The rise of gothic fashion: from punk rebellion to haute couture shows

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The rise of gothic fashion: from punk rebellion to haute couture shows

From its punk rock roots to its current place in high fashion , gothic fashion has undergone a fascinating transformation over the years. With its bold and striking aesthetic, gothic fashion is a cultural movement that has been embraced by millions of people around the world. In this article, we'll explore the history of gothic fashion, its key players, and its cultural impact.

The origins of gothic fashion

The gothic fashion movement originated in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a response to the punk rock movement. As punks began to reject traditional fashion in favor of DIY and subversive styles, some began to embrace a darker , more ominous aesthetic.

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Early pioneers of goth fashion were often associated with the musical genre of the same name, which included groups such as Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure . The term " gothic " first appeared to describe the emerging subculture.

It is difficult to say with certainty which media outlet reported on the goth movement first. The movement emerged and grew over the years, largely through an emerging music scene. It's safe to say that music has been a central part of goth culture since its beginnings, and many goth music groups began to attract media and mainstream attention beginning in the 1980s.

article from a London alternative music magazine in the 1980s representing the goth movement

Magazines specializing in alternative music, such as NME and Melody Maker , began covering the goth scene from around this time, helping to popularize the movement.

The term "gothic" to describe a style of music and clothing does not come from a single person or specific source. Rather, it is the result of organic evolution and a mixture of cultural influences.

group of English girls dressed in black and leather, London punk gothic style from the 80s

The goth movement was also influenced by earlier films, books, artwork, and subcultures, such as the punk and new wave movements. These influences were also relayed through the media, helping to shape the aesthetics and ideas associated with the movement.

The clothing style also emerged during the 1970s/80s and was influenced by artistic movements such as dark romanticism , as well as horror and science fiction films like The Crow . Alex Proyas in 1994.

Fundamentals and Key Players of Gothic Fashion

The basics of the goth look

The gothic wardrobe is often characterized by dark clothing, bold cuts and interesting textures. Here are some basic codes and elements that can be considered essential for a gothic wardrobe:

  • Black : black is the basic color of the gothic wardrobe. This includes black leather clothing, black lace clothing, black velvet clothing, and any other black fabric.
  • Bold cuts: Gothic clothing is often characterized by original cuts with a vintage look, borrowing certain cuts from baroque or even renaissance wardrobes. This can include leather jackets with oversized shoulders, pants with visible zippers, asymmetrical dresses and long-sleeved shirts with lacing details, lace etc.
  • Gothic designs : designs such as crosses, skulls, spiders, black roses, bats and pentagrams are often used in gothic clothing for their symbolism.
  • Accessories : Accessories are also important in gothic fashion. This includes silver or black metal jewelry, occult symbols, punk- style boots and shoes , black leather handbags, and round or oval sunglasses.
  • Makeup : Makeup is also important to complete the goth look. Gothic makeup is often characterized by dark shades for the eyes, lips and nails. “Patterns” around the eyes drawn with eyeliner are also encouraged, let your imagination run wild!


The different styles of shoes

Shoe style can vary depending on the goth subculture it is associated with, but there are a few designs that are often considered gothic style classics.

Among the most popular shoes in goth style are lace-up boots, also called " rangers ", which are often black and can go up to the knee. Wedge shoes, also called " platforms ", are also popular in gothic fashion. They have a thick sole that can vary in height and offer great stability, while adding a touch of height and superiority to the look.

Victorian-style shoes, with elaborate ornaments and details such as buckles , ribbons or lace , are also popular. High-heeled ankle boots, with a leather or velvet finish, are equally appreciated by goths with a Victorian, vintage, baroque and renaissance side.

Finally, punk style shoes, such as Demonia style smooth leather boots with buckles and straps, can also be associated with gothic style, particularly in the gothic punk, retro wave subculture.

Here are some basic items to start a gothic wardrobe. However, it is important to note that goth fashion is a personal expression of oneself , so feel free to be creative and incorporate elements that you like.


Goth-inspired stylists and fashion designers

One of the most iconic figures is designer Alexander McQueen . McQueen's collections often featured dark and brooding themes, and his work was heavily influenced by Gothic art and literature.

Another influential figure in goth fashion is Vivienne Westwood , whose punk- inspired designs often featured gothic style elements, such as black lace and corsets .

Other key players in the movement include designer Rick Owens , whose dark, minimalist designs were embraced by both the goth and high fashion communities, and musician and designer Marilyn Manson , who made a career mixing Gothic aesthetic with shocking values. Also, we can note a creative such as Japanese designer Y ohji Yamamoto , who was also associated with goth fashion with his collections of black and loose clothing in the 80s and 90s.

Goth in art and media

Gothic in artistic circles

The Gothic aesthetic has had a major impact on art and media, with many iconic films, books, and artworks featuring Gothic themes.

Dracula by Bram Stoker scene inspired by the original film considered as a gothic style cinematographic work

Some of the most influential examples include Bram Stoker 's Dracula , the dark and disturbing poetry of Edgar Allan Poe , and the films of Tim Burton (needless to introduce him) , which often feature goth -inspired visuals and themes. In fashion, as seen earlier in this article, the dark and brooding aesthetic has been adopted by major designers and fashion houses, with many shows featuring dramatic black dresses , lace details and punk accessories, rock, goth which also perpetuates the image of the style today considered “retro”.


works to remember:

  • The Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole is considered the first Gothic novel.
  • The poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, including " The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan ", are also considered important works of Gothic literature.
  • Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818, which is often considered a Gothic novel.
    • The British band Siouxsie and the Banshees are considered one of the pioneers of the post-punk movement and gothic music.
    • The Cure, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim are influential groups in the 80s goth music scene.
    • In the 90s and 2000s, bands such as Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, My Chemical Romance and Evanescence were also associated with the goth movement.
    Movie theater
    • Tim Burton's films, such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas , are often considered examples of the goth aesthetic in cinema.
    • Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992) is also considered an important Gothic film.
    Fine arts
    • The paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, particularly his painting " The Traveler Contemplating a Sea of ​​Clouds ", are often considered examples of Goth aesthetics in fine art.
    • Gustave Doré's engravings, particularly his illustrations for Dante Alighieri's " The Divine Comedy ", are also considered important works of the Gothic movement in fine art.

    These works helped define the aesthetic and culture of the Gothic movement throughout history.


      Goths on Television

      There have been a few television shows that have tackled "the goth style", however most of the time it is not in a very serious or in-depth way. For example, the reality television show " America's Next Top Model " had a " gothic " makeover event where contestants were given gothic hairstyles and makeup. Likewise, there have been episodes of series like " Buffy the Vampire Slayer " or " True Blood " that have featured dark characters or goth-related themes. However, these representations are often not very faithful to the reality of the style and can sometimes reinforce stereotypes or prejudices.

      for further reading: There have also been several reality shows that have featured makeovers of people from alternative subcultures, including the goth movement. These shows often sought to transform contestants into more "acceptable" or "normal" versions of themselves, putting them through hair, makeup, clothing, fitness, etc. sessions.

      An example of a show of this type is " Snog Marry Avoid? " which aired in the United Kingdom between 2008 and 2013. The show featured people with alternative fashion styles, including goths, and transformed them into following the norms conventional fashion. The show has been criticized for its stigmatization of alternative styles and for its message that to be accepted, one must conform to dominant social norms.

      Another show, " How to Look Good Naked ", also had a version with alternative style makeovers. In the show's " Goths and Rockers " episode, host Gok Wan worked with goth and rock people to help them find outfits that were flattering for their body types, while respecting their style and personality.

      These shows have been criticized for their stigmatizing approach and their message that conforming to dominant social norms is necessary to be accepted or liked. The goth movement, like other alternative subcultures, has often been the target of stigma and discrimination, and it is important to respect the diversity of styles and lifestyles.

      Chelsea Wolfe

      The modern gothic scene

      Today, the goth fashion movement is alive and well, with millions of people across the world embracing its dark and moody aesthetic. While the traditional goth scene still exists, there are now many different subcultures within the broader movement, from pastel goth to cybergoth to Victorian goth. The Internet has also played a major role in the growth of the goth community , with social media platforms like Instagram providing a space for neo-goth influencers and creators to showcase their style and connect with others.

      The modern goth scene is always in motion and continues to evolve, while remaining true to the roots of the original movement. Influences from music continue to be important, but new influences have also emerged, including in art, fashion, pop culture and technology.

      When it comes to key influencers to know recognized on the web for their modern goth universe , there are several. Here are some examples :

      • Chelsea Wolfe : American musician and singer who mixes elements of folk , doom metal and gothic to create a dark and melancholic atmosphere.
      • Drab Majesty : Musical project by Deb DeMure that creates synthpop music influenced by post-punk and gothic , with lyrics that explore themes of loneliness, alienation and spirituality.
      • Amelia Arsenic : Australian musician, visual artist and fashion designer who creates a futuristic gothic aesthetic by blending elements of cyberpunk , horror and science fiction .
      • Emma Ruth Rundle : American singer and guitarist who creates dark, introspective music blending elements of rock , folk and post-punk .
      • Alexander McQueen : The famous British fashion designer created collections that were often influenced by the gothic aesthetic, incorporating elements such as leather, black and gothic details.
      • Tim Burton : The American director is known for his dark and eccentric films that often have a gothic aesthetic, such as " Beetlejuice " and " Edward Scissorhands ."
      • Neil Gaiman : The British author is known for his dark fantasy books, such as " Coraline " and " American Gods ", which often have gothic and macabre themes.

      These emerging personalities and talents in the goth universe are diverse and represent different facets of the modern movement. They help keep the aesthetic and spirit of the Gothic movement alive, while allowing the style to evolve and develop in new directions.


      In conclusion

      Fashion and the goth movement in general has come a long way from its punk rock roots, but its influence is still visible in modern fashion and culture. Whether you're a die-hard goth or just appreciate the aesthetic, there's no denying the impact goth fashion has had on the world. From Alexander McQueen's runway collections to Instagram's goth influencers, goth fashion is here to stay.

      ♥ You can complete your knowledge by consulting the Wikipedia article on this subject click here .

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