For those of us who spent our teenage years listening to burned CD’s of Bauhaus and Sister of Mercy while adjusting our knee-length Doc Martins, the goth culture was a sideline stereotype. We were called “vampire wannabees” and mocked for our extra thick black eyeliner. However, for those of us who delighted in being known as the “Goth Kids” we were often ignorant of the founders of our movement and our forefathers in black. In the new book Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace: The Worldwide Compendium of Postpunk and Goth in the 1980’s, readers take a travel through the history of the Goth community across the world. Written and compiled by Andi Harriman and Marloes Bontje, the book is a celebration of the culture.
The Goth Culture started with many names: Post-punk, New Romantics, New Wavers, The Bats, The Morbids. It wasn’t until the 1980’s when they were lumped together under the moniker Goths. Unlike many texts, Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace doesn’t just stick to the communities in the United States or the United Kingdom, but rather covers all of Europe and even Japan. The pages are filled with posters, ticket stubs and photos taken during the 1980’s of Goth kids just hanging out with their friends in full makeup.
I am in love with this book. Reading the particular histories of Russian and East German Goths was enlightening for someone who had never known the struggle to get American music across restricted borders. Per the book, vinyl albums smuggled in could cost half a week’s salary and wearing all black could land you in jail. The pictures are intimate and feel like something you’d find in a set of pictures from high school. It is hard not to be charmed by this compendium.
Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace: The Worldwide Compendium of Postpunk and Goth in the 1980s is now available from Intellect Ltd