How gothcore is bringing sexy black

Victorian-meets-modern-day macabre in your corsets, lace dresses and make-up. Goth is back as the style du jour!

Go Goth or go home! The stockings-meets-sexy corsets-meets-black boots look that you only thought belonged in the boudoir, is hot on the style charts. Once the darling of the 80s, goth glam is meeting everyone’s dark desires in the new age, with celebs, influencers and others giving in to it. Slide on those fishnet stockings, wear your macabre make-up and get set for the party. It’s officially going to be a goth end to 2022.

The A-list is giving us a masterclass in the trend

image: badgalriri/Instagram

We've been seeing a resurgence of this trend in movies and TV shows—from the ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ series to the latest fantasy-fuelled ‘Sandman’ that dishes out goth glam oh, so deliciously! Hollywood stars have put it on the fashion radar—Rihanna set maternity fashion goals in her ‘goth-lingerie’ outfits and Kourtney Kardashian channelled bridal goth glam at her wedding. Back home, Sara Ali Khan recently rocked the look in her lace corset and tulle-tailed gown. Aditi Rao Hydari and Hina Khan both chose to go gothic with their gowns at the Cannes this year while Shruti Haasan is known to be a contemporary goth queen. What’s making for the return to the morbid vibe?

We’re looking at a complete evolution fuelled by acceptance

Stylist Natashaa Bothra says it’s becoming more new-age and acceptable when it comes to goth. “Whether it's at Cannes, the MET Gala or even here, resurgence goth is everywhere. I feel people were always a little into the darker side, but not very open about expressing about it. They’re now being a little more open-minded and accepting towards it. It’s no longer considered unlucky and something you wouldn't wear to an auspicious occasion. Cultural influences in the West have also fuelled a complete evolution in goth dressing. Earlier, only a certain section took to it and people likened goth to piercings, punky chains, black lips and crazy hairdos. But as fashion has evolved, so has Goth culture and it’s no longer just for the party, but worn in other places as well. Since a lot of formal culture revolves around black, it’s easily appropriated into workplace wardrobes and even at weddings. To me, goth is a complete stylist’s delight and I’d love to play around with it a little more.”

Dark dressing gets the nod in the daytime

This isn’t just a noir fantasy for the night. The next time you’re heading to an alfresco lunch, skip aside those pastels and whites and go goth instead, for the style is transcending into daytime wear. Stylist Prache Khade says, “Goth, in its all-black avatar, is mysterious and alluring, but also so non-conforming. Of late, we’re being surrounded by fashion bloggers, popstars, celebrities interpreting the style even as daywear.” The catalyst? “The crossover has been in the way its styled—classic smoky eyes, black hair and dark lips that have taken over nude make-up. We’re also seeing teenage kids sporting their version of a substyle called Emocore (emotional hardcore) in dark, tight T-shirts and skinny jeans as daywear.” She has a tip, if you’re planning to wear the look. “Got a monotone black outfit? Style it with a harness belt, metal rings, spike heels and add a lace corset. Or go biker babe with it in a leather black blazer, black pants or leggings, headbands, a pair of sunglasses to make the goth look complete,” she elaborates.

image: @kajalaggarwalofficial in Rocky Star

Everyone can have their own adaptation of it  
The modern equivalent of medieval goth has seen a surge thanks to TikTokers and influencers like The Soulful Veganista and Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick. The style is also easy to imagine in your own wardrobe. Sukriti Grover, who has styled a number of stars in the look, shares tips. She says, “Gothcore is like a spooky response in a sexy way to fashion and it’s so popular this season. The aesthetic is popping up inspired by the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and Megan Fox and everyone can have their version of it. There are different ways of doing goth trends, involving dark colours, corsets, lots of chunky silver jewellery, cross necklaces and earrings, plus other metal-inspired stuff. Get creative with black—instead of a basic dress, go with a sexy cut-out at the waist, wear it sheer and with lace details. Maroons, flashes of white, checks and fabrics like velvet and PVC also fit in. Wear corsets and chokers with mesh tights, pants, miniskirts and leather. Footwear makes such a strong statement here—thigh-high and combat boots, platforms and Mary Janes, all add punk to the goth aesthetic. You don’t need to wear all of it together; adapt the elements that suit your style. Try a graphic tee one day, maybe a leather skirt and silver studded belt on another, and go with oxblood lips and a choker after that.”

Feature image: left (designer - Shantnu & Nikhil), right (designer - Gauri and Nainika)