only fair to point out there are other gothic lolita fashion stores in Singapore, one of them being Black Alice.  Black Alice is the official distributor for the leading Japanese lolita fashion brands BABY, The Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty, Innocent World and Putumayo.

 
Starting out at the Cathay on Handy Rd, Black Alice is now 100% a webstore. And it is currently having a 20% off sale, so get on in there if you love sweet lolita!

Black Alice also runs events such as tea parties from time to time, and coming up is a make-up workshop in connection with Majolica Majorca.  The workshop consists of a short introduction about the products followed by a makeup demonstration by Majolica Majorca trainers, before going on to a hands-on session for the participants.
I love that participants are encouraged to wear lolita style: whether Ouji, Aristo, Kodona, or sweet lolita, and in fact, it is dress coded.
Date: 25th Aug 2010, WednesdayTime: 7pm-10pm
Venue: Shiseido office Beauty Studio – 1 Grange Road #12-01 Orchard Building S (239693). 
It’s opposite Cineleisure, above the big California Fitness center.
Nearest Mrt Station: Somerset

For any more info, see Black Alice’s blog.

Tim Wong, owner of Black Alice, also runs My Import Store which is your one stop shop for cosplay clothing, merchandise and collectibles.

Tim is also the chairman of EOY, an annual Japanese cross-cultural event that showcases the talents of individuals in the community, in areas such as: Cosplay, Anime, Comics, Art & Photography, Gothic, Lolita & Punk Fashion, vocals & dance. It’s not until Sunday, 12 December,  but mark it in your diaries if you’re Singaporean or will be in SG then and love cosplay.

Coming up before that, Mikuni Shimokawa, famed for her renditions of theme songs from Full Metal Panic, is holding a 2-hour LIVE concert & a handshaking session with fans on Sunday 22 August @ Movida, St James Power Station, also in Singapore.

So there’s a lot going on in Singapore for lovers of Japanese pop culture.

Another gothic shop – well 2 to be precise – is Haru and  Haru Goth.
Established in 2005, Haru & Haru Goth specialise in Lolita, Punk, EGA/EGL, Decora, Hime (Princess style), Yukata, Japanese school uniform and casual streetwear. Haru Goth, which opened in 2008, carries the darker gothic and punk wear, and items such as new Rock Boots. Isn’t the store gorgeous? Red and black decor, elegant chandeliers, lots of Hangry n Angry dolls, baroque mirrors – just exquisite.
You’ll find brands like h.Naoto/Peace Now/Black Peace Now, Putumayo, Sexpot Revenge, Sexy Dynamite London, Super Lovers, Hellcat Punks, Hiderock, Moi Meme Moitie, Stigmata and much much more – see their Facebook page for the entire listing. Oh, and if you’re after wigs, cosplay items and comics or even Calpis (!), they have those too.  They also hold events such as workshops with high tea, fashion shows etc, and just featured in a Visual Kei episode on Sony Style TV Season 4, on the AXN Channel: check it out here. How exciting!
Haru Goth
Far East Plaza #03-42 (Shop 6)
14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213

New store:
SCAPE: #02-31
Orchard Link Singapore 237978
Tel : 6634 8958

Facebook: Haru House
Twitter: Haru House

For those more into the Industrial and gothic scene in Singapore, bookmark the Singapore Dark Alternative Movement site – there is a wealth of information on music, clubs, fashion, lifestyle and photos from the regular club Heart of Darkness.

I visited HOD back in April – see my post on club Heart of Darkness here – it was the friendliest goth night I’ve ever been to. I recommend it to anyone paying Singapore a visit.

The next HOD is:-
When:  4 September @ 9pm
Where: F1 goth theme “Black Circuit”
Music: EBM, Industrial, Future Pop, aggrothech
How much: S$25

From the SDAM site, an upcoming event this weekend is Strobe Like a Butterfly:

 
Strobe like a Butterfly is a visual and musical study of the industrial music movement of the 80s and 90s.  And it’s FREE!
Substation’s Address: 45 Armenian Street
Time: 8pm
Date: 23rd August 2010

Melodic Goth Metal band Age of Sinfonia will be playing at the Singapore Youth Olympics August 21st and also the week following at the launch of Kalodin’s new album.
What: Kalodin album launch.
When: Saturday, 28 August  4:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Where: Tanglin Community Club, 245 Whitley Road Singapore 297829
For more news in the dark alternative scene globally and in Singapore:
· SDAM Official webpage and forum 
· Twitter – TheSDAM

And also check out Dalsix’s blog, for more of the same. He writes voraciously for SDAM and has his finger on the pulse of all types of music, be it goth, metal, industrial, or punk, introducing bands like the Misfit Ramones. They’re hilarious, btw, with songs like “Do You Want Birdshit (on your hair)?” and “Your breasts are big (I’m gonna sue you)”

Mark Koh aka Saito has written a really informative article on the Singapore goth scene (back in 2007) – Goth with a suntan - give it a read. These videos on Singapore Goths are likewise well worth a watch.

So there’s plenty going on in the punk, metal and goth departments too!

Finally, a great resource for upcoming events, announcements etc is SG Cafe - there are forums, groups, galleries, inks to blogs and more.

You can find out, for example, that October is spooky month at the Night Safari, and spooky tales of asian horrors await you every Friday and Saturday night right up til Halloween. Or that the AFA X Anime Festival Asia is happening on 13th-14th November at the Suntec City Convention and Exhibition Hall.

I’m definitely going to check out these resources before I next hit Singapore, to make sure I miss nothing!

Friday Philosophy: Self Limiting Beliefs

I’d like to introduce a new regular feature in the blog:

Today I want to talk about the thing that most holds us back from success – ourselves.

No, I’m not gonna go all Gala on you (great as she is) and tell you that anything in the entire universe you want, just tell the universe and it’ll serve it right up. Cosmic Room Service, life aint.

However, it IS still true that the thing that most limits you in this life, is you.

I was watching Any Dream Will Do last night (male singers vying for the part of Joseph in the next Andrew Lloyd Webber production in the West End), and realised what a wondrous thing it its to really want something, so much that you go balls-out all-out for it.

How often do we not acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we want something really bad. Because to acknowledge it, might:
- make us bad people (in our minds),
- jinx it,
- open ourselves to hurt or embarrassment or the thing we most fear (which differs for each of us).

How wonderful to want something so much that you expose yourself even to being hurt, in order to achieve it. THAT is being human, and overcoming your fears, even moreso.

Wanting something badly is OK – if you are willing to put the hard work in to achieve it. (Setting aside things which are immoral or unethical in and of themselves).  But I, most often, fail to allow myself to acknowledge what I really want, and therefore, I do not achieve it.

We humans put ourselves in boxes far more captivating (in a bad sense) than any prison made by others. What self-devised dungeon do you keep yourself locked in? In what way do you keep “shooting yourself in the foot” so that success always eludes you, because the game you play in your head impels you?

20 years ago I started studying Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy, and they taught me a lot about how I myself work, as well as how others work and interrelate. Life scripts, games, injunctions…it all made so much sense.

TA identifies twelve key injunctions which people commonly build into their scripts. These are injunctions in the sense of being powerful “I can’t/mustn’t …” messages that embed into a child’s belief and life-script:* Don’t be (don’t exist)
* Don’t be who you are
* Don’t be a child
* Don’t grow up
* Don’t make it in your life
* Don’t do anything!
* Don’t be important
* Don’t belong
* Don’t be close
* Don’t be well (don’t be sane!)
* Don’t think
* Don’t feel.

 In addition there is the so-called episcript:
“You should (or deserve to) have this happen in your life, so it doesn’t have to happen to me.” (Magical thinking on the part of the parent/s)
Against these, a child is often told other things he or she must do. There is debate as to whether there are five or six of these ‘drivers’:

* Please (me/others)!
* Be perfect!
* Be Strong!
* Try Hard!
* Hurry Up!
* Be Careful! (is in dispute)

Thus in creating his script, a child will often attempt to juggle these, example: “It’s okay for me to go on living (ignore don’t exist) so long as I try hard”.
It was insightful and freeing, and I wished I’d kept up with the TA counselling sessions because I’d probably be farther down the path of my evolution if I had.

Question: which of the above injunctions and drivers resonate with you? It’s worth spending some time on this.

I italicised some of the ones most powerful for me. If I am a people pleaser, and think that I should not be important…how will I ever allow myself to be successful? If even opening up a Facebook page or a Formspring for my blog terrifies me, because it means I’m an awful person who wants fame, what hope do I have, unless I determine to overcome my script?

Some books that opened my eyes about life and people, that I’d like to recommend:

This book demands a post all on its own, one day. It changed my life. Sections on discipline of the self, love & grace just blew my mind. It opens with the statement:
“Life wasn’t meant to be easy. Only once we accept this fact, can we do something about it”, or words to that effect.

Taking responsibility for our problems is perhaps the most difficult. Only by accepting the fact that we have problems can we solve them. An attitude of ‘It’s not my problem!’ will not take us anywhere.

Remember,
You are all you’ve got!

I’m not going to say ‘be all you can be’, because I acknowledge there are great stumbling blocks in the way for each of us. But why not be, as Grinspoon says, ‘More Than You Are now’?

____________________________

What are the books or concepts that you’ve found most enlightening in your path to growth? Recommend to me some of your favourite books or sites, as I have shared with you.

Iron Fist Fave Shoes

It would be remiss of me not to feature the awesome shoes of Iron Fist, having only glimpsed some of the new ones in my last post. And as I was asked what my faves were, here are some of them:

Muerte Punk Platform

Zebracorn Platform

Kiss Me Cobra Wedge

Mombassa Punk Platform

Zombie Stomper Platform

Kwassa Kwassa Platform

Iron Fist – hot alternative clothing & footwear

Iron Fist is a label that needs no introduction for most of us in the alternative scene…

It is a kickass clothing and footwear company with a dark/alternative ethos but bright colours - right up my alley!

Mike & Travis were 2 guys into the punk & skateboarding scene who started the company in 2001 from very humble beginnings – and look how it has grown!

They wanted to return to the energy and brand attitude of the rebellious years, when skateboarders lived on the streets and mohicans would get you kicked out of Disneyland.

Born out of simplicity and Iron Fist’s first retail outlet, the trunk of Travis’ car, the brand was well received by a then starving youth culture who were bored of traditional action sports and streetwear brands. No market strategy and no big budget, Iron Fist started selling by itself on product and artwork alone.

And now? Iron Fist has international distribution in UK, Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Russia and retailers in nearly every major city in the world. Iron Fist has flagship stores in Cape Town, South Africa and Czech Republic with plans to open more in the future.

The brand has expanded from punk beginnings to include fashion for goths, horror punks, 50′s vixens, and more. IF has such an irreverent and humorous take on apparel, you have to love it. Wolves baring their teeth on ladylike pumps, zombies on hoodies and bikinis, garish colours on EVERYTHING….ahh, go and check it all out in the Iron Fist webstore.

I just discovered that Iron Fist has a blog - awesome! Go and read it too – or the Australian Iron Fist blog.

Iron Fist has been attending a swathe of trade events, to ensure their brand gets the biggest exposure it can…and gain world domination!!! Muahahahaaaa…..

In the UK, the humungous Pure London trade fashion event has just wrapped at the Olympia (see a vid here and pics below). 

Iron Fist had a stand there, and previewed some delectable items for 2011, which I ganked from the ‘Cosmopolitan Blogs Pure’ blog.

I’d prefer a slightly larger platform, but I love them anyway…
From the Bread and Butter event in Berlin come these photos, from Iron Fist’s own blog:
In a week or so, Iron Fist will be at the Las Vegas Magic Trade Show as well! Here’s a cool little vid that explains what Magic is all about:

AAAnd if THAT isn’t enough, Iron Fist will also be at the Fashion Exposed event in Melbourne, 29-31 August. Phew!

I don’t actually own any Iron Fist as yet – I think it’s high time I did, starting with some of their fabulous platforms. How about you? Own any? What would you buy if you could?

Miss Alternative 2010

There’s an exciting new competition for alternative ladies in Australia. I’m so pleased to announce…

Their mission? To crack open the ideals Australia holds for the alternative fashion and lifestyle industry.

As the organisers state:

Miss Alternative is here for all the Aussie girls out there who want to get amongst the lifestyle and truly support it. We’ve seen tattoo pageants and pin-up pageants, although Miss Alternative encompasses it all!

You don’t need to have tattoos, you don’t need to be into burlesque dancing, you do however need to encapsulate the ‘alternative’ lifestyle. This may be reflected in your hair, fashion or body art.

Miss Alternative are looking for entrants to apply from all over Australia to compete in Australia’s BEST Miss Alternative. The pageant will be held in early December 2010 and will play host to some of Australia’s best designers, models, photographers and musicians.

It’s time to show the beauty that we see in our own subcultures: be it fair skin instead of permatanned; black, blue or pink hair instead of honey blonde; pierced noses, lips or cheeks instead of just earlobes; or sassy corsets instead of the ubiquitous blue jeans we see in the bland-o-culture around us.

Entries must be received by August 13 with these guidelines:

Photographs sent in to Miss Alternative MUST be of high professional quality. Please do not use Myspace/Facebook style photos or group photos. You must submit a minimum of 2 photographs, however 3 is preferred for your initial application. Please make sure the images you upload are not branded/watermarked and that you have the permission of your photographer.

If it hadn’t crept up so suddenly, I might almost be tempted to enter myself (if only to be the oldest). But I think I’ll be a strong sideline supporter.

If you live in Australia and would like to enter, hit up the Miss Alternative facebook page, or the Miss Alternative website. Check those pages also for dates of the heats for the various states.

Saturday 14th August sees the Sydney event Girls Night Out, where the first round of entrants will be there for you to see and start judging! (in the nicest of ways, natch)

Australia has a lot of catching up to do compared to the US, UK & Europe with regards to the size of our alternative scenes and recognition of the various subcultures. But this is one fab step – and here’s to many more!!