After emerging from an adolescence surrounded by M*y*s*p*a*c*e and Emos without any facial piercings or a life long commitment to the Manic Street Preachers I thought I'd dodge the Covert Goth Club. Wrong!
A late life obsession with The Holy Bible and this guy ...
...kicked in when I was 22 (the only time that's acceptable is if you were 22 when the Manics first appeared) and then I discovered Lisbeth Salander; controversial co-protagonist of the Girl With A Dragon Tattoo series by Steig Larrson.
Salander is a fantastically complex character; one of the only rape survivors I've read who doesn't come across as a victim, one of the only women with Aspergers in fiction fullstop. Somewhere someone is probably writing an incredibly earnest and worthwhile dissertation on her place within the rape revenge cannon.
But personally, reading her as a feminist features writer who reads more than her fair share of rape-centric lit, it wasn't the story that caught me. It was the clothes.
When I read Girl With The Dragon Tattoo I was working in the kind of office where half the women wore plum merino cardigans from Jigsaw and the other half were wearing white and blue stripey t-shirts from The Gap. Turning up one day in black skinny jeans, Dr Marten boots, three oversized black jumpers in various states of decay and a tie-dyed turquoise rucksack was very liberating.
6 months later H&M produced their Lisbeth Salander collection which I feasted on and then promptly swapped for a Frida Kahlo obsession. Salander had already proved her worth as a style icon, she'd inspired me to visually express the alienation I felt at work without making some embittered speech at one of the company picnics. Like Salander I embraced black, neon and silence.