Thursday, 21 June 2012

Wave Gothic Treffen. Goths don't all wear black anymore

When you think of Goths you may well be thinking of everything in that video. However Goth fashion has changed a lot over the decades. Another common misconception is goths are depressed, most goths could really be described as Mono-chrome Hippies. Every  year I travel to Germany with my friends to soak up some wonderful music and amazing goth inspired fashion at Leipzig's Wave Gothic Treffen. And this year I even dragged my manager with me :)

So let us begin with what you may think of as classic Goth clothing (all be it on a regal scale)

Many years ago Black Velvet was the fabric of choice among the Gothic populace. However more recently the most popular fabric has become Duchess Satin. IT's important to use a heavy satin for Goth Dresses. This is because these dresses tend to be very   floatey and in a lighter satin can look more like a nighty. In contrast a heavy satin gives a sense of structure and lets the intricate pleats and folds hold their shape and stand out.

After a while the colour white begins to creep in. This white and black costume was made (and is being modeled) by one of the regular customers of Fabric8. The skirt is a "gypsy" style skirt, made of short panels being pleated into the panel above. This way 5 meters of  fabric can give you a hemline of over 20 meters!

The corset is also a common feature among Goths and affiliates sub cultures. As is oftent he case with fringe fashion, aspects of this are coming into the mainstream. As this BBC article goes into . 

The Black and white skirt above was originally constructed to form part of a Belly Dance costume. There are many different form of belly dance including Gothic belly dance.  There is a strong link between Goth culture and fantasy culture. Many goths are also historical re-en-actors. As a result there is a strong medieval theme at WGT as well as Middle Eastern and  fantasy (with one venue dedicated to medieval and middle eastern clothing, artifacts, and music)

As a result there are some fantastic costumes which you may not associate with Goth at first. Lashings of Lace, Tule as well as Organza and Chiffon  can build up layers which catch the wind and the light is fascinating ways. It was a little strange seeing people in black leather queuing for hot dogs next to the fae folk, but it's just part of the experience for me.

Of course you can wear just a simple dress if you accessories yourself correctly. A simple pair of wings and a bottle of Absynth makes for a fantastic "Green Fairy" costume

Many costumes were not made of fabric at all, such as this interesting skirt made out of fruit juice packets. Goth festivals seem to be a hotbed for experimental fashion as well as providing a great show case to show off your creations.

 Steam Punk is a form of fashion I enjoy greatly.| He basic essence is a combination of Victorian fashion with Science fiction. To me personally it answers a question that many people will not ask. "What is Goth" there is no simple answer. However Steam Punks are romantics. The re-imagine the past applying modern ideals to the Victorian aesthetic. Wanting the best of both worlds, the beauty of the Victorian times without the oppressive attitudes to women or subjects of 'The Empire'. They seek an idealized world by harking back to the past. Personally I see this in the Goth Culture as a whole. It's not just an obsession with vampires and the color black. IT's about seeking a romantic idealized world.

Many Steam Punks adorn themselves with brass gadgets. Others wear a Victorian styled outfit adorned with brass trinkets and a very cool hat, much like our good manager here :) 

I hope you enjoyed this little journey into my fashion spotting holiday. I've been to WGT 4 years running now and enjoy it very much. I always return inspired to create. However I still don't understand why Bobba Fett's cousin turned up.

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