PATRICK CHURCH; A NEW-AGE ANDY WARHOL words Luca Mitchell - images courtesy of Patrick Church at LIMIN/ALL
There is no shortage of designers with an interest in art; Tom Ford is an avid acquirer of Andy Warhol, Marc Jacobs of all things contemporary, and Virgil Abloh has been noted recently for his interest in creating pieces himself. But when it comes to infusing the two, British multimedia artist, currently based in New York, Patrick Church reigns supreme. It’s pretty hard to underestimate his talent when he’s championed by Norman Rosenthal - you know, only the co-curator of the exhibition that launched Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin into the artistic legends they are today.
Church’s collections are like a collage; with each painting being a part of his own unique expression of personality, queerness, and life experience which, when proliferated across clothing and canvas, write a message of acceptance. His designs can be seen on exhibition by all ages and all body shapes - so you can definitely tick defender of diversity off his list of attributes.
In applying his artistic flair to fashion Patrick has made the body his canvas, and it would seem everyone wants to be the life model. The continuing success of his hand-painted signature collection leather jackets has received commissions by the likes of Madonna, Kendall, and Teyana Taylor. There is something undeniably unique about his designs - in an age of consumerism who else can claim to own a hand painted piece with such a personal connection to its creator?
Church may even be in the same line of succession as Ford’s favourite; Warhol being renowned for his criticism of consumerism and mass production, a strong feature in Patrick’s work. This is where he really transcends being just a designer and becomes part of a dynasty of artists who have used their art to challenge society and its constructs, himself spreading his inclusive message from the USA right around the globe to China.
His latest collection “Drive Thru” for S/S'19 is cohesive with his past designs and collections, now adding new vocabulary of ‘colourful madness’: The lookbook features some of the usual suspects, those otherworldly faces and naked body prints - true Patrick staples. An exaggerated palette that contrasts the monochrome pieces adds drama to the collection. one piece, in particular, stands out on the colourful front, a bright blue and pink printed jean, with a slightly washed out effect and bell bottoms - it’s no wonder the icons of this era are all over his designs.
Ultimately, Patrick has really solidified his aesthetic as a designer with his S/S'19 collection and has maintained his modernist and sex appeal in the process, especially for featuring the cool and sultry models Joel Wolfe and Jennifer Pugh (who are totally on brand). “Drive Thru” launches him into the next era of his creative journey, a journey that questions American consumerism through using art to connect the designer to the buyer. Church will no doubt continue to influence both the discourse of art and fashion for years to come.
Photography: Nik Antonio