- Culture & Style
embrace the darkness
Gothic glamour was all over the FW12 runways at Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta; it's in the jewelry we're wearing, films we're watching and books we're reading. Rarely since its 19th-century heyday has this aesthetic captured the collective imagination as much as it is now. Ahead of a special Halloween event in London, Jessica Jonzen speaks to Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, and Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, about the power of Gothic.
A nomination for the 2012 Mercury Prize is another milestone in an incredible year for Jessie Ware. Rising to fame after a summer of standout festival appearances, the stylish south Londoner's sophisticated debut, Devotion, is among the 12 albums shortlisted for Britain's most prestigious songwriting award. Other office favorites in with a shout at the awards ceremony on November 1 are angular art-rockers Django Django and soulful chanteuse Lianne La Havas.BOTTEGA VENETAGUCCIYVES SAINT LAURENT
Gothic themes abound in your work – why do you find it so inspiring?
Audrey Niffenegger: Even as a tiny child I was attracted to the unusual. It?s the ordinary and the peculiar rubbing up against each other.
Erin Morgenstern: I love things that have a darkness and shadow – it makes everything much more moody.
Audiences have loved the Gothic for generations – how is it still relevant?
AN: It's very beautiful. People – particularly the young – are attracted to that aesthetic and are longing for worlds with different rules.
EM: There is darkness, danger, romance – it's a compelling combination. Everyone still loves being wrapped up in a story.
Why do you think modern designers turn to the Gothic for inspiration?
AN: A lot of the designers who are in the ascendancy are the same age as me.
Somebody like Alexander McQueen was growing up at the same time – judging by the clothes I bet that he was responding to a lot of the same prompts as me. There is a discipline and restraint in the Gothic movement that underlies all the excess.
Audrey Niffenegger and Erin Morgenstern will be appearing at the Waterstone's Halloween Special at London's Prince Charles Cinema on October 31; princecharlescinema.comcredits