When I wrote my article on 'post-punk Goth' fashion, I was unaware of the growing 'hipster Goth', or 'nu-goth' trend which has so dismayed many members of the scene in 2011. I mention this because post-punk Goth is both the music and the fashion of choice of, apparently, not just a certain breed of Gothlings who like their style relatively casual, high-fashion-inspired and a little edgy, 90s-style, but the latest strain of mallgoth appearing on the outskirts of Goth culture this year.
You like Goth? That's great. You like Goth because the hipster hivemind told you it was cool to wear all black and dig Alexander McQueen? That's considerably less great; as evidenced from the comments on my 'Goth vs. Twilight' post, we 'dodgy darklings' don't especially appreciate having our culture become a teen fad.
Y'see, fresh blood for Goth culture helps it grow - new events, new fashion derivatives, new sites, new blogs, new creative types bringing new music, art and fashion to the scene - and this is why, despite what you will read about elitist Goths looking down on scene newbies, a lot of us will go out of our way to welcome new bats on the block.
But when Goth is exploited as a trend just because it looks good (or 'cool' :-/) , by people who don't really have any interest in it, it doesn't grow. Hipsters who are dressing Goth and calling themselves Goth to appear artsy and fashionable are unlikely to be attending clubs and festivals, promoting events, joining forums and generally keeping the community side of the subculture fresh and alive for other participants. Instead they have branched off with their own clique-ish group of Tumblogs and moan about how those of us who wear pink boots and put falls in our hair 'aren't really Goth'.
I felt the need to post about this since I read something somewhere online stating that hipster's current predilection towards Goth-as-a-handy-bandwagon is 'destroying Goth'. I have to disagree with such a comment; these people are becoming Goth to look cool and feel 'dark', let's face it, they're not going to have any greater impact on the scene as a whole than the last generation of mallgoths, who, let's remember, were Mansonites, not hipsters.
This is just a new face of the mallgoth breed - a slightly more grown-up and refined version, but no more genuinely 'Goth' than the last. Sure, if Goth clubs and festivals were full of hipster kids practising their 'jaded' face and refusing to take their sunglasses off, we could have a problem, but currently that doesn't seem to be the case - these hipster mallgoths are usually too cynical to dance and socialise with cybergoths, vampire Goths and anyone else not fitting their snarky requirements of 'what Goth REALLY is'.
So to those hipsters who have jumped on the Goth bandwagon this year - 'we lived our lives in black'? Oh, no, you didn't. The last month is more like it.
|Not just a trend...|