Evolution | Haute Macabre


In the past few months, I’ve taken noticeable steps back from Haute Macabre. I still answer emails, talk to advertisers and coordinate the posting schedule, but I can’t remember the last time I was still excited about this site. It’s something Nixon and I have been talking about quite a bit lately, and we’re finally ready to address it to all of you.

Something that’s been on my mind is why we blog. Who are we doing it for? Who is our audience, and why are they here? At first, I was thinking about all of these questions and applying them to my other blog, FiveTwentyThree. I’d sit in coffee shops with my notebook and scribble pages of what I came up with, and then I realized that it wasn’t 523 I was really thinking about. It’s been Haute Macabre, and, more importantly, where it’s going.

Nixon and I launched Haute Macabre in 2008. We knew there were more people like us out there, looking for something more than your run of the mill fashion blog. Now, in 2013, there are more of you and it’s going stronger than it ever has before. We’ve been fortunate enough to develop a group of dedicated, loyal, and supportive readers. Hopefully, you’ll all remain that way.

But where are we?

Obviously, over the course of nearly five years, a person changes. One’s core stays the same, but interests evolve. To put it all really bluntly :: We’re bored with Haute Macabre the way it is. And if we’re bored, we imagine that all of you are, too. After almost half a decade, we’re ready for a change.

Occasionally, I post outfit photos to FiveTwentyThree. It’s rare, because I’ve always felt awkward posting those, but it does happen from time to time. If you’ve seen any of these, you’ve seen that I’m not much for the head to toe, monochromatic layers of black anymore. I’m more drawn to vintage dresses and neutral tones, and it’s more likely that I’ll be browsing Orla Kiely or Dear Creatures than I am Gareth Pugh. Nixon didn’t buy black for an entire year, and I stocked my closets with ModCloth dresses, Etsy finds, and thrift store vintage.

Does that contradict our motto? Was it all just a phase?

I don’t think so.

What’s the point of getting older and refining your tastes if you’re pigeonholed into just one simple genre? What’s the point of having a blog that you feel is a chore? 

There isn’t any point to it, at all. So, Haute Macabre is going to evolve a bit, just like we have.

Yes, we’re still going to be posting darker imagery. It’s still what we’re drawn to. Our cores haven’t changed, but maybe we’re a little more Joan Holloway than Morticia Addams nowadays. Hopefully, you’ll all stick with us. We imagine that over the years, maybe your tastes have changed a little, too.

Overall, we’re excited about being excited about Haute Macabre again. We feel like the best way to do that is to stop forcing it, and post what we like, instead of what we think we’re supposed to post. This might mean more art, books, and culture, with less fashion, and it might mean more clothing that isn’t what you’re used to seeing here. We’re still figuring out exactly where we’ll be going with this, but we feel good about presenting it to all of you.

We’d really love to hear what you think of this, and give us any feedback you might have.

xxx, Samantha

76 Comment

  1. I really enjoy anything you find that is odd/unique/creative that has to do with housewares. I love wearing interesting clothing, but i like looking at cool stuff in my house as well. Keep up the inspiration!

  2. I’m really kinda sad too. I change like everyone else but I really liked HM, how you would find the best stuff, I felt like we had a lot in common. I wear colors & I love pastels right now but I keep it subdued & add my own little bit of spooky to it.
    I never been into the Renaissance over the top gothy stuff, Steampunk is awful & I feel it shouldn’t even be in the goth genre. so hopefully that kind of stuff goes away,lol,sorry to those who dig it but i just think it’s awful.

    I will definitely stick around but I get so many emails that if you guys don’t appeal to my tastes anymore I guess I’ll have to look around the net & find another Haute Macabre. so far you guys have been my favorite blog.

  3. good plan! great you’re ditching things that no longer get you excited. What we all share is a similar outlook and a love for the dark and sinister (to varying degrees), and that will probably be in our nature no matter what.
    There are still far too few sites that cater for ‘gothic sensiblities’ without resorting to the obvious, stereotypical, and boring, which is why we love HM, and if you feel ‘obligated’ to post certain kinds of things that’s a surefire sign you’re retreading old ground.
    So I’m very excited to see how things develop, but hope you’re keeping the low budget haute lists!
    (btw, just had a look at your 523 outfit posts, turns out I happen to own those exact same modcloth dresses haha)

  4. I believe the core is still here at HM, but I also agree that I think it’s time to move forward. So with that, it’s only natural. I’ve been a reader since the beginning and will continue with you down this path without hesitation. =)

  5. All is flux. I really look forward to see the direction you guys go in! Of late I’ve found myself increasingly torn in trying to redefine my personal style. I’m drawn to vintage, interesting Etsy finds and ModCloth dresses as well. And I feel like I’m cheating on myself and my wardrobe. Trying to marry the 2 styles and come up with something new for myself is pretty challenging but exhilarating.

    Your site has been a refreshing breathe of air for the past several years which I’ve found incredibly useful and inspiring. It’s shown how to take goth to the next level and give it a more refined look and for this I’m ever thankful.

    If people feel disappointed, it’s to be expected and I would urge them to take up the mantle in that case to curate their own grown up goth blogs if they want a resource that is strictly that. I welcome the change and evolution and the mix with culture and art. You’ll always have a darker edge and aesthetic to whatever you do, and I think people are interpreting this change as an overnight pink glitter explosion, which doesn’t sound like the case tbh. (hence that fantastic Unicorn Haute List post there)

    So yes, can’t wait to see what the future holds for HM, and thank you for all the time and energy you guys have put into this blog over the years :>

  6. As someone who has been known to combine elements of gothic apparel with retro and paisley fashion, I would definitely be more open to looking at posts with different creative fashion ideas. For me, any kind of fashion style does lose its appeal without a little variety and experimentation. In addition, I love reading and visual arts and love being encouraged to step away from the computer and read a novel or attend an art event. I am definitely open to any ideas you have.


  7. I admit that I will be sad to see the dark focus of the blog change. This was one of the few blogs where I would actually be interested in buying the pieces featured. It was like a list of things that actually fit my style despite where they were sold.

    I do love vintage though so I’ll still be visiting the site to see what your take on Joan Holloway is. 🙂

  8. Yes, yes, yes. Would love to see a different spin on this site. I was growing tired of the same old also. Love the idea from Danielle about a tutorial on how to gradually introduce color and different color palettes would be wonderful. I’m sure i’m not the only one who has been wearing black so long that I don’t really know where to begin. Of course we will always have love for the dark and macabre but this just seems like a natural evolution and I couldn’t be more excited.Good luck ladies <3

  9. I was really in it for the Macabre. I never felt that Haute Macabre was hard core goth, because it wasn’t. I had enjoyed this different, dark view of fashion and culture, and it suited me because I have never really fell under a specific label, besides morbid… I’ll keep an eye on the blog, but really, I am not remotely interested in Joan Holloway.

  10. There’s no harm in staying true to yourself.

    You could put Haute Macabre into retirement/hiatus, and create another blog with a branding and focus that reflects your new interests more faithfully. Sure, you’ll lose some followers who just don’t have much interest in the new aesthetic, but I’m sure a large part of your readership will remain, and you’ll gain new readers as well.

    This “goth stuff” is just one aspect to my style, as I’m sure it is for many others. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with focusing on that one theme and that outlook on fashion, in terms of blog specializing, even if you’ve moved away in personal style. But if it bores you to continue in the same vein and not explore evolving tastes, then by all means, you should do something that is inspiring and challenging. Blogging should remain a work of love and fun. You can always post darker fashion on Tumblr.

  11. Sadly, I’ll probably end up not reading anymore; I like a nice focus to my blogs and it kind of sounds like this is going to turn into a standard hipstery fashion blog now. It was amazing to find a well-composed blog that centered on darker but modern and accessible fashion. But I discovered this blog relatively recently anyway (maybe 6 months ago), so I suppose it’s not too great a loss. Hope you continue to enjoy your life!

  12. I’m definitely not imagining space unicorn printed dresses (although, if there’s a way to work that into a work-appropriate, classy adult goth outfit… well, I’d be curious to see that :P) and twee floral prints covered in birds. But I mean, the title of the site is haute macabre- gotta keep the darkness there in some aspect! I’m not super into the editorial-type stuff, love the haute list, LOVE seeing jewelry. I’m constantly pinning stuff onto my own “Dark fashions” pinterest board, ranging from extreme to subtly dark- and there’s a lot of beautiful stuff out there that’s not straight up monochromatic black.

    Anyway, a couple of ideas/suggestions that hopefully don’t suck:
    -I think it might be cool to see some “how to incorporate non-black and grey things into your wardrobe” type of posts- I’ve seen people do those “what season/colors are you?” type things before and think that might be interesting- how to find colors that work with your skin color/features and then how to incorporate them into all the black stuff you wear. Maybe a tutorial of how to gradually introduce colors if you’re honestly not used to it? Heh.

    -Featuring more “mainstream” outfits that have darker details (eg, a pretty sheer floral shirt that also has skulls in it, a dress with an unusual and edgy brooch, etc)

    -Taking older/more extreme pieces you might own and still love and DIY’ing them to suit your current tastes

    And nthing the “Dear God please no dreadfalls and 8 inch Demonia flatform boots” posts. But I have a feeling you weren’t going to do that anyway. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

  13. Everyone bitching that there won’t be a blog to fit your demographic anymore… MAKE one! The clothes are still out there, it’s ridiculous to get mad that one particular blog isn’t going to gather them for you anymore. Surely at least one of you wants to carry the torch. Or hell, get together and collaborate on a Pinterest board or something. Ain’t hard.

  14. I can’t say I imagine a change so dramatic that it will completely turn off the majority of your readers. I don’t find as much (or any) inspiration in high fashion editorials anymore as I stopped going out years ago, save for the occasional show. The same can be said for the uniform of big boots and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink hair falls. However, I’m just one person. Ultimately you have to do what makes you happy, so long as no one else is hurt. I will continue to wear black almost exclusively into my 90s, but now (at 40) there’s really no image concerns attached to that decision.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you luck.

  15. I think this is a fantastic idea! I come on to Haute Macabre for the dark imagery, inspiration and your individual personalities. This is why my favourite blog of 2013 so far was Nixon’s “The Year I Didn’t Buy Black”. Not only because I like to see your personal experiences with fashion and stereotyping, but also because it made me feel a little better about having non-black items in my own wardrobe as of late.

    Whatever your evolution, we’ll be here. Does it make you feel better when you do get responses? I don’t comment often, which is probably a bad thing!

  16. I totally support you guys on this. I love this blog and have also evolved with my style, so this feels really personal. Let’s evolve together <3

  17. I don’t really comment that often on blogs either, but I’m really interested to see the direction Haute Macabre goes. I love the edgy quality the Haute List offers and I’ve found it inspiring as someone who can’t get away with much style-wise in the workplace. I hope that aspect continues, but I’m looking forward to your take on vintage style.

  18. I’m tentatively interested, but tentative is my adjective of choice. If you guys are looking to expand the repertoire of inspiration and infuse more color while remaining true to the spirit of what you’re doing, I’ll stay with you. If this is going to become a modcloth blog in moderate grayscale with inane retro homages, I’ll have to bid you goodbye.

    Time will tell and we all evolve and I respect that. The question is, will your new interests really fit with the audience you’ve created for Haute Macabre. or something else?

  19. I am curious to see what this change will look like. Right now, it scares me a bit to see ModCloth used as an inspiration since I find their clothing to be cheap, overdone, and lacking true creativity. I have been following this site for years, it’s my #1 on my bookmarks toolbar and I have always found something intriguing even though my tastes have changed over the years as well. These days, I do find myself buying more color (even pastels *gasp*) and being attracted to white over black. The word I would use to describe my fashion interests is “edgy”.

    Please don’t lose your edge. Please don’t become another run-of-the-mill whatever. If you remain edgy, I will remain with you.

  20. I am sooo excited you are taking a step in a direction that feel more honest to the “you”
    Of now. I rarely comment on blogs but I’ve really appreciated what I’ve seen on this blog for the two years I’ve followed it. My tastes have greatly evolved and being honest with yourself and peers that look to you to embody the character you always have- its really hard to make that transition!

    Looking forward to what’s to come
    -a loyal follower

  21. I love this blog and I’m sure that whatever changes it will get it’s going to be good..just as you said core is always the same and it’s only natural to evolve and change. I had the same transforamtion and even though my wardrobe color of preference is still black and dark colors in general, my style is different, more classy and vintage.. Keep up the good work :*

  22. oh sorry, I should have finished by saying… I’m definitely coming back! You guys have had such a great editorial vision so far…I’ll come back anyway to see the new direction. It’ll probably be great either way.

  23. Well, this is disappointing. I just found out about you guys about a month ago and it’s totally my style: ex-industrial/rivethead 30ish professional in an urban creative workplace. I think you’ve got something really unique here–maybe get another writer that’s still into the HM brand while you guys take some time off? Vintage totally doesn’t work for me either–I’m not curvy, I’ve got laughably short legs, look stupid in vintage hair. Vintage blogs are also kind of useless to me. What’s in your vintage shop isn’t going to be in my vintage shop. I’m definitely not bored with the site at all.

    But if your hearts not in it, it isn’t in it. Thanks for all the work you’ve put into it thus far. I wish I knew about you guys 5 years ago!

  24. I will continue to read this as long as it’s at least 50% grown up goth friendly. Perhaps you need more contributors to keep it going. I would like to find other blogs similar to this one, and am sorry to hear it will be changing a bit. Just glad it’s not completely gone.

  25. I discovered this website following a link on coilhouse.net way back when. What I was drawn to was that the theme was still “goth”, but it was refined, quiet, and tastefull. It didn’t need to jump up and down and scream “LOOK AT ME AND HOW UBER GOTHY I AM!”, you just knew what the cut of the fabric was.(rich,luxurious,and dark, btw)

    Black doesn’t have to be a literal color. It has far more than 50 shades. As long as the material presented on this site still leans toward the shadows more than the light, I’ll keep returning.