Gothic Fashion And Music Style
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Gothic is a fashion and clothing style, but it started with the musicians that wore that style. The clothing is based on the music. The music is based on the gothic subculture lifestyle. For those artists it was a very introspective and artistic way of life, with some of the angst and rebellion of the old punk scene. I typically throw some non-gothic bands into this lifestyle, i.e. The Cure, The Smiths, most idustrial, because I think those bands do reflect at least a significant portion of what the "gothic scene" is about.
Some people say they dressed in the gothic fashion way but aren't into the predominant feeling of the real gothic subculture. That would be like me dressing as a hippy, but then saying, "Well, I don't really think peace is a good thing", This view is completely contradicting. No, I'm not saying that everyone needs to be the stereotypical gothic person that just sits at home and writes gloomy poems with an exceedingly simple rhyme scheme, but I am saying that the "mood" of the gothic soul is dark, and the bubbliest of perkygoths can't deny that.
The gothic scene is a music-driven subculture, and without that dark music all we're left with is a bunch of people in makeup, sitting in clubs with no unifying factor.
I don't believe that the visual aspect of gothic fashion or any other fashion style, for that matter is necessarily shallow or somehow secondhand to the music. Lots of gothic people put great imagination and creativity into the way they look. And although I can barely sew on a button, I have a great deal of respect for those who can design and/or sew their own gothic clothing, or just have a keen sense of gothic fashion style.
It does strike me as shallow when people feel as though they need to do some certain gothic uniforms to listen to a particular style of music, and that this uniform must consist of such and such gothic clothing, and must be purchased from only these approved retailers. However, aside from musicians, DJs, and critics I'd say that one's interest in music, too, also could be described as a purely passive consumer activity if you wanted to look at it that way.
Music most definately is a rich and powerful aspect of our gothic subculture, and it's a major part of it's foundation. It ican be found in many others cultures. That will probably never change. But being Gothic does not have to wrap around music or be the dividing line between a "true" gothic or a "posure."
The Gothic crowd has circles within circles. Some are heavily into music, others paintings and sculpture, some fashion, others are passionate about reading and writing. It really depends on where you go, who you talk to, and hang out with. Goths as people tend to be cliquey and judgemental, but the spirit of Gothic people really has no rules or boundrys other than a need for creativity, expression, and appreciation of darkness. In that, it's infinate.
it's more than just music or fashion. It's literature, films, art, home decor, & every lifestyle choice you make. I know plenty of ppl who love gothic music, but who don't consider themselves at all goths. It just happens to be one of their many musical preferences. People who do self-identify as gothic have a wide range of dark & non-mainstream tastes across many facets of their lives. No one thing makes a goth -- it's the convergence of all of these interestes and aesthetics that becomes gothics.