Behind The Gothic Veil
The gothic subculture is one of the widely talked about, yet mostly undiscovered genres. The dark ideology that evolved in the 1980s, blended perfectly with the undertones of horror and romance make the entire concept of Goth.
To know about the gothic culture, let us take a sneak peek behind the dark veil, at the different aspects of gothic practices and ideologies:
Origin of Goth culture:
Some say it all started with a novel. Catchy as it may sound, it is nothing but the truth. Inspired by the revolutionary classic of Horace Walpole, named the ‘The Castle of Otranto’, a generation started to perceive death in a different philosophical attitude.
Since then, a subculture saw itself emerge. Following Walpole, a number of authors started penning their own gothic ideas to justify the association of death with beauty and eternity. Some of such authors are Mary Shelley, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Bronte and Jane Austen to name a few. The books they wrote contain a detailed description of a visualization they wanted their readers to relate with themselves.
Evolution of gothic rock music:
Dating back to the 1970s, gothic rock is a subgenre of music that sprang long back from alternative rock and post-punk music. There are lots of musical groups who create mesmerizing tunes and weave in lyrics on a gothic backdrop.
Some of the most popular gothic rock bands are The Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, The Cure, The Mission, Evanescence, Virgin Prunes, Clan of Xymox and a lot more. All of the bands talk of love associated with horror.
Gothic visual art:
The gothic ideology had also influenced a lot of talented photographers as well as painters. All their work was portrayed in an overtone of grotesque motifs, which were subtly infused with romanticism to the core. Romantic Goth backgrounds were set, which told pictorial stories of vampires and the dead, which defined eternal love.
Painters such as John Ruskin and Everett Millais deserve special mention here.
Adoption of gothic literature in the cinematic backdrop:
Gothic culture saw an expansion when the concept of portraying Goth in the realm of the movie came into being. They, in reality, were the personifications of what had been practiced. The movies were the replica of the gothic belief and the followers of gothic culture took a high interest towards it.
Movies like Rebecca, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Fall of the House of Usher among the other worthy names have contributed to the establishment of the gothic culture to a firm position in the society.
Gothic lifestyle was considered at a time to be unearthly and associated to the philosophy of Satan. However, those who have made an intense research on the topic claim that gothic lifestyle has nothing to do with demonic associations. In fact, people inspired by the gothic culture say that nowhere in their philosophy it is stated that you must believe in God to be a part of the Gothic community.
And that certainly directly points out that you have nothing to do with the demonic ventures of the Satan. Being Goth only means that you accept death as it is and feel that death with all its beauty retains all out emotions even after our souls depart our mortal body.
Inspired by the gothic way of living and culture related with it, the people belonging to the Gothic community tend to reflect their eagerness to embrace death in their appearance. The people associated with Goth culture prefer black to be the prevalent color, making it the center of all their concern. Starting right from black dresses, the people also paint their nails and eyes black.
Furthermore, there are people who also go to the extent of dyeing their hair black.
Most of the costumes worn by the gothic community resemble death with all its valor. However, modern Goths are more open to experiment and they are now trying to eke up that morbid look with other hues such as dark blue, gray, blood red, dull gold and others which tend to make the skin appear pale.
Variations among the gothic community are just as diverse as in any culture or religion or animal species. The gothic people have three commonly understood fashion divisions. Of course, there are many subtle and unique variations and there is no rulebook because being goth is about being original but we can spot some trends and the main divisions, which are as follows:
• Haute Goth: They are from the sect that believes in dressing up all in black. They feel that in order to feel a sense of unity with the beauty of darkness, it is absolutely necessary to wear black costumes and accessories.
• Gothic Lolita: This style calls for a darker makeup and dressing style. Gothic Lolita defines the style of keeping oneself well-dressed along with the combination of red lipstick and kohled eyes. The eyes can be made up either in a smokey pattern or else in a well-defined way, which marks the contours of the eyes in a detailed outline.
• Aristocrat: This is actually a street fashion form, which has largely been influenced by the Rock musician Mana. This style speaks loud of the subtly blended Neo-Victorian and Gothic fashion concepts.
Therefore, it is clear that the fashion, both Ladies Goth and the gothic gentry have a high sense of fashion which is sometimes confused with heavy metal or emo fashion senses.
Gothic costumes tell a lot of the philosophy that surrounds the gothic culture. Gothic costumes include gowns and skirts in eerie asymmetrical patterns, which are highlighted with the help of a pale face and intense makeup mostly made up of darker tones of colour.
There are a number of famous faces in the glamor world who are into gothic fashion. Fashion designers such as Claude Montana, Stefano Pilati, and Thierry Mugler along with Riccardo Tisci are ardent propagandists of gothic fashion. One of the most iconic Goth models was Sandi J.
Goth culture is a wide topic to describe. It is not a subject, not a tale to be narrated. To summarize, Gothic culture is an entity in itself.
Death does not seem so beautiful in any other practice.