Gothic and Romantic Costume Designs

by Holly Messinger

Evil Pawn Jewelry dresses

Early in summer of 2008, I was contacted by Melissa Anderson Cantrell, owner and designer for Evil Pawn Jewelry. She wanted three 1780's court dresses (she called them "Countess Dresses,") to promote her new line. I'd been eyeing the look for a while and was glad to make these.

The three designs are basically all the same pattern, but with variations on the sleeves and trim.

Evil Pawn Jewelry dress black

The black one didn't get used for the shoot, so Melissa kept it for herself.

Ubiquitous corset-and-tulle skirt for the goth in all of us. The bodice is black cotton velveteen, interlined with cotton twill and fully boned in spiral steel. The center front closes with satin-covered buttons and cord loops; heavy-duty hooks reinforce the center front closure. Laces up the back.


One year for Halloween I wanted to be Armand, from Anne Rice's Vampire novels. I happened to pick up a load of red velvet extra-cheap from Wal-Mart (I was still working in their fabric department at the time) and some even cheaper flocked acetate satin at Sew-Fro (this was a LONG time ago).

Assorted corsets.

Left: PVC vinyl with suede center front panels and upswept bustline.

Right: Queen of Spades corset, black checked cotton twill with nylon rose trim.

Costume Main Page