It’s reported that British artist and designer, Patrick Church, dropped out of art school three times. But that hasn’t stopped him becoming a beacon of individuality for New York’s queer community (and beyond), scoring places in the wardrobes of brilliant dressers like Oyster cover girl Teyana Taylor, life icons Lil Kim and Christina Aguilera, cultural gatekeeper Aquaria, our fave Rico Nasty and even one Tan France.
Patrick works beyond the limitations of gendered clothing — his AW19 collection, ‘Dearly Beloved’ featured signature hand-painted everything, from jackets to thigh-highs, to the covetable mini bag and two major frocks modelled by “bride boys”. Big swoon.
Here, photographer Harshvardhan Shah and Oyster regular Robert Tennent tread deeply into Patricks fine line world — from canvas to clothing to skin — collaborating wholly together in total reference to Patrick’s important work embracing the queer community and encouraging at once togetherness and individuality.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in England but I currently live in New York City
What were you into in high school?
In what ways have you changed since then?
In too many ways.
Do you remember the first time you realised you were good at creative stuff? What did you first make?
I think I realised pretty early on that being creative was the only thing that made me feel confident. I can’t remember the first thing I made.
What does making art do for you? What sorts of life stuff has it helped you conquer?
It is definitely cathartic. To me it’s a form of meditation and expression, a diary of my life, it really has saved me in so many ways.
And what lead you into a fashion realm?
I have always been obsessed with fashion, I never found anything I connected with and wanted to wear, so I decided to look at fashion from a personal point of view.
Do you think fashion still has the ability to perform self expression?
I think the future for me in self expression is best served through colour and inventing textile and prints, its hard to think of someone reinventing the t-shirt but its not hard to think that art in all it forms can merge with fashion to breathe more life into individuality.
Where is your favourite place to work?
In my studio in New York… but I get my best ideas on airplanes.
What’s the best work you’ve ever made?
I dislike everything after I make it — I’m really hard on myself and find it difficult to appreciate any of my work after it’s completed. It’s something I am working on. Part of me feels that if I fall in love with my work, there will be no more room to grow creatively.
What’s the best work someone else has ever made?
Jordan Wolfson’s ‘Female Figure’.
What is a skill you wish you possessed?
I wish I could sing, badly, but I am awful.
Best Youtube clip you’ve ever seen?
Naomi Campbell walking.
What’s on rotation on your Soundcloud at the moment?
Donna Summer ALWAYS.
Finally — tell us about what you’ve been working on lately… what are you achieving this year?
My new collection, and working on an art show to coincide that launches in September. And expanding our underwear line!