Fashion

Patrick Church Addresses Ageism at NYFW

Story by Justin Moran / Photography by Emily Lipson

British multimedia artist Patrick Church has always teetered the line between fashion and fine art, and this New York Fashion Week further reinforced that balance with his debut art exhibition, Drive Thru, at Manhattan's Toth Gallery.

For last night's opening, which attracted everyone from Candy Ken to Jacob Bixenman, Church complemented his original paintings with a new collection, featuring looks printed with his signature campy, colorful portraits. In the past, he's hand-painted all his pieces, but this NYFW saw Church go into production for the first time to explore more shapes and fabrics, inspired by the vintage silhouettes his mom wore in the '90s.

Church has long used his practice to advocate for marginalized voices, amplifying queer voices and prioritizing racial diversity in his imagery and casting. Now, he's addressing ageism — a relevant, vital topic — especially during NYFW, where youth monopolizes the runway. At Drive Thru, all of Church's models were older women.

When they were casting for the show, Church said he fell in love with each of their stories, and found them more confident and beautiful than the normative models. In many ways, they're the physical embodiment of Church's painted characters, proudly wearing their insecurities and owning their identity.

Photography: Emily Lipson
Art Direction: David Motta
Makeup: Tenelle Vierira (using Make Up For Ever and Beautyblender)
Hair: William Schaefer (using Living Proof)
Models: Susan O'Doherty, Julie Vitulano, Hattie Retrace, Bernice Pass-Stern, Constance Cooper, Isobel Roth, Betty Grafstein

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