The Chateau was born in 1999, scrawled on a paper napkin in the back of a little Philly cafe called the Crimson Moon. It grew after a long walk through the city, trying to name all the possible ways one could take the gothic aesthetic – and push it into more creative realms instead of following the black velvet template. A year and half later, after making sure all these categories were well-stocked with content, we opened its doors in the summer of 2001. Originally conceived as a way to practice HTML skills while recording favorite dark shopping sites, it was our little way of supporting small businesses – trying to present unusual and imaginative catalogs as a true independent alternative to corporate mallpunk fashion, and give a boost to these designers so they’d have the attention and traction to keep creating new goodies for years to come.
Nine years and 3000+ reviews later, it’s time to bring down the curtain.
Simply put: there are only so many hours in the day, and I need to spend them on other projects.
Even though the daily postings here can be sped through in a matter of seconds, there is a LOT of work that goes on behind the scenes. Scheduling reviews so there isn’t too much of one thing on the front page, answering inquiries from shop owners and contributors and sponsors, scouring merchants’ Links pages to scoop up their friends running shops as well for more reviewing grist, running through the gauntlet of Google AdManager, hunting up new affiliate programs, making graphics for those affiliate programs (most of those banners in the sidebar? behold my Photoshop skills), clicking through all the links every year to clean out the rot, keeping up on all the legalities, and all the other learning curves and miscellaneous timesucks that come with running a half-decent blog.
While our doors have always been open to all the various flavors of subcultural expression, my favorite stuff to post has always been the dark and the weird. Throwing dead bodies into posts about latex, posting the occasional disturbing catalog photo to break up all the pretty, I’ve quite enjoyed giving coverage to those who don’t have a hope in hell of landing a mention in a mainstream fashion magazine. It would be a lot of fun to continue writing about Indie Evil, but as part of a team, or contributing to other people’s blogs. Situations where there’s a bunch of people dividing up the work.
I’m also considering starting a Fashion Advice for the Damned series over on Leopard Moon, because you don’t run a style directory for nearly a decade without picking up a few useful things about how to put yourself together.
Anyway. This week will be the Chateau’s last, and updates will cease after this Friday.
So, last call, readers. Time for one last drink, one last dance. The night’s almost over, but not quite yet.