On The Experience of Evolution

how to dress like a gothic witch gloomth

The last 18 months sure have been a roller-coaster.

Since the tail end of 2017 we have been preparing for the next step for Gloomth. For the first 10 years of our existence our clothes were made to order, our team shifted and grew and we made all of our designs in house. Wholesale orders, individual clients, bulk orders for stage performances- all of it, all by hand. As we grew it became harder and harder to sustain that method of operation, family illnesses delayed production, sometimes the influx of fall orders would have us scrambling to rush mail things up to the last minute, we’d have to turn down poorly timed bulk orders, etc. It became clear Gloomth had outgrown it’s nest, it was time to evolve.

antique dolly bloomers romper costume outfit gloomth

Caterpillars turn almost completely to liquid inside the chrysalis before becoming butterflies- they must feel that decay, it must be strange and at times awful. No evolution comes without pain I suppose, and ours has had it’s share. This past year has honestly been the (second) hardest of my entire life. I have stared down far too many moments of uncertainty, doubt, and dread than I care to tally. Nothing went smoothly or properly, things were massively delayed, it seemed as though the Universe was plotting against us.  There were moments in which I looked at what I’d dedicated myself to for 10 years and imagined what it would be like to walk away from it, to let it fall away- but I knew if we didn’t at least try for this next step I’d regret it forever.

The truth is I truly believe in what we do. I see how our work connects people, how it resonates with specific souls in a world that’d rather erase anyone “different”, there’s a value in connecting those people, in strange beauty for the sake of.  I love what I do and I am ferocious about the world we are building. I’m also really fucking stubborn and not the type to give up very easily. 😉

So we had to make some choices. Unfortunately I live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, finding a space locally we could rent and furnish with more machines for sewing staff to work out of was startlingly expensive. Even if we sacrificed the access to models and events this city offers us we likely couldn’t staff a work space in a more rural part of the province. I began speaking to different manufacturers, locally and abroad.

gloomth antique trunk victorian grunge photoshoot vanessa walsh

Our first manufacturing contract seemed wonderful despite a million price fluctuations and then suddenly that team announced they were ceasing operations (after delivering 30 of our first design), which put us months behind schedule and having to start the whole process over. Meanwhile our existing studio was closing and we had to stop taking orders for our made-to-measure designs (without a new manufacturer confirmed), leaving us in limbo for most of the summer. Drifting like a little black ship lost at sea.

I tested a flurry of other manufacturers, and many weren’t great- from the place where the clothes arrived smelling of acrid smoke to the one that added sleeves for no apparent reason. I’ve had to learn all sorts of really not-exciting business things (contracts, tech packs, international business- oh my!) I’d never imagined myself doing when I started this at my kitchen table in 2007.

After all those disappointing trials with other manufactures we finally found our new home! I am blown away by how professional and smooth working with this group has been. Their work is beautiful and packed with details, the fabrics are sumptuous. I can’t wait for our customers to see the new pieces! Now we have our first run of designs in stock and shipping within 48 hours of payment, it’s incredible to see how Gloomth has grown.

pierrot costume outfit fashion

This step is huge for us. It means we can do wholesale more easily, our live events can actually have clothes for sale at them, and no one is waiting for things to be made. We can grow and expand in ways we couldn’t doing things as we had. It’s a huge change but it’s incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to face all the new challenges head on. I know how lucky I am to have an audience who likes and supports what we do, friends who’ll listen to me whine about the stress of it, and a family who’s got my back- there aren’t words for the gratitude I have for you all. Thank you, from the bottom of my stubborn artist heart, thank you.

It feels like standing on the highest diving board at the pool for the first time looking down, all you can do is- JUMP.


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Halloween Order Deadline 2018!

october bride gothic ghost story gloomth ashavari

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Just a reminder that if you’d like one of our core designs– Valance, Victoria, Nurse styles, October, or Dracula’s Bride- to place your order by October 20th to get it in time for the 31st! 

Some orders placed right after the 20th may still arrive in time but we can’t guarantee it. 🙂


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Pumpkins and Graveyards

victorian tombstones in autumn graveyard cemetery

I went on a little October road trip to pick pumpkins from a beautiful patch and we ended up driving north of the city to explore and see the fall leaves. I thought I’d share some photos from the day as we found a lovely cemetery with Victorian headstones and some other seasonally-appropriate road trip things. 🙂


Pumpkin patches are one of my favorite things! I love seeing the sleepy fat gourds out in the fields this time of year, lounging in the dark soil. This patch is the same place we shot our “Pumpkin Patch” photoshoot a few years ago, it’s become a tradition of mine to go back there every fall to pick a really special pumpkin. Loved the pale grey and white pumpkins, they look like dead flesh. I did indeed buy a buttery yellow pumpkin (and picked one great big orange one out in the field).

rainbow in north ontario

After the patch we headed north into the countryside to see if the leaves had changed more north of Toronto. We crossed a bridge over a little lake that was the most perfect dark blue, all around it were forests dappled with oranges and gold. There was a faint rainbow spilling down between the clouds into the woods in the distance.

Just as the sun was setting we came across a beautiful little cemetery. Some of the graves dated back to the 1880s and there were some incredible Victorian tombstones there. The entire cemetery was circled by autumn tress and it smelled of wet earth and crushed pine needles. The weird thing was there was a huge flock (a murder!) of crows at the far end (you can sort of see them in the sky in the last photo). I have never seen so many crows at once! They took off suddenly in a black cloud and hurried off over the forest. Magical!

There was a tombstone with my last name on it! I also found several really lovely examples of Victorian tombstone symbols. The clasped hands signify a farewell to the earthly world and the welcoming hand of “God” in the afterlife.

It was just the most beautiful end to our day, and we drove back to the city in the dark, watching the countryside drain out and the lights of Toronto start to approach.


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New “Ontario Chainsaw Massacre” Photoshoot!

chainsaw massacre halloween outfit nurse gloomth

*Chaaaainsaaawwww souuuunddddds*

It’s Halloween season and thus time to really dive into spooky themed photoshoots and outfits! This week we created a shoot inspired by 1970s horror films- in particular the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” with the amazing Dolly Momoiro!

chainsaw nurse medical costume gloomthchainsaw nurse horror halloween photoshoot costume outfit by gloomth

chainsaw nurse medical costume gloomth

Dolly wore our “Good Nurse” dress with an apron I made and our “StGloomth Hospital” leggings featuring original medical themed artwork by me.

chainsaw nurse horror halloween photoshoot costume outfit by gloomth

chainsaw nurse horror halloween photoshoot costume outfit by gloomthchainsaw nurse horror halloween photoshoot costume outfit by gloomth

If you order this dress by Oct 20th it will be in your hands for Halloween 2018! 🙂

Thank you to Dolly Momoiro for modeling for me again!

More photos on our flickr!


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New “Dracula’s Bride” Red Velvet Dress

draculas bride gothic red velvet lolita dress gloomth

Tis the season of Scorpios and blood red, velvet and nightmares. 

Inspired by the crumble of autumn into winter our new limited edition “Dracula’s Bride” dress is the embodiment of the haunted season!

gloomth red velvet gothic lolita dress

gloomth red velvet gothic lolita dressgloomth red velvet gothic lolita dress

Order by October 20th and get this dress in time for the 31st! Beautiful blood red stretch velvet decked out with ruffles and details. Available in sizes S-5XL.

This dress is limited edition, we’re only making one round of these- no reordering- so grab yours while you can! Just like Halloween season, it won’t last forever. 😉

gloomth red velvet gothic lolita dress

We’ll write about the photoshoot for this dress shortly, but for now you can find the dress on our website!


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red velvet dress preview gloomth


Gloomth is so happy to announce that our core dress designs- all of the Nurse styles, October dress, Dracula’s Bride dress, Victoria dress, Valance dress, and Shadow Victoria dress- are all officially in stock and ready to ship!

No waiting for production, no waiting for pre-orders, these designs are in stock in all available sizes and colors and ship within 48 hours. We won’t be re-ordering these styles immediately so once a size or design sells out it’ll be a while before it returns so if there’s one you are fond of we suggest grabbing it before it’s gone. 🙂


THANK YOU to everyone who placed a pre-order and to everyone who’s helped us get to this step- whether you shared and liked our photos, attended our events and workshops, modeled for us, and so on. Without your support we would not have been able to take this next step to grow Gloomth into the best little label it can be.

I promise to write properly on this entire process later, it’s honestly been a horrendous fight to get here the last 14 months but we are rising out of the smoke now! For now I just want to be excited about it all.


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Gloomth Tea Party on Nov 10th!

gothic halloween photoshoot with pink hair model and black and white lolita dress

We hope you’ll join us for our next Tea Party on November 10th in Toronto! We have lots of surprises in store!

Shop the new collection in person (in all sizes and the new colors) as well as unique handmade accessories and jewelry! Try on our styles and decide which is your favorite.

Meet our designer and models! We’ll also be hosting a huge raffle, outfit contests, and much more. All in a gorgeous art gallery coffee house.

When: Saturday, Nov 10th, 7-10pm

Where: The Flying Pony Cafe, 1481 Gerrard St East, Toronto.

Wear your favorite style! We’ll be awarding prizes for our favorite outfits as chosen by the Gloomth Girls.

RSVP on Facebook


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