Coming to you direct from deep in the heart of Oslo, Norway, the fashion capital of the world, tonight we bring you the Viking Metal Fashion Show. The tip of the spear and premier boutique of fashion week, the aroma of combat sweat permulates Odin Gardens, the site of this year's fabu-scrumptilicious show.
Vikings from all over the globe arrive each year to eyeball the newest in grimwear. When it comes to eyeballing the newest battle-ready shiny thing or just sprucing up the muddy gift basket for the old ball and chain, this is the place to see and be seen. If breastplates and metal hats do the deed for you, or if you are a consumer who enjoys the newly-forged-metal smell of the latest in fear-inducing faceguards, the Viking Metal Fashion Show is the showplace to simply die-then-be-set-adrift-and-torched-down-to-the-waterlevel for.
Listen, I hear the valkyries! The show is about to begin.
With a slight tilt of the head and a sneer molded from decades of hate, celebrity designer Jingle Jangle walks down the runway modeling his newest ensamble.
When Jingle Jangle enters the glen with his new line of Viking haute couture, the sun shining on the metal is designed to blind his adversaries as well as to tell the guys on his side that he has both money and fashion sense. You, too, can have all these things Jingle has - just put on one of his creations and charge headlong into the neighbor's yard looking for blood. We're in luck, here he comes now. Jingle, do you have a second? Tell our audience, where do you get your inspiration?
"Arggggggg, mead. Mead and the blood of lambs. Give me that!"
Jingle! Let go of my breast. Later on big boy, you can work on that later on, but I am going to ask you for a signed helmet and some of those still-warm-on-the-victims-wrist bracelets that everyone is talking about. Gwen the Green doesn't come cheap. Now Jingle, tell us, which metal do you think will be the next big thing?
"Argggggg, silver. Silver and the blood of lambs. Give me that!"
Jingle! Later. Hey look, you're being called over to the judges table. Shoo, run along.
As you can see, Jingle Jangle is a frisky boy. And that friskiness translates into armor made with clean lines, a smooth bounce-away surface, and a way of dazzling the eyes of your opponents for that extra split second it will take to run an ax though their forehead.
Touched by an angel
"Never fear, Odin's here!" seems to be the war cry of Tinber. As you make your way into new villages and out-of-the-way habitats the Tinber line never fails to impress the locals. Peasants and quivering townspeople will hesitantly come forward to touch your wings and long weaponry, and as you smile wide, brush your beard with you free hand, and thunder your conquest to the sky, they will bring you bread and offerings in the false hope that you will leave their homes, livestock, and daughters intact. Foolish mortals, the chest protector seems to say. As you stare coldly at the citizenry from under the new Tinber helmet gently caressing your Nordic head, the bowing down, kneeling, and begging will soon begin.
And here's Tinber himself. Come over here, you big lug. Give me a squeeze. Now turn around and tell the audience just how you came up with this amazing Spring collection.
"Gwen the Green, I will have you tonight. Ah, my adornments. I saw all of this in a dream, and will tell you true. I was in a forest, and in my vision I was just entering my beserker trance - I am part Berserker on my mother's side - when I saw the spirits shake the bushes and cover the moon with their hair. Suddenly, raccoons and other animals came to me, each one carrying one piece of what you see before you. I awoke from this epic saga, grabbed a pencil, and drew the entire ensemble in less than five minutes. Tinber!"
Okay Tinber, I see the glint in your gorgeous blue eyes. How'd you really come up with the line? I mean, two sets of wings? And an oversized coin along your collarbone? Come clean with Gwen, sweetie.
"The clothes do make the man! What I did was hire this college geek who works for minimum wage and pizza. Found him down in Amsterdam working for my Aunt as an accountant. He's a fucking genius, but I can't tell him that. Gotta keep him on the hook by saying his stuff is maybe just a little bit above average, but he needs a couple of seasons of apprenticeship. You should see the hoops this kid jumps through and the personal time he puts in just trying to placate management. Tinber!"
You do so know how to handle the help. Call me later, I'm free for dinner. And that was Tinber, a man's man with a smile that can light up a room and arms like tree trunks, all gnarly and filled with ants.
Children and pets, prepare to die!
Children's armor designer Meg the Merciless has brought us some special things this year. Remember last year's show, when she set the room on fire with her collection, and then set the room on fire when she didn't like the donuts? This time Meg has outdone herself. The sons and daughters of norse who will sacrifice their lives on the field of honor will be outfitted in some of the handsomest metal that stolen money can buy.
Here Meg introduces us to her "Boy Oh Boy"-brand helmet, complete with "footholds" echoing a rock-climbing wall and an adorable little noseguard that might be able to deflect the first blow of a longblade. She calls this combination her "formula for success", as the 6'4" Viking giants can send hundreds of these youngsters and their pets ahead of them to soften up the retreating crowds. Before the children and the cheetah's meet their demise at the hands of the panicing rabble, and get their ticket stamped for a one-way trip to Valhalla, they can now land a few good whacks and bites of their own.
Can we get Meg over here? Clear the crowd please. No, no, I don't do autographs, but call me. Ah, Meg the Merciless, welcome to out worldwide informal chat. Do tell, what inspired you to create such a functional yet aesthetic design?
"It's good to be with you, Gwen the Green. I caught your breathtaking one-woman Beuwolf show at the Stavenger Odium last year. Girl, you can kick out the jams with the best of them! As for my helmet, I thought of it while watching a neighbor child beat-back a creditor. Because of the child's size the bill collector went right for the top of the head, and the youngster went down quickly. I said to myself 'Meg the Merciless, what would have kept that boy standing a few more seconds?' and it came to me like a gull out of the Northern Sea. Tiny bumps between the horns, where a ham fist or a direct stab might get caught-up in the material! Bam, I went home, made up a prototype, tested it on my nephew, God rest his soul, and it gave him the added seconds to get in a few cuts of his own before I gutted him."
Nice work Meg! And that cheetah's headwear looks just as functional, as pets are some of the hardest things to keep alive on a raging battlefield. Remember that fight a few seasons back with the Germanic marauders? We had to lead our bears and badgers into the fray as naked as jaybirds. This metal will free-up the eagles and elks from having to use their wings and hooves to protect their heads, a startling innovation.
"You make me blush, Gwen."
And that was Meg the Merciless, a leader in high-end armor and low-end loving, if I can tell a tale out of school.
"Well read my runes! You do make me blush, Gwen!"
Raise up your glasses!
Raise you glasses high, for man is the father of the beast! And here is man! The metal of Servie Hvortssen would do justice to the mountains themselves. To the rushing streams. To the sky painted blue with Goddess breath. Servie's phenomenal output of exceptional Viking metal in gold, silver, and copper alloys eclipses all that has come before him, except for probably the Egyptian stuff, and maybe the Japanese. Now I must refill my glass, to raise it once again when the name Servie Hvortssen is uttered.
Servie, I see you've grown your beard much longer than last year. I just want to dive into it and wiggle my head around. It's as if you are being energized by the extent of the Northern Lights as the sun is about to burn out!
"Gwen the Green, my eyes cannot stay off of you! Dive into my beard if that be thou wish, but give me a minute to scarf down some breath mints. And yes, my beard gives me strength, and the outfit I wear now was designed with the beard in mind. Can you see the bits of metal woven within the beard? If the marauder tag-team of Moe the Miserable and Tony the Tyger come to do battle, and they will, their simple-minded predictability will force them to aim for my neck and chest. They will quickly find that my beard can stop their steel, giving me ample opening to pluck out their hearts, hand them to them while they're still beating, and then take them back and throw them real high in the air in order to watch Moe and Tony circle under them and try to make a basket catch. Giddy-up."
Servie, you know how to turn a girl's head. And I do so admire your sword. Did you temper that yourself?
"My sword is my existence, it is my being in fire-pounded metal which is now whipping the air around your head like a bird new from the nest. Feel my steel, Gwen the Green."
I'm going to have to give out appointments here. Tonight, around 10. Enjoy the rest of the show, Servie Hvortssen, and may the spirit of the winterland be in your steps today.
You're going to want to pick up about a dozen of these skeletons to seed the field of valor before the fight. Nothing like white bone to shake the confidence of your opponent. This model was designed by our resident accessorizing genius, Madame Marco. Marco, why the fetal position?
"Thank you for asking, darling. Well, we had a lot of these, a very popular model. You can go down to any plundered village about a month after the bloodbath and pluck these things right off the ground. The fetal position is apparently very popular, as are what we call 'the backstroke' and the 'gotcha'. This is a great way to pick up tons of abandoned blades and gemstones too. Tell me Gwen, who are you wearing?"
Oh, this little thing? Well, Flax the Stonehearted whipped this up in no time, and was kind enough to offer me first refusal on it. You know Flax, he likes to mix it up and experiment. He's into his green period now - very lucky for me - but he may go back to his standard gore and sinew soon. Madame Marco, how would you describe this adorable piece?
"Horny! Oh, I said horny, forgive me, I couldn't resist. But it does make my thingy all tingly. Okay, I'll get serious, just the vapors dear."
"As you can see, black horns are in this year. Black horns are the new pink horns. This season's model comes with arrow-resistant machine-tooled sharpened tips. Here, put your finger right at the end here, see? Blood. Let me suck on that for you, hon. Now, when a man of the deep woods takes his longboat over to a newly discovered island to tell the skyclad citizenry to, if I may use a vulgarity, 'spread 'em and close your eyes', his love-me-fiercely headgear will give them the willies before he gives them his willy. Those unruly few who resist can be enthusiastically headbutted. I give my Madame Marco guarantee that this will put an end to any rebellion, and imagine the poking you can give the populace, to coin a term."
Madame, what do you have there, you haven't brought me a sample helmet, have you now? A small price to pay for fame. And one of those toenail clippers too if you would. The handmade one there, the one made from pipestone and ram's bone. Alright.
That was Madame Marco, one of the accessorizing marvels who comes to us every year to show you, our audience, what's going to be hanging on your anatomy in the not-too-distant future. One way or another. Now get your credit cards ready, warriors.
Don't leave empty handed
One more model to take the stage, and we have, indeed, saved the best for last. Philip de'Gunderson, the fully dressed Viking legend you see before your lying eyes, has taken a vow of chastity until he drives all townspeople before him. Hanging from this peacock's shoulders is the cape of good hope, in his right hand he wields his father's father's axe, and on his left side he carries the sword and shield combo he's nicknamed "The Hill 'n Valley". Each of these handcrafted items contain every metal known to man, although it is the sword and shield that, come the reckoning, serve as de'Gunderson's piece de resistance. A temperamental slaughterer of any Brit, Icelandic, or Finn who happen to pass his way on a dare, Philip the Pretty Boy offers everyone else his weak-wristed hand in friendship.
To end our extravaganza that is this years Viking Metal Fashion Show, Jingle, Tinber, Meg, Servie, Madame Marco and Philip - men and women I can trust about as far as I can throw their heads in a gunny sack - have asked me to announce that they have done you all a backhanded favor today. Everyone here who still has arms can pick up a set of bobbleheaded golems of the designers as, weighed down with freshly purchased goblets and your clans newest and finest ancestral armor, you pass through the show's exit door.
Step lively, and don't let it hit you on the way out.
Music played by wandering bands of bands during the Viking Metal Fashion Show
- Lots of songs by Moonsorrow
- Ragnarok by Týr
- Hammerheart by Bathory
- Vikingligr Veldi by Enslaved
- Ensiferum by Ensiferum