Japanese Goth Style Finally Gets Its Fashion Dues

The "goth" epithet tends to elicits an eye roll, followed by mumblings about Robert Smith, black nail polish, and Hot Topic. But the Japanese Goth is something surreally different. Think a complicated mash-up of Nabokov's "nymphet," with samplings of lace frills, corsetry, and Sisters of Mercy darkness. Or at least that's what we got after leafing through Tiffany Goode and Ivan Vartanian's graphic exploration of the decadent fashion subculture. Like the Japanese Goth herself, the 200-plus pages weave together a variety of influences-including fashion, music, art and design-to visualize a delicate balance of the beautiful and the macabre. From Shirley Temple-worthy wigs and petticoats to warped monochromatic drawings that reek of the deconstructed silhouettes of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto and painter Masaru Shichinobe's underworldly Alice in Wonderland, the book is all sorts of grotesque gorgeousness and definitely a little deviant.


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