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Lolita

Kathryn A. Hardy Bernal

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The Lolita fashion-based subculture, once an underground Japanese movement, is a burgeoning worldwide industry. The style, represented by women who dress in childlike clothing, emerged on the streets in the 1970s, gaining impetus within the J-rock (Japanese rock) music scene of the 1990s. The visual kei band Malice Mizer formulated their look on New Romantic glam, inspired by 1980s collaborations between Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren; fans of the guitarist, Mana, began to mimic his unique

Raf Simons

Michelle Labrague

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Vampires and Goths: Fandom, Gender and Cult Dress

Milly Williamson

Source: Dressed to Impress. Looking the Part 2011

Book chapter

To many commentators the vampire is said to symbolize Western fear of the female body. Bram Dijkstra for example, suggests that the vampire demonstrates the way that Western culture simultaneously hates, fears and fetishizes the female body. He argues that even when the vampire is nominally a male figure, it translates into a male-generated fear of ‘woman (sic) as vampire’ (Dijkstra 1996: 7). Dijkstra argues that we should begin the ‘daunting task of exorcising the vampires of misogyny from our i

Goths

Paul Hodkinson

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Extensive links are sometimes drawn between goth style and various “gothic” movements and individuals throughout history associated with themes such as elegance, decadence, and death. Gavin Baddeley has detailed a linear progression of gothic culture that ends with present-day goths, having journeyed through twentieth century horror genres in television and cinema, through various examples of literature and fashion from the preceding two hundred years and finally back to the “grotesque” art and s

Subcultural and Alternative Dress in Australia

Glynis Jones

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

From the beginning of European settlement in New South Wales in 1788, Australians were using alternative forms of dress, body decoration, and modification, visibly expressing individual and collective identities, aesthetic codes, values, beliefs, and cultural experiences different from the dominant culture. Some developed personal style statements, and others have been part of collective subcultural expressions linked to interests, lifestyles, and philosophies. Most have been youth-generated, chi

Jewelry

Gabriele Mentges

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Jewelry, an anglicized version of the old French word jouel, means, in its broadest sense, body adornment. This definition is also valid for clothing, and both make the human body culturally visible. Like dress, jewelry belongs to particular cultural bodily techniques whose interpretation depends on culture, time, and space. However, clothing and jewelry differ profoundly in regard to their practices and meaning. The differences in regard to dress and jewelry concern, first, material and shape; s

Subcultural Dress

David Muggleton and Dunja Brill

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

A subculture can be defined as a group with particular shared cultural features that distinguish it clearly from other subcultures and both the specific milieu (parent culture) and wider society (dominant culture) from which it emerges. The definition of culture on which this notion of a subculture is based is borrowed from anthropology and is taken to mean a whole way of life of a society or particular section thereof, depending on the level of analysis. A subculture can therefore be seen as a d

Setting the Scene

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Spring 2003, Lowlife, a Goth clubnight in Brighton (England). More than a decade later I am again sitting in the corner of a smoke-filled club, watching people dance. The eerie guitar sounds have become rare over the years; the rhythms have got faster and harsher, and so have the dance styles. I spot a man with a crew cut, combat fatigues and a muscle shirt, stomping back and forth in a martial manner to the sound of distorted electronic beats. Next to him there is a girl dressed in a tight black

Subverting Gender, Gendering Subculture

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Academic definitions of subculture have shifted considerably over the last four decades, with gender turning from a factor which used to be completely passed over into a central element of subcultural research. Likewise, since the feminist movement placed gender on the cultural and academic agenda in the 1970s, the meanings assigned to this concept and the ways it is applied to humanities research in particular have changed markedly.

Style and Status

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Conspicuous styles with their high visibility and expressive character form one of the most important markers of subcultural affiliation. In this chapter and the two following ones, I analyse the style practices of the Goth subculture through the lens of gender, here focusing on male androgyny and female hyperfemininity in Gothic dress and the relative value of these style practices in terms of subcultural capital.

Female Style and Subjectivity

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

So far I have discussed male and female Gothic style in terms of status and subcultural capital, evaluating gendered Goth styles from the perspective of the general norms and values of the scene. The following two chapters focus more on the subjective meanings and functions Goths assign to their styles, starting here with an analysis of hyperfemininity as a source of personal empowerment.

Masculinity in Style

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Male androgynous style has already been discussed as a major source of status and subcultural capital on the Gothic scene. Of course this view of male androgyny is limited and one-sided as it only focuses on the micropolitical level of subcultural norms or values, without taking full account of the disruptive potential which male androgyny may hold in relation to the macrostructures of power at work in society at large. We have to remember that our culture still censures androgyny in male style i

Gender Relations

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

While issues of style feature prominently in subcultural studies, the question of male–female relations has been sidelined by much research into subcultures and gender. Without doubt, flamboyant styles form an important facet of conspicuous subcultures in terms of gendered self-expression and deserve in-depth analysis. However, such an analysis should be coupled with an examination of actual heterosexual relations as ‘the primary site where gender difference is re-produced’ (Hollway, 2001, p. 272

Queer Sexualities

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

In the discursive structure of our culture, the concepts of gender and sexuality are closely linked and intertwined. Judith Butler’s (1990) notion of the heterosexual matrix with its dictate of heterosexual romance as the main sustainer of binary gender difference illustrates how ‘the discourses of gender and sexuality are entangled and mutually sustaining/informing’ (Gutterman, 2001, p. 62). Consequently, a discussion of sexualities in the Gothic subculture is a vital part of a thorough analysis

Goth Music and Media

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

As a music-based subculture, Goth and its gendered meanings call for an analysis of how gender is represented in Gothic music and the subcultural music press. However, there is a crucial difference between the self-representations of individual Goths in interviews or Internet forums, on the one hand, and the mediated, formally published sonic, textual and visual representations in Goth music and media, on the other hand. There exist different cultural fields in or through which the Gothic subcult

The Death of Utopia

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Having traced the construction of gender in Goth across various subcultural practices and representations, in fact it seems slightly off the point to pronounce a clear-cut judgement on the subversive or reactionary nature of Goth gender politics. We have seen, for example, that Gothic male androgyny can function to accrue subcultural capital, and to affirm traditional masculine status criteria like courage and transgression. Yet we have also learned that the androgynous style of Goth men can work

From Participant to Researcher

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

A car pulls up outside my home in the English city of Birmingham on a rainy Friday morning at the end of October 1998. The long black hair of its occupants informs me that this is my lift. I run outside toward the car, using my rucksack to shield my recently dyed and crimped purple and pink streaked hair from the rain. The tall, slim, male driver, wearing eye-liner and dressed up in tight black jeans and a purple velvet shirt, gets out and helps make space for my luggage in the back of the car, a

Reworking Subculture

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

The beginnings of subcultural theory involved various theorists associated with what became known as the Chicago School (see Whyte 1943; Gordon 1947; A. Cohen 1955; Becker 1963; Irwin 1970). Though the emphasis of the theorists varies, the school is most famous for a conception of subcultures as deviant groups, whose emergence had to do with ‘the interaction of people’s perceptions of themselves with others’ view of them’ (Gelder and Thornton 1997: 11). This is, perhaps, best summarized in Albert

Goth as a Subcultural Style

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

Prior to and during the first half of the 1980s, certain mostly British-based sounds and images of the immediate post-punk climate became crystallized into an identifiable movement. While various factors were involved, some of which will be discussed at greater length elsewhere, there is little doubt that music and its performers were most directly responsible for the emergence of the stylistic characteristics of goth. The androgynous glamour and deep voiced vocals of 1970s David Bowie provided a

Insiders and Outsiders

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

Prior to examining evidence of collective identity in the goth scene, I would emphasize that some recent studies have questioned the importance of group-belonging to those involved in contemporary music or style groupings. As we have seen, for example, David Muggleton’s apparently punk-, goth-or mod-oriented interviewees were keener to emphasize their individuality rather than conformity to particular group norms. As well as regarding this as evidence of stylistic fluidity and cross-fertilization

Events, Friendships and Commitment

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

Before we address the importance of specifically goth-oriented or subcultural events, there is a need to examine the role played by more mixed events attended by goths. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was not uncommon for goths to form a reasonable proportion of the clientele for general ‘alternative’ events, which also accommodated punks, indie fans, crusties and others. Toward the early 1990s, however, the stylistic emphasis of many such events had moved away from goth, in favour of l

Selling Goth? The Producers of Subculture

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

As one might expect, non-subcultural producers varied considerably in wealth and influence, ranging from transnational major record companies to local independent shop owners. In the main, non-subcultural producers provided media, consumables and events oriented to a mass or large niche market (Thornton (1995): 122–60), but it is worth noting that they also played their part in certain products which, due to their highly specialist audience orientation or limited availability, could be described

Buying Goth: Subcultural Shopping

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

Whilst emphasizing the importance of consumer goods to subcultural styles, Dick Hebdige (1977, 1979) positions the creative use of these, prior to the moment of commercial incorporation at least, as resistant to hegemonic capitalism. More specifically, subcultural styles involved a ‘semiotic guerrilla warfare’, whereby external everyday consumer goods were appropriated into a subcultural context and took on new, subversive meanings (ibid. 1979: 105). This book has already questioned notions of st

Communicating Goth: ‘Traditional’ Media

Paul Hodkinson

Source: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture 2002

Book chapter

It should be clear from the discussion in Chapter 6 that mass and niche media played a key role in the initial construction of the goth scene during the early to mid-1980s. In particular the niche-music press constructed and then re-emphasized the boundaries of the scene again and again through regular coverage of goth bands and their fans. Niche or mass-media coverage of the goth scene also played a role, throughout the 1980s, in the recruitment of new participants to the music, the style and th

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