The Victorian Goth

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One thing that is universal amongst almost all aspects of goth cultures is that many goths can have an interest that borders to obsession. Victorian Goths are those that have an undying love for aspects of the Victorian culture.

The Victorian fashion sense and way of life is very big within the gothic community. At the largest gothic meetup in Europe, Wave Gothik Treffen, there is the special event of the Victorian Picnic, one of the most attended day events. Here, you will see many goths dressed in full Victorian getup with flairs of the gothic touch here and there.

It’s not really that much of a massive surprise that many goths are drawn to the Victorian era. Some of the best literature, and some gothic classics, were written during this time. Additionally, it was during the Victorian era that society started coming to grips with the idea of death, what with Freud’s Death Instinct theories, with old-timey corpse photos and the writings of great gothic authors. With goths who see death as the part of life that makes it mean something, the Victorian era hits all the right kinds of philosophical viewpoints.

Additionally, there is something very appropriate about the elaborate fashion set pieces in regards to the cliche of Goths having extremely extravagant outfits that take ages to set up.

In some ways, the Victorian goth is also the easiest type of goth to approach for people not within the scene. This is because the kind of outfits they wear are familiar to people with an inkling of history. Additionally, many Victorian goths, when they are dressed up in a full outfit, will often find general members of the public coming up to talk to them due to how impressive it all can be.

The Victorian Goth also has a rich history. In fact, you can say that Victorian goths have pretty much come from the traditional goths of old. It is a natural evolution of a style that started including frills. An old style that included jabots as accessories.

Victorian Goth Fashion

With The Victorian Goths, the clothing style is, shockingly, Victorian. A Victorian Goth, in a full outfit, would not look out of place in a Dickens stage play. Of course, this does mean that Victorian Goth can be one of the more expensive goth styles, with only other very niche styles, such as Steampunk Goth and Latex Goth, beating it in terms of cost.

Actually there is actually quite a lot of crossover with the fashion of a Victorian Goth and that of a Steampunk Goth. It is not unusual for members of both groups to cross over into the other one depending on mood and event.

One element that carries on over from both groups is that of top hats, and occasionally the bowler hat. All genders of Victorian goths will often have one of these accessories in their wardrobe.

Common to all genders as well are ruffles. These may be on a flowing dress or on a lovely shirt or blouse. The more curls and the more it billows, the better. To fit into the idea of an all-black aesthetic, it is not uncommon for these items to be made with black lace.

Another additional item that is very common within the Victorian Goth fashion are goth corsets. It is not unusual for a Victorian goth to have a dizzying array of many different corsets. Ones for all occasions, wherever it’d be a casual evening out, or a full blown Victorian goth celebration. Corsets with lace-like patterns, or with small and subtle touches of colour, are very popular.

With the full length of the coats, the dresses, and the shirts that many Victorian goths wear, keeping the sun off in hot weather is a priority. So, parasols are an incredibly important accessory for many to carry around during the summer. Once again, these parasols tend to be made out of lace.

Otherwise, accessories are a very key part of the Victorian goth aesthetic. Typically, lockets, chains, and necklaces all contain gothic style art on them. Sometimes a skeleton done in the style of Victorian pictures. Sometimes Victorian style objects. Sometimes Victorian-style silhouettes.

Many Victorian goths also make a full use of bow-ties, jabots, cravats and other similar pieces of neck wear. Interestingly, many Victorian goths also make usage of face veils.

Victorian Goth Music

Victorian Goths will typically listen to the full range of gothic style music. However, there are some particular bands that cater a lot more towards the Victorian style of life.

One controversial figure for this aspect is Emilie Autumn. With a constantly changing sound between her albums. Some members of the goth community don’t entirely regard her a goth. However, the usage of plenty of violins, of string instruments, and lyrics that talk about Victorian era mental asylums and other similar themes, create a very Victorian mood. One steeped in Jungian, Freud, repressed sexualitly, and other themes common to the Victorian era.

Also with the argument over goth or not is the music of Lindsey Stirling. The usage of plenty of violins is yet another thing that shows a large Victorian style, but the addition of Dubstep and other techno stylings in her songs may put off many other goths. However, despite all of this, Crystallize is a very common song to be played at goth clubs.

On the least controversial “are they goth” side are bands such as Rasputina, Faun and others that use a full range of string and other old time instruments. It is not unusual for many Victorian goths to own hard copy albums of all of these bands.

Really, any band with an emphasis on the classical side of music are perfect for Victorian Goths. Also included within this umbrella (or parasol) are people and bands such as Hannah Fury and L’├éme Immortelle . Lyrics tend to either be firmly about love, relationships and courtship. Or about the darker side of the Victorian area. As mentioned with Emilie Autumn, this can be about the old way of doing psychiatry. Or it can be about the Victorian attitude towards death.

Victorian Goth Interests

With a focus on the Victorian era, many Victorian goths are, naturally, interested in art that has come out from this time.

So it would not be unusual for a Victorian goth to, on their bookshelves, have the complete works of Poe. Or Charles Dickens. Or even H.P. Lovecraft. Some Victorian goths even have a collection of the old Penny Dreadfuls.

Many Victorian goths also tend to collect memorabilia from the era. The more interesting, the better. Pretty much everything that has ever been seen on the TV show oddities-the-unappreciated-goth-show/”>Oddities would be something that a Victorian goth would love to own.

There is also a preoccupation with tea for many Victorian Goths. At home, a Victorian Goth will have at least one high-quality tea set, complete with tea cups, saucers, and plates for scones and biscuits. A preoccupation with collecting different types of English teas is also common.

Because of the natural British side of the Victorian era, many Victorian Goths are interested in British media, made at any time. Doctor Who is perfect for this, especially with all of the jaunts the doctor takes to the Victorian era. Other BBC shows are also very common, especially because of all of the Victorian reproductions they do. The Netflix series Penny Dreadful is also another thing that many Victorian goths have a particular love for.

Lastly, many Victorian goths love making their own clothes. After all, what’s better than a ruffly dress? One that you have made yourself. Expect plenty of fabric, powerful sewing machines, and other sewing equipment in the house of a Victorian goth. In fact, it might be wise to make friends with a Victorian goth, for all of those times where you want a piece of clothing repaired. Just remember to pay them in biscuits, scones and a lovely case of earl grey tea.

(Header Image By Staffan Vilcans (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr).

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