Converstaion With a Gothic Burlesque Vamp
D*Cyber Punk met up with the very vampy Christine Rice of Hexotica designs ~ in a swanky Berlin shisha den and talked with her about all kinds of things that Gothic Burlesque vixens talk about.
Goth Clothes: What did you make today?
Christine: I made about 50 lace and velvet chokers today, a pair of nipple pasties and two fascinators.
Goth Clothes: Your website and brand is known as Gothic Burlesque, can you give us the story about how this came to be?
Christine: My label is Hexotica and I blog under gothicburlesque.blogspot.com. I started Hexotica three years ago. I’ve been making jewellery since I was in primary school—I sold my first bracelets in third grade! So though I didn’t always want to become a jewellery and accessories designer, when it occurred to me that that was how I spent most of my free time I began to take it more seriously and considered having it as a livelihood.
Goth Clothes: When it comes to style some people simply have it and you my dear ‘have it’. What do you consider to be the essential elements of Gothic style?
Christine: blush! Thanks! To me gothic style is about edge, dark glamour, and alternative trends. It often involves ridiculously large platform shoes.
Goth Clothes: Name the first Burlesque performer who comes to mind and why?
Christine: Definitely Dita von Teese because she is a living work of art by her own creativity, confidence, and sense of style. She seems down-to-earth about her being her own self-creation and the ‘queen’ of the burlesque revival. She is also an utterly enchanting performer!
Goth Clothes: I understand you are very involved behind the scenes in the world of Australian Burlesque, what is it that has attracted you to Burlesque and how do you add your magic to this world?
Christine: I love that women are the main fans of burlesque. I love that all shapes and sizes perform, I love the humor and confidence of the performers, and of course—I love the costumes!! Many of my designs are inspired by burlesque and my many friends who perform on stage or are a part of the scene in other creative ways.
Goth Clothes: Even though you don’t publicly perform Burlesque, would you please do a little show for me ~ what music would you perform to and what style of Burlesque would you dazzle me with?
Christine: I am actually not a huge fan of American-style strip-tease burlesque as much as I am of European satirical burlesque, or what is more a form of cabaret. I would either do a gender-bending act or a political satire, like something from the film ‘Cabaret’ starring Liza Minelli. I would have to perform to Kurt Weill, composer to Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Threepenny Opera’ from the 1930’s. Sting’s version of ‘Mack the Knife’ is my all-time favorite.
Goth Clothes: Where do you find inspiration for your Hexotica designs?
Christine: My greatest inspiration comes from the lowbrow art of Natalie Shau. I feel I have only just started to tap into the direction I want to go, but that her art is leading the way. It is ethereal, dark, feminine, highly textured, and slightly twisted. That is why I just had to commission a piece by her for Hexotica!
Goth Clothes: In your many travels, where have you encountered the most interesting gothic clothing designs?
Christine: Nowhere in the world have I ever come across more innovative designs in gothic clothing—or any other type of clothing—than in Japan. Every sub-culture has a very strong following in Japan and they are very good at leading the rest of the world with their trends. They have the market for fearless experimental design, and they have seemingly no fear. The designs are just wild over there, but they do them extremely well.
Goth Clothes: What has been your most memorable Gothic event, experience or gathering?
Christine: I’ve been to so many great events around the world, but I have to say it was the very first, at a beautiful club called An Tua Nua in Boston. I went alone, only hoping to hear ‘The Creatures’ on the dancefloor, the band that first got me hooked, and I totally fell in love with everything I saw and heard.
Goth Clothes: What is the question you are most often asked?
Christine: In Australia, it’s “where do you come from?” because I can’t get rid of my American accent!! Second to that it’s “did you make what you are wearing?” which is why I can’t get away with not wearing at least one of my designs at any time!
Goth Clothes: Who is your favourite Gothic icon and why?
Christine: Tim Burton, because he can convey in his films all that is dark yet positive about the gothic culture that most people just do not get.
Goth Clothes: What are the most essential pieces in your wardrobe that you simply cannot live without?
Christine: My H.Naoto jacket from Tokyo, velvet scoop-neck tops and Victorian style bally boots, which I have in three different styles!
Goth Clothes: Which celebrity would you most like to make over and how will you make them look?
Christine: Love this question—I’m always making people over in my head! I’d make over Milla Jovovich so that she’d always look off-screen how she looks on- screen. I love the athletic-martial-arts-assassin bad-ass fashion of her movies, hate the beige casualness of her look off-screen.
Goth Clothes: Tonight we’re taking you out on a date! We’re going to a gorgeous little French Gothic outdoor Noir Cinema. What are we watching and what is that amazing outfit you are wearing?
Christine: We’re watching the brilliant, beautiful dark classic ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and I’m wearing a furry leopard print capelet and a black velvet dress inspired by the movie.
Goth Clothes: What are you reading at the moment?
Christine: I’m always reading books on business these days! I’m reading a book on entrepreneurs right now, nothing famous or spiritually enlightening!
Goth Clothes: In a quiet corner of your day, when your time is completely your own, where are you most likely to be found and what would you be doing?
Christine: Writing in my diary. It is my ultimate pleasure and leisure activity, and I literally start to come apart when I do not get enough time to do it. I have a dozen or so favourite cafes around Melbourne that I go to, specially chosen for the right balance of crowd and privacy, ambiance, good service and tasty fare.
Goth Clothes: What are the five albums you find are most often spinning around in your music machine?
Christine: Dusk by The The, OK Computer by Radiohead, Fever Ray by Fever Ray, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven by Godspeed you! Black Emperor, Windowlicker by Aphex Twin.
Goth Clothes: What is the Olympic sport you most enjoy watching and why?
Christine: The 400 meter track races because I use to excel at them in high-school. It still makes my heart race to watch them!
Goth Clothes: What aspirations or goals are you aiming to achieve within the near future?
Christine: Get a web-site going, stock interstate shops, have designs manufactured, and ultimately to just be able to design and have minions to do the rest!
Goth Clothes: What do you never leave home without?
Christine: My diary and a book to read. A book kills time on public transport, my diary turns a café break into a luxury.
Goth Clothes: Have you any fashion, style and clothing tips for aspiring Gothic fashionistas?
Christine: Create your own gothic look and don’t just be a cookie-cut cliché. It is one thing to do the goth look well, and quite another to do it differently! Practice is the key to getting hair and make-up to look great, so practice till you think your eyes will bleed if you have to re-apply that black eyeliner one more time!
Goth Clothes would like to say a big “Spank You” to the lovely Christine for sharing her watermelon shisha with us and her delightful insights into the world of Gothic Burlesque.
You can keep up to date with the lively and fascinating life of this Gothic Burlesque fashionista at Christine’s blog.