Patrick Church Cast Bodybuilders to Model His Spring Collection

Patrick Church Cast Bodybuilders to Model His Spring Collection

British designer and artist Patrick Church always finds a way to stand out at NYFW. Last season, he staged live weddings at a presentation; the year before, he hand-painted garments live before a delighted crowd.

And for Spring 2020, in images shot by photographer Savanna Ruedy and presented exclusively on PAPER, Church enlisted unlikely models: bodybuilders, photographed grinning widely in the designer's signature cheerful graphic prints.

"I think their bodies are like sculpture," Church said. "I love the women's confidence and strength."

For this season, Church wanted to emphasize silhouettes cut close to the body. He was inspired by the duality of heaven and hell, saints and sinners (which fits with his solo show, "A Hell of My Own Making," on display through the rest of September at Manhattan's Wallplay).

One of the prints features an angel tongue-kissing a devil, perhaps an especially apt metaphor in a post-Epstein world. Other motifs include a muscular man with delicate tears below his eyes, a blonde woman with enormous, terrified-looking blue eyes, and brightly-colored stars with frowny faces, a take on another star print from last season. And while not every garment featured Church's signature paintings, he has created a few custom, one-of-a-kind jackets to go along with the rest of the collection.

Church's work always feels organically inclusive: he works with models of all genders, of all ages, all body types. The fashion industry should (and has) take note.

Photography: Savanna Ruedy
Makeup: Luca Ponce
Set: Chelsea Finkel
Models: Roxanne Edwards and Linda Estavillo