Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Styles of Goth fashion: gore Goth

Hey look, it's one of these again! I actually still have a list of these posts to crack on with, but this is the one that has received several requests now, so here we go. Remember, guys, please don't take these posts too seriously - they serve only to illustrate some of the vagiaries of fashion within the scene and are not intended to function as fashion or lifestyle templates. ;-)

Gore Goth, or horror Goth, is less of an established style (at least that I am aware of) and more a tendency towards costuming and accessories often inspired by an interest in horror movies (especially of the gore genre, unsurprisingly), literature, music and artwork.

Whilst this style is obviously not suited to the everyday (although you could give a nod to it if you chose with a Von Erickson choker, a bloody manicure or an anatomical heart necklace, for example), it tends to rear its head at gigs and other events. At almost any Goth event, particularly at the deathrockier end of the spectrum, it's not at all unusual to see someone adorned in fake blood or wounds.

It's rare that the word 'costume' is used to describe an element of Goth style, but many of the outfits Goths put together in this style could possibly be described as such, due to the use of props like face paint which are not an element usually seen in Goth fashion.

However, not all of these outfits are 'costumes'; some horror aficionados simply use bigger events like the Wave Gotik Treffen (where most of the images linked in this post were taken) to push the boundaries of their style (most commonly seen in deathrock and Industrial fans) and/or emulate the stage attire of favourite bands by decking themselves out in fake blood, torn clothing, straitjackets and surgical masks.

Such outfits run the gamut from the simple (but time-consuming; note the safety pins!) to the theatrical and can clearly be considered one of the most shocking and potentially offensive ways to dress within Goth style - which is probably why such gory get-ups are rarely seen outside of large Goth events or themed gatherings, except, of course, at Halloween. The outfits and accessories are often tongue in cheek or darkly humorous (e.g. Kreepsville666's 'cleaver' clutch bag); even the more provocative costuming is generally intended for a bit of fun and to turn heads amongst other Goths (not always easy at larger events when everyone has pulled out all the stops!).

Horror themes have been an underlying current throughout Goth culture since the opening bars (I just typed 'bats'... heheheh) of Bela Lugosi's Dead, although it should be noted that not all Goths have an interest in the genre, and this style takes these influences a step further, invoking imagery from B-movies and 'splatter' films rather than the frills and jabots of, say, Interview With The Vampire.

As previously noted, whilst you may see the occasional romantic Goth giving a nod to the vampire genre with a bloodstained blouse, this look is most commonly seen amongst Industrial and deathrock enthusiasts, whose bands of choice are the most likely to go about clad in similar styles and whose lyrics often feature horror themes.


EpagomenalMotif said...

oh brilliant, this is what the goth subgenre needs: another shitty offshoot which is really goth only in name.

also, gore isn't a genre.

I thought you weren't posting about goth any more. I thought you'd moved on to the schwarze scene or some garbage. what's the point, gothguide?

Alexandriaweb said...

^Oooh an edgy troll with three followers I'm sure everybody is terrified...

Anyhow. I don't think I've ever really seen anybody dressed like that, and I do think of myself as quite well travelled now. I've seen a few evil nurses around at Mera Luna though so I guess maybe that's related? Or maybe their just silent hill fans that happen to like Goth music, either or, not really sure it matters that much so long as they're having a good time.

Bored_Homeschooler said...

This is a thing? It seems as though there are an unnecessary amount of goth fashion sub-sets. A lot of these seem to be floating away from "goth" fashion....
Interesting post,I suppose.

EpagomenalMotif said...

"Oooh an edgy troll with three followers I'm sure everybody is terrified..."

because the amount of followers one has on blogspot is directly proportional to how correct ones opinion is. were that the case, no one would follow this blog.
furthermore, why is any instance of me disagreeing with what amy has to say seen as an attempt to be edgy? is it really that difficult to believe that some people might legitimately disagree with what she has to say?

also, what's the point in calling me a troll and then going on to agree with me?

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...

With the exception of Halloween and zombie walks, the only Goth Gore-ish outfit I've ever seen was a badly done Guro Lolita at Comic-Con. It looked more like a cosplay to me but whatever.

I find the whole look rather tacky. IMAO of course.

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...


I think the troll accusation that was posted comes from the fact that you seem to always disagree with Amy whatever she says and dedicated a blog to explain how wrong you think she is, or it looks like that anyway.

Amy Asphodel said...

@ Eva and Bored_Homeschooler - I don't really have an opinion on the look personally; I was asked for the post so I wrote it. I don't think I would describe go so far as to describe it as a subset, just something that a few people are doing at festivals. As Alexandriaweb says, I guess they're having a good time.

@ EpagomenalMotif - the point is that I like writing this blog and a few other people like reading it. As long as that remains true, I'm going to keep posting. Sorry it bothers you.

EpagomenalMotif said...

eva: I have every right to disagree with amy. if I had seen something I'd agreed with I would have given credit where it's due. sadly, I have yet to see anything i agree with.

amy: appealing to populous is a logical fallacy and you shouldn't make it.

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...

Maybe I didn't say it correctly, English is my second language and I am doing my best to express my opinion clearly.
I didn't say you didn't have the right, it's rather common to disagree with someone and making it public isn't a bad thing either. What people frown upon is the way you seem to be trying to shove it down everybody throat, being passive aggressive with your repetitive comments and post, using insults.
Yes, your comments have been deleted and that's why you keep posting them over and over again, I know, but clearly, the writer and followers do not care. I just feel like you are wasting your time commenting here.


EpagomenalMotif said...

eva: amy has all manner of people commenting on her blog telling her how fantastic everything she writes is. fair enough. however, if these people are alright to post all this masturbatory stuff about how great this blog is, why should I not respond with my thoughts on it?
I really don't care if amy or her followers don't care. there's hundreds of comments on my blog accusing me of various things, insulting me and generally telling me that the things I'm posting are bullshit. I don't have a problem with it; it's their right to comment whatever they want on my blog.
amy has created a blog on a public site, and allowed comments - people can post what they want.

also, you can accuse me of many things but being passive aggressive is definitely not one of them.

yours in christ,

Nightwind said...

Hang in there Amy! Just keep in mind how many of us appreciate you and all your work on this blog. Don't let anybody get you down.

EpagomenalMotif said...

Nightwind: you see, the thing is I actually think that amy is capable of writing some good posts about some interesting things. however, she keeps posting about shit like gore goth and advice for goth gentlemen (being neither a goth nor a gentlemen this may not be an area of real expertise) because you people don't offer constructive criticism; you simply come on every post she does and talk about how great it is.

there needs to be a certain amount of quality control. just because some dipshit asks you to do a post about something doesn't mean you necessarily need to do it. if someone asked me to write a blog post about pocket lint, I wouldn't do it, because A. a post about pocket lint wouldn't be very interesting and B. my knowledge of pocket lint is pretty limited.

replace "pocket lint" with "gore goth" and you can pretty much see the problem with this post.

EpagomenalMotif said...

oh, that and gore goth doesn't exist. that's another pretty big problem.

Anonymous said...

i agree with Nightwind and though some people ..not pointing fingers ..dont like its their own choice ..while many love your blog (myself included)

Anonymous said...

im ignoring you as the you seem to like the negative attention

Anonymous said...

im ignoring you as the you seem to like the negative attention

EpagomenalMotif said...

you're doing a pretty poor job of ignoring me x2

Glamorgan said...

It may not be an official "subgenre" but it is something linked to the goth subculture. I think your view on what constitutes the goth subculture is much broader than some peoples.
I like how your blog is giving us little pieces of various levels of goth and its related elements. Which many of us know about but you are kind of nicely showcasing.
I'm not officially goth per say, but I find your writing insightful and well thought out. And they are always polite and not "gothier than thou".

Amy Asphodel said...

Glamorgan - thank you! A lot of the stuff I post about is certainly what would be considered 'dark alternative' rather than Goth, I like to have a mix of things that appeal to me and hopefully my readers. :-) I try to avoid ever sounding 'gothier than thou' as frankly I don't feel that my personal views on what is and isn't Goth are particularly relevant to readers' own enjoyment of Goth culture.

EpagomenalMotif said...

does "gothier than thou" equate to "pointing out errors" and "knowing what can legitimately be called goth"?

also, "gothier" is a horrible superlative form.

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...

More like ''assuming to know what can legitimately be called Goth''.

Ria said...

The current incarnation of goth has more tentacles than the flying spaghetti monster.

I guess the main reason the secret goth cabal never really took of, is they couldn't agree what 'can be legitimately called Goth' either.;)
Since I was 'Quark im Schaufenster' (not even born) when goth took off, I don't feel like I have a vote on that issue either.

Anonymous said...

Goth is the sum of its parts. There are specific elements that make up goth. Yes, it is okay to embrace some of those elements, but without all, it is not goth. If I may, I would like to offer a simple analogy (Freud suggested an analogy won't settle an argument, but it may clarify some issues).

If you have 2 hydrogen molecules and 1 oxygen molecule, you get water. If you have 1 hydrogen molecule and 1 oxygen molecule, you have 1 hydrogen molecule and 1 oxygen molecule. Now, these molecules are absolutely fine on their own, but they do not make water.

Ria said...

I understand the need to draw a line somewhere, but I don't think that's even possible.

The problem is what these parts are, and if it's possible to have them all. (Same old 'where to draw the line problem.)
Example: Being pale is part of the goth aesthetic.
This would exclude all goths of color. So is someone black automatically not goth, no matter what?

So what else to call it? If you don't have the 'full goth checklist', you can't call yourself goth, but kind of 'gothly inclined'. This in turn will make you look like you desperatly want to be a 'special little snowflake' or 'I'm better than thou'. At this point, no matter what you do, you're screwed.

Amy Asphodel said...

Not to mention the people who would just like to get on and enjoy the culture (or aspects of it) without worrying about whether or not they are a 'real Goth'.

EpagomenalMotif said...

you'd need to impart energy to create a water molecule (or two water molecules, as that would produce.)

EpagomenalMotif said...

"Not to mention the people who would just like to get on and enjoy the culture (or aspects of it) without worrying about whether or not they are a 'real Goth'."

this would all be solved if you'd stop calling these monstrosities 'goth'.

Grissino said...

I like this post!! Please tell us something about Cybergoth! I LOVE THEM :-)

Amy Asphodel said...

EM - Or, you could stop worrying so much about what other people write on the internet...

Grissino - Thanks. :-)

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...

IMAO, worrying about whether or not they are a ''real Goth'' is rather stupid. I you need you peers to approve of your style you'd better just try to blend in with the ''normal'' folks.

Glamorgan said...

"does "gothier than thou" equate to "pointing out errors" and "knowing what can legitimately be called goth"?"

I'm sorry, did you think I was making any kind of reference to your comments or opinions. My but we do think highly of ourselves don't we?

I was talking about Miss Amy's blog and the way she presents things that SHE is interested in. When I read her stuff, I don't get that she is stating things as the end all to what goth is or isn't. My understanding is that she's sharing her personal thoughts on things, and often doing a bit of research and presenting what she has found when people ask her questions.
It's HER blog, not an official rulebook on being goth- genius.

"also, "gothier" is a horrible superlative form."

also, using the word "shitty" to describe something is horribly crude.

EpagomenalMotif said...

"also, using the word "shitty" to describe something is horribly crude."


Shewearscrazywell said...

Woooow...seems to be a bit of drama in the comments area on this one. I love your perspectives and the fact that you share your views on different sub-genres. I personally like to dress in whatever way I feel....I have fun with my appearance and clothes. Some are inspired from all these styles you post about and get me thinking about creating new looks. I think some people just like to cause drama but I am definitely a devoted reader...and bid you to keep on posting these types of posts...I LOVE it. :) Hearts, Janna Lynn

Amy Asphodel said...

Thanks Janna Lynn, highly appreciated. :-) And thanks again Glamorgan <3

EM - look, I appreciate some of the points you're making but frankly it's not going to change anything I post about. I'm also quite happy for you to criticise and post differences of opinion here but if you start being rude to other readers I will turn comment moderation back on, people really don't come here to get abused.

Whether or not something is referred to as 'goth' on the internet really doesn't have to have any effect on you. I don't understand why you feel the need to spend so much time coming to a blog you don't like.

Amy Asphodel said...

Also, EM, people can visit your blog if they want to by clicking on your username, posting endless links is unneccessary.

Captcha said...

You do have to admit EM's knowledge of physics is much more sound than teh derpy fangurrls lacking a formal education.

Amy Asphodel said...

Which would be wonderful if this were a blog about physics.

Also I'm not sure which 'derpy fangirl' you are talking about since the only other person here talking about physics is a) anonymous and b) supporting EM, rather than 'fangirling', as you put it.

Anonymous said...

I opted to keep my analogy as simple as possible, as I realize the levels of education of those reading this post are varied. I'm guessing you didn't make it past high school, based on your comment (I don't have time to point out all the errors). As for my level of education, I actually graduated from college, so again, you're wrong. Oh, it's not physics, it's chemistry.

Perhaps this analogy will work better for you:

Presuming the measurement of the diagonal of a square peg is equal to that of the radius of a round hole, said peg will not fit into the hole without force and/or manipulation.

Or, how about this one?

A group of teens come upon some skaters at a park. The teens decide they like the look, but they're not too keen on the idea of skateboards. They then decide to adopt the aesthetic, the music, et al, and they even run up and down the ramps. Does that mean they can call themselves "skaters"? I think not.

EpagomenalMotif said...

Anon: oh wow, "et al" we've got a fucking intellectual in the house.

also since we're all about pedantry tonight, if the diagonal of the square is equal to the RADIUS of the circular hole then it would be possible to fit the square peg in with ample room.

I do appreciate that you agree with me, I just don't like the way you're doing it.

Glamorgan said...

I'm guessing some people missed the part in this post that reads:

"Remember, guys, please don't take these posts too seriously - they serve only to illustrate some of the vagiaries of fashion within the scene and are not intended to function as fashion or lifestyle templates. ;-)"

Oh wait, it appears your blasphemy has been found out. The holy Goth Standards Enforcement Unit has caught you Amy. How dare you mislead people in something so sacred as goth? :P

Anonymous said...

I never said that it would not fit. I simply stated it would take a bit of force or manipulation.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

srs biznez u guise.

Tenebris In Lux said...

To each their own. Again, this doesn't really appeal to me but I have heard of this somewhere. Zombie walks are quite fun when it comes to incorporating gore with an outfit, but other than that I can't really see eye-to-eye with it. Still a fun post none the less (eeek! picture! :-D)

Mrs. Katie said...

Oh dear.... I stumbled across this comment forum too late. I just intended to say how much I loved the pic, and say how my husband when he was a young hot thing, came to high school way back in the 90's with play-piercing needles in his face and shocked the fuck out of all and sundry like the loverly that he is. But I guess at this point it doesn't fit anymore.

Anonymous said...

Hello Amy,

I have been following you for only about a month, and though I am relatively new to the fashion aspect of goth, I have had an interest in classical music, decayed decadence and literature (especially!) since I was just a wee lass. Then again, I am only a teenager from Canada. We are not exactly known for our dark subcultures.

Before I get to my real question, I When I first read about the 'official' origin of goth (or atleast one of them, those writers of the gothic novels that I so love were pretty frightening in the brain) around the 1960s-ish, it seemed to me that the gothic aestheic was formed by people who wanted to be free of rules about what the "correct" way to dress, act and feel about things. They wanted to be themselves, without restriction. So to me, all of the arguing about what goth really is is in league with websites for technophobes when it comes to irony. Goth is not lolita fashion: it was not made wih regulations in mind. No one should feel as though they need to change themselves to be "properly" goth. Next thing you know, there are going to be people obsessed with technology accusing eachother of not being proper geeks because they spend under 6 hours a day playing rpgs.

I don't know about others, but I am an individual before I am a goth. If I have to choose between those two, I will be the weirdo wearing a striped corset and a top hat, in the back of the room reading John Polidori and listening to Indica while subconsciously muttering about how there just are not enough documentries about the process of mummification who obviously isn't goth because her hair isn't black and she doesn't like old enough bands and she isn't into Tim Burton and etcetera etcetera. If what people call me is not goth; great. I'm a cult of one. If what people call me is goth; great. I have fellow outcasts. The end of self-centered tangent.

What I wanted to ask you Amy (if you have managed to read through the mammoth above you) is if you have thought of making a style post on pirate goth. It really surprised me you didn't have it already as I see it all the time (on the internet. I'm in suburban Canada, remember?) Only if you want to of course!

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

(sorry about the commenting a month afer the post, but school has been evil)
I kinda laughed when I saw this. I mean, gurololi has been around for quite a while, I was suprised how long it took for goths to catch up XD

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