Pity us goths. We have collectively shifted from a group that is endlessly ridiculed to one that is emulated and adored. One of the pivotal moments in this transition? Twilight, the soft-core vampire book franchise which this month celebrates its 10th anniversary. Of course there are other factors at play but the film adaptation, which came out in 2008, cemented the look but even before then, the success of Stephenie Meyer’s five-part saga gave rise to our acceptance of the traditional goth/vampire look. In short: Twilight helped goths go mainstream.
Where once, fashion and beauty scribes would use “looking a little bit Goth” as a negative parameter to veer away from, “gothic” has become a look to strive for, especially this AW15 – see Givenchy, Rodarte and Giles Deacon – as darkly-lined eyes and blackberry lips are the catwalk-led must-have look.
Aside from the Cullen family, children of the 90s like me had a plethora of Goth influences – namely Nancy Downs from The Craft, with her kohl-rimmed eye and browny-red lip, and Eric Draven’s corpse-paint in The Crow, adapted from the popular comic book series were key. But so was the influence of graphic novels books like Lenore (based on a little dead girl, a personal favourite), Johnny The Homicidal Maniac (oddly fanciable being a. not real b. a killer) and Gloomcookie (just pretty) to name just a few – add to that, the general influence of Anne Rice’s vampire books like Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned.
The beauty world has taken note, and colour choices have evolved. Though a smokey eye and eyeliner is now super mainstream – Urban Decay’s Naked Smokey Pallette, £38 and Bobbi Brown’s Greystone Eye palette, £38 are the best examples – it’s lipsticks that have taken the most rebellious turn. Illamasqua’s Disciple Lipstick, £19.50 was the first, a midnight blue that occupies the same space as a deep red for evening-goth chic. While the brand (initially very rooted in its Goth heritage) also launched shades of teal (Apocalips) and purple (Kontrol), more mainstream brands are now taking the baton.
MAC have long been known for their theatrical palette, but in the avant-garde colour stakes they’ve been overtaken by niche US based brands such as Limecrime, Dose Cosmetics and even the more well-known, Kat Von D Beauty (rumoured to be launching in the UK soon) – even Kardashian favourite, Anastasia Beverley Hills, make long-wear lipsticks in shades of purple, blue, black and green in their core lines.
So what can you get in the UK? OCC RTW Lip Tar, £11.50 (from Cocktail Cosmetics) comes in a plethora of shades for every true or fleeting goth (I like Belladonna and Technopagan, a deep blue which I rate highly). Smaller brands like Manic Panic, Barry M, La Splash and Jeffree Star (the latter two are both available from Cocktail Cosmetics in the UK) have a monopoly on the bold and wonderfully weird shades. On the opposite end of the luxury factor, Tom Ford Lipstick in Stavros, is grey – and miles away from the uber-luxe, traditional shades they‘re known for.
Whether you dip in, or your heart has always been a deeper shade of black, you’re being catered for better than ever before. And in some ways, even though the representations of vampire fokelore are factually incorrect (cue angry-shaking-fist-goth), Twilight has made otherness a little bit more accepted – and that’s a cool thing.