Friday, May 10, 2013

May: Featured Goth in Glasses

Dearest dark hearts and spectacle aficionados,

It is my pleasure to announce the return of the Gothic Optician's Featured Goth in Glasses with a very special guest.I've been a fan of Trystan's since I came across her blog "This Is CorpGoth" a few years back. I actually spent a few weekends in my dorm room just browsing through her posts, absorbing fashion tips and style inspiration along the way. The timing was perfect. I discovered "This Is CorpGoth" during my senior year of college, during that period when my main thought was "Okay, I've spent four years in college and have officially found myself, but now I have to get out there and be professional and dressed in a way that both myself and potential employers are comfortable with." I completely credit finding Trystan's blog with giving me the motivation to start my own blog. In fact, I could go as far as to say that her posts help me decide on the perfect ensemble for my interview that landed me my current job. I highly recommend her blog for anyone who wants to establish a nice balance between work and play.

The lovely and fashionable Trystan L. Bass, creator of the blog "This Is CorpGoth."

Let's delve right into the questions, shall we?

Sea: How long have you been wearing glasses?

Trystan: Since at least third grade, so probably I've been wearing glasses from age 8. And I have never worn contact lenses regularly. I have astigmatism that's just severe enough for the prescription to not work very accurately in most types of contacts. I'm currently working with an optometrist to try & find some contacts that will give reasonable enough vision so I can wear them with historical costumes.

S: How long have you considered yourself a goth?

T: That's a funny question because, when & where I grew up, kids didn't use the term "gothic" to describe those who wore a lot of black eyeliner, dyed their hair unnatural colors, & listened to Bauhaus & Siouxie & the Banshees. But my friends & I did all those things starting around age 16, & we were called "punk" or "mod" or "alternative" & suchlike. It wasn't until college, perhaps around age 19, that I heard people calling how I dressed "goth." But I've considered myself a bit outside the mainstream my whole life, always a fan of the dark, mysterious, spooky, ethereal, & romantic in fiction, music, & fashion.

S: What's your favorite music?

T: I fully admit I don't listen to much current music -- the only artist in the past 15 years to really interest me has been Lady Gaga. Otherwise, I stick to the classics like the Cure, the Smiths, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxie & the Banshees, Love & Rockets, New Order. But music is no longer a great passion of mine. I usually have NPR on the radio.

S: What's your favorite accessory?

T: Jewelry, especially big, chunky necklaces. I enjoy making jewelry too, but, as with most things, I don't have enough time to do it.

S: What's your favorite goth cliche?

T: "We wear black on the outside because we feel black on the inside." -- Funny because it's sometimes true!

S: And your most disliked goth cliche?

T:  "You must wear or like X to be goth," or conversely, "You can't be goth if you like or wear Y." That's crap. There is no Seekrit Goth Cabal judging you & stamping your goth card if you do this or that correctly. You can be uber goth while wearing a pink tutu & playing ice hockey, if that's your thing. Goth is who you are & your sensibilities, not just what you wear or listen to, & you don't have to parade about in black velvet singing "Bela Legosi's Dead" to prove it.

S: And your favorite style of glasses?

T: Cat's eye. I've had my current cat eye frames for about 8 years, & I dread the day they break -- this is the second pair, the first ones broke, & this one is now discontinued! The angular styles that are so common right now just don't flatter me.

S:  Who's your favorite famous goth?

T: Emily Bronte. Original gothic novelist FTW!

S: And your favorite person who wears glasses?

T: John Lennon. I was raised by hippies & have always admired Lennon's music & philosophy. In college, I got round wire frames like him.

S: Got any stories involving your glasses? ie, losing them and causing a fiasco, unknowingly wearing someone else's for a while, anything?

T: Not really. They're just always on my face, always there!

S: As they should be! ;)

S: I'd like to know a bit more about your hobbies. I know you enjoy historical reenactments, and I'm curious as to what events you attend and what got you into historical reenactments. I know this has little to do with gothic culture or glasses, but I think it's cool and I have reason to believe my readers would feel the same. =)

T: I've always loved historical costume, in some ways, it's related to what I love about goth -- the dramatic beauty, the romance, the elegance. The gothic aesthetic draws heavily on past fashions; I just go further back into the past than some. My first love is the 16th century, & I've attended renaissance faires since I was a kid & started working them as an actor in college. That's even how I met my husband. Slowly I branched out into other historical eras & fantasy topics. My husband & I even attended Venetian carnival for my 40th birthday in 18th-century costumes that I made. While I strive for historical accuracy, I can't help but make most of my costumes in dark colors with a predominantly gothic style.No matter the period, I'm still a dark at heart.

 I want to add that my biggest pet peeve at historical reenactments is glasses! They're rarely period because eye glasses where terribly expensive, plus ladies wouldn't wear them outside the home because they were unfashionable. Yes, I know, a lot of people can't wear contact lenses, myself included, but I wish people would at least take off their glasses for costume photos.

S: On a side note, I love that you listen to NPR. That's all my partner and I listen to when driving, because the radio music selection here in Indiana leaves quite a bit to be desired unless you like rap or country. Also, I like your reference to the Illuminati-esque "Goth Cabal."

T: Hahah! I have an NPR finder app on my phone so I can always find the local station when I'm traveling :)

S: Okay, as far as other questions.. you've been in the goth scene for quite some time, and I've no doubt you've seen it evolve throughout the years.. where do you think gothic culture is headed? Do you think this generation's grandkids will be donning fishnets, black lace, corsets, and combat boots?

T: Little things may change, but the essence of the gothic subculture is the same: an affection for the dark, spooky, ethereal, morbid, & less happy side of life. Dark colors -- black, of course -- will always be a constant in gothic fashion. For as many times as someone tries to say "pink is the new black," it's really "pink + black is the new black" (& one of my fave color combos!). The music may be more techno one decade, more acoustic the next, but it will be suffused with an introspection on the darker side of the world. This is what we come from, this is how we stay true to ourselves.


S: You said that music is no longer a great passion of yours, which makes me immediately think of people who argue among themselves "Goth is ALL about music." or "Goth is ALL about fashion." Where do you stand on that? What does goth mean to you? ( I love asking this question because it always brings about a very unique perspective.)

T: Goth is not about all one thing or the other except darkness. The shadow side of life. Appreciating the beauty in death & decay. Being OK with being morbid -- even having a laugh at death. These are all gothic. You can express that through music AND through fashion AND through a million other things. You could decorate your house totally & completely gothic & drive a hearse to work, but never listen to Bauhaus & never wear a stitch of black clothing, & that's still pretty darn goth to me.


Very wise words indeed, madame. Thank you once more, Trystan, for your time and your unique point of view. It was an absolute pleasure to interview you.

I highly recommend checking out Trystan's blog, "This Is CorpGoth," especially those of you who are goths in professional settings.

As always, dressed for success.

Until next time, ladies and gentlegoths,

Sea, the Gothic Optician, A.B.O.C.

Ps. Be sure to check out the Gothic Optician's brand new Facebook page! = D

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