There’s a interesting article in the NY Times today about the history of Goth style and how it pervades our culture, even today. While there’s a great history of the trend and some fascinating pictures (there’s a great pic of a Victorian mourning dress), I remain unconvinced of the sincerity of the trend. Not only do 16-year-old hormonal schoolkids now don the black look head to toe, but it has also infected the high fashion world. Designers such as Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh and the ever-cobwebby Rodarte stroll black-clad models down the runway. And while some of these looks are inspiring and even interesting, it still seems to be a fad to me moreso than a movement. Below is one of Alexander McQueen’s looks:
As someone who was guilty of this look in junior high (a very low-brown form … the kind with dark lipstick and an alabaster foundation) I can say this look definitely began a means of expression. Expression of what, I’m not so sure. I get the whole angst-with-the-world thing (God knows I knew the entire world was out to get me at age 16) but now I feel as though it’s another fashion cliche. If you consider yourself a societal outcast, you seem to be expected to dress and act like these kids. Our more modern of this trend would probably be emo (which I also don’t quite understand), and I think my feelings of it are best summed up in a South Park episode on the subject.)
In conclusion, a fad that start as another method for middle-class white kids to whine about nothing now is trying to mature and come into its own as a sincere movement. I just wish it were a bit more sincere in its efforts and direction.