Skulls, beading & leopard…oh my!

Yesterday I attended the Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll & Alternative Markets…so natch, had to throw a rockin’ outfit together.

In Kuala Lumpur I found a fantastic mesh top with large scale skull face on the front. With metallic beaded detailing on the eyes and nose, it’s quite effective…who’dathunk KL would have gothy gear like this? It’s from Parkson in the fabulous Pavilion mall, and the label is Elyze - believe me, they have some really cool stuff.  And it only cost 108 ringgit - which is AUD$33!

Since it was still pretty cold here yesterday I threw on a black skivvie underneath, along with my Sass & Bide Black Rat leggings and a studded miniskirt. A Topshop metallic leopard boyfriend jacket & studded cuff rounded off the ensemble. Oh, and let’s not forget my fave pointy leopard boots.

Elyze skull top & Topshop jacket  gothic beaded skull top

The left pic shows the front detail of the face a bit better, while the right shows MY face a bit more. I used a zingy yellow-green on my eyelid, with a browny-grey in the crease:

goth studded skull top 

The eye make-up is a bright shadow duo from L’Oreal, from their High Intensity Pigment or HIP range. The set is called “Riotous” – I like it! The green is a moody chartreuse and the grey/brown is a sludgy mud colour that goths, deathrockers and psychobilly chicks alike will love for its swampy quality.

It’s a nice change from black eyeshadow that I can use in the daytime & still have a smoky eye. Better still, I got the set in a reduced-price bin at my local chemist – score! You’ve always gotta keep your eyes out for a bargain ;) At $5 it was definitely “worth it”.

 

Riotous eyeshadowRiotous eyeshadow

I can honestly say most things I bought this time around are getting worn (or will be in the summer). I’ll do a small haul post soon, showing some of the gloriously coloured bags I bought, as well as shoes and clothes. While the buys from Topshop or New Look are no different in price to home, the local fashions and make-up items are most definitely cheaper.

Have you scored any bargains recently, at home or overseas?

This day a year ago – DIY Leopard Print Hair

On December 8 last year I posted this DIY, and since it’s party season again, I present to you – How to get leopard print hair!

Here’s my DIY video where I show how I did the leopard print on my hair, by demonstrating on a wig.

It’s great for parties, clubs and gigs, whether punk, rockabilly, psychobilly or goth. Give it a go! It’s easy…

Did you try this in the past year?  Why not try it now?

Don’t step on my pointy leopard boots

Of course I always come back from Tokyo with SHOES! I already showed the stripey platform courts from Black Peace Now; but the pair I’ve REALLY been wearing non-stop are these great leopard (or puma) pointy-toed boots from Yosuke USA in Marui One, also available from Rakuten. They only have a small platform, but are INCREDIBLY comfy – and you do have to have serious shoes for walking and dancing in, no?

And here they are on my own tootsies:

In store they were in the mens/unisex section, and as such were available in bigger sizes. That’s my tip to you ladies who can’t fit into even the large size ladies Japanese shoe, which is 24.5 – 25cm. The mens go up to around 29. I tried on the 25, then 24.5, then 24, then 23.5 and FINALLY found that in the mens sizing, I was actually a 23! The shoes are wider than ladies also, which I find a great help as I have broad feet.  (Unfortunately the web links I provided above only go up to 25cm, but if you’re heading to Japan soon, take a look in-store).

There were heaps of creeper-type shoes with the flat platform and rounded toe everwhere I went in Tokyo. These combine that look with the host boy look (who are renowned for their shiny silver suits and pointy boots). I like the mod and old school goth overtones, and the fact that they work both with pants and fitted skirts.

What to look for in luggage; new metallic leopard luggage

One very important factor when travelling a lot as I do, is the right luggage. My backpack is fine when I’m doing the south east asia thing, jumping on and off boats, buses, trains etc, trekking and so on.

But when it comes to hitting an urban centre where you just know that you’re gonna be:
a) bringing a lot of stuff with you and
b) buying a lot of stuff there, then it’s the big guns to which you turn.

Hard luggage. Spinner trolley cases.

I recently had to purchase luggage for my next Tokyo/Seoul trip, and here is a list of traits I looked for, that you should too.

Size

  • It’s got to be BIG! When I hit Japan, I hit the shops, and boy, there’d better be room for all of it.
  • I also tend to take a lot of clothes, shoes and accessories to Tokyo, UK etc, as I know I’ll be doing a lot of socialising and clubbing.
  • Hence I look for the biggest I can find – and the one I ended up with is 71cm x 51 x 34 – with 151 litre capacity.
  • You may not take as much stuff as me, so only get one that suits your average trip’s needs.

Expandability

  • Not only has it got to be big to begin with; it has to be able to get bigger .
  • You WILL be carrying more back than you brought when you arrived, so it’s a basic principle really. My last case and this new one,  had zippers that expanded the size – this one by 7.6cm – which gives me 25% more capacity!

Lightness

  • This is a tough one, as it’s a trade off with size. Some luggage is the size you want but ends up being too heavy.
  • Remember, many airlines only let you carry 20kg (though most will let you go a little over).
  • Mine is 5kg, which is probably the maximum I’d go for.

Durability

  • I like hard-shelled luggage because it’s TOUGH! It can take the knocks, and your stuff inside is safer too.
  • It does depend what you’re going to pack, but I often take hats, for example, that are a bit delicate, and if I stuff them with soft clothing and place them in the centre of the bag, then the hard shell generally protects them from being dented and squashed. This saves me from carrying them on in my hand luggage.
  • Oh, and check the warranty – mine is 10 years.

Flexibility

  • The case needs to be able to swing in all directions – and that means 4 wheels, that rotate fully 360 degrees. Aka a “spinner“.
  • If the wheels only move forward, there’ll be times when you’ll get stuck and have to lift it. There are times when you need to swerve (like in Shinjuku or Shibuya crowds) and the 360 movement is invaluable here if you don’t want to get stuck mid-crossing.
  • The case should be able to move sideways, ie not just on the narrow side but roll easily on the wide side as well.
  • It should roll easily whether just on 2 wheels or 4 wheels.
  • It should have a strong handle for those times when you DO need to lift it, such as getting onto the train to/from the aiport 

Call me shallow about this next one but…

Good looks!

  • You want luggage you can be proud of, and that expresses you, right?
  • You also want luggage that is distinctive..so you can spot it at 20 paces when it looms into view on the carousel.
  • I’ve got a thing for leopard, so when I spotted my new one in the store, it was love at first sight. Only, it was a bit more than I wanted to pay, which leads me to…

Price/Value

  • I do think it’s worth paying for good luggage, if you travel a lot. Like any staple item of clothing or shoes, if you work out how many wears you’ll get out of it, the price can become a lot more reasonable.
  • That said, when you spot your prey, bide your time, as it may just go on sale and then you can POUNCE!!
  • In my case, it was $349 to start with, but after several months it went down to $245, which is when I nabbed it.

So which model did I choose?

The “Landor & Hawa“  Dallas 1141 Limited Edition Metallic Gold Leopard hard shelled spinner. Yes, the big daddy in the range you see below.

This is not an advertorial, but for those who are interested, here are the various sizes and their RRP.
Like me, you may well be able to nab one on sale if you’re lucky :)

Size(s):  71 + 61 + 48cm + 35cm (Vanity)
Capacity:  151, 98, 52Lt  + 17 Litres
Weight(s): 5.05, 4.25, 3.1 + 1.35Kg
RRP  71cm – $349, 61cm – $319, 49cm – $219, Vanity $109 
Warranty 10 years.

If you want to know more, or see the other designs they offer, head to the Landor & Hawa website. They also come in zebra, grey leopard, large spots, polkadots & cherries, geometric and plain colours (not shiny). There are also soft luggage options, and backpacks/duffels with trolley feature.

*NB I’ve seen it on Luggagefactory.com and amazon reduced from $395 to $168.30, if you’re in the US.

Here’s the beauty itself in my lounge room, showing the curved indent in the front. (Yes, I have zebra light switch covers – doesn’t everyone?)

 

Now to see how it expands:

 

And here’s a peek of the inside:

I’m pleased as punch with it, and you can be SURE I’ll be road testing it next week, when I hit Seoul for the first time, and return to Tokyo for my 7th trip!

Gothic Military outfit of the day; Takuya Angel; Kabukicho parties; leopard lenses

I had a packed Wednesday the week before last: first I met Hana of Finding Tokyo in Harajuku (post and pics of purikura coming up), then I visited Ryo at the Sexpot Revenge store (post and pics coming up), then I bought some gorgeous coats at Closet Child (post and pics…you get the message), visited Takuya Angel at his newly redesigned store, and then later met up with Takuya at a gig/party in Kabukicho.

To backtrack a little…the Takuya Angel store is now about half the size it was. You can enter it directly from the side stairs (and through a short corridor, knocking on the door to check it’s open), or through the rockabilly store in front. I didn’t take photos when I went as it really is quite small and there were 5 or 6 people in there, one of whom was trying on clothes and getting the others’ opinions.

Takuya said he was DJing at a friend’s party/gig in Kabukicho…just around the corner from my hotel, as it happened! He said he was playing til 10pm and we should go for drinks after. Cool!

I went home and chilled a bit, then threw on my Gallery Serpentine corset, my years-old Lip Service Jacket in the fabulous Napoleonic military style (one of my all time faves), along with some gothy make-up and my piercing blue leopard print contact lenses.

The jacket you can see best in the photo to the left, but below shows the lenses better. I got them from Colourvue.  I’ve also recently started wearing orange blush, as seen on some gyaru models - I like that it’s slightly unnatural, but still gives a healthy glow. The blusher is a very intense orange one I picked up at Okadaya – brand is Nyx – and I’ll write more on this and the dazzling range of coloured glitter shadows they offer.  The pinky-purple lipstick is Airborne Unicorn from Lime Crime (also one my my all time faves!)

There was such a cosy feel in my hotel room at Hotel Vintage, and you get that in this photo, I think. (BTW, I recommend this as a great place to stay in Shinjuku. The rooms aren’t big, but they are spotless, there’s a non-smoking floor, 24 hr reception, in-room LAN internet access, and it’s in the heart of Love Hotels and Host Clubs, Kabukicho).

After a short time of waiting outside Wizard 7 – a host club – and watching one of the boys practicing his ballroom dancing moves, I plucked up the courage to ask if they knew where the party with the DJ was. Next building – ah.

The event had had a number of bands playing, and I saw quite a few pretty alternative looking boys packing up drum kits and taking out guitar cases to their vans. Maybe I should have got there for the gig itself. Never mind :/

The event was a birthday party for an art director who was turning 29 – “you are YOUNG!” I told him, to his smiles. After all, I’m more than a decade past that date, and my life’s pretty good, so I knew not to be scared of hitting 30. He’s on my left, below.

To my delight, Mee was also there. She’s a friend of Takuya Angel’s who always wears his clothing (and who you saw in my post on celebrating Hanabi with Takuya Angel, although she had pink hair then). She’s a walking advertisement, you might say. She’s a lovely girl, although she has little English and I little Japanese. Seeing that her red Takuya bear claws matched my hair, she threw them around me for this pic:

And then a group shot by the bar was in order:

So if you drop by to say hi to a friend, you never know where you’ll end up that night! I dragged myself away around 1ish, as I was meeting Valerie of Tokyo Arts factory the next day, and visiting a heap of stores in Shibuya. But it was another colourful and unplanned night, as often happens in the great city that is Tokyo :)