(of the fashion variety, that is!)
If avante-garde individuals didn't take it upon themselves to experiment with the basic dark fashion aesthetic, the current world of Goth and dark fashion with its myriad offshoots and subgenres would not be even close to what it is today. One of the things about Goth that never ceases to amaze me is the way that each and every person involved in the dark alt scenes can use unique influences from anything and everything - other subcultures, fashions and music genres, art, literature, film, etc. - to create something new and entirely different.
So, never get me wrong, darklings - I'm all for experimentation.
There are, however, a few pitfalls for those who wish to think outside the box when it comes to dark fashion. The first I can think of is one I fell prey to myself more often than not in recent years and probably will do again. Note to self: Yes, experimentation is a fun and wonderful thing, but for heaven's sake, before you go all creative and daring, get the flippin' basics right.
For example, when I was eighteen-ish, I loved introducing 'ironic' pastel colours to my spooky outfits, such as a pink My Little Pony T-shirt. Which I still have, still love, and still wear. Great. The problem was, such a T-shirt paired with baggy bondage pants didn't so much scream, "Turning the Goth look on its head with individual flair!" but "Clueless mallgoth!". Which, sadly, I didn't realise until much later. Bless.
So the first piece of advice I would pass onto my babybat self, if only I could time-travel, would be, "Before you try experimenting, why don't you wait until you know what you are actually doing?"
Of COURSE, part of experimentation is making such embarrassing mistakes. What else are you going to look back on with nostalgia in decades past? Unfortunately, possible pitfall number two is that thanks to the rise of the internet, bloggers such as myself, and those on Tumblr, Facebook, Livejournal and almost any other social networking site will not be able to privately cringe at painful sartorial extravaganzas past. Oh, no... our every embarrassing outfit (which seemed like SUCH a good idea at the time) and laughable eyeliner scrawl will be online for everyone to see. Because - and this is a key point - at the time, you never, ever realise that it's going to be embarrassing.
The third potential pitfall is that no matter how hard I try, I am not one of these amazing ladies that gets photographed at festivals for their effortless, iconic style. Oh, no. We see them all over the internet, always looking exquisite and somehow carrying off the most eclectic and extraordinary outfits. Y'know, the ones we all go look at when seeking inspiration. HOW DO THEY DO IT?!
Believe me, Gothlings, if I ever figure it out I will share the secret with you. In the meantime, I'll struggle along not looking at all like Vecona or Ophelia Overdose but wishing very, very hard.
(Incidentally, one of the very best things about experimentation is that we know all this... and yet we do it anyway. Have fun. ;-) )
P.S. For this post, I wanted to share some of my early experiments with you, but most of them were too painful to ever again see the light of day. But just to prove a point...
|And yes, it seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time. :-S|