Let us set the scene: It’s a cool and crisp October afternoon. The wind is gently shuffling copper leaves and you’re throwing on your tweed blazer and spectacles as you head to the bookstore to grab a coffee...which you may or may not add whiskey to, from a flask in your knapsack.
This is, dear friends, is the essence of Dark Academia, and what cottagecore was to 2020, it is for 2021.
Born on social media, Dark Academia currently has 1.1 billion views on Tik Tok, and is up by 700% on Google trends. In other words, it’s a big deal.
So, what is it, really? In short, it’s an aesthetic that romanticizes academia, books and education with a focus on the classic European style of the literary greats. It’s what you would’ve worn to write a 20th century novel or the library carrel you’ve would have toiled away in at Harvard, circa 1919.