Tuesday, 5 March 2013

On Goths

I read a post from Banshee's blog (only in Finnish, sorry!) lamenting that there are no 80's style goths in Finland because the cybergoth style has taken over and robbed the scene of unique looks. I stopped to think and came to the conclusion that I totally disagree.

Just to make it clear where I'm coming from with my opinions, I'm a 28-year-old goth from the second largest city in Finland, also known as the goth capital. I've lived in large cities all my life and thus had access to the latest clothing trends and have been able to look different from the masses without it being a big deal. I come from a family where kids had some money to spend, so financially I have been able to travel, go to events and buy clothing.

In my home city, the cybergoth style is not very popular. I'd say it has been like this the whole time I've been going to goth events, and that's over ten years. There have been fashions, cyber is one of them, but it only shows in events where people from outside Tampere come. These events are generally bigger and people dress up more, so it might be that the goth rocker look could be many goths' "normal look" and the cyber gear for special occasions. I think it would be super boring if goths would have looked exactly the same from the 80's onwards, where would the creativity and uniqueness be in that?

Every subculture has its fashions. I'd say that in goth, steampunk and trad goth are the hottest trends, the 80's look is not close to extinction! Some of the people in Banshee's older photos are still a part of the culture and go to clubs. I suspect they might not have the same actual clothes, but their style is similar and they still like going to goth events. If I'd have a picture I'd show you the two young goth guys I met last weekend with the perfect backcombed 80's hairdos!

The main thing is that I don't feel that creativity has vanished! I personally can name at least five seamstresses who actively make their own clothes, I myself sew with no training, and I'd say it would be hard to find someone from the scene who does NOT do any crafts producing gothy stuff. Creativity is part of being goth, and since gothic style is very visual and people drawn to it are usually aesthetically oriented, some creativity is used to create visually pleasing things and some to create music.

I like creativity, but I still appreciate fancy Lip Service dresses or other ready made stuff, it's not inferior! If there's a look you want to have, you use what's available to make it happen. What you choose simply depends on the time, money and skill you have available. How unique a look is does not depend on the style, a cybergoth can be just as unique as an 80's goth. I personally don't feel even that the uniqueness would be an important value. Everyone should wear what they can and want. I like looking at the crowd at goth events, because the clothing is everyone's way of expressing themselves. At Wave Gotik Treffen I can marvel at huge black princess gowns, silver cyber catsuits with gas masks or traditional deathrock attire, they are all pretty! And everyone especially chose that clothing to wear for a special occasion. It makes me feel one with the crowd. No matter how different everyone looks, something brings us all together to the same event. We all listen to some of the same bands and like some of the same visual elements of goth culture.

Subcultures are great. They allow people to express themselves more freely and give the feeling of belonging. Goths have the music to tie us all together. Finland is a small country and it's not financially possible to have separate events for every different subcategory of goths, and I feel that's a good thing. We all party together, the cybergoths with their lox, post punk goths with huge backcombed mohawks, fetish style goths with pvc gowns and people wearing black jeans and band t-shirts. And we all have fun!

Here's an image capture of what comes up when you do a picture
search for Wave Gotik Treffen. So many styles!
To make my point with the Finnish scene, here's a link to an album with pictures from Lumous 2006. Cyber goths, backcombed mohawks and people with simple band shirts and jeans all enjoying the festical together!

21 comments:

  1. Menikin pikku tovi lukiessa, enkkuni ei kuulu minun vahvuuksiini.
    Tällaisia mielipidekirjoutuksia kun lukee/tekee, alkaa miettiä itsekin asioita tarkemmin ja eri näkökulmista. En minä sitä tarkoittanut että kaikkien pitäisi heittäytyä samanlaisiksi, vaan ylipäätään mietin onko tuo 80-luvun tyyli kuihtumassa, koska kieltämättä monissa tapahtumissa näkee suurimmaksi osaksi cyber-gootteja ja bänditarjonta on alkanut olla enimmäkseen konemusiikkia. Kyllä siis itsekin kuuntelen esim.Hocicoa jne mikä nyt vain korvaani miellyttää!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ei mitään henkilökohtaista tietenkään, ehkä mä enemmän vaan kirjoitin ajatusvirtaa siitä mitä päähän tuli sun postauksesta! :)

      Mä olen itse tosi tylsän vanhoillinen musiikissa, kuuntelen aina vaan ikivanhoja klassikoita ja konemusiikki ei vaan iske. Mutta oon ajatellut jotenkin sillai, että se on skenen elinvoimaisuuden kannalta tärkeää että tulee uusia juttuja ja että soitetaan uutta musaa ja sellaista mistä yleisö innostuu, joten kyllä mä kestän sen pari biisiä Blutengeliä sillon tällön ;)

      Mun mielestä nyt on jonkinlainen trad goth revival, jos kattoo vaikka millasta musiikkia uusimmat suomalaiset goottibändit tekee niin se on tosi "klassista". Esim. Loistava Polku, Murnau's Playhouse ja Wreckdance kuulostaa tosi perinteiseltä ja mä rakastan sitä! Hocicosta tykkään kyllä itekin, ehkä se on jotain post punkin ja konemusan välimaastoa meidänlaiset kasarihenkisetkin tykkää :)

      Delete
    2. Niin ja onhan jokaisella oikeaus omaan mielipiteeseen :) Kyllä ehdottomasti itsekin enemmän suosin goottirockia ja muita "vanhempia" sävelmiä kuin konemusiikkia.
      Mukava kyllä että sellaista vielä tehdään, kuten vaikkapa nuo sinun heittämät esimerkit!

      Delete
  2. I **love** this post!! While I no longer have the time to make my own clothing, I agree that there's plenty of options out there, and there's something for everyone, regardless of which "type" of goth you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've just been planning to take my sewing machine to get maintenance, since it's at least ten years old and it's beginning to show. I have only made small things in the past year or two, like a pleated shrug and a neck corset, but sewing is still just as fun as when making dresses out of clingy cheap velveteen back in the day ;P

      Delete
  3. I agree with you. What I love about the Goth is creativity regardless of everything. I love a bit of each style in my own way and I guess that's how I feel good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed when going to bed that I totally forgot to mention in the text that people can wear many styles depending on the occasion. Silly me! But choosing what you like from every style is the perfect way to wear what you want!

      Delete
  4. As a babybat am I too young to say I agree with you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's a great attitude to come into the scene believing in its creativity and everyone's uniqueness! I don't consider myself a "gatekeeper" to the goth culture, but I still want to say welcome! It's the young people who keep the culture alive :)

      Delete
  5. I have been around seens the 80s Im started to dress as goth/punk in 85 i think
    Ofcouse the way i look has shange a lot over the years.

    In One way i think we was more creative in the 80s. When we has to make clothes and look more for music and everything. To day with internet a hole new world has open.

    I come from a smal city in Småland in Sweden and we dont have any shops with funn stuff ore anything.
    But i moved when i was 20 to a bigger city.

    So in One side i like that we had to be creative but on the other side its easier to Find stuff in shops ore on internet.

    Some part of me realy miss the 80 s :)

    So realy i dont know what Im trying to write.

    I like the old time but i allo like this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's also creative to combine things you've made yourself and things you can buy! Both times do have their pros and cons :)

      Delete
  6. Tästä olen kyllä sun kanssa ihan samaa mieltä. En tiedä, mistä tää käsitys siitä että ihmiset klubeilla tsekkaisi toistensa vaatteita pahalla silmällä oikein on lähtöisin (puhumattakaan kilpailusta kalleimmista Lipparin kuteista?), koska ainakaan mun kaveripiirissä en ole sellaiseen törmännyt. Vaikka tietysti jos näkee bileissä älyttömän upean ihmisen, sitä voi helposti tuntea pientä kateutta siitä miten joku voi olla niin hyvännäköinen (tai luova, jos henkilö on tehnyt vaatteensa itse). :) Toisaalta musta tuntuu, että eri kaupunkien skenet on hyvin erilaisia, esimerkiksi pääkaupunkiseudun bileissä on mun mielestä jotenkin hyvin erilainen tunnelma kuin Tampereella - myös musalinjauksissa tuntuu olevan paljonkin eroa, ja mä oon jotenkin aina tuntenut Tampereen bileet enemmän "omiksi".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jotenkin sellanen myytti on saatu aikaan! Yksi teoria oli että nuoremmat ihmiset tietyssä herkässä ikävaiheessa tekevät sitä ja sitten projisoivat sen muihin. Kateus nyt on tosi inhimillinen tunne, ja ehkä jos siitä ei olis muodostunut niin "kriminaalista" niin tämmöset projisointimyytit olis vähemmässä, kun vois vaan reilusti sanoa että jumaliste kun olin siitä ja siitä vaatteesta/tukasta/kengästä kateellinen!

      Delete
  7. I. LOVE. THIS. POST.
    I can't help but envy the country you're living in! I bet Goths there are a normal sight. :( I really wish I can pull of that messy 80s hair here in my country! T.T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! In my home town all subcultures are a pretty common sight, because it's a town with a huge student population so young people come here to study and have fun. In Finland we generally keep to ourselves, and in big cities you can get some negative comments, but I think they are pretty rare in Tampere where I live.

      Delete
  8. I'm personally very varied in what I wear - it's always black, but other than that it could be anything from Romantic Goth to '80s inspired to Industrial-Goth hybrid. There aren't many Goths at all where I live, but quite a few of them are quite varied in their tastes too. It's even more varied in London, but I did see more cybergoths there than here in the north of Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's creative to combine styles :) You could also think of doing a "true 80's look" as a kind of challenge of creativity, as to where / how to make the right stuff. Variety and creativity are great!

      Delete
  9. Very well said. I agree with you that creativity is apparent in all of the different types of gothic attire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and I do hope it lasts a long time! Even with plenty of ready-made clothing available, people still customize and sew their own clothes :)

      Delete
  10. I have mostly visited helsinki and didn't go to any goth events, but I saw a wide variety of goths in the streets. A lot of awesome glamrock looks too that I rarely see over here in Belgium. I've been going to goth parties for about 9 years, and here it totally depends on the city and party. The parties that focus mainly on electro and industrial have a bit more cybergoths (and steampunk), while the ones with more diverse music also have more diversity in fashion. The goth parties I usually go to draw a lot of people that don't nessecarily dress goth, apart from mostly darker colors. I guess I fit into that 'category' as well, since I have a very eclectic sense of fashion and don't always dress up to party, but I still love the music as much as I did all those years ago and to me that's most important :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helsinki is so nice, there are plenty of people who dress so creatively! And the 80's glam looks are very popular. I think many young people also want to dress to fit the events they go, so a more traditional look for more traditional parties and full on cyber look for industrial parties. A great way to do it!

      I think the most popular outfit in Lumous festival is black jeans and a band t-shirt! And it's great to not have to dress up, it should always be an option :)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...