Fashion at its deadest

Zombie models show off ‘post-apocalyptic chic’ at Station 4.

Stephanie Dickrell

What goes better with zombies than blood and guts? Why, fashion of course. In a post-apocalyptic world, where the zombies have taken over and only small pockets of humanity remain, we must still cling to that which makes us human – our fashion.

Dead Sexy: A Zombie Fashion Show

WHEN: 9 p.m. Oct. 14
WHERE: Station 4, 201 East Fourth St., St. Paul
TICKETS: $7, 21-plus, see www.swearingjack.com

And so is the premise for Dead Sexy: A Zombie Fashion Show, put on by Swearing Jack Productions, a small production company experimenting in everything from art shows to puppet shows.

The show will feature a completely new fashion line by local theater designers.

“We gave them the challenge of post-apocalyptic chic,” said the show’s director, Megan Vaughan.

The fashions are designed for the surviving humans, but by using zombies as models, it’s a way for humanity to “stick it to the undead man,” Vaughan said.

“They cost more to feed than real models,” Vaughan said, “but they look really cool.”

The show will feature a little more than a half hour’s worth of fashion show and then Hot Rod Hearse, a local rockabilly band, will close out the night.

Zombies seem to be facing a resurgence in popularity, thanks to “28 Days Later” and its sequel, “28 Weeks Later.” Vaughan knows this better than most and can give a detailed history of zombie popularity.

“Zombies are a passion of mine,” Vaughan said. Good zombies are a metaphor for life, she added. “If you strip away all the moral of mankind, that’s what we’re left with, animalistic nature, kill or be killed.”

Zombies also play on the dork factor. Vaughan and Katie Oliver, the company’s community relations person, admit and embrace their dorkiness in their love of zombies.

There’s a vast network of geeks and dorks on this subject, Vaughan said, “And being one myself, I know that this event is going to speak to them.”

The zombie-passionate crowd will only be one segment of the audience. Vaughan said she expects to see two kinds of audience members, those who like zombies and those who like fashion. Although, she added, one can’t stereotype exactly who will like what. Sometimes the people one would least expect are the biggest zombie fans, she said.

The zombie show is the first lone production for Swearing Jack. Up until this point, the company has only produced shows in conjunction with other events, such as the Pride Art Fair and the St. Paul Art Crawl.

The entire production rests on volunteers, from the non-profit production company to the designers, models and make-up artists who donated their time to work on the project, simply for the love of flesh-eating zombies.

The event is also a fundraiser for the fledglwing production company. Costumes from local theaters will be for sale and make-up artists will work the crowd, “zombifying” anyone who cares to make a small donation. The amount of blood and gore will depend on the amount of the donation. The greater the donation, the greater the gore.

The resulting fashion show – its blood, guts, cuts and couture – comes to life and reminds the living that the “bite heard around the world,” as Vaughan calls the zombie disaster, doesn’t mean they can’t look good.