Rise of witchcore! How it's influencing fashion, film and social media

The rise of ‘#witchcore’! How the TikTok generation has embraced a VERY glamorous take on the occult in everything from interiors to films – and even share their spells on social media

  • ‘Witchcore’ is a new aesthetic trend that takes inspiration from witches
  • Expert says it is rooted in our desire to be less rational amid ongoing crises
  • Witchcraft is booming on Instagram and TikTok, where people share spells 

Lockdown saw the emergence of the so-called ‘cottagecore’ trend, when Instagram feeds were flooded with pictures of women dressed in flowing dresses, frolicking in fields and planting their own vegetable patches. 

But as the months rumble on, and with the dark nights of winter fast approaching, there is a hankering for a far darker, supernatural aesthetic as people seek to escape the reality of what has been a difficult year. 

Cue the arrival of ‘witchcore’, a term coined by the TikTok generation to describe an aesthetic and way of life that draws on aspects of witchcraft, the occult and old-fashioned Gothic glamour.

‘Witchcore’ is a term coined by the TikTok generation to describe an aesthetic and way of life that draws on aspects of witchcraft, the occult and old-fashioned Gothic glamour. Pictured, a dress from the Vampire’s Wife x H&M collaboration that perfectly captures the trend

The trend was noted by Guardian writer Leah Harper, among others, who pointed to the big splash made by H&M’s recent sell-out collaboration with The Vampire’s Wife, a brand that specialises in bewitchingly beautiful frocks complete with capes, frilly bell-sleeved dresses, and lashings of black lace.  

Witchcore is also a breakout social media trend, with #witchcore used to share everything from their dark interior design mood boards to tarot card tips and spells for attracting good fortune. 

Jennifer Cownie, who co-founded literary tarot cabaret and consultancy, told the Guardian that she believes the the emergence of ‘witchcore’ is linked to the current social, political and economic climate.  

‘I think that Brexit, Trump and Covid have all had their part to play in creating a climate where people feel able to tap into their less rational, more intuitive sides,’ she said. ‘I now leave my flat about twice a week, so go big or go home, surely? Social and cultural expectations about how we dress are being relaxed so if you feel like a witch on the inside, I reckon there’s never been a better time to look like that on the outside.’ 

Gabriela Herstik, a witch and the author of Craft: How to Be a Modern Witch, added: ‘While we don’t have the opportunity to express ourselves outside of our homes, there’s a comfort in wearing something that makes you feel connected to your magic.’ Here’s what you need to know… 

SOCIAL MEDIA

a story about my day, have you ever had an unexplainable experience with weather? ##spiritualawakening ##fyp ##magic ##witchtok ##spirituality ##nature

TikTok is the home of ‘witchcore’. The #witchesoftiktok hashtag has 1.1billion views, while #witchcore has 5.5billion – showing just how much interest there is. Above, a TikTok user who claims to have summoned a storm while ‘working on her energy skills’ 

Instagram (pictured) and TikTok are full of posts from people showing off their paraphernalia

TikTok is the home of ‘witchcore’. The #witchesoftiktok hashtag has 1.1billion views, while #witchcore has 5.5billion – showing just how much interest there is.   

Videos range from mystics who claim to be able to tell the future in the space of a 90-second video, to witches who are able to cast spells on your behalf (for a fee). 

One recent video shows a woman playing a flute in the forest, in such a way that she believes she conjured up the wind spirits.

Another woman with apparent control over the elements brought forth an entire storm using just a few crystals. 

Responses to such clips are largely positive, with users congratulating them on their achievements. 

THE FASHION


The Vampire’s Wife x H&M range captures the aesthetic perfectly and proved a hit with shoppers desperate to get their hands on the cult label at a far more reasonable price point.

Think less green faces, pointy shoes and black hats and more sumptuous fabrics, lace and occult symbols. 

The Vampire’s Wife x H&M range captures the aesthetic perfectly and proved a hit with shoppers desperate to get their hands on the cult label at a far more reasonable price point.

The collaboration brought ‘witchcore’ style to the great British high street, while designers like Dior are catering to high-end customers. The French fashion house released a line inspired by a tarot deck, while cool-girl labels like Ganni and Rixo offer dresses with celestial prints. 

FILM

There is no shortage of witches in Halloween films, but this year offers up a particularly stylish one in the form of Anne Hathaway in the latest film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches

There is no shortage of witches in Halloween films, but this year offers up a particularly stylish one in the form of Anne Hathaway in the latest film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. 

Costume designer Joanna Johnston was inspired by 60s style icons such as Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, according to Vogue, and it shows in Anne’s Grand Witch’s power shoulders, bold houndstooth print and bouffant wigs. 

The slick of red lipstick and evening gloves adds an extra touch of glamour and proves adopting the ‘witchcore’ trend doesn’t need to look homespun. 

INTERIORS

A quick search of #witchcore on Instagram will bring up thousands of posts showing bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms decked out in crystals, dried flowers and herbs – the modern-day witchcraft starter pack. Pictured, one such example found on Instagram

Witchcore interiors inspiration includes photos like this dark boudoir shared on Instagram

A quick search of #witchcore on Instagram will bring up thousands of posts showing bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms decked out in crystals, dried flowers and herbs – the modern-day witchcraft starter pack. 

The commitment to the look ranges from dark, cavernous rooms that look more crypt-like than homey, all the way to university dorm rooms that are sprinkled with just a touch of witchy-ness. 

The online community is quick to offer tips on where you might pick up your next essential purchase, making it easy to realise your own witchcore dreams. 

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