Because this week, both Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times hail its return.
“On the runways and on screen, it’s once more into the creep,” EW says, which is the kind of pun that would make any self-respecting Goth turn even whiter.
(Sorry, no linkâhave you tried to search the EW website? Don’t.)
“Embrace the Darkness,” the Times chimes in, in a piece that tries to correlate the return of Goth with the macabre mood of our current culture.
Both articles point to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and various runway fashions as examples.
The Times article, as most such trend pieces are, is inadvertently hilarious.
Ruth LaFerla writes, Consumers too are following fashion and embracing a Gothic style. They are snapping up trinkets that they would once have dismissed as perverse or subversive: silver skull cuff links, chains interlaced with black ribbon in the manner of Victorian mourning jewelry, stuffed peacocks with Swarovski crystal eyes, and, as party favors, tiny rat and chicken skeletons, recent sellouts at Barneys New York.
Such fondness for Goth-tinged playthings attests to the mainstreaming of a trend that was once the exclusive domain of societal outcasts and freaks. These days Goth is “an Upper East Side way of being edgy without actually drinking anybody’s blood,” said Simon Doonan, the creative director of Barneys. With a wink he added, “Who doesn’t like a vaseful of ostrich feathers at the end of the day?”
Yup. I know a lot of people who are snapping up stuffed peacocks with Swarovski crystal eyes. Whatever that has to do with Goth.
Few things are more annoying than having a perfectly good alternative lifestyle coopted by the Upper East Side. Perhaps people who whistle, or pay by check. But that’s about it.
Anyway, I’m skeptical. Goth has never really gone away since the 1980sâwhat a decadeâit’s just been somewhat harder to find. What’s probably at work here is a Manhattan PR-ista representing a clientâprobably in the fashion business, perhaps Barney’sâwho’s been peddling a “return of Goth” story timed for Halloween.
Meanwhile, both EW and the Times seem oblivious to the ongoing Goth presence in pop music. Depeche Mode’s excellent new record, Playing the Angel, for example, debuted at #7 on the Billboard charts this week, #1 at iTunes. First song: “A Pain That I’m Used To.” Followed by titles like “Suffer Well,” “The Sinner in Me,” “Damaged People,” and “The Darkest Star.”
Sings David Gahan, “I’m still recovering/Still getting over all the suffering…”
Now, that’s Goth….
(David Gahan, of course, being DM’s lead singer, the man whose veins have more holes than a shower head. Dave, we’re glad you made it!)
Anyway, Happy Halloween, everyone! Feel free to cloak yourself in black, put a ton of hairspray in your hair, and spread oodles of white pancake make-up on your face. Goth has always been about rebellion, rejection of the mainstream, and maybe it’s true that we need this now more than ever….because this country’s in rough shape right now. And, as the Times has pointed out, we still have 39 more George Bush-months to go.
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