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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: babydoll Goth

Babydoll Goth, aka schoolgirl Goth, is a 'cute' look based around a youthful style such as school uniform. However, despite the childlike imagery, there is a strong undercurrent of rebellion and sexuality. Babydoll Goths may appear innocent and doll-like, but there is usually something a little creepy about them...

Source: Google Images
This look is predominantly a feminine one; incorporating schoolgirl-style blouses and pleated skirts, bows, ribbons, ties, striped tights or fishnets, and patterns such as gingham and plaid. Due to the often-fetishistic nature of this fashion, stockings and suspenders may be worn. Some Lolita-inspired clothing or accessories may also be seen. Hair is often worn in ringlets or pigtails, although dread falls are also worn.

Some of the accessories and imagery used for this look have a faintly disturbing edge, for example baby doll heads or limbs attached to clothing. An article I read online suggested attaching a pacifier to a spiked or studded choker. Carrying a mutilated doll is also popular, although this makes it impossible to carry anything else (without looking ridiculous).

Examples of this look include the stage outfits of Chibi (vocalist of The Birthday Massacre), who pairs pigtails and outfits reminiscent of a Catholic school uniform with extremely short skirts, arms layered with tattoos, dark make-up and a nose ring. The girls from Switchblade Symphony in their video for Clown also have a definite creepy-schoolgirl thing going on.

In his book, What Is Goth?, Voltaire describes the look thus; "Nothing says 'torturous, guilt-ridded despair quite like Catholic school. Hence it's no wonder that Goths love this look so much. But certainly, you must realise that there's something very wrong about a twenty-year-old girl dressing like she's eight. Just don't act surprised that creepy old men keep hitting on you!" Which, I believe, is fair warning.

In The Goth Bible, Nancy Kilpatrick links the babydoll/schoolgirl look with China/Oriental Goth fashions, saying, "The innocence of the underaged. Make-up creates prepubescent round or almond-shaped eyes, chopsticks worn in the hair, Susie Wong dresses purchased at a vintage shop and worn with Doc Martens, Catholic schoolgirl tartan plaid skirts worn with a black PVC top and kneesocks. The Wednesday Addams institutionally grey dress with white Peter Pan collar fits here, too."
Jennifer Parkin (aka Ayria) rocks the babydoll Goth look
Source: Google Images
Music associated with this style usually has a sweet sound but with a dark, twisted edge, reflecting the look. Bands popular amongst babydoll Goths include Switchblade Symphony, The Birthday Massacre, Hannah Fury, Alice in Videoland, Ayria, The Candy Spooky Theater, Emilie Autumn and The Divine Madness.

11 comments:

Laurel said...

I know what I want to be when I grow up! Besides, I've already got the absolutely adorable, yet slightly creepy traveling companion (her stare sends shivers down my spine sometimes).

I actually considered randomly tossing mutilated baby doll parts around the house last year at Halloween--but I have to be careful that I don't scare the neighbors.

Angel of Darkness said...

I must say I really like this look.

Laurel said...

It reminds me of the "kinderwhore" look from grunge fashion. Does anyone else see similarities?

I invoke Mookychick: http://www.mookychick.co.uk/style/kinderwhore-grunge-fashion.php. I seem to remember you doing a couple of articles from them Amy :) That still going?

ultimategothguide said...

@ Laurel - yes, I agree, there are definitely some similarities.

The last contact I had with Mookychick was when there was a bit of confusion between me and an alt model with the same name - we both appeared in Bizarre magazine at around the same time, and a journalist tried to contact me via Mookychick thinking I was her. Anyway, cutting my life story short, no, I haven't done anything more with Mookychick for a while. =)

iheartanime7 said...

I LOVE THIS STYLE!
I love how Jennifer Parkins dresses, and she's always been a style icon of mine, so this look is great for me..... I'm so gonna try it!

Darling Violetta said...

A good friend of mine has rocked the Babydoll Goth look since High School. It's one of my favorites.

Melody said...

...
I think I just had a "click" moment.

Poison said...

this is my style X3 and that thing about the pacifier on the choker.. if you got it on wikihow it was on my article XD

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between babydoll goth and Gothic Lolita? They seem very similar in some ways. At least, that's what it seems like to me. I'm relatively new to goth, so I wouldn't know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Looking like a doll in many forms is one of my favorite looks (incorporating a more rag-doll like thing with obvious stitches, patches, and buttons especially). Somehow, when I think dolly-goth, the band Jack Off Jill comes to mind. It's Goth friendly for sure, but their singer has such a sweet, girly voice.

Alyss Raven said...

Another suggestion for a good band that fits with this style would Stolen Babies. They kinda remind me of the birthday massacre. :)

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