The fashion world has a timeline littered with failed trends. I don’t know how these trends start, but I do know they burst onto the scene in a manner best described as all-consuming. I’m still trying to forget, for example, the regrettable side ponytail and platform sneaker craze (think Baby Spice a la Spice World) that reared its ugly head when I was in middle school. These trends fizzle and become fashion footnotes within months. On a rare occasion a trend will grow, evolving into its own subculture which stands the test of time. No one style trend serves as a better example than Gothic fashion. The goth subculture began in England in the late 1970s. Gothic rock, an offshoot of the post-punk progressive movement, saw the birth of its popularity in the early 1980s alongside the emergence of bands like Joy Division. But even after the popularity of post-punk music began to fade, the Gothic subculture continued to change and expand. Pretty soon “goth” was a household term indicative of rebellion. The word still evokes imagery of angst-ridden adolescents sporting teased black hair, black leather pants, and more liquid eyeliner than Courtney Love. But you don’t have to look like Edward Scissorhands to dabble in gothic fashion. Goth is again on the rise. Thanks in small part to designers who draw their inspiration from dark colors and Victorian patterns (such as John Galliano and Alexander McQueen) and thanks in large part to Stephanie Meyers for making a bloodsucking vampire the new prince charming. Movies like Twilight and Underworld catapulted goth back to the forefront of fashion and culture. Celebrities like comedian/actor Russell Brand, with his backcombed coif and all black attire, have become unlikely fashion icons. Omaha pays homage to all things pale and sun-fearing this Friday at Sokol Auditorium with the 7th Annual Something Wicked Goth Ball, featuring local bands and designers who lend themselves to Gothic influence. (See story at left.) Complete with multiple DJs, cage dancers and a human suspension team (which must be seen to be believed), it’s sure to be the event of the season. So crack out the eyeliner and black nail polish and channel your inner Robert Smith. It’s time to get gothic.

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