The Top Fall 2019 Trends: The New Goth Subcultures

School Girl Goth, Club Kid Goth, Cyber Goth, and Vampire Goth

A dark romantic trend has appeared this fall in a diverse range of collections from Balenciaga, Dior It’s a resurgence of goth – but not the classic Marilyn Manson variety. This season goth is more of a mood – sometimes subtle, other times dark and moody, but always dangerous and beautiful. The term “Goth” is surprisingly hard to define these days, partly due to its many forms and influences over the years, including Victorian literature, and goth rock which was born out of the post-punk movement of the 70s. The mall goth from the 90s has pretty much never gone away, and  then there’s the  countless pop-culture references in TV and movies that have become classic icons. This fall there is no wrong way to do Goth, but here are our top picks of what’s new and noteworthy: School Girl Goth, Club Kid Goth, Cyber Goth, and Vampire Goth.


Club Kid Goth

Club Kid Goth pays homage to the music scene so instrumental in defining the goth subculture, but reinterpreted for the club scene today. It’s defined by glamorous, over the top makeup, sparkling sequins and mesh, some moody show-off fur, aggressively bare skin, and a lot of attitude. Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and Luar referenced the pale makeup and extreme blackened eyes made famous by the bat cave scene and now a highly recognizable trademark of goth. Comme des Garcons captured the angst and shock factor with heavy spiked chest pieces, bare skin under layered mesh tank tops and fishnets, and power jackets sparkling with dark sequins.


Cyber Goth aka “Matrix Goth”

2019 marks the 20 year anniversary of the film “The Matrix,” which seems to have inspired a particularly strong trend in menswear. The iconic cape-like jackets, tight leather shirts, and small black sunglasses feel as relevant as ever. Balmain’s billowing floor length trench coat with high tech sunglasses and leather chest straps are on the more dramatic end of this trend, but some more subtle interpretations come from Celine’s high necked suit jacket, or all leather look, both paired with oblong sunglasses; or Emporio Armani’s dark industrial monochromatic looks with long jackets, tunic length sweaters, black gloves and boots. And of course you can’t talk about goth and fashion without mentioning Rick Owens’ minimalist, sharp shouldered jackets and lean but loose silhouettes. The soft blacks and bone gray looked faded by age, made even more haunting with powdery painted faces and the models long hair.


School Girl Goth

School Girl Goth takes us back to the days of Winona Ryder in Heathers and Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne of Twin Peaks. Defined by academic blazers, deceptively demure florals, and youthful styling, this type of Goth aesthetic doesn’t wear excessively extreme makeup or lace and chains, but they are certainly a dark, romantic, and mischievous loner. We could imagine a teenage Winona wearing one of Gucci’s vintage inspired dresses with a spiked choker, or Prada’s black corset bustier over mix and match rose and lightning bolt prints. Louis Vuitton’s blazered beauties in tights and bobs look more than a little like Audrey Horne, and Jeremy Scott brings us a slightly more recent highs school goth variety with a little bit of a Lolita slant in tulle skirt dresses, combat boots, and notebook doodle – style hand drawn prints.


Vampire Goth

Victorian Vampire Goth is romantic, haunting, and dangerous, inspired by the literary roots of goth set in the Victorian era of the Bronte sisters and Brahm Stoker. Simone Rocha’s poofy layered party dresses with off-the shoulder details are one of the standouts of this season, as are Alexander McQueen’s ravishingly romantic rose-inspired draped suits and gowns, accessorized with brutal studded boots and metal chokers. Erdem presented ladies in mourning, with tiny black netted fascinators (haven’t seen those in a minute!) over decadent evening looks reminiscent of the old days of couture. And speaking of couture, the entire Christian Dior couture collection was practically a vampire ball of richly embellished black lace gowns. full length cloaks, and dark rings of eyeshadow under black veils. Dolce & Gabbana could easily dress a modern day Count Dracula with their ornate tuxedos, rose brocades, and rich velvety black capes. You don’t have to dress full-out Victorian for this look, however. Celine, Givenchy, and Rick Owens show us that with the right attitude, even a simple tailcoat can carry romantic Vampire undertones. Balenciaga’s blood-red contact wearing models were unforgettably haunting, wearing simple loose fitting plain black suits with peaked shoulders.

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