The end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st is a unique time for jewelry-making. While our ancestors used to wear jewelry for a reason – to showcase their social status or use it as a sort of utensil – modern men choose jewelry simply because they want to. Today, we are not bound by any rules or norms of society. There are only two things we are guided by – fashion trends and personal preferences. This allowed countless jewelry styles to boom. Of course, some of them come and go as fashion goes through its perpetual metamorphosis, but others are here to stay. Gothic jewelry has proven to belong to the latter category.
Ornate yet Masculine
When it first came to prominence in the Medieval times, Gothic jewelry reflected trends inherent in the architectural style of that era. Echoing the silhouettes and features of Gothic cathedrals, body ornaments were highly ornate, elaborate, and complex. Yet every feature they carried was there for a reason. The common theme of Gothic is floral patterns – roses, prickly plants, lilies, ivy, Shamrock, and much more. Too feminine? Not really. There is a lot of meaning behind those sophisticated forms.
Roses, for example, symbolize perfection, completeness, the mystery of life, the unknown, beauty, grace, and happiness. In addition, in alchemy, the rose is associated with wisdom, and is also a symbol of the rebirth of the spiritual after the death of the perishable. Finally, rose thorns are pain, blood, martyrdom, and everything you can describe as suffering. It is, perhaps, the main idea of the style, which, in fact, originated in the bosom of religious doctrine.
Thorny plants (thorns, thistles, wild roses, burdock, etc.) are another symbol of suffering, passion, fall, and the atonement of sins. Originally, this pattern was seen in the interiors of religious buildings calling on parishioners to repent. Moving onto rings and pendants, thorny plants have become a cast-in-metal reminder of Jesus’ suffering in the name of our eternal souls, as well as an artistic call to nurture good instead of evil.
Gothic jewelry for men that is deprived of any floral patterns can be labeled as Gothic based on its shape. Again, these pieces drew inspiration from the elongated silhouettes of Gothic architecture. Arches, lancet vaults, oblong roofs as if reaching up for the heavens – all these elements exist in Gothic jewelry but in a modified form. At the same time, these elements are not solid. On the contrary, they are deliberately openwork. The most common and well-known type of gothic openwork ornament is the Masverk, and it comes in many varieties – fish bladder, straight geometric shapes, rounded and spherical triangles and quadrilaterals, and others.
Much water has flown under the bridge since the heyday of Gothic. However, subsequent reincarnations of the style managed to preserve its key features. Today’s fashionistas are not shy to wear this intricate and fuzzy style because it has more meaning than its features suggest.
Why Gothic Jewelry Strikes the Right Note with Men
It is not a secret that many men are going for an image that is dark, earnest, and somewhat mysterious. While other jewelry styles can encapsulate some of these features, they fail to deliver all of them at once. But Gothic is different. It is able to offer something completely unique to people who want to separate themselves from the crowd.
Gothic jewelry is the right choice if you’re looking for symbols and designs that are not inherent in other styles. For instance, if you are interested in mythical creatures – dragons, chimeras, phoenix birds, minotaurs, centaurs, gargoyles, etc. – they are almost exclusively present in Gothic items. At the same time, real animals are also a common theme in Gothic. But not every animal can be seen in these rings and pendants. More often than not, Gothic fancies mysterious animals (snakes), those associated with the supernatural (bats, black cats), or have significance in ancient civilizations (such as scarabs in Ancient Egypt or koi carp in Japan).
The Gothic style will also strike the right note with men who love rock’n’roll aesthetic. But instead of deliberately rough silhouettes and burly shapes, they prefer refinement and sophistication. Unlike skulls in biker or rocker jewelry, Gothic counterparts are more artistic and enhanced with auxiliary decorative means (patterns, enamel, blends of metals of dissimilar hues, etc.). Even their very forms are different – Gothic makes an accent on grace, streamlining, proportionality, and accuracy in every detail.
Gothic isn’t afraid to express its ideas and values in the most artistic way. Yet, it cannot be labeled as tacky or outrageous. If these pieces of jewelry resonate with your individuality, you have a chance to pass for an individual with a sophisticated taste and a rich inner world.