For countless years, Gothic had a reasonable outlay of places to purchase their darkwear. Hot Topic and Lip Service were hardly two of the houses that sold affordably, fundamental clothing for gothic who wanted to dance to Ministry on the weekends. But in 2016, Gothics have a wondrous world of exquisite designer clothing that exists on the fringes of fashion, a place that mirrors their position within culture as a whole.
This world of witchy wear is far sufficient absent from the mainstream that it has not been diluted by concepts like seasonal trends or commercialism, offering spooky consumers an opportunity to invest in handmade works of art. Dark fashion has even evolved beyond the classic oversized blazer and creepers combo: today, motifs include waterfall hemlines and cascading geometric drapes. Modern Gothicism is a style that is clearly indebted to the work of Rick Owens and Comme des Garcons.
But by being given its own cultural space to flourish, it has combined with Western magical traditions and Victorian romanticism to create an aesthetic that is wholly its own. And while this community has a long way to go regarding racial, gender, and body diversity, it is run mainly by women for women, and many of these designers collaborate with each other on a regular basis. Here, we have highlighted seven clothing and accessory designers who are defining the concepts of dark clothing for dark souls.
Long Clothing Ltd
When witch house overlooked subculture in the waning aughts, dozens of homespun clothing companies cropped up who slapped white, vaguely-occult symbols onto plain black clothes. But there is a certain level of design needed to elevate it to coveted post-2010 gothic wear. And Long Clothing Ltd, a spin-off of Boy London Cloathing, does this with actual taste.
Long Clothing Ltd party wear utilizes just the right amount of Aleister Crowley’s hexagrams and Elder Futhark runes, but in body-hugging styles like cropped tops and leggings. The line also emphasizes oversized unisex t-shirts, which would look perfect with a pair of giant platforms and blue lipstick.
Sisters Of The Black Moon
The Austin-based Sisters Of The Black Moon began as a popular eBay vintage seller, with treasures from bygone eras that were always grounded in a witchy aesthetic. Nowadays, they have a standalone online store where they sell contemporary clothing, accessories, and beauty products, with a focus on leathers and organic shapes in shades of faded black and gray. Their cotton pieces are uncomplicated and hang off the body with just a bit of drape that feels natural. It is the kind of clothing that makes you feel you have sprung from the depths of the earth while you are at the grocery store. Although they stock a few different independent designers, all of their spooky pieces are cohesive enough to fit in a single wardrobe.
NUIT Clothing by Anastasia Ikonnikova is an elegant clothing line with a distinctly feminine feel. Almost everything she makes is black. And where plenty of contemporary gothic designers focus on unisex pieces, NUIT Clothing skirts and tops hug the female figure, with dripping bell sleeves and hip-accentuating flared coats. Each piece is available in very limited quantities, making them a treasure to own. It is clothing for the lifestyle witch, one who wants a wardrobe to feel as magical as their altar space.
Anu Tera is a small handmade accessory and leather clothing line. Her sharp, brutalist necklaces and hair fasteners recall the sting of a scorpion and are utterly suited for your black magic vibes. The leather pieces, a cage skirt, cropped tops, and high-waisted shorts are largely impractical but stunningly beautiful and are clearly made with the utmost attention to craftsmanship. But the standout piece is a custom-made washed leather vest with layers of intersecting straps. It is sexy and subtle, and can be made to fit any measurement. After all, witches come in all sizes.
If you have been on Tumblr within the past two years, you have no doubt seen Elemental Child‘s crystal crowns on your dashboard. These gorgeous headpieces utilize real pointed quartz crystals to make you feel like the fairy sorceress of your dreams. While they are a favorite accessory for brides, you can also casually slip it on while wearing a long black gauzy gown on a rainy day. Ordering a crown takes a few months for shipping, but it is worth the wait. You will never see anyone else wearing one of these jeweled treasures.
Ovate by Audrey Cantwell has stayed around since the first days of fashion blogging. Her pieces were highlighted on Zana Bayne’s blog Garbage Dress, as well as the exceptional minimal style blog Childhood Flames. Today, Audrey Cantwell focuses on timeless pieces that will follow an aging goth throughout their lives. Her basic, fitted tunics are the starting points for extended maxi gowns and asymmetrical skirts in moody colors, as well as her signature Valhalla hoodie, with an oversized hood that will make you feel like a sporty wraith.
Complex Geometries is a cotton and silk-based line that has also seen success by remaining true to their aesthetic over the years. Their clothes are mainly unisex and are comprised of artfully draped tops and bottoms in minimal, earthy color tones. Many of their pieces can be worn in a variety of different ways. The precision of their cascading hemlines means the wearer can experiment with unusual shapes without spending a ton of cash on Rick Owens’ more expensive items. And the generous cut of their full fabric pieces allows for a broad range of gothy bodies to wear these haunting pieces.
That is it for today, thank you for reading GothBleak, and if I may ask, what are your favorite fashion designers, and online stores? Feel free to share your suggestions, remarks and insights in the comments section. I always relish discovering unusual talent.
From France, with love, have a big GothBleak-ish weekend!