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Gone are the days when “Goth” referred to a very specific subset of club kids with blackened lips and oversized boots covered in straps and spikes.  As alternative culture enters its mature phase, any number of looks, shapes, and aesthetics are beginning to fall under the gothic umbrella, and even the mainstream fashion world is taking notice like never before.

Since the dawning of the new millennium, prominent designers like Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto, and Elie Saab, just to name a few, have been perfecting a modern, feminine, powerhouse version of the gothic aesthetic that can only be described as feminine macabre.  Including ornate beading, embroidery, and soft lace, and keeping the leather, rivets, and boning common to traditional gothic fare, they’ve created something new and breathtaking in fashion.  And the jewelry world isn’t far behind.

As more designers feature pierced and tattooed models on the runway, a celebration of alternative and darker beauty has begun. From famous tattoo man Rick Genest’s debut for Thierry Mugler, to faux Maori inspired tattoo art at Rodarte, and lip piercings on the runway at Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring show, the fashion world has spoken.  The message?  Punk, goth, rockabilly, and the rest are not just bold; they’re the new standard of beautiful.

Some of the coolest feminine gothic trends that are upcoming in jewelry and accessories:

1. Ornate Ear Jewelry

Ear cartilage cuffs, cascading chandeliers, black gem studs, and rows of multiple spirals and hoops have all been seen on the Spring 2012 runways.  Pair with an updo, and you’re ready for your close-up.

2. Gem Labrets and Dark Maquillage

A focus on the lips for this season and those forthcoming is the ultimate fashion accessory.  Pair a sparkling gem labret with red, plum, or currant colored gloss and your lips won’t have to move to do all the talking.

3. Visible Tattooing

If they’re real, it’s time to let your inked skin show.  For those of us who may need a little help, there’s no shame in going fashionably faux.

4. Stacks of Black

Multiple black rings of different styles are the perfect way adorn Autumn’s second show-stopper: the hands.  Dark, creamy nude, or jewel tone polish is a five star match made in fashion heaven.

5. Silvery Accents

For the those without pierced lips, shining silver-tone jewelry in eye accentuating piercings like the nose, septum, anti-eyebrow, or bridge, is a definite fashion do for Fall and beyond.

Finally piercing fashion is being recognized for it’s beauty, cultural symbolism, and undeniable aesthetic influence.  Time for a little retail therapy.

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