by April Christenson Paint your fingernails black and line your lips in onyx because it’s almost time for the return of the Something Wicked Goth Ball. The seventh annual goth ball will be Friday, Oct. 29, at Sokol Auditorium. The event (aptly titley this year as “Suck It!”) will feature music from And Collapse and Cloven Path as well as performances by DJs W.E.R.D., Emy and others. There will be performance art including cage dancers and suspension acts by local artists. Fashion enthusiasts craving more of the local designs they saw during Omaha Fashion Week can enjoy a show with over 40 models walking the runway wearing goth fashions by local designers. Designs by Chessna Fernald, Kevin Steward, Shamina Wiek, Jennie Mason, Shawntelle Kuhlmann and Monnie Winslow (all of whom were featured during Omaha Fashion Week 2010) will be featured at the Goth Ball. For many local designers, such as Kevin Steward of Threaded Inc., creating pieces for the Goth Ball is a departure from the usual world of fashion. “As a designer, whether it be costume design or fashion, unless you are willing to take on new tasks, you’re going to go ‘Oh, no one would want this,’” Steward says. Steward began in fashion by designing Halloween costumes for himself during high school. Later, he began creating costumes for theater and created pieces for many shows including Guys and Dolls, Aladdin, All Shook Up and others, before venturing into fashion. His one-of-a-kind pieces have been a staple on the runways of Omaha Fashion Week for the past three years, but this is his first year participating in the Goth Ball. Steward says a certain intimidation factor drew him to the ball. He, like many other designers, is often apprehensive about breaking out of the mold and creating pieces that differ wildly from his usual designs. His pieces are most recognized for his use of bright colors and funky prints and patterns, a stark contrast to typical goth fashion. “I’m always unsure of it,” Steward says. “But once I do it, I’m like, ‘Hey, that’s not so bad. Now I know I can do this.’ As a designer, whether it be costume design or fashion, unless you are willing to take on new tasks you’re going to assume no one will want your designs.” Steward, who designed about 20 pieces for the event, hopes that his and other designers’ items will raise awareness about what it means to be “goth” in the fashion world. “Goth style isn’t looking like you’re dead and wearing all black. It’s more the color palate that you wear,” says Steward. “This will be more sedate. More of the dark, rich, cool colors.” Steward says he hopes the audience leaves with a greater understanding of what it means to be goth and how the style differs from other areas of fashion such as extreme punk. As Omaha Fashion Week has sparked a growing interest in fashion among Omahans, Steward believes a goth fashion show will draw many people interested in seeing goth designs by local designers. “It’s something different,” Steward says. “I think it’s going to have more of a draw than just going to a venue and watching a band.” This is the seventh year of the Something Wicked Goth Ball, making it one of the longest running goth shows in the country. Something Wicked Goth Ball is an all ages event. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day-of-show and are available online at etix.com.