dinsdag 4 september 2012

ELLE magazine’s September 2012 ‘black issue’ does not disappoint!

Fashion magazines can be entertaining and inspiring, but they hardly ever write positively about the gothic subculture or style. The ‘goth trend’ seems to make a comeback in catwalk and mainstream fashion every once in a while, sporting black nail polish, black leather, studs and lace. One would expect designers and writers of fashion magazines to give more credit to their obvious source of inspiration and to refer to the gothic style in an appreciative way, but instead they are always quick to add: ‘do make sure not to overdo this look, because one naturally doesn’t want to look gothic!’. It seems kind of ignorant and offensive to remind people of this all the time, while simultaneously ‘borrowing’ looks from those very goths they seem to despise. I am reading offensive comments about goths in (Dutch) magazines all the time and it keeps annoying me. I do not know whether it’s the same for magazines in other languages however, so do not hesitate to share your experiences!
As a consequence, despite my love of fashion photography, I do not often feel tempted to buy these magazines anymore. Last week however I made an exception for the September edition of ELLE, mostly out of curiosity. The entire edition is inspired by the color black and features some amazing photography and very interesting articles on darker fashion! Still I expected to be somewhat disappointed by possible references to the gothic subculture…I was prepared for the worst. To my utter surprise, it did not happen. Quite the contrary: the writers openly acknowledge they have been inspired by the goth aesthetic and write very positively about the subculture. The editor (Cécile Narinx) admits being a regular spectator at the annual ‘Summer Darkness Festival’, the biggest gothic festival in the Netherlands. She and her friend love to go what they call ‘goth spotting’, which might sound a little denigrating, but which she explains is really admiring people in their outfits and trying to get an impression of all the different styles. Wow, this lady actually knows about different types of goths…that’s more than I can say for most people in fashion! To make sure that people are aware of the different gothic styles, she even wrote an article (‘Oh my goth’) describing a few of them. 
And she’s clearly done her research, mentioning bands like Bauhaus, Rasputina, Corvus Corax, Collide and Depeche Mode. Marylin Manson and Within Temptation, the usual goth-clichés, are not even mentioned! In the beginning of the article, she directs her readers to get over their prejudices right away:

‘Goths, aren’t those the types that dwell around cemeteries for hours, those depressed, suicidal teenagers who mean to provoke, preferring to fall asleep in a coffin at night? Well, no. What makes a goth a goth then?’ [translation by Corin]

She then goes on explaining about the music, the art, the literature and the of course the various fashion styles. Of course these classifications are rather stereotypical, but goths themselves tend to use them as well to refer to others. The greatest benefit of the article is the acknowledgement of a diverse subculture that is not scary, existing merely to provoke or filled with lunatics, but beautiful in its dark aesthetic and its diversity. The author did a good job making this message come across!

Apart from the article described above, there are plenty of other reasons to buy this September’s special issue of ELLE magazine:

-          Black clothing, shoes and accessories galore
-          Beautiful dark photography
-          Dark make-up
-          Reviews of movies and books with a dark theme
-          Article about your ‘dark side’
-          Article about dark and gothic inspired fashion on the catwalk (Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh)
-      Article about funerals 
-          Article about erotic literature
-          Article about material arts and other fighting sports
-          Article about black fashion models
-          Article about Chanel and the color black
-          Article about a Dutch actor playing in the HBO series ‘Treme’, which is set in New Orleans
-          Dark, tribal inspired fashion

For non-Dutch speakers: I do not know if the UK and US versions of ELLE’s black issue are similarly appealing and positive towards the gothic subculture, 
but I would say it’s worth checking out!

7 opmerkingen:

  1. Reacties
    1. Nee nog niet helemaal, had wel in de trein mooi de gelegenheid om o.a dat oh my goth artikel te lezen en die prachtige beauty foto's te bekijken! Ga er zo maar weer eens verder in bladeren.

    2. Het is een leuk artikel. Kort, maar echt heel goed voor in een mainstream magazine! Verder is het inderdaad lekker bladeren en je vergapen aan de mooie foto's. :p Veel plezier! :D

  2. Ohho, I wouldn't mind if the Finnish ELLE made one month a special issue like this one! It would be fun~ Shame they probably won't though. And shame they don't bring Dutch magazines here, not that I'd understand a word but with fashion magazines the pictures speak more than the words :'D.

    1. Ah, that's such a pity! Is it possible perhaps to get the UK version of the magazine in Finland? They have the same issue, although I'm not sure if it is as goth-oriented as the Dutch one (some articles must be the same, others differ per country).
      I also saw that Vogue had a 'new romantic' issue, but I haven't had time to look into it yet. At first sight though, it seemd to be pretty dark themed as well!

  3. Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre and stylish gothic noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD and Netflix through Vanguard Cinema (http://www.vanguardcinema.com/darkarc/darkarc.htm), and is currently
    debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.

    TRAILER : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPeG4EFZ4ZM

    ***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted
    before..." Film Threat
    "A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
    "Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
    version of David Lynch. " IFC News
    "Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...Don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
    "Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque