By: Sharon Mosley
As vampires keep on sucking the blood out of our movies and the economy, the dark side of our culture continues to influence the return of the romantic fashion of “the Goth” — that proverbial punkish rocker who may also throw in a little Victorian glamour every once in a while.
Young people all over the world are choosing to drape themselves in the black, voluminous style, according to trend expert, Nina Stotler, who tracks the dark developments for the fashion forecasting website, “Stylesight” (www.stylesight.com).
“Amid today’s fickle, fast-fashion trends and cyclical decade revivals, one constant is an undercurrent of darkness and the gravitation of a certain set of people toward the macabre,” says Stotler, who admits that not since the ’80s have we seen such a resurgence of “Goth” clothes worn by “a subculture” of young people fond of those good ‘ole dark days.
“Now in the uncertain times of 2010,” says Stotler, “the culture that spawned the previous movements of black, via a group of artists, musicians and fashion designers, with their minimal take on darkness, is serving a modern update to the macabre.”
She cites popularity of the directional, draped style of designer Rick Owens. “His look is almost a uniform among young Scandinavians,” she says.
Other designers who are currently in the dark include Ann Demeulemeester and Givenchy’s Ricardo Tischi. Even mainstream designers like Ralph Lauren did a tribute to the dark side on the fall runways with his collection of Gothic evening dresses. The style is draped and textural, often contrasting leather with sheer fabrics, mixing stark graphics or tough design details like zippers.
But even if you don’t dwell on the dark side of fashion too often, and you’re not into interviewing vampires or having a chemical romance, you can still put some edgy style into your wardrobe. Channel your inner gypsy and conjure up Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac.
According to Stotler, here are a few bewitching ways that the latest generation of Goths are adding some attitude and a little more glamour to the new street style:
— Layer black head-to-toe. Long skirts, hoods, leather leggings and dark makeup are worn with a casual attitude, says Stotler.
— Think draping. “Today’s darker fashions have a slim silhouette, using sleek trousers and skirts to balance long, draped knits or asymmetrical outerwear,” Stotler notes. “Pieced construction, contrast paneling and spiderweb shredding are all part of the draping effect.”
— Go for graphics. This gives the dark look a lighter touch, says Stotler. “Designs are clean and basic focusing on symbols and shapes, or florid and mirrored with hidden sinister skulls or skeletons.”
— Accessorize. Bold accessories are key to the dark mood in clothing. Stotler says to look for updated antique jewelry, substantial leather pieces in wallets, belts, caps and gloves, as well as thick rubber, fringe, fur detailing and tooled, crafted textures.
— Focus on footwear. Think chunky covered wedges or stacked heels. Textures like crocodile or long fur are also staples of the new Goth footwear. Straps, zippers and chunky buckles are more popular, but lace-up, peep-toe boots or heels offer more of a feminine touch.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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