Gothic and alternative aesthetics in mainstream fashion
For some time now, what once came under the term “alternative” has caught on in the mainstream. The once marginal areas of creativity and art now sit comfortably next to their more traditionally popular forms.
And this is especially true when it comes to music and fashion, each feeding off each other in a feedback loop that gets stronger and stronger, more and more confident with each cycle.
Read more: Reese LAFLARE combines skate culture and grunge in the Diva collections
It is not necessarily Hot topic—A subcultural mainstay that has been the refuge of eccentric teens (and adults) for decades and has now found a more frontal role in style in recent times thanks to Gen Z’s fascination with the 2000s emo aesthetic.
Instead, it’s more of a drastic change that has taken place over what is now years to come and that has been carefully encapsulated in Prada Spring / Summer 2022 presentation at Milan Fashion Week last weekend: the slow and steady merging of the subculture into the culture in general.
It’s not something that can be associated with any particular designer or event, although I’m sure most would agree that from a fashion standpoint, Rick Owens and his penchant for the pentagram has a lot to do with it.
More realistically, it has to do with the dripping infusion of alternative music and art into the daily lives of people who might otherwise have turned away from it. Ten years ago, it was unthinkable to hear bands like Architects or Bring me the horizon on a radio station that was not a dedicated rock channel – or at least on a channel’s token, after 9:00 p.m. alt show.
Read more: Calvin Klein’s Heron Preston Brings New Sincerity with Alternate Icons
Today we hear music tinged with Gothic in places we had never heard it before, and elsewhere we see subtle nods to this integration. Especially in fashion.
Regarding the Prada collection, the skort, a combination, for those who are not aware, of a skirt and shorts, is not only very 2000s-time Jonathan davis of Korn but also a tribute to the cybergothic aesthetic. Large silver jewelry and black on black clothing also do the trick.
– PRADA (@Prada) June 24, 2021
But the Prada collection is just the latest in a long line of alternative infiltrators: Jean chains, once a marker of the underdog style, have been appearing in fashion for quite some time now, from the mass market to older versions. top of the line. like that of the Swedish brand Our Legacy.
Nails too. They lived on the belts and jackets of devoted goths and emo teens for an intangible time, but now you will find them adorning the portfolios of big names in haute couture such as COMME des GARÇONS.
While familiar names like Alexander McQueen has long embraced the Gothic, covering their clothes with patterns of skulls and other macabre iconography, it is the subtle details that are most interesting. Without the aesthetics of black-metal, we wouldn’t have CLOTHES. Without Demonia or creepers, we wouldn’t have anything like the exaggerated sole found on Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker or Prada’s Monolith silhouette.
Read more: Get Better Records is a label and a vibrant community for artists
These can be a slightly softer version of the looks that inspired them – a softening of their edges. Their influence is obvious.
That it is accompanied not only by the incorporation of authentic, full-blown alternative music through daytime radio, but also infusing that music into pop DNA makes perfect sense. Act like Rina sawayama borrow pop-punk and nü metal, and these ideas are part of the fabric of everyday life.
The revelation of Matthew M. Williams’ first collection for Givenchy featured details, which, while familiar to a lesser degree to fans of the designer’s 1017 ALYX 9SM label, rely heavily on bold pseudo-Gothic style language. From huge silver neck chains to monotonous leather vests, to horned caps. Which is probably a step too far, even for most goths.
Read more: Fashion loves metal, and these crossovers are proof of it
It’s a slow-burning effect, which looks less like a change than a part of something bigger: the erosion of traditional cultural divisions in favor of a less compartmentalized appreciation of creativity.
One does not replace the other, but the dialogue is stronger than ever. And it’s a conversation that gets more and more interesting as it goes on.