Horror fans have a unique way of celebrating Valentine's Day. For a classic example, look no further than the series of Zombie Love Songs that recently were shared here in the Vault. We just have to inject a bit of gallow's humor to make it palatable, and that's more than okay with me.
Another case in point would be the recent event held at the Sugartown Vintage Boutique in idyllic Saugerties, New York, which I was honored to be a part of a couple weeks ago. I got to parade around in some outlandish Mr. Ferley-esque and Henry Hill-ish duds, which was certainly a blast. But at the center of the festivities was the ghastly and gorgeous Captain Cruella, who graced the store with her presence for the purpose of a zombified makeup demonstration. The event was called, appropriately enough, "Eat Your Heart Out".
"I was looking for away I could pool my talents and the talents of Captain Cruella to bring attention to the store, to bring people into the store," said Ashley Drewes, owner and proprietor of Sugartown. "She's a fantastic makeup artist, so I thought it would be really great to have a glamorous event where she demonstrated her makeup, and also an opportunity for people to try on vintage clothing, and have a professional photographer come in and take photos. I thought that was a perfect way to introduce people to the store."
The photographer of whom Ashley speaks is none other than the enormously talented J.D. Fielding, who was on hand to chronicle the festivities for posterity, and of course capture me looking like a 1970s street-level gangster. J.D.'s keen eye certainly brought out the life in what was going on, which might be ironic considering it was a member of the undead who was the center of attention.
Using makeup samples kindly donated by the edgy cosmetics company RockABetty Beauty, Cruella got her claws on an assortment of mortals, treating each to her own unique sense of style in the form of a makeup makeover. In honor of the event, the Captain was less... zombie-like...choosing instead to appear more human than most have ever seen her. It's enough to make some speculate that the good Captain might be toning down her ghoulish ways in favor of a more glam look. But Ashley assures us this is not the case.
"I think she's always had a little bit of pin-up in her, or busting out of her," she says. "So I don't necessarily think that I'm moving her away from that. She did come out today wearing one of her zombie contact lenses [Ed. note: It's a contact lens??], so she's still a little creepy. She's still dressed in black, and she still brings the dark and gothic, but she's also sexy and beautiful, which is part of her persona. And I don't think that's going to change."
As all this went on, patrons of the store got to sample some the amazing vintage items on hand. I will say I certainly got carried away in the proceedings, busting out some seriously groovy threads. It was a lot of fun, and a testament both to what a cool establishment Sugartown is, and also what a fascinating town Saugerties is.
"I want people to know that this is a really fun place, where no matter who you are, you can find something really unique and gorgeous to wear any day of the week, or at special occasions," said Ashley. "It can also be a really thoughtful gift for someone else."
"Eat Your Heart Out" was a smashing success thanks to the efforts of Ashley and Cruella, and Sugartown is fast becoming one of the highlights of downtown Saugerties. In fact, I'm proud to announce that I will actually be returning there in just a few weeks to do a public reading. It's called Visions from the Vault: The Dark Poetry of H.P. Lovecraft, and it all happens on Saturday, April 9. Check back right here in the Vault for more information as the date approaches...
* All photos courtesy of J.D. Fielding Photography