Nicola wanted 'Zombie Boy' so badly he paid £10k in fines for him!

22 March 2011

So, both of the Mugler shows under the creative direction of Nicola Formichetti are over, Gaga has gone back to the world of pop after her foray into the world of strutting furiously along the catwalk, but today a brilliant and extremely touching story has surfaced which adds further flesh to the bones (chortle chuckle) of the story of Nicola the stylist and Rico the "zombie boy" street performer.

Apparently, Nicola first spotted him on Google and had to be convinced that all those facial bits were real ink; 'I thought it was amazing Halloween make-up done by Peter Philips or something. I mean, I've done so many shoots with skull make-up' - when his friend and tattoo artist told him; 'Oh yeah, that guy is zombie boy. He lives in Montreal.'

The next job was to invite Rick to Paris to get involved with the Mugler project, starting with the shoot and video for the menswear brand. But when Nicola found out he didn't have a passport, they wound up taking the whole shebang over to Canada to film him . . . 'I called my friend Mariano [Vivanco, photographer] and my manager. We got together the first week after the holidays as I was about to leave for Paris to work on the last bit of the collection. I remember thinking I have to do this, I just have a gut feeling, I have to work with this guy'

And confirmation, if any was needed, that Rick for Mugler was meant tobe, word came from Lady Gaga herself who saw the pictures and convinced Nicola to get Rico over to Paris for the womenswear show. She said 'Oh my god, you have to do a show.'

But THEN Nicola found out why Rico couldn't get a passport, 'because he was homeless. He had a lot of fines or something because he was always sleeping on the street.  . . And he just kept telling me, "I'm not a criminal, I'm not a criminal." It took him so long to tell us. Oh my god, he was so emotional. He was crying and saying how this was going to change his life. It was a beautiful moment.'

They simply paid the 'ten or twenty' thousand dollars' worth of fines and Rico was theirs for the taking! But, as Nicola finishes the story, it was all worth it because 'it's actually inspiring to hear him talk about shades, which are the dots that create the 3D effect of his tattoo. It becomes more and more refined when it's shaded.'

'Well, if you're cockles weren't warm when you started reading that story then they might well be now!

- Naomi Attwood


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