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Penny Dreadful Fashion Collection

Hot Topic is premiering their exclusive limited edition fashion collection all inspired by Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. This year, Hot Topic is collaborating with the pop culture entertainment world to bring us one of a kind fashion collections inspired by our favorite shows and movies. I was a huge fan of their first collection featuring Orphan Black, they literally had me screaming with delight with their Avenger’s collection, and their new Penny Dreadful collection is no exception.

In order to truly appreciate this collection, it really helps if you’re familiar with the series. Penny Dreadful is a psychological horror drama set in Victorian London. The series, a horror fiction fan’s dream, is influenced heavily by Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, and the name itself refers to the penny dreadfuls of the day. Penny dreadfuls were stories that were exploitative in nature about the supernatural, detectives, and criminals; they were printed on cheap pulp paper and sold for a penny in 19th century Britain. The show is currently airing its second season Sunday nights on Showtime. It’s filled with mystery, old magic, and has a beautiful romantic Gothic feel to it. This romantic Gothic influence is exhibited throughout the entire collection. If you have a love for turn of the century Victorian London, and a fascination with the macabre, this collection was made for you. Let’s go through it piece by piece:

Scorpion Print Dress

The scorpion is the chosen symbol for one of the show’s lead characters Vanessa Ives, she’s a medium fascinated with the supernatural and literally fighting good and evil within her. The scorpion is a known symbol in astrology representing death and regeneration, and is associated with people that are enigmatic, passionate, and obsessed with secrets. So you can see why the scorpion is so heavily featured throughout this collection. I’m a sucker for anything with a Peter Pan collar on it and this dress features such lovely detail on the collar. You would think that with a scorpion print, the scorpion collar would be going overboard, but they made it in such a way that it looks like it’s made out of lace and not the bodies of scorpions. The color is perfect and gives the dress flexibility to be dressed up as an evening look or down as a daytime dress. The collar and the cupped sleeves make for a very innocent and sweet look, but the print brings that Penny Dreadful darkness to it and I’m loving that disparity.

Scorpion Tank Top

This top is all about that back. There’s something so beautiful about mixing the lace flowers with the scorpions. I’m glad they left the front empty, it would’ve been too much otherwise. I almost want to get this a size too big and wear it as a dress. I don’t like the styling they chose for the model; I get why they did it since it’s Penny Dreadful, but I would style this as a summer look with no other prints, to keep the focus on the back.

Portrait Print Dress

This is most certainly an homage to Dorian Gray. In the show Dorian Gray is beautiful with an artistic view on life, and he dresses with style. I like that the dress features several symbols from the show, but that they’re not so specific that someone that isn’t a fan couldn’t wear this. My favorite part of this dress besides that it looks super comfortable and stretchy, is the hemline. The slanting in the hem is very flattering and gives the illusion of curves where there aren’t any, and at the same time is slimming. I would wear this dress everywhere.

Map of London 1891 Dress

This is my favorite dress from the collection! I pre-ordered this dress as soon as I saw it. I know it’s a map of London, but it has a romantic Parisian feel to it. I love the way they styled it with those lace up tights. You could potentially cosplay as a Queen in this dress. I love the antique look of the map and the open back with lace. So much detail went into this, down to the spiders and Frankenstein’s monster stitches.

Scorpion Illusion Neckline Tank Top

This is the only look that really fell flat for me. I feel like they just needed an extra piece and came up with this. The illusion neckline looks like scorpions hanging off of spiders; it’s not delicate, it’s bold. That leaves little room for when to wear this. If it was delicate, you could wear it to work or as a casual look, but the boldness means you could only really wear this around Halloween time. And if you’re saying it’s not that bad, you’re right. It’s worse: boring.

Victorian Jacket

The way they styled this jacket is perfect. It’s exactly how I would wear this. This jacket screams “Rock Me Amadeus” with an edge. This jacket also gives you the versatility to wear it as part of a more feminine look. Honestly, I could do without the laces on the side, however, the jacket is awesome. It just doesn’t need the extra detail, especially since the fabric is stretchy and you could just size down if you wanted that cinched in look. Although, I do like the option of corseting it in.

All of these pieces are available in plus sizes up to 3X, which is amazing because these are beautiful designs. How many retailers out there are offering their main fashion line in plus sizes? If plus size is lucky enough to be an option, it’s certainly always the less stylish version of the featured design. Hot Topic doesn’t do that and I love them for it. I can’t wait to see what they do next. All of their limited edition collections sell out fast, so if I were you, I would start ordering now.  You can pre-order the collection right now at Hot Topic before it hits stores on May 26!

Which piece was your favorite? Who would you like to see Hot Topic collaborate with on their next fashion collection? Let us know in the comments.

All images are property of Hot Topic


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