A Fairie Goth-mother if there ever was one, this lovely soul adds her little bit of magic atop your outfits to make sure you’ll be the belle of the ball! Indeed I have attended a number of extravagant events sporting her feathers, horns and floral creations to aid the transformation from mundane to magical! Her work has a light, enchanted feel perfect for that fairy-goth look. Starting from as little as £15 for a beautiful flower fascinator, every outfit could do with a little touch of Fairie Tale Gothic! I’m pleased to have been able to interview Lilith Karnstein, and not only bring her delights into the spotlight but show you if you haven’t found your fairy-tale yet it’s not too late – you just have to close your eyes and dream…
You came to the goth scene quite late and yet it was simply a spark in you that was waiting to be ignited. Could you tell me about this journey and what was the catalyst which brought your beauty to us?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words I was rather self-conscious and sensitive young lady, I drifted away from the Gothic music and style very early, only to look in from the outside at the romance and incredibly good looking people and felt I could never be that beautiful, graceful or mesmerizing. At the age of 38 I could no longer look in from the outside I had been falling in love with the scene from a distance and now my soul was telling me I needed to let the vast ocean of tempting romance and darkness embrace me. I made a pledge to myself, this is me from now on. I had only grasped a little back in the 80′s and touched on some parts of the scene during the rest of my life, I could of never of guessed or dreamed that this world of wonder and fulfilment would save me from an otherwise dull and half existence.
What would your advice be to someone interested in the scene but not sure how to go about getting into it/becoming goth?
Well, all I can say is never deny yourself your true path, Goth was part of me at a very young age and I choose to walk away due to thinking I could never be part of the beauty, it can be intimidating being surrounded by Dark Angels but you will find your mentors and inspiration, never stop embracing yourself . We all externalise “our dreams and sensuous souls” it is all part of our charm, your charm and the scene will love you for that. Find your flock and experiment with your style. We are approachable people, ask the people you admire the most, “where do you go”, “who made that?” We all had that nervous first walk into a dark club or event/gig.
What is it that you love most about the scene and its lifestyle?
Where do I begin !! I feel very much at home within a community that welcomes everything from a plain black shirt and jeans to a Rococo gown at a public event or picnic. The opulent drama of men and women walking like Kings and Queens into a beer soaked tatty venue and making a ball room out of it in 30 minutes ! The creativity of all involved is staggering and I never tire of staring at people. Goths are after all, are walking works of art in my opinion. I also Love the fact our world seems so wild and dangerous to others while we feel perfectly at home drinking wine from a silver goblet with our fangs chatting about the film festival we went to last week. The evoking of our own world within the ordinary world. The Music touches my soul and My First Wave Gothik Treffen was a wonder to behold and the breadth of musical style is endless.
And what, if anything, do you dislike or would change?
mmmm That is a provocative question indeed, I dislike some of the putting down that occurs, I feel very strongly that we should support our scene very much and that means having respect for each other’s efforts and creations.
When did you start making headdresses? How did it come about?
I made my first few a long time ago they were small fae type frivolous items and all bar two or three went in the bin! Fast forward to two years ago and I started to experiment and then 18 months ago I made my first item to sell. Again it goes back to the need to express myself, the art I love inspires me.
You used to retail on Angel Clothing but now have your own esty store. Can you tell me about the collaboration and what made you decide go sell direct?
I worked for Angel Clothing and they very kindly gave me the chance to sell, I really don’t think I could of done it without the stepping stone Angel gave me and I will be forever grateful for that. My creative time and my direction are very much my own and this leads me to a path all my own, so Etsy was something both parties were happy with and Angel have encouraged me very much.
How would you describe your personal style?
Gothic Fae mixed with Vampire Vixen (I have my Hippy flower child moments so my style is fairly fixable between these three but My Goth always shows 😉
What are your inspirations? What fuels your life not just your art?
I love to listen to people talk about the world and our place as beings in a wide and wondrous universe, Carl Sagan was my childhood hero. Anyone who has ideas outside the box; so Jazz Coleman is a person that I could listen to for hours and a mix of sound science and spiritual open mindedness.
What has been your favourite headdress creation to date?
Well that is easy, it’s The Peacock Goddess Crown I made for you to attend the magical ball “Gala Nocturna” I knew this was the one that would guide me to my next stage of creation! This item request also came with the phrase “It has to travel well and fit into my suitcase” I loved every minute of joy and panic I had while I made it.
And I can confirm that headdress was a huge hit, I got many compliments on it – plus I loved the ingenious way it fitted together and was so easy to pack and travel with!
Could you tell me a bit about your creation process? Do you do custom commissions?
I do custom creations but all my items are “one of a kind” anyway so every one has something special. I can be inspired by colours on a walk into town, see a sparkle in a window or have a song playing and I feel the need to make something I can be inspired by anything at any time.
In ten words, describe the type of person who would wear your creations.
Expressive, Imaginative , Unique, Flamboyant, Glamorous, Vampiric , Light , Crepuscular , Sensual , Regal. (That was far more difficult than it should of been!)
What has been the best compliment you have received about your work?
Having a lovely young lady contact me on face book saying how much she loved my item and that I should keep making them and never give up. That meant so much.
What is your favourite fairy-tale?
Snow White. My cousin gave me a book when I was very young and I soon loved the way the wicked step mother looked in her tight gown and red lips! I can’t help now but identify with her as an older woman, age plays a savage game with us and for some of us the temptation is to become envious of others’ Beauty (not a trait I have, I am pleased to say.) I love the transformation scene in the Disney film (1937) I am lured by the triple goddess aspect, maiden, mother, crone I will do a shoot at some point that revolves around this tale, I have an apple on standby 😉
Describe your “happily ever after”
I have my Goth Lord now and My Family are always at the centre of my world, so My Happy Ever After is with me now …..but in true Faerie Tale Style I would add a Gate way to a Gothic land of imagination and invite all the Dark angels to come with me.
Top photo Credits
Photography: Feather Photography Val Rose
Corsets: Jemcorsets Jo Manners
Make up: Amelia Jayne Roberts MUA
Crowns: Lilith Karnstein at Faerie Tale Gothic
Model: Lilith Karnstein
All other photos
Photography, MUA, Model: Lady Amaranth