Department

Gothiquette – “Wings”

By Auntie PanPan

WingsIt has come to my attention that if I counted all the wings that I have seen worn on the back of many a vampire angel or gothic fairy we could levitate an entire dance floor. Now don't get me wrong…I think that wings on some people are very elegant if not downright sexy…

...however, if you are going to wear wings there are certain underlying rules that are attached with wearing them. I recently went to a Halloween event and in every corner lurked a set of flappers that were looming over the horizon. I swear, at this party, one out of every three goths were wearing wings. So folks, here are some handy tips to keep in mind the next time you want to fly.

1) Be aware of people behind you and to the side. No one likes to be poked in the eye if you are taller than normal people, yet, are wearing automated batwings. If you are in an enclosed or confined space with wall to wall people, don't flap. Want to show off? Fine. Then go where there is some elbow/wing room.

2) Fold your wings when you are in a hurry and in a crowd. I was on Bourbon Street for Halloween this year and actually saw quite a bit of goths get pelted or pulled on the wing by drunkards. Surprisingly, there were three girls with gigantic fairy wings that zipped through crowds like it was nothing. The trick? They folded their wings to the side and held them with one hand while dodging with the other. Gauze/Wire/Nylon wings are very forgiving, especially if you are trying to get out of a haze of people rapidly.

3) Keep your wings to your appropriate size and balance requirement. This means if you can't hold up 15 pound wings and high heels at the same time don't wear them. If you are a small person, wear small wings. If you are a larger person, you could probably get away with larger wings. If you dance a lot in crowds, small wings by all means.

Wings4) If you are on a balcony always face your wings toward the edge while you face away from the edge. This will save you many a headache in the long run when you are needing to turn around or walk away. It's hard to look dark and menacing when you are constantly saying "Ooops, excuse me. Sorry. Pardon me." after knocking over someone's vampire vodka martini.

5) The more collapsible, the better. Standard wing size for a club should go no further than one inch past your shoulder blade and no more than a foot behind you. For a photo shoot? Knock your socks off and wear whatever the heck you want.

6) Take a cue from the girls at Victoria's Secret…harnessing is everything. Support and a strong base are the key elements that prevent wings from drooping. I saw recently one girl that had constructed her wings from an umbrella bred with a backpack frame. All she had to do was a tug here and there and presto! Packed and ready to go! Not only were they light and portable, they were sturdy.

7) Always remember quality. If your wings have a cardboard base with glued marabou on top...gods help you if you end up in a rainstorm. Too many times a have seen girls cry when they notice that they are molting. If wings are going to be something that you wear a lot then go with a better quality company that makes wings professionally. It's like fangs...if you are only going to wear them one time go with the cheapie Hot Topic version. If you are going to wear them more than your underwear, by all means go to a professional.

8) There are many websites dedicated to the care and feeding of your wings. Go to them. Check costumer’s websites. Learn repairs in case something breaks.

I hope that this helps because wings are a wonderful accessory to have in one's gothic closet, but only if you know how to care for them. Good luck.