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I’m pulling together a complete wardrobe for eighteen-year old Goth ghost, Lila LeRoy, the protagonist for What Happens in the Vegas Cemetery.
At first, I thought I couldn’t do it, since I pretty much stick to jeans and tees. Also, there’s an overwhelming amount of information about “Goth-garb,” so I worried about where to begin.
Working my way through tons of Web sites and blogs, I began to realize that most of us have, or have had, a secret wish–at least once in our lives–to dress up like a Goth. I remember dressing up as the French maid one year at a Halloween party. My outfit included fish-net hosiery, a staple of some Goth outfits. There was another phase (let’s not talk about when that was: it’s been a while), when I had an entire trunk full of leather and lace items.
Goth is not limited to the dark-dark or black, so it gives Lila room to breathe, so to speak, when it comes to expressing her intense and luminous personality. I found that the Industrial Punk clothing some Goths are crazy about tends toward lime green–mostly in see-through polymer fabrics–a lovely and highly expressive color that Lila is feelin’. Also, a favorite color of Lolita Goths, who by the way worship black lace and tons of it, is purple. Lila, I think, doesn’t care so much for it, although she might wear the asymmetrical dress shown on Lip Service’s link (below).
Studying the various types of Goth-garb, I’m getting a sense that the overall impression is one of stylized macabre, or darkly defiant (my fav), or ‘mazing smish&mash. ‘Mazing smish&mash is a category I’ve made up, along with stylized macabre and darkly defiant, to include all of the incredible range of clothes that have been worn in previous historical periods but shucked by today’s clothes horses for any number of reasons–You wouldn’t see a typical teen wearing a knee-length bathing suit (but you would a Goth). Aside: I’ve yet to see a Goth with a tan, so why do they even go to the beach?
What makes ‘Mazing smish-mash (MS&M) exciting–especially for Lila–is that anyone having worn outfits from these various periods is presently dead. Not to sound macabre, but death, or appearing close to death, seems to be a popular theme tying together all types of Goth wardrobes. MS&M includes, for example, corsets, the more whale-bone and metal and ivory and the better. It includes long dresses, seemingly worn by immigrants (give me your poor, your tired, your hungry, your Goths), who we see in sepia tone photos of our ancestors, arriving in America on those big ocean liners like the Titanic.
I think I’ve got the main idea about Lila’s wardrobe, but I’m open for suggestions. She’s got tons of money, at least for now. Of course, if she doesn’t get her grades up, the parents could cut her off, so she’ll need to think up new ways to stay pretty and Goth–Is Grunge Goth a clothing category?
To see the asymmetrical Lolita dress: http://www.lip-service.com/handlers/style.php?division=Lipservice&groupitem=Genre&groupvalue=Goth&subgroup=Womens&style=83-205&index=6&sort
To learn how to apply Goth makeup, or more about Goth clothing: