Bring out your dark side with Gothic clothing
Gothic fashion has diversified over the years to include a number of sub-genres, which in turn, make it less of a niche market, “dark” fashion style, and more appealing to a general population. Popularly associated with morbid imagery and death, the origins of gothic fashion, do in fact, take root from “mourning clothing” from the Victorian era, where long, black gowns and delicate lace veils lent an air of mystique and sadness to ones look. In terms of fashion, those who identify with a “Goth” lifestyle also appear to reject color and harmony, and instead appear to revel in monochromatic fashion time warps, complete with stark eye makeup and whitened faces. However, the mid-70s’s has seen the otherwise marginalized gothic lifestyle and fashion style in a different light, thanks to the many twists and turns given to this otherwise dark fashion, courtesy high fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Thierry Muglar and Karl Lagerfield.
Quintessential gothic fashion is dominated by the color black. Black represents mystique, ambiguity, darkness, and mourning. Classic gothic fashion followers often maintain long jet-black hair which is either poker straight or curled and streaked with bright contrasting colors; they also make their skin appear fair and pale by using white face powder. The eyes are thickly lined with kohl, and some prefer using colored contact lenses to maximize their “fright” appeal. The lips are either left white or painted red, thus completing the overall gothic look.
Clothes depend on which sub-genre of gothic fashion one is following; the 70’s Goth “punk” gives punk fashion a darker edge via Mohawks, metal studded accessories and music band t-shirts. The 80’s gave rise to the Gothic Lolita [origin: Japan], which entailed dressing up like a school girl and adding gothic elements to the look via large platform boots, frilly lace collars and the customary gothic face makeup. Mana from the music band Malice Mizer is considered as being the figurehead for this look. Industrial Goth fashion channels looks which have been made popular via mainstream Hollywood films such as “The Matrix”, “Minority Report”, and “Aeon Flux”; it involves pairing bright fluorescent shades with muted colors such as silver grey and black. Accessories for this look include survival gear such as gas masks. Steam punk and neo-Victorian Goth fashion include modern twists on classic gothic fashion. This includes pairing gowns, lace blouses, and silk dresses with period accessories such as handheld magnifying glasses, delicate hand fans, mother of pearl clutch purses and jewel-encrusted walking sticks.
Gothic fashion looks can be achieved quite simply, and can lend either an extreme high fashion look to a person, or could also be subtle and classy, depending on how extreme one is willing to go. Contrary to misconception, Goth fashion is not only for “dark, morbid people”, it is actually meant for all, and has the ability to give one an edgy look. New twists have ensured that it does not only have to be about an all-black outfit, and much fun can be had by dressing up in accordance with the numerous spin offs of the original look.