Friday, November 4, 2011

a shirt tale of gangstas and prankstas

by frédérik sisa

The gangsta's prank is...clogs?

Shirt: Lip Service
Jeans: Levi's
Clogs: Sanita

When I feel the need to reinvigorate the ol’ wardrobe, I tend to shop for something specific. I rarely simply browse for something I might happen to like. For this round, I had it it mind to find clothes that would 1) Reinforce the dwindling goth content in my wardrobe; and 2) replace t-shirts with more interesting button-up shirts.

Unfortunately, finding interesting shirts has the tendency of being only slightly less difficult then finding the Grail…at least that’s what I thought until I remembered the old goth brands I could get from Melrose stores back when Melrose was hip and indie. Shrine. Lip Service. The classics with a cutting edge. As I browsed online goth retailers, I eventually found my way to the Iris Noir Boutique and a dangerously sharp Lip Service item with an overcooked name: the “Gangsta Pranskta Snap-Up Punk Goth Shirt,” (ugh) priced at a reasonable $59. Fancy buttons, an ornamental belt that fills the role of a tie, epaulettes with D-rings, and all-black…a definite win all around. Here’s a closeup:

And there's more, as Lip Service's catalog, some of which is sold by Iris Noir, proves.

The only restriction I’ve found in wearing the shirt – admittedly a self-imposed restriction – is in carefully balancing the overall look to avoid an overly aggressive military look. Hence, I’m not going to be wearing this shirt with my Corcoran combat boots. Also hence; the clogs that soften the look – a result I could also get with a pair of Converse or my Demonia Deviant sneaks.

A side-effect of my little hunt, besides reconnecting with a subculture near and dear to me, has been to see how much has changed over the years. Shrine seems very much the same; beautiful fabrics, theatrical sensibilities, a romantic attitude. Lip Service still has the ass-kicking, in-your-face attitude I remember, although it’s popularity and reach often makes it seem like the edgier, grittier but still commercial cousin to Hot Topic. And I don’t have anything against Hot Topic, incidentally, despite the sneers it might get from the cooler-than-thou hipsters. In fact, I appreciate how Hot Topic keeps the counterish-culture alive and well in the mainstream awareness despite the disconnected authenticity that comes from mass retailing.

But I suppose a more thorough discussion of gothic couture will have to wait for another time. For now, I’ll leave you with the thought that I bought two shirts in this round of wardrobe boosting, though the second isn't from any of the goth brands. What was the second shirt? Stay tuned to find out…

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