Autumn Winter 2015-16 Key Menswear Trends – Gothic

The Gothic revival and the Warriors of the Future


Not all the collections this season were sports or military related, some were darker more introspective, or futuristic in outlook.

Goth is a term that used to describe a subversive, introspective and darkly romantic subculture of music and fashion in the late twentieth Century, which in turn was inspired by a mixture of the Occult, Victoriana and a subversive Punk attitude, that resulted in people dressing in black and putting on wraith-like make-up.Autumn-Winter2015-15-Key-Trend-Macabre

A recent revival, however,  has seen both it’s definition and it’s popularity grow, since its post-punk heyday. Avant Garde designers such as Rick Owens have helped broaden and modernize this original definition as well as inspire a new generation of brands and designers to further expand it’s definition and appeal. T.V. series like Teen Wolf, Being Human and The Vampire Diaries have also helped to broaden its audience as well as soften its edges.

The result has been a growth, both in the number of terms used to describe Gothic, from Health Goth and Street Goth to Goth Ninja, as well as in the styles of clothing which could loosely be described as Gothic.

On the Catwalk

Translated to the catwalk this gothic revival has seen a general preference for the colour black, Amish style hats and priestly garb, as well as a renewed interest in paganism, voodoo, erotica and a general fascination with more primitive or otherworldly cultures.

The most obvious examples of these darker influences, in Fall Winter 2015, were Thom Browne’s all black funeral march and Ricardo Tisci’s Day of the Dead at Givenchy.

In addition to Pagan and Priestly Medieval inspired garb, many younger designers, Craig Green, Boris Bidjan Saberi and Nicomede Talavera, to name a few, were looking to ‘The East’, for inspiration, where they were clearly influenced, not only by traditional Samurai clothing but also by the early works of Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, and Yohji Yamamoto, whose work at it’s zenith in the late 1980’s, coincided with the underground Goth fashion and music scene of the same time and could be loosely described as Gothic.

Future Warriors of the East

It may be a stretch to link these designers to a revival in Gothic, but Gothic by definition has now broadened to include both these futuristic and apocalyptic visions of the future, as well as the more traditional Gothic themes and reflects a generally darker mood in menswear as well a significant shift in men’s fashion as a whole.

For these younger designers however, not unlike their Apocta-Goth leader Rick Owens, the defining themes were undeniably more Avant Garde and futuristic. Apocalyptic visions of the future where, sacred, warrior nomads, unable to get to the shops, resort to ancient Japanese texts found on the construction of garments, among them books on the early work of Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake, which they then use to make their own clothes.