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25 February 2012

The Witching Hour



The Witching Hour! I'm sure all of you heard this sentence a lot of time but maybe not all of you know what exactly it is and the origin of this term.. Here's some info about it:

"The witching hour is a the time of day when supernatural creatures such as witches, demons and ghosts are thought to appear and be at their most powerful, and black magic at its most effective. This hour is typically past midnight or the "time in the middle of the night when magic things are said to happen."

One of the earliest, if not the first, appearances this term makes is in Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (which I talked you about a few posts ago ;). Here, Irving uses "witching hour" and "witching time" interchangeably. Both terms reference midnight, and are used to conjure in readers a sense of supernatural anxiety. There is little evidence the term has had any practical use prior to this, and that Irving coined the phrase after having grown up around New England and touring areas where the Salem Witch Trials took place.

In several of Shakespeare's plays - specifically Macbeth and Julius Caesar - ghosts and other supernatural phenomena take place around midnight, but the term "witching hour" never appears. But in the play 'Hamlet' we hear young Hamlet saying 'Tis now the very witching time of night'

According to the American horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the term can also refer to the period from midnight and 3am, when a character notes at "3am [is] the devil's hour, as opposed to 3pm, when Jesus was said to have been crucified". The devil is at exact opposites with God. 3:00 pm the hour of mercy. 3:00 am the hour of darkness, the devils hour."

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About the witching hour, do you know the UK goth band called Witching Hour ? I think they are amazing! Very old school goth in my opinion.. As they say in their VampireFreak profile they are "a bit of The Cure, The Mission,
The Sisters Of Mercy and Siouxsie And The Banshees" altogether!




"Witching Hour formed in 1991 with Trevor Barnes on guitar and vocals, Alys Sterling on bass and D.B. on keyboards. D.B. was later replaced by Al Winton. When Al left the band, Ash took over on keyboards, aided by the lovely Morticia, who appears on keyboards in the video for Slave To The Night. Since Ash's return to his home planet, the band have performed as a two-piece. After a hiatus during which Trevor and Alys joined the computer game industry and discovered overtime, Witching Hour returned to the scene on Halloween 2006. Since then, they have headlined gigs in London and Madrid and more recently in Blackpool. They are hard at work on a new album, Raven. In the meantime, all their hits like Hourglass, She's Alive and Exhumation have all been re-mastered."


24 February 2012

"My Summer As A Goth" ..the first scenes!

Hello readers! Do you remember that some time ago I posted about this movie called "My Summer As A Goth" which was still in the making?

Well I found out the first scenes of the movie are out!!

Check this trailer out! ;)




What do you think about it? :)

18 February 2012

Mystery : The haunted house of Amityville

"Haunted houses. What is it about the dead still hanging about that fascinates us so much? And what is it about creaky old locations that brings out the superstitious in even the staunchest atheist?
For my part, the romance attached with a ghost locked to a location is too much to resist. I love old places. I love their history, their timeworn imperfections, their atrophied surfaces the only reminder of those who were here before us, and who are now long gone... or are they?
I think part of the allure of ghosts is that, if we could just see one, just once, and KNOW for sure that what we were seeing was real, then we'd have actual tangible proof that there is more out there after we die. It's like we want a cheat sheet for spirituality. Why have faith when we can see, hear or feel eternity? Proof. It's what every ghost hunter is seeking. Proof of ghosts. Proof that we have a soul." -
 taken from fearnet.com

In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and Kathy's three children moved into 112 Ocean Avenue, a large Dutch Colonial house in Amityville, a suburban neighborhood located on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Thirteen months before the Lutzes moved in, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had shot and killed six members of his family at the house. After 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there...
This is one of the picture taken inside the Amityville house..and yes. That's supposed to be one of the famous ghosts haunting the house...
The five-bedroom Dutch Colonial Long Island home with water views and a boathouse is currently priced at $1.5 million. That’s a long way from the paltry $55,000 it sold for following reportedly horrific events that took place there back in 1974 after Ronald DeFeo fatally shot six family members in their sleep.
The Lutz family moved into the home one month after the DeFeo tragedy, and their (fictionalized and sensationalized) story is the focus of the classic 1979 film “The Amityville Horror.” The Lutzes claimed the home was haunted and that they were plagued by demonic images, walls that oozed slime, a crucifix that spun upside down in front of their eyes, a swarm of flies, objects levitating, a tiny room discovered that was not part of the house’s blueprints and other such oddities.
Many people claimed it was merely a money-making scheme on the part of the Lutzes. Nevertheless, the family only lived in the home for a total of 28 days.
Subsequent owners reported no paranormal activity in the home that was located in an otherwise tranquil, upscale community. Also the address has been changed to avoid tourists and visitors, especially around Halloween.
Some of the experiences of the Lutz family at the house have been described as follows:

►George would wake up around 3:15 every morning and would go out to check the boathouse. Later he would learn that this was the estimated time of the DeFeo killings. 
►The house was plagued by swarms of flies despite the winter weather. 
►Kathy had vivid nightmares about the murders and discovered the order in which they occurred, and the rooms where they took place. The Lutz children also began sleeping on their stomachs, in the same way that the dead bodies in the DeFeo murders had been found. 
►Kathy would feel a sensation as if "being embraced" in a loving manner, by an unseen force. 
►George discovered a small hidden room (around four feet by five feet) behind shelving in the basement. The walls were painted red and the room did not appear in the blueprints of the house. The room came to be known as "The Red Room." This room had a profound effect on their dog Harry, who refused to go near it and cowered as if sensing something negative. 
►There were cold spots and odors of perfume and excrement in areas of the house where no wind drafts or piping would explain the source. 
►While tending to the fire, George and Kathy saw the image of a demon with half his head blown out. It was burned into the soot in the back of the fireplace. 
►The Lutzes' five-year-old daughter, Missy, developed an imaginary friend named "Jodie," a demonic pig-like creature with glowing red eyes. 
►George would be woken up by the sound of the front door slamming. He would race downstairs to find the dog sleeping soundly at the front door. Nobody else heard the sound although it was loud enough to wake the house. 
►George would hear what was described as a "German marching band tuning up" or what sounded like a clock radio playing not quite on frequency. When he went downstairs the noise would cease. 
►George realized that he bore a strong resemblance to Ronald DeFeo, Jr., and began drinking at The Witches' Brew, the bar where DeFeo was once a regular customer. 
►When closing Missy's window, which Missy said Jodie climbed out of, Kathy saw red eyes glowing at her. 
►While in bed, Kathy received red welts on her chest caused by an unseen force and was levitated two feet off the bed. 
►Locks, doors and windows in the house were damaged by an unseen force. 
Cloven hoofprints attributed to an enormous pig appeared in the snow outside the house on January 1, 1976. 
►Green gelatin-like slime oozed from walls in the hall, and also from the keyhole of the playroom door in the attic. 
►A 12-inch (30 cm) crucifix, hung in the living room by Kathy, revolved until it was upside down and gave off a sour smell. 
►George tripped over a 4-foot-high (1.2 m) China lion which was an ornament in the living room, and was left with bite marks on one of his ankles. 
►George saw Kathy transform into an old woman of ninety, "the hair wild, a shocking white, the face a mass of wrinkles and ugly lines, and saliva dripping from the toothless mouth." 
►Missy would sing constantly in her room. Whenever she would go out of the room she stopped singing. But going back to the room, she would go back to sing where she left off. 


After deciding that something was wrong with their house that they could not explain rationally, George and Kathy Lutz carried out a blessing of their own on January 8, 1976. George held a silver crucifix while they both recited the Lord's Prayer, and while in the living room George allegedly heard a chorus of voices telling them “Will you stop?!”

By mid-January 1976, and after another attempt at a house blessing by George and Kathy, they experienced what would turn out to be their final night in the house. The Lutzes declined to give a full account of the events that took place on this occasion, describing them as "too frightening."

The Red Lipstick

Favim.com-6599_large

Red lipstick is definitely a must in every Goths woman beauty bag. I made a little reasearch about it and ,as always, I'd like to share with you a few facts about this must-have. While researching I found myself reading through this amazing blog all about the 20s and 30s called The Painted Woman (link at the end of post) which I deeply suggest you all to read if you like La Belle Epoque because you find all kind of information there! 


Here's what I found:

"Of all makeup, lipstick seems to be the most written about. Unfortunately though, most treatments of the subject tend to blip right past the 1920s and 1930s – the decades when lipstick gained widespread use and acceptance, and became a multi-million dollar a year industry, despite the economic Depression.

It was in 1920 that Max Factor, a pioneer of Hollywood movie cosmetics, began selling his line of Society Make Up to the public. This ushered in a new era of acceptance for lipstick, and cosmetics in general – even his blatant use of the word “makeup" was then new. Before the decade was out, he had also invented lip gloss (1928) and introduced the first commercial lip brush to the public (1929).


Joan Crawford with a lipstick in the handle of her purse, c. 1929.

The older generation may well have shuddered, as Dorothy Cocks wrote in Etiquette of Beauty (1927), at the younger generation’s “frank use of lipstick,” but within a short time, few fashionable women would want to be seen without theirs. According to Read My Lips: A Cultural History of Lipstick, a poll of 53,000 households conducted in 1938 (the same year that Congress passed the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, regulating the industry) revealed that 58% had at least 1 lipstick.

Indelibility was the major problem that plagued lipstick manufacturers during this era. Lipsticks had a tendency to turn bluish or purple after application, and made the wearer look ghastly. Almost all lipstick makers claimed their products to be indelible, non-drying, and creamy, but the first truly indelible lipstick would not be created until the end of the 1930s – again with Max Factor, now headed by Max Jr., – leading the way. His Tru-Color Lipstick came on the market in early 1940, but was heavily advertised in 1939.

The cosmetics industry may have expected sales to plummet after the Stock Market crash of 1929 and the subsequent economic downturn. But, just as women of World War II would cling to their lipstick as a sort of “red badge of courage,” so would Depression era women hold on to their lipsticks, if they could. One popular drugstore brand, Tangee, claimed its sales were better than ever. “1931 a year of depression?” read one ad from 1932, “Not for Tangee, the World’s Most Famous Lipstick and Rouge! More Tangee was used in 1930 than in the prosperous days of ’29, and even more last year than ever before!” High end companies like Elizabeth Arden, reported similar increases.



Tangee ad , 1931


Tube shapes varied by manufacturer. Some were tiny, bullet shaped. Others were long and crayon-like. They often came in a variety of sizes, at equivalent prices. Cases were metal. Early tubes had a sliding lever to raise the product, invented in 1915. This was soon replaced by the swivel technique still used today. A number of compact sets were sold as “trios” of powder, rouge and lipstick, all refillable.




A Word About Lip Shapes


In the late teens, Max Factor created a lip style that came to be called “vampire lips” “rosebud lips” or “bee-stung lips” (depending on the type of character being played) for silent stars like Nita Naldi and Mae Murray. He made the lips this way: he blotted out the actresses’ natural lipline with greasepaint, then dipped his thumb into the lip pomade and made two impressions with it on the upper lip, and one upside down thumb print for the lower lip. The lips were then refined and perfected with a lip brush. He did this because the pomade of the time would melt under the hot studio lights and bleed onto the greasepaint of the actresses’ faces. We’ve used this technique to achieve a perfect, "early 20s lip" shape.


Mae Murray, 1923.


With new advances in film technology and makeup, by the sound era it was no longer necessary to avoid the lip corners and a more “natural” lip shape came to be used. Max Factor created a new lip outline for Joan Crawford, by slightly over-drawing her upper lip and emphasizing the fullness of the lower one. Factor called it “the smear” but it was generally known as the “hunter’s bow” lip. Many actresses and other women imitated this style in the 1930s.

Below: Jeanette MacDonald beautifully demonstrates the “hunter’s bow” lip, 1932.







16 February 2012

Gothic Art - Jasmine Becket-Griffith


"Jasmine Becket-Griffith is a world-renowned fantasy artist. Born in 1979, she has spent the last decade (all of her adult life) working as a fine artist, painting traditionally by hand with acrylic paints. Her artwork can be found in private collections and public displays throughout the world. You may recognize her paintings from her merchandising and licensing lines with Disney, Hot Topic, Target, Spencer's, the Hamilton Collection and the Bradford Exchange. Her artwork is also found in many books such as the Spectrum fine art collections, Gothic Art Now, The World of Faery, Big Eye Art, and more! Jasmine's paintings blend realism with wide-eyed wonder - exploring gothic themes, with elements of classical literature, fairytales, nature and fantasy. Jasmine lives in Celebration, Florida with her husband/assistant Matt and their cats."








Jasmine at work :)


To check out more of her creations visit her official site:

www.strangeling.com 


08 February 2012

Oriental Goth - a modern version of Geisha


Who isn't (at least a little bit) inspired by Oriental culture? And especially who isn't fascinated by the Japanese Geisha look? Goths too have incorporated some elements of japanese culture in their fashion and are often defined either as Oriental Goth or Geisha Goth.

The make-up has always been a great inspiration. Thick black eyeliner pink/red eyeshadow, perfect skin and eyebrows and that fire red lipstick..

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Also the hair, straight raven black framing the face and those amazing perfectly done updos with the decorated hair sticks.

Black lipstick can be used instead of the red lipstick too. Also hot pink does a great effect. But in my opinion these are the only colours that can actually make a good "geisha make-up effect"..


And what about those amazing kimonos? In all colors, fabrics, and patterns (most common are the cherry flowers and dragons)! Every kimono is a unique handmade artwork! 



I think the paper parasol is a key element for an oriental inspired look! You can find one easily when visiting big cities in tourist shops! I got mine for 5 euros in Rome ;) and I also found a black kimono with red flower decorations for 16 euros in a gothic shop nearby!

..see how even the parasol alone can add a great oriental touch to your gothy attire? :)

"Music of interest to Oriental Goths may include Goth and dark bands who use Eastern inspiration in some or all of their songs, such as Rhea's Obsession, Dead Can Dance, Rajna, The Changelings, Shiva In Exile, and Love Is Colder Than Death and even the songs Temple of Love by The Sisters of Mercy and Hong Kong Garden by Siouxsie and the Banshees."
 - quote from The Ultimate Goth Guide


04 February 2012

Gothic Idols - Nina Hagen



Catharina "Nina" Hagen has been an inspiration for goths both for her look and music. She's a punk chanteause and actress from germany.

Born 11th march 1955 in the former East Berlin, East Germany, Nina is the daughter of Hans Hagen,, a scriptwriter, and Eva-Maria Hagen, an actress and singer.At age four, she began to study ballet, and was considered anopera prodigy by the time she was nine.

When Hagen was 11, her mother married Wolf Biermann, an anti-establishment singer-songwriter. Biermann's political views later influenced young Hagen.

Hagen left school at age sixteen, and went to Poland, where she began her career. After that, she returned to Germany and joined the cover band Fritzens Dampferband. She added songs by Janis Joplin and Tina Turner to the "allowable" set lists during shows.

From 1972–73, Hagen enrolled in the crash-course performance program at The Central Studio for Light Music in East Berlin. Upon graduation, she formed the band Automobil.



In East Germany, she performed with the band Automobil, becoming one of the country's best-known young stars. Her most famous song from the early part of her career was Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen (You forgot the colour film), " a subtle dig mocking the sterile, gray, Communist state," in 1974. Her musical career in the DDR was cut short, however, when she and her mother left the country in 1976, following the expulsion of her stepfather.

The circumstances surrounding the family's emigration were exceptional: Biermann was granted permission to perform a televised concert in Cologne, but denied permission to re-cross the border to his home country. Hagen submitted an application to leave the country. In it, she claimed to be Biermann's biological daughter, and threatened to become the next Wolf Biermann if not allowed to rejoin her father. Just four days later her request was granted, and she settled in Hamburg, where she was signed to a CBS-affiliated record label. Her label advised her to acclimate herself to Western culture through travel, and she arrived in London during the height of the punk rock movement. Hagen was quickly taken up by a circle that included The Slits and the Sex Pistols; Johnny Rotten was a particular admirer.

Back in Germany by mid-1977, Hagen formed the Nina Hagen Band in West Berlin's Kreuzberg district. In 1978 they released their self-titled debut album, which included the single "TV-Glotzer" (a cover of "White Punks on Dope" by The Tubes, though with entirely different German lyrics), and Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo, about West Berlin's then-notorious Berlin Zoologischer Garten station. The album also included a version of "Rangehn" ("Go For It"), a song she had previously recorded in East Germany, but with different music.

Click HERE to read more about her biography!
Find some of her hits here --> http://www.lastfm.it/music/Nina+Hagen

FUN FACTS: 

Hagen dubbed the voice of Sally in the German release of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and she has also done voice work on the movie Hot Dogs by Michael Schoemann. Hagen has been featured on songs by other bands, for instance on Oomph!'s song "Fieber". She did a cover of Rammstein's "Seemann" with Apocalyptica.
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