Gloomth Gothic Lolita modeling at One King West Hotel & Residence, downtown Toronto! Victorian doll fashion.

blue hair girls, gothic lolita hairstyle

As you can see from these photos… I had a ton of happy times in Toronto!

I flew to Canada’s largest city for a mix of business and pleasure, which included a Gothic Lolita shoot at my hotel, One King West Hotel & Residence. Keep reading for a peek inside this ritzy residence, and the latest dresses from Gloomth.

gloomth gothic dresses, blue hair color

It’s funny that designer Taeden Hall and I have corresponded for years — I’ve featured her brand many times — but never met until now. (Vancouver and Toronto are still a five hour flight apart, much like LA and NYC.)

Since I was staying in a luxury hotel, we gathered some friends and posed in dark designs from her indie label, Gloomth & the Cult of Melancholy.

blue dyed hair style

We had a bit too much fun playing with the mirrors… Blue-haired Linda Tea wore the Carmilla velvet dress with a high collar and cute ruffled sleeves. Wonderful, the bodice detailing and bow in the back.

gloomth goth lolita designer taeden hall

Taeden wears her Valance cotton dress with corset details. It has a wide bell skirt, scalloped rows of ruffles and pretty sash. All of Gloomth’s designs are handmade locally — support your friendly Canadians!

victorian morning dress

I got spooky in the Lyre babydoll dress, part of Gloomth’s “Memento Mori” collection. The long skirt with bows and ruffles, and black sheer sleeves give it a Victorian Gothic vibe.

corset lacing lolita dress, gloomth

Everyone gushed over my suite at One King West. I had a “Mary Poppins” view of the Toronto rooftops, and the spacious room included plush chairs and a little kitchen (since they’re designed for long-term residencies).

red plaid ruffle gothic lolita jsk

I’ve stayed in many hotels around the world, and One King West has a “pulse” — most likely because of its long and fascinating history. The address was first inhabited in the 1800s, and later became the Dominion Bank’s head office.

In 2006, it metamorphosed into the current 51-storey condo hotel: a modern living space within a Beaux-Arts (Neo-Classical) heritage building.

one king west hotel room view

The downtown location — Yonge and King — is impossible to beat. My friends and I walked to Queen Street West and Kensington Market (I’ll later show you where we shopped). I also explored St Lawrence Market, the entertainment district and other major areas by foot.

green blue hair ombre, goth model

Like the clothing I’m wearing, One King West is a mix of modern and historical. My room had the tech essentials like fast Internet…

gothic lolita models, rococo mirror

… but preserved the rich architecture of the past. Such as this carved fireplace and gold mirror near the ground floor elevators.

young goth girls, toronto gothic

We met up with Mao and Ashavari, and continued the photoshoot. Their Gothic style shines against the hotel’s crystal chandeliers and gold staircase rails.

indian gothic, coffin purse with cross

Toronto has a friendly and fluid alternative community. You might see the same faces at a Renaissance faire, steampunk meetup, anime convention and heavy metal concert.

Many are passionate about their their own creative projects, such as Ashavari, who sings vocals for progressive melodic metal band, At Dawn’s Edge.

spiky goth backpack, goth outfits

Would you rather wear the spiky backpack, or coffin purse with chain? I can’t decide.

one king west Hotel & Residence, bank chandeliers

We’d all feel at home in the hotel’s 40-ton round steel vault, built in 1913. You can even rent the space to throw your own “bank robbery” theme party. (We weren’t able to take photos since an event was going on at the time, but here are photos of the One King West vault.)

goth fashion outfit post, boots

The “Grand Banking Hall” was also a step back in time: high arches, Corinthian columns and massive cathedral windows. The girls perched on the 100 foot long bar (the longest in all of Canada), which was originally a teller’s counter.

dineen coffee yonge street toronto

I found lots of delicious yet inexpensive food, minutes from the hotel. I made runs to Dineen Coffee Company on Yonge Street, for almond milk chai lattes.

Toronto seems to be fond of gourmet burgers, and there were two local favorites right across the street: Hero Burger and Big Smoke. They’re made with high quality beef, and also offer homemade veggie, wild salmon and turkey varieties, wrapped in lettuce or served in a gluten free bun.

toronto historic distillery district spider statue

One King West was within walking distance of all the major downtown sights, including the Distillery Historic District. This is a quaint, pedestrian-only area that holds designer boutiques, cafes, art galleries, and towering sculptures like this spider.

day of the dead mexican skull statues, figurines

I was also blocks away from the best alternative and vintage stores. I’ll take you on a tour in my next post!

one king west hotel condo, toronto ontario

I hope you enjoyed this first taste of Toronto. I couldn’t have asked for a better stay at One King West Hotel & Residence, a hotel that mixes history with modern trimmings and a friendly staff.

one king west toronto hotel

Thanks to everyone for making the shoot so much fun!

toronto downtown hotel suites

Have you been to Toronto, Ontario? What do you think of the city? For a dress like this (which can be customized for all sizes), I invite you to browse Gloomth’s Gothloli catalogue.

tripwolf travel blogger of the month

PS: Thank you to Tripwolf for naming me Travel Blogger of the Month. I talk about cultural misunderstandings and mishaps in this interview.


Toronto Goth fashion & travel guide! Gloomth clothing, 2013 Tokyo Japan Gothic Halloween party.

vancouver fashion blogger, west coast fashion blogs

Notice something different? Haircut! My head feels much lighter; my stylist took off several inches. I think it’s a fresher look, what do you think?

Halloween is near and I have big travel plans, which I will announce soon. Until then, let’s get in the mood with a guide to Gothic Toronto below. And if you’re in Tokyo on October 12, you can’t miss my dear Yukiro’s Spooktacular party… Read to the end for your VIP invitation!

vancouver art gallery eagle sculpture, robson square

I shot these photos in Vancouver (Robson Square Eagle statue). The rain gave me an excuse to pop open my Hyoma eyeballs umbrella from Izzue Hong Kong.

Studded silver and black top: by my friend and Hong Kong designer, Spider by Natalie Lam. Those of you with sharp memories might recall I wore this as a dress on The Doctors (medical daytime TV show where I spoke about bagelheads). Dorothy Perkins makes a similar studded dress.
Mary Jane shoes: Demonia. They also make sexy buckle boots.

goth outfit post, studded metal dress

Little black purse with metal chain: got it at the Izzue Hong Kong store. Very similar to this See by Chloe purse.
Red lipstick: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist, one of my favorite cosmetics brands.
Eyeshadow: purple, black and white shades from the new “Cold Chemistry” collection by Sugarpill Cosmetics – thanks Shrinkle, I love your makeup!

girl and cat, iphone photos with scottish fold kitten

Now, for my guide to Toronto Goth fashion and nightlife. Over the past few years, I became friends with Taeden Hall, designer of a dark and romantic clothing label called Gloomth & the Cult of Melancholy (Remember I wore her dress to the Luisaviaroma Firenze4Ever dinner?)

Gloomth is based in Toronto, and has a cult following among Gothic Lolita and Victorian fashion lovers. To get the scoop on the Ontario Gothic community, I chatted with Taeden and her friend Laura (editrix of online magazine Morbid Outlook, DJ, and director of tribal fusion bellydance troupe, The Serpentina North Ensemble).

canada gothic scene, goth fashion brand

How did you first become interested and involved in Gothic underground fashion and subcultures in Toronto?

TAEDEN: Honestly, I had never heard the word “gothic” until I was about 17/18 years old, this was before the Internet was widely available. I had no clue that there were people out there that looked and felt like I did. I didn’t really have a name for the style I wore, it was heavily influenced by really bad vampire books and even worse movies. I moved to Toronto officially when I was 18 and was already fascinated by Gothic culture and fashion, so the first thing I did was walk right up to the first “Gothy” girl I saw at my university and made her be my friend. It sounds so lame now but honestly that’s exactly how it happened. I’m a doofus. She and I started going to the local clubs/events and meeting more like-minded people.

LAURA: I’ve been kicking around the Goth scene in the US back when I was a teenager (early 90s); I moved to Toronto over 3 years ago because I feel very at home in this city.

coffin photoshoot, vampire girls, toronto goth designer

Can you tell me how the Gothic scene in Toronto originated and evolved? Are there aspects that are distinct to this movement?

TAEDEN: I read once that a major city is one that has a minimum of 10 full-time Goths. As for the scene developing in Toronto, I think it came about as it did in many North American urban centers – sort of an offshoot of punk and New Wave – from “new romantic” to “Gothic”. Eventually you get enough people feeling the same way and they open clubs and spaces to congregate in – thus the subculture expands. I think Toronto’s “Gothic” scene was really tight-knit for a very long time, the same people running the same events and hosting the same shows. I also think the scene here was really connected to the underground art scene also, which is true of many subcultures.

LAURA: Toronto has been a big EBM town for 10-15 years and there’s a strong cybergoth contingent, although the trad Goth and deathrock scene is making a revival.

graveyard goths, modeling, undead dolls cemetery

How would you describe Gothic fashion in Toronto? Which styles, brands, looks are popular? Has it changed over the years?

TAEDEN: What’s considered “Gothic” now is nothing like what was considered so when I moved here. I think there’s more of a mainstream influence on the culture and fashion than there has ever been. The internet makes it incredibly easy to find the clothing and the music, which was not the case 10+ years ago. At the clubs you see everything from decked out cyber and fetish kids to casual black-skirt-black-top girls. On the streets it’s definitely less dramatic for the most part, lots of big boots and short skirts, babydoll t-shirts printed with whatever comic/movie/slogan/band/thing.

LAURA: Cybergoth complete with big dreadlocks/plastic tubing hair and platforms is very prominent among the younger generation here. Big boots and short skirts are also a very Toronto look.

toronto goth girls, clubs, dresses

Can you recommend some Toronto or Ontario-based Gothic clothing brands, designers and shops?

TAEDEN: Artifice clothing is the first that comes to mind, others include Futurstate and Borderline Plus – and of course, us, Gloomth.

LAURA: Designers include Gloomth, Plastik Wrap, and Futurstate, while stores would include Borderline.

What is the Toronto alt/EBM/fetish club and bar scene like?

TAEDEN: The Goth club scene in Toronto is somewhat sparse. There are some really well-attended fetish nights in the city but the “Gothic” club scene mainly involves the same couple of nights at the same places. “The Velvet Underground” (Queen St. West) has a decent night on Thursdays and lots of people attend “Neutral” on Fridays/Saturdays – others include and “Bovine Sex Club”.

LAURA: Velvet Underground on Thursdays and Neutral on Fridays are great for dancing, but the fashion is very casual. The best dressed can be found at fetish events like Fetish Masquerade and Subspace alt and body mod club.

toronto gothic, gloomth lolita clothing

What do you predict for the darkwave scene in Toronto? Is it growing, changing?

TAEDEN: It’s hard to predict where the scene is going in Toronto. It would be great if people could get some new nights and events going, but it’s always hard to get everyone on the same page and people are notoriously reluctant to try new places. I think “Gothic” style is going to keep being subdivided into a multitude of categories and tribes within those.

LAURA: Definitely. As I mentioned earlier, I think things are coming full circle and the traditional Goth/Goth rock/romantic and deathrock looks and music are being revived and inroduced to a new generation.

(The four watermarked photos are courtesy of Gloomth – check their Facebook page for upcoming events, such as tea parties.)

Tokyo Halloween party, goth clubs

Now, for a Japanese event. Are any of you in Tokyo on Saturday, October 12? Then you must celebrate Halloween with my evil queen.

Yukiro is debuting a Goth-Glam party, Die Schwarze Frau presents: A Halloween Spooktacular. This night of terror includes performances by Japan’s darkest bands and DJs (see flyer above).

japan halloween costume parties, tokyo goth industrial bar

Yukiro will be doing up to EIGHT costume changes throughout the night, including cosplays of famous Gothic divas. There will be a pro photobooth, and dress up contest featuring a dance-off-duel. Prizes include about $500 US worth of plane tickets… you don’t want to miss this chance to jet-set.

tokyo japan gothic parties, nightlife, club

Here are all the details you need to party with Yukiro and friends.
When: 2013.10.12 (Saturday). Opens 4pm, starts 4:30pm.
Where: Morph Tokyo in Roppongi (district of Tokyo, Japan)
Entrance: ¥3000 with a drink ticket included. If you wear a costume, it’s ¥2000 and you get a drink ticket.
RSVP & more info: On this Facebook page

scottish fold cat instagram, cute cat social media

What will you be doing this Halloween? Have you figured out a costume yet?

Check back soon for my All Hallow’s Eve plans… as you might have a chance to celebrate with me! Any guesses about where I will be?