When Fashion Reverie sat down with David Zablidowsky (David Z) after our photo shoot, we were struck by the contradictions and polar opposites, all good. Here is a rock musician who doesn’t party or live the hard, wild life of a rock musician, though he has the party boy swagger and attitude. The long hair conjures up images of 80s rocker style—which is the music he sometimes plays—but his taste and personal style extends to the current punk chic trend with sophisticated tailoring seen currently in high-fashion menswear brands. And though David Z is a bonafide guys’s guy with a strong masculine jawline and ripped body, his complex mix of wild rocker hair, ringed fingers and bangles, black eyeliner and black painted nails demonstrates that he is comfortable pairing the masculine with the feminine in his own unique way. In other words, David Zablidowsky is a kind of modern-day rock n’ roll dandy that appeals to a wide variety of women but is also the man that a lot of men would secretly like to be.
But wasn’t David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Alice Cooper rock dandies of their generations? And you cannot forget Marilyn Manson and Adam Lambert, who have successfully combined feminine and masculine elements with onstage outré theatrics. If that be the case, David Z is in good company and his lists of musical accomplishment speak to his ability to find that delicate balance between performance art and skilled musicianship. “In addition to ZO2 and ZO2’s reality-based television show Z-Rock, I have been playing with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the past 12 years. When I started out with Trans-Siberian, we were playing small theaters and venues; now we play huge arenas like Madison Square Garden … I have played with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I also play with the very popular 80s tribute band Rubix Kube where I get to wear neon colors and spandex on stage … I just finished a European tour with Jeff Soto who used to sing with Journey. Yeah, you could say I stay very busy.” details David Z.
Still, at the heart of David Z’s craft and stage acumen is his love of head banging music and fashion. “Hey, I love clothes … Believe it or not I shop a lot at Zara. It is a European look, affordable and the fit is great. But, I also love G Star, Dsquared2, Custo Barcelona, Tallia Orange, Rochambeau, and John Varvatos, who is geared toward rock n ’roll, and his shop in the Bowery is in the area where the old CBGBs was, so you cannot go wrong,” confirms David Z. “It is unfortunate when musicians don’t realize that you have to present a complete package and your look onstage and off is so important. You have to be cognizant of the fact that this is a business and people are always looking at you. KISS was my idol growing up, so early on I tapped into stage theatrics and enhancing your performance on stage and off with your wardrobe,” continues David Z.
And Rubix Kube is the perfect synthesis for David Z of the music he loves, onstage wild theatrics expressed in flashes of bold color and the manic energy found in 80s Punk. “What I love about Rubix Kube is we get to dress up on stage in crazy 80s clothes and have fun!! There are no rules for what is too much. Sometimes, I’m wearing fuchsia spandex with neon sneakers and a Mohawk,” explains David Z. “Rubix Kube does all 80s music so our Punk repertoire in that genre would be Blondie, Wendy Williams and the Plasmatics, David Byrne and The Talking Heads, Adam and the Ants, Billy Idol, Big Country, The Human League, Oingo Boingo, the Pretenders, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Eurythmics. A lot of these bands were crossover, so our audience members recognize the music, even if they weren’t fans of Punk.”
David Z’s Punk leanings go beyond just 80s Punk bands; it extends also to clothes. “I love the mix of styles that pops up in Punk that can be a hodgepodge of interesting fabrics from tartans and denim to vinyl and plastic to the new aesthetic that is more sophisticated and tailored. I love the spikes and hardware. I love the fact that Punk crossed over from music and street fashion to a point of view that you now see on high-fashion runways.”
I guess you could say David Zablidowsky’s musical taste, fashion points of view and life cred could be summed up in positively expecting the unexpected. “I don’t know what every day or prime time work is. My life has be a series of unexpected opportunities … I live a charmed life.” Hmm, we should all be so lucky!!
—William S. Gooch
To view more images from the editorial shoot, click credits image below. For Full Screen click arrow at bottom right of slide.