Gothic fashion goes back decades, this iconic alternative style has been inspiring many for years, whether it’s through the romantic Victorian goth style, or the more modern industrial goth style. There’s so many ways to wear the classic gothic black well, but how do you define gothic, and what is goth style?
The term ‘gothic’ itself dates back far further than the fashionable goth clothing that we know so well, goth can be dated back to the medieval ages during the 12th century, although it wasn’t until the Renaissance in the 14th century that the term ‘gothic’ began to be widely used to describe this iconic style. The word ‘goth’ however, dates back even further, often used to describe the nomadic tribes of Germanic people the Visigoths, or the goths as they are often referred to, in the 4th century; it would appear that goth has been in the history books for far longer than Siouxsie Sioux was backcombing her hair in the iconic goth style.
Goth as we know it however, has been emerging since the 1980’s, although the traditional Victorian gothic style can be traced back to the early 1910’s. Whilst the ladies of the early 20th century may not have been adorning black lipstick and ripped fishnet tights, they had adopted a pale pallor, and a wardrobe of dark, often black coloured clothing that’s come to be associated with goth fashion ever since. The Victorian cult of mourning has it’s roots in goth fashion, and has helped to shape the iconic goth style clothing look.
The style that we’re more familiar with dates back to the early 1980’s at a time when the god fathers of goth, Bauhaus, were making waves in the independent music scene. The look of the time that we often associate with goth fashion, of dark clothing, (dyed) black hair; often back combed to increase it’s volume and appearance, pale pallor’s and dark black make up, have long shaped the classic look. It was a time when a diy approach to fashion helped to create some of the most memorable looks of their time, from the classic ripped leggings and tights, layered to create a unique look, to black jeans embellished with chains; it was all about how you wore it.
Since then the look has evolved and grown, with several sub-cultural goth styles developing along the way, from deathrock, to cybergoth. How to dress goth, wasn’t defined by certain characteristics, it was all about your own personal style, and how you wore it.
Goth as we know it today has grown so much, there’s many different variants to the style, and it’s even become a ‘haute goth’ style of it’s own, with many renowned designers turning their hand towards the classic goth style on the catwalk. Goth style has crossed over so much that even popular publications like The Guardian have had their say on goth style icons, name dropping the likes of Marilyn Manson along the way, who has helped to bring this cult style into the mainstream.
Modern goth fashion is a mixture of styles, with many of the original influences still helping to shape the style. The classic wardrobe of dark clothing is still there, with a few modern influences along the way, from platform boots, to the metallic prints of the cyber goth look. With many acclaimed designers from both the world of high fashion, and alternative fashion, paving the way for modern goth fashion, such as the iconic footwear of Hades, and the couture style of Vivienne Westwood.
The modern gothic look can easily be created by adding a few staple items to your own wardrobe, here’s how to dress goth today. Take a base wardrobe of classic black clothing, and layer it up with pieces such as accessories and jewellery. Items like these beautiful embellished cuffs by Vilindery, are a great way to dress up any look with a gothic style. Or why not try a beautiful Victorian style gothic hat, like this tricorn hat inspired by a classic goth literary heroine, Dracula’s Mina, made by designer Sakura Millinery, or a pair of classic goth ankle boots, like some detailed boots made by Hades Footwear. A few classic goth style accessories can instantly add a touch of gothic style to any outfit.
How to dress goth today can be easily achieved thanks to more readily available ranges of gothic clothing, and fashion from a selection of designers and stores worldwide. Why not try finding a few select pieces from our sellers for plenty of unique goth style clothing to choose from to update your look in this iconic alternative style.
Goth style on the catwalk via on the runway at Pinterest.
Sakura Millinery photo by Candee Photography.