Punk was commercialized around the late 70s. Given the fact that it brought with itself the black lipstick, had touched of Batcave and Grunge, it was expected to go off a long way. The Goth culture branched off into another genre of its own. It distanced itself from the Grunge culture on the basis of its obsession with death, darkness and chaos. These were the waters that Punk tested but never plunged into. Goth, onto other hand, evolved into an entire movement of its own and is still present on the scene with its diverse nature. So here is the most frequent asked question; why has Goth culture survived for so long?
According to critics, the answer is twofold. First, Goth was able to create its own space of loyal followers. Second, the way Goth engages with the term ‘subculture’ itself is quite unique. But for the sake of fashion, we won’t venture into the likes of terminologies and theories. For that, we would take the first observation and that is, the band (literally, if you think that way) of loyal followers. We are listing down the reasons why the fashion still survives.
For starters, the fashion emerges as a equivalent of expressing the music mood. The Goth music is characterized by heavy guitar riffs and lyrics that talk about what the culture marks. The symbols of chaos, anarchy, darkness and death seeps into the lyrics of these bands. Thus, if you have music that is impactful, you need your aura to be as impactful too. Thus, the death rockers took a dramatic outlook.
The outlook combined with the makeup and hair, served two purposes. One, it helped a fellow Goth recognize another fellow Goth. This tradition is still present in the contemporary scenario (in fact, there have been several times even we have mentioned and wrote the way that we recognize certain codes of the community) where we instantly recognize a fellow Goth just from a distance.
The second, it created a shock factor for the mainstream society. This worked as another uniting factor in the community. The outer appearance of the Goth was to provoke a reaction from the society and to make the individual noticeable. A common ideology that the society does form of the Goths is that they are seeking for attention, hence, this attire and attitude. To be honest, yes, but the deeper ideology that sits here is that if you perceive that attention as positive or negative, is your own perception and not the Goths.
Thus, the Goth culture was established on codes of dressing, fashion, symbolism and understood signs that had universal decoded messages. Thus, it translated into a community that was able to sustain the culture with newer members joining it and having the free will to continue or embrace it at their own terms. It was also culturally exclusive. Thus, every ethnicity that came to embrace it was welcomed as a member which could add to the fashion and experience of it.