Day 11: Post-Physical & Occult One-Stop Shopping With Actual Pain and Black Milk


Oh man, it's getting rough narrowing down all the killer stuff I'm finding for our 12 Days of Xmas countdown! As I'm saving the ultimate holiday gift for the last day tomorrow, I'm combining two lines for this post. If these sites don't help check things of your holiday shopping lists for your favorite street goth or rave punk, nothing will!

Loving the graphic bathing suits, leggings and dresses from Australia's Black Milk and the tongue-in-cheek occultist tops, caps and jewelry from Seattle's Actual Pain (they have a .org website, ha!). With differing degrees on the darkness spectrum, what the two lines do share is a surprisingly expansive selection within their respective design themes.

Black Milk has the slick website, hot models and the high-quality photography expected of an established fashion brand, but still retains a sense of DIY initiative. Focused on bold colors and eye-popping graphics, the line turns stretch fabrics into photographic canvases, creating bathing suits featuring skeletal structures, outer space vistas, beach sunsets, wildlife closeups and film art from the likes of Rocky Horror and Metropolis.

My favorites are the Ribs Black Swimsuit ($90) and the Tiger Swimsuit ($90)
I certainly wouldn't restrict these pieces to the pool or beach (especially since I hate sun) and instead would pair with high-waist shorts, mini skirts or for the most daring, just alone with over-the-knee socks and a motorcycle jacket. The site also has an extensive photo galleries of how happy customers styled their pieces if you ever need inspiration.
 Worth noting too, their Beetlejuice Suspender leggings ($125). Such a cute idea!


Actual Pain is the polar opposite of Black Milk in many respects, with it's raw, punk rock website and stripped down, guerrilla graphics. But Actual Pain selection is no less expansive than Black Milk's, exploring droves of goth, occult and pop culture memento mori upon what seems like every blank item in the Hanes catalog. I'm particularly drawn to the more humorous pieces in the line, like the utterly Midwestern pom pom beanies and crew sweatshirts.



Actual Pain just launched their winter collection yesterday (Dec 12) and already pieces are sold out, so be sure to grab anything you can as soon as you can. Oh how I lament that these Sixth Seal ($36) leggings are gone! People of Actual Pain, please tell me there will be more!


Day 8: (Almost) Anything From Chloë Sevigny's Latest Collection for Opening Ceremony


Chloë Sevigny impressed with her fourth collection for Opening Ceremony. The design collaboration started off a little rocky for my taste like most celebrity-designed collections (Kate Moss for Topshop too), but this time she collaborated with vintage-inspired eyewear designer Barton Perreira and heritage street and skate brand Vision. The combination of the collaborators plus Chloë's tastes and OC's talented design team supporting her, it made for a stylistically bi-polar collection with some iffy pieces and some "I will fight a bitch for it" must-haves.

Click through to see more:
 Drawing particular inspiration from Chloë Sevigny's Kids days in 90s NYC, the collection is billed as "old-school street wear meets vintage underwear... channel picnic at hanging rock for ultra-feminine silhouettes while 80s-style ra ra skirts key into a different kind of nostalgia—for Chloë’s early days in New York and the skate culture of Kids." While not blatantly 90s, I think they took appropriately small snippets of the decade. Chloë Sevigny herself is even an appropriately small snippet of the 90s!

The leather and cotton "Eyelet Pinafore" dresses show above are my top choices for FAB status (Fight A Bitch, let's see if this catches on), and are, of course, some of the most expensive apparel pieces in the collection: $700 for the white cotton, $1,200 for the black leather. The bathing suits are also to die for, especially since they have structured cups that can accommodate those of us with lesser cleavage--a rarity for most structured bathing suit top designs. Here are some more of my favorites that I think can fit almost any stylish lady you're shopping for. Chloë for OC spans apparel, eyewear, bags, sneakers and also some menswear!









Day 7: 50% Off JewelMint Bling With Code "fall112"


I know there are plenty of you out there who haven't even thought about the mounting holiday shopping list as it gets closer to Xmas/Hanukkah. I've definitely been guilty of sending "New Years" cards because I didn't get to sending Christmas cards out soon enough. If you're looking for a gift that literally keeps on giving, you can sign a friend/girlfriend/wife/anyone/cat/pirate/why not yourself up for monthly jewelry deliveries from JewelMint.com!

I'm stoked that the JewelMint team contacted me to help promote some stunning jewelry designed by bi-eye-colored actress Kate Bosworth and designer Cher Coulter. Certainly helped knock a day off my 12 Days of Xmas Gift Ideas list, and helps ease your emptying holiday wallet right away.
Here's a gift from me to you: Copy and paste fall112 at checkout for 50% off your first month of JewelMint, courtesy of the Los Angeles Mint Brand Ambassador Team.

Click through for more about JewelMint:


How it works: Click here to join and take the Style Quiz to create your own personal showroom. Every month, new styles are added to your showroom based on your tastes for you to choose from.


Each piece is $29.99, but with our very own discount code, you can get your first piece for $14.99 plus FREE SHIPPING.

Some of my faves:



And now for the real skinny: If you want to skip a month, you can. There's no obligation to buy anything your showroom suggests for you. You can also return/exchange within 30 days if you change your mind.


How to gift this? Make a nice card for your lucky recipient with their JewelMint login information written inside. You can even say something like "6 Months of Jewelry!" While you can't set a certain amount of time for membership, you can cancel at anytime. So set a calendar alarm on your phone for six months later and remember to cancel. And if you forget, what's the harm in your loved one getting a little extra bling?

Day 6: Ornate Legwear By Bebaroque

I'm a little upset at myself for not thinking of this earlier, but as a tights and over-the-knee socks fan, the ornate legwear from Scottish company Bebaroque caught my eye immediately. These gold lamé and sequin socks are particularly perfect for holiday party looks. Give these as a gift and I almost guarantee the lucky recipient will wear them to their New Year's festivities.

The brand has a whole assortment of embellished, embroidered, tasseled and bedazzled legwear, dresses and body suits that had my mouth watering. But with the above gold and sequin knee socks priced at $144.00, I'll have to roll my tongue back into my mouth for a little longer.

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Part elegant hosiery, part luxury dancewear, Bebaroque essentially offers a sort of haute couture shortcut, combining the meticulous details haute couture demands with the simple canvas of universal, American Apparel-like basics. Pairing any of their pieces with a simple pleated skirt, belted dress, or really anything as Toyko style blogger Shan Shan has done (killed it!) gives a unique, eye-catching element that no one else on the street will have. One embellished body suit will cost you at minimum $350.00, yet compared to the ceiling-less pricing of runway couture, it's a steal. I'm particularly enamored with the black outfit below, I would wear that out as is!

Selections from Bebaroque's SS12 collection


But who am I kidding? I'm a total cheapskate, and upon seeing the knee socks and tights I thought to myself, "I can do that easily. Just hadn't occurred to me to do it before." Now, while I don't have the patience to make any of the lavishly decorated pieces, some of the simpler designs would be easy enough to make with a visit to the right craft store, a sewing kit and an hour or two of work in front of the TV. Maybe after our 12 Days of Xmas Gifts countdown I'll do a DIY post for a tights or socks project :).



Day 2: Geniune Lady Gaga Platforms from Noritaka Tatehana

So, I started off writing the second of our "12 Days of Xmas" posts about a pair of shoes my friend Dominique of the stunning wedding photography duo Love Me Sailor and I recently saw ("we were ready to pull a bitch by her hair out of the dance cage at Rhondavous for wearing the shoes we had been lusting after"). But after some research, I've discovered something better. MUCH better. Behold, the work of platform shoe artist and Lady Gaga cobbler Noritaka Tatehana


If you can't control your boner for Tatehana's work like I can't...

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Now, none of Noritaka Tatehana's shoes are for the faint of foot, but I like to think I've been working towards my platform blackbelt. Tatehana's shoes are stunning, gravity-defying explorations of fashion, whose conceptual designs are on the cusp of art. Archival pieces are currently being exhibited at the Comme des Garcons Trading Museum and shop in their Paris and Tokyo locations and Dover Street Market in London.

The young designer (a mere 26 years-old) was born in Japan and mentions his family came into money from the "centre of an entertainment and red-light district in Tokyo". The red-light district inspiration can certainly be seen in his work. Starting at 15, he taught himself fashion design and construction processes, later majoring in dyeing and weaving in college. Currently, every single one of his pieces are hand-executed by Tatehana himself! You can't ask for better craftsmanship for shoes ranging from $2,500 - $4,000. Many designer shoes are already in that price range, but can you imagine how much a shoe completely handmade by Christian Louboutin himself, or Karl Lagerfeld himself would cost??
The man himself, makin' your shoes


While no new collections are up for sale on his site, you can still special order pieces from the Tokyo  Trading Museum Comme des Garcons:

Opening hours AM11:00-PM6:00
2F GYRE Bldg 5-10-1 Jingumae Shibuya Tokyo 1500001, JAPAN
TEL +81 (0) 3 3486 8590 

Aaand for those of you who aren't quite up to task for Tatehana's shoes, or perhaps live in the real world and plan on walking on real streets, copy king Jeffrey Campbell's "Night Walker" shoe is a fantastic alternative for the much more affordable price of $170.00. While Tatehana's pieces are a crash course, Campbell's shoes are a nice, gentle beginner's lesson in footwear ergonomics without being ankle-breakingly dangerous (and nowhere near as gorgeous).

EDIT: My friend Joshua reminded me that Campbell's Night Walkers are a direct reproduction of another platform diva's go-to shoe designer Natacha Marro. That diva? Why self-styling fashion maven Ms. Daphne Guiness of course.