Explore 40 Transgressive Years of Goth Men's Fashion

Last year, we debuted a fascinating video called 40 Years of Goth Style, which explored the evolution of women’s clothing, hair and make-up styles in this hard-to-pin-down genre/movement/lifestyle, from UK punks to cyber goths, Lolitas, and all points in between. Helmed by Liisa Ladouceur, a Canadian filmmaker (and author of the definitive  Encyclopedia Gothica), the vidoe proved to be immensely popular, and it’s easy to see  why: the goth aesthetic has long fascinated those of us on the outside, and Ladouceur offered a tantalizing peek behind the black veil.

Now, she and her crack team of stylists are back to tackle men’s fashion. As Ladouceur writes, “The history and evolution of this dramatic and often transgressive, gender-bending men’s style is documented with a time-lapse of a model being transformed into nine different looks, starting with 1976 UK punk and including 80s trad goth, 90s vampire and industrial goths, the cyber goth, and  the contemporary Death Rock revival.”

Watch it below, and keep an ear out for the original soundtrack, composed by by Jordan Allen (of Toronto electro-pop acts Yi, ROLEMODEL and Weight) with additional songs by Toronto sludge rockers Nice Cat and Dead Wizardz.

Ladouceur offered some more insight into the process, explaining, “The reaction to 40 Years of Goth Style was overwhelming. This was an art project with my creative friends to celebrate a subculture and style that I loved, and it was thrilling to see it resonate with so many people—even those who disagreed strongly with our version of goth style history, which was a big picture, generalist look at trends through the years. For the male follow-up, it took us six months to find the right model who would let us give him a deathhawk, which I thought was super important this time. We were able to feature goth looks that were more masculine— industrial, for example, or those oh so classic Tripp pants—while also recognizing that androgyny and gender-bending are an essential element of this world.

Goth men’s fashion is intrinsically more transgressive than the women’s—it takes a lot of guts even today for a young guy to go out in full eyeliner and lipstick, or a skirt and fishnets, never mind back in the 1980s when this all started. Through the years, goth men have been as fashion-forward as the women, and we wanted to celebrate that. I’m sure there will still be arguments about what is and isn’t goth enough in this video, but that is also an essential element of Gothdom and I welcome it. And as much as I love Goths I’m also excited to start work on the next video as I continue this series of Street Style, alternative fashion history.”

Kim Kelly is not a goth but she is on Twitter, the most goth social networking platform.

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