Click here for an audio slideshow about the Goth Prom
On the arm of her first love, Nicolle Toth remembers going to her high school prom in a bright blue and silver sequenced dress.
That was years ago.
This year, 30-year-old Toth had another opportunity to go to the prom, but she dressed a bit different — in a blood-red dress and matching patent leather Doc Martens boots.
“And they were 18-hole, so all-the-way-to-the-knee lace-ups,” Toth added. “They’re cute boots.”
Toth was one of the chief organizers of the fifth annual Goth Prom, which took place May 12 at The Saloon, 830 Hennepin Ave.
Themed “Contrivance, dues ex machina,” the event drew more than 900 people dressed in macabre-esque garb.
The 18-plus event attracted darksiders outfitted in everything from studded leather and eyeliner to black velvet and lace.
Among the bar walls adorned in dire décor, goth men and women socialized over beer and cocktails.
DJs Oxygen and Nitrogen spun everything from industrial to synthpop in between announcements of door prize winners.
And in true prom fashion, photographers snapped couple portraits over a sepia, steampunk-style background.
The prom’s theme could best be described as a blended appeal to Victorian fashion and Industrial Revolution-era technology. Think of the opening factory scene in Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands.”
Toth offered another cinematic comparison: “Kind of ‘Wild Wild West’ meets ‘Dr. Zhivago?’” she said laughing.
Matthew Bastyr, 24, went to the prom decked out in a suit with a few proper accessories — a mask, cyborg gauntlets, airship goggles and a full-fledged “cyber hawk.”
“The night rocked,” Bastyr said. “I ended up dancing on stage with the DJs to [Rammstein’s] “Du hast.”
Despite Goth Prom’s inherent darkness, planners wanted to try to keep the tone of this year’s event light.
“The subculture, I think, sometimes takes themselves too seriously,” Toth explained. “Which is why we chose the theme, ‘Contrivance,’ because it’s kind of all a contrivance isn’t it?”
Another one of the prom’s planners, 26-year-old Angie Hasert, said the event was a great chance to get dressed up with friends and have a good time.
“It’s the people you want to see, not the people that you have to be around, kind of like in high school,” Hasert said.
Plus, there’s another benefit to Goth Prom.
“We can drink at this one,” Toth added.