The other day I was going to meet my friend at the Hauptbahnhof when I saw very many people dressed up mostly in black. My first impression was astonishment because I have never seen so many Gothic people in one place. The most amazing thing wass that the outfits very not any black garment, but well-thought-out to the tiniest detail.
“Wave-Gotik-Treffen is an annual world festival for “dark” music and arts in Leipzig, Germany. More than 150 bands and artists from various backgrounds (Gothic rock, EBM, Industrial, Noise, Darkwave, Neofolk, Neoclassical, Medieval Music, Experimental, Gothic metal, Deathrock and Punk being examples) play at several venues throughout the city over 4 days on Whitsuntide.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave-Gotik-Treffen)
In the streets of Leipzig one could see various gothic styles and sub-styles some of which I could distinguish were Goth, Cybergoth, Steampunk, Rivethead, and Medieval subcultures. Further I’d like to draw attention to the age groups and particular features describing their looks.
First, I was impressed that Goths where not only young people. They where couples, married people, old people, families, young adults, children and grownups. This observation led me to the conclusion that this festival is very important for them, that the dressing up is not only for fun, but also for being able to be who they really are and to step aside from the everyday life, and that it is not only a disguise, but a valuable lifestyle.
The second thing that thug my heartstrings was the costumes. If you haven’t seen it yourself you cannot imagine it… The appearance of the most people was planned and fixed to the tiniest detail.
Women had contact lenses that were white or light blue with a black dot in the middle; make-up was put on the faces like in the Rococo era where faces were white, and lips were small and red, whereas cheeks — peachy, and still it wasn’t all. Sides of face were painted with flowers, glitter, and pearls. Hair, of course, was also important. Black, pink, red, white you name it; curled, or straightened, real or fake, up or loose, short or long, but never simple. Then for certain styles hats, bags, and umbrellas were also important. It seemed that a dress is the most important part of the looks and I was given the impression that they were own designed, bought, created. Most of the dresses were full length and huge with an ‘underskirt’ (metallic hoops) that made it look even bigger. The dresses were with ribbons and bows, bell-shaped and glamorous. Whereas shoes and stockings were no exception, they were very special as well. Shoes were exclusive because one could see some of those only in the museums.
Men did not fall behind the looks of women, they supplemented each other. They wore the long forgotten top hat and leaned against a walking-stick. Some were dressed like Dracula with long black overcoats, some were dressed like pirates in full, and others were dressed like zombies. Men wearing long, black skirts with metal rings, chains, ribbons and was nothing unusual. Further, men’s hair were long and short, always black and messy. On their arms they wore bangles and wristlets, and on their fingers they wore silver rings or gloves.
To conclude, I must admit that I most truly admire Goths and their lifestyle. I am disappointed, angry, and sad that sometimes they are judged and misunderstood, and that some people think they have the right to state their opinion to them about their looks. I hope for a better future for those who are special and do not go with the crowd, and as for me, I will still fight for their rights of freedom and free will.
“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
― Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz