Modern Gothic - the dark side of dressing up

Modern Gothic - the dark side of dressing up

The Gothic tradition has been a well that many a fashion designer has drunk from over the years, using it to channel an inner darkness (or perhaps, less romantically, a simple fondness for black lace). Notable kings and queens of the darkness include Alexander McQueen, Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens and Yohji Yamamoto to name just a few. If anything, they have proved that not all bright sparks have to be bursting with colour - one can be immensely creative while working with a brooding palette, and we have similarly embraced the deeper, moodier colours at Favourbrook this season to create a number of gothic-influenced pieces. 

 

BELGRAVIA COAT BLACK BLUE BURNETT SILK ORGANZA

BELGRAVIA COAT BLACK/BLUE
BURNETT SILK ORGANZA

BELGRAVIA COAT GOLD BURNETT SILK ORGANZA

BELGRAVIA COAT GOLD
BURNETT SILK ORGANZA

More than simply the restriction of colour, the gothic tradition introduces other motifs that lend a certain anguished romanticism to the clothes. I'm thinking here of the lace and the velvet, or layers of dark chiffon and tulle. In many ways, the gothic influence is a dream for womenswear. It lends the wearer a certain mystery, a little danger even. It hints at someone more complex beneath the orchestration of noirish layers. It can act as something of a barrier - not quite the closed door, but a warning not to get too close, in case you might bite. But equally it hints at a fragility hiding within. 

Of course, the colour black has long been the preferred choice of the fashion set. It's slimming for one thing. An all-black look creates a slender silhouette, smoothing out the angles. And it's impressive, too. Whereas bold splashes of colour might catch the eye, a frame of textural blackness is a cause for intrigue. But it's always fun looking at vintage representations of fashion genres.

LONG SWING COAT DARK GREEN SOFIA SILK VELVET

LONG SWING COAT DARK GREEN
SOFIA SILK VELVET

WESTMINSTER COAT ROYAL BLUE TBLISI SILK VELVET

WESTMINSTER COAT ROYAL
BLUE TBLISI SILK VELVET

There's a whole tradition of vintage gothic novel, the covers of which invariably feature the vacant heroine lost in the woods, her ankles being clutched at by pursuant night flowers, chased by some unknown, unseen force. Invariably she is wearing some voluminous, diaphanous full-length gown (for in gothic land there is always a nice breeze to kick up that excess fabric) in purple, deep forest green (see our last post for a stunning rendition worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement), and chaste white. 

The Gothic tradition in fashion has always had a preoccupation with lace and intricate embroidery. Wispy tulle and chiffon elements balance the hardness of the colour palette with a delicate sensibility, which has always played a part in Favourbrook collections.

LONG SWING COAT BLACK PLAIN COTTON VELVET

LONG SWING COAT BLACK
PLAIN COTTON VELVET
 

CARNABY COAT BLACK DELAMERE SILK VELVET

CARNABY COAT BLACK
DELAMERE SILK VELVET

We love the artisanal nature of fine embroidery, jacquard silks and velvet handwork, all of which add a certain individuality to our garments. So if you've been keeping a gothic heroine under wraps, perhaps it's time to let her break out? With beautiful velvet jackets in a multitude of romantic hues, and stunning sheer silk organza, too, you'll find plenty to darken your mood in the best possible way.

 

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