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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: High Gothic

Unfortunately, I am beginning to run out of Goth fashion styles to write about - but don't forget, these subsets can be mixed, matched and combined to create so many new and different looks, each as individual as the wearer, that I could only create a 100% definitive catalogue of Goth styles if I tracked down each and every Goth now living and interviewed them about their wardrobe and inspirations. Sadly this blog is a non-profit project and my budget doesn't quite extend to such a task!

However, I'm not quite done yet - and I'm sure that some new styles will emerge from the dark waters of Goth sooner or later, and then we can begin all over again! ^^

Now, on with the show.

At the total opposite end of the dark spectrum than the most recent addition to the Goth family tree, nu-Goth, we have the style known variously as ubergoth, fantasy Goth, and High Gothic. This style is certainly not one for daywear (except possibly a toned-down version for the very brave) and is seen most often as festival wear or for photo shoots.

Source: We Heart It
The term 'ubergoth' is often used as a derogatory term, meaning someone who is fully Gothed-up At All Times and looks down on those who aren't. 'Ubergoth' in this instance, however, is simply someone who is REALLY, REALLY Gothed-up. Yards of glimmering black fabric, corsets, huge PVC heels, veils, masks, whiteface, swirly eye make-up and a tiara... and that's just the guys.

The make-up for this look is almost always stark and monochrome; the face is usually as white as possible. You know the 'please no whiteface' rule? Well, High Gothic is the exception. However, these Goths are usually long past the mallgoth age (and have well-paid jobs - what, you think you can afford a wardrobe like that on a budget? Even if you're a seamstress, fabric costs money...) and tend to have a lot of make-up nous, blending the make-up well and applying it to all exposed skin (including, darklings, the ears and the back of the neck).

In addition to whiteface, black lipstick tends to be worn, often applied so that the cupid's bow of the top lip is shaped into exaggerated points. Eye make-up is very heavy and very dark. Pretty little swirls are often included. Basically, take every bad Goth make-up cliche and apply it with skill and elegance, and somehow you end up with a look that can be very beautiful.

Nails are often very long and pointed (easily faked with falsies) - and black, of course! Piercings and tattoos are rarely seen with this look - possibly because they are covered up with so much clothing! A delicate nose ring may be sported, often connected to the ear with a chain (FYI, this is painless - I sometimes wear a nose chain myself. It just clips to my nose ring and then I tuck it behind my ear). Accessories, other than those already mentioned may include gloves, ruffs, heavy jewellery, crowns, armour rings, feather boas, ornate headdresses and fans.

Corsets are wardrobe staples for men and women alike, although not often tight-laced - those outfits, often complete with hoop skirts, are hot and difficult to manouevre in as it is! It's easy to see where the 'fantasy Goth' moniker came from - these Goths look more like otherwordly denizens of a dark underground realm than the kind of person you'd bump into on the high street. This is an exceptionally high-maintenance look that takes a lot of time and effort to put together.
Source: Tumblr
 As this kind of outfit could be festival wear for many Goths, there are no particular musical associations that I can think of. However, if we were to be awful and judge by appearances I'd list classical composers such as Bach; some Goth rock bands such as Lilith and John Merrick's Remains, and some ethereal, dark ambient and medieval bands, e.g. Rising Shadows.

Listening to: Chinese Burn - Curve

26 comments:

Kitty Lovett; A Charming Notion said...

Man. I know I have a lot of time on my hands, but I would never bother with this. Ever. XD

#lazy as hell

Also, what is it with your blog and weird captchas? Today's is "conesay". All hail Bumsoly.

ultimategothguide said...

@ Kitty Lovett - what can I say? When I said 'EVERYTHING' about Goth and dark culture, I meant it. XD

Kitty Lovett; A Charming Notion said...

XD Yes, I'll believe you.

Also, I think you need a Captcha-related nickname.

Violette B. said...

I find it simply delightuf when people do their best in aesthetics. As you say, this requires a high maintenance, so neither easy nor practical to wear it everyday but so charming anyway!
In relation to music style, I´d defifinety relate it with Ambient, Ritual, Classic and Ethereal.

Laurence 'The Beard' Williams said...

Another excellent article Amy, thanks.

And if you're running out of goth types, have you considered doing an article on Nerd Goths? It might be too generalised to warrant a whole article but hey, it's something to write about.

Anonymous said...

You could try doing an article on a Gore/Horror subtype? That i'd like to see! :] and Nerd/Geek Goth would be good aswell! but fair enough with you starting to run out of ideas :P you've done a fantastic job doing these articles!

Anonymous said...

How about one on Candy goth? (Pastel colors, sweet cutesy things)

Anonymous said...

Carnival goth is a style

deepoblivion99 said...

Can you please do one for the nerd goths out there? *cough ME cough* And BTW I loveeee your blog!!

Anonymous said...

I second for a horror/gore themed fashion article. There's too many horror conventions, articles on creating your own fake blood, gore movies and even music for it to be ignored. Not to mention nightmarish artwork, horror literature etc

Emily Lynn G. said...

Yes, horror/gore and carnival goths for sure! THis one reminds me of Romantic goths, just with more stress on black.

Anonymous said...

I want a horror goth article hell yes

Anonymous said...

I never considered ubergoth to be a serious style before I read this :o since everyones making suggestions- Tomboy (or Street) goth style is one maybe? Or an abomination- a Hip-Hop/Gothic article preheaps? haha :D

Gore sounds really really good. So does Nerd and Carnival!!

kirsty said...

Bubblegoth

David said...

Since you mentioned the genre in a previous post i'd actually be quite edger to see you touch on Sepiachord as a subtype

Anonymous said...

^^AGREED I want to see Sepiacord! You could still do Geek Goth, Cabaret Goth and even though you've done posts on it before a specific article like this for Mallgoths would be great. It will help easily distinguish the stereotype from the real thing for newcomers.

ultimategothguide said...

@ David - IS there a fashion subset associated with sepiachord, other than steampunk?

@ everyone who suggested Geek Goth, it's on the list. Cabaret Goth aka Burlesque Goth has been done, it's here: http://ultimategothguide.blogspot.com/2011/01/styles-of-goth-fashion-burlesque-goth.html

@ Kirsty - I'm reluctant to do a post on a genre of Goth invented by a not-really-Goth musician. :-/

@ Anonymous - I have 'Casual Goth' coming up, which would be the same as street style, I guess.

@ Anonymous - I have only heard candygoth used as a variation of perky Goth, so I will look into this. ^^

@ Anonymous - love the idea of a horror/gore post, fantastic! On the list.

@ Anonymous - carnival Goth is also on the list.

Thanks, everyone!

Chloris said...

Is Horror/gore goth the same as Horrorpunk? I briefly saw mention of "Horrorpunk" on a Steampunk home decor site I frequent, but know very little about it. The person's home was very gothy and Steampunk apropos, so I'd love if someone delved a bit deeper into that! (Incidentally, the mention of "horrorpunk" is what set me in search of stuff from Steampunk into "true" Goth)

Ashlee said...

What about the New Romantics?

witheredrosez4 said...

I LOVE this style, it's so gorgeous. I always saw it on festival videos but never had a term for it. So this was a good read. Amy i'm so glad your taking all these suggestions on board :D I cant wait to see them posted! New Romantic would be interesting as well! I'm sure there are many styles out there still to be defined and researched ;D

Laurel said...

Horrorpunk/goth puts me in mind of the yourscenesucks halloweencore goth. Hopefully you guys were thinking of something a lot different. Maybe more horror movie inspired?

I'm guessing you've already covered most of the goth sterotypes set out in those cute illustrations? I think on the devinatart it had suggestions for further additions too- maybe have a look through the comments if you ever get time?

Virgil Allen Moore said...

Undergoth is always a wonderful site to see. Those who bare this style are an added staple to any goth club. They are the needed element that makes the price of the cover charge worth it without a doubt. The best combination is a black corset with blue satin ribbons as front lace - At least in my opinion;)

Virgil Allen Moore
http://demonvampire.com/

Anonymous said...

Amy should do one on candy and pop goth styles :)

Clint Catalyst said...

H A U † E • G O † H
F U L L Y • S L A U G H † E R S !


It's 'aspirational'; it turns even a quick jaunt through the cafeteria into a ~grand affair, and insofar as nightlife? I mean, let's face it: ultimately, high fashion is about fantasy, not practicality.

Granted, the price points of ~fineries are also impractical for the average person. . .even and especially in this States' recession [ L.A. creatives hit by what's been akin to a death-blow, as lay-offs and a deluge of "eliminated" positions directly followed the Writer's Guild strike ]. Nonetheless, having limited funds doesn't mean one can't ratchet the wardrobe to a loftier aesthetic. I've had years where my income was so disparate to the previous fiscal that it forced a shift from Maxfield's to the Salvation Army. But you know what else it forced? Creativity.


Cheers to Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens, Julius [ particularly F/W 2010, when they fkn' nailed it ], McQueen, Galliano, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons : what I can't afford still stokes the fires of imagination.



Ah! And Marko Mitanovski...



Spot-check †HIS for a 'look'!



http://beautynursedondarkness.tumblr.com/post/3519759316/o-h-y-o-u-d-i-v-i-n-e-c-r-e-a-u-r-e




Regards,
Cx

HalloweenQueen said...

i love this, i love ubergoth, victorian goth, aspects of lolita and steampunk and like the term Adora Bat Brat Uses, UCG (upper class goth) and i do my damndest to look as UCG as possible. sometimes when you have a to year old and animals running around, some blacked up eyes a, floor length skirt and a black velvet vest is all thats possible. i love these goth style posts. and the pictures are beautiful. i especially love the second one.

TeamEdwardJace said...

good post1 and i've seen the other posts and i love most of the styles that i've seen

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