Are we in agreement that choosing to do better shouldn’t come with a harrowing apocalyptic feeling, although as far as dystopia goes, we’ve embraced the new take of the gothic look creeping back for 2023 following the huge success of Tim Burton’s Netflix series Wednesday, a spin off of the infamous Addams Family, which has left us praising Jenna Ortega’s (played Wednesday) performance of the satirical Addams family sister – particularly for those that grew up with the earlier adaptations. Wednesday is nostalgic yet has been modernised: from the representation of the high school clique’s to relatable social issues on the backdrop of great graphics and the architecture surrounding Nevermore High School where the premise of the series is set. We can thank Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood and the team behind the wardrobe for the remarkable textile inspiration. This summer the S/S 23 runway gave us goth inspired looks from Chanel’s black and white landscape, Versace’s “Dark Gothic Goddess” show and Riccardo Tisci’s final show at Burberry. Plus with the #emosanta hashtag trending throughout Christmas as TikTok users embrace the gothic look (and alternative holiday pictures) – we take a closer look at the gothic movement in fashion and the fabrics that bring it to life.
The gothic scene isn’t new, dating back to the rise of gothic literature in the 1800s with iconic horror fiction including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, to its musical influence in the 60s which saw the early days of the rock genre further breeding the gothic style identified by it’s dark, genderless, monochromatic and homogeneous features, using dramatic shapes, dark colours and plain but deep fabrics. The style made a mainstream appearance in fashion following the spread of the British punk subculture in the 70s; which saw an evolution from dark victorian inspired wear to a DIY aesthetic across magazines, red carpets and city streets, particularly including the colours blue, white and red mimicking the Union Jack, or patterns such as tartan and embellishments including badges, pins, chains and spikes.
We’ve put together some of our favourite fabrics that make perfect gothic and punk inspired collections. Including soft deep velvets, thick jersey’s and tulles and satins.
Often associated with royalty and quality, velvet is a top choice due to it’s softness yet heaviness which gives it an elegant drape. Black velvet and darker shades swallow light, yet shines as it reflects the light due to the direction of the pile which often runs down the garment to give it a soft touch – have you noticed when you rub velvet one way it is rough, and the opposite direction feels smooth. Whilst we are feeling nostalgic, we appreciate how old this textile is, traditionally made with silk dating back as early as 750 A.D.
Stretch with velvet and jersey’s
Velvet has a very slight natural stretch, although when mixed with elastane it can become stretch velvet, or it’s less pricier version – velour. Thick jersey’s have a less dramatic effect compared to woven textiles, but are figure hugging and great for a long aesthetic requiring less volume.
Another textile that has been around for centuries – satin is soft, shiny with a beautiful drape, although the opposite side of satin is matte and still useable. It’s thickness allows it to be moulded and tailored into dramatic shapes and styles – particularly if going down the medieval or victorian look.
Silk is a fibre which has been used to create different types of textiles (for instance silk velvet or silk satin). Although nothing beats pure silk which has a slight rough touch, is natural and bio-degradable if untreated, and adds character or makes beautiful lining. The best silk originate from East Asia and we’ve sourced the best surplus of it in the UK.
Tulle, Netting and Lace
We live for transparency and in the fabric world our best friends are tulle, netting and lace. Pleating this fabric creates a dramatic feel due to their natural textures, particularly lace that is normally embroidered with patterns. Opposing colours and metallic editions adds character. For transparent fabrics that are softer and without the microscopic holes, organza’s and chiffon’s are ideal.