What to know about goths?

Goth subculture originated from England in the late 70s, an offshore of the postpunk genre. The subculture emerged from the listeners of goth-rock, and the name was coined from the musical genre. The unforgettable post-punk genre that presaged, developed and shaped the subculture includes Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees and Bauhaus. The subculture survived for a longer time than others of the same era, and it continued to diversify and spread all over the world.

The choice of music includes different styles like ethereal wave, deathrock, cold wave, gothic rock and darkwave. The subculture style of dressing revolves around punk, new romantic fashion and new wave, which also includes fashion from earlier periods like the Edwardian and Victorian era or the combination of all. The subculture style is also a combination of dark makeup, black hair and dark attire. Decades after the subculture emerged, it continues to gain attention from a wide audience.

Goth’s cultural influences

The Goth subculture of the early 1980s got its inspiration from different sources, with some of them being modern and contemporary. The subculture philosophy spreads across fashion, music and aesthetics. Its image and cultural dispositions indicate influences from horror films from the German Expressionism genre and also literature from the 19th-century. Additionally, apart from the influence provided by music genres like Punk and New Wave, it also drew inspiration from vampire cults, horror folklore and literature as well as traditional mythology.

Literary Influence

Gothic fiction combines horror, death and at times romance. The literature originates from an English author named Horace Walpole, with his novel titled “The Castle of Otranto” in 1764; later subtitled “A Gothic Story” in its second edition. The classic romantic and horror literature played an essential role in the development of the Goth subculture. After Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Mathew Lewis, Clara Reeve and William Thomas Beckford further developed this literature genre.

Historical and cultural influences

Goth Subculture is believed to have started in the early 80s after the release of the song Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus. Although John Stickney, a music critic in 1967, coined the term Goth, it did not become known until the late 1970s. Goth subculture has witnessed several developments over the years as a result of various cultural influences. Music subcultures such as New Wave, Punk, and Glam played a role as Goth subculture evolved. Additionally, the subculture drew inspiration from vampire cults, horror films and traditional mythology.

In the 18th and 19th century, Goth subculture witnessed a change based on the emergence of different styles of art and romanticism. Several Gothic kinds of literature combined dark elements and romance to produce horror, suspense, terror and the supernatural. An example of such literature is “The Castle of Otranto”, a novel that was written by Horace Walpole in 1764. Other writers that influenced the subculture over these two centuries were Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and H. P. Lovecraft. Apart from literature and music, painters and photographers also played a role in influencing Gothic Subculture.

19th and 21st Century Influences

Towards the end of the 19th century, painters like John Ruskin and John Everett Millais invented a new form of Gothic in their art. By the 20th century, the Gothic subculture was more influenced by Goth music. Although the movement has begun to subside towards the end of the 21st century, Goth fashion continues to trend. Some of the well-known designers are Anna Sui, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh. Goths are known to dress in a conspicuous dark, homogeneous and antiquated dress, with coloured black hair, eyeliner and dark fingernail polish.

Goth Fashion and Conclusion

Although much is not heard about the Gothic subculture in this era, the subculture is still present among us. Goth styles are often conceived from punk fashion, and it expresses occult or other religious images more often. Goth events such as Castle Party, Lumous Gothic Festival, Ghoul School and Whitby Goth Weekend are being hosted annually to appreciate the Goth subculture. Gothic culture is deep and has been in existence for hundreds of years, and we hope to see it brought back to its glory days.

Modern gothic fashion

Modern gothic fashion is just a traditional gothic fashion style imbued with current fashion trends, with its influence still growing exponentially. Gothic fashion was established through the rise of punk music, and with the popularity of punk music, it gained more popularity. This popularity was then followed by a decline in the acceptance of this style due to decisive actions that gave way to decadent moods. However, with the help of the legendary band Joy Division, along with some other bands, the neo-gothic subculture saw major developments.

From the early 2000s, the Gothic style started making its way into top fashion shows, which created high acceptance for this trend. According to records, Alexander McQueen was one of the first top designers to be aesthetically imbued with victorian and gothic influences. His Hunger, Birds, and Shining collections were described as “the return of Victorian drama” by several fashion critics. The collections stood out with the puffy skirts, black lace, and ruffled blouses combination. Today, there have been many features of Gothic styles on runways and different fashion shows.

Modern Gothic Fashion: Appearance and Style

Just like the traditional gothic fashion, the modern gothic fashion’s predominant colour is black, but that is not the only accepted colour. Gothic styles make use of only deep dark colours such as burgundy, green, blue, purple, and so on. White is also an accepted colour in modern gothic fashion, but warm colours are not tolerated. The idea of “erotic Macabre” is important to the gothic fashion, therefore, a Gothic person naturally projects the image of a dandy and an aristocrat vampire in their styles.

Modern Gothic Fashion: Misconceptions and Final note

When it comes to gothic fashion there are many misconceptions such as black is the only accepted colour, or the style represents evil. Although predominantly, the Gothic style is a representation of death and the shades of black represent mourning motifs, it is not in any way evil. Goths believe in the beauty of death, and they use their style to remind the world of mourning, external grief, and frailty of being. Modern gothic fashion consists of free-spirited, open-minded, and artistic individuals, and from their hairstyles to their shoes is a complete work of art.

About gothic music

The history of Goth can be traced back to the late 70s when Bauhaus released a single titled Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Goth is essentially a loose musical style that has its origins deep-rooted in punk. Typically, Gothic music is centred on dark themes, which are expressed through the music atmosphere and lyrics. This post-punk music genre is associated with high-pitched baselines and scything guitar patterns, and it has continued to thrive because of its uniqueness. There are several well-known Goth music artists such as The Cure, Peter Murphy and The Damned.

There are several types of Goth such as the traditional Goth, cyber Goth, romantic Goth and vampire Goth. While the taste of music may differ among some of these Goth types, they pretty much revolve around the high pitched tunes. Gothic rock, post-punk, cold wave and deathrock (American) are some of the music preferred by the Goth subculture. While Goth music originally came from the United Kingdom, it has been accepted around the world. Some famous Goth inspired music artists are Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy and The Cult, whose music is listened to till date.

Goth Subgenres

Although the original Goth music is gradually fading, there are subgenres that have come up over the years. Cyber Goth, industrial metal, shock rock, gothic metal and horror-punk are among the popular Goth subgenres. Each Goth music artist has added something unique to the Goth culture. For instance, The Cure’s albums such as “Seventeen Seconds”, “Faith” and “Pornography” showcased the band as a resistance, while The Damned added crooned vocals and a dramatic surge to Goth music in their album titled “The Black Album”.

Conclusion

Goth music has had its fair share of glorious moments in the past, but it continues to reign among Goths. There are new Goth music artists that have surfaced recently such as Zola Jesus. Apart from music, there are visual elements that also identify a Goth. Goth fashion range from deathrock, Victorian punk, androgynous to Renaissance and medieval-style attire usually with black clothing, makeup and hair. If you haven’t listened to Goth music before, you can try out the ones listed here to determine if you have a “Goth spirit” in you.

Gothic subculture in Europe

Born in England in the 1980s, the goth subculture is still today one of the more attention-grabbing subcultures in the UK. Music, fashion and identity all merged into a single ethos. Drawing inspiration from painter such as John Everett Millais and John Ruskin, the beginnings of the goth subculture has its roots in popular 19th-century fiction. Themes such as romanticism and mysticism permeate the subculture across different European cities, from Germany to Poland, London to the USA and artists including Siouxsie and the Banshees remain enduringly popular.

The goth subculture embodies distinctive aesthetic appearance, music, and personal beliefs. Music plays a dominant role in shaping the ethos of the subculture. Post-punk, gothic rock, darkwave, and ethereal wave genres are often directly associated with goth subculture. Bands including Joy Division and The Sisters of Mercy are often cited as having pioneered the goth music scene. The distinctive fashion trends that most goths follow make them easily distinguishable. Counter-culture, with a clear emphasis on wearing darker tones, especially black, goths are proud to demonstrate their allegiance to an ideology.

European Goth Festivals

There is a wealth of goth festivals, held every year across Europe that attract hundreds of thousands of attendees, that have a rich history. The largest of which is the Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival in Leipzig, Germany. This four-day event showcases more than 150 bands and many subgenres of goth music. From gothic metal to industrial, darkwave to neo-classical, there is much for anyone with a taste for ‘dark’ and ‘hard’ music to enjoy. Alternatively, the annual Castle Party hosted in the ruins of Bolkow Castle, Poland, attracts scores of goths each year.

Gothic Fashion

Goth fashion has enjoyed a reciprocal relationship with the fashion industry. 21st-century designers, such as Alexander MacQueen, Anna Sui, and Yohji Yamamoto are considered to be pioneers of recent gothic fashion. However, gothic fashion isn’t a 21st-century trend. As far back as the 1980s, gothic fashion garb was popular with people of all ages. Most commonly associated with ‘artistical concept’, clothes are frequently self-designed. There are, of course, online retailers that specialize in selling goth apparel exclusively. Additionally, over the last few decades, gothic style elements have been adopted by notable designers.

Goths nowadays

The goth subculture dates back to the early 1980s when it developed in England among fans of gothic rock, which was an offshoot of the renowned post-punk genre. Notable groups that helped in the development and shaping of this subculture include Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure, Bauhaus, and Joy Division. The popularity of the goth subculture continued to rise. It has survived longer than most subcultures developed in the same era. Besides this, it has diversified and spread to different parts of the world.

The subculture has specific tastes in fashion, music, and aesthetics. For instance, concerning music, goths prefer deathrock, gothic rock, post-punk, darkwave, ethereal wave, and cold wave. Fashion styles within the goth subculture draw in new wave, punk, and new romantic dressing. Fashion tastes of earlier eras such as the Edwardian and Victorian ones are also popular among goths. The style features dark attires, black hair and dark makeup. Despite being decades after it emerged, this subculture continues to attract interest from a broad audience.

Popular Goth Events

Goth is a famous subculture. This popularity is particularly evidenced by the different goth festivals held in various parts of the world. Among the most popular are M’era Luna and Wave-Gotik-Treffen which are both held annually in Western Europe. In Poland, the Castle Party is the most popular. Other popular events include the Lumous Gothic Festival in Finland, Deti Nochi: Chorna Rada in Ukraine, the Drop Dead Festival, Bats Day, and the Goth Cruise in the United States, and Whitby Goth Weekend in England.

Goth Subculture in Films and Books

The goth subculture scene attracts diverse individuals, among them filmmakers and authors. Over the years, many films and books that adopt the concepts of this subculture have been created. Some of the films that have drawn their inspiration from the goth subculture include Corpse Bride, The Hunger, and Beetlejuice. There are also animated Tv shows that parody the goth subculture. American Beauty, The Faculty, Wedding Crashers, and The Loud House are some of them. Further to this, The Sandman, Encyclopedia Gothica, and Goth is Dead are some of the written artwork that depicts goth subculture.