There are few movements these days where fashion and music evolve together in perfect symbiosis.
GHE20G0TH1K represents one of these rare instances. A future facing platform for the exploration of music, style and identity, the party was born in 2009 in a basement in New York’s Lower East Side. Here, local DJ Venus X provided the soundtrack at parties which would attract influential creatives such as Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver, Arca, Mykki Blanco and artists who’d later form the Fade To Mind roster. “I needed a place to grow up, a place to DJ, to be a crazy bitch, and no one was providing it,” Venus explains. “My friends wanted and needed the same type of club so we did it, everyone contributed a talent or a personality and it became GG.”
The soundtrack blended local vogue and Jersey club with punk, industrial and gothic rap like Three 6 Mafia alongside rapidly evolving, Internet-born genres. In 2011, a green haired Venus X appeared in A$AP Rocky’s career-launching video for Peso, with the pair applying a similar punk rock twist to a classic hip-hop style. And as GHE20G0TH1K’s sound advanced, so did the vision of its likeminded creative community. “It is honestly all friends helping each other execute visions,” Venus explains. “Hopefully that’s what the kids come out see, their own vision, not to dress like celebs, but to create a look and then be that person. Dress like a freak, be a freak.”
"Dress like a freak, be a freak"
GHE20G0TH1K is exploratory, punk in its essence and proudly peripheral – the movement was briefly suspended after Rihanna hashtagged #ghettogoth in a series of Instagram posts over a year ago. A totem of contemporary fashion with a dark edge, Venus channels the immortal beauty of gothic icons across history. “That could mean Anne Rice or Aaliyah really. Time is an illusion and that could have just happened yesterday if you meditate on how old the earth is.”
Between trying to find a home for more GHE20G0TH1K events, Venus is evolving her style as a DJ. As well as expanding her sound, she is translating her own raw energy and embracing her sexuality through the platform more and more. “I don’t care any more about the traditional expectations that being a woman alone in the world has fortified in me,” she states. “I don’t understand what the big issue is with me talking about my pussy in my DJ set. I definitely don’t feel my nasty set is welcome everywhere I go, but I’m pushing it as ‘sex is all around us.’”
Venus is the queen of the damned incarnate for our cinematic shoot, mastering all things beautiful, fashionable and quintessentially dark. “Clothes are essential to bringing out the character. I like to watch people develop characters and let them out of Pandora’s box.”
Photography: Bex Day
Stylist: Luci Ellis
MUA: Theresa Davies at Carole Hayes
Hair: Jonathan De Francesco
Words: Anna Tehabsim