Man in Black | Arts & Entertainment | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Arts & Entertainment

Man in Black

Misfit Toys and monster puppets are all part of the fashionably dark world of Jared Gold.



For Goth Renaissance man Jared Gold, it is all about the fashion'that is, his darkly modern fashion with an unmistakable Victorian flair. Sure, he’s the creator of a game show that includes massive monster puppets. And sure, he’s also the mastermind behind one of the oddest ideas in music to hit the Industrial-Goth scene'and that’s saying something. But for Gold, those artistic endeavors are indelibly linked'with a noose, if you must'to his clothing line, Black Chandelier.


Luckily for all those shadow-dwellers here in Utah, Salt Lake City is about to get a strong dose of that macabre-tinged fashion when Gold brings all three of his projects to the fifth annual Dark Arts Festival. Although the greater purpose of the festival is to bring together various elements of Utah’s underground for a giant three-day celebration, for Gold it serves as an excuse to have fun while promoting his world-renowned designs.

Gold’s unique idea of mixing fun and fashion has spawned Horrible Heidi and her Demolition Roller Derby. Definitely difficult to get your brain around when merely described on paper, Horrible Heidi is'to put it simply'a game show with audience participation. Be assured, The Price Is Right it is not.

“We started making these giant, horrific puppet people creatures about two years ago as a way to promote the clothes,” says Gold. “The idea is that the spectators are the contestants. They put roller skates on and try to skate through an obstacle course of boxes and blocks, while giant Heidi Creatures try to stop them. Ultimately the contestants reach this wall of Black Chandelier stuff, and they get to take home whatever they can grab.

“In past performances, people have gotten clotheslined and put in headlocks by giant purple tentacles and such. It’s just really funny and for me it’s a way to promote the collection, the clothes and the stores, all by doing something that’s over the top.

Although that “over the top, making a spectacle of yourself for the sake of promotion” thing isn’t new to the fashion world by any means, Gold’s unique ability to gestate that desire for attention into artistic endeavor is refreshingly new.

That’s also why Gold originally developed the band the Misfit Toys, he relates. It was nearing Christmas, and Gold’s Trolley Square store was about to open. He figured that since he’s a trained pianist, with several good friends who are also skilled musicians, he could pull together some great talent and'as is often his way'torture the hell out of it. As a result, the small band of merry pranksters formed a Yuletide group that played carols on toy instruments. Now, in preparation for Dark Arts, Gold and company have expanded their repertoire to include the likes of Bauhaus, The Cure and Siouxsie.

“I play a tubet, which is a miniature tuba, and a theremin, a magnetic field instrument,” explains Gold. “We also have a little toy piano, a tiny little drum kit, a tiny little blue ukulele, two glockenspiels and a singer who sings with the Utah Opera. I mean, everybody is really classically trained and it really is a misery to get these horrific toy instruments to do anything. That’s kind of the point'anybody can be good, but just try to do it with toys.

In short, that’s how Gold’s creative energy works: Birth giant puppets to attack your adoring, roller-skating customers and hire classical musicians to play Christmas classics on toys all in the name of making promotion over-the-top fun.

“Everybody likes to do it,” says Gold. “Everybody likes the free clothes. Everybody likes to be a total spectacle with these creatures and everybody likes playing in and listening to the band. It kind of works for everybody. And me, I’m just having fun. And really, it’s all about the fashion'and me having a good time, of course.” 2005 DARK ARTS FESTIVAL Area 51 451 S. 400 West June 3-5