Gothic: Dark Glamour
From its origins in the eighteenth-century literature of terror to its contemporary manifestations in vampire fiction, cinema, and art, the gothic has embraced the powers of horror and the erotic macabre. “Gothic” is an epithet with a strange history – evoking images of death, destruction, and decay. Ironically, its negative connotations have made the gothic an ideal symbol of rebellion for a wide range of cultural outsiders.
Popularly associated with black-clad teenagers and rock musicians, gothic fashion encompasses not only subcultural styles (from old-school goth to cyber-goth and beyond) but also high fashion by such designers as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano of Christian Dior, Rick Owens, Olivier Theyskens, and Yohji Yamamoto. Fashion photographers, such as Sean Ellis and Eugenio Recuenco, have also drawn on the visual vocabulary of the gothic to convey narratives of dark glamour. As the text and lavish illustrations in this book suggest, gothic fashion has deep cultural roots that give it an enduring potency.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I enjoyed the photographs and the descriptions of those photographs in the Steele part of the book. They made sense and flowed well. Unfortunately, the bulk of the text seriously confused me at times, despite (because of?) the fact that I am somewhat familiar with this subculture. (Like the difference between Western goths and Japanese Gothic Lolitas is because GothLolis listen to visual-kei and have more established shopping options? I'm pretty sure there's something I'm missing in this comparison.) I think this would be fabulous as an exhibit and I'm sorry I missed seeing it when it was an exhibit, but in book form I had a really hard time following the thesis; it seemed to change at will. I needed more explanatory section breaks and better flow from the words and concepts than what I got from this. That said, the photographs and overall concept were really engaging and I did learn some things. The second part of the book, specifically about goth music and written by Jennifer Park, had much tighter writing. I enjoyed learning about how influential bands like The Velvet Underground were on glam and punk rock, which lead to the development of the goth genre (as much as bands described as goth might not like the term). I was disturbed to learn about the ties between goth culture and neo-nazism -- it was mentioned only briefly, so I'm not sure if it was just the anti-establishment use of swastikas and borrowing of other imagery that created those perceived ties or if there were actual ideological ties between the groups, but... not cool, people. Anyway, it was an overall enjoyable exploration of the goth movement, particularly in terms of fashion and music. I have no particular desire to re-read it, so hurray for libraries, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to look through it.
Review: Gothic: Dark GlamourUser Review - Goodreads
(Clearly i'm doing a lot of academic reading on the gothic subculture these days, as i think this is like the fifth such book i've read and reviewed.) Really well-done look at two aspects of the scene ...