I've mentioned before, in a previous post, about really identifying with Goth Culture and really enjoying looking at men that like to identify with the Rockabilly culture. So, it's only obvious that mixing the two together would be totally mind-blowing? Right? Meh.
blackwaterfall.com does an amazing job of categorizing the many goth sub-cultures with adorable photos and easy to understand descriptions. They describe Gothabilly as,
"What do you get if you mix Elvis Presley, The Cramps, a bunch of old horror movies and a splash of lounge? Bizarrely, you get Gothabilly - a rare and exotic breed of Goth with rather eclectic tastes in both music and wardrobe.
With styles originating from “Rockabilly” (American 1950s rock n roll) and “Psychobilly” (1980s punk with a heavy rockbilly influence), Gothabilly is visually and musically a play on retro, kitsch aesthetics - but with a dark twist. Like Deathrock, which often shows many overlapping traits with Gothabilly, the music and imagery is frequently tongue-in-cheek and deliberately cheesy. As such, many Gothabilly bands sport such creative names as Nacho Knoche & The Hillbilly Zombies, Cult Of The Psychic Fetus, and Vampire Beach Babes.
Gothabillys tend to be some of the brighter Goths out there, with their vivid tattoos, cherry accessories and ubiquitous polka dot clothes."
So now I have a name for all of those people with the halter polka-dot tops that always look as though they've taken nine hours to get ready to go out for three hours. I think, more than anything, I'm mystified as to how anyone actually manages to have time to get ready and go anywhere with a makeup and clothing regimen like this. While bands like The Horrorpops have a staff of makeup, clothing and hair people (alright, they're not THAT famous. They probably have someone that at least gathers everything up for them and does their laundry), how does the average Joe Vampire Hillybilly Zombie-Cool keep it all together?
Another amazing character springs to mind when I consider people and their unbelievable visages: Leigh Bowery. To describe Leigh Bowery is kind of impossible, so I'll let Wikipedia do it (let's face it folks, I'm being a little lazy this evening),
"Leigh Bowery (26 March 1961 – 31 December 1994) was an Australian performance artist, club promoter, actor, pop star, model and fashion designer, based in London. Bowery is considered one of the more influential figures in the 1980s and 1990s London and New York art and fashion circles influencing a generation of artists and designers. His influence reached through the fashion, club and art worlds to impact, amongst others, Alexander McQueen, Lucian Freud, Vivienne Westwood, Boy George, Antony and the Johnsons, John Galliano, the Scissor Sisters, David LaChapelle, Lady Bunny plus numerous Nu-Rave bands and nightclubs in London and New York which arguably perpetuated his avant garde ideas."
In the documentary, "The Legend of Leigh Bowery," one of the films that Bowery and his fellow promoters/actors/models/designers/whack-a-doos starred in was primarily about, "getting ready." It showed each character in various stages of undress with various stages of Bowery-esque makeup and hair (find more images from this awesome flickr photostream). One would comment on how that frock was just the right thing for the evening, or how, perhaps, that frock wasn't right at all. If it wasn't right, they would take it all off and begin the arduous task again. I think I remember them saying that sometimes you would get ready to go and you wouldn't go anywhere.
Although I've taken great strides to improve my appearance in the last few weeks, I'm already over the ten extra minutes my new beauty process is taking. Having the patience to construct a persona like these seems more work than it's worth. While you are fully expressing your personal desires and opinions with these living portraits, you're cutting into valuable party-time.
While visionaries like Leigh Bowery created influential and lasting fashion empires out of their frocks, our average Gothabilly enthusiast is most likely wearing something that someone else has designed and getting makeup tips from someone else that has worn this Pinup girl look before. My ultimate question/dilemma is, ten years from now when you look back on the experiences that you've had...are you going to remember your frock? Are you going to cherish the time that you spent in the bathroom drawing on your eyebrows or the time that you spent painting the town red?