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Gothic fashion history

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  • vanessabrunel
    I m not a fan of Gothic culture but I have always been fascinated by it so, I decided to share with the group a small study of it. As rock, mods, hippie, punk,
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 2, 2013
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      I'm not a fan of Gothic culture but I
      have always been fascinated by it so, I decided to share with the
      group a small study of it.

      As rock, mods, hippie, punk, hip hop
      cultures, the Gothic culture was born with the consumer society
      during the fifties. On first hand, as the others,this group of
      individuals is easily identified by a musical universe but also by a
      very special fashion style. But on the other hand, it is a permanent
      culture that exists for more than 30 years now and know how to renew

      Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees, Robert
      Smith and the Cure established the musical bases of this punk's
      cousin movement The music is cold, dark, hypnotic, romantic,
      melancholic and it is served by a very notable fashion style and
      appearance : shaggy hair or Mohican hairstyle, Pierrot white
      make-up, red or black lipstick for girls and boys, androgynous
      This Gothic culture seemed to disappear
      at the end of the eighties, supplanted by the rap and the grunge
      cultures but survived thanks to German groups and the movement
      increased in Eastern Europe after the German reunification in 1989.
      But it was in North America that the new Gothic wave arrived and gave
      birth to the current trend. The singer Marilyn Manson is its best
      known icon even if his music is considered as metal music and not
      cold wave or Gothic music.
      Special features of the Gothic culture
      are the medium age of the fans, around 23 years(it means that you
      have a mix of teenagers but also young adults in that group) and also
      a lot of women belong to that movement compared to the masculine
      world of the punk and rap cultures.
      It exists a lot of feminine singers
      like Siouxsie Sioux, Lisa Gerrard from « Dead can dance »,
      Amy Lee from « Evanescence »and some groups are composed
      with women exclusively like X-maldeutschland. They are the models for
      young girls who want to be part of the Gothic movement.
      This female aspect has an impact on the
      boys, fans and artists alike. Robert Smith(the Cure) appeared many
      times dressed as a woman on stage and wears red lipstick on for more
      than 30 years now and Rozz Williams from “Christian Dead” nourish
      a ambiguous aspect with his transgender character.

      As hippies, Goths come from the
      privileged middle classes unlike the Mods and Punk come from the
      worker class. The young people have good results at school and follow
      higher education studies.
      Dressing and wearing make up and
      jewelery are as important as listening music for Goths. This special
      look helps them to be distinguished from the others cultures,
      especially for teenagers. The fans exchanged specialized shops
      addresses on forum even if they find that the prices are too high.
      That's why, lots of Goths are sewing themselves their outfits.
      Moreover, homemade cloth allow them to get outfits that the other
      don't have in their wardrobe (originally, it was the rule to make
      your outfits yourself).
      A huge part of the Goths wear black
      cloth because wearing black is obvious if you want to be part of the
      Gothic culture. The fans adopted Robert Smith's and Siouxsie Sioux
      styles since the middle of the eighties, then Marilyn Manson's style
      in the nineties . They are nicknamed crows because they are wearing
      black from head to toe.
      At this time, choosing the color
      “black” was a radical act in the Rock world. Nobody, except
      church people with their cassock who were more and more rare, people
      in mourning or anarchists, wore black clothing.
      In the fashion designer world, the
      black was nearly absent in their collection. From the sixties,
      colorful and printed fabrics dominated the fashion world. Only, two
      Japanese fashion designers, Rei Kawakobo and Yohji Yamamoto, used the
      black color at the beginning of the eighties and it was a scandal for
      ten years.
      In the Rock world, wearing black color,
      is a way to show the rebel spirit of the early days of the Rock music
      ( they were called “les blousons noirs” in France) and
      distinguished themselves from the Punk.
      To complete their style, Goths often
      have natural or artificial black long hair, a too much make up, lots
      of silver jewels and massive bright color or pointed shoes (Dc
      Martens, Witches style, New Rock) and long dress for girls.
      All these elements existed from the
      beginning of the movement and are still used today. Little by
      little,Goths added new references found in different sources: fetish
      and S&M repertory, American movies like The Adams family, the
      Crow, Matrix...or Hollywood movies heroes like vampires, vampires
      hunters, fantastic creatures from the past and the future...
      These different elements gave birth to
      a dozen of the current Gothic looks: bat-cave, neo-batcave, fetish,
      indus EBM, dark folk, medieval, metal rockers, spooky-kid,
      color-goth, post-mansonian.
      The Gothic looks intend to be
      theatrical and eccentric even some of the Goths just express their
      belonging to the Gothic culture on the evening or on the week-end.
      The rest of the time, they just show it with discreet symbol as a
      pentacle on a bag or jewels.
      The Gothic style is inspired by old
      cuts from the Renaissance but also by ancient Egypt, 18 th
      and 19 th century (Victorian time 1840-1870) cuts. But it
      doesn't respect exactly the historic side of the outfits from the
      past. It is more a fantasy style with more modern, colorful and
      synthetic materials.
      According to the style the Goths decide
      to adopt, they are wearing a frilled shirt, corsets worn as clothing
      not as an underwear, long dresses ties up and low-necked made of silk
      velvet, lace petticoats...
      In Japan, The Gothic Lolitas seek for
      items of clothing to look like Victorian dolls.
      Goths hate the idea of the fact that
      their aestheticism can be used as a fashion for everybody. Gothic
      look is atemporal and stay quite the same for more than thirty years.
      Despite this, since 2000, the Gothic aestheticism is used by movie
      makers, on Tv, by fashion designers. For example, shops are selling
      fishnet panty hose, skirt with straps and in Japan, it is easy for
      the Gothic Lolitas to find outfits and accessories in normal shops.
      Fashion designers are influenced by
      the Gothic movement and they invented the Gothic chic. Black is now
      really fashionable for Balenciaga, Yamamoto, Sonia Rykiel, Gucci,
      YSL, J.P Gaultier and even in 2004 Issey Myake dares to use Gothic
      motives like monsters, bats, Dracula...
      But for young fashion designers who are
      not as well known as J.P Gaultier, like Véronique Branquinho or
      Libertin louison, it was hard to present a total Gothic look because
      they were criticized by journalists so they decided to change their
      It is important to say that for the
      fans, the Gothic culture is not only a question of fashion but above
      all a philosophy and lifestyle far from fashion. Goths are showing
      their philosophical and spiritual thoughts through their look
      (pentacles, upside down crosses) but also their discussion on forums.
      Satanism, paganism, esoterism and atheism cohabit together. Marilyn
      Manson said “be your own God” and “express your own ideas” is
      the leitmotif of the Goths forums.
      Some people and parents above all are
      afraid of the Gothic culture because of certain tastes for cemetery,
      religious or sexual practices, fascination for the death...
      Some newspapers give advice to Goths to
      consult a psychologist and at school, adults interpret their
      marginality to a proneness to commit a suicide.
      Finally, the current Gothic culture
      fascinate its devotees as much as its detractors and this fashion
      that we could think ephemeral might last over time.
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