I’m constantly on the hunt for the most beautiful and unique dark fashion. While it’s not the most convenient and it can be challenging to work with measurements, there are a lot of advantages to made to order fashion.
Perhaps most importantly, hand made means one of a kind. If you go with a brand like Lip Service (and I’m not knocking it, I have a lot more ready to wear in my closet than one of a kind) you’re much more likely to run into another person wearing what you’re wearing.
Made to order feels special. It should fit better. And there are so many more customization options from fabric color to embellishments to length when you work one on one with a designer. In some cases it’s not as expensive as you’d think. You can often get a made to order dress for the same price or just a little bit more than a similar ready to wear garment.
San Diego line Enigma Fashions is known for theatrical gowns sure to make heads turn. The Temptress Collection is especially dark and regal. To shop Enigma, visit the website.
St. Louis, Missouri based line Rose Mortem is romantic, enchanting and haunting. Perfect for anyone who wants to embody a faery princess, a Shakespearean heroine or gentle pagan, Rose Mortem is designed by Rose Hemlock, the pianist/keyboardist for goth rock band The Awakening. Her effervescent gowns can be made in a wide selection of colors. To shop Rosem Mortem, visit the website.
Michigan-based Recollections carries an incredible catalogue of 1000 historically inspired designs. I gravitate towards their In Mourning collection for obvious reasons. You’ll find dresses and suits that cover the nineteenth and early twentieth century from periods including the Victorian, Regency and Edwardian. I’ve seen their work in person and it’s gorgeous and very-well made. To shop Recollections, visit their website.
I know Kambriel is an American designer, but I don’t know exactly where she’s based. Many of her designs evoke a day of lonely traipsing on the moors. She’s outfitted alt-darlings Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman. To explore more of Kambriel’s work, visit her website.
Artifice Clothing is my absolute favorite PVC line. They’re based out of Toronto, Canada. I want one of everything (in black, black and white or white). Sometimes I just click through every picture on the site fantasizing about rocking their looks. Because their stuff is made to order, items are available in a wide range of colors (but why would you want anything other than black?) To shop Artifice, visit their website.
Etsy seller Decadent Designz updates the classic Victorian Goth look with shorter hemlines and modern fabrics such as PVC, stretch lace and rayon. It’s another Toronto, Canada based fashion line. Shop Decadent Designz on Etsy.
Gloomth and the Cult of Melancholy
Ontario, Canada based Gloomth and the Cult of Melancholy is all about the little lost living dead girl look. Taking cues from gothic lolita and Victorian fashion, Gloomth is feminine and quirky. Their apparel is all made to order and can be ordered in standard sizes or tailored (for an extra charge). To shop Gloomth, visit their website.
UK designer Lovechild Boudoir is another historical fashion inclined line of feminine apparel. Combining antique silhouettes with modern materials and details, Lovechild Boudoir’s looks are pretty, classic goth. To shop Lovechild Boudoir, visit the website.
Vecona is a German label which specializes in extravagant costume-y couture. While not all of their apparel is goth, the goth line is sumptuous and dreamy. Vecona’s work is hand made and one of a kind. One of their high profile customers includes Emilie Autumn. To order from Vecona, you have to contact the designer through her site and collaborate on a one of a kind design.
Somnia Romantica is a sophisticated collection by Marjoiein Turin out of the Netherlands. Marjoiein is currently working towards her first fashion show at the end of the month, so she’s not currently taking custom orders (I assume once the show is over she’ll be back). But I love her frilly and elegant work so much there was no way she wasn’t going to be on this list. To shop Somnia Romantica’s collection, visit the Etsy shop.
What do you think? Have you worn anything by the labels above?
I haven’t had the privilege of wearing any of these designers, though in most cases I’ve been haunting their sites for years, so I can’t absolutely vouch for the quality. But I’ve seen several of their pieces in person, and I checked reviews where available. I know that probably seems weird that I’d pick these designers and then say that I’ve never worn their stuff, but my clothes budget is itty bitty and I usually just make my own clothes. But I know not all of you can sew, or have the time to, so I hope this list is a helpful resource.
When I started this post I had no idea I’d be picking three designers from Ontario, Canada. Does anyone know if there’s a big goth scene there?
I hope you found some to-die-for designs.