The end of September marks the time of year when the nights are drawing in, the days are shorter, the leaves turn darker, the air is crisper and there's the turmoil of the transitional wardrobe period. Where you're tricked by the sun into freezing your gams off and being exposed to the famous 'corned beef' effect, or worse, decidedly sweaty and un-chic in a meticulously coordinated scarf. The shops begin filling up with cards that mark unabashed premature Yuletide and X Factor is back on the TV (we're watching, begrudgingly). It's official: The tentative first steps of autumn are here.
With it comes the inevitable arrival of a darker side of fashion and the seasonal awakening of a part of ourselves that couldn’t be more delighted; our Inner Goth Girl. IGG turns it up to 11. She loves the sun but cherishes the shade, preserving her ghostly pallor with vigour and care. She is a sucker for the darkest brown eyes. She is lost in the wicker-soled whimsy of summer. She loves a bare face and a blood red lip and thinks nothing looks better in a snowy landscape than a dark figure cutting through the stark brightness. But she understands classic too; she knows the value of her little black dress in her little dark soul.
When we’re channelling our [Inner Goth Girl] we look to Morticia Addams and we evoke Tim Burton
It used to be that our IGG was married exclusively to black, but no longer. This season she‘ll be dipping her toe in baroque print, shimmering metallics, feathers, velvet, dark florals and frothy lace with a hint of embroidered opulence. Plus the obligatory touches of S&M via the toughness of leather and caged body con, flashes of sequin, cobweb and mohair knits, sheer chiffon, dramatic capes, claret lips and matching nails. When we’re channelling our IGG we look to Morticia Addams and we evoke Tim Burton. Our stylistic reference points are Charlize Theron's queen in Snow White, Strawberry Switchblade (look 'em up, kids), Daphne Guinness, Florence Welch and Siouxsie Sioux.
In reality we flit sartorially between the dark and light side, the extreme polars of our wardrobes like Twoface's henchwomen. For all our trans-seasonal experimentation she is the one we return to again and again. The fashion world is already looking forward to Spring/Summer 2013 while IGG will happily wallow in the comforting frost and biting cold that the end of the year will bring.
Fashion's directions are cyclical but we really never stray far from our Inner Goth Girl
So why do we come back to her, season after season? . There is something magnetic about her in her nonchalant seductiveness. Flesh is exposed in the semi-opaque of a sheer blouse or a flash of skin beneath a cobweb knit and her red lip turns a few shades darker, vampier, more dangerous. She is not out to seduce but she has an undeniably menacing appeal. There is something in relenting to our hidden dark side that is really about dressing for ourselves. Taking back our wardrobes, possessing and knowing the beauty of our own bodies and enjoying them for ourselves after the far too obvious allure of the abundant flesh of warmer seasons. Our boots are chunky, our flats are stacked. This is the wardrobe of a warrior and, frankly, a bit of a weirdo
In design, Alexander Mcqueen gives good goth without fail, while this season we have Balmain's structured leather, Dolce & Gabbana's dark embellishment cut through with lace alongside Gucci's inky palette and swathes of chiffon, all to satiate our demands entirely. On the high street she knows ASOS and Urban Outfitters cater to her needs best, but you'll also find her lurking in charity shop rails. Someone wicked this way comes and she'll be the best dressed girl through winter.
Check out our seasonal picks in the gallery above.
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