As my blog is all about alternative fashion, I thought I might as well upload the photoshoots I did for my fashion coursework, including the photos I didn’t submit. I’m lucky enough to have some very lovely people in my life, thank you girls.

This is Holly.

Holly again.

Holly, jacket
holly 1
Alternative fashion photoshoot: Holly.

holly 3

If you would like to do a photoshoot with Holly, you can contact her here. She’s no stranger to modelling!


Independent fashion store Guru Boutique defeats recession.

Amidst the closures of many large high street retailers, Darlington’s very own alternative fashion store Guru Boutique is evolving and flourishing.

Beryl Hankin is Guru’s proprietor, but emphasises the importance of companionship and teamwork between herself and her four colleagues.

She said: “We are all equally vital to Guru.

“Guru’s survival is something of a miracle, and it is down to the fact that we put people before profit.

“Love and respect are probably the words to describe our secret of longevity, as we do love and respect our colleagues, our friends, the world we inhabit and most of our customers, and I think it shows.”

The team at Guru have definitely made their mark in their hometown. In addition to peacefully campaigning against the destruction of the original High Row, one of Darlington’s oldest landmarks, Beryl and her colleagues have campaigned for other positive changes for Darlington.

The Guru activists spent several months campaigning for lower Sunday car parking charges in Darlington town centre, in order to allow customers longer to browse, and help the town’s businesses blossom.

As part of the campaign, Beryl actively went out onto the streets of Darlington and encouraged over 750 people to have their say about the parking prices. She showed her findings to the council, and successfully managed to get Sunday parking charges reduced from £1 per hour to £1 per day.

Beryl, who is the author of a book entitled That Darlington Way: The Spirit Of Old High Row, has plans for the future. She said: “We are currently trying to get our council to provide more attractive parking policies in an attempt to ensure people want to come here to support the many good businesses we have.

“We try to keep a finger on the pulse of what is happening in our town and peacefully campaign and make our feelings known if we see something happening which we think is glaringly wrong or harmful.”

The independent retailer of alternative clothes, gifts, cards and accessories was part of establishing Darlington’s monthly Sunday market last April, and will be celebrating 41 years of business on March 16th.

“Two words that sum our approach up are individuality and continuity – and they apply to our dealings in fashion, music, business, environment and life itself.”

Lucy Atkinson, 20, an alternative model and Guru customer from Northallerton, said: “Guru is great, it certainly inspires the alternative mind.”

Holly Grant, 19, a former Darlington resident and current student at The University of Huddersfield, said: “The staff at Guru seem to radiate a more comfortable, approachable feel than staff in bigger stores.

“The products, smell, music and decor are really unique in comparison to a lot of the other shops in Darlington.

“If you’re looking for unique clothes to enhance your individuality, then Guru is a very good place for that.”

The Guru team from left to right: Colin Harrison, Beryl Hankin, Kelly McWilliams and Tony Smith.

Visit Guru’s Facebook page here, or give Lucy Atkinson’s blog a visit here!

Assorted Clothing Mini Wishlist

LOTR leggings1.) LOTR Montage Green Leggings, Black Milk Clothing: $85.00 AUD/ £58)
Their entire Middle Earth clothing range is on my wish list in all honesty, but if I had to just pick one thing, these leggings would be it! I’d probably save them for special occasions, and wash them with my own hands as though they were in fact a fragile newborn puppy. Click here if you wanna see more!




Sweets for my Sweet2.) Iron Fist’s Sweets For My Sweet platform high heels, like most of their footwear, are incredibly pretty. It’s like someone made a shoe to match Amelia Nightmare – who is looking incredible on the cover of the latest Bizarre mag, candy girl indeed!

Anyway, at an RRP of £79.99 I think these multicoloured lovelies could be on my wish list for a good while, but if you fancy some for yourself (or if your girlfriend’s a colour/candy junkie) you can get them here.

kreepsville 666 Ghouls College Dress

3.) Kreepsville 666 Ghouls College Dress, £33.99. I would wear this constantly to make up for the fact I’d be eating Tesco’s Everyday Value 40p Macaroni cheese for a week or so as a consequence of  effectively caving my poor debit card’s head in. It has a price tag that you probably don’t need to save up much for, but will still make you suffer after purchasing to a degree. (only for a bit though right?)
I don’t even spend nearly £33.99 a week on food shopping anyway so on the wish list this adorable T-shirt dress must stay! Something about it has snared me, even if I did previously think all garments featuring printed-on ties were earth-shatteringly cringey before seeing this. It  reminds me of those cute little Monster High dolls you can get, if Wednesday 13 happened to be their costume designer. Has it snared you too? Mooch over to!

…Leather Jacket, fishnets, and Demonia’s Slush boots are already waiting to be teamed with this perfect gig outfit, to have lame food-related illness or not, oh my…


This brings us to the end of my little wish list, but there’ll probably be a couple more in the near future!

Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers Perfume collection: Can it be rivalled?

Like most girls, I’ve had countless perfumes in my time. Some have been dull, some have been terrible, and some have been so good that I’ve feverishly re-bought them time and time again.
Lil AngelGwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers collection, featured so many wonderful, exciting and unique fragrances.

My favourite was Lil’ Angel from her ‘Sunshine Cuties’ collection. It smelt like candy shops: with its sugar and vanilla and lemon notes. The only problem was that I was at college, and it was usually around £15.00 for a measly 10ml of the fragrance!

What’s more is the perfume is apparently no longer in production, although I’ve spied it for sale several places online, I do wonder when it will become entirely “extinct”, and what I can do to replace it.

I’d heard that Aquolina – Pink Sugar was very similar to Lil’ Angel, so I’ve ordered it today to see if it can truly step up to the mark! It’s £25 for 100ml. I can’t really complain. Unless it’s awful, in which case I will.

Anyway, I’m an avid fan of sweet/fruity/vanilla-inspired/candy/sugary smelling perfumes so, I’ll let you know what I think!

Pink Sugar


Iron Fist and collaborate for wedding shoe contest

Rock N' Roll Bride
Rock N’ Roll Bride

Fans of Iron Fist are being offered the incredible opportunity to win their own custom-designed wedding shoes The amazing Rock N’ Roll Bride magazine and Iron Fist (creators of some of the best shoes in the world) have collaborated to give creative brides-to-be the chance to design and win their own personalised shoes for their special day.

Love Me Now Turquoise Rockabilly High Heel
Love Me Now Turquoise Rockabilly High Heel

For the chance to do this, click here

Wednesday 13 Upcoming UK Tour

Wednesday 13: Upcoming UK gigs!
Wednesday 13: Upcoming UK gigs!


Murderdolls frontman and living fashion statement Wednesday 13 will be touring the UK next month. Unlike many other bands, he’s actually touring up north too!

There’s plenty of dates and venues, so there’s no excuse to miss out!

Mar 06, 2013  Brighton, UK  Concorde 2
Mar 07, 2013  Bristol, UK  The Fleece
Mar 08, 2013  Manchester, UK  Club Academy
Mar 09, 2013  Nottingham, UK  Rock City
Mar 10, 2013  Glasgow, UK  Cathouse
Mar 11, 2013  Newcastle, UK  Northumbria Uni
Mar 12, 2013  Wolverhampton, UK  Slade Rooms
March 13, 2013 London, UK  Islington Academy


Sugarpill and Amelia Arsenic to release ‘Cold Chemistry’ Shadow Palette


Amelia Arsenic:   Singer, fashion designer and model, is currently collaborating with Sugarpill makeup to create an eyeshadow palette that truly reflects her unique, edgy style. After working alongside Sugarpill for years as a model, it’s revealed that the palette will be called “Cold Chemistry”. The packaging, which Amelia herself designed, is now available to preview. The palette itself should be available to buy in a matter of weeks!

Cold Chemistry

Welcome to the blog!

Hello there, and welcome to my blog: Leather, studs and lipsticks.

I chose this name as it sums up the kinds of things you might see on here: alternative and gothic fashion, but with extra emphasis on aspects such as beauty, etc.

There will also be occasional features regarding heavy metal and rock music, as I believe hard rock and metal go hand in hand with gorgeous gothic/alt fashion!

Basically, it’s a site for those interested in alternative and gothic fashion to have a mooch about.

The blog is mainly for my university coursework, but I hope to find the time to put a lot more content on here than just the basics.

I’ll be posting reviews, photos, assorted lists (top tens, wishlists, etc), recommendations, and lots of other bits and pieces.

If you want to know more, you have any suggestions, or you wish to contact me for any other reason, please visit my About page.

Thank you!