If you’re still trying to get your head around normcore, look away now.
The latest underground fashion trend sent to confuse us has landed, and it’s going by the name of health goth.
Despite what the name suggests, it’s not based around dressing like Morticia Adams while embarking on a strict vegan diet. Rather, it’s a very modern mix of gothic and punk sensibilities (think dark colours, figure-hugging silhouettes and heavy statement accessories) and futuristic sport-luxe. Weird? Very. Cool? Apparently.
Nasir Mazhar’s AW14 collection was full of health goth influences
What is health goth?
The concept of health goth was born last year when American musicians Mike Grabarek and Jeremy Scott began uploading images they were inspired by to Facebook. Soon, their library of futuristic, monochrome style inspo had over five thousand followers, and today, the Health Goth community is still expanding. But what exactly is it?
In an interview with Complex in August, the creators listed their inspirations as ‘mesh, moisture-wicking fabrics, prosthetics, fashion and performance wear brands, transparent clothing and chains’. Basically, think traditional goth gone body-conscious. High-performance sportswear is key for nailing the health goth look, but inspiration also comes from sci-fi and cyberpunk, which adds the futuristic element.
I need more inspiration…
Despite only getting its name in 2013, health goth aesthetics have been around for a while, particularly in the movie world. Trinity from The Matrix, with her trademark wraparound sunglasses, and even Daryl Hannah’s Pris from the 1982 cult hit Blade Runner, could both be classed as pioneers of what’s now known as health goth. Slick, figure-hugging silhouettes and transparent materials are all staples of the trend, but Health Goth can also be sexy – think flame-haired Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element.
Never one to risk being understated in his sartorial choices, Kanye West has also dabbled with the futuristic look, often sporting studded Maison Martin Margiela full-face masks at his shows, and finishing his look with pristine white Nikes.
Is this trend going to stick around? Basically, should I bother investing in it?
According to those in the know, we should all be embracing our dark sides. ‘It’s very now, and something we can expect to trend for the next 4-6 months,’ said Tammy Smulders, managing partner of trend insight consultancy SCB Partners. ‘Health goth sounds like a fancy name, but it marries the easy-wear of sports clothes with luxury materials.’
Jaana Jatyri, founder of trend forecasting agency Trendstop, also thinks it’s here to stay. ‘Health goth started out as an internet meme, but we’re now starting to see these stylistic influences filter through to trendsetters on the streets, especially in London,’ she says.
One reason for this may be that, despite its seemingly daunting appearance, is that it’s actually quite easy to wear. ‘Health goth is more approachable than other Internet trends like Seapunk [blue hair and psychedelia] and elements like luxe sportswear pieces are easy to translate into the mainstream,’ says Jaana. ‘Although it tends to focus on menswear, there’s a big trend towards menswear-inspired styles for women, so it’s definitely something women can get into as well.’
Great, I’m in. Now give me some practical tips…
Longline sports jerseys, mesh inserts, wet-look fabrics and chunky,
Perspex accessories will all help create the punky, sci-fi feel. Black
is the centre of the colour palette, but silver and white accents can be
added to complete the streamlined, space-age feel. Going full health
goth is a bold statement, though – nods to the trend such as hi-tech
trainers, metallic make-up or mesh-panelled t-shirts are an easy way to
incorporate it into your everyday style.
Nike and Adidas are the go-to footwear brands for any discerning member of the HG community – just remember, the more futuristic-looking the shoe, the better. ‘Nike and Adidas are great places to start, particularly premium lines
like Adidas’ Porsche Design or Y-3,’ Jaana advises. ‘An investment piece
by Rick Owens or Alexander Wang can add a fashion edge.’
For those still wondering exactly how to do it, Tammy also has some useful advice. ‘Layer fun, edgy and colourful prints on a base of minimalist black, grey and white colour palates. It’s a really interesting style evolution that looks and feels fresh.’
So there you have it.