Gothic fashion is a clothing style worn by members of the Gothsubculture, known as Goths. It is stereotyped as a dark, sometimesmorbid, eroticized fashion and style of dress. Typical gothic fashionincludes dyed black hair, dark eyeliner, black fingernails, blackclothes, spikes, piercings (such as flesh tunnels or surface to surface)and chains. Styles are often borrowed from the Elizabethans and Victorians. The extent to which goths hold to this stereotype varies,though virtually all Goths wear some of these elements. Gothic Fashion as extension of identity
Gothic fashion is a part of the identity practices of the gothsubculture. As such, a person's style (including their clothing, hair,makeup, and accessories), is a major factor in determining whetherthe person will be perceived as "authentic" by others in thesubculture. This is not particular to goth; rather, it is a feature of many subcultures. Members of the subculture may and often dohave different ideas about what constitutes gothic fashion thanmembers of the population at large, and some styles which read as"goth" to many people are seen as "outsider" by those in the scene. Inhis book Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture (Berg Publishers Ltd.,Oxford, 2002), Paul Hodkinson talks about goths using their fashionchoices to demonstrate commitment to the subculture. In particular,he asserts that more extreme, less easily concealed choices - such asdyeing one's hair or shaving part of it off - demonstrate greatercommitment. Typical look and colours
Typical goth dress usually consists of black clothing accessorizedwith silver and/or pewter, but can vary in the colour-schemes. Thestereotypical gothic outfit, sometimes referred to as the "romantic"look, is limited only by what the wearer thinks he\or she can pulloff, and can (and frequently does) include elaborate gowns andcorsets, veils, eyeliner, black fingernails, fishnets, and stylesborrowed from the Elizabethans and Victorians and anything withbuckles or spikes on it. The nature of the event will to some degreedictate the dress code, but expression of personal style is generallymore important, and it's not unusual for several club-goers on agiven night to appear dressed very formally or elaborately in a way
unrelated to the specific event. But a goth is definately not limited tothe above discription. All that is required is black clothing and theunderstanding of the culture. Variation and Cross-Influences
The simplicity of the style lends itself to variation, and it is oftenseen combined with elements of other styles (typically BDSMfashion). Various piercings and/or tattoos are not uncommon (thoughthis is primarily a 1990s addition to gothic fashion), and both malesand females often wear elaborate makeup. Hair is often dyed black.There are a few similarities between goth fashion and the moremasculine black metal fashion, which can make it difficult forsomeone unfamiliar with either fashion to discern the subculture of the individual. Like the punk subculture it grew out of, early gothfashion had a strong emphasis on the DIY ethic. Post-Victorian Influence
The elegant, historically-inspired side of the subculture, ofteninvolving chiffon petticoats, antique lace, intricate brocades, andcorsetry is another prominent style of gothic fashion. This issometimes known as "romantic goth." Most variants of gothicfashion incorporate some facet of this classic style. Goth Fashion Aesthetic
Goth style's rejection of mainstream values, emphasis on freedom of expression, and challenging taboos makes it difficult to define itsaesthetic principles. Goth fashion emphasizes transformation of thebody, elements of beauty, order, conscious eroticism and 'otherness'that flouts conventions.While a member of the Goth subculture may or may not embracenihilism, many are drawn to the fashion or music due to a sense of alienation, which may explain the style's fascination with morbidityor vampire style. Wearing black eyeshadow...
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