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..

Friday, 30 May 2014

Colour And Goth

There's a myth that all Goths are allowed to wear is black, maybe a little white or grey, but strictly a greyscale palette.
Green and purple; definitely two colours here!
This is completely untrue. Goths can wear colours.
I am sure that most experienced Goths know this, but I want to both reassure the younger and newer Goths, and dispel a common misconception.

Yes, black is the primary feature of our aesthetic just look at this blog layout!), but there's plenty of room for adding different colours into the mix. I do primarily wear black, but I personally love using accents of colour. I think all the black as a background means that I have to use stronger colours and designs to come forwards from such a strong but neutral background as black. I can thank Odile Decq, the French architect and designer, talking about her design for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome for making me think about this. Look her up on the internet; she is a fascinating and brilliant designer of multitudinous things from knives to buildings, and by appearances, I would guess a traditional style Goth, too! As such, when I wear colours with my black, it is in strong and bold designs, such as the dramatic eye make-up or the absolutely gorgeous purple and black "marching band" style jacket by Dark Star. I never go for mediocre or dull items - I go  for rich jewel tones and clothes with interesting designs. 

Hopefully the purple in my jacket is visible in this one.
I think contrast is the key to wearing colours with mostly black; to me it is far more striking if someone wears one or two bold colours with a mostly black outfit than if one wears equally dark or muted shades. Of course, layers of deep colours and darkness have their own appeal, too. I tend to wear usually only one colour with my black, usually dictated by my hair or wig colour. Combining two bold colours like in this outfit and make-up is actually quite an uncommon thing for me. I also like to match my accent colour so that I use the same shade throughout, as I feel that this co-ordinates and brings a sense of cohesion to the outfit. 
Grumpy Goth!
Actually, just trying not to smudge my lipstick.

Any colour can be worn with black, and I have no intentions of limiting anybody's fashion choices, but it is more traditionally Gothic to choose from purple (for magic and mystery) or red (for blood and passion). I have, however, seen pretty much every colour paired with black. To me each colour has its own association: blue brings associations of the night sky, neon green of the "radiation glow", emerald green of snakes and dragons, gold of Ancient Egypt, coppers and browns of Steampunk, pastel pink of the "creepy-cute" style, etc. It is rarer for colours to be worn without black, but I have seen some gorgeously Gothic (if not always necessarily Goth) outfits in almost completely red, white and purple - if there's any black at all, it is as an accent, and in some cases silver or white are used as the accent instead. It is not about the black, it is about the sort of aesthetic and associations portrayed. Silver and white on its own can look very ghostly, red on its own is good for portraying styles with links to vampires, carnal passions, and blood (with vampires being a combination of the latter two, in many ways). 

I am indeed wearing glitter with my Goth, too!
There are plenty of ways to combine colours into a Goth wardrobe and Gothic aesthetic. If you are looking for inspiration, just search the internet; there are plenty of beautifully styled Goths who often incorporate colours into their appearance without diminishing their "Gothness". Have fun, add some richness to the dark! 

4 comments:

  1. I really like your idea that the colors should accent the black. The photos above show how artistically this can be accomplished.

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    1. They're terrible photographs! It's one of those things I regret not getting good photographs of, especially after all the time and effort that went into the design.

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  2. I completely agree, I love bold colours in goth fashion.

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    Replies
    1. Me too - especially when done in the sort of ways people like Psychara do!

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