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American Scandinavian takes on Fashion & Art

The Beauty of "Goth"

Posted By Karin Dahlstrom on Oct 25, 2012 at 5:24PM

   While many in the fashion industry view Gothic Fashion and Culture as dark and gloomy, the very term "Gothic" disproves this notion. Wedged between the Romanesque Period and the Renaissance, Gothic Architecture was the high point of the Medieval Period in history. It's "show pieces" of an age long past. Known for its fetes of brilliance and intricacy, it was ever reaching towards the heavens, longing for light and salvation.

   Most of we we know as Gothic Fashion today comes from Goth's "Revival Period" in the mid 18th-19th centuries. Which is why Edwardian and Victorian themes pervade the style, as they were contemporaries during the Gothic revival Period.

   Complicated corsets with buttresses and arches, caged structures to up hold complex bustiers and skeletal hoops to lay heavy unforgiving fabrics upon. All these reflect the way the early Gothic Period masters built and designed the architecture of the day. Heavy stone and marble precariously placed, and sustained in air, defying all gravity and reason. Pure Magic.

These are the glorious elements found in Gothic fashion today. 2013 will be another huge year commercially for Goths as was the early 1990's. This was evidenced on the fall 2012 runways all over New York, Paris and Milan for Fall Fashion Week. Goth Revival influences are no longer found only in transient Halloween stores or at your local mall's Hot Topic, but in upscale furnishings and home decor as well.

Designers such as Aberta Ferretti, Rebecca Taylor and even Rachel Zoe, dabbled in the dark as well as old standbys who never left the Goth arena like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.

   Old ideas with a spin and a new audience to convince that beauty is not always the conventional and common, but found under a decayed leaf, peeled paint and that cracked pair of granny boots in your closet.

Karin Dahlstrom is a freelance Artist, Designer and Fashion Writer located in S.W. Florida and Linkoping, Sweden. 

Review of Black Metal Satanica - Documentary www.youtube.com

Posted By Karin Dahlstrom on Oct 25, 2012 at 4:28PM

 Gothic-Metal-Fashion-Music Reviews

   At the risk of being banished from the dark side for having a "rainbow & unicorn" disposition, I decided to immerse myself in the Holy Grail of my Nordic Metal roots and once again watch the cult documentary by Mats Lundberg - "Black Metal Satanica." 

   The graphically explicit interviews with Hammerslagfestival organizer Bjorn Almar, and various other "Black Metal" Scandinavian Musicians, led me to a very different conclusion than I believe most 40+ year old women would assume after watching. In fact, I have a different take on Scandinavian Black/Death/Viking Metal altogether.

   Although I may have a skewed predisposition to this type of culture, being half Swedish myself and also having previously been an a few "relationships" with  some of the genre's top musicians, one thing remains clear -Viking Metal is more than music, it is a culture.

   Conceived in Pagan Scandinavia, Black Metal's origins stem from a primal source of ancient pain. An ancestral anger & a complaint of injustices by religion and deep, deep hurt. It is the ultimate reaction to racism and the oppression of "religious" freedoms known to our humanity. Entwined with a grief of loss of cultural identity, haunting melodies wrap the ice cold landscape of the region in the form of complex and intricate chord progressions and just plain rage.

  Just as Gothic Fashion and all of it's off shoots and branches personify the unsettling, the dark and the decayed, Viking Metal reflects these as well as sorrow and loss. There is an attraction to the disdained. Often this is excepted and reciprocated primarily by teens, however now that we "artsy" teens of yester-year have come of an age, we appreciate and see "the beauty in sorrow" and the comfort we find in remembering long times past, lost loved ones and all that has gone before us. Hence the "Gothic/Metal" Culture and all it's inclusive genres of the Arts.

   I appreciated the documentary for it's graphic explanation towards all things Nordic Metal. While I don't submerse myself in this music for long periods of time, I do understand it, understand it's pain and frustration and the ability to rise above oneself to create out of desperate emotion. When we as humans learn to accept and work within darkness, then we begin to create from a place of undying strength.


Black Metal Satanica - Documentary :



The "New" Neutrals

Posted By Karin Dahlstrom on Jul 24, 2011 at 2:40PM

Well, we all know that Red has been considered a neutral now for years. I am going to add to this palate. With the onslaught of "medium density Royal Blue" on the runways this 2011, I am predicting it's migration into the neutrals color spectrum. This Blue, as the medium true Red does, is stunning on all skin types and is EXTREMELY complementary as an accent color. It enhances similarly hued tones while making opposing shades of the wheel pop! Snatch it up in quality basic pieces...you will use them FOR YEARS, Trust me on this!!


Posted By Karin Dahlstrom on Jul 2, 2011 at 12:28AM
This group is called SvenskaShugga and follows fashion design world wide with a focus on Swedish designers such as; Diana Orving, So Last Season, Odd molly, WESC, Whyred, Hope, Nakkna, Velour, Carin Wester, Ida Sjöstedt, Unwind Clothing, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Acne, Hanna Andersson,Cheap Monday, Nudie Jeans &The Local Firm.

Dore Dress used on 'So You Think You Can Dance' !!

Posted By Karin Dahlstrom on Jul 2, 2011 at 12:22AM
The Dress that I worked on at my job at Dore Designs Inc. was featured on the TV show 'So You Think You Can Dance' this week. Nigel even commented on it!!! I put EVERY piece of fringe on ONE AT A TIME! :-) Go Dore Designs!!

// Group Members