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What Is Gothic Fashion?
Gothic fashion is characterised by gloomy and morbid themes like death and the occult and incorporates styles and accessories from different periods, but most often drawing inspiration from the Victorian era. Think lace, corsets, and gloves.
Gothic fashion also borrows from futuristic themes like industrial and cyberpunk – combat boots, heavily studded accessories, leather jackets, and chokers have also been adapted into gothic fashion.
The Origins Of Gothic Fashion
The term “gothic rock” originated in the late ‘60s, when music journalists began using the term to describe the music of bands like The Doors and The Velvet Underground. In the late ‘70s, post-punk bands like Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees received the “gothic rock” label from music critics for their moody and atmospheric sounds.
However, gothic rock and gothic fashion didn’t hit their peak until bands like Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, and The Cure openly embraced the label in the ‘80s. Their fans would dress in typically gothic fashion, which comprised of all-black clothing, black nail polish, and eyeliner. Many consider Bauhaus’ vocalist Peter Murphy as the “Godfather of Goth”.
5 Celebs Who Rocked The Goth Look
The year 2000 was a memorable year for Angelina Jolie fans. Not only did she win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted, but she showed up to the red carpet clad in an all-black ensemble. Her brother, whom Angelina brought as her date that night, was also decked in black from head to toe. The pair gave off some serious Addams Family vibes.
Winona is considered the OG goth girl of Hollywood. In the 1988 film Beetlejuice, she played 13-year-old goth Lydia, while in the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, she played Kim, a teen who falls in love with her dark and mysterious neighbour Edward.
If your father is Ozzy Osbourne – lead singer of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath and dubbed the so-called “Prince of Darkness” – it’d be surprising if you didn’t go through a goth phase.
Now, this is surprising. In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks revealed that she once had a goth phase in high school.
Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood was briefly engaged to goth shock-artist Marilyn Manson in 2010. She is believed to be the inspiration for Manson’s song ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses’.
5 Ways To Dress Like A Goth
Not sure how to incorporate more goth looks into your wardrobe? Here are five ways to dress more goth-like.
Lolita fashion is popular in Japan. Most Lolita dresses resemble children’s or dolls’ clothing from the Victorian era. Lolita style emphasises “cuteness”, which is why dresses are often oversized and are adorned with lace and ribbons. Gothic Lolita is a subgenre of the style. It said to be “a deliberate reflection of how the Lolitas see the world and their place in it”.
Cybergoth is the intersection of the doom and gloom of gothic fashion and the industrial, futuristic leanings of cyberpunk style. A cyberpunk outfit is something out of a post-apocalyptic world. A cybergoth outfit is the same, but darker.
Rockabilly fashion draws inspiration from the pin-up girls, form-hugging pencil skirts, swing dresses, and bold prints and colours popular in the 1940s and 50s. Checkered patterns, polka dots, huge floral prints, and sailor outfits are big in this genre.
Sexy goth merges the dark and brooding look of gothic fashion with the risque, edgy looks of BDSM practitioners. Switch out corsets for leather harnesses and you’ve got yourself a sexy goth look.
There’s no need to hit up specialty stores to nab this look. Anyone can dress like a modern goth. Just put on your best black outfit, grab a pair of chunky boots, slap on some black eyeliner and lipstick, and head out your door!
4 Shops Where You Can Find Gothic Outfits
Why we love it: Established in the late ‘90s, Victorian Gothic is the longest-running gothic fashion store in Melbourne. The shop specialises in alternative and underground clothing for men and women, including boots, custom-made corsets, jewellery, bags, and hair colours.
If you’re into rockabilly/retro looks, they’ve got loads of cute items in this style as well. And if you’re looking to merge both sides of your personality, they’ve got these cool bone breaker platform heels!
Price range: Tops go from $AUD35 to $AUD120, boots go from $AUD85 to $AUD290
Why we love it: Beserk isn’t just any online shop – it’s the longest-running alternative online store in Australia. Another great thing about Beserk is that they’ve got a wide variety of items up for sale. Besides the usual dress and boots, they’ve also got an epic homeware collection, from skull-patterned linens to batty bath mats. With Beserk, you can transform your entire house into your gothic dream home.
Price range: Coasters go for $AUD6.95, while their velvet comforter set is sold at $AUD199.95.
2. Suicide Glam
Why we love it: Suicide Glam is all about promoting “alternative beauty”. This ethos spreads far beyond their position as a brand that specialises in men’s and women’s street punk rock, rockabilly, and gothic fashion. They also carry stocks in a variety of sizes, from extra small to plus size.
Price range: Tops range from $AUD25 to $AUD75.
Why we love it: Gallery Serpentine doesn’t just sell your run-of-the-mill tops and pants. They specialise in custom-made gothic Victorian costumes, 1920s flapper outfits, and corsets. If you’ve got a gothic convention, a costume party, or even a festival like Burning Man coming up, this is the place to shop!
Price range: Since this is more of a fancy dress shop than an everyday clothing kind of store, don’t expect products to be cheap! Contact the shop directly for an estimate.