When we were at the Bloodstock Festival in the UK, I was quite pleasantly surprised to wander around the shops there and discover some quite distinctive clothing. A lot of the gothic stores in the UK stock the same brands and pieces, and everything starts to look a bit cookie-cutter (which is the exact opposite of what we want!) But although there were the usual Lip Service and Queen of Darkness stockists, I noticed a lot of unique places and bespoke designs.
One store in particular drew my attention – their clothes were devoid of the usual skullduggery and excessive zips and buckles of the usual goth gear. The styles were still awesome, but a bit more grown-up, a bit more suited to everyday wear. I brought a red skirt with dangling straps that has been a favourite of mine for years and a couple of shirts I wear to work. I would have brought a lot more, but I had to save money for the rest of our adventure. But I’ve always wanted to go back to that same shop again.
So imagine how excited I was when I received an email from Kate’s Clothing, asking if I wanted to try some of their ranges. It turns out, they are the makers of my favourite clothes! These guys dress bands like Lacuna Coil, Cradle of Filth, and Lounge Kittens. And now, they want to dress me! Of course I said, “Hell yes!”
The Kate’s Clothing website stock a lot of common alternative brands, like Killstar, Queen of Darkness, Hell Bunny and Sourpuss, but I was more interested in their three in-house brands. My favourite label, Necessary Evil, was the line that first attracted me to their stall at Bloodstock. It’s designed by Kate, who is a full-time mum as well as the brains of the operation and the main creative force behind Necessary Evil. Kate’s Clothing also carry two other lines – Chic Star, and Devil Fashion (which isn’t really for me – a lot of PVC and zips and buckles).
My package arrived a few weeks ago, and I roped my friend Amy (from Northwic) to come visit for the day and model. We had a great time running through the grass and styling the Kate’s Clothing pieces with some goodies from our respective wardrobes.
I think this is my favourite photo of the two of us, ever. We were trying to go for more of a workwear look here. Amy is wearing the Chic Star Gothic Pinstripe Tiered Bustle skirt, and a white shirt from Kmart here in New Zealand. I’m wearing the Kate’s Clothing Chic Star Black Wrapped Belt Blouse, and the French Reminiscent skirt from Heavy Red. Our boots are from Number 1 Shoes. My medallion is from my grandmother.
Once more with some smiles. :)
Here, Amy is wearing the Necessary Evil Butterfly Belisima shirt. Kate’s clothing also offer this shirt in a plain black or with the mermaid print. It has this great square neckline and pop domes instead of buttons. It looks great dressed down with jeans but can also work with a skirt.
If you’re like me and have broad shoulders and an athletic shape (read, no waist to speak of), then styles with a sweetheart neckline and A-line skirt are great. Necessary Evil sent me the Damara Retro dress in three styles – butterflies, octopus, and this mermaid design. These dresses have a side zip and elasticated waist panel and are my new summer staple. Like many of the Kate’s Clothing designs, they go from the office to a party with just a little flourish!
The dress I’m wearing – the Retro Wrap Black Dress – is another item from the Chic Star line, also by Kate’s Clothing. While the Necessary Evil line is more gothic in tone, Chic Star has a distinct retro theme, and there are a lot of plainer, beautifully-fitted coats and dresses. The clothing is also designed with plus sizes in mind, and every piece comes in the full range of sizes.
The skirt is huge! It billows everywhere and is a lot of fun to wear.
The Retro Rohini Butterfly Dress is insanely flattering. It was also the only item that didn’t quite fit me (the waist, which is quite high, was just a little tight, as were the armholes, so I’d recommend sizing up one size from your usual if you’re getting this one) so Amy stepped up to take it off my hands.
All the pieces were of a high quality, well made, and well-fitting. I am very impressed and will definitely be going back for more in the future.
Kate’s Clothing have given you guys are discount code of 10% off your order – just use 10METAL10 at checkout to get it and support an awesome indie alternative brand.