Cyber goth is an alternative subculture that emerged in the late 1990s in the United Kingdom and that evolved from industrial music and fashion. Unlike traditional goths or romantic goths, cyber goths love techno and industrial music, with bands like Rammstein, Asphyxia or Angelspit being some of their favorites. They are energetic people who enjoy dancing to techno beats. Cyber goths have a love for advanced technology, which is why they are referred to as "cyber" goths.
(Important note: This type of goth has no relation with the original gothic subculture other than its related visual aesthetic).
The term 'Cybergoth' was first coined by Games Workshop in 1988 for their roleplaying game Dark Future. However, it wasn't until the following decade that the fashion style really took off. The combination of industrial aesthetics and the style associated with "Gravers" (Gothic ravers) defines Cybergoth, according to Valerie Steele, who quotes Julia Borden. Borden notes that Gravers hybridized "the British Raver look and the German ClubKid look with a 'freak show' spin," as well as a fusion between German and Austrian styles.
Initially, the hair extensions and bright fishnets did not fit well with traditional Goth fashion, as noted by Borden. However, by 2002, "the rave elements of dress were replaced by Industrial-influenced accessories, such as goggles, reflective clothing, and mostly black clothing." Today, Cybergoths tend to wear mostly black clothing with hints of neon colors, clothing made of reflective materials and PVC, and huge platform boots. Hair extensions or falls often incorporate a bright color, and multiple piercings are typical. Goggles are often worn, and some Cybergoths also wear gas masks or shiny PVC doctors' masks, which appears to be a kind of medical fetish.
Nancy Kilpatrick suggests that David Bowie's look in the 1970s was the initial inspiration for the Cybergoth style, while Fritz Lang's Metropolis provided the prototype for Cyber aesthetics. Overall, Cybergoth fashion has a distinct industrial and futuristic feel, combining traditional goth elements with bold, attention-grabbing accessories and a touch of neon color.
The fashion style of Cybergoth draws inspiration from a combination of rave, rivethead, cyberpunk, and goth fashion, as well as other forms of science fiction. Androgyny is frequently incorporated into the style. The contrast of black and monochromatic shades can be achieved through a variety of means, including brightly colored hair and make-up, cybernetic patterns such as live LED circuit boards, body modification, and the use of gas masks and goggles, especially aviator-style, which are typically worn on the forehead or around the neck rather than on the eyes.
One common aspect of Cybergoth fashion is the use of a starkly contrasting bright or neon-reactive theme color, such as red, blue, neon green, chrome, or pink, set against a basic, black gothic outfit. The combination of matte or glossy black materials, such as rubber and shiny black PVC, is used to create a more artificial look. Theme colors are often used in the hair or eye make-up, and artificial, extended hair or "falls" are sometimes used to create an added effect. Falls can be made of various materials, ranging from yarn to fluorescent tubing to electrical wiring.
A key element of Cybergoth fashion is the regular use of neon dreads, gas masks, and goggles, often matched with black or another color, such as purple, green, pink, blue, orange, or red. Other parts of Cybergoth fashion may include vests, corsets, fishnets, leg warmers, platform boots, leather jackets or pants, and leather chokers. Cybergoths are definitely unique and defy typical stereotypes that say all goths have to be depressed and wear only black.
Popular club gear for Cybergoths includes tight black pants, tight black vests or shirts cut from ripped, solid, or fishnet fabrics, and "fluffies," which resemble costumes from 19th-century Gothic novels or early black and white horror films from the mid-20th century. A more extravagant makeup style is also common, with many of these kinds of goths liking to draw patterns with eyeliner or do more detailed eyeliner on their eyes. However, simpler makeup tutorials on YouTube can be helpful for starters who want to get into the scene.
Cybergoth fashion style often features elaborate hairstyles and accessories such as synthetic dreadlocks, commonly known as "cyberlox," as well as hair extensions and other hair pieces. These hair pieces can be crafted from an array of materials, ranging from real hair to synthetic kanekelon hair, plastic tubing, tubular crin, rubber and foam strips, belts, and are often complemented with goggles.
Cybergoth culture has a wide range of musical interests that encompass many electronic genres and fusions, including electro-industrial, electronic body music, dark electro, aggrotech, futurepop, industrial metal, and cyber metal. The focus is primarily on the darker genres of underground electronic music.