A boil on the backside of the darkside

I guess it had to happen and it could only ever happen in New York City, the spiritual home of rampant capitalism, mass consumption and shallow materialism. To what am I alluding? Well, there has been a very unwelcome development of late on the fringes of the dark alternative scene, a veritable expanding boil on the buttocks of all things Goth. The epicentre of this painful affliction is the ‘Big Apple’ and the name of this vile abomination is, Gucci Goth.

This festering malignancy grew from an unwelcome new trend in Goth, which saw fresh young blood entering the dark side simply because they liked the ‘fashion’ and style. They have no interest in the roots of the subculture or even in the musical influences or political philosophy. Rather, they are simply misguided ‘norms’ trying to appear rebellious and edgy.

It is stated by those with a vested interest in this new phenomenon that it is simply a new way to encourage people into a dark musical scene that was not strictly under the Goth banner. Too right, especially when it contains such music as House, Hip Hop, R&B, and artists such as Rihanna, Lady Ga Ga and Christina Aguilera. These artists are supposedly dressing in a ‘gothic style’. They are? Really?! They may well seem to be from the perspective of a ‘norm’ trying desperately to be a Goth.

Gucci Goth

As we delve further into this farcical parody of Goth we begin to see what it is really all about. It is the major designer brands trying to muscle in on a long standing scene and appropriate it for the express purpose of flogging their designer couture, alongside plenty of gold bling which has so obviously come direct from the Hip Hop, Gangsta and Rap cultures. It might be black, but it sure as hell isn’t Goth.

This is the kind of thing that any real Goth would take a flame thrower to, as real Goths do not partake of fashion parades, cat walk shows or ponce about trying to look cool in a kind of ‘old dudes-suck-I’m-so-edgy’ kind of way. Real Goths have depth of character. Gucci Goth is about making a buck in the most rancid and shallow money-grubbing way possible, as part of the high fashion meat grinder.

The mainstream in black clothing

Evidently Gucci Goth is supposed to revive the Goth scene as it adopts the mainstream and draws it into itself. I see, so it is the mainstream in black clothing? Gucci Goth even claims that ‘Fake Goth is the real Goth’, how would Gucci Goths know what real Goth is as they have never experienced it? Gucci Goth is the kind of virulent infection that can kill the real thing from the inside out as it works its way into the scene via its deluded teenage vectors. It is nothing short of a subculture cluster bomb. Gucci Goth even claims to be ‘keeping it real’! I really am about to die of laughter now.

Gucci Goth even appears to have generated its own style of music - I guess it had to come - known as Witch House and Gravewave. This music has a very 1980’s Siouxsie and the Banshee’s feel with artists such as Zola Jesus, or a heavy doom-laden vibe such as that of S4LEM. It is of course no surprise that Gucci Goth music has been used for the runways at top fashion shows, such as that of Givenchy’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection.

I am all for evolution on the Goth scene as stagnation is never good for any subculture, but to remain Goth it has to retain some basic core values. Like Steampunk, which began as a literary movement back in the 1980’s and gradually acquired traction across the world, along with a distinct type of music that was later added on, Gucci Goth had no musical evolution. It began simply as a fashion trend, where designer clothing in black was supposed to be edgy. More honestly, it was just teenagers looking for a credible dark edge to their awful R&B music. As with Steampunk, it then attempted to acquire musical credibility which only goes to prove that Gucci Goth has no soul, no depth and no substance, and will hopefully have no lasting appeal or do any long term damage to the dark side.

As a Goth who arrived on the scene via the social explosion of Punk Rock, and who considers such matters as politics and music to be equally important alongside the Gothic style of dress, I find the whole concept of Gucci Goth an affront to the very ideals of the subculture. Never forget that Goth grew out of the reaction to society that was Punk Rock back in the mid 1970’s. Punk had a real message as did the original Goth scene. Gucci Goth simply has a price tag and a brand logo with a bit of moody music thrown in. The sooner this boil is lanced and disappears up its own backside the better. Real Goth has been diversifying, evolving and ‘keeping it real’ since the early 1980’s, free from the pollution and taint of the superficial and materialistic mainstream.

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