Divides between fans of Goth music in the mid-1980s to late 1990s split them into different waves and groups of Goths. While the music is the foundation of the Gothic subculture, the fashion and particular interests of its members are the branches of it.
Made famous as the home of 1970s cult filmmaker John Waters and the late transgender star Divine, both icons of shock and eccentricity, Baltimore has a reputation for embracing the deviant. Often overshadowed by its larger, brasher neighboring cities on the Eastern seaboard, Baltimore’s relative affordability and compact size have made it a safe haven for eccentrics well into adulthood.
Whether one is personally familiar with Gothic subculture, has studied it academically or has a vague notion of it derived from mass media, one point stands: the subculture is too broad and diverse to fit within a specific definition.
A constellation of moments became visible in the arts/visual culture (painting, fashion, branding) that contested any notion that black can only be said to function as surface, as a colour. Rather, one is impressed with the substantive material qualities of black clothing, which could never have held the same degree of intensity or form had they been designed in a “colour.” This will be shown through the design work of Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and Junya Wanatabe, which rely on the vocabulary and diversity of black for their collections.
In a previous article, we established that across a range of theoretical perspectives, there is a tendency for commerce and media to be associated with cultural superficiality or fluidity rather than substantive subcultural groupings as defined in this series.