IPale faces, dark eyes and black clothes have haunted UK secondary schools and malls for 20 years. While some might argue they never left, simply retreating into the shadows, the consensus for 2022 is that the Gothic style is making a comeback in mainstream culture.
There are a few differences this time around. Modern Gothic is more likely to draw inspiration from ultra-glam ‘goth girlfriends’ such as Kourtney Kardashian and Megan Fox and fashion darlings Rick Owens and Yohji Yamamoto than the self-proclaimed Marilyn Manson-loving underdogs of the early 1970s. 2000s.
They are also more likely to incorporate elements of a darker dress style into their wardrobes than to subscribe to an entire culture and lifestyle, with shopping platforms and social media sites reporting a loss. Huge increase in searches containing the word “goth”.
“At one point there was an idea that goth was ‘weird and unusual’, but it doesn’t feel like that anymore. I wouldn’t want to say it’s mainstream, but it’s much more visible, ”said Catherine Spooner, a professor at Lancaster University who specializes in Gothic culture.
Andrew Groves, professor of fashion design at the University of Westminster, sees the new Gothic style as a reaction to the perfection of the 2010s. “It has become unattractive. Instead, smeared eyeliner, bitten beef blood lips, and a deadly pallor became alluring again. “
He said it was no surprise that people were looking for ways to aesthetically express darker emotions as “we are inundated with information about death, mortality and disease” since the start of the pandemic. , while the school closings have lent themselves to a “romantic” atmosphere. disengagement, brooding and introspection ”among adolescents.
The clothing resale app Depop, which is popular with Gen Z consumers, has reported a 20% increase in “goth” and “gothcore” searches over the past three months, including a peak of 200% for “black corset top” in October.
Sophie Daly, who runs a gothic clothing business on Depop, said the new take on the Gothic style is to mix and match influences, as online communities have connected previously disparate tribes united by a love for palettes. gloomy and gloomy thoughts. She said: “Visually, a goth could literally be anything now. In 2022, goths won’t even need to wear black.
She said videos on TikTok, such as those under the hashtag #goth, which has 8.8 billion views, are fueling interest in vintage gothic fashion, with some sellers auctioning coins up to £ 350 in due to the high demand.
Shopping platform Lyst said that searches for collections by cult Gothic designer Rick Owens, which feature black leather and punk details like rips and zips, have increased 200% this year. Searches for black items increased 169%, while necklaces increased by 81% and fishnet tops by 196%.
Pinterest data, meanwhile, indicates that the Gothic aesthetic influences everyday life. Searches for ‘goth business casual’, described as ‘Wednesday Addams goes to the office’, have increased 90% this year, with gothic baby clothes up 120%, gothic decorations by 85% and searches for pajamas. Gothic up 185%.
This is reflected in the online communities that are built around the subject. On Reddit, the r / Goth community has grown 35% in the past year to 101,000 members, while r / GothStyle has grown 136% to 115,000 members.
This time around, the focus was on personal style and the way it drew inspiration from haute couture, with cyber-goths haunting the catwalks at Balenciaga’s Spring / Summer 2022 runway, Givenchy showcasing the teens. 90s Gothic and Olivier Theyskens inspired by Gothic. brides.
There is also a Gothic influence on the culture more broadly. Taylor Swift’s latest album hints at folk horror, Willow Smith has a subversive new look, and 18-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo, who sports a ‘goth princess’ aesthetic, hints at the Emo subculture adjacent to mid-2000s goth in his songs.
Daniel Rodgers, a fashion and culture writer, said the new Gothic aesthetic is inspired by the early 2000s revival that has defined youth fashion and culture in recent years. This is not a return of the “deadly goth,” he said, but rather a way of “making a gesture to the subculture more generally” taking inspiration from a mix of dark-style tribes. earlier, including emo, punk and goth strands such as the Camden inspired cyber-goth look.
Rodgers traces the current moment of the eboys and egirls phenomenon of the late 2010s, where young gamers popularized a style that combined elements of goth and emo with Japanese anime and cosplay. He sees this and the current iteration of goth as reflecting the way culture thrives on the internet.
“We’re in a constant cycle of going back and reproducing things, spitting references across the table, which feels like a buffet for young people to choose from. “