Why we’re still in the cottagecore and goblincore aesthetic



The hyper-digitization of our lives has resulted in the birth of several fashion subcultures. With romance, nostalgia and fandom as a common thread, trends such as cottagecore, dark academia, Egirl and Eboy, Scene Kids and Goblincore have amassed a large following around the world.

We take a close look at some of these trends:

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On Instagram, #darkacademia has more than 600,000 posts, with over 38,000 posts in a gloomy and brooding mood. As you explore the 14,000,000 #cottagecore posts, the aesthetic is striking: delicate flowers, pastels, meadow dresses reminiscent of the days when people led simpler lives.

Moreover, Instagram trends like those who run the catwalks now seem to be a thing of the past because, in a reverse fit of our time, these trends inspire the collections of luxury fashion houses like Céline, Colina Strada, Rodarte, and Iris Van Herpen.

With the closure of schools and universities last year, there has been an increase in college aesthetics, filling the void of the inability to dress for graduation, prom, or just everyone’s class. days. Its dark sister-style college, a mix of Gothic and college, also garnered a significant following, as illustrated by @ dark.academia.fashion’s 76,000 subscribers. Her biography reads “𝚍𝚘𝚗’𝚝 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚢𝚕𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚋𝚎𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚢𝚕𝚎” in reference to the pillars of reading, writing and learning on which aesthetics are based. “I really appreciate how this aesthetic places art and study as the foundation of an entire lifestyle,” says Ana Paula Alsan, 21, from Brazil, who started the D’Arc Academia page.

Alsan describes the dark aesthetic of academia as “classic vintage style.” People who follow this aesthetic usually buy from thrift stores and find great clothes!

A heady nostalgia marks this aesthetic as tweed blazers, plaid pants, turtlenecks, wool coats and plaid ties with a worn leather bag and coffee mug being the staple accessories. The color palette borrows from goth and punk, with tans, browns, blacks and grays being favorites with images always edited with a tinge of fall sepia. “Most of my audience is from India, they love the theme and the response is great! But if we go for Dark academia fashion, it is not really popular in India. Long coats, boots and plaids are quite different from our fashion and it’s very rare to see people dedicated to them here, ”notes Pratik Dherange, 21, from Pune who started the Deadpoetstribe page (94,000 subscribers) in February 2020.

“Donna Tartt (writer), Charles Baudelaire (writer), Caravaggio (painter), Aurora (singer)” serve as inspiration to Alsan. Harry Potter, If we were bad guys by ML Rio, Circle of Missing Poets (1989), School Ties (1992) and Kill Your Darling (2013) is also on the list of essential pop culture influences or inspirations for dark academy lovers. From the runway, Ralph Lauren’s RTW Fall 2016 collection has long served as a guide to this aesthetic.


Cottagecore combines nostalgia with a romance of nature and the desire to be outdoors.
(Courtesy Instagram / @ nadiiife)

“Imagine you are living in a Thomas Hardy novel. Or Wuthering Heights in particular. Or that you’re Anne Shirley from LM Montgomery’s books, ”says Ragini Nag Rao, or Kittehinfurs as her 24,000 Instagram followers know her. “I wanted to create the same kind of ethereal, whimsical storybook imagery that featured a fat Indian woman instead of thin white or thin Asian women,” says the Kolkata-born British resident. She describes the cottagecore aesthetic, which combines nostalgia with a romance of nature and the desire to be outdoors. Her style is heavy with puff-sleeve dresses, puffy white dresses, floral prints in pastel shades, and everything dreamy and quaint. The trend is reminiscent of the simple days of the past, spent “reading, cooking, sewing, knitting, drinking tea and frolicking in meadows and forests”. The trend seems to be taking hold on the catwalks, as evidenced by Rodarte’s floral dresses in his SS 2021 dispatch. Closer to home, Eka’s SS 2021 collection Unforgettable memories and its floral patterns on flowing silhouettes almost mimic the happiness of a simplistic life.


While soaking up all the principles and aesthetics of cottagecore, the Goblincore trend extends it further with fairy dresses, colored hair, nature-inspired charms and an earthy color palette of green, brown, red and plaids. What seems like a nostalgia for the days when humans depended solely on the earth for their livelihood, the Goblincore fashion aesthetic is dominated by fungi, insects, seashells, and any other natural ephemeral that is not. “pretty” enough to qualify for cottagecore. A deep dive into #Goblincore posts on Instagram will illustrate this further, as talismans like pins, patches, charms and miniature knickknacks, as jewelry is plentiful with anything that contains moss and mushrooms. This year, the Haute Couture collection of Iris Van Herpen and designer Rahul Mishra also considered mushrooms as their main inspiration and recurring motif.

#Egirl and #Eboy

On the other end of the spectrum is a trend that echoes the kids in the mid to late 2000s scene of the MySpace era, Egirl and Eboy is the Generation Z update of the kids from the scene. Now the community is made up of teenagers amassing thousands of dollars streaming video games on Twitch, proving Cyber’s obvious influence on the trend. A scroll from Eve Fraser’s account will show that more than fashion, makeup defines the Egirl / Eboy look. Neon-colored linings, rainbow hair, and cartoon-inspired makeup with hearts under the eyes to go with fishnets, harnesses, mini skirts and t-shirts seem to be recurring. For Eboys, two-tone hair is commonplace and it’s already in fashion. Scene-era neon hair and tie-dye pants made an appearance in Colina Strada’s SS 2021 runway while Celine’s SS 2021 collection titled The dancing child is a ‘documentary’ collection covering EBoys and current skate culture, ”the show’s note read. “A frank portrait of a generation that took advantage of confinement and isolation to assert and emancipate itself creatively, spontaneously inventing an initiatory language anchored in adolescent dance and romance. It was no surprise that Celine’s new face for the collection was TikTok and Eboy star Noen Eubanks.

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