Gothic is an epithet that evokes images of death, destruction, and decay. Such negative connotations have made the gothic an ideal symbol of rebellion for a wide range of cultural outsiders. From its origins in 18th century gothic literature of terror to its contemporary manifestations in vampire literature and cinema, the gothic has embraced the powers of horror and the erotic macabre.
Throughout its history, fashion has been central to our vision of the gothic. More than 75 ensembles were on display in a theatrical mise-en-scene, suggesting iconic gothic settings, such as the labyrinth, the ruined castle and the laboratory.
Although popularly identified with black-clad teenagers and rock musicians, gothic fashion was represented in this exhibition with looks by designers such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano of Christian Dior, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Anne Demeulemeester, Anna Sui, Olivier Theyskens, Ricardo Tischi of Givenchy, Jun Takahashi of Undercover, and Yohji Yamamoto, as well as sub-cultural styles, such as old-school goth, cyber-goth, and the Japanese look of Elegant Gothic Lolitas.
Gothic: Dark Glamour by Valerie Steele, Jennifer Park, and Patricia Mears, Yale University Press, 2008.
Received an honorable mention in the 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition.