Dark Glamour of Gothic Fashion

The Gothic look borrows from literature, history and religion; it can be fun, romantic or scary. For many couples today, it's interesting and something which can go towards helping to create a unique and memorable wedding day. Althought Goth culture is often derided as being a bit silly but the romance at the heart of goth is eminently suited to a wedding.

In many opinions, Gothic is an epithet with a strange history, evoking images of death, destruction, and decay. It is not just a word that describes something, such as a Gothic cathedral; it is almost inevitably a term of abuse, implying that something is gloomy, barbarous, and macabre.

In fashion industry the imagery of death and decay, the power of horror, and the erotic macabre are perversely attractive to many fashion designers. John Galliano, for example, has described the "Gothic girl" as "edgy and cool, vampy and mysterious." Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, and Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy have also created what could be described as gothic fashion.

Picture above is Kambriel's Midnight Bustle dress. A Black satin finished brocade, netting, and lace look inspired by Alice In Wonderland and Tim Burton movies.. Kambriel's work exemplifies "the romantic goth aesthetic," which is characterized by soft fluid fabrics and historically-inspired styles. "For me, gothic is all about finding beauty in the shadows," says goth designer Kambriel. "It's about viewing the world through a Tim Burton-esque lens, in which dark humor meets intelligent irony.".

In strange beauty, the fashions are characterized by unconventional shapes and strange sources of imagery. Gothic wedding dresses commonly dominated by black color which is a symbol of the Night explorers. The gothic color par excellence, black has long been associated with death, danger, and evil, but also with mystery, elegance, and eroticism. Since the fifteenth century, black clothing has also been associated with elegance and aristocracy, in large part because black dye was so expensive.

Black clothing was also associated with the elegantly Satanic figure of the dandy, the Black Prince of Elegance. Far from the anodyne Little Black Dress, the fashions in this section of the exhibition seem appropriate for the femme fatale and the dandy vampire aristocrat.

Beginning with the rise of the gothic novel in the eighteenth century, gothic style has been associated with sublime themes of terror and the supernatural. The Victorian cult of mourning mandated head-to-toe black, inspiring members of the goth subculture – and contributing to the image of the femme fatale and the vamp.

Victorian mourning dress was supposed to symbolize grief and respect for the dead. Mourning weighed most heavily on widows, who were supposed to wear deep mourning for at least a year. Mourning clothes were made from fabrics wtih a lustreless texture such as crape, but were not only black. During the second year of mourning, gray and violet clothes could be gradually introduced. Although Victorian etiquette books stressed that mourning dress should be "plain" and "simple," this injunction was contradicted by the fact that mourning, since it was a category of fashionable dress, was often extremely elaborate...

Photo of Mourning dress and hat - Black silk taffeta 1870s by Evan Michelson. Contemporary goths appreciate the morbid allure and claustrophobic corsetry of Victorian mourning dress. The symbolism of black has been said to have evolved "from mourning to evening." However, black symbolizies not only mourning but also aristocratic court dress, which was the antecedent of today’s formal evening attire.

Within the constellation of gothic conventions, the fear of death is often transformed into a kind of sexually-charged horror. Death and decay are aestheticized and romanticized. Not only is the boundary blurred between life and death, so also is there a transgressive understanding of sex and gender. The widow could easily be perceived as a fatal woman, whose embrace led to her lover's death. The femme fatale was often, although not always, depicted in black. Silent films of the early twentieth century established the image of the black-clad vamp, as portrayed by actresses like Theda Bara.