If you're not afraid of the dark, the mainstream fashion scene is becoming downright interesting -- in a moody sort of way. Gothic influences are everywhere, and if you're a fan of the somber, Victorian look, you don't necessarily have to sport black lipstick and multiple piercings to make it work.
Hollywood is fueling some of the gothmania with popular film noir entries like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and the "Twilight" series. If you've been into the lush materials, spiky silver accents and lacy peek-a-boo allure of gothic fashion for a while, this may be your season to shine in the spotlight. Let's take a look at five gothic style trends that are appearing on the fashion runway and making it chic to be bleak.
Say it with Leather
This season's most compelling, flexible and fashionable fabric for both gothic and mainstream fashion is leather. You love it in shoes and accessories, but this is the year you should invest in a leather skirt and over the knee boots at least.
Goth girls know that a leather bustier can make that black lace blouse look irresistible. This year you won't have any trouble finding a wide leather corset belt to add flare to your daywear. Leather is also adorning blazer sleeves and collars as well as some very dramatic outerwear fashions we'll get to in a minute. If you haven't embraced the lustrous look and decadent feel of black leather, this is the year to give it a try.
All those anime heroines are becoming little girl role models as well as fashion icons. Asian gothic nuances were all over the red carpet this season. Consider the tough-girl collection from designer Proenza Schouler. It looks ceremonial with warrior influences and plenty of fine detail in its stylized motifs. If the idea of a little Asian art with your basic black pieces sounds good, expand your historical horizons and integrate some classic Asian influences into your gothic dressing.
If you can handle the drama, capes are going to be big this year. Some are oversized, structured and long, while others are short and flowing. You'll like this too: Leather detailing on capes and other outerwear is huge. Where this gives some styles a more modern, tailored appearance, others look very Victorian. Consider the possibilities.
Emphasize Your Eyebrows
You know the value of playing up your eyes, but while you're defining and refining your upper and lower eyelids, don't forget your eyebrows. We're beginning to see quite a bit of eyebrow adornment on the runways using glitter, sequins and crystals. Statement eyebrows have real drama, especially when set off with dark hair and monochromatic garments. If you don't have a full complement of piercings, think about adding some eyebrow accents instead. Recently in Milan, Prada liked the look. So will you.
Gold Gothic and More
Gothic fashion isn't just about wearing black. It's also about employing subtle motifs that tell a story (often chilling or macabre), as well as making an outfit look spectacular. Marchesa did that with some marvelous gold pieces in her fall 2012 line. Georgina Chapman's intricately detailed gold and silver garments looked feminine, but they also sported skeletons and other morbid elements. The gothic influences were subtle but definitely in evidence. Think of a spider in a beautiful china teacup and you have the idea -- something small and grotesque where you don't expect it.
Marchesa wasn't the only designer to use gothic elements to add interest. Vera Wang showcased a spider web patterned fabric in some of her sheaths as well as jeweled chain mail in some of her eveningwear pieces.
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