Constellation SLTS 2/8 Goth Subcultures

In our second constellation we again focused on a specific cultural statement, its birth, its definition and the tributary styles of the past and influences that lead to its creation. We learned that anything in culture can be inspiration for an art or fashion movement. With an fashion or trend, there is no fixed point. It is constantly evolving and changing as people alter items and objects to create an ensemble that is unique.

The main tenants of street subculture is that it is something not commercially available. It is a living thing created by individuals on a day to day basis. Once a look or a trend becomes established, it becomes commercially available on the high street and becomes a parent culture, a mainstream idea. In our lecture we sought to understand the reasons and analyse the processes behind various offshoots of the Goth culture.

The Goth Look

Image result for goth

With any popular fashion or trend, most people can identify a rough estimation of the main tenants of that look. Goths tend to wear pale make-up, dark clothing, studs and crucifixes. The overall look is sickly and pale. The reasoning for this is the basis for the trend. Goth was inspired by Gothic literature, Dracula, Frankenstein etc. The occult and the undead.


Victoriana is a subculture of the Goth style which incorporates and reappropriates elements from Victorian high fashion. Referring to past styles is nothing new to fashion, as we saw last week with Jean Paul Gautier’s vintage style corset and pantsuit designed for Madonna.

Victoriana, as with many styles, is an amalgamation of previous looks. There is no attempt to appear authentically Victorian. Simply to utilize items of fashion from the period. In the above image, the woman is wearing traditional mourning wear, the dress, corst, long sleeves and fascinator (futher association with death) and carries a parasol. However she is also wearing white makeup with black lipstick, known as ‘vamp’ makeup.

The key to this lecture was the constant evolution of dress. Anything can be used to create a look regardless of its original purpose or time period. These sub-cultures could not be manufactured. Individuals  had to create their own outfits, either with sowing machines or by trawling charity shops. Additions such as makeup, cobweb or skeleton jewelry were unique to the  wearer. If the look is mass manufactured. Then it is no longer a subculture and quickly it becomes the thing that it attempted to be seperte from. The cycle then continues with subculture branching away from it.




Author: David Rothwell

I am a Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan School of Art and Design If you like any of my work, have feedback (good or bad) or would like to get in touch, please do

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