“Suddenly it was fall, the season of death, the anniversary of things going-to-hell,” wrote Meghan O’Rourke, describing the time of year that has suddenly befallen us.
As goth style proliferates in the mainstream imaginary and injects its putrid venom into all aspects of culture, Brooklyn once again finds itself at the helm of the movement’s creativity. While some goths will spend the next two months moping (or, at the very least, holed up watching horror movies), others will be out at the clubs turning looks.
We’ve been keeping our eyes open for the boys and ghouls serving their best goth fashion throughout the year, but now’s their time to shine. Here’s 13 of our favorite undead beauties who put the gore in gorgeous:
1. Angelica Sundae
The former mother of the recently-disintegrated Haus of Umpteen Corpses, Angelica’s horror-inflected drag draws inspiration from Morticia Addams, Lydia Deetz, and Nancy Downs – all with a unique streetwear inflected smarts. Her Bride of Frankenstein inspired performance at Bushwig will surely become an instant go-to for baby queens looking to try out something spooky.
2. Gwarsenio Hall
Host of the growing YouTube sensation 2 Minutes To Late Night, a metal-oriented variety show, Gwarsenio’s corpse-painted visage will soon be emblazoned into the minds of Satan worshippers worldwide. The foul-mouthed MC’s making money moves and scoring interviews with the biggest names in rock and metal, all while sporting a dapper suit.
3. Venus X
Creator of the ultra-fashionable GHE20G0TH1K parties (currently held at Brooklyn Bazaar), Venus X’s unique looks and pioneering vision have been copied by every major label designer in the past ten years. Her sound and style have come to define the goth aesthetics as they merge steadily with streetwear.
4. Regan Holiday
Multimedia performance artist Reagan Holiday stunned the competition at the Mx Nobody Pageant with a deadly battle-worn fembot look, paired with a darkly surreal performance resembling a true Lynchian nightmare. Producer of the Harsh Noise, Beat Face series of events, Holiday’s art combines drag, noise music, and devastating fashion, making them a true triple threat.
5. Amber Maykut
Few things are more goth than creating gorgeous sculptures out of dead things. Award winning taxidermist Amber Maykut is breaking ground in her field and representing Brooklyn along the way.
6. Lady Simon
Club kid extraordinaire Lady Simon continues to be one of Brooklyn nightlife’s most outspoken artists. Her terrifying lip sync to an acapella version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” at this year’s Bushwig festival proved that Simon’s dark vision can even turn a beloved R&B classic into a moving, morose meditation on loneliness. And what’s more goth than that?
7. Hann Cowger
Lock up your sons! This comedic maneater is out to destroy the patriarchy, one joke at a time. Part renaissance fair villain and part underworld Coachella attendee, Hann’s mix of various goth tropes pairs oddly well with his hilarious and loveable brand of misandry.
8. Miscellaneous Dom Top
High-fashion BDSM mixes with Leigh Bowery inspired genderfucking in Misc Dom Top’s ghastly looks. Producer of the Hardcore Burlesque showcase, this performer’s looks will haunt your erotic dreams for seasons to come.
9. Kristina Esfandiari
Vocalist for the band King Woman, Esfandiari recently dropped her first solo project under the appropriately gloomy moniker, Miserable. “I’ve been through a lot of mental turmoil to get to where I am,” she told Rolling Stone.
10. Shanita Bump
This young drag talent is already a master of every sub-genre of goth. Taking style inspo from a diverse set of icons ranging from Marilyn Manson to Lil Kim, Miss Bump’s outfits can go from Tim Burton to Amanda LePore within a given week.
11. Andi Harriman
Figurehead of Brooklyn’s legendary Synthicide parties, Harriman DJs a blend of techno, synth-pop, and post-punk. Truly a scholar of her chosen genre, Harriman also penned the book Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace: The Worldwide Compendium of Postpunk and Goth in the 1980s.
12. Severely Mame
Severely Mame’s been a staple of New York drag for a while now, and she continues to serve an idiosyncratic blend of rockabilly-tinged glamour. When she’s not performing, you can catch her styling wigs for legends (as if she wasn’t one herself).
13. Nyx Nocturne
A living incarnation of your most demonic desires, Nyx Nocturne’s notably devilish burlesque performances have entranced audiences alongside her gang of queer oneironauts, the Switch N’ Play crew. Catch them at Branded Saloon holding black mass with the beloved Brooklyn troop.
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Note: This article has been edited and updated, originally published in 2017.
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