Monday, 10 January 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: ice Goth

Ice Goth, or negative Goth, is perhaps more a way of playing with Goth fashion than a style subset - it's a style of Goth fashion that utilises white clothing instead of the traditional black, and is used more often for a single outfit than a person's entire wardrobe.

Source: Viona-Art
White is popularly used as an accent in more traditional Goth styles, providing a striking accent to black clothing and make-up. Black and white candy stripes, for example, are much loved by many in the scene. Ice Goth spins this look on its head - whether it be white on white with white accessories, or a white outfit with black, silver or pastel-coloured accents (white and pink, for example), it plays with the visual aspect of Goth to create something new.

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the inspiration for this look came from the whimsical nature inherent in the Goth subculture - Goth fashion is intended to be creative, fun and a little rebellious, so why should it not break its own 'rules'?

Back in the 80s and 90s, some young Goth women wore antique wedding dresses with their heavy boots, big hair, dramatic make-up and leather jackets; white, flowing gowns have always been popular for a 'Bride of Dracula' effect, especially following the release of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. Lolita fashions have long since used white as a predominant colour, as white creates a delicate, innocent effect - highly ironic, since a white gown or veil also invokes images of the traditional burial shroud... White can be ethereal and fairylike, innocent, regal, sexy (for example a fetishistic 'nurse' outfit for the club) or a bit creepy - perfect connotations for the fashion-conscious Gothling who fancies a change.

Of course, all-white clothing is considerably less practical than the usual black - perhaps recommended for special events (or times when you're not likely to get wet, sweaty or venture near dirt). Having said that, white outfits are becoming more commonly seen at Goth festivals - it certainly makes one stand out amongst all that black.

If you don't quite dare to wear an all-white outfit but would enjoy the contrast, white accessories such as tights (white lace tights or fishnets would look yummy), lace or velvet chokers, parasols, bags, spiked wristbands, gloves and even white contact lenses are easily available. New Rocks are even available in white if you wanted to go the whole hog (or are thinking of getting married).

White lipstick, often worn with black liner, is sometimes seen, although white eye make-up is difficult to pull off if you have pale skin (Goths of colour would look stunning in white clothing and make-up). White or platinum blonde hair is used to contrast with black clothing but could look equally drop dead paired with white for an otherworldly look.

 Obviously there are no particular bands associated with ice Goth fashion, but I thought I would give a handy (if short) list of bands and musicians who have been known to present themselves in white or ice Goth-styled clothing. (Because it's topical, obviously.) Head of my list would be Emilie Autumn (again), whose stage outfits usually combine black, red, pink and/or sepia tones on a predominantly white background. Noisuf-X wear utilitarian white shirts on stage, and at the opposite end of the spectrum are RazorBladeKisses' Lolita-inspired outfits - not to mention Dave Vanian of The Damned in that white outfit on Top of the Pops, circa 1985... yum.


Anonymous said...

If only white didn't stain so easily. And on another note, I love seeing pale blonde hair with both black and white outfits--they both look gorgeously ethereal and slightly creepy (in the very best of ways). I wonder if anyone has ever paired white with neon, is that too reminiscent of disco? I've seen dark colors like red occasionally paired with white, but never anything really bright.

MissGracie said...

White is nicer in the summer time. I plan on making a dress kind of like this one...

I was going to buy it in Hot Topic but I picked it up and the choice of fabric was awful.


I like what you said about Goth breaking its own 'rules'. I think that attitude shows how well Goth evolves and makes it so much more interesting.

Anonymous said...

I think, if my parents will let me, I'll. Dye my hair either pitch black or bright white

seminarysarah said...

Zeromancer has also been known to wear ice goth

Anonymous said...

Actually, bubble goth always uses white and neons.

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