Alternative Fashion: A Mix of Goth, Zombies and Tutus

Helen, an artist who can be found at talks to me about her alternative style.

1. Describe your style?

 I never really fit into a fashion box, not because I'm super-cool, purely because I have the attention span on a gnat. I adore dark, moody gothic laced dresses just as much as my bright pink zombie shoes.

I tend to dress myself in prints, colours and shades I adore and would be happy to draw - at the moment, a lot of black bases with bright accent colours because I'm developing a cartoon strip for my blog. I also love my body shape and dress to emphasise my favourite bits!

2. When did you start dressing in an alternative way?

My Grandma and Mother have always taken me to Affleck's Palace, Manchester, from a very young age so, for me, that was the 'normal standard of dress outside the 9-5'. Something for the young me to aspire to and always encouraged to express myself if I wanted to. I've always admired mohawks, bright hair and dress but I guess it took me a little while to fully embrace it as I was always a little shy to stand out. Now, I couldn't give a hoot if people want to pass judgment but, as a teenager, I guess we all experience some sort of angst.

3. Who or where do you get style inspiration from?

Skulls. Mexicana. Love. Helena Bonham Carter.

4. Describe a casual outfit and a going out outfit.

Casual outfit - skinny jeans; big, black boots; sparkly, black tee.

Going out outfit - tutu; stockings or stripy tights; sky high shoes; vest top or fitted tee with added sparkles/skulls.

5. What about hair and make up?

Casual - hair doing whatever it damn well pleases (it's a bit fickle at times); make up is more a lick of liner and mascara.

Going out - hair has recently been dipped in green so it's usually straight, twisted, plaited and pinned (normally I just funk up my 'fro); make up corresponds with whatever colour I'm wearing… usually green. Bright green. And massive eyelashes.

6. Where do you buy most of your clothes from?

Iron Fist and Hell Bunny have been my most recent spree. My hubby took me to Nottingham as a surprise and turned me loose in Blue Banana. Loves. I do like getting creative on more than canvas though - I have been known to buy myself some plain skirts and, well, Helen-ify them with skulls and such!

7. What reactions do you get from people for looking the way you do?

For the most part, a lot of people just look a little longer than they realise is comfortable. I've since been in the paper with my dreadlocks falls and as part of a recent photo shoot so perhaps it's more a look of 'Is that her? I thought she had dreads…or a crazy 'fro".

All pierced and tattooed people will have been asked, at least five million times in their lifetime, 'did it hurt?'. Funny thing is, if you say 'yes, a hell of a lot', it tends to shock more than a smile and a 'noooo;… who knew? I've more recently been complimented on my choices of clothing as 'being at one with myself and happy as a whole'.

Now, they may have been a little tiddily here but I take that as a great compliment. Yes; I am actually happiest in my Iron Fist shoes and covered in prints that reflect my art style.

8. Do you think you will change your style as you grow older?

I need to tell you the story of why: I met my absolute crush of my life last year. I swear. I love this woman. She is my idol. She had the most beautiful brogues, purple/black/red striped tights, black tutu and a delicious black military jacket on. Her eyeshadow matched the purple in her tights and her headpiece looked as though it had been hand plucked from a vintage shop that time forgot. I loved her the moment we met. We went on to share a dialogue where she dropped in how old she was: 97. My love for her has ensured I will only get louder with my fashion choices and continue to do whatever it is that I like.

9. Why do you dress differently to the mainstream?

I feel like I never really held a true and honest interest in mainstream. I enjoyed the catwalks and watching how everything evolved but always felt more comfortable in fishnets and tutus. I genuinely love it and would happily dress in a tutu 24/7.

10. If you had to dress in another style apart from your own, which would it be and why?

I would love to be dressed head to toe in Victorian/Edwardian fashion. Or maybe the 60's, psychedelic, man.