The first rule of fashion is that it is all about making a statement; in that sense, the fashion industry has much more in common with the goth movement than we might think at first glance. Add to the mix that fashion designers are regularly inspired by contemporary events and themes, especially of great social interest, and there you have it: Halloween is upon us, and it is only natural that we once again see fashion with goth and romantic influences. But is it just seasonal or is it here to stay?
In Fashion and Beyond, Goth Is Very Much Alive
We know that punk is not dead, but goth is definitely undead – the two movements even share some origins in the music and the image of the UK’s Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division from the late 1970s. Inspired by a somewhat nihilistic and withdrawn approach to life, goth style is mainly expressed through black tones in clothing and pale tones in (the usually heavy) makeup, paired with daring accessories like bondage leather belts, chains or even romantic style sexy corsets. Within gothic style, there are many subsets of styles to choose from, including romantic/ethereal and steampunk, so even if you are relatively new to goth fashion there is surely something that will fit into your personal fashion approach.
Fashion is not the only industry where the goth and romantic culture has seen a comeback – pop culture seems to have grown very fond of gothic influences over the past few years. The Twilight movie series, based on the books by Stephenie Meyer was an instant hit, especially with a younger demographic who was particularly infatuated by the love story between a vampire and Bella, the series’ protagonist. But even before Edward and Bella, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas spawned an incredibly successful merchandise empire in 1993, with a particular focus on clothing and fashion accessories. Goth influences inform and become transformed by pop culture, from online games like Betway Casino’s Immortal Romance online slot game, which features goth elements along a dark theme of cursed romance with spooky graphics and haunting music, to extremely popular bands like The Cure and Marilyn Manson, or even some of Lady Gaga’s videos and looks.
Yet when it comes to fashion, goth does not have to be spooky – it is a great source of inspiration for its provocative and subverting tone, that plays really well with the fashion industry’s constant strive for something out of the ordinary, as well as for its romantic undercurrent that taps into its Victorian influences. This is probably why gothica is all the rage in fashion right now: it featured very prominently in the latest 2018 Spring-Summer Runway Collections that just wrapped up in Paris in early October – and it did so with a bang!
The Best of the SS2018 Catwalks and Beyond
Take Alexander McQueen for example, and his incredible work with black lace: a perfect balance between eerie goth references – exemplified also in the heavy neck jewels in silver and black tones and excessive black eyeliner that lets the smoky eyes stand out – and a more romantic undertone that runs through the black see-through lace that embraces the legs.
Givenchy also played with dark colors a lot to represent goth fashion, as well as with black-white contrasting tones, with his Look 67 which features black lace in a delicate manner, which still rises up above the shoulders in a style reminiscent of bat wings, being a spooky inspiration that plays well into Halloween. The black leather boots were a signature move by Givenchy in this collection and give a lighter romantic tone to the dress.
For his Fall Winter 2017, Rick Owens relied immensely on a more austere look, in black and beige tones, that taps into a sterner side of gothica influence: you can see it in the way his male models in particular are placed. Tight black jackets with slightly too long sleeves are paired perfectly with three-quarter old-school black slacks and heavy footwear that reminds us of a lighter version of the signature goth black boot – with bonus points for the goth reference in the bondage-style laces that go around the ankles. A slightly androgynous look that is the perfect inspiration for women’s look, too.
Goth Fashion is serious business – and the industry seems to be constantly turning to it as a challenge and a way to tap into its creativity. Mysterious, slightly morbid, and very powerful in terms of imagery, goth seems more than a Halloween frenzy – although it can certainly provide ample inspiration for festive costumes, as well.
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Images provided by Flickr CC License, Givenchy, Rick Owens and Alexander McQueen via Facebook