This is where I find most people are mesmerised and drawn to the Victorian Gothic
aesthetic; The appearance of an Old World, Dracula-esque, noble sense of confidence
and attention-grabbing presence that draws nearly ever eye in the room from the
moment of entry. And who can blame them? And this is the ideal and perspective from
which this blog was born... the Victorian Gothic Aesthetic.. and the etiquette
I challenge anyone to dress in Victorian attire, especially Gothic or Noir attire,
with its attention to detail, gorgeous fabrics, rich accoutrements and purposeful
construction without finding that they carry themselves more upright, hold their
heads higher and conduct themselves at least a bit differently. Men and women both
taken on a sense of grace, confidence and civility. They are fully aware that they
will be noticed, gaped at, assessed and in many cases, admired.
But the sense of nobility does not stop there. As blatantly noticeable as the attire
is; as brilliantly titillating as the bejeweled chokers, silver-tipped walking sticks
and silken cravats may be, what cements the vision in any mind, is the conduct of a
Victorian Gothic "noble". So let me be clear here. By "noble" I am not referring to
the social heirarchy of many subcultures, though in certain cases, it has been known
to happen with Victorian Goths.
When the rest of the world is listening to women bemoan "Chivalry is dead," Victorian
Gothic men are opening doors, bowing and shaking hands with one another, kissing
ladies' hands in greeting or parting, patiently waiting to speak, giving their
conversational partners ample time to share stories, information and usually well-
thought-out opinions. These gentlemen carry themselves well, are honest in their
opinions and on most accounts will exhibit the most polite behaviour, even when faced
with rudeness and confrontation. They are neither doormats, nor weaklings, but easily
use their experience and self-respect to choose their battles wisely, recognizing a
"pissing match" for what it is: A waste of time. These men are genial, glad to extend
a hand in greeting, but slow to build friendships, holding those bonds of comradeship
as sacred as their own integrity.
And while the rest of the world is shaking its head at the emasculation of men by
insecure women who have been taught that they are victims and must be loud,
belittling and the first to strike, Victorian Gothic women, more often than not, are
smiling demurely, listening intently (Remember, like elephants, women have long
memories), holding conversations with one another with little more than glances,
expressions and the slightest body language. They are well aware, and living
examples, that strong women are simply true to themselves. These ladies have earned
the title "lady" and truly understand the meaning of the phrase "You attract more
bees with honey than vinegar." They stand true to their friendships, because they are
quick to greet people graciously but slow to build bonds of trust.
Does these mean these cultured, well-dressed individuals are stuffy or take
themselves too seriously? Well, of course there will always be those few in every
crowd. For the most part, not at all. The sense of humour is alive and well,
playfulness takes on a brilliantly darker note with poetic euphemisms and we are all
always overjoyed to see good friends, new and old, and will greet with a hug, a pat
on the back, and shed a tear of joy on grand occasions, and a tear of sorrow in
support of one another.
One bit of brilliance about this state of mind is that elitism is really not
tolerated. Being unique in a very visual sense, often not fitting into the mainstream
vulgarities of modern society, they have a great deal of experience with being
singled out, mocked and generally regarded as freakish by the ignorant ones of our
world. Those I have known over the years do not let this behaviour get to them, and
many are fairly gifted ambassadors. Because of these experiences, they embrace
diversity like no other group on Earth. They applaud and defend those who choose to
walk their own walk.
For as long as I can recall, there has never been a shortage of these wonderful
individuals. They bring out the inquisitive best in those they meet who are strong
enough to stand on their own in the presence of those who are so colourfully, and
stylishly true to themselves. To this day, I am proud to be acquainted with and
inspired by them.
When you hear the phrase "Victorian Goth" or "Victorian Gothic" what are the first
things you think of? Do share. I would love to hear.