Each and every October, when Vincent Price movies are projected at midnight in local revival theatres, Siouxsie & the Banshees songs slink out of the radio, and historic cemeteries begin to give spooky night-time tours . . . I'm reminded that I was once a 15 year-old, clove cigarette-smoking, Munsters lunch-box carrying, kohl eyeliner addicted, goth.
During this chilly time of year, whenever I wake to a rainy grey sky, I'm filled with nostalgia for lazy days spent lying on my bed in tattered '30s silk-velvet gowns (once so cheap and easy to find), listening to Love and Rockets LPs, drawing spiderwebs on my school notebook, and talking on the phone to my vintage hearse-driving, Robert Smith look-a-like beau.
So, when I spotted Tabitha Simmons's perfect pointy death-rock booties, it took me back to a day, circa the early-90s, when I sold a garbage bag full of dresses at Claudia's Boutique in the Valley, and hopped in a cab to a rock n' roll supply shop on Hollywood Blvd., so I could hand the Nikki Sixx wannabe behind the counter $100, and buy a long-coveted pair of black patent stilettos with skull buckles (photographic evidence above).
My parents would have keeled-over at first glance of these treacherous heels, so I kept them hidden in my Mary Poppins needlepoint doctors bag, and the moment I was in the clear, out they came, ready to ghost-dance the night away to Sisters of Mercy.
So, in homage to my inappropriately dramatique after-school shopping ensemb's of spike-heels and floor-length velvet gowns, here are some stylish vintage finds to achieve this sinister Fall look . . .
Above: Antique handcrafted diamond and ruby snake bracelet, Tabitha Simmons Early boots ($1,130), me at age 15 browsing on Hollywood Blvd. in my skull buckle stilettos, rare antique sterling lion claw necklace ($3,950) c.1900
Above: Victorian Whitby jet and silver buckle bracelet ($850) c.1860s, Dova needlepoint handbag c.1950s ($99), blood red silk velvet and chiffon déshabillé coat c.1920s, Radley of London moss crepe and satin gown c.1970s ($825), midnight blue silk velvet bias cut gown ($1,250) c.1930s