It seems like some sort of cardinal rule that the modern vampire must be totally cliché. I understand that the vampire myth originated from 18th century Gothic Fiction, and that dark tones, macabre, and hints of romanticism are staples of the genre, but does that mean that 90’s goth teen attire is as well?
Before I get carried away, let me stated that Dracula is exempt from this. Though the Legend dressed in dark clothing, it was clothing appropriate for the time and social status. 18th century fashion consisted of long coats and the occasional cape, so one could see the practicality of Dracula donning on such clothes.
Lestat is not exempt. In Interview With a Vampire, Lestat and Louis dress like rich, sophisticated people of the time, not like forsaken fiends trying too hard to look dark and shit. Lestat did not wear 18th century, “Gothic” styles because he wanted to fit in with the goth kids are look so dark, he wore them because it was the style at the time. But then this happened…
The Vampire Lestat depicts an even more egomaniac Lestat that desires fame and global recognition. Lestat replaced his 18th century outfit with metal-typical leather pants and stereotypical goth attire. Thus, Lestat became a total attention whore, while Anne Rice started a trend that become cliché way too fast.
But it’s really in the modern vampire tales and films that you start seeing vampires put on what seems to be an attention whore contest of clichés, but for what exactly? To express to the world that they’re more goth than the next vampire?
Blade, for example, features a bad-ass, vampire slaying day-walker that is dressed and outfitted for a fucking bank robbery! Don’t get me wrong, Wesley Snipes played the shit out of Blade and the character looks fucking cool, but it’s definitely an outfit that would bring unwanted attention, especially from the police. Major attention whore. Plus, Deacon Frost dresses in a black leather suit over a shirt that’s two sizes too small, and hangs around people who think every fucking day is a funeral. Cliche, cliché, cliche and it gets lame right?
The entire cast of pale fiends in Underworld dresses as if attending a NIN concert, but why? If you’re trying to blend in the shadows and be unseen, dressing like its Halloween is the last thing you would want to do, right? Yes, the imagery looks slick and cool at times. I don’t thank many straight men had a problem watching Kate Beckinsale as she walked, jumped, and kicked-ass in skin-tight clothes, but why were the other vampire women dressed in corsets and nighties. What purpose does dressing every vampire as a cliche goth serve?
Then of course there’s Vampire Diaries and True Blood. At least, the vampires are wearing more modern clothes and sometimes have a bit of color other than black. Neither one is free of the goth cliché, though. But I guess at this point the Gothic style is expected to some extent and without it audiences get turned off.
Oh, and then there’s Twilight. Twilight is a money sucking franchise that offered some originality by having vampires glitter like fucking pixies in the sun. But then the franchise also seemed to have the same mandatory cliché attention-seeking dress code for all its vampires. Every vampire must dress in ways to draw as much attention as possible because why the fuck not?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer features vampires that are for some reason conforming to the typical and cliché Goth teen dress code, but why? This series could’ve been smarter than that, but seriously, why? WasnBecause the audience is dumb and couldn’t tell a vampire from a non-vampire without it?
Is the iconic dark and cliche attire so entwined with the vampire stereotype that people just wouldn’t really register without it? Stereotypes help in that they deliver a message without much needing to described, but the over use of stereotypes comes off as lazy and tired, right? I mean, honestly, when I see vampires dressed in all black leather attire I just roll my eyes and say what a total goth fag (the OMG he’s so annoying kind of fag, not the gay kind).
Maybe that’s just me.