"Gothic: Dark Glamour"

The Museum at FIT honors the little black (gothy) dress-and we tell you where to rock it.

Warning! The goths have risen from the depths of hell (and shopping-mall food courts), and they’re taking over our runways! “Gothic: Dark Glamour,” opening Friday 5 at the Museum at FIT, examines “death, destruction and decay” through the threads of more than 60 designers, including Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler and Anna Sui. “It’s all about death and terror, but it’s also superglamorous,” says curator Valerie Steele. “You’re running around in blue jeans, and they’re wearing poetry, decadence and dark romanticism.” So smear on that eyeliner and join us for a tour of Elvira’s dream wardrobe—plus a few joints where New York’s indubitably undead like to (in morgue terms) chill out.

Ready To Go? “Gothic: Dark Glamour”: The Museum at FIT, Seventh Ave at 27th St (212-217-4558, fitnyc.edu/museum). Fri 5–Feb 21.

Photographs: Clown: Beth Levendis

CORPSE BRIDE Black widows can go for a modern spin with this brocade-and-lace-gloves ensemble by Kambriel, on view at FIT.

NIGHT OWL Don’t wait till someone croaks to flaunt your funeral finery: Class it up Morticia-style at Contempt’s 10th Anniversary Black & White Ball on September 20 at M1-5 (52 Walker St between Broadway and Church St, m1-5.com).

DEAD HEAD PVC-piped hairdos often look like they’re made from Radio Shack’s trash. Canal Rubber Supply Company (329 Canal St at Greene St, 212-226-7339) sells the good stuff cheap.

WANNA CYBER? To be goth is to change with the night—or with influential horror movies and comic books. “Cybergoth is influenced by industrial music and is more high-tech and masculine,” says Steele of this look. “Her wire-tubing hair extensions give her a sci-fi edge.”

LADY AND THE VAMP In the ’90s, the East Village was loaded with gothy retailers. The best one left is Trash & Vaudeville (4 St. Marks Pl at Third Ave). “I go there for black skinny jeans and platform boots,” says Kyshah Hell, a writer for the website Morbid Outlook and ten-year vet of the local goth circuit.

BLACK HOLE SUN Even city goths fight pesky rays. “I prefer La-Roche Posay Fluide Extreme SPF 50+,” says Hell. Her other cosmetic fave is MAC’s Cyber lipstick for that “perfect shade of blackish purple.”

OUTWARD BOUND “For custom-made stuff, I give my measurements to starkers.com,” says Hell. S&M shop Demask (144 Orchard St at Rivington St, 212-466-0814) also stocks full-body corsets and simple waist cinchers; menfolk lookin’ for a lace-up should check out Purple Passion & DV8 Fetish Store (211 W 20th St at Seventh Ave, 212-807-0486).

GOOD MOURNING Evan Michelson’s Victorian mourning dress (c. 1880) is a classic example of 19th-century funeral attire; it’s made almost entirely of nonreflective crape. “Victorians took their mourning seriously,” says Steele. “This dress fulfilled social conventions but was also fashionable. It plays with the whole femme fatale look.”

See also:

5 killer reasons to turn goth | Dead can dance