Publication Date: November 2008
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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.
Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where Jennifer Park is coordinator of special projects. Steele is also editor-in-chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture.”
"Valerie Steele dispels the myth that Gothicism is only for rebels as she tells of how designers such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano of Christian Dior, Rick Owens, Olivier Theyskens, and Yohji Yamamoto incorporate Gothic looks into their designs; thus, giving light to cultural outsiders."—Dujour Magazine
". . . Fashionistas will relish the chance to see famous creations by . . . avant-garde designers. Readers of . . . Romantic literature will enjoy seeing gothic characters and settings come to life. . . . [T]he eager consumers of adolescent vampire fantasies . . . will thrill to the clothes'' sex-and-death subtext."—Karen Rosenberg, New York Times