Witches wear black. Witches wear latex. Witches wear latex hoods and cloaks, and others don’t wear cloaks, and some wear none of this at all. You’ve probably heard the amalgamation “On Wednesday’s we wear BLACK” a mashup of the popular Mean Girl’s quote and the commands of the supreme witch in American Horror Story: Coven. Maybe this is one of the reasons why when I looked at these photos I didn’t just think fetish, BDSM, alternative fashion and style. No, I thought she looks like a witch.
… when I looked at these photos I didn’t just think fetish, BDSM, alternative fashion and style. No, I thought she looks like a witch.
The witch is a symbol of any outsider. You know the cliche – the raven haired woman living on the outskirts of the village. Don’t let your children get sucked into their spell! They’ll eat them alive. At the end of the day, the witch is a revolutionary figure, opting to explore all those murky little crevices of society that many choose to ignore, or reject. Which is why I think, looking at Witchy accounts on Instagram and following witch icons – from Stevie Nicks to early Mediums who often incorporated BDSM accessories into their seances during the Victorian period! – fetish elements are a heavy part of their uniform. Just look yourself and you’ll see more black, more latex and PVC, and more fetish tones to boot. It doesn’t really suprise me. Witches have been taking shit to the next level for generations.
As scholars, it’s tempting to see our favourite genres and cultural products as proof texts for our politics – but Gothic horror, in particular, has always refused that role. Its monsters do not act as representatives for either the right or the left of politics, but instead slide troublingly between the poles.
The witch is a figure to be feared because she is unbriddled experimentation and exploration. She is sex, love, style, growth, the magic in the everyday. That’s why there is a kind of magic that abounds in the way we create ourselves when we do something as simple as choose what to wear in the morning. I sound like I’m rambling, and I might be. But witchcraft and style and fashion go hand in hand to me, because ever since I was a little girl I knew that when I got dressed in the morning I was able to reinvent myself and give myself power just by the clothes I wore. And what is more magical and everyday than that?
It doesn’t really suprise me. Witches have been taking shit to the next level for generations.