Before I say anything else, I need you to know I’ve seen a LOT of controversy on the subject of goth vs gothic, and VERY LITTLE info on goth fashion designers vs gothic fashion designers. When I isolate the phrase in Google search as “goth fashion designers” I get a measly 27 results in the feed’s 3 pages. “gothic fashion designers” has 30. However, I did some digging, and compiled a list of designers and lines for you to check out.
I’m not talking about goth vs gothic here, only the FASHION of both.
The difference between Goth and Gothic
After reading Reddit debates and confused Quoras for the past few hours, I’ve learned a few things. Many people who dress goth do not have the same definition of what goth fashion actually is. It has no solid foundation in definition besides being synonymous with “dark and spooky, black, black, black, with a hint of punk sometimes but not always because all people are different.” That’s the consensus I see online.
And although goth originated from more of a punk scene, now what I see is a softened version with more socially acceptable hairstyles and clothing. The punk goth is closer to trad (traditional) goth, according to the internet.
With gothic, think renaissanse, madam at the funeral sort of thing. Classy. Corsets. Carousels. More Alice in Wonderland than AFI.
This can get confusing, because most of the time you’re getting a mix of both, and someone is calling it one or the other.
Personally, growing up where hardly anyone embraced this sort of thing until I dropped out of high school, I couldn’t care less about the names of things. It was cool, and if I could afford it, I was going to wear it. I was called Scene, Goth, Gothic, Punk, Alternative, Lolita, whatever. I never considered myself any of those, I liked what I liked.
Seems to me that these labels aren’t useful in defining an individual’s style, but more so in defining specific pieces to help consumers better find what they are looking for.
“Are you goth?”
“No. I just like how this outfit looks today.”
Quality vs Quantity
I read an interview of fashion designers Les Incroyables, and they are seemingly passionate about quality.
Q: What is your definition of gothic fashion?
A: To me the definition of gothic fashion was to make a statement and to be different; today I am getting the feeling that most gothic fashion means mass production, poor quality made from the cheapest fabrics. Does anybody care about the production conditions of all this cheap crap? We are talking angry about the big industry business who are selling fashion for cheap but hey, ever thought about who sewed the crazy bondage top for 20 bucks from that cheap store at the festival? That makes me angry.
Being someone who couldn’t afford quality or quantity, I bought cheap, and few. Where does that put me? Well, sometimes I would sew my own clothing from scrap fabric on sale at Joanne’s. I would layer what I had. Most of the time, I was disappointed.
Now, however, I would much rather make my own rad clothes and accessories, or buy top quality and be proud of what I wear.
I understand not everyone falls into that moral code, so I still find more affordable options to share here. But just saying, nothing feels quite like wearing the best (or wearing something you made yourself).
Goth/Gothic designers I found
(in no particular order)
Long Clothing Ltd – These guys offer men’s goth clothing alongside women’s. Doesn’t look too expensive either. Nothing too fancy, a lot of T shirts.
Sisters Of The Black Moon – A classy, woman oriented shop full of really nice dresses even “non-alternatives” can appreciate. Their low-end is around $200 (US), and the quality looks top-notch. Oh, they sell satchels too.
Rick Owens – I’ve heard a lot about this guy. The site offers equally to men and women. The low end here is at $1,000. This is the stuff for celebs. Or foolish poor people.
Anu Tera – This is an accessory site, with a unique look I haven’t seen before. You should check it out.
Hirooka Naota – Need some inspiration? Here’s some gothic lolita, with steampunk here and there. The work of an artisan. Click through her collections.
Decadent Designs (Olga) – This is one of my favorite shops I’ve found for this article. It’s an Etsy shop. There’s a bulk of goth/gothic clothing and accessories to choose from here.
Plastik Wrap – This is a nice shop with an abundance of black. Dresses, cloaks, mens jackets. Not many products, but affordable and they look nicely made for the price.
Starkers – Bespoke corsets and bridal! Truly beautiful gothic wear.
In future posts I’ll go over more popular shops like DollsKill, HotTopic, AlienOutfitters, etc.
Here’s what I think
Wear what you enjoy, because you enjoy it. Wear what meets your ethical standards, so you feel comfortable. And wear what makes you feel confident, because why the hell would you wear something that doesn’t?