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The Vampire's Kiss: The Legend, The Myths, and The Fashion of Vampirism by Phillip D. Johnson
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who are said to subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans, and may go back even further to "prehistoric times", the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism. In most cases, vampires are thought to be of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire.
Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires. (In zoology and botany, the term vampirism is used in reference to leeches, mosquitoes, mistletoe, vampire bats, and other organisms that subsist on the bodily fluids of other hosts.)
For our modern times (anytime in the last 80 years), the "Vampire Lifestyle" (itself) is a term for a contemporary subculture of people, largely within the Goth subculture (which due to space constraints, will not be part of this conversation), who consume the blood of others as a pastime; drawing from the rich recent history of popular culture related to cult symbolism, horror films, the fiction of Anne Rice, and the styles of Victorian England. Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both blood-related vampirism, commonly referred to as sanguine vampirism, and psychic vampirism, or supposed feeding from their victim's essential life-force/energy.
Between 1897 and the 1950's, therefore, the conventional image of "a vampire:" was (1) was a walking corpse--a man who had died and returned from the grave, (2) was immortal, unaging, unchanging, invincible and immune to illness, (3) was a foreigner, usually with a heavy Eastern European accent, (4) was attractive in a slick, formal, dark and Aquiline way, (5) came from a high social stratum, usually titled nobility, (6) could shape-shift into a bat (sometimes a wolf, but the bat was a given), (7) possessed hypnotic mind control powers, which could be exerted even from a distance, or when the victim was unaware of the vampire's presence, (8) was seductive and predatory, although he was interested in something else besides sex, (9) always wore a cape or a cloak, sometimes with a high collar, (10) was always formally dressed, often in evening clothes, (11) never ate food or drank any liquid but blood, which often raised suspicion in social situations , (12)slept in a coffin in the daytime (details like special dirt, "hallowed ground," and so on were optional--but the vampire had to have a coffin, no substitute was acceptable), (13) had no reflection in a mirror (Stoker invented this. In folklore, corpses might become vampires if they were reflected in a mirror, but they certainly had reflections), (15) was repelled by garlic and religious symbols (Stoker stylized these as being specific to vampires. In folklore, all "anti-vampire" repellents were in fact "anti-evil" repellents that were used against any supernatural threat)did not usually kill the victim with the first attack, (16) could turn his victim into a vampire by biting him or her, sometimes a set number of times. The victim had to die and revive to become a vampire and (17) was dispatched with a stake pounded through his heart (usually nothing else was required, although Stoker insisted that beheading was mandatory.)
The vampire first appeared in poems such as The Vampire (1748) by Heinrich August Ossenfelder, Lenore (1773) by Gottfried August Bürger, Die Braut von Corinth (The Bride of Corinth (1797) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Robert Southey's Thalaba the Destroyer (1801), John Stagg's "The Vampyre" (1810), Percy Bysshe Shelley's "The Spectral Horseman" (1810) ("Nor a yelling vampire reeking with gore"), "Ballad" in St. Irvyne (1811) (about a reanimated corpse, Sister Rosa), Samuel Taylor Coleridge's unfinished Christabel and Lord Byron's The Giaour. (1819), featuring the vampire Lord Ruthven. Byron was also credited with the first prose fiction piece concerned with vampires: The Vampyre (1819). However this was in reality authored by Byron's personal physician, John Polidori, who adapted an enigmatic fragmentary tale of his illustrious patient, "Fragment of a Novel" (1819), also known as "The Burial: A Fragment".Byron's own dominating personality, mediated by his lover, Lady Caroline Lamb, in her unflattering roman-a-clef, Glenarvon (a Gothic fantasia based on Byron's wild life), was used as a model for Polidori's undead protagonist Lord Ruthven. The Vampyre was highly successful and the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century and Lord Ruthven's exploits were further explored in a series of vampire plays in which he was the anti-hero. The vampire theme continued in inexpensive and dreadful serial pulp fiction publications such as Varney the Vampire (1847) and culminated in the pre-eminent vampire novel of all time: Dracula by Bram Stoker, published in 1897.
Varney the Vampire was a landmark popular mid-Victorian era Gothic horror story by James Malcolm Rymer (alternatively attributed to Thomas Preskett Prest), which first appeared from 1845 to 1847 in a series of pamphlets generally referred to as "penny dreadfuls" because of their inexpensive price and typically gruesome contents. The story was published in book form in 1847 and runs to 868 double-columned pages. It has a distinctly suspenseful style, using vivid imagery to describe the horrifying exploits of Varney. Another important addition to the genre was Sheridan Le Fanu's lesbian vampire story Carmilla (1871). Like Varney before her, the vampire Carmilla is portrayed in a somewhat sympathetic light as the compulsion of her condition is highlighted.
No effort to depict vampires in popular fiction was as influential or as definitive as Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). Its portrayal of vampirism as a disease of contagious demonic possession, with its undertones of sex, blood and death, struck a chord in Victorian Europe where tuberculosis and syphilis were common. The vampiric traits described in Stoker's work merged with and dominated folkloric tradition, eventually evolving into the modern fictional vampire. Drawing on past works such as The Vampyre and "Carmilla", Stoker began to research his new book in the late 19th century, reading works such as The Land Beyond the Forest (1888) by Emily Gerard and other books about Transylvania and vampires. In London, a colleague mentioned to him the story of Vlad Ţepeş, the "real-life Dracula," and Stoker immediately incorporated this story into his book.
The first chapter of the book was omitted when it was published in 1897, but it was released in 1914 as Dracula's Guest.
The latter part of the 20th century saw the rise of the vampire epics. The first of these was Gothic romance writer Marilyn Ross' Barnabas Collins series (1966-71), loosely based on the contemporary American TV series Dark Shadows. It also set the trend for seeing vampires as poetic tragic heroes rather than as the more traditional embodiment of evil. This formula was followed in novelist Anne Rice's highly popular and influential Vampire Chronicles (1976-2003). Vampires in the Twilight series (2005-2008) by Stephenie Meyer ignore the effects of garlic and crosses, and are not harmed by sunlight (although it does reveal their supernatural nature). Richelle Mead further deviates from traditional vampires in her Vampire Academy series (2007-present), basing the novels on Romanian lore with two races of vampires, one good and one evil, as well as half-vampires.
The legend of the vampire was cemented in the film industry when Dracula was reincarnated for a new generation with the celebrated Hammer Horror series of films, starring Christopher Lee as the Count. The successful 1958 Dracula starring Lee was followed by seven sequels. Lee returned as Dracula in all but two of these and became well known in the role. By the 1970s, vampires in films had diversified with works such as Count Yorga, Vampire (1970), an African Count in 1972's Blacula, the BBC's Count Dracula featuring French actor Louis Jourdan as Dracula and Frank Finlay as Abraham Van Helsing, and a Nosferatu-like vampire in 1979's Salem's Lot, and a remake of Nosferatu itself, titled Nosferatu the Vampyre with Klaus Kinski the same year. Several films featured female, often lesbian, vampire antagonists such as Hammer Horror's The Vampire Lovers (1970) based on Carmilla, though the plot lines still revolved around a central evil vampire character.
The pilot for the Dan Curtis 1972 television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker revolved around reporter Carl Kolchak hunting a vampire on the Las Vegas strip. Later films showed more diversity in plot line, with some focusing on the vampire-hunter, such as Blade in the Marvel Comics' Blade films and the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy, released in 1992, foreshadowed a vampiric presence on television, with adaptation to a long-running hit TV series of the same name and its spin-off Angel. Still others showed the vampire as protagonist, such as 1983's The Hunger, 1994's Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles and its indirect sequel of sorts Queen of the Damned, and the 2007 series Moonlight. Bram Stoker's Dracula was a noteworthy 1992 film which became the then-highest grossing vampire film ever. This increase of interest in vampiric plot lines led to the vampire being depicted in films such as Underworld and Van Helsing, and the Russian Night Watch and a TV miniseries remake of Salem's Lot, both from 2004. The series Blood Ties premiered on Lifetime Television in 2007, featuring a character portrayed as Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England turned vampire, in modern-day Toronto, with a female former Toronto detective in the starring role. A 2008 series from HBO, entitled True Blood, gives a Southern take to the vampire theme. Another popular vampire-related show is CW's The Vampire Diaries. The continuing popularity of the vampire theme has been ascribed to a combination of two factors: the representation of sexuality and the perennial dread of mortality. Another "vampiric" series that has recently come out is the Twilight Saga, a series of films based on the book series of the same name, with Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 being the latest in the series.
Unlike what is commonly assumed, there are more to the members of the vampire society than simply those that drink blood. Such members tend to congregate together into small clans, usually called covens or "houses," in a tribal culture to find acceptance among others that share their beliefs. Generally vampirism is not considered a religion but a spiritual or philosophical path. There are also many modern vampires that are not part of a coven, but rather are solitary. Most human vampires wear regular or ordinary clothes for the area they live in to avoid discrimination. In addition, there are hybrids, human vampires that take both blood and energy. There are three main types of vampires lifestylers.
Those that drink blood are called Sanguinarians or "sanguine vampires". They and psychic vampires address themselves as "real vampires" and usually have a collective community. They believe they have a physical or spiritual need to drink human blood to maintain their mental and physical health.
Psychic Vampires, commonly known as Psi-vamps, are another kind of human vampire that claim to attain nourishment from the aura, psychic energy, or pranic energy of others. They believe one must feed from this energy to balance a spiritual or psychological energy deficiency such as a damaged aura or chakra. Living Vampires, often calling themselves by the namesake, are highly spiritual and consider vampirism an action required for spiritual evolution and ascension, but yet maintain a rigid ethical system in its practice. Living vampires are not blood drinkers or psychic vampires and are usually organized into initiatory orders such as Temple of the Vampire, Ordo Strigoi Vii and the Order of the Black Dragon. For Transcendental Vampires, the notion of the Vampire having an immortal soul is the focal point of this Vampiric identity. Those who associate with this form of Vampiric identity hold the belief that their soul may travel into, and fuse with the soul and body of a younger Vampire with the goal of achieving immortality. Transcendental Vampires may be sanguinarian and/or psychic in nature. Blood donors are people that willingly allow human vampires to drink their blood. Within vampire society, human vampires and donors are considered equal, yet donors are expected to be subservient to the vampires. At the same time, donors are difficult to find, and because of that human vampires have no reason to abuse their donors. Blood Fetishists in the vampire community use blood as a fetish or stimulant in sadomasochistic sex.
Vampire role-players, otherwise called "fashion vamps", differ distinctly from human vampires in that they are "serious vampire fans and those who dress up in vampire clothing, live a vampire lifestyle (e.g. sleep in coffins), and primarily participate in Vampire: The Masquerade."
It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, though there are several elements common to many European, African, South, Central and North American legends. In Slavic lore, causes of vampirism include being born with a caul, teeth or tail, being conceived on certain days, "unnatural" death, excommunication, and improper burial rituals. Many Serbians believed that having red hair was a vampiric trait. Preventive measures included placing a crucifix in the coffin, placing blocks under the chin to prevent the body from eating the shroud, nailing clothes to coffin walls for the same reason, putting sawdust in the coffin (so that the vampire awakens in the evening and compelled to count every grain of sawdust, which occupies the entire evening, so he will die when at dawn) or piercing the body with thorns or stakes. In the case of stakes, the general idea was to pierce through the vampire and into the ground below, pinning the body down. Certain people would bury those believed to be potential vampires with scythes above their necks, so the dead would decapitate themselves as they rose.
Evidence that a vampire was active in a given locality included death of cattle, sheep, relatives or neighbors; an exhumed body being in a lifelike state with new growth of the fingernails or hair; a body swelled up like a drum; or blood on the mouth coupled with a ruddy complexion.
Vampires, like other Slavic legendary monsters, were afraid of garlic and were compelled to count particles of grain, sawdust, and the like. Vampires could be destroyed by staking, decapitation (the Kashubs placed the head between the feet), burning, repeating the funeral service, sprinkling holy water on the body, or exorcism. The most famous Serbian vampire was Sava Savanovic, famous from a folklore-inspired novel by Milovan Glišic.
In various regions of Africa, folkloric tales of beings with vampiric abilities were numerous. For example, in West Africa the Ashanti people tell of the iron-toothed and tree-dwelling asanbosam, and the Ewe people of the adze, which can take the form of a firefly and hunts children. The eastern Cape region has the impundulu, which can take the form of a large taloned bird and can summon thunder and lightning, and the Betsileo people of Madagascar tell of the ramanga, an outlaw or living vampire who drinks the blood and eats the nail clippings of nobles.
In the Americas, the Loogaroo is an example of how a vampire belief can result from a combination of beliefs, here a mixture of French and African Vodu or voodoo. The term Loogaroo possibly comes from the French loup-garou (meaning "werewolf") and is common in the culture of Mauritius. However, the stories of the Loogaroo are widespread through the Caribbean Islands and Louisiana in the United States. Similar female monsters are the Soucouyant of Trinidad, and the Tunda and Patasola of Colombian folklore, while the Mapuche of southern Chile have the bloodsucking snake known as the Peuchen. Aloe vera hung backwards behind or near a door was thought to ward off vampiric beings in South American superstition. Aztec mythology described tales of the Cihuateteo, skeletal-faced spirits of those who died in childbirth who stole children and entered into sexual liaisons with the living, driving them mad.
Tales of Romanian vampiric entities were found among the ancient Romans and the Romanized inhabitants of eastern Europe (known as Vlachs in historical context). Romania is surrounded by Slavic countries, so it is not surprising that Romanian and Slavic vampires are similar. Romanian vampires are called Strigoi, based on the ancient Greek term strix for screech owl, which also came to mean demon or witch.
There are different types of Strigoi. Live Strigoi are live witches who will become vampires after death. They have the ability to send out their souls at night to meet with other witches or with Strigoi, which are reanimated bodies that return to suck the blood of family, livestock, and neighbors. Other types of vampires in Romanian folklore include Moroi and Pricolici.
Romanian tradition described a myriad of ways of bringing about a vampire. A person born with a caul, an extra nipple, a tail, or extra hair was doomed to become a vampire. The same fate applied to someone born too early, someone whose mother encountered a black cat crossing her path, and someone who was born out of wedlock. Others who became vampires were those who died an unnatural death or before baptism, the seventh child in any family (presuming all of his or her previous siblings were of the same sex), the child of a pregnant woman who avoided eating salt, and a person who was looked upon by a vampire or a witch. Moreover, being bitten by a vampire meant certain condemnation to a vampiric existence after death.
Belief in vampires was common in nineteenth century Greece. Greek customs may have propagated this belief, notably a ritual that entailed exhuming the deceased after three years of death, and observing the extent of decay. If the body was fully decayed, the remaining bones were put in a box by relatives and wine poured over them, a priest would then read from scriptures. However, if the body had not sufficiently decayed, the corpse would be labeled a vampire.
According to Greek beliefs, vampirism could occur through various means: excommunication or desecrating a religious day, committing a great crime, or dying alone. Other more superstitious causes include having a cat jump across the grave, eating meat from a sheep killed by a wolf or having been cursed. It was also believed in more remote regions of Greece that unbaptized people would be doomed to vampirism in the afterlife.
The appearance of vampires varied throughout Greece and were usually thought to be indistinguishable from living people, giving rise to many folk tales with this theme. However, this was not the case everywhere: on Mount Pelion vampires glowed in the dark, while on the Saronic islands vampires were thought to be hunchbacks with long nails; on the island of Lesbos vampires were thought to have long canine teeth much like wolves.
Vampires were so feared for their potential for great harm, that a village or an island would occasionally be stricken by a mass panic if a vampire invasion were believed imminent. Nicholas Dragoumis records such a panic on Naxos in the 1930s, following a cholera epidemic Varieties of wards were employed for protection in different places, including blessed bread (antidoron) from the church, crosses and black-handled knives. To prevent vampires from rising from the dead, their hearts were pierced with iron nails whilst resting in their graves, or their bodies burned and the ashes scattered. Because the Church opposed burning people who had received the myron of chrismation in the baptism ritual, cremation was considered a last resort.
In modern fiction, the vampire tends to be depicted as a suave, charismatic villain. Despite the general disbelief in vampiric entities, occasional sightings of vampires are reported. Indeed, vampire hunting societies still exist, although they are largely formed for social reasons. Allegations of vampire attacks swept through the African country of Malawi during late 2002 and early 2003, with mobs stoning one individual to death and attacking at least four others, including Governor Eric Chiwaya, based on the belief that the government was colluding with vampires.
In early 1970, local press spread rumors that a vampire haunted Highgate Cemetery in London. Amateur vampire hunters flocked in large numbers to the cemetery. Several books have been written about the case, notably by Sean Manchester, a local man who was among the first to suggest the existence of the "Highgate Vampire" and who later claimed to have exorcised and destroyed a whole nest of vampires in the area. In January 2005, rumors circulated that an attacker had bitten a number of people in Birmingham, England, fueling concerns about a vampire roaming the streets. However, local police stated that no such crime had been reported and that the case appears to be an urban legend.
In 2006, a physics professor at the University of Central Florida wrote a paper arguing that it is mathematically impossible for vampires to exist, based on geometric progression. According to the paper, if the first vampire had appeared on January 1, 1600, and it fed once a month (which is less often than what is depicted in films and folklore), and every victim turned into a vampire, then within two and a half years the entire human population of the time would have become vampires. The paper made no attempt to address the credibility of the assumption that every vampire victim would turn into a vampire.
Methods of destroying suspected vampires varied, with staking the most commonly cited method, particularly in southern Slavic European cultures. Ash was the preferred wood in Russia and the Baltic states, or hawthorn in Serbia, with a record of oak in Silesia. Potential vampires were most often staked through the heart, though the mouth was targeted in Russia and northern Germany and the stomach in north-eastern Serbia. Piercing the skin of the chest was a way of "deflating" the bloated vampire; this is similar to the act of burying sharp objects, such as sickles, in with the corpse, so that they may penetrate the skin if the body bloats sufficiently while transforming into a revenant.
Decapitation was the preferred method in German and western Slavic areas, with the head buried between the feet, behind the buttocks or away from the body. This act was seen as a way of hastening the departure of the soul, which in some cultures, was said to linger in the corpse. The vampire's head, body, or clothes could also be spiked and pinned to the earth to prevent rising. Gypsies drove steel or iron needles into a corpse's heart and placed bits of steel in the mouth, over the eyes, ears and between the fingers at the time of burial. They also placed hawthorn in the corpse's sock or drove a hawthorn stake through the legs. Further measures included pouring boiling water over the grave or complete incineration of the body. In the Balkans a vampire could also be killed by being shot or drowned, by repeating the funeral service, by sprinkling holy water on the body, or by exorcism. In Romania garlic could be placed in the mouth, and as recently as the 19th century, the precaution of shooting a bullet through the coffin was taken. For resistant cases, the body was dismembered and the pieces burned, mixed with water, and administered to family members as a cure. In Saxon regions of Germany, a lemon was placed in the mouth of suspected vampires.
The accompanying photo-shoot was designed to focus on the modern interpretation of the vampire, not to be an totally accurate depiction of vampires (as they are and can be as you have read in this article). Vampire fashion, such as it is, starts with Gothic fashion influences. There is no vampire fashion without acknowledging the early and highly influencial Gothic fashion that came before - and which continue to influence modern vampire culture. Gothic fashion did not just spring up, fully formed, out of nowhere and nothing. Instead, over the past thirty years, Goth fashion has evolved, sometimes dramatically, by incorporating elements from multiple, heterogeneous cultures, subcultures and religious traditions. Ancient Egyptian women wore kohl, a powder made from lead sulfide, on their eyes, to give them a dramatic look. Some women even had kohl blown into their open eyes from a young age, to give them smokey eyes in adulthood. Tombs, murals and paintings of ancient Egyptians show them wearing very dramatic eye makeup. Often they had thick black eyeliner extending past their eyes, as well as lines extending from the lower eyelid down into the face. Modern-day Goths can safely and easily duplicate the ancient egyptian eye makeup using much safer and more hygienic cosmetics. This look was replicated by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra; later, Siouxsie Sioux took this look to extremes, giving herself large, highly-defined black eyebrows with dark, smokey eye makeup on her upper lids.
The Ankh, or a cross with a loop on top of it, was a popular accessory for many goths in the mid- to late-1990s. In ancient Egyptian folklore, the ankh was the "key of life," or a symbol for immortality; it appeared frequently in ancient Egyptian tombs, often showing a god or goddess giving the ankh to the dead person, and thus giving them eternal life.
There are few surviving manuscripts writting in Gaulish; as druids were forbidden from writing down certain verses due to their religious significance. Despite, or perhaps because of this, celtic influence on modern goth fashion is primarily aesthetic. Celtic wheels, claddagh rings and celtic crosses are popular with goths for aesthetic, religious, ethnic or symbolic reasons. Celtic knots are popular details for rings, necklaces and embroidered dresses.
Shakespeare's Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, is thought to be an original goth. Melancholy, emotional, given over to philosophical maundering and fits of madness, Hamlet was hugely influential in the later romantic movement, and thus in Gothic fashion. Hamlet dresses in all black as an outer sign at his inner grief over the death of his father. He is a skilled rhetorician and employs courtly, highly developed language to express his grief over the death of his father. This is one of the most well known examples of how philosophy expresses itself through "the trappings and the suits of woe" (or any other emotion, for that matter). Hamlet's philosophy and his black clothing are both expressions of the same inner self.
Ophelia, Hamlet's love interest, was a popular figure in Romantic paintings, and thus became a style inspiration to modern goths as well. She is typically painted with long, golden-brown hair, in a white dress, either sitting on the willow branch which broke and drowned her, or in the water, drawing close to death. The Romantic influence on Gothic fashion is unmistakable and expected. The Romantic movement was, in part, a rebellion against the sunny optimism of the Enlightenment and the scientific rationalization of nature. In England and Germany, where the movement was strongest, artists combined emotive passion with sorrowful yearning for some forbidden or forbidding love. Due to this movement, young men began wearing "poet's shirts," or long, flowing white shirts with loose collars. Dress became exaggerated and "democratic," which meant fewer aristocratic pretensions and plainer fabrics. Women, however, who were still constrained in corsets, full skirts and petticoats.
During the Renaissance, "Gothic" became a pejorative term, meaning barbaric or uncivilized; and was used to describe what we now call gothic architecture, such as Chartres Cathedral in France, and Marburger Schloss in Hesse, Germany. By the late 18th century, the word's meaning had transmuted to imply the mysterious, dimly-lit, otherwordly atmosphere of these buildings. Romantic writers like Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker were attracted to the gothic aesthetic, and used crumbling castles, haunted houses and Bohemian cathedrals as settings for their stories. Vampires, ghouls, mad geniuses populated these stories; in many, a sense of melancholy and "doomed love" prevailed. Thus, the Romantic movement was a predecessor of today's goth subculture. In the early 1980s, the New Romantics updated this look with drawstring collars, black pants and large, backcombed hairdos.
Victorian (England) dress has been one of the most sexualized styles in recent memory. Corsets and bustles emphasized the breast and buttocks, while tightly-laced boots and giant hats gave a flirtatious air to women's dress. Men wore hats and three-piece suits, as well as greatcoats. Some men wore corsets as well. Gothic fashion was influenced by Victorian styles through many direct and indirect channels, with vampire fashion likewise influenced by proxy. Although early goths eschewed this look for Vivienne Westwood inspired (and designed) punk knock-offs, later goths enjoyed this high-maintenance aesthetic. Gothic Lolita and Steampunk fashion both borrow heavily from Victorian fashion; and high-fashion, high-maintenance goths are attracted to the formal figure cut by these clothes: lace-up boots, petticoats, top hats, lace and frills.
Fetish fashion, the style of dress which arose in London's gay s&m scene after World War II, included fishnets, black leather and vinyl, and biker gear; with pin-up girls like Bettie Page donned them for racy photo-shoots. During the 1960s and 70s, this subculture came "out of the closet" via rock bands like the Velvet Underground. Early gothic bands, like Bauhaus, Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees emerged out of the 1970s London punk scene. Designer Vivienne Westwood, and her then-partner Malcolm McLaren, were almost the architects of early gothic fashion, combining ripped fishnets and S&M gear with neo-Edwardian and punk rock clothes.
SCENE - The Slaying :
Suede ponchos & hair accessories provided by Moda
Denim jeans provoded by Macy's
Men's jacket provided by Limited Express Men's
Cross necklace provided by Moda
Furs provided by Furs by Russell
White peasant shirt provided by Roc's closet
SCENE - Seduction:
Black dresses with jewel brocade provided by Deja Le Boutique
Men's attire provided by Limited Express Men's
Grey coctail dress designed by Sebastiana Piras & grey hat provided by Atelier
Jewelry provided by Moda
Men's military cut jacket provided by Macy's
Furs provided by Furs by Russell
White shirt & vest provided by Guess
Antique pocket watch provided by The Lodge Auction House
SCENE - The Plan:
Dress, gown, & belt provided by Atelier
Jewely provided by Moda
Garter belt by Frederick's of Hollywood
Antique knight helmet provided by the Lodge Auction House
Scene - The Feast:
White vintage dress & gloves provided by Moda
Black dress with gold trim provided by Deja Lu Boutique
Mace, Vintage goblet, eyewear, & necklace provided by The Lodge Auction House
Furs provided by Furs by russell
Velvet coat and white Victorian shirt provided by Roc's closet
Scene - The Kiss:
White & black vintage slip dresses provided by Moda
White shirt & belt provided by Guess
Vintage knecklace provided by The Lodge Auction House
Vampire teeth provided Spirits
Location: Roc Doyle & Andrew Covey's home & Frederick Law Olmsted's bridge in Delaware Park
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