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Emo x Gothic: Do You Know The Difference?

Two very well known styles in the alternative scene are the Emo and the Gothic. Sometimes people think that they’re almost the same thing because of some similarities like the majoritarian use of black clothes and the loaded and eccentric makeup.

But these movements are really different in so many aspects and this article will show the differences between them!

The Melancholy Of Emo

When we talk about the emo style, it’s impossible not to talk about music too, because the origins of it are directly related to the rise of the emocore bands in the mundial music scenario in the 80’s and 90’s.

The emocore, or emotional hardcore, is a music style derivated from the hardcore punk and the post-hardcore, that, in the course of the time, has been capting some traits from othe alternative styles, like indie for example. The songs of this style are characterized by the melancholic musicality and expressive sentimental lyrics.

Besides it’s success in the music parades, the emo culture only established itself in the 2000’s, when the influence of bands like Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Blink-182, Panic! At the Disco and others, expanded to the visual style of clothes, hairstyles and makeup.

According to the article “The Emo Fashion And The Lifestyle Behind It”, written by Luna Rocha, the emo style is marked by heavy colors with delicate representations. The emo fashion style most representative elements are overlapping clothes, usually wearing colored or printed clothing underneath superimposed by a black piece.

Other points of color that emos used to use were the hair with streaks or colored portions and makeup with colored eyes and eyeliners. When it comes to hair, the hairstyle used by emos were the long bangs and shredded cuts.

Gothic: Dark Romanticism and Nihilism

Provenient from the UK, the gothic subculture is derived from the values and the line of thought of gothic literature. This kind of literature was created in Europe of the XVIII century, and is defined as a style of romanticism directed to the mystery and to the dark side.

The themes it used to approach were death, the supernatural imaginary, existentialism, religious aspects, psychological horror and insanity. The scenarios used to be ruins, temples, cemeteries and battles; and the characters were mainly melodramatic, pessimists and psychologically disturbed.

It started to influence contemporary culture between the 70s and 80s, being inspired by punk and the counterculture. In the music, the styles related to goth are death metal, post punk, heavy metal and others.

Speaking of fashion, we can say that the gothic style is based on clothes that bring a lot of influences from the medieval way to dress up. Unlike emo fashion, the majority of the gothic fashion styles don’t use so many colors beside black. They tend to follow the darkness in its origins, being morbid and impactful.

The strands of gothic fashion are Traditional Goth, Batcave, Death Rock, Romantic Goth, Vampire Goth, Victorian Goth, Fetiche, Perky Goth, Lolita, Cyber Goth, Pastel Goth, Hippie Goth, Industrial Goth, Gothabilly, etc.

Nowadays, we can see a lot of people wearing clothes based on the gothic style with everyday clothes to give them a little more style.


The article above was edited by Anna Bastos.

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Jornalist, writer, love to take pictures, scorpio.
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