For Hire

Monday, March 23, 2009

dark glamour

...the book...

...ruben toledo "dark angel" illustration...

Gothic is an epithet with a strange history, evoking images of death, destruction, and decay. It is not just a word that describes something (such as a Gothic cathedral); it is almost inevitably a term of abuse, implying that something is gloomy, barbarous, and macabre. Ironically, its negative connotations have made it, in some respects, ideal as a symbol of rebellion. Hence its significance for youth subcultures. Today the words "goth" and "gothic" are popularly associated with black-clad teenagers and mascara'd rock musicians. But the gothic has many layers of meaning.

The imagery of death and decay, the power of horror, and the erotic macabre are perversely attractive to many designers. John Galliano, for example, has described the "Gothic girl" as "edgy and cool, vampy and mysterious." Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, and Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy have also created what could be described as gothic fashion. Ann Demeulemeester may reject the gothic label, associating it with the ubiquitous skull accessory, but Owens proudly recalls that he once was a goth, just as Vivienne Westwood was a punk.

I got wind of the exhibit: "Gothic, Dark Glamour" at FIT and I took a moment, a deep breath. Wewh! It gets really rarely amazing like that.

Sure, If you look at me now or have during the past decade, you may be like: "What the heck is she talking about!?" But I swear I was goth in my 20's. There are not many pictures to proof it but if you go back to my home town St. Gallen and talk to some of the regulars of the local scene, they will confirm it.

idil vice with model, both wearing idil vice fashion in 1994

They remember the days when I was working at the boutique Soho, where I was ultimately inspired to become goth. I think it was a girl with the name Andrea (Pipilotti Rist's sister) on whom I first saw the style: B. L. A. C. K. There were plenty of clothes to choose from right there at the shop and I started tapping into the world of Goth in St. Gallen.

model wearing an idil vice scull print top on the runway in 1997

There was a whole scene, a club, bands, people. It is all a bit sketchy now in my memory, but I remember jumping on it.

I don't believe I was ever caught up in the macabre side and philosophy of goth. I mostly, quiet bluntly and simply, just explored the fashionable side of the movement and probably the music. I used goth as a way to rebel. I was never esoteric nor particularly dark in my mind and character, in the contrary, I always kept a positive spirit and once I was over the period, I indulged freely in color with a vengeance.

But there is this strange fascination with goth that has always remained. Even today I sometimes still look a tad goth, depending on the mood of the day.

...picture taken by carl posey of idil vice, yesterday at the gallery...

I am not alone and goth is as alive as ever, everywhere I look:

etsy treasury labeled "goth"

mcqueen fall '09

By the time I entered the cold, humid hall at FIT museum I was completely taken in:

...a mugler dress and the original dress from the movie dracula...

...rodarte '08...

...mourning dresses...

Just 2 shots of the extraordinary jewelery displayed:

Needless to say the whole gamut of goth style on attendees at the opening night was there:

...and yes, I just survived another incredibly unique night out in NYC...

1 comment:

lorena said...

amazing pictures!


My photo
New York, NY, United States
Just like the rare Swiss mountain flower Edelweiss - a symbol of prestige and distinction - the clothing brand IDILVICE (pronouced "Edel-vice") was born in the mountains of Switzerland and since then it's flourishing on the concrete of Manhattan and recently even in the rolling hills of the San Francisco Bay Area. However as the spelling indicates, the label is not meant to be associated with too much folkloric alpine tradition, but rather and probably in the contrary, with unconventionality. The IDILVICE label was founded in 1995 by Swiss Native fashion designer Idil from the city of Saint Gallen, Switzerland, who's foundation dates back to the 7th Century and which became famous for their quality textile products, especially embroidery textiles, which are still popular with Parisian Haute Couture designers today. In search for something less traditional, Master Graphic Designer Idil ventured out to New York City where she fell in love with American Pop Culture.