What does a goth wear to work? There’s a new boutique on Capitol Hill created with Seattle’s grown-up goths in mind.
“BedlamBedlam was conceived of almost a year ago when we realized that, despite the youth culture associations, much of the Gothic Community here in Seattle was actually a more adult group, people already well out of school, many working here in our tech industry,” Suki Valentine, the co-owner behind the new neo-Victorian shop on E Pike, tells CHS.
“These folks still want to be part of the scene, still have their aesthetic and Gothic proclivities, but now it’s more sophisticated and polished. When you’re 18 it’s fine to get your clothes and housewares from the Halloween Clearance Bin but when you’re 30, 35, 40- not so much,” Valentine writes.
She calls BedlamBedlam a high-end clothing and lifestyle boutique and says it caters to those who are older and “have a more refined taste for what they choose to wear on their bodies and decorate their homes with.”
The store, in goth style, opened with a big Labor Day weekend party that you weren’t invited to. The uninvited missed a book signing — Gothic Charm School, a fashion show, a wine and cheese reception and, well, fun.
Valentine and Shea Kauffman are
Evergreen College grads (oops — only Kauffman!) with years of retail experience, according to Valentine:
Shea’s a born-and-bred Seattlite that majored in Computer Science at Evergreen in Olympia, as such, he’s well-positioned to handle the tech aspects of our business, which includes everything from our point-of-sale system being the most state-of-the-art to the launching of our website. I on the other hand, have a Fine Arts degree in design from Pratt Institute in New York City, so I’m well positioned as the art director and primary buyer for our shop. Everything you see in BedlamBedlam was hand-picked by us with a careful eye toward detail, quality and aesthetic.
After the big opening weekend, BedlamBedlam is settling in for awhile, Valentine says, adding a few new brands and working with the Mercury on another fashion show in October. There’s SteamCon to think about, then the Damned come to town and, then, it’s time for gothic amateur hour — also known as Halloween.
But Valentine says the goofy dress-up holiday won’t bring sneers at the shop:
As for Halloween, it’s a misconception that Goths aren’t interested in celebrating Halloween! We *love* when the rest of the world defers to our way of seeing things. The shop itself will be low-key in that we won’t be offering much in the way of out-and-out costume, but we will have a celebration of sorts here, as well as a secret endeavor we’re working on for the Big Night with another Seattle Gothic mainstay (shah!).
Valentine tells CHS she thinks, despite high rents and a sometimes tough retail environment, Capitol Hill will make a good home for BedlamBedlam.
“This is where we spend our time, and the three main clubs of the scene- Noc Noc, the Mercury and Vogue Night at Neighbors Underground, are all walking distance to where we are located, so it’s easy for folks to pop by for something to enhance their look before heading out for the night, as well as stopping by after work is done for some job-friendly ‘corporate goth’ clothes and accessories,” she writes.
Valentine and Kauffman are looking forward to seeing their community and all of Capitol Hill experience their new store.
“We want people that walk through our door to get a sense of having entered another world,” Valentine says. “One in which the macabre can be beautiful and all find they receive a high level of respect, regardless of how they might be perceived by the outside world.”
BedlamBedlam is located at 613 E Pike. You can learn more at bedlambedlam.com.