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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: military Goth

Military Goth fashion takes its cue from rivet-head (Industrial), punk and fetish styles, adding a military-inspired twist. The look can range from a simple military jacket and black boots combo, to army fatigues or miniskirt and a vintage soldier's cap, to the more extreme fetish-inspired examples, such as a shaven-headed guy I saw at a festival last year wearing high-heeled patent boots, black PVC trousers and a green PVC military jacket.

Source: Google Images
This type of fashion is one of the more controversial styles of Goth as many people assume a black-clad, tattooed Gothling clad in military-inspired threads may be associated with gangs, street crime or even neo-Nazism. I probably don't need to tell my readers that this is not the case. If military symbols are worn it is intended either ironically, as a form of protest, or to be 'shocking', and in many cases the intent of any kind of military-inspired fashion in Goth culture is merely aesthetic (for example my collection of military-style jackets).

Unfortunately Goth has been associated with Nazism (sad but true) since the early days of post-punk when Siouxsie Sioux was fond of wearing a swastika. This is an overly-rebellious fashion mistake that few Goths have since made, and was (as Siouxsie herself stated) simply to shock the public (a common attitude amongst the punk movement) rather than out of any political affinity for Nazism. Just to be very clear: Goth does not equal Nazi!!!

For this look, make-up is usually either stark and minimal or shockingly dramatic, incorporating touches such as coloured or patterned contact lenses (which when paired with the sometimes-intimidating military-inspired fashions can really freak out the general public; examples of this look are usually seen at festivals, not on the high street, out of respect for those who don't really understand 'this whole Goth thing' or who might be scared or offended).

Hair is often cut in punk or rivet-head inspired styles, such as mohawks and undershaves, which probably adds to this look being perceived as threatening.
Source: Vampire Freaks
Of course, the term 'military Goth' can take on an entirely different connotation - there are plenty of Goths all over the world who are in their country's armed forces. Usually in the letters page of Gothic Beauty Magazine, there are some 'thank yous' from Goths in the army who receive a regular fix of their beloved dark culture via their Gothic Beauty subscription.

2 comments:

Laurel said...

You find some of the most gorgeous (and modest) photos. I love the outfit in the photo, and i think it's cute that she's saluting.

Laurence 'The Beard' Williams said...

I find military aesthetics form an important part of gothic fashion. Mainly it highlights the fact that goths everywhere need, basically, to fight against the mainstream. Having said this, I also find the irony of wearing a military-based outfit an interesting factor. I've been trying to get a hold of a 19th Century style military jacket, purely because they look awesome. Think something along the line of the jackets worn by KASABIAN, like My Chemical Romance but with less sell-out (and yes, I went there XD)

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