I don’t remember how I first discovered Patrick Church. But I know that when I did, I was awed. Church’s online store was full of clothing that looked like it’d be more at home in a museum than on a mannequin in a boutique.
Many retailers treat clothing with practicality, eschewing high art in favor of flattering silhouettes, popular prints and slimming fabrics. But Church, a multimedia artist, treats it as yet another canvas. When rendered so boldly, clothing becomes an experiment, a form of communication and in some cases, a masterpiece.
It’s almost unsurprising to hear that Church “stumbled into” creating clothing. “I always think of myself as an artist, never a designer,” he tells StyleCaster. “I could never find anything I wanted to wear, so it was a very personal thing—me creating pieces for myself to wear.”
But what began as a practical endeavor organically transformed into something greater: two full-blown fashion collections.
Church approaches garment-making the same way he approaches any other art form: He uses it as a means for storytelling. His second collection, the Spring/Summer 2019 line he just released, speaks to Church’s own journey moving to America, progressing in the art world and finding love.
“Falling in love and getting married to the most wonderful man in the world has changed everything for me,” Church says. “I feel the freedom to express myself without judgment or failure, and I think this shows within my work.”
Church’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection is rife with vibrant imagery—dynamic colors, patterns that feel almost fast-paced in nature and strident messages. One shirt features an array of abstract faces, each of which is accompanied by some phrase. “I dress for attention but feel nervous when I leave the house,” one reads.
“The collection is bold and confident,” Church says of his latest work, adding that he feels stronger and more capable as an artist this time around. Whereas his first collection largely consisted of hand-painted pieces, his second involves both hand-painting and digital printing.
“Mixing the two together was really exciting,” he says. “I was able to use fabrics I couldn’t use before.” This further liberated him—allowing him to more fully express everything he wanted to say.
All of Church’s pieces—from his initial Fall/Winter 2018 collection and his new Spring/Summer 2019 collection—are currently available on his website. Each piece is made to order, so if you’re interested in buying one, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. (In the gallery below, we’ve highlighted some of our favorites—just to give you a sense of it.)
When asked about his clothing, Church simply had this to say: “I wanted anyone who wore [them] to feel confident, empowered and special. They’re clothes to make you feel good.”
Credit photo. StyleCaster