"Dearly Beloved"

"Dearly Beloved"

Designer Patrick Church’s AW19 Presentation at NYFW

Designer Patrick Church’s AW19 Presentation at NYFW

Photography: Savanna Ruedy

Text: Maxwell N. Burnstein

Picking up the phone there is a frantic energy from the multifaceted designer Patrick Church. “It’s a story,” he shares about his NYFW presentation and the relationships that inspired it. Church feels the pressure for his second collection as he develops on his message of love and identity for AW19.

The collection is being presented through a wedding ceremony. The union of two men in couture with models posed in matching outfits is Church’s fantasy come to life. Inspired by his own fairytale romance with husband Adriel Church-Herrera whom he lives with in Brooklyn with their dog Angel Baby.

A fine art exhibit and inaugural collection captured the attention of New York last season. Screen-printed mesh and hand painted leather with Church’s sexually vulnerable works became the show stopping pieces worn by Aquaria (@ageofaquaria), Clermont twins (@clermonttwins), Jazelle Zanaughtti (@uglyworldwide) to Teyana Taylor (@teyanataylor).

Uncomfortable with the idea of recycling ideas Church went back to the genesis of creation for his new collection. Speaking at length about the idea of creating authentic clothing, Church has found his voice as a designer for his presentation “Dearly Beloved.”

I was up so early today and you had already texted me. Are you getting ready for the show?

You know when your brain is on overdrive? I’m just exhausting myself. There is so much pressure.

Are you feeling good about everything?

It’s really exciting. The last collection was great. Learning about productions and what it means to be a fashion designer.

How has that experience changed the design process?

This time I wanted to have a lot more fun with it like I did I first started making pieces. Going back to making pieces by hand, not thinking so much about it and feeling free. I have been experimenting again.

What makes it feel different?

I have produced a lot of pieces that feel cohesive with these amazing prints taken from my artwork. Making clothing that really felt signature: extravagant and over the top. I wanted to really push that.

Describe these new pieces to me?

They’re extra. I made two huge wedding dresses, full tiger print outfits, printed faux furs. I’ve pushed the collection outward with new styles of my leather jackets. I feel like I got so one-dimensional.

Why did you feel that way? Has it changed with this new collection?

I don’t want to be tame with what I’m doing. I got so careful. I am an artist and its time to experiment. The new collection is abstract. Less considered.

The wedding dresses you mentioned. Are those Haute Couture?

Yes, love. The Couture pieces will be made here in the studio. These are really exciting because they are hand made and one off. It feels very special when I’m making something like this for a client. It is important to mix that with ready to wear, and pieces that can translate into daily life.

How you distinguish your ready-to-wear pieces within the collection?

I feel like it’s the silhouettes. I make them simple because the artworks printed on are so bright and bold. I don't want the fashion and art to compete.

Your work explores the relationship between love and identity. Is this collection a continuation of that theme?

The main theme of the collection is couples. I’ve thinking a lot about relationships and all the forms of partnerships. The models will all be paired up and dressed in similar looks. It's a celebration of unity.

This feel like a natural adaption of your work. Are you drawing inspirations from the same place as before?

When I first came to New York and met my husband it was whirlwind romance. That was so inspiring to me. Moving forward I wanted to explore other types of relationships and the emotions they bring up for me. Being in a city where I am so far from everything I knew before (in London), it places me between two worlds.

How have you been managing this stress?

I use the work as an outlet for my emotions. I wanted to present the vulnerability that it brings up and how it affects all of my relationships. It’s a confessional.

Do you think people will be able to see that in the collection?

In my life I never felt confident, but with my work I am starting to feel capable and that I can push through. It makes me feel strong. It’s important to have a fantasy and tell a story.

Credits: ART DIRECTION: DAVID MOTTA HAIR: AURA AT SALLY HERSHBERGER

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