Runway Gaga

I completely forgot to write about Gaga’s walk for Marc Jacobs A/W 2016 show- the last show of New York Fashion Week.

I liked that Lady Gaga made an understated appearance, and added to her building ‘Goth-Girl’ credentials- along with the news that Gaga has signed on to the next series of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story.

What kinds of ‘gothic’ were at work here?

  • anachronistic Victoriana fashions – giant skirts, overcoats, lace, ruffles, over the top feathers, long gloves that recalled a ‘haunted Downton Abbey’, delicate sequins and beading
  • ‘pop-goth’ – checkerboard design, an ‘eom-cat’ print, oversized tops, wide-leg trousers, spiderwebs, rats, dyed bright fur – blending Punk and Goth with sheer maxi dresses and clomping platform boots, the inclusion of Gaga herself (most recently starring in the very Gothic American Horror Story: Hotel)

It’s an eclectic mix of old and new forms of Goth fashions, forcing a convergence of past and further past fashions, into this new collection.  Despite all these nods to historical pieces; flares, mourning coats, stripes tights, this still felt very current.

Gothic today has shifted even since the fashions of the 1980, and further from the Victorian Gothic, of which Jacobs paid homage to.  The mash-up of both of these periods suggests something intrinsic to what Gothic more broadly has come to represent (also identifiable in fashions read as ‘Gothic’); that is to say that Gothic as a mode survives because of its inter-referential relationship with itself, constantly reviving images and styles and colliding them together to create something new.  Gothic doesn’t have to be haunting, but it seems always haunted– at least, by itself.  Now, Gothic can also be much lighter as a mode than previous incarnations of the Gothic, references to rats and cobwebs are camp signifiers of ‘traditional Gothic’ with creaking castles and fleeing maidens.

Regardless, Gothic is as captivating today as it ever was.

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