Talking Shop

Mistress Raven's been around the block, but now she's staying put. The driving force behind Rave's Oh My Goth! moved her emporium -- originally an Uptown antique- and vintage-clothing store favored by drag queens -- three times, but this location has proven itself the perfect spot. It's a dark, cavernous grotto -- and former gargoyle store -- at 1516 Emerson Street, with 8,500 square feet of unadulterated floor space. That's enough room for Raven to carry her traditional gothwear -- beautiful Victorian velvet and lace capes, filmy spider-web blouses, kinky crinolines, spiked collars and leather jackets amped up with hardware -- as well as the quality vintage clothing and antique furniture she loves.

Over the years, Rave's has morphed into a gothic fashion statement dripping with fetish wear, schoolgirl costumes, corsets, cock rings and the motto "Abuse isn't extra: It's a part of our service!" Considering that every corset Raven sells comes with a free lesson on how to put it on, you begin to get the point. Ditto for fang fittings, of which she says, "I'd rather have them do it here than have them go home and get frustrated. They drool all over themselves while I do it, and then we all laugh at them, but that's just part of the fun. You've gotta have thick skin to wear fangs."

As Halloween nears, Rave's rocks. Right now the store is brimming with costumes galore, many of them hilarious -- from furry pimp hats and voluminous boob suits to walking turd gear and feather wings for angels and devils alike. Don't be surprised to find the entire staff, male and female, dressed as nuns and schoolgirls.

For more information, call 303-333-5987 or go to
Oct. 1-31, 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd