Cybergoth: You’re walking around town and from the corner of your eye, a shop window flashes with thigh-high furry boots and 3D goggles on fluorescent fairy robots. Or perhaps you’re visiting Camden Market in London, with its $5 bang bang chicken and faux Moroccan bowls. There, as always, is Cyberdog. Inside, space dresses, UV bras, and BDSM-inspired harnesses line the walls. A cybergoth with a huge head of colored dreads sashays to a relentless EDM remix of Dappy’s “No Regrets.”
Cyberdog started in 1994, beginning as a small stall in Camden. Despite trends coming and going and clubbing experiencing a steady downturn, the brand has taken its rightful place in cultural history as the last outpost of the cybergoth. It was, after all, there at its conception and has been a key driver in its futuristic, alternative look. We might not see as many of its customers on the streets, but Cyberdog is holding on and even expanding. It now has branches not just in Camden and Brighton, but in Manchester, Ibiza, and Egypt.
Bubble Goth is a newer type of Goth created by the Estonian pop singer, Kerli Koivu. She aims to “make the beautiful, creepy and the creepy, beautiful”, something that “takes light and dark and puts them together”. A picture of her is to the right.
What does it mean to be goth?
1: a member of a Germanic people that overran the Roman Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era. 2 often not capitalized. a: rock music marked by dark and morbid lyrics. b: a fan or performer of goth. 3: a person who wears mostly black clothing, uses dark dramatic makeup, and often has dyed black hair.
What is a gothic person?
On September 7th, 2011, the internet was blessed with a diamond in the rough: a home movie of a crew of German cybergoths gathered beneath a concrete overpass, enthusiastically demonstrating their best electro-industrial dancing skills. On this day, the 10th annual celebration of World Goth Day, we humbly thank them for their service.
Okay, so that’s not entirely true. The majority of the said song has to come in somewhere around the 160 bpm tempo. But otherwise, the sky is the limit, friends. Behold the magic, and celebrate the joys of the cybergoth dancing meme.
As industrial metal adopted a repetitive beat that drew goths into club culture, the clothing followed suit. In a series about Style Tribes for i-D, Cyberdog founder Terry Davy described being part of an emerging alternative scene. “I started going to clubs but I couldn’t find the clothes that matched the music. I saw the UV backdrops in some of these clubs and I was like, ‘I wanna glow like that.’ So we started to do neon glow, off-the-wall trippy images.” Soon this infiltrated industrial nights such as London’s Slimelight at Electrowerkz where you almost had to dress like that to get in. “Original goths started to get into that scene because they liked the music.
It was harder.” By combining the latex and black BDSM stuff previously dominating the alt-dancefloor with neon, Davy helped establish a coherent nu-goth look. “I don’t wanna say that we started that whole thing but in a way we probably did. They come from all over Europe really. Italy, France, Germany. Now they call themselves cybergoths.”
Sarah Mitchell, 38, was an original cybergoth back in the mid to late 90s. “Cybergoth, for me, started via lots of different influences at the same time, as these things often do. I loved a comic called Tank Girl with a girl who wore socks on her arms and a Japanese fashion magazine called Fruits which was just pages of alternative Tokyo fashion. As a result of that, I was wearing big boots and little skirts or shorts.” At the time she was living on the Isle of Wight, so Sarah absorbed the subculture through disparate sources. “Once I was old enough I’d go to this nightclub called Boilerroom, basically the only alternative night. I got into industrial and incorporated a heavier look with the bright colors I already wore.
Cybergoth Dance Party
Cyber Goths are a little more radical than some other types when it comes to fashion, and very different in music taste and general aesthetics. Unlike a Trad Goth or a Romantic Goth, these Goths love techno and industrial music )possibly bands like Rammstein, Asphyxia or Angelspit), love advanced technology (hence “Cyber” Goth), and are usually more energetic people due to their love of techno/dance music. Some believe this type evolved from Industrial music and fashion, adopting a darker theme that linked them to the Goth subculture, typical choices in music being a little too dark or morbid for the average dance fan.
A common sign of a Cyber Goth is the neon dreads, or gas masks and goggles. These Goths love to match neon colors with black, or with another color. Purple, green, pink, blue, orange, and red is typical colors that are seen in this type. A more extravagant makeup style is also common, many of these kinds of Goths like to draw patterns with eyeliner or do more detailed eyeliner on their eyes, but not always. A simpler makeup tutorial on youtube can be helpful for starters who want to get into the scene. Other parts of the fashion may include vests, corsets, fishnet, leg warmers, platform boots, leather jackets or pants, and leather chokers.
Only similar to goth in the name. This is most likely because both subcultures developed from the same scene but have since gone their separate ways. Cybergoth fashion combines rave, rivethead, and goth fashion, as well as drawing inspiration from other forms of science fiction. Androgyny is common. The style sometimes features one starkly contrasting bright or neon-reactive theme color, such as red, blue, neon green, chrome, or pink, set against a basic, black gothic outfit. Matte or glossy black materials such as rubber and shiny black PVC can be mixed and matched in an effort to create a more artificial look.
The black-and-monochromatic juxtaposition can take a variety of forms, including brightly colored hair and make-up, cybernetic patterns such as live LED circuit boards, body modification, gas masks, and goggles (especially aviator-style), typically worn on the forehead or around the neck rather than on the eyes. The most common use of a theme color is in the hair or eye make-up. Artificial, extended hair or “falls” are sometimes used to create this added effect. Falls can be made of various materials, ranging from yarn to fluorescent tubing to electrical wiring. Popular club gear for cybergoths includes tight black pants, tight black vests or shirts cut from ripped, solid or fishnet fabrics, fluffies, resembling costumes from 19th Century Gothic novels or early black and white horror films from the mid-20th century. Companies that specialize in the style include Cyberdog (UK), DANE (UK), Pen & Lolly Clubwear (UK), Lip Service (US), and Diabolik (CA).
Cybergoths love to rave, have a fascination with glowsticks and all UV – glowing objects. Tend to wear a lot of UV reactive clothing, main brands being cyberdog, spank, plastic wrap, etc. Hairstyles are generally pretty extreme with bright color dreadlocks and mohawks being the most common. Wear cyber goggles on the forehead, generally so that your hair falls don’t look really odd! Huge platform boots!
Listen to EBM, Trance, Techno, etc style dancy bands including Combichrist, Ayria, Suicide Commando, candy corp, the list goes on.
Drugs, some do them, a lot don’t. Don’t believe the stereotypes you hear.
The general love of partying/raving and dancing a must. Generally confident and not afraid to be how they want.