Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mainstreaming the underground

Ah - so Halloween is over for another year.

The masses have had their annual, spooky fun wearing dark lipstick, black nail polish, black lace, studs, faux leather, rubber etc etc and now it will once again be something that only the gothy-punky subcultures like to play with.

Well - sort of.

Because the kids are not just getting all vampy by wearing "Team Edward" t-shirts anymore. Cheap and cheerful retailers like TopShop, Urban Outfitters, Dangerfield and ASOS are just brimming with goth-inspired looks (for example, you can buy this bondage-style studded leather harness from TopShop right now for about $50).  

And fashionistas have been having an on-again off-again relationship with dark lipstick and black nail polish for the last few years. The second a designer has a line sprinkled with lace, blood red velvet or dominatrix-style leather or a stylish new, dark movie comes out (hello "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"), goth comes back on the fashion radar and everyone wants in on it. 

Stories like this one recently post on, "Hollywood Gone Goth!", are now pretty standard.  And then there is Scarlett Johansson's recent look on the cover of W Magazine's November anniversary issue:

Hmm - I thought everyone looked better with paler skin and darker hair - but apparently not. Ew, ScarJo! Just, ew. The jewellery looks photoshopped on or something. Actually - the whole look appears to have been photoshopped on to her face. Not good.

And even though I was asked today whether the black stripe in my hair was something that I had done just for Halloween, a lot of the things I wear at the moment no longer seem to be particularly creepy or counterculture and are actually kind of on-trend - even *shudder* mainstream.

I mean, as I pointed out in my last post, I basically have the same look as Miley Cyrus does right now. I can hardly pretend that my look is hardcore anymore, now can I? 

A long time ago, I would probably lump my look under ever increasing umbrella of "alternative" rather than trying to fit it into a particular subculture. But nowadays - given the current desire for, and access to, fast fashion that lets you quickly pick up and drop any look you could possibly dream up - alternative to what exactly? 

So does this appropriation of gothic fashion by the mainstream freak me out? Does it piss me off? 

Nope. Not really. 

While it may have been a pre-occupation of mine when I was a teenager to look or dress in a way that would make me stand out or, better yet, freak people out, these days I am just super happy about how ridiculously easy for me to buy clothes that I like now - and without even having to step foot in a fetish store! 

Seriously, check out this sweet looking rubber and mesh leggings that I nabbed from for about $35. 

How can I complain?

Ok. So it does piss me off a little bit when I see kids wearing band t-shirts when you can be pretty damn sure they NEVER actually listen to the band (like the many Ramones or Nirvana shirts that you see on 14 year old girls at the moment). But even then, if there is a chance that opens up a few of their lives to some of the best music ever written, it is probably for the greater good of man kind. 


Anonymous said...

Good grief, when did Miley Cyrus do THAT?! Besides which, hers is a passing phase and you are much more lovely.
Also, where is this ASOS store you speak of??
But as someone who has also just hit their 30's, I can relate to the weirdness of 'children' wearing the same clothes as us with no idea of their meaning. Ah well; at least we look sharper, cooler, and more importantly - younger and hotter than they do :)

Anonymous said...

Yep Ramones Ts are everywhere and Marley, Bowie and The Smiths.

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