And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams —
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
– Edgar Allan Poe ‘To One In Paradise’.
1. Nicolas Ghesquiere
Though currently in negotiations for replacing Marc Jacobs as the creative head of LVMH, when thinking of macabre beauty in fashion, I can’t help but reflect with awe on his dark vision and beauty during his time with Balenciaga.
Promoted to run the Paris fashion house of Balenciaga when he was only 25, Nicolas Ghesquiere brought the brand from classic european ready-to-wear, to an amazing brand of luxury, glamour, and avant-garde.
2. Rick Owens
Best known for being lavishly dark, and the ultimate hipster of goth. Season after season, layers upon layers of black, on black, on black leather, on more black leather – with the finesse and polish of the best in Parisian atelier, I continually swoon over you Rick Owens…
3. Hirooka Naota
Hirooka Naota revolutionized Japanese fashion, bringing goth mainstream. His fashion sense is a punk-Loilita fusion of rock, Medieval, Victorian, Elizabethan, and anime influences. He’s whimsical, he’s avant-garde, and he’s a must have for sexy rockstars and macabre fashionistas around the world.
4. Marko Mitanovski
Goth Serbian designer, Marko Mitanovski, has certainly taken fashion by its dark cloudy nether region – with his theatrical macabre designs. Lady Gaga is a huge patron of his and its clear to see why. Voted as London Fashion Week’s Must Watch Designer, Marko, we’re totally watching, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
5. Alice Auaa
Also known as “Alice in Modern Time” and “Alice e Laboratory”, the Japanese luxury goth brand certainly marries the whimsical goth, industrial tech, and darkness that haunts us in the most romantically frightening way.
6. Ann Demeulemeester
Ann Demeulemeesters goth, ethereal, dream-infused luxury fashion is like sex at a funeral – in questionable taste, but oh so amazing! Flowing layers which are hauntingly sublime and cut to perfection. Not only is she a muse to Patti Smith, but she’s truly a romantic fashion art-star for all of us at CPD.
7. Comme de Garcons
Rei Kawakubo, the Japanese anti-fashionista designer and creator of Comme de Garcons, caused an uproar in the Paris fashion scene in the 1980’s. With her black, weighty, austere and gloriously macabre designs, she is the penultimate inspiration for contemporary goth fashion designers and artists.
8. Pretty Macabre
Pretty Macabre, the name sums it up. Specializing in what she calls “horror couture”, designer Andrea Hansen creates custom and one of a kind goth show-stoppers ranging from Elizabethan worthy dresses to bloody burlesque, and vaudeville. These performance art pieces and costumes are truly to die for.
9. Riccardo Tisci
Since the beginning of his reign at Givenchy couture house, we’ve seen his avant-garde eye grace the most elite runways, editorials, and red carpets. His fantastic incorporation of dark fairytales and mythology has given us jaw-dropping creations, leaving even the most jaded fashionista in awe.
10. Sarah Burton – Alexander McQueen
Rather than focus on a tribute to the genius Alexander McQueen, whose surely influenced all of the designers I’ve mentioned already, as well as a multitude of artists spanning genres of fashion and beyond, we’ll focus on the new era of McQueen. His work has been exalted and immortalized, his romantic and sometimes uncomfortably dark vision is carried forth with great aplomb, by the darkly beautiful mind of Sarah Burton.