Characteristics And Trends Of Gothic Fashion
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Today, the Gothic style is quite exploited in modern mass culture. You can see it on airstrips, at red carpet events, in movies, TV shows and music videos. However, most people have a very vague notion of this style. A hodgepodge of associations with the medieval cathedrals of Western Europe, the wild and warlike tribes of the North , and a strange youth with black lips and outfits with metallic accents - that's all most people can say Gothic.
Meanwhile, the Gothic influence of modern fashion grows exponentially , absorbing modern fashion trends and, at the same time, affecting them.
HISTORY OF MODERN GOTHIC
Although the Gothic style appeared in the Middle Ages , the main features of its modern reincarnation established in the 1970s. At this time, punk music, with its rebellious philosophy and "live fast - die young" slogan, gained popularity. . However, the rise was followed by a sharp decline and decisive actions gave way to decadent moods. The riot was replaced by depressive decadence.
Initially, the new, or neo-goths , were not much different from the punks of the 1970s and 1980s. They also rocked black clothing adorned with a myriad of metal accessories and leather inserts. But gradually the Gothic style acquired its own characteristics. The legendary band Joy Division played a central role in the development of the neo-gothic subculture.
Modern Goths are young romantics detached from life. They are more interested in the afterlife, vampires and graveyards . They learn life through pain and suffering, including physical. The attributes of BDSM are therefore normal among goth lovers.
In the early 2000s, gothic style made its way onto fashion shows. The first world-famous designer to revere the Gothic aesthetic was Alexander McQueen . Fashion critics have described his Birds, Hunger and Shining collections as " the return of Victorian drama ". The collections bristled with black lace, puffy skirts and ruffled blouses.
MYTHS AND TRUTH ABOUT GOTHIC FASHION
One of the biggest misconceptions is that gothic clothing must be black. Indeed, the black color prevails in the Gothic style but it is completely false to believe that this is the only shade that the Gothic accepts. There are plenty of examples where an all-white outfit could be attributed to gothic style, while an intricate black dress can remain just a black dress. In this regard, it is important to know what characteristics make fashion gothic. Let's try to understand.
THE GOTHIC STYLE CALLS ON THE PAST OR THE FUTURE
Long vintage dresses , feathered hats and corsets are one of the main attributes of the ancient Gothic style. It is not difficult to understand that they are inspired by fashion trends of the past . On the other hand, the masks and goggles, the massive platform shoes worn by cybergoths are a call to the post-apocalyptic future of our world.
THE GOTHIC STYLE DOES NOT TOLERATE WARM COLORS
Gothic fashion is cool and aristocratic. As they position themselves as "children of the night", Goths do not wear pastel or flamboyant colors, with rare exceptions. They do not sunbathe to stay pale and prefer accessories made of white metals such as silver, white gold or, most often, cheap metal alloys. Traditionally, the color white symbolizes the cold and deadly light of the Moon . It perfectly underlines the Gothic mourning and the paleness of their faces.
Gemstones are rarely seen in gothic accessories. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that most of the adorned jewelry is made of gold and this metal is unacceptable for the Goths. Also, in terms of color, gemstones are also not suitable for gothic clothing. The only exceptions are sapphires and diamonds.
That said, semi-precious stones are a popular choice for gothic jewelry . Cool colored topaz, black opal, agate, jade, and other black and white colored gemstones are welcome. You will also notice many accessories adorned with natural (sea and river pearls) and artificial pearls.
The most popular color choice in gothic fashion is all shades of black. The color black symbolized mourning for a life steeped in pain and suffering. Gothic clothing is normally made of velvet, satin and other materials that highlight dark hues and make them deep, noble and dramatic. Gothic clothing is often adorned with lace and lightweight sheer materials as well as leather, often used in accessories.
THE GOTHIC STYLE IS ROMANTIC AND PROMOTES INDIVIDUALISM
For fans of Gothic, this style is more than a set of clichés that associate Gothic with spikes, rivets, skulls and vampire symbolism. For them, Gothic is above all a means of expression. This is why any goth has a large number of homemade, handmade and custom-made items in their wardrobe. Gothic clothing acts as a visual label by which people with a certain emotional mood can tell other members of their community who they are. Through this particular and unusual style, the Goths assert themselves and simultaneously “heal” their own feeling of alienation.
THE GOTHIC STYLE IS ROBUST AND REVOLUTIONARY
According to Valery Steele , an American fashion historian, the word "gothic" is an epithet historically associated with images of death, destruction and decay . This word was abusive in its nature, implying something dark, barbaric, gloomy and frightening. Ironically, such negative interpretations have made it a fitting symbol of rebellion. It is therefore quite appropriate to describe this dark and rebellious subculture .
THE GOTHIC STYLE IS ARTISTIC
Gothic fashion attracts artistic , free-spirited and open -minded people. The Gothic community, in fact, is made up of creative people - artists, dancers, musicians, designers, actors, etc. This is the reason for a certain pomp of Gothic fashion, its courtly mannerism, excess and theatricality, as well as a contemptuous attitude towards naturalness and simplicity. Gothic clothing is intricate in cut, full of details and ornaments . Gothic hairstyles are like works of art , whether it's the Louis XIV-era fountain, combed-over lilac mohawk, or a bush of green cyber gothic dreadlocks.
THE GOTHIC STYLE CALLS ON MOURNING
The Gothic community is curious about death , or rather the philosophical and sociocultural aspects of this phenomenon. Hence Gothic fashion's constant attraction to mourning patterns and black colors . The Gothic style is the panache and decadence of Dracula . Just as Dracula is seen as a dandy and a dark prince of elegance , a Gothic person carries the image of a dandy and a vampire aristocrat. The image of the vampire introduces the idea of the “ erotic Macabre ” into Gothic fashion. There are stunning examples of the vampire sex appeal of modern fashion, for example, John Galliano's voluminous blood-red dress created for Dior.
FEATURES OF GOTHIC FASHION
The Middle Ages marked the appearance of these melancholic and lugubrious fatalists. For the most part, they adopted only a narrow, laced waist, otherwise the fashion trends of the time had little to do with the appearance of modern Goths.
These grotesque figures instead accept the role of victims of the Inquisition. They came to our world with a memory of eternal sorrow, mourning and fragility of being . But believe me, they are not going to die today. For them, the exquisite beauty of death is the way to present themselves to the world and get noticed.
So how do you recognize a goth in a crowd? The Gothic fashion style has these characteristics:
- the predominance of black with contrasting accents, for example, white or red inserts, inlays or elements of clothing;
- other than black, gothic rock outfits in dark colors - purple, burgundy, green, blue, etc.;
- clear silhouettes , straight or flowing lines predominate in clothing;
- their clothes are eccentric , with a hint of 18+ fashion;
- Gothesses wear vintage dresses or, on the contrary, super modern dresses with an intricate cut;
- They have voluminous skirts , both mini and maxi;
- Their clothing includes jabots, lace and mesh elements;
- They show off corsets and harness belts , mostly on top of their outfits;
- The main materials used for gothic clothing are silk , velvet , denim , leather , lace . Organza, brocade, taffeta are also widely used. Their shine and shine serve as a spectacular embellishment for gothic costumes. Another essential element of gothic outfit is mesh, which can be seen in stockings, sleeves, shirts, etc.
- When it comes to shoes, aside from traditional heavy unisex boots , goth girls often flaunt lacy, massive platform, or high-heeled boots (crushers, Dr Martens boots, etc.). Goths can often be seen in army boots or shoes with wide and fairly high heels. For solemn occasions, Gothesses prefer shoes with stiletto heels. A solid platform, an abundance of metal and leather inserts as well as embellishments and, of course, dark colors are the hallmarks of gothic shoes.
- Goths are very fond of accessories , such as eccentric hats with a veil and long gloves. Instead of handbags, Goths flaunt large black backpacks or elegant mini suitcases. Original gothic accessories are made of latex, leather or metal. Another notable accessory is a lace or velvet umbrella to protect their pale skin from the scorching sun.
- Goths love jewelry made from solid white metal (silver, white gold or platinum). Yellow metals are absolutely unacceptable. Gothic jewelry is rings, bracelets, pendants, earrings, etc. decorated with Celtic crosses, dragons, bats, black cats, roses, skulls, etc.
- Goths bring out expressive contrasts of dark hair and pale faces . Classic gothic hair is sleek, straight black hair . A slightly dirty look is considered stylish. Such a hairstyle is common for boys and girls who are not trying to emphasize their belonging to a certain gender.
- Romantic Goths , on the contrary, gravitate toward lush curls and hairstyles. Many Goths prefer to dye their hair in bright red or ash colors.
- Gothic makeup is a thick layer of white powder on the face, black eyeliner, intense eye shadows and dark matte or blood red lipstick. The nails are also covered with red varnish.
TYPES OF GOTHIC FASHION
Goths are divided into several subtypes: ancient, renaissance, victorian, cyber goths, glitter goths, corporate goths, vampires, and several others . Most of these types are united by an accentuated aristocratic style, a thirst for art and a general depressive mood, although some Gothic styles deviate from canonical Gothic images.
Traditional Goths. Imagine a dark-haired girl or guy dressed in a unisex outfit, sporting a mesh top, leather pants or tight skirt, ripped black tights and shoes with a large platform. Pale skin, piercing makeup, eye-catching makeup - this is a common portrait of a traditional goth.
Ancient Goth. This style includes outfits stylized to resemble fashion trends of the 18-19 centuries. The main features of ancient Goths are lace, elbow-length gloves, floor-length dresses, corsets and veils. Men rock cylinders and back coats. This style reflects elements of romanticism and neo-Gothic.
The Victorian Gothic style is one of the varieties of ancient Gothic. These outfits are suitable for gothic balls, Victorian picnics or photo shoots rather than everyday outfits. Nevertheless, the Victorian style or its individual elements occupy one of the most important places in Gothic fashion.
Gypsy Goths are exciting and beautiful in their own way. This style of clothing is characterized by wide maxi skirts and flamenco dresses with a complex structure. Gothic girls flaunt in wide-sleeved blouses and leather corsets. The most common fabrics are velvet and lace. Favorite colors are dark blue, scarlet red, burgundy, purple, dark green and black. All the clothes are quite loose.
One of the most famous and recognizable is the vampire style. These Goths imitate popular "vampire" films, such as Lestat de Lioncourt and Dracula . Vampire Gothesses tend to emphasize their sexuality and give their images a dramatic touch. They achieve this with pristine white skin and bright red hues in lipsticks, manicures and accessories. Men dress in camisoles, white shirts with ruffles, raincoats and leather pants. The emphasis is on a juxtaposition of black and rich red symbolizing blood.
Cyber Gothic is a particular and offbeat gothic trend. This style harmoniously combines traditional gothic and industrial elements in their outfits. Clothing is dominated by artificial fabrics , most often in bright, acidic or fluorescent colors, over extremely high platform knee pads, and elements of cyberpunk culture . The most popular hairstyles are dreadlocks or Mohawks . Girls prefer vinyl miniskirts, vibrant tights and stockings, and back and tummy revealing tops. Pants (leggings) in vinyl, leather or latex, T-shirts with thematic prints, mesh vests with zippers, one-piece suits in latex or PU.
Steam punk goth. There is an opinion that Steam-punk does not belong to Gothic at all but many Goths wear these outfits and Gothic designers create clothes with the influence of this style, that's why we should mention it in this post. Steam punk fashion differs from other styles of gothic clothing because it did not arise from the wearers' musical preferences , but rather from their tastes in literature. Nevertheless, Goths warmly and enthusiastically accepted Steam-punk into their community and now this style is very popular.
The fetish Gothic style has also found its place in Goth wardrobes. Most often, clothes are made of artificial materials like latex, vinyl, faux leather, and less often you can see real leather. All outfits are well fitted and sexy. Goths sport jumpsuits, mini dresses, corsets, panties, bodycon pants, tight pants, etc. This style is characterized by an abundance of accessories with a fetish aesthetic, for example, collars, bondages, handcuffs and chains.
The Goths of the West. It is an exclusive gothic fashion trend generated by the group "Fields of the Nephilim". Both men and women prefer wide-brimmed hats, cowboy-style leather pants with fringe and lacing, and leather jackets and vests. Common props are whips and guns.
One of the curious substyles of Gothic is Tribal Gothic , whose aesthetic is close to that of modern primitives. The highlight of this style is the abundance of piercings (nose rings, pierced lips, nipples), scars or marks. Tribal Goths wear a variety of clothing, but often they can be seen wearing net rocker sweaters or fetish outfits. Sometimes they look like shamans . In terms of jewelry, they prefer chains, necklaces and bracelets made of heavy metal or silver.
Glittergoths (fairy Goths) is a kitschy mix of different styles and colors. Initially, these were girls who incorporated fairy attributes into their clothing , but today it is more often implied that this is the glamorous style. Goth girls wear tops, skirts and dresses (normally, mini) of different colors (pink, light green, etc.), although black clothing combined with flaming tights is also common. These delightful sequin tutu skirts can often be seen rocking. Some girls finish their look with long, brightly colored wigs . The overall hairstyle mimics that of Betty Page, a 1960s bondage model. This style of clothing is not popular among men.
Not so long ago, the J gothic style burst into world gothic fashion. The letter J implies Japan. J-Goths strive to look like anime characters but strictly adhere to the rules of goth, i.e. wearing dark clothing and contrasting makeup.
Gothic Lolita is another trend born in Japan . This style exploits the image of a gloomy girl dressed in gothic knee-length dresses, decorated with ruffles, lace, crinolines or trousers . Lolita Goths don't want to look vulgar. On the contrary, they look elegant and comfortable. In their clothes, black color is actively diluted with blue, purple, red details. Lolita Goths are no strangers to white clothing and accessories. The most common accessories are decorative umbrellas, hats and round-nosed wedge shoes.
The so-called military style in gothic fashion has conquered more and more gothic fashionistas. On the other hand, military gothic is one of the most controversial trends. First of all, unlike most other styles, it does not appeal to mysticism and the transcendental. Second, it cultivates the aesthetic of power and authority, which, on the whole, does not sit well with an individualistic and tolerant Gothic philosophy. People who call themselves military goths wear knee-length military boots, ankle-length pants, wide at the hips and narrow at the calves, tunics or jackets that resemble a military uniform, military caps. In addition, for obvious reasons, military goths are not indifferent to gothic accessories such as protective masks and gas masks, which are very popular among cyber-goths and steam-punk lovers. For many people, this style is shocking and controversial , largely due to the fact that the aesthetics of Nazi Germany are often used in clothing and accessories, for example, ornaments with a swastika, crosses of iron, the imperial eagle (The Reichsadler), etc.
Goths working in offices with a dress code have no chance of wearing goth-themed clothing in all its glory. In this regard, the so-called Corporate Goth trend has emerged. This style reduces the amount of makeup and accessories . Instead of striking gothic suits, corporate goths wear black dresses and black pencil skirts with white lace shirts, while men wear dark-hued business suits.
Androgynous goths are not a specific style, but rather a general aesthetic of certain individuals. Androgyny implies asexuality but not asexuality. Androgynous goths seem to have a hard time understanding the gender they represent. Men often wear skirts and outfits with a fetish aesthetic . In general, the clothing items that dominate are skirts (long and short), mesh tops, and various latex and vinyl items.
In general, the Gothic image is unique and original. It is chosen by flamboyant personalities who like to challenge primitive society. Not everyone is brave enough to pull off gothic fashion. If you love this style, but aren't ready to dive into it, you can start by adding a small accent to your regular wardrobe, like a gothic ring, necklace , or earrings .