A Curious Exhibit at the Old State House (Hartford)
I felt it was my solemn duty to plan the World Goth Day Meetup for 2023, as I have identified as a goth for the last 20 years or so and I can't disappoint my community with all this first hand knowledge. There's so many options for gothic themed activities in New England, much less Connecticut. Where would we go this year?!
Turns out, we were going back to Hartford, Connecticut, (which by the way is one of America's oldest cities as it was founded in 1635) this time for a historical tour of Connecticut's Old State House. The Old State House was one of Connecticut's state capitals from 1796-1878 (the other one being in New Haven). It housed all 3 branches of government and all of the historical chambers have been beautifully and authentically restored to what they would have looked like in 1818. It is truly a fun place to explore and be inside, but the best part is on the third floor. Across from a beautiful golden statue of Lady Justice lies the Joseph Steward Collection of Curiosities. This room was once a painting studio to the artist Joseph Steward (1797-1808), who identified as a portrait painter. His collection included wax works, portraits, and natural curiosities such as heron, a hummingbird, crystals, sea shells, a dwarf cow, a two-headed calf as well as some made-made curiosities like an organ. The room has lovingly been recreated with fossils and taxidermy birds, reptile skins and shells, antlers, and of course a two-headed calf.
I'm very thankful that I had the foresight to make an indoor meetup, because it was raining pretty hard THE ENTIRE DAY. It did give me a chance though to use my matching Tim Burton-esque umbrella.
So let's talk about my coordinate. The dress is an OP (one piece) and it includes the waist belt with removable chain. This a Chinese Indie Brand called Xiong Dou Jiang, which totes itself as an affordable lolita brand. I bought it on Devil Inspired because I was blown away by all the product photos (I ordered the Red & Black Long Version), but you can also get it on 42 lolita for less. I am also wearing a large full black bonnet, a black choker (which I yet again discovered is virtually unnoticeable with a bonnet on), a gothic bracelet/ring combo, black tights, and Strangecvlt coven boots with a coffin ita backpack. The look that I went for with my makeup was super dramatic with red/pink around my eyes and a super dark red lipstick that was almost black.
I think the petticoat that I selected really shows the volume of this dress. I am wearing the Aurora Ariel Ultimate Violence Super Puffy 45 cm petticoat. This petticoat practically needs its own zip code. When you take it out of the bag, it's like a large size dog with a 28 cm radius. I love how it looks under these large dresses, but it actually hurts my hips to wear it for several hours. I really feel the burn the next day, like I worked out using muscles I didn't know I had.
Well, here I am with the two-headed calf. I wanted to especially share this photo as you can see a detailed closeup of my eye-makeup. I created it using a palette I received in Gothic Beauty Box #53, which is a special box of gothic lifestyle and beauty items that also include a printed edition of Gothic Beauty Magazine. I reached out to Gothic Beauty Magazine's Instagram page to thank them for including the palette as it helped me achieve my look, and they went ahead and asked to share photos from the meetup on their social media pages (with permission of course).
Now we are all officially GOTHIC BEAUTIES!!!!