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Mon Feb 20, 2012, 01:47 PM

How Did 'Zombie Boy' Become a Fashion Icon?

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/02/how-did-zombie-boy-become-a-fashion-icon/253261/



The bar for shock value has been set high in today's fast-paced visual culture with its steady stream of outrageous and often appalling images. Yet Zombie Boy (27-year old Canadian model and artist Rick Genest) has easily vaulted over it, with room to spare.

People used to seek out freak shows to gawk at the 400-pound man or the tattooed lady. But when the morbidly obese and the heavily inked became routine sights in everyday life, such individuals lost their power to impress. Genest, however, manages to be startling at a time when that's very difficult to do. He has designed himself into a living Dutch still life or an especially brutal memento mori: Instead of inanimate objects meant to remind us of mortality (a stopped clock, a snuffed-out candle), or things already dead (a skull), Genest takes it one step further and chooses to be a vital young thing whose beautiful yet sad appearance forces others to acknowledge the reality of death. A person to person conversation with him can be unnerving; his wide hazel eyes stare steadily out from an image of a grinning skull, the top neatly sawn off, the brain nestled within.

Genest rose to become something of an underground darling in fashion circles over the past few years as a distinctly morbid trend surfaced in couture. In 2010, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy showed a stunning fall collection whose main motif was the skeleton—appliquéd in lace, rendered in Swarovski crystals, or embroidered in gorgeous clots of crystals, lace and pearls on the back of a double-silk duchesse satin jacket. When Nicola Formichetti (Lady Gaga's former stylist and the current designer of Thierry Mugler) spotted a photo of Zombie Boy on Facebook, he promptly whisked him away to Paris to walk the runway in Mugler's men's and women's wear shows. An appearance in Lady Gaga's video for Born this Way soon followed, and Genest was recently photographed in LA by Terry Richardson for the just-released promotional materials for Gaga's 2012/13 tour. After hitting the shows this January at Berlin's Fashion Week, Zombie Boy was spotted last week in the front row at Duckie Brown and Nicholas K's New York shows.

Perhaps it was inevitable that a real-life zombie would make his way to the forefront of the visual landscape. Zombies began infiltrating media culture in full force starting in the early 2000s, eventually edging out vampires as the monster of choice. Genest's face—actually, his lack of one—is his fortune.

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Reply How Did 'Zombie Boy' Become a Fashion Icon? (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2012 OP
Rex Feb 2012 #1
a la izquierda Feb 2012 #2
DCKit Feb 2012 #3
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2012 #4
Gold Metal Flake Feb 2012 #5
flamingdem Feb 2012 #6
chaska Feb 2012 #7

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 01:50 PM

1. Because zombies are all the rage atm.

 

nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:01 PM

2. egads!

And I've got a lot of tattoos (all hideable, I might add).
I wouldn't even know where to look if I met him in person.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:27 PM

3. Two Words: Bone Structure nt

 

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Response to DCKit (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:32 PM

4. Two words Bone Head

He looks like a bonehead

Bonehead, a derogatory term in the skinhead and punk subcultures, referring to white power skinheads.[1]

Bonehead, a derogatory term in the United Kingdom, used by traditional skinheads to describe punk rock-influenced skinheads

Bonehead, a derogatory term in South Africa for an Afrikaner.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:33 PM

5. BEcause humanity is a death cult.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:40 PM

6. Does his mom approve?

I bet there are some issues there.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 04:29 PM

7. All this fascination with death in popular culture should be rejected by Dems.

It probably has something to do with the fact that we're so alienated as a society from one another. Life is barely tolerable in this machine within which we live. It serves no living being, only itself.

Further, we all wish this or that asshole was dead. And if you don't have any connection with your community you think everybody is an asshole.

At bottom, we Dems are the party of community over the individual. We must reject alienation.

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