Once upon a time, when the grass was greener, people were funnier and MTV was still about music – in 80’s, yey! – the gothic subculture was born. Initially it was kinda a bit tied with punk, rock’n’roll and glam scene, but it was already the decent roots of everything we call goth now. And today we’re gonna talk about one of the first clothing brands that have made a stand to deliver for this scene and to make it look beautiful. I mean Lip Service.
The brand is a real legend and it was started in 1985 by Drew Bernstein, who you might know as a musician, club scene activist and also a founder of one more clothing brand named Kill City. The initial idea behind Lip Service was making a source of cool-looking and crazy clothing ideas for goth and death rock scene, though the 80’s and partly 90’s rock dudes didn’t stay out of this fashion either! There’s the best-known and covered by various media fact, that Izzy Stradlin from Guns’n’Roses was a close friend of Drew Bernstein. At some point in the end of 80’s he’s got a Lip Service jacket (a black one all covered with the word “War?” going across all the jacket as the texture) and gave it to Axl Rose who started to wear it on stage. Of course it resulted in a huge sales boom! Regardless the fact that at some point Bernstein has sold all his brands to the company Iron Fist (Los Angeles, USA) he continued working there as creative director and being in charge of any creative idea behind Lip Service. Unfortunately on 18.08.2014 the life of Drew Bernstein was tragically ended (reportedly it was a suicide)… Still, to this day he remains the major inspiration for the brand.
Looking at the Lip Service product catalogue is really a huge pleasure, because… years and decades can go buy, but this brand would stay true to their style and of course to their roots. You simply won’t see this kind of apparel very often. It’s still kind of minimalistic (opposed to modern flamboyant goth fashion) and damn stylish apparel with a vivid late 80’s feel and pure rock attitude. To be honest today I wouldn’t even call it 100% goth, but let’s avoid the labels. Speaking about my personal favorites, it’s definitely the old style garments, like the shirts, tees, pants and so on with the Lips Service classic dagger texture. They even have an army-style hat with it :)
Frankly I’m not aware of how Lip Service is doing today, since many of the websites that used to sell their stuff before don’t do it anymore (June 2017). On the other hand as I know they launched their official online store in March 2017, so may be the next step would be conquering the world of online dealers/re-sellers. I hope so! As for now, if you wanna have a much wider product choice I’d say you should pay a visit to eBay.com and eBay.co.uk (I checked the German eBay too, but for some reason it happen to be futile).