Womenswear Wednesdays: Tattoo artist Airen VanDiggelen on her nu-goth style

When it comes to fashion, there are trends and then there are trendsetters. Trends are often derived from the runway, and they trickle down to more accessible department stores. One local trendsetter we spotted this week is tattoo artist Airen VanDiggelen, who was rocking two-tone leggings: one white and one black to go with with her neon-pink locks. Continue reading to find out why VanDiggelen has always been into goth culture, where she shops, and what her style mantra is.

- Womenswear Wednesdays: Visual merchandiser Michelle McBride on her lofty look - Womenswear Wednesdays: Investor Melina Ward on her borrowed style - Womenswear Wednesdays: Dancer Sarrah Jane Brooks on her transforming style

Name: Airen VanDiggelen.

Spotted at: Outside 3 Kings Tavern, on South Broadway and Bayaud.

Profession: I'm currently doing an apprenticeship at Kitchen Sink to be a tattoo artist.

Favorite film: I love Velvet Goldmine and The Labyrinth.

2013 jam: Anything by The Knife, and also the Dirty Projectors.

Style inspirations/icons: I'm really into Ru Paul right now, and I watch his show, Drag Race. I guess it is called nu-goth, but I have been a goth girl forever. I've always dressed like this, but only until recently has it become popular.

Favorite color: Black.

Favorite accessory: I love my galaxy leggings, which resemble space. I love all kinds of leggings. I bought these half-and-half ones on eBay.

Style mantra: I want metal, the material. I want studs and spikes and silver when I'm getting ready.

Shops at: eBay, mostly.

This is a wide variety of jewelry that VanDiggelen sports on top of her Death tarot card T-shirt. There is metal, her favorite material, but a small tattoo of a cupcake and a necklace that features an upside-down cross on a coffin.

Nu-goth blends the typical elements of goth, which include the color black, crosses, studs, spikes and leather, with pops of pastel colors like pink and baby blue to create a refreshing new take on gothic fashion.

"It kind of annoys me that every girl wears studs and spikes now, because it's become trendy," VanDiggelen says. "But I have been dressing like this since I was a teenager in Boulder, and it was not that common then. It leaves more room for me to play, and I can wear more spikes and studs now."

Style analysis: While many have jumped on the nu-goth bandwagon in recent years, VanDiggelen has been honing her look for a lifetime. She is informed by a genuine punk-rock mentality, and she purchases spikes and studs on eBay to create her own look. The black-and-white ensemble with a jolt of pink makes VanDiggelen's look exciting. The details reveal how authentic her style is.

Always be your own trendsetter, Denver.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mauricio Octavio Rocha graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in English writing and a minor in cinema studies; He has been writing about fashion and style for Westword since 2012. Rocha also writes songs for his music and art project, VULGAR FEVER.
Contact: Mauricio Rocha

Latest Stories