THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: dark fairy Goth

Oops, I am a little behind with this post - I got distracted by Angry Goth Rants and mallgoth photos... sorry about that.

Dark fairy (or dark faerie - pick your spelling) Goth, or simply Faerie Goth, is one of my favourite subsets of Goth fashion. It plays on the more fantastical aspects of dark culture, often incorporating a fairy theme with accessories such as wings, pointed ear tips or horns. Many Goths are attracted to various aspects of the paranormal, the supernatural or simply the unknown, so it's unsurprising that the magic and wonder associated with fairies has found a place in Goth culture. The dark fairy style of dress is most often worn by young women (sorry, boys) who strive to look otherworldly or ethereal, and is more likely to draw on Celtic folktale or the traditional faerie myths of the Wild Hunt or the Unseelie Court as opposed to the considerably more twee and less bloodthirsty fairies most often seen in mainstream culture.

That's right, I'm not talking about the Flower Fairies here. Whilst 'traditional' faeries might have wings or go about clad in flowers and were generally stunningly beautiful, they were also mischievous, vicious, power-hungry and occasionally downright evil. And they didn't all have magic wands either - the faerie worlds included other mythical species such as kelpies, redcaps, and boggles, many of which (such as those three examples) liked to bewitch humans, lead them astray, drown them, eat them, or do other rather nasty things. So if you started reading this post wondering what Tinkerbell and her ilk have to do with Goth culture, there's your answer - 'traditional' faerie lore is a hell of a lot darker than many people think.

Lady Amaranth models Prong Jewellery
Source: Tumblr
Just as vampire Goth has strong connection with the vampyre subculture, there is a faerie subculture, which a lot of dark fairies are also affiliated with. The writers of FAE (Faeries and Enchantment Magazine) describe the subculture thus; "The faeries are the guardians of the land, so they have a natural affinity with their environment, and many humans feel the same way, this is where the lines blur between the faery realms and the human realms." Events such as 3 Wishes Faerie Fest, Faerieworlds and The Avalon Faery Ball attract many Goths (dark fairy and otherwise) as well as other faerie enthusiasts from all over the world. Faerie Goths are likely to stand out amidst such a crowd, due to the fact that most faerie enthusiasts dress either in light, bright colours or earthen tones; Faerie Goths, unsurprisingly, are likely to be clad in black.

Such events are more likely to focus on the lighter side of fairy legend, rather than the dark side represented by authors such as Holly Black, Melissa Marr, Jenna Black, Julie Kagawa, Christine Warren and Mike Shevdon, who have drawn on traditional folktale to create their very Goth-friendly books about dark fey.

Dark fairy fashion tends to be a combination of the (considerably Gothier) old myths and modern, more child-friendly fairytale aesthetics (flower garlands, shimmery wings etc). It may incorporate colour, although tones are more likely to be soft and muted rather than bright and bold. Clothing is usually flowing and romantic, made from soft, sheer or diaphanous fabrics, or natural fabrics such as cheesecloth or cotton. Skirts often have a ragged or 'handkerchief' hem for that 'woodland sprite' look. Conversely, heavy, rich fabrics such as velvet or brocade might be incorporated for the more austere look of Unseelie aristocracy or that of a fae knight (see, gentlemen, there IS a fairy look for everyone...).

Make-up usually adheres to one of two extremes - soft and earthy, for a nature-spirit sort-of look, or very over-the-top, with plenty of swirls and pretty doodles. The focus is usually on the eyes rather than the lips. Hair is often dyed beautiful colours or left natural, rather than shaved, backcombed, mohawked et al; dreadlocks are commonly seen amongst the more 'natural' fey. Some Faerie Goths like to really play up the fantastical elements of the look and grow their hair very, very long (or use hair extensions, of course). Nails are also sometimes grown very long, and/or filed into points - this is also popular amongst vampire Goths.
FAE Magazine
Musically, ethereal Goth bands such as Delerium, Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Rising Shadows, The Changelings, Black Tape For A Blue Girl and Ataraxia add moody, dreamlike atmospherics, and Emilie Autumn's early album Enchant is often tagged as 'faerie rock' (is there any genre that woman DOESN'T fit into?!). If the dark fairy also associates with the faerie subculture, they may be interested in 'faerie', New Age and mystical music from musicians such as Llewellyn, Karen Kay and Patricia Spero.

However, commentor Nox Artemis points out, "I personally don't include much ethereal wave and dream pop on my faerie-themed playlists, and I am a little discouraged that most articles on faerie goths don't include bands and artists that have more of a major contribution to faerie subculture in general - some of which have also crossed over into Goth subculture - like Priscilla Hernandez, Wendy Rule, Gary Stadler, Woodland, Omnia, Qntal, Narsillion, Trobar de Morte, Faun (most if not all of these bands have played at major faerie festivals like Faeriesworld and Faeriecon) and related celtic new age artists like Loreena McKennitt, Aine Minogue, Clannad, Lisa Lynne...."

17 comments:

Sheridan L. said...

Interesting, I love to read more these days about types of Goths (in need of more inspiration :D hahah ^^)

Stefanie said...

A great accessory for faerie Goths would be these http://www.etsy.com/shop/oakmyth that a friend of mine and a couple of other people make :) I think they also do custom orders.

Laurel said...

I went to a fairy festival once (can't go now, as dogs are allowed at it--and that would creat all sorts of problems with P). I think the darkest thing there was all the "dark faeries" running around in their gorgeous black-and-jewel-toned outfits. This post really makes me want to buy stripey tights! Where is Halloween?

ETERNITY KIDZ said...

Another great example of Goth's diversity.
For those who may not know this, Sandman is an extraordinary comic book with a lot of these elements.

Morrigan said...

Very interesting read, and another great example of what makes your blog stand out :) Love it!

ultimategothguide said...

@ Stefanie - oh, those are beautiful! Thank you for the link =)

@ Laurel - wow, I'm jealous! Really need to get a job otherwise I won't be going to ANY fests this year... =(

@ ETERNITY KIDZ - yay, fellow Sandman fan!

@ Morrigan - Thank you! You are a nice lady. =D

Nox Artemis said...

Thanks for doing a more indepth look on faerie goth, as you don't get much information specifically aimed at us. Though, I personally don't include much ethereal wave and dream pop on my faerie-themed playlists, and I am a little discouraged that most articles on faerie goths don't include bands and artists that have more of a major contribution to faerie subculture in general - some of which have also crossed over into goth subculture - like Priscilla Hernandez, Wendy Rule, Gary Stadler, Woodland, Omnia, Qntal, Narsillion, Trobar de Morte, Faun (most if not all of these bands have played at major faerie festivals like Faeriesworld and Faeriecon) and related celtic new age artists like Loreena McKennitt, Aine Minogue, Clannad, Lisa Lynne.... More pagan/medieval oriented stuff (your en pointe with Ataraxia, though). But you did mention that you focused more on those who are more into goth culture with fae attributes in lieu of those who are more submerged into faerie subculture (and everybody's musical taste is different, afterall), so I guess I should not be too subjective. : /

Anyhow, good article nonetheless.

ultimategothguide said...

@ Nox Artemis - thank you! I'm going to quote your comment in this post, I hope that's OK. =)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks Amy! Gee, now I feel a little embarrassed. *.*

Gothic Fairy Lady said...

Hi, Nice blog, it came up in my google alerts as it has "Dark Fairy" in the article. (Which is the name of my site) Have bookmarked your blog :)

Gothic-Twilight said...

Excellent article about fairy goth fashion.
There's a lot about dark fairies in Irish mythology, playing tricks on mortals. The famous Banshee is in fact a form of fairy. I wrote a small article about it here http://www.gothic-twilight.com/wordpress/?p=73 , check it out and leave any feedback you wish.

Sparrow of Kynareth said...

-imagines a goth outfit with fake elf ears- Total coolness!

Anonymous said...

Great article I'm new to goth and totally thinking of going with the dark faerie look as I love faerie folklore and mythology

Unknown said...

I have been " goth" since I was 8 years old and I love who I am. Though I do not wear the popular gothic brands like Tripp or Poizin...I realized a year ago that I am some hybrid mix of scene,emo,punk and goth. I love dark colors and pretty much only own clothes that are black,grey and red..is there a certain name to my style or is it just me?!?!

Anonymous said...

I love Farie goth and it's style but don't know where to start I am of the male gender so it's sadly alittle harder to find clothing for my sort do you have any suggestions of where to start ? Sorry for the annoyance

Raynealee Swan said...

So beautiful <3

Alyss Raven said...

Hello :3 you mentioned Emilie Autumn's album Enchant on this post. It's my favourite! Can you suggest any music that sounds similar to the songs on that album? Thanks, Alyss ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...