* Prices may differ from that shown
Forever In Black are a small shop in Newcastle aimed at Goths, Role-Play-Gamer and anyone who likes things a little bit dark and away from the norm. I 'discovered' them about a year ago, although they did have a shop in Durham a while before then. They're based in the Antiques Centre (across the road from Forbidden Planet (FP from now on) - handy for passing trade!) and, in my opinion, are miles better than Forbidden Planet. Since finding them, I've found that I've been buying less and less from FP. Forever In Black is more a clothing shop than anything else, and I find it quite insulting to see them in the 'Fashion' category, since 'fashion' is the last thing they are interested in. They make clothing for Goths, not trendies, and I'm prepared to bet that anyone from my Circle of Friends reading this would not be seen dead in the clothes (although for all you Goths out there, being seen 'dead' in them is exactly what you want, isn't it!) They make all their clothes themselves, and, if you want to see an example of their clothing - look at my profile page. The dress I'm wearing there was made by them. They have a small section of clothing ready made in the shop - both male and female stuff, but mostly in larger sizes as the majority of the customers are bigger than a size 16. I'm a size 4-6 and can regularly be heard in there moaning that there isn't anything for me, so their range of stuff for 'little people' is expanding! They make everything a Goth could ever want - Corsets, trench coats, trousers, straight jackets, studded collars, dresses, romantic and cyberware - bat bags and purses, everything! If they don't have the design you want, they will make up a pattern with you. They will make clothes in PVC, various grades of leatherette, silk, satin, velvet, and most other materials. They don’t make clothing in leath
er, but I have had leather trousers repaired by them. Once you choose the clothing you want, they will make it up quite quickly for you most of the time. If you want it REALLY quickly, then you may have to pay extra, especially if you have the cheek to come in a week before the Whitby Goth Weekend wanting something made up for it - don't you realize EVERYONE does that? Their prices for clothing are quite good. The nearest rival in Newcastle is Katmandu, and Forever In Blacks prices are consistently lower than you see in Katmandu for the same or better quality and better service. For example prices, a PVC Catsuit cost £50. Trench-coats cost about £110, and T-Shirts with fishnet sides about £15. These are just examples, the prices vary with the material used, how complicated the design is, how quickly you want it, etc, but the price will always be fair. To add extra value, they have a 1 year guarantee which is much more than the usual service - they say that if you want it altering because you have lost or gained weight, or if it tears or gets a hole in it, or any other problem, they will do the alterations for free for that year. Even after this year is up, they are still very cheap for alterations. I use them frequently for this - even if it’s a garment that I didn’t buy from them. I’ve had them fix leather trousers that were ripped, and once got them to take an old wool jumper with a small hole in the arm-pit, and put fishnet in both sides to give it a new lease of life. Both these alterations cost just a few pounds each. Larger jobs cost more, obviously, but the quality of work is always good. When you get something made up for you, one thing I like about them is when you try it on, THEY may say to YOU - ‘That looks a bit long on the arms, and the legs are a bit loose - do you want me to sort it out for you?’ This is better than most shops that will go ‘Yeah, yeah, it
looks GREAT on you - are you going to take it now?’. You don’t feel pressured into accepting the garment when it isn’t quite perfect. Naturally, if you keep changing your mind all the time, and the alterations aren’t practical, then they will tell you so, but if it’s just a case of something not quite fitting you, and they can change it, then they will. Like all shops, they don’t like customers who don’t know what they want and complain loudly that the person serving them isn’t psychic, but they will do their best to please customers who make realistic requests. Their changing area is a small storage area with a curtain in front, and it is near a storage area, so it’s not like the kind of place you’d see in New Look or Etam, but it isn’t really targeting that kind of audience is it? There’s a large mirror in there so you can inspect the clothes, and the curtain makes sure you won’t get customers oogling you, so it should be good enough for most people, and while you’re changing you can laugh at some of the ancient RPGs they have stored out back. Advanced Hero Quest anyone? Clothing isn’t all they sell - they do Jewellery - mostly the Alchemy range, but also some that they make themselves. If you’re around Newcastle and want a studded collar or bracelet, or even a belt, this is a good place to go. Sometimes Alchemy products can take a while to arrive if they are ordered in, but that’s the same almost anywhere you go, and on many items, you save a fair amount by getting them from here. They have a good selection of both new and second-hand role play games, all at a lower price than Forbidden Planet. As an example, the Star Wars: Invasion of Theed box set and the main Star Wars rule book are both about £2.50 cheaper in Forever In Black than they are in Forbidden Planet. When you consider that Forever In Black is a small busi
ness, and Forbidden Planet a huge nationwide chain, it makes you wonder why Forbidden Planets prices are so high, doesn’t it? If you have some old RPG books to sell, this is a good place to go. They will sometimes buy them from you outright, and sometimes do them on a sale or return basis. It depends on what you are selling and how much you want, but even if you do them on sale or return, they are trustworthy people and you will get your money if the things sell. Anyone in the North East wanting to set up a gaming group should pop in here as they take advertisements for those nights, and for club nights and other shops that sell the same kind of things as them. They work closely with other businesses in the North East - Charnel House, for example, is a once a month Goth Night ran at the Tut n Shive in Newcastle, and one of the owners of Forever In Black DJ’s for them. They even teamed up last month to do a fashion show. This gave Charnel House some extra entertainment that night, and allowed Forever In Black to show off their clothes. Recently, they had a web site made (by me!), and, naturally, I think it’s pretty darn good <g> - the web address is www.foreverinblack.co.uk for those of you that want to check it out. It’s got a little about what they do and what they sell, some photographs from the fashion show that I mentioned above, and a forum. The forum is really aimed at giving existing customers a place to chat, and to allow new customers to say what they would like to see. At the time of writing, there are some interesting debates going on about the state of modern Goth culture, so it may be worth checking out if you’re a Goth yourself. Forever In Black is a great little shop. The two owners are very friendly, and there are a couple of customers who are in so much that they look like staff! If you want to pop in for a chat, it’s a good place with a very friendly atmosp
here, although they will try and persuade you to spend money! Naturally, this shop isn’t for everyone. If you’re a trendy, stay away. If you want your clothes made in pink, don’t even bother. Pink is an official swearword in there now! But, if you’re a Goth looking for some new clothes, pop in. They get Goths from all over the country who want things doing for them. One of the owners is trained in how to safely make reducing corsets, so if you want to use a corset to get your waist done, there is no safer place to go. So, what else can I say? If you’re a Newcastle Goth, stop hanging out on the green and come down here to check them out. If you’re a Goth who isn’t from Newcastle, then you should still consider trying them out next time you want some clothes making for you. After all, Goth clothing can be expensive, and if you’re spending one or two hundred pounds on clothes, then surely the cost of a couple of trips to Newcastle to get your clothes made by a reliable company is a good idea? You’ll end up with quality stuff, made to fit you exactly, and to your own design. You’ll never suffer the embarrassment of seeing someone else wear the same stuff as you, and looking better in it as it fits them better! To close, Forever In Black are the best Goth clothing shop in the North East. Go there.