I've owned this black lace dress for years and years; it was one of those long-standing favorites that I had tucked away in a dress bag and stashed under my bed for safe keeping. Along with my 90's rompers that I turned into mini-dresses, this was one of those things I pulled from the vaults with the intention of reworking it somehow.
The dress is a Betsey Johnson and was originally purchased sometime around 1993. It also came with an opaque black slipdress that goes underneath, which I still use as a slip fairly often. The black lace completely transforms the look of this 50's-style red dress, giving it much more of a goth quality than I'd ever thought possible. I kept the rest of the outfit simple so as not to overdo it; after all, black and red makes quite a statement on its own. I left my legs bare despite the frigid Bay Area temperatures, because I felt that even sheer black hose would look too gloomy.
The dress is obviously meant to be buttoned all the way down, but I wanted to use the stark contrast between the two dresses to create the illusion of an hourglass shape, which I don't actually have. The 'V' shapes that I created by unbuttoning the black dress above and below the elastic belt are accentuated by the saturated red underneath. I think the red hourglass shape also makes me look a little like a black widow. If only I had all those handy extra limbs -- just think how many more tattoos I could get!
Red dress: J. Crew
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Shoes: Steve Madden