Category: ‘Uncategorized’

Halloween for Everyone! Recommendations for Every Costuming Type

October 17, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Happy October, everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying Fall and that your Halloween preparations are well under way. To tell you the truth, I haven’t really been taking as much time as usual to really soak in the season. Maybe it’s because this month has been so busy for me–every weekend I’m out of town, most weekdays I’m running around setting up shoots for my special Halloween photoset (more about that later). Or maybe it’s because I can’t eat candy, or because making costumes is no longer a grand, once-a-year type of thing in my life. Whatever it is, I hope to get in the spirit this weekend when I take in the beautiful sites of the country, visit a notable haunted house attraction (Easter State Penitentiary in Philly), and hopefully eat lots of pumpkin stuff. That should do it, right? Maybe? I hope?

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Now let’s talk the serious stuff of the season–costumes. If you haven’t chosen your costume yet, what are you doing and how can you be so casual? If you’re still debating, let me give you a couple of recommendations, hopefully help to guide you in the right direction. But first and foremost, before I throw a bunch of shops and websites at you, let’s break it down a bit. What’s your costuming type? Are you…

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Lying to Myself, Finding True Love, And Getting Older and Weirder

September 18, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

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A lot of people tell you to follow your passion and pursue the things you love. But what if you can’t actually figure out what the heck that is?

I pondered that question a couple months ago while searching for pictures of “bad” prom dresses for a Dos and Don’ts of Prom article I was assigned to write while interning for a stylist in NY (ooh, doesn’t that sound all fancy?). When the article was done I went back and removed my name from the byline, preferring it just be credited to some enigmatic ghost blogger, as opposed to me. I’m the girl who’s supposed to be the almighty cheerleader of alternative fashion, and firmly believes that fashion “don’ts” dont actually exist. Afterward I pushed my computer aside and took a moment to ask myself What are you doing? Like seriously, what are you doing?

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Strange and Sunshiney Days

August 18, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Have you ever seen the video for the cover of “Strange Little Girl” Tori Amos did back around 2001? It’ll always remain one of my favorite videos for its creepy beauty and dark ambiance, and it’s forever creeping into my subconscious. Although altogether difference in terms of atmosphere and tone, there’s a part of me that thinks that that video was somewhere in the back of my mind when we put things together for this shoot.

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I held on to these images for a while. It was my first shoot with a new Nikon and without even a day to toy around with it ahead of time, I failed to realize my camera settings were out of wack, and so I was a little bummed out about the image quality. That aside, I do think some of the images came out pretty nice nonetheless, and my model, Bianca Di Paolo, did a lovely job prancing about with a bundle of balloons amidst the rubble on a windy day. And ain’t that the cutest damn pixie cut you’ve ever seen?

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Bloody Burlesque and Twilight Lullabies

August 1, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

I haven’t been updating enough lately, I know. I’m gearing up for a move  so I’ve been spending the last few weeks doing fun things like sorting through all my crap, finding good homes for my unwanted stuff (I needed to make sure my tutus and spiked bras found homes with fabulous people), and trying to consolidate my large costume and prop collection so it can be moved with little to no hassle.

Those boring details aside, I have been up to other stuff. One of the things I’ve been doing, besides not updating the blog, is practicing with the band Astorian Stigmata, since I signed on as their live show keyboardist a couple of months back. You’ve seen the dudes before–they pop up in a lot of posts and photoshoots, so you might already be familiar with the fact that their general aesthetic is sort of like…dark Neo-Victorian gone mad…or maybe romantic goth meets visual kei. Either way, when they asked me to be part of a lyric video for their song “Twilight Lullaby” I rolled with those general ideas. I had just a day to put an outfit together so I blasted some Emilie Autumn, gathered every bit of black, red, and tattered fabric I could find, and got to work.

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These are casual outfit shots we took prior to filming, as opposed to a preplanned thematic photo set, but I think there is a cool, kind of chaotic quality to them [Photos by Dennis Condusta]. The outfit somewhat resembles what I wore for this previous shoot, but way more amped up and crazed.
The hat comes from FanplusFriend Garden, the corset Heavy Red, and the boots Dr. Martens. The wig comes from my go-to shop, Gothic Lolita Wigs, the gloves are from Hot Topic, and the lipstick is Lime Crime.

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Fashion Vandals Wishes You A Happy World Goth Day!!

May 21, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

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Cemeteries, Creepy Times, and More Shop Sneak Peeks

October 1, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

This month is going to be filled with creepiness and, if all goes well, lots of productivity. It’s time to break out the skeleton gloves, live on pumpkin lattes, indulge my creativity in a few spooky side projects, and finally/most importantly, get to hustlin’ so I can finally get everything in order to launch the Fashion Vandals shop within the next month of so.

As for spooky side projects, you’ll  have to excuse non-fashion related items slipping into the blog every now and again. For one, this is my month of cemetery tours. Also, I decided yesterday was the perfect time to delve into the world of custom doll creation. I spent an hour last night searching for the perfect tiny handmade wig for the custom Monster High doll I’m creating, so you better believe I plan to take pictures galore. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, soon enough you will…

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Working With The Dead Boys

September 3, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

Creepy kids gotta stick together, so when the dudes from dark indie band, Astorian Stigmata, asked if I could help out with a bit of photography, makeup, and filming, I was happy to lend a hand.

We did two photo shoots, and while I pitched in with some of the makeup and props, they were pretty much prepped from the start–decked out in lace top hats, special FX contacts and covered in acrylic paint and fake blood. Their style is a bit of anarchy, elegance, and….deadness, all rolled into one. (more…)

Looking Back at School Days, Zombie Makeup, and Fashion Fails

September 3, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

It hadn’t occurred to me that school starts for most kids in the next week or so, until I saw a newsletter from my old high school sitting on my parents’ kitchen counter. Of course, I hadn’t realized because “Back to School” means absolutely nothing to me, considering I haven’t had a proper first day of school since about 2008.

The realization lead me to crack open a few photo albums–though not so much to reminisce, as to take a look at my style progression. My interests and influences have remained consistent through the years–ever since I hit double digits I’ve loved all things dark, bold, and punk rock–although when I look back, I’m reminded that my lack of funds, resources, and a strict music diet of street and horror punk all lead to some interesting fashion choices in my high school/college years… (more…)

What Lies Ahead

July 22, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

Well friends, it might come as a surprise to some that this weekend I stepped down from my position as Staff Writer for Gothic Beauty Magazine. Due to my need to juggle a day job with an increasing number of side projects, along with my decision to further expand the world of Fashion Vandals, I decided it was something I needed to do.

I’d been on staff for about a year and a half, and you can find my work in print in issues 34, 35, and 36–including a feature on Kathleen Marie Couture and a profile piece on La Carmina, among a number of product and CD reviews. You can find my online articles on Steampunk Couture, Gothic Dreamscapes, and a review of Lime Crime’s Lip Noir line, here.

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She’s Electric–A Glimpse of Lime Crime’s New Liquid Liner

July 3, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

Lime Crime’s really been branching out this year. First pressed shadow palettes, then their first line of liquid liners, and most recently they released a line of delicate pastel nail polishes.

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