Gothic fashion often takes a lot of inspiration out of fantasy settings, like horror movies about vampires, ghosts and monsters… but sometimes, it is the other way around and it is gothic fashion that starts infiltrating fantasy settings and lending inspiration to different arts: while vampires were originally imagined as aristocratic, noble, high-class figures gothic fashion started reinterpreting them in different settings or fashions and mixing their image with that of other monsters… so now, we can find all sorts of vampires in pop culture: from punk vampires that live in the sewers and wear ravaged clothing to good vampires that barely follow any of the conventions that we traditionally associate with them, like those in the Twilight saga.
Another instance where gothic culture and fashion has infiltrated mainstream culture and reinvented something is the ring attached to a bracelet by a chain also called the “slave bracelet“. However, this type of bracelet/ring mix wasn’t invented by gothic fashion: it was already used in the Middle East and India during antiquity. In the Middle East, it was often worn by belly dancers or harem slaves to make themselves look more attractive and alluring, creating an image of sexiness; while in India this kind of bracelet was worn by brides-to-be in addition to henna.
However, gothic fashion took inspiration from this type of “slave bracelet” and reinvented it, incorporating it into the style: this type of ring/bracelet mix is not only really beautiful and classy, but it is also practical because the ring and bracelet are attached so it is unlikely you will lose them both, and the style allows for a lot more of decorations. After this type of bracelet became very popular in gothic style, it infiltrated mainstream culture recently and we are seeing a lot of slave bracelets made out of different materials, mainly metal, being sold in all kinds of stores and used as a cool, fun fashion accessory for Summer; and we are seeing other fashions or even art appropriate it! In the Amazon series Carnival Row, sometimes we see the elves and fairies (which in this show are considered to be a lower class but very beautiful and alluring) wear slave bracelets to symbolize their subservience to the humans, but also their beauty and elegance: instead of chains, they wear this.
When it comes to this kind of bracelet being worn in gothic fashion, there are many styles and materials that get used. It is habitual to see leather and metal ones that might have different adornments, chains, beads, and all sorts of ornamental and decorative things. But there is also another particular style made out of cloth, fishnet or lace that often has adornment like ribbons or frills and is more like a mix between a slave bracelet and lace gloves.
Both styles are very popular, and they have a different kind of aesthetic: the first one is usually worn with more casual, dark styles while the second one is worn with more fantasy-like, elegant styles.
While the styles are somewhat distinct and separate, there is a lot of overlap and mix between the two, too. In gothic lolita, a mix of both styles has been used to create a feel of classiness, elegance, and darkness that is still cute, innocent and fantasy-like. We can find slave bracelets that appear to be a combination of both styles: with chains, metal, fur and lace all in one they can give a feeling of classiness, elegance, and royalty while at the same time being cute, lovely and having an air of innocence and fantasy. While the slave bracelets made out of leather and metal look like what a rowdy punk vampire would wear, and lace slave bracelets look like what a noble or doll-like vampire would wear, the last style looks very cute and fantasies: it looks like it could be worn by a fairy or a cute princess.
All in all, when it comes to slave bracelets in gothic fashion, there is plenty of styles, materials, and decorations! While we find mostly decorations which fit the regular aesthetic of gothic fashion, such as bats, spiders, skulls and so on, it is not difficult to find a lot of variation and innovation, so you can be sure that you are going to find something very beautiful that will fit your style!
Personally, I don’t wear slave bracelets a lot but it is mainly because I have never had the chance to buy one; however, I wear lace gloves and gauntlets very often because I like them a lot, so I would really love to try out a slave bracelet. The style is not important, as I could combine either with different types of clothing! For example, I would like to wear a more edgy, dark, punk bracelet with a more casual, punk-rock outfit with this top and these pants.
but I would really love to use a more elegant, cute style like this one with my habitual gothic lolita fashion, perhaps with a gothic dress which, to be honest, would also look great with a lace bracelet/ring combination!
In conclusion, the slave bracelet used to be a staple of gothic fashion that wasn’t popular with other styles, but it is not like that anymore: gothic style popularized this accessory, replicated it by using many different materials, motives, decorations and styles and now it is not only very popular in other subcultures like Lolita fashion or punk fashion, but it has become popular even in mainstream fashion as well! And it is not a surprise: due to their practicality, beauty, and charm, the lovely slave bracelet has captured the eyes and hearts of many ! Has it captured yours? Let wear it and join a Fancy Prom for Gothic Girls