The Life and Times of The Living Dead

June 07, 2018

We first introduced our Living Dead print for our Spring/Summer 2016 collection and it was an instant hit. We can't always predict what the 'winners' are going to be, but with the Living Dead print we knew we had a winner on our hands.

Blue Living Dead Long Sleeve Shirt
Blue Living Dead Original Print

Since introducing the Living Dead, we've dabbled in different colours of the print - first in blue, then in black; and different versions of the shirting fabric as well. The original base fabric is slightly creamier, and the newest version of the print is on a smaller scale and the lines of the drawing are finer.

Black and White Original Living Dead Shirt
Black and White Living Dead Original Print | 1 Small + 1 XL left

We recently stumbled across the origins story behind our current 2.0 version of the print and it's so damn interesting, we had to share. The print depicts a puppet theatre with the banner "Grand Guignol" overhead which is a nod to an actual theatre in Paris that specialized in naturalistic horror plays from 1897 until it's eventual closure in 1962. The theatre was formerly a chapel, complete with confessional boxes, angels overlooking the orchestra and gothic details resulting in a distinctly eery feeling from the moment of entrance. 



It's rumoured that the plays were so violent and gory that theatre-goers would rent the confessional boxes during performances so they could escape the brutality of the actions taking place on the stage. The "special effects" could be so realistic that audience members would faint and vomit during performances. The theatre's peak popularity was between the first and second world war - it was frequented by royalty and celebrities throughout it's existence.
Black and White Living Dead Short Sleeve 2.0
Black and White Living Dead 2.0

The distinctly bleak and notably gory special effects in their notoriously bloody climaxes of the plays often explored the altered states, like insanity, hypnosis, or panic, under which uncontrolled horror could happen. One of Grand Guignol's most famous plays Le Laboratoire des Hallucinations told the story of a doctor who finds his wife's lover in his operating room. He performs a graphic brain surgery, rendering the adulterer a hallucinating semi-zombie. Now insane, the lover/patient hammers a chisel into the doctor's brain. Pretty dark stuff indeed!
 
The stories our clothes tell has always been important to us and knowing the origins story of this particularly beloved print makes these pieces extra special. Check out our full range of Living Dead pieces - including adult 18 Waits shirts as well as Hopper Hunter kids versions. 
We even have some in-store exclusive pocket squares available in LD.

We rarely put these on sale and they often go out of stock, so now might just be the time to pull the trigger.

 





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