There is a new generation that has graduated from the days of punk rock, and yet somehow elegantly slithers past 90's goth. In our interceding culture, and the merging of such globalized views on style through the internet; the world of darker aesthetics has shape shifted in an interesting way. Considered a leader of this modern dark age is designer Rick Owens. Structural, heavy and light when needed, there is an aesthetic that has been developed by the Rick Owens label, that has carried off and influenced other aspects of design. But before Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, was referred to as the poet of black. Debuting in 1981, in Paris, the Tokyo born Yamamoto brought a sense of depth and weight to fashion runways with his japanese approach to design. Known for being modest and usually in black, this shifted gears for individuals in high fashion, considering that strong shoulders and bright palettes were considered on-trend of the time. Following the debut of Yamamoto, another designer of the Antwerp 6, Ann Demeulemeester made her debut in 1991 in Paris. Her aesthetic? In the same lane as Yohji Yamamoto, but different through it's Belgium influence. Darkness soon began to spill onto the runways, following the addition to both Yamamoto and Demeulemeester to Paris runways. It wasn't until 2002, that Rick Owens made his runway debut, funded by Vogue being citied as a 'great discovery' by Editor-In-Chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour. That same year, Owens was awarded the Perry Ellis CFDA award for emerging talent. Following such successes, another designer by the name of Hedi Slimane was waiting in the wings. With his appointment to Dior Homme, Slimane's most memorable work? The skinny jean around 2004-2005. In the same vein of darkness, Slimane took fashion to a greater avenue of rock n' roll, allowing Dior to touch markets of upper echelon cool. Onward into the 2000's, Slimane eventually parted ways to focus on photography, in 2007. In 2012, Slimane was brought in the Yves Saint Laurent, a position that he occupied in the menswear division from 2000-2007. A complete revamping of the label soon became underway, promoting again that same feel of dark or emo-rocker that has penetrated style circles.
Today, the fashion scene is littered with influences from all regions including Yamamoto's Japan, Demeulemeester's Belgium, and even Rick Owens' new American cool. The trickle of this new age darkside from the catwalk to the sidewalk, is now bleeding into the world of Urban clothing brands. High end labels like Givenchy, or Balenciaga seem to be subscribing to these earlier influences which first began peeking onto the catwalk in 1981. Exaggerated lines, fitted seams and a warped sense of normality is everywhere. From the runways of Paris to the eternally cool street scenes in areas of New York City and Los Angeles, brands in the middle markets are representing this same sense of design inspiration. Brands like Skingraft, BLK DNM, Black Scale and Cheap Monday to name a few, are all evidence of the downward trickle that we first seen on the runways. Today, Yohji Yamamoto's influence also touches in modern markets of sportswear, with his long standing collaboration with Adidas, for his Y-3 collections. Success in the marketplace is evident that the pathway of such influences is far from finished. No doubt, this new street goth scene originated in the streets, where most style cultures develop organically. These brands represent a new school approach to darkness, where we at False Prophet will too become classified. A further morphing of culture, also an intention to question such cultures is currently underway. The evolutionary process in expansion of street goth is one that is growing each year, and each season- with no end in sight. Words by Jeremy Danté, founder/creator of JeremyDanté.com