This History of Goth
What is the History of Goth in Fashion? Where does it come from? How did Goth styles get to now?
Gothic fashion emerged as a subculture of punk in the late 1970s. The history of Gothic fashion is one of rebellion, self-expression, and a unique blend of diverse subcultures that are influenced by each other. Punk was born out of music that spoke of aggression towards the injustice of the world. Posing as a reactionary movement after the hippie era, which emphasized love, acceptance and peace, many punks were anarchists who had a lot of pent up anger towards post-war society. The fashion revolves heavily around DIY, holes and shreds, safety pins, studs, spikes and stitches. Goths found Punks a little too aggressive and preferred introspection and had a darker and fatalistic outlook of mainstream culture. Both genres rejected dominant societal norms. Goths are more poetic and less violent in their expression.
Early Gothic fashion had its roots in Victorian and Edwardian fashion, borrowing their romantic and mourning aesthetics. Goths embrace lace, corsets, flowing fabrics, layering, creating dramatic and ethereal looks. Black became their color, representing the macabre and a negation of optimism.
Music played a central role in the evolution of gothic and alternative fashion. Bands like: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Cure and Sisters of Mercy have become icons and trendsetters for goths around the world. Their dark, melancholy music resonated with the subculture, influencing their fashion choices. As the gothic movement gained momentum, its influence extended beyond music and into the realm of fashion.
In the 1980s and 1990s, gothic fashion continued to evolve. The subculture began to embrace a more eclectic mix of styles, incorporating elements of fetish and BDSM fashion, punk aesthetics, and even influences from the occult and horror genres. Leather, vinyl, fishnet stockings and platform boots have become synonymous with the goth look, reflecting its more daring and rebellious nature.
As the goth subculture became more mainstream in the 1990s, its fashion began to diversify. Different branches of Gothic fashion emerged, each with its own distinct style. Traditional or Romantic Goths retained Victorian influences, while Cyber Goths embraced futuristic elements and neon colors. Lolita Goths drew inspiration from Japanese street fashion, incorporating ruffles, lace and a dollhouse aesthetic.
In the early 2000s, gothic fashion experienced a resurgence, fueled by the rise of internet culture and online communities. The accessibility of online platforms has allowed Goths everywhere to connect, share fashion inspirations and push the boundaries of style. DIY fashion, thrift and recycling became popular within the subculture, emphasizing the individuality and creativity of Goths.
Today, goth fashion remains a powerful form of self-expression and a symbol of individuality. It continues to inspire and influence designers, photographers and artists upto the mainstream fashion industry. Gothic fashion has transcended its subcultural roots to become an enduring and respected aesthetic that celebrates darkness, introspection, and the beauty found in the shadows.
The history of Gothic in fashion is a testament to the subculture's ability to challenge societal norms, embrace individuality, and create a style that resonates with those seeking to express their unique identity in a world dominated by facades. it continues to be a powerful force in the fashion landscape, reminding us that beauty can be found in the unconventional, the mysterious and the dark.
Gothic culture loves poetry, individuality, vulnerability, femininity, gloomy and strange themes. Their fans are inspired by life after death, of the beauty in ephemerality. They are (almost) obsessed with learning through pain. They like vampiric places, cemeteries, gardens. Gothics love accessories, they are almost more important than the clothes themselves. Whether it’s jewelry, umbrellas, piercings and so on. They will EXCESS-orize everything.
The Inchoo Team