For many fashion connoisseurs looking to snag fresh-off-the-runway fashions, investing in a pack of Hanes white tees and a black sharpie is a well-known hack. With graphic tees and fun, colorful DIY-looking prints attacking the runway at regular intervals, haute couture has become a lot easier to knock off in recent years.
That said: There’s fashion, and there’s fashion. Patrick Church has broken on to the scene by taking his own colorful approach to the old white tee-and-sharpie trick. But instead of a sharpie it’s that pastel-colored sidewalk chalk you use to use a kid, and instead of a white tee it’s a wifebeater.
In Church’s collection, you’ll find Pollock-like splotches of color, lots of white, and painterly sketches of a woman resembling Courtney Love all over flowing, feminine garments that happen, of course, to all be worn by men. But wait: It gets better. There’s leather, and a lot of it. Patrick Church is single-handedly bringing back assless chaps. And it’s only a matter of time before this much-needed renaissance hits the runway proper.
“My work has always explored the body.” Church told OUT magazine in a recent interview. “I’ve normally made sexual work when I’m not having sex. It’s the idea of sex I find fascinating, and I like to think I explore sexuality in a romantic way. My work is about romance, because I am married and head over heels in love, but my most recent works have been a series of nudes of my husband. They are explicit, yet so delicate and the juxtaposition of this really resonates with me.”
It’s the idea of sex that the rest of us can’t really ignore when staring at the pastel colors and leather corsets in Church’s line, reminiscent of Mapplethorpe and Keith Haring at once. Looking at Church’s work is kind of like seeing a gigantic last gasp of influence from every single person who died young in the late ‘80s leaving behind a heartbreaking, colorful trail of work. You can even see a bit of Basquiat in Church’s designs.
Is it intentional?
“In England as a child, I remember watching my mother and auntie dress up for these parties they would host.” Church told OUT. “I was so obsessed by the ritual and how glamorous they were. I was always encouraged to create. There is a VHS from a fashion show I put on at 13 where I created the clothes, painted the backdrops and set it to music.”
We’ll take that as a yes.