Oops, I am a little behind with this post - I got distracted by Angry Goth Rants and mallgoth photos... sorry about that.
Dark fairy (or dark faerie - pick your spelling) Goth, or simply Faerie Goth, is one of my favourite subsets of Goth fashion. It plays on the more fantastical aspects of dark culture, often incorporating a fairy theme with accessories such as wings, pointed ear tips or horns. Many Goths are attracted to various aspects of the paranormal, the supernatural or simply the unknown, so it's unsurprising that the magic and wonder associated with fairies has found a place in Goth culture. The dark fairy style of dress is most often worn by young women (sorry, boys) who strive to look otherworldly or ethereal, and is more likely to draw on Celtic folktale or the traditional faerie myths of the Wild Hunt or the Unseelie Court as opposed to the considerably more twee and less bloodthirsty fairies most often seen in mainstream culture.
That's right, I'm not talking about the Flower Fairies here. Whilst 'traditional' faeries might have wings or go about clad in flowers and were generally stunningly beautiful, they were also mischievous, vicious, power-hungry and occasionally downright evil. And they didn't all have magic wands either - the faerie worlds included other mythical species such as kelpies, redcaps, and boggles, many of which (such as those three examples) liked to bewitch humans, lead them astray, drown them, eat them, or do other rather nasty things. So if you started reading this post wondering what Tinkerbell and her ilk have to do with Goth culture, there's your answer - 'traditional' faerie lore is a hell of a lot darker than many people think.
|Lady Amaranth models Prong Jewellery|
Such events are more likely to focus on the lighter side of fairy legend, rather than the dark side represented by authors such as Holly Black, Melissa Marr, Jenna Black, Julie Kagawa, Christine Warren and Mike Shevdon, who have drawn on traditional folktale to create their very Goth-friendly books about dark fey.
Dark fairy fashion tends to be a combination of the (considerably Gothier) old myths and modern, more child-friendly fairytale aesthetics (flower garlands, shimmery wings etc). It may incorporate colour, although tones are more likely to be soft and muted rather than bright and bold. Clothing is usually flowing and romantic, made from soft, sheer or diaphanous fabrics, or natural fabrics such as cheesecloth or cotton. Skirts often have a ragged or 'handkerchief' hem for that 'woodland sprite' look. Conversely, heavy, rich fabrics such as velvet or brocade might be incorporated for the more austere look of Unseelie aristocracy or that of a fae knight (see, gentlemen, there IS a fairy look for everyone...).
Make-up usually adheres to one of two extremes - soft and earthy, for a nature-spirit sort-of look, or very over-the-top, with plenty of swirls and pretty doodles. The focus is usually on the eyes rather than the lips. Hair is often dyed beautiful colours or left natural, rather than shaved, backcombed, mohawked et al; dreadlocks are commonly seen amongst the more 'natural' fey. Some Faerie Goths like to really play up the fantastical elements of the look and grow their hair very, very long (or use hair extensions, of course). Nails are also sometimes grown very long, and/or filed into points - this is also popular amongst vampire Goths.