The 50 Shades of TropiGoth at III Points Music Festival

When I was little, Goths listened to Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Cure. They wore black lipstick and ripped fishnets and their hair wasn't quite brushed. That was definitely cool. But then when I was in high school, the term Goth was suddenly used to describe the followers of Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. I would call them Hot Topic Goths which, in my opinion, simply counts as kids in cheap, ugly, black clothing (no offense, devout watchers of The Craft). Then when I was 19 and working at Urban Outfitters, I met a few old Goths that had turned to raving called, brace yourself, gravers. Can anything be more perfect than that? 

The Goth style must really include the influences of proper Victorian vampires and mourners of the dearly departed, a touch of gender-bending, and fetish fashions. But basically to be considered Goth these days, you just have to wear a lot of black. The term has evolved and spawned Gothic sub-genres like the newest, the health Goth and one that fits in well in South Florida, the TropiGoth, a term which sounds an awful lot like the best option at Pollo Tropical: the TropiChop.

Living the Goth life in the tropics is a longstanding Miami tradition —  the Church was one of the most successful ongoing dance parties in the history of this city. So what's the cause of this newest form of goth? Perhaps we can blame the internet. But '90s fashion as a whole has reemerged on the scene, and it's hard to phase all that tacky color out of the darkness that consumes millennial souls. Also, the motto for dressing in Miami: less is more. 

As far as we can tell, the term TropiGoth was created by Goth Trystan on her blog This Is CorpGoth. "Goths can too be seen in summer or hot-weather clothes! It's what I've been calling TropiGoth for over a decade now..." she wrote. And amusingly, Urban Dictionary defines the term as:  
"Easy-breezy goths that incorporate preppy vacay wear into their everyday wardrobe, a.k.a. Hawaiian shirts, pastel polos, and clothing with vacay-related logos like palm trees and ocean waves. Tropigoths may listen to bands like The Misfits, Nick Cave, Surfr Blood, or The Black Lips. Tropigoths will take your alcohol and cigarettes at any cost. They are ruthless, manipulative, yet fun and funky characters. Sometimes, they even become your best friends."
Now that we're clear on that and the fact that Goth now reveals itself in many different watered down ways, let's water Goth down even more! We searched and found plenty of TropiGoths this weekend at Miami's third III Points Music, Art, and Tech Festival. And among these many, there was plenty of variety.

So let's take a peek at the different faces of TropiGoth — the 50 Shades of TopiGoth, if you will — spotted at this year's III Points. 

Phantom of the Opera

We know, you're saying, "I remember that guy dancing to 'The Crying Game' at the Kitchen Club in '98," but alas! This is not he. Yes both sullen, skinny boys were obsessed with Phantom, but this one is muy tropical because his girl in tow is basically dressed for the playa. 

Pantless TropiGoth

Granted, Friday night was a scorcher out there at Mana. Maybe that's why the rest of the weekend, it seemed almost everyone had forgotten to wear their pants! But that's cool, cause this is Miami and in Miami, you really don't actually need to wear anything on your legs. These girls are exercising their TropiGoth freedom to wear just about nothing. 

Widdle Baby TropiGoth

Though at first glance, you may be thinking these two are Pantless TropiGoths, but you'd be wrong. These young things are clearly Baby TropiGoths cause though they are half-naked, they are young enough to still smile sweetly for a camera instead of striking a dramatic or sullen pose. Aqua socks peaking out of her Converse and sun-bleached hair make this gal one with the trend. 

Cat TropiGoth

In the age of the internet, there is nowhere without cats. This girl jazzed up her regular old TropiGoth mesh, normcore top with neon cat ears and even brought along two hot gals that'll pull back any red rope in this town. Purrrfect? Almost.  

"Your Pain Is My Pleasure" TropiGoth
OK, these three are just adorably dressed. They're plain old Gothy cute. I've given them this title as a compliment and for no other reason. Your pain is my pleasure has always been a favorite Goth joke of mine. 

Zombie TropiGoth
Fear the Walking Dead? Can we just dance with them instead? Though this TopiGoth looks like she's ready to have a brain sandwich, I don't think I could bring myself to bash her skull in with a hammer. But I'm sure Simon Pegg could. 

Straight Outta Coffin TropiGoth

Plenty of artists performing at III Points were playing up their morose side. But singer Virgo — a crowd favorite at III Points — and her partner, fellow local musician Red Traces, are straight-up like Bram Stoker's Lucy-style, right out of a box being lowered six-feet into the earth Gothic. These two are a perfect TropiGoth yin and yang, looking like a morbid black and white cookie.

Day-Glo TropiGoth

Because it's hard to stand out, some TropiGoths have taken to experimenting with day-glo and brightly colored wigs. These experimental dressers are interested in not just attending the party, but being the party. 

Werk-It TropiGoth 
This is a fabulous foursome who clearly can werk a wild getup. They remind me of Madonna's "Vouge" era pals. They look like they're members of the House of Lagerfeld. Fully ready to sweat it out to a few numbers at a ball, throw shade at the other dancers, but always while looking fierce. 

Why Not? TropiGoth
Because sometimes you just need to wear a wig on top of another wig. Wigception. 

I Dream of TropiGoth

Her pink Chucks and green earrings say summertime, but her whole look is very magical Goth. Perhaps her grandmother told her of this otherworldly program that once aired on this thing called a television, I Dream of Jeannie, and that awakened this TropiGoth's grim ancient genie within. 
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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy