My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Monday, 10 March 2014

Romantic Goth and Gothic Lolita: Where I Stand

Recently, I've been getting quite into putting together a Gothic Lolita wardrobe, as an addition to my usual Romantic Goth (or should that be Gothic Romantic in my case?) wardrobe. Thankfully, while the styles are different, there's enough overlap for me not to have to do too much shopping - already have black ruffled blouses, a coffin handbag, a black cat handbag, lots of lacy accessories, fancy tights and ruffled socks,  a selection wigs, a few skirts with enough space for the pouf of petticoats, etc.  This expansion of my style is exactly that - an expansion. I am not "quitting" being a Goth, I'm just adding more variety of black outfits to my selection of black outfits! I don't plan on venturing into Sweet Lolita or Country Lolita or whatnot, just sometimes wearing outfits that adhere to the stylistic 'rules' of Lolita but are very much rooted in my being a Goth. 
Very much still a Romantic Goth
Webcam selfie
Why have I got into the Lolita subculture, then? The emphasis on outfits being well put together, on being co-ordinated is something that appeals to me.  It is a view of fashion where looking good is a skill. The anachronistic stylistic influences are something I was bound to adore - I've always been one to scavenge from various centuries and mix it all together like some kind of vampire that has been adding and altering clothes for hundreds of years with little regard to what is in fashion at any one time, or some kind of time-traveller that has hopped between times and places so often that their wardrobe doesn't really belong to any of them. Lolita provides a framework for these mixed influences, and makes it possible to combine them in a way that is aesthetically pleasing rather than incongruous. 

Finally, a sense of community - there IS definitely a Goth and Alternative community locally, even if it is a small one and even if the Metal community is certainly the predominant local one, and while I certainly do have a circle of friends that share some of my interests, I'm far more likely to have friends who want to go clubbing or to the pub than a tea party or picnic, and I am more inclined to the quieter, more sedate activities of the latter. Don't get me wrong, I do clubbing, but I see that more as an opportunity for some good music and plenty of dancing than socialising, especially as I can hardly hear myself talk, let alone anybody else. Lolitas tend to gather to chat over tea and cake, or perhaps go ice-skating or to the botanical gardens - these are the sorts of group activities that I feel far more comfortable taking part in- even if I might want to go for a stroll around the graveyard or go visiting old buildings too. 

None of this means that I am abandoning my Goth side - this is all in addition to the Goth things I continue to do. I am still going to float around in floor-length skirts and wear fingerless gloves and an over-sized ankh pendant. I'm still going to go visiting graveyards and old buildings and take photographs of ruined castles. I will still be me, and still be Goth, just with a few new dresses. 

15 comments:

  1. I admire your flair for finding your niche within any style you set your eyes on. =)

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    1. To be fair, I only really go for styles that are pretty Gothic or anachronistic. I'm not really drawn to styles that don't really gel with the kinds of things I already like.

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  2. Hear hear - I'm not really a fan of Lolita style (though their accessorising and strict structuring, with the attention to balance, is very inspiring), but it's certainly useful crossing boundaries when it comes to subcultures, both in aesthetics and community. I've been dabbling in street and other alternative styles to try bring a bit more variety to my wardrobe. I would still identify as goth, however, and still dress goth and listen to gothic rock.

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    1. I don't want to limit myself to any one thing too much. I might primarily be a Goth, but I've dabbled in other styles and subcultures in the past (Steampunk, bohemian, Neo-Hippie, etc.) and I still retain some of the influences from that. My music tastes are primarily Goth, Darkwave, French Coldwave, etc. on one side and Baroque, choral, Romantic-era, etc. on the other side. I'm just as likely to listen to William Byrd as to Bauhaus.

      I don't know much about street style, except that I think it's related to skaters.

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  3. I love Lolita too! I love the Gothic Lolita outfits, with all the ruffles and Victorian inspiration! I love the things we have in common, a love of tea parties, and Victorian things. I love that they wear long sleeves a lot, as someone who burns easily in the sun, it's nice to have a style that caters well to that. The colours and pieces to go well with my Romantic and Victorian Gothic pieces. I also love all the headpieces, I need more headpieces, I prefer the flower and cannotier sort, not the little maid-y type headdress or bonnets. Also even though Gothic Lolita may not be 'technically goth' a lot of people who are into it seem to share Gothic interests. And, of course, tea parties and picnics! I can't really live without tea parties and picnics! And like you, I only go for the pieces that suit my aesthetic. I got a couple of sweet pieces early on and they really didn't suit me, so I am sticking to what I like! I am also really inspired by Black Forest/Dark Mori at the moment, which is another interesting Japanese take on old European styles.

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    1. Dark Mori looks really pretty, but I wonder if I'm too broad to pull it off. I have at least one skirt that would be really good for that kind of style and a lot of shawly scarves an layering things; I just get worried that I will look frumpy and buried in clothes rather than elegant and witchy. The photoshoot in this: http://domesticatedgoth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/romanticism-mysticism-and-witchcraft.html shows my penchant for floating about the woods and wearing floaty things, but I haven't as yet had a proper go at dressing in Dark Mori. I keep an eye on Tumblr, but I don't know enough to call an outfit "Dark Mori" or to put one together effectively.

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  4. Well, first of all, that tp is gorgeous! ^^
    I appreciate lolita for the same reason, it's so very well coordinated and organized...which I'm, on the other hand, absolutely uncapable of. It's kinda challenging for me to put together a somewhat authentic gothloli look. :)

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    1. The top is by Raven, and it's one of their less over-the-top pieces. When Raven are good, they're amazing, but when they're bad... they wander into fancy dress. I have a similar top to the one I'm wearing there that's quite silly with cobweb lace and bright violet satin on the bodice that I wear at Halloween.

      With Gothic Lolita you really do have to plan the outfit out, follow the rules - "is this skirt long enough? is there enough pouf? is my neckline high enough? does this wig suit?" etc. I often trial several outfits before I'm happy to call an outfit Gothic Lolita.

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  5. The beauty of our subculture and aesthetic is that it actually promotes creativity and diverse styles. Even I, as a guy, try to mix my style up a bit.

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    1. Being a guy should be no barrier to mixing things up a bit :)

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  6. I really love this post and the vampire metaphor is just perfect. I feel pretty much the same most of the time. Mixing clothes from different subcultures and eras can result in terribly interesting outfits.

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    1. Currently my favourite thing is wearing "witchy" pointy Gothic pikes with Gothic Lolita instead of platform Mary-Jane shoes. I love mixing stuff up, especially when there's a shared thematic or aesthetic current. I'm definitely a Goth, but I don't want that to ever become restrictive for me.

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  7. Love romantic style and E.G.L as well

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    1. I mean I identify as romantic goth,but don't accept what I am if that makes sense I believe because of my music taste I'm not considered a romantic goth. I don't listen to ethereal, or new romantic bands. I dress the part extremely and with the the passion of a zealot,but my music gets me associated to a "mall-goth" or something similar. I listen to alot of Gothic symphonic metal or visual kei
      Moi Dix mois,malice mizer,Versailles, Nightwish,Tristania,Evanesscence,Lacrimosa, theatre of tragedy and what not...but for the most part I classify myself as romantic goth.

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    2. I like Versailles Philharmonic Quintet and Jupiter, Malice Mizer, etc. too, and got into Goth via symphonic metal, Marilyn Manson and Evanescence before being exposed to Post-Punk, Goth rock, Darkwave, etc. and my first loves, musically, are all classical.

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