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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: Egyptian Goth

The mythology surrounding Ancient Egypt is beguiling to many of the Gothically-inclined, which probably had a hand in the development of this style. Symbols such as the ankh and the eye of Horus have long since become staples in the Goth scene, and even the Gothic Martha Stewart has some notes on Egyptian Gothic as a theme for home decor. I felt that some of what she says might hold true for Egyptian Goth fashion as well:

"Ambience: refined, elegant, regal; and fit for a dark gothic king or queen.
Palette: regal black and gold, with ivory accents and perhaps a little silver.
Textures: crisp linen and fine Egyptian cottons abound, possibly co-ordinated with black velvets, fur, and even animal prints.
Musical background: Dead Can Dance draws from so many ethnic traditions, they seem to fit everywhere. Siouxsie and the Banshees also seems appropriate, espcially with Miss Sioux's past dabbling in Egyptian imagery."

Source: Raven Eve
The term 'Egyptian Goth' might also, obviously, refer to a Goth who is Egyptian or lives in Egypt. This fashion style is rarely seen nowadays; it was far more common in the 90s, perhaps because the heavy eyeliner and largely monochrome clothes of Egyptian Goth segued nicely from the heavy eyeliner and largely monochrome clothes of trad Goth.

The Goth Bible (Nancy Kilpatrick) says, "Quite a few Goths experience a synchronistic attraction to all things from Ancient Egypt. This is a world of ankhs, lush quietude and the fragrance of patchouli oil, right from the tombs of Ancient Egypt to you! Mummification and ancient funereal customs play a part in this realm, and the inscrutability of ancient symbols. It helps to like cats!"

The clothing styles are often simple, following elegant, minimalistic lines in heavy fabrics. The key to identifying the Egyptian Goth is usually the opulent jewellery; slave bracelets, beaded headdresses, and of course lots of ankhs and scarabs are commonly seen. This is one of the few styles of Goth fashion where gold is often incorporated. Hair and eye make-up tends to be big and usually dark. If hair is not backcombed to the max, it may be heavy, blunt and sleek or even braided or cornrowed. Lips too are dark, and heavily defined a la Siouxsie.
Source: Google Images
The dark yet opulent world of the Egyptian Goth is reflected in many of Anne Rice's novels, for example Ramses the Damned (or The Mummy). Even Goth-friendly companies and sellers have gotten in on the act with fragrances such as Cleopatra, 'a 100% natural exotic blend of woods, spices, and florals that were commonly used in ancient Egypt. This is a historical interpretation of the perfume Cleopatra may have worn'; Anubis, 'the creator and master of funereal rites, He Who Opens the Mouth of the Dead, and the sentinel that watches over the sanctity of tombs and the virtue and privacy of his charges. His scent is a blend of holy myrrh, storax, balsam, and embalming herbs', and Bastet, 'one of the Eyes of Ra, and in that aspect an Avenging Goddess, seeking retribution and punishing enemies of her people. Luxuriant amber, warm Egyptian musk, fierce saffron and soft myrrh, almond, cardamom and golden lotus.'
 
Goth gossip: Want to be in a vampire movie? Of course you do! Hop across to Vampire Victim and enter their comp to win the chance to travel to Bulgaria (flights, accomodation, etc all included) and have your moment in the spotlight being eaten alive by a vampire in a Syfy Original Movie (the competition is being held by the Syfy channel). Can't thank Dan enough for spotting this for me on Syfy!

Not sure precisely why I'm promoting a competition that I've actually entered, but hey...
OF COURSE I entered. Bulgaria, vampires, hello?!

13 comments:

Shiken said...

Does this mean I lose Goth Points for knowing only 1 Egyptian god in the song "Jackal Head" by the Cruxshadows?

Never liked ancient Egypt ever, too much sand.

DEATH OF A RAVEN said...

Nobody's left you many decent comments, so I will. The whole Egyptian theme does work well in Goth. This worked very well with Ofra Haza and The Sisters Of Mercy on Temple Of Love 92. The Egypt sound has featured a lot in may pieces of Gothic music. So, yes. The sound does go very well mixed into Gothic culture.

Shiken said...

@D of a R

?! My comment was good too.....
I think.

Sara said...

I love it!

Emily Lynn G. said...

Hm. This reminds me of Anne Rice's "Servant of The Bones" and her Gothic shift to Ancient Babylon (+1 Goth Point) Certainly almost any ancient culture could be goth-a-fied? (Oh, how cool a Roman goth would be!!)My favorite time period+place will always be 19th Century England<3

Black_Lilly said...

Eygpt has always deeply facinated me. I love this.
Oh yeah, the Cairo Tutankhamun exhibit is in Melbourne this months!!!! So excited!

Ashlee said...

I love Ancient Egypt! It's my favorite ancient civilization. (Is it weird to have one of those? lol) If I could stand the colour gold I would totally do a bit of Egyptian Goth.

Laurel said...

Good luck with the competition Amy :)

Anonymous said...

Stupid question: has anyone invented a fashion style that involves "classic" or "timeless" fashion? I mean something not as casual as post-punk goth, and something other than corp goth? Kind of like the little black dress, white button down, trench--all goth staples, I know. I'm not doing a great job of what I mean. I'm thinking of something as elegant as Victorian goth, but with less emphasis on historic period--Audrey Hepburn comes to mind, as well as other famous starlets of the 50s and 60s like Marylin Monroe. I don't know--maybe that is corp goth? I can see elements of tribal goth being shared with Egyptian goth, to get back on topic. Smile. That would make sense, seeing as Egypt is one of the places that bellydance hails from.

Heather said...

Great article! :)

Thorn said...

As a Jewish...whatever I am, I am opposed to Egyptian anything, unless it is absolutely neccessary.

Stormatia said...

Okay, so after reading this article, the Oriental Goth, Geeky goth, Tribal Goth, and Industrial Goth articles, my only conclusion is this:

Goth can be bent to match anyone. It doesn't matter what kind of interests you have, because you can express them no matter what.

I scanned through these articles and realized that I have a lot of these interests. I always used to feel strange by letting my geeky/faery/hippie/industrial/metal sides show.

I feel a bit more confident after reading these articles because I don't have to try and fit a particular mold! It is mine to shape! :]

Cherry Divine said...

The Egyptian style is amazing to look at. It is a style as ancient as Egypt itself. Cleopatra and Isis must've been very sexy Goddesses. The head attire styles of Tiaras were very gorgeous for perfect Gothic Queens.

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