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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Styles of Goth fashion: punk-Goth

Punk-Goths, aka tradgoths (although this term is also sometimes used in connection with romantigoths), 80s Goths, batcavers (The Batcave, of course, being the first ever Goth club - it opened in London in the 1980s, and no other Goth club has ever achieved such a level of infamy.), hearken back to the days when Goth was new, freshly emerged from the dark and murky waters of the punk movement.

Source: Photobucket
Back in these early days, fans of post-punk music still dressed - well, pretty much like punks. Lots and lots of fishnet, leather jackets customised to the max with pins, patches, studs, spikes and band names, shredded T-shirts, chain belts and the ubiquitious death-hawk (like a mohawk, but wider, and teased instead of combed straight up).

Many punk-Goths have been involved with the scene since its early days, so you can generally find punk-goths hanging out at your local alternative pub, smoking clove cigarettes, drinking snakebite and black, and complaining about how the scene has been dead since the advent of EBM (that good old phrase 'the scene is dead'? In this subculture, you'll hear it a lot...).

Punk-Goth fashion hasn't changed much since 'the good old days'. Boots tend to be either steel-toed work boots, Doc Martens or pointy-toed affairs (preferably with bat buckles). More commercial brand such as New Rock and Demonia are rarely seen as buying into big-name brands doesn't really fit with the punk-rock ethos. Similarly, you won't be finding many Hell Bunny or Dead Threads clothing labels here. DIY is definitely what floats a punk-Goth's boat - even those artful runs in one's tights take a lot of time and effort to get right (take a pair of nail scissors and snip the vertical threads, then pull).

Hair? The bigger the better. Make-up? Heavy (think Siouxsie Sioux). Real eyebrows? Rare. Popular accessories for this version of the Goth look include cross necklaces (a single, striking chunky cross or dozens of layered chains and crucifixes); studded and spiked wristbands; fingerless net or leather gloves - and did I mention the leather jacket?
Source: Photobucket
Classic punk-Goth music tends to cover bands from the 70s and 80s (no surprise there, really) and other traditional-sounding Goth rock bands - Joy Division, Skeletal Family, Alien Sex Fiend, UK Decay, Specimen and The Birthday Party, to name but a few.

Inspiration for this style comes from classic Goth 'idols', such as Andrew Eldritch (The Sisters of Mercy) and his trademark aviator sunglasses and bouffant hairstyle; Siouxsie Sioux's monochrome outfits, big hair and iconic make-up; Robert Smith's wild hair and smeared lipstick; outfits reminiscent of those worn by Nik Fiend (and Mrs Fiend, of course - both from Alien Sex Fiend) and Johnny Slut (Specimen).

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