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Thursday, 2 June 2011

When Gothic and mainstream fashion collide...

Thanks very much to everyone who voted in my recent poll - it seems as though everyone was interested in at least some of my ideas, although fashion, hair and beauty were the clear winners and travel posts sadly trailed in last.

Speaking of fashion... has anyone else noticed what's happening? The words 'Goth chic', 'urban Gothic glamour' and (possibly worst of all) 'SKULLS! Get Goth with this season's micro-trend!' have been popping up in fashion magazines again. This happens in mainstream fashion every now and again, but usually during the autumn/winter season, when velvet and leather pile onto the shelves in New Look and Topshop and are gleefully salvaged from the sale rail by Gothlings two months later. Of course, this time, the pop Goth trend is driven by what the internets are calling 'hipsters in black' - I have already touched on this, and you'll be hearing more about the subject from me very soon.

To begin with, you're overjoyed that, yes, there's more stuff in the shops that you would actually want to wear, and bag yourself an armful of Goth-lite goodies to mix in with your ooky-spooky style. But after a couple of weeks you're starting to wince at the words 'Gothic Glam - The New Autumn/Winter Trend', and your sweet dream is becoming a nightmare. (Especially when you realise that the mainstream has managed to take all the charm and whimsy out of your beloved style and replace it with tacky studs and *sigh* pre-ripped T-shirts, which really takes all the fun and originality out of it, doesn't it?).

I remember once I opened the Daily Mail and was confronted with an article called 'Goth Rocks' - its tagline was, 'Be seduced by the dark side of beauty with a look that's strong, not scary...'. The article contained info on how to do a 'gothic' make-up look 'without looking like Morticia Addams'. Oh, great... what, may I ask, is the POINT of a Gothic make-up look without a hint of Morticia Addams?

As I was saying before, the mainstream takes all the whimsy and charm out of Gothic fashion and makes it dreary, bleak and, well, a shadow of its former self. Or, worse, we find all the cheap 'chav chic' highstreet chains providing Twilight fans and too-cool-to-live hipsters looking for an insta-Goth kit with gold sequinned skull prints and would-be-rebellious-looking black nail polish (ta-da, 'hipsters in black'!).

Best of all is the following quote from an article I found when Googling 'goth trend': "Finally be determined, you know you are not a Goth but still have that vibe that you can look better than most of the real ones!" This article, by the way, contains the following gems of advice: "Goths never wear free-flowing long gowns," and, "They drink blood in the breakfast. But hold your breath! Gothic no longer means [dark, black and scary], it is a fashion now."

(Articles like this pop up every time the Goth chic thing rolls around - I still have one I cut out of, again, the Mail, remarking, "Real Goths don't wear much jewellery... fashion Goths should wear as much gold jewellery as they like!")

No jewellery? No long gowns? Seriously, are we talking about the same style here?

But don't worry, darklings, and make the most of those sale rails - this too shall pass...

Take note, 'fashion Goths', this is how it should be done.
That's how we roll.
Image: Dark Turquoise by ~IztaJupiter on DeviantArt
Goth gossip: Oscar-winner Sean Penn has donned red lipstick, heavy black eye make-up and a wig to play an ageing Goth rocker in his new movie This Must Be The Place. Worth watching? Let me know.

20 comments:

Qwack said...

That made me giggle. No freeflowing gowns... They must be thinking mallgoth or something. And gold? The only time I've seen a goth wear gold was when they were dressing up for a steampunk convention.

Maeam said...

...Stupid mainstream. And what the heck is all this about Twilight being gothic?! There's nothing gothic about it! Oh, god, I could rant about that...FOREVER.

I agree with you 100% on this.

Tenebris In Lux said...

Yikes. I know .. so true ..

Pick up any alt music magazine today, and the people you see on the cover are the more Emo-stereotypicals who help the "lost" teens feel in place. Oh, and saying that Edward Cullen is more of a badass than Robert Smith(!). These things make me climb into a dark cave faraway.

Riskia said...

This enrages me so much! I like being different, and I finally found a style for me, but when everyday people start dressing (in what they think is) LIKE us, it is almost an insult! If you would really want to dress Goth, you would do the research and do it properly! But I just laugh at these now, because if I come across a normal mainstream person dressing as a mall-goth, I can laugh to myself and be content that I am not them. Heh heh!

Anonymous said...

They must have been high and or drunk when they made that article!

akumaxkami said...

It figures really, the mainstream always gets Goth all wrong, whether they're talking about the lifestyle, the music, or the fashion....

Emily Lynn G. said...

I loved this post, Amy. I went into one of those black-emo-hipster and Scene Queen stores for the last time...once you see real Gothic fashion and culture, you can't have that stuff. It's just so tacky and ugly.
Still, I DO find more spooky cute things in stores-and bookshelves-because of the recent "black boom", as I'm calling it. I'm fairly young, so it's the first one I remember and it's fun and exciting! Also, very tacky and disheartening when the merch is clearly fake...so it's bitter sweet. So your right: enjoy whatever good clothes,books and music that is good and comes from it, and try to avoid any of the junk.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

"Fuck the mainstream" is appropriate thing here. I'm sick of being told, "You're goth, but like, the pretty kind!" Fuck you. So much.

I like spookycute, but...since when is Morticia Addams not gothic beauty? And...Dita von Teese, asshole.

Shi said...

This used to really frustrate me, and part of me still gets like that - and another part just sighs. (If you don't like the culture/fashion, why even try to imitate it?)
Of course, the funner part grins wickedly and knows that I could terrify all the wannabes with just one look...

UKgoth said...

Hi Amy. I was just wondering if you would mind me using some of your concert reviews on my site giving full credit and a link back or course. It hasn't got a lot on it yet but we have some very exciting plans for it in the near future.

If you want to talk to me about it I can be reach through contact@ukgoth.info, I look forward to hearing from you

Sara said...

I'm not afraid, mainstream people would never follow this trend and would certainly never dress like I do.

Nenedhel said...

I'm glad you did this post haha loved it... the amount of times I have argued with people about the differences in Goth and pop trend 'goth chick' has climbed too high to count and started to get old. It still annoys me to an extend and I can get a bit iffy with wannabes... mainstream never get it right... its like with steampunk now... I'm going to stop typing before I start ranting haha. Great post xx

DementiaKitty said...

EXACTLY.
I remember a couple of years back my best friends twin sister used to make fun of my friend for her clothes and her black nailpolish (My best friends a darkling, and her twin sister is a hipster)

Then just recently, her twin sister started stealing her black nailpolish!

I remember when you could only FIND black nailpolish in regular stores around Halloween, and now it's everywhere.

It wouldn't bother me so much if the hipsters never chastised us for the way we dress, but they did and they still do.
Just a bunch of hyppocrites if you ask me, who don't have a sense of creativity or a sense of self.

Ashlee said...

I am determined to think of the mainstream doing Goth similar to how I think of BabyBats... with condescending amusement.

I actually had a rather long response typed up, but I'll make it into this Monday's post. It'll be much easier that way. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you for making that comment about hipsters, I'm really about do dress however you want and all that but I feel like hipsters are taking a lot from Goth and sometimes you can't even tell if a person is goth or just a hipster.

Psycho Monkey said...

Wow that article made me laugh, it also makes me kind of mad that these people are kind of taking the Gothic style and trying to make it even more mainstream, especially without even knowing what goth is. I also don't know why anyone would buy a pre-ripped shirt, it's not that hard to make your own plus you'll end up liking it more. Anyway this makes me glad that I don't pay attention to fashion magazines and stuff like that.

ultimategothguide said...

@ UKGoth - certainly, help yourself. ^^

The Green Fairy said...

I'd probably pay to see some hipster attempt to emulate my style with clothes from top shop or whatever the Australian equivalent is. Hah! Losers..

p.s. that picture is bangin'.

Anonymous said...

Here is my thought. Yes its maddening and frustrating. It is like everything that was ours is being ripped torn and stolen from us no pun intended. However, I say exploit them like they are exploiting us! Buy up the best of what is out there during this time, put it with the rest of OUR closets and enjoy the hell out of it knowing that we know better than they do how to wear it. We were here long before they were and we will be here long after they have gone and moved onto their "next-big-thing".

PS: Now that I have had a voice of reason here is my rant. Just the other day I took my new coffin purse to the store and the clerk decided to tell me how cute it is. I swear I want my normal world back where I am ostracized instead of looked at as some style maven to the normies back!!!! GRRRR

InfiltratorN7 said...

This happens every year and some cases are worse than others. Anyone remember the time The Sun tried to demonstrate a 'goth makeover' that ended up looking totally ridiculous right down to a glowing orange tan? I remember ten years ago when all those celebrities like 5ive and Mel C were posing in magazines wearing rock and metal t-shirts and all these pop covers of rock songs started floating the airwaves. It all culminated in Daphne and Celeste being stoned at the Carling Weekend (can't remember if it was Leeds or Reading). All the shops were full of crappy pre-torn t-shirts (or should I say a teeny weeny snip by a pair of scissors I saw a member of staff went round making the cuts in TopShop?) and crappy little plastic chains. Lots of 'punk rock chick' t-shirts around.

As for Twighlight, the most annoying thing about that is I can't walk into a Forbidden Planet anywhere without half the shop being dominated by sparkly vampires and all my favourite sections have either been shrunk or removed (this includes no more goth zines, goth comics and no more Doctor Who books and audios). So yes, as some others have pointed out, enjoy the shops flowing with the 'right' kind of gothy goodies on the shelves because they might not be there forever. In the past when goth has been 'cool' these things have been more easily accessible but not this time. This time it's just Twighlight.

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