Zack: These two weren't even there for the convention. They were just filming the video for some twee indie rock band with an animal name.

Dave: That's really weird, I was thinking the exact same thing. I'd almost be OK with this if they were just a band with a really whack sensibility.

Zack: The Mountain Whales.

Dave: Either they're a band who's really trying something, or they're steampunks who are barely trying at all.

Zack: They're working on their concept album about laundry girls in 18th century New England and the story of one who goes wandering in the woods and encounters a murderer and meets a spirit who is an owl.

Dave: He's got the costume pragmatism of an experienced touring musician. When your fake mustache is really shoddy, it's a good idea to carry a patch of spare mustache fiber upon your person so you can just yank off another one.

Zack: Next up is their album about World War I. Because 24-year-old kids from Vancouver surely have something valuable to say about the horrors of poison gas attacks.

Dave:
I'm sure they made some OK art about World War I at the time, but today's analog synth arpeggio technology makes it possible to go way deeper.

Zack: What we really need to convey the pants-shitting terror of charging across an open hellscape at a machine gun is three gospel-trained black women doing backing vocals.

Dave: We're trying to recapture the stark minimalism of starving in the trenches, so I put masking tape over all the pads on Zya's 808 except for the handclap.

Zack: We can sing a letter a shell shocked corporal writes home to his young bride conveying the sickly sweetness of rotting corpses and also Brenth will play the wine-o-phone.

Dave:
I feel like we have a really personal connection to this project, because Derek's grandpa was in the first Desert Storm.

Zack: Yeah, he earned his purple heart for dropping a tray of deviled eggs on his foot while he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. Did you know in Saudi Arabia they call them "Jew eggs?"

Dave: See this thing on my lapel? This is the medal he got for watching a video of a missile hitting a truck.

Zack: This one is the one he got for rigging up a tape deck to play in the truck they used to bring folding chairs to Kuwait City. They called it the "Thunder Run" because the only tape they had was a Cassingle of Thunderstruck.

Dave: Oh, and this thing on my shoulder is the same hank of raw mustache Saddam Hussein used at the time.

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About This Column

Fashion SWAT... the fashion industry is obsessed with impracticality. We know that what designers create was never meant to be worn by the grimy masses, but that doesn't somehow diminish how ridiculous many of these costumes are. Make no mistake, they are costumes, and like a Halloween prize pageant we will turn our discerning gaze on the grievous fashion misfires of Paris, Milan, and New York. We're not pulling any punches, and we're definitely not interested in making any friends. We're Joan Rivers without Melissa Rivers to temper our screeching. We're the Fashion Police in jack boots. We are Fashion SWAT.

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