Outdoor Gothic fashion parade to wow Manchester ahead of Halloween

13 October 2017

Stunning catwalk event to round off the 2017 Gothic Manchester Festival

Preview photo shoot of designs for Gothic Styles Street / Fashion Show (shot at John Rylands Library)

Manchester city centre will be transformed into an extravagant Gothic catwalk for a unique fashion show just before Halloween.

The Gothic Styles Street / Fashion Show will take over Exchange Square on Sunday 29th October (6pm) as a fitting finale for the 2017 Gothic Manchester Festival, hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University, which this year is all about Gothic style.

Real-life goths, punks, steampunks and other assorted ‘weirdo mosher freaks’ will strut, stomp and parade their individual dress sense for the public of Manchester.

Interspersed with the street style will be fashion looks from students and alumni of Manchester Metropolitan University and other local colleges and universities, showing the pervasive influence of goth sensibilities in traditional and contemporary haute couture.


The event is in association with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, and a representative of the organisation will be speaking on the day.

Underpinning the show is a message of tolerance of how people express themselves in their style, and it will be supporting the Manchester Evening News’ #westandtogether campaign.

Sylvia Lancaster OBE, chief executive of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation said: “We are looking forward to joining everyone at the catwalk where together we will celebrate individuality through fashion.

“Self-expression through fashion and make-up is a hugely important part of who you are – come along and show us who you are!”

Gothic resurgence

The show’s intention is also to bring public attention to the exploration of the Gothic mode within fashion. The show includes “real” Goths celebrating their own original style and a range of young designers’ work.

Jennifer Richards, Lecturer in Fashion Promotion at Manchester Fashion Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, and curator of the fashion show, said: “Audiences can expect to see a celebration of Gothic modes within fashion, ranging from street style to haute couture. The show will also include performance, music and a grand finale.

“With the emergence of derivatives of the Gothic via a range of New Goths - Health, Ninja, Pop, Lolita, Glam and Victoriana trends, there currently seems to be a resurgence in the fascination with all things Gothic. The exploration of Gothic themes in fashion has been apparent within the industry for a number of years, but has steadily gained momentum from collections by designers including Rodarte and Thom Browne.

“These new facets of the Gothic mode reflect its resilience and ability to adapt over the subsequent years and decades. These adaptations strengthen its core and stay true to the Gothic’s origins.

"The show includes a range of young designers work who are studying at local colleges, local designers who have studied at a range of universities in the Manchester area and the North West, and recent graduates and alumni from national universities including the University of Westminster in London".

“With the emergence of derivatives of the Gothic via a range of New Goths - Health, Ninja, Pop, Lolita, Glam and Victoriana trends, there currently seems to be a resurgence in the fascination with all things Gothic.

Sound tracked by goth music, introduced by two queens of goth-dom - Rosie Lugosi - The Vampire Queen and Manchester’s monochrome drag par excellence Liquorice Black – this will be a catwalk to remember and a brilliant way to round off your Halloween weekend in the city.

A fashion shoot offering a sneak preview of the stunning creations which audiences will be treated to during the show was conducted at the neo-Gothic John Rylands Library, longstanding supporters of the Gothic Manchester Festival.

The Gothic Styles Street / Fashion Show is part of the Halloween in the City programme of events, produced by Manchester BID.

Free tickets to the show are available now via the Gothic Manchester Festival website, where you can also find the full jam-packed itinerary of this year’s festival.

Other events include body-beautiful horror in a film screening of The Neon Demon, discussions on the cultural function of contemporary Gothic style, a new exhibition from the Manchester Gothic Art Group, and a guided tour of Manchester’s Gothic architecture that reveals the history of death and despair that writhes just below the city’s glossy surface.

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