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 10: Leather Trim Sweaters by SGC NYC

After seeing fellow fashion maven Natalie's post for Blackbook on label SGC NYC's one-year anniversary, I fell in love with their effortless street designs and had to add them to my list. In particular, I'm obsessed with SGC's leather trimmed sweater pieces. Being a huge black leather fan, I'm always looking for pieces that uses the material in a unique way. Leather-trimmed cashmere blend? If it had steel beading it would be the hardest to dry clean piece ever, so don't party too hard in it.

Then again, SGC stands for "Social Gathering Clothing" i.e.party clothes. So... dry cleaning be damned!


My apologies for not posting over the weekend, but I didn't want the 12 Days of Xmas Gift Ideas countdown to end on a Monday, so I thought I'd take the weekend off. There was a certain level of incapacitation due to late nights involved as well, but that's what the holidays are about, right?

I only WISH I had one of SGC's leather detailed sweaters to keep me warm through the ice luge's and bikini bars over the chilly LA weekend. While they may not seem like much on the hangers at first, SGC's editorial shows just how effortlessly styled these pieces are. Considering they are handmade in NYC, the prices are super reasonable compared to other handmade pieces involving leather. 



The sweater dress would be perfect with a matching leather five-panel hat (since it kind of reminds me of a baseball jacket), some Doc Martens lace-up boots and patterned black tights. The gray sweater would look great with some crazy black leather platform shoes, metallic gold denim for the holidays and all the long, antiqued metal necklaces you can layer. Or y'know, just black panties works too.

On a side note, I'm totally in love with the blond model. Her and her real-life husband star in Cee-lo Green's stunning, unexpected cover of Band of Horses' "No One's Gonna Love You". The video makes me want to fall in love so much, good times and bad!

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.

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 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 5: Alexander Wang "Marion" Sling Mini Bags



A little late on this one today, but it's a damn good one. My friend Christine--an amazing graphic designer who has created entire looks for the likes of Smashbox Cosmetics and Kate Somerville--had an enviable sling bag with her on a night out that I immediately (without having seen the design before) recognized it as an Alexander Wang piece. Wang's Marion Mini Sling Bag is chic, classic bag that with the rhodium details still retains Alexander's signature edge.

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I was a huge fan of Alexander Wang's stud-bottomed Rocco bag, but the actual portability had mixed reviews. Holding Rocco myself, it had a surprisingly heavy weight despire the small size due to the solid metal spikes. Knowing how much I like to cram into my bags, I couldn't go through with a purchase despite being as lusty as a bar wench for it. Even though it came with an across-the-body strap, it was certainly a shoulder killer.

Side note: Rhodium is a silvery-white, durable metal that is related to platinum. I came to know the material because the high-end store I worked at as a salesperson in college (I was unceremoniously "let go" for sitting down once) used to sell giant fake cubic zirconia wedding rings. For about $100, women with actual giant diamond and platinum wedding rings would buy the CZ/rhodium ones to wear when they travel in case the rings were lost or the women robbed. Funny how that works?
But with the Marion bag, it's the perfect size for a night out to dinner, dancing and then some. You can fit a wallet, car keys, phone, some cosmetics and maybe a few other necessities in it--which is great weight-wise and cutting down on purse clutter (big problem for  me).
At $650, the Marion bag is on the cheaper end of the spectrum for Alexander Wang bags, and is simple enough carry from season to season. Plus, there are different colors and materials to match anyone you're shopping for: Emerald lambskin (sold out in all the places I could find); royal blue leather, black ostrich print leather, black lambskinazure leather and if you act fast, the butterscotch/rhodium color is on sale for practically half-off for $389 at Barneys.com.

Anyone would be lucky to recieve one of these mini babies for the holidays!