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Q&A with Photographer Thomas Holton: The Artist Behind “The Lams of Ludlow Street”

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Thomas Holton is a New York-based photographer who is most renown for “The Lams of Ludlow Street,” a series documenting the life of a Chinese family in NYC for the past 18 years. A moving story about family, culture, and change, the narrative offers an intimate look inside their Chinatown apartment, following the challenges and unscripted reality the family has endured.

Holton has received global accolades for this project, exhibiting at venues including The Museum of the City of New York, The New York Public Library, The China-Lishui International Photography Festival, Sasha Wolf Gallery, and most recently, the Home Gallery. A pioneer of Asian American representation in the arts, Holton has been featured three times in The New York Times (2008, 2012, and 2016) in the past two decades, as well as a variety of other publications, including National Geographic and Buzzfeed. In 2016, Holton published his first book, The Lams of Ludlow Street. He also works as a teacher at Trinity School NYC, where he teaches both film and digital photography.  

It was an incredible honor to interview Mr. Holton, who taught me photography in high school and greatly influences my work to this day. I am especially excited to share more about the inspiration behind his moving series, which remains all the more relevant amidst the recent rise in anti-AAPI hate. As the need for empathy toward and space for Asian American stories is more crucial than ever, “The Lams of Ludlow Street” succeeds in deconstructing racial stereotypes and complicates the question of what it means to be Chinese. Though there is no singular Asian American experience, “The Lams of Ludlow Street” depicts one family’s story with unbridled authenticity, vulnerability, and sophistication.

 

Holton, Thomas. “Family Portrait.” The Lams of Ludlow Street I.

When was the first time you used a camera? When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

My father was a photographer, so I grew up surrounded by his images. After he died, I began to play with his cameras at around 16 years old. I started taking it a bit more seriously in college and signed up for classes during summer breaks. After college, I knew I wanted to pursue photography, so I assisted local NYC photographers for about 10 years before enrolling in graduate school at SVA (The School of Visual Arts) and earning my MFA in 2005.

 

Who are your primary sources of inspiration as a photographer?

I absolutely fell in love with Cartier-Bresson’s work when I first started to truly study photo history (like many aspiring photographers do). When I began to focus on the Lams and photographing their life, I then devoured the work of Sally Mann, Larry Sultan, and the FSA work of Walker Evans.

 

How has your interest in your Chinese culture shaped your perspective as a photographer?

Holton, Thomas. “Bath Time.” The Lams of Ludlow Street I.

Even though I am half-Chinese and had relatives living in NYC’s Chinatown neighborhood, I never felt like I belonged and was always regarded as a visitor. So a major reason that I began photographing around Chinatown was to address this disconnect in my own identity and to try to understand what life was like in this neighborhood. I studied the Chinatown work of Corky Lee and Chien-Chi Chang to better understand how they approached photographing the area. The humanity of their work made me move beyond the surface of my early Chinatown images and pushed me as a photographer to better understand the lives behind closed doors. It’s made me really value the emotional content of photography.

 

When and how did you begin working on “The Lams of Ludlow Street?”

I first met the Lams in 2003 when I was accompanying a local housing advocate from The University Settlement, who took me along on her weekly visits to her clients to check in on them. I met maybe around 10 families through her and one luckily was the Lams.

Holton, Thomas. “Quarantine Lunch.” The Lams of Ludlow Street IV.

 

How has the series evolved over the course of the past two decades?

The earlier work was really focused on their small space and the constant activity of their home. As I got to know them better, the work shifted to trying to capture the emotional tone of the moment. I evolved as a photographer as our relationship grew over time.

 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the project, and why?

I am a big believer in the long form narrative. None of our lives are easily scripted, so I have to believe that whenever I visit the Lams, there is a photograph to be made reflecting the present moment. This does not always translate into a new image that I love, but that does not stop me from visiting them or trying to make new work. Because of this, I do not think this project has a definitive end, and as long as they open the door for me, I will continue to visit since we’re basically family now.

 

What is your favorite photo you’ve taken, and why?

Holton, Thomas. “Supergirl.” The Lams of Ludlow Street III.

I adore the image “Supergirl” because Cindy had a challenging adolescence and was constantly living between a few apartments in the neighborhood, as her mom switched jobs and the parents divorced.  So this image of her with a “Supergirl” shirt just seems very appropriate because she was able to overcome some unusual circumstances and is now a thriving college student.

What’s been the best and worst part of your journey as a photographer? 

The best part has been by far the experiences I have had because I choose to explore a new place with my camera. If I was never curious about my Chinese half, I never would’ve wandered the streets of Chinatown and felt the need to meet people behind all those windows. The worst part is the fear of never making a new photograph that works while pushing myself creatively…I don’t want to constantly repeat myself over and over.

What is your next biggest project? 

Holton, Thomas. “Chinatown Surface #5.”

Right now, I am mostly working on seeing the Lams as much as I can until I find some new ideas to explore. I will always photograph the Lams, but I do feel the need to cleanse the palette every once in a while. So I have been making abstractions in Chinatown during the winters as a way to use my eyes in a new way and practice different ways of seeing.

 

How has your work as a photography teacher impacted your experience as a photographer?

Thomas Holton in front of “The Fence” (2018), which displayed photos from The Lams of Ludlow Street II.

I would have to say watching students fall in love with image making helps remind me why I began photographing years and years ago. The sheer joy a student experiences when they make a photograph they absolutely adore is at the core of what we do as artists. For me, photography is an emotional act and a way to capture and memorialize the shared experience between me and the present moment. I love it when a student discovers that photography is more than iPhone images for Instagram and immediate satisfaction. 

 

What is the one biggest piece of advice you would give to a young photographer?

I would advise to make your work as personal as possible and to foster an emotional connection to your “subject matter” because if you do not care about what you are photographing, your work will reflect this. The emotional need to make work is what will drive you to continue, even when your work isn’t strong or fully developed yet because you know “something” is there and you need to figure it out.

How do you think our culture can work to preserve the art of photography when social media and iPhones make the taking and sharing of photos so easy and pervasive? 

Wow…major question. Photography is as easy as it has ever been because of phones and automatic cameras, but I think the work that will last 5 days, 5 weeks and 5 years from now are the projects that come from an honest, personal, and authentic place. Images with heartfelt intent will always outlast selfies and glamorous vacation photos on Instagram.

Holton, Thomas. “Mother’s Lap.” The Lams of Ludlow Street II.

How has the pandemic influenced your practice and what it means to be a photographer?

As for teaching, the photo lab was entirely shut down, but so much of the class is about being in the dark room, using the machines, and seeing what other students are making. The good thing that came out of it is that I found new ways to teach —looking at more books, blogs, and Ted talks, constantly finding photographers I’d never looked at before.

The pandemic taught us to cherish our loved ones and that the time we have, ultimately, can be pretty short. The need to memorialize experiences with loved ones became more important to me than ever. Life is a series of experiences, and photography translates them into art. As a teacher and a photographer, I tried to emphasize the importance of making meaningful work that will resonate 5 or 10 years from now. If you find a photo you took 10 years ago, a rush of emotion will come back, and that’s the point of photography — it’s a memorial, a way to relive an experience.

Read more lifestyle articles at Clichemag.com
Photo credits: Thomas Holton Photography, Thomas Holton Photography Instagram

MTRSS Announce Collaboration with Ariel Fitz-Patrick in New Single “Your Love”

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(New York, NY) Artistic audio-visual project, MTRSS, release their new single “Your Love”, featuring Ariel Fitz-Patrick. MTRSS is a global collaborative music endeavor, while Ariel is part of the critically acclaimed Montreal-based group The Fitz-Patrick Sisters. According to Ariel, the song’s origins began in late 2020, after hearing of an exciting opportunity to work with MTRSS. “‘Your Love’ expresses how I was able to find a unique and unfailing love despite the disappointments and heartbreaks that life brings our way. Through it all, I’ve been able to find peace and stability in the love of Christ. And I’m so glad I was able to share that in this song,” she states. The single shines in its vulnerability, soulful vocals, and smooth instrumentals.

MTRSS consists of versatile artists and musicians from Pacific Russia, New Zealand, England, Germany and the United States. It’s a multimedia project that incorporates different storytelling formats: From a live ballet performed by the Bolshoi Theater in collaboration with European choreographers, to an interactive series involving AR / MR / XR. The inspiration for MTRSS happened one evening in a suburban Tokyo vinyl bar, when a small group of visiting musicians sat down for a long chat with the bar’s owner.

Rummaging through a spectacular collection of mainstream and incredibly obscure music from all over the world, the conversation turned to the idea of writing and recording analog music, relying on the nuance of humanity and expression, pulling in artists from mixed media to extend this exploration across motion and sound. The bar’s owner, Mr. Totori-san, inspired the project’s name. “Your Love” is part of Ariel Fitz-Patrick’s efforts to branch out as a solo act. On the new release with MTRSS, she says, “This opportunity has really pushed me outside of my comfort zone, propelling me to try new things with my voice and writing style.”

Ariel has opened for Grammy-award winner Tasha Cobbs, performed at the Canada Day Celebrations and Jamaica Day / Carifiesta at Parc Jean Drapeau, and was featured in Toronto’s Glass Awards. MTRSS has been called a “beautiful multi-genre piece” by Peter Coulston of Shoreditch Radio. MTRSS’s innovative pursuits eventually led the project to Los Angeles, where they delivered their vintage analog soundtrack just before the pandemic broke out. Stay tuned as MTRSS continues to pioneer their own original methods of creativity throughout 2021.

Follow MTRSS Online:

Website: https://mtrss.art/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mtrss.art/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mtrss.art
Spotify:https://open.spotify.com/artist/6k4nRFSKe2EQuzMHAtY1gp?si=05TzF1roQUqSdPnhDWxWBA
Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2toF6m7-h9RoIHyn0R1aiA 
SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/mtrss

Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay & Creative Commons

Beneath Rhinestones & Rainbow Buttons: Patrick Kelly, A Pioneer of Intersectional Fashion in the 1980s

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1980s Fashion Designer Patrick Kelly in his “Paris” baseball hat. Photo credits: https://www.mcnayart.org/blog/fashion-nirvana-patrick-kelly

Oversized bows, rainbow button embroidery, rhinestone Eiffel Tower motifs: American designer Patrick Kelly was an iconoclastic visionary in the 1980s fashion scene. Born in Mississippi in 1954, Kelly’s exuberant aesthetic especially shaped Parisian and New York nightlife culture, offering young men and women a novel form of self-expression. Inspired by his own cultural heritage and an exploration of his sexuality, Kelly’s work served as powerful racial statements in his time, albeit conveyed with humor. Though short-lived, Kelly’s decade-long career was prolific; a catalyst for audacious new forms of dress, his legacy is manifested in the wide range of intersectional celebration in the fashion industry today. 

Raised by his mom and grandma, who introduced him to the world of fashion magazines, Kelly cultivated an interest in fashion at an early age. By his early 20’s, Kelly had become an independent couturier. His designs paid homage to Parisian culture through humorous references to French fashion and art history. For instance, his silhouettes emulated iconic styles of Parisian namesake labels, such as CoCo Chanel’s slinky black dresses and the gender-bending silhouettes of YSL’s suits. At the same time, many of these ensembles were accessorized with overt references to his dream hometown such as berets and avant-garde headdresses and decorated with ironic embellishments, such as rhinestones in the shape of The Eiffel Tower, red lipstick patterns, or a framed Mona Lisa motif placed sporadically across the fabric. This playful approach to celebrating Parisian culture was unprecedented at its time; Kelly articulated to the press at a runway show in the late 80s that his central goal as a designer was for “his clothes to make you smile.” 

Patrick Kelly “Love” gowns, which represented his love for art, fashion, and expression, 1988. Photo credits: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303678404579533602198595352

Kelly moved to Paris in 1979, where his avant-garde aesthetic attracted instant media coverage. The publicity from his widely-admired 1985 spread in Elle France precipitated the establishment of his own commercial business, and, by the end of the 1980s, he was a namesake label in the New York and Parisian nightlife scene. As Dilys Blu, curator of The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 2014 exhibition Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love wrote, his work was greatly influenced by the “the heady, inventive, and often-subversive urban milieu” of New York and Paris’ subcultures namely, queer and African American communities. His ensembles featured overt references to queer pride, such as rainbow buttons embroidered in the motif of a large heart, a “I Love Patrick Kelly” pattern swooping across the front of a gown, and rainbow tulle and pinwheels as accessories.

Kelly’s designs grew increasingly adventurous and complex over the course of his career trajectory. Though his work was predominantly recognized for its aesthetic novelty, it also served as a tangible manifestation of his cultural identity. For instance, his most seminal pieces were inspired by African American folklore and his Southern roots. The influence of his heritage and cultural identity were evident in the poofy skirts, voluminous silhouettes, usage of denim, and overalls featured in the collection.  

Patrick Kelly SS89 Collection, photographed by Oliviero Toscani. Photo credits: https://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/19678/1/the-secret-history-of-patrick-kelly

Patrick Kelly SS89 Collection, photographed by Oliviero Toscani. Photo credits: https://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/19678/1/the-secret-history-of-patrick-kelly

Kelly’s runway shows brought his racial and cultural pride to life, as they celebrated racial diversity and body inclusivity. Some of his models’ walks were also inspired by drag culture; they danced down the stage and performed gender-bending acts such as removing a traditionally-female wig while wearing extravagant makeup during their walk. This could be due in part to Kelly’s involvement in and creative inspiration from the gay nightlife scene in Paris and New York. Additionally, many of the collection’s most striking details  such as the Golliwog logo, Aunt Jemima bandana dresses, and black baby-doll brooches — served as satirical yet playful racial statements. For instance, the Golliwog logo, which became a part of Patrick Kelly’s brand logo, was prevalent throughout many of his designs. In his 1988 runway show, the motif is scattered across one white, body-con gown from 1988. On the black version of the gown, its placement seemed more intentional, as it sat on the bust and backside of the model. Another design, a pair of denim overalls with colorful buttons, was embroidered with a large Golliwogo motif; it was styled with a white t-shirt printed with red hearts and the silhouette of a woman in a crinoline skirt and a baseball hat embroidered with the word “PARIS.” Modeled by an African American male, this multifaceted and dynamic piece opened a dialogue about the intersection of race, sexuality, and cultural identity present in his work. 

A young prodigy, Kelly passed away from AIDS on January 1, 1990, but his influence on New York and Parisian culture are long-lasting. He was not only the first African American designer who rose to fame in France but also the first American designer who was invited to join the Chambre Syndicale, an exclusive body of professionals within the French ready-to-wear community. His legacy in the fashion industry is also manifested in the designs of several contemporary designers, such as the whimsical New York-based streetwear label, Gerlan Jeans. Founded by fashion designer and graphic artist Gerlan Marcel, Gerlan Jeans pays homage to Kelly’s unapologetically loud and vibrant aesthetic; featuring reinterpretations of Kelly’s iconic oversized bows, colorful buttons, and quirky embellishments, the label strives to dress those who are fearless in the way they dress. What is perhaps most powerful about Kelly’s impact on the industry was his commitment to diversity and cultural pride. In addition to offering new, avant-garde forms of self expression, his work opened a dialogue about the intersection of identity, sexuality, and fashion, as it challenged racial and cultural boundaries within the fashion industry.

Read more fashion articles at Clichemag.com
Photo Credits: Brooklyn Museum, Dazed Magazine, Wall Street Journal, McNay

Art Industry News: Celebrities Collecting Marko Stout Art Works

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The name Marko Stout resonates round a couple of art disciplines, some of which include painting, sculpture, new media, and video, photography, print. When it comes to contemporary multimedia, Stout is the proverbial Jack of all trades, but better, because he is master of all. 

Marko StoutEvery fan of art knows who Marko Stout is, and for new lovers of art, cognizance of his personality and works are vital in enjoying the full experience of the world of art. His craft focuses majorly on New York City and modern urban life, and that has made him gather something much like a fandom in the region. 

His art speaks for itself by having very distinct properties from other designs. His fans can instantly identify his art, and even new lovers of art realize that there’s something unique about his work. It’d be really hard to forget about what Stout’s designs look like because they often leave an imprint on the souls of people. His uniqueness has earned him deserved comparison with legendary pop artist, Andy Warhol.

Stout’s art has a way of appealing to the darkest souls, and ignite a fire that lights up like flares on New Year’s Eve. His erotic artworks magically come to life in the eyes of everyone that sets their gaze on them, largely because of his awe-inspiring color patterns with a dash of his essence and ingenuity, riddled with spots of perfection. His female fans are the most star-struck, with his paintings and sculptures finding a way to ignite sensuality in their hearts. 

Down the years, Marco Stout’s works have been called a couple of terms such as “dark, gritty, and raw” by Chicago Tribune, “The Art of Cool” by Paper Magazine, and “hottest art in NYC” by Slam Magazine.

Fashion-wise, Stout never misses. Although eccentric at times, Stout’s dressing style which almost every time include a fedora hat, fancy sunglasses, plain colored-outfits, and neck scarves, has helped him rise to become arguably the most famous pop artist of the 21st Century. 

Marko Stout is the celebrity of celebrities. His artworks and Marko Stoutpersonality has inspired a couple of famous names in different niches, including The Kardashians, Billie Elish, Ru Paul, Debra Messing, and dozens of others. These celebrities have showed their love for him on social media, live TV, and radio presentations. Caitlyn Jenner of Keeping Up With The Kardashians couldn’t hold her excitement about Stout’s upcoming exhibition, and she literally said “I’m very excited for Marko Stout’s Solo Exhibition.” Charlie Sheen, talented actor in the United States, in his words said “Marko Stout is a freaking genius! His art is fabulous,” and TV star David Hasselhoff said “Marko Stout’s Exhibition is going to be super super cool.” These comments further prove how Stout’s art appeals to individuals in other niches. 

Stout’s greatness in the world of art is in no way superficial. His artworks are on display in various art galleries in Berlin, Miami, and of course, New York City. He has featured on many solo and international exhibitions such as Berlin Art Week (Berlin), ArtBasel (Miami), ArtExpo (NYC), etc. Asides all these, his artworks can be found in Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid, Tokyo, Chicago, etc. 

Marko Stout is an embodiment of perfection, creativity and cool. His works and personality capture and combine culture, urban lifestyle, and precious moments that sync in perfect symphony. His works are the future of art and not even time can wipe off his art from the hearts of his lovers. 

Read more celebrity art articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Marko Stout

Fashion with a Purpose: LOEWE Features Iconic American Artist David Wojnarowicz to Support Visual AIDS

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As if you thought going through the Spring of 2018 without a LOEWE Puzzle Handbag was hard enough, LOEWE is now throwing one more craze at us just before Spring is over. However, this new collection holds more incentive than just trying to look your best and keep up with the trends; this is fashion with a purpose. In the latest line of stylish t-shirts, LOEWE features Iconic American Artist David Wojnarowicz to Support Visual AIDS.

 

 

“One day this kid will come to know something that causes a sensation equivalent to the separation of the earth from its axis. One day this kid will reach a point where he senses a division that isn’t mathematical.” These are the powerful words of David Wojnarowicz who lived an iconic legacy of political activism through art and writing. Today, over twenty years after his own death due to AIDS, he is still one of the most widely known figures of both the avant-garde art world in NYC and the movement to properly research and cure AIDS.

Much of David Wojnarowicz’s artwork was drenched in his war cries for the fight to research and cure AIDS. After losing his longtime lover Peter Hujar to AIDS (and then eventually finding that he was HIV positive), Wojnarowicz became a leader in political activism through art and writing to expose the prejudice behind the political and social response to the AIDS epidemic.

In today’s practice of medicine, there is unfortunately still no cure for AIDS; however, research has found treatments that can at least keep the virus at a controllable level. Since there is still no cure, the dialogue about AIDS and the support for those affected must prevail. Visual AIDS is an organization located in New York City that works to keep the conversation going by displaying captivating artwork and by supporting artists affected by AIDS.

In today’s American political disarray, these controversies surrounding social injustice are still as relevant as ever. LOEWE stands by Visual AIDS and their fight to preserve the legacy of the fight against the AIDS crisis by featuring David Wojnarowicz on their new line of classic t-shirts and donating the proceeds directly to them.

LOEWE features four t-shirts, each printed with a different inspiring piece by David Wojnarowicz, that are sure to raise awareness and keep the fire of conversation about AIDS kindled. These highlighted pieces chosen by the designers behind LOEWE’s genius collections are both odious and striking. Owning one of these limited edition t-shirts is guaranteed to add a unique artistic flare to your wardrobe. Now you can add some gentility to your closet and have it not only represent a great social revolution, but also support a modern take on the continued efforts of a forty year war.

You definitely can’t go wrong with getting one of these t-shirts. They’re versatile, comfortable, artistic, exclusive, and meaningful; it’s fashion with a purpose. David Wojnarowicz came up with the artwork, LOEWE came up with the design, now all you need to do in order to support Visual AIDS is to check them out online! But do it fast because these are limited editions!

 

Read more Fashion News at ClicheMag.com
Fashion with a Purpose: LOEWE Features Iconic American Artist David Wojnarowicz to Support Visual AIDS: Image Credits: www.ppowgallery.com, www.loewe.com, www.theguardian.com

Embracing Silk Trends With artTECA

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The transition from summer to fall is always one of the hardest for every fashionista. We go from spending tons of time and money on the cutest of summer apparel, to having to pack all of our bright sundresses away for warm sweaters and scarves. And while sometimes these transformations of our closets can be extremely fun, it does get costly. That’s where co-founders Claudia and Flavia Giardinella come into the picture. With tons of hard work and determination, they have created an epic fashion brand known as artTECA that incorporates real art designs from various artists made from 100% silk. Here, we chat with both Claudia and Flavia about their newest collection, Nova, and what their brand as a whole really strives for. Check out their amazing pieces on their website and get yourself a limited edition silk piece to complete your closet transformation.

 

Cliché: What inspired a line made completely out of silk and what are the benefits?
artTECA: From the very beginning, our concept was to focus on offering high quality clothing and accessories. We did not want to make cheap pieces to produce in masses. Instead, we wanted high quality, limited edition pieces. So, when we started testing fabrics, we fell in love with silk. Not only is silk a high-quality fabric, but it is also a very versatile and elegant fabric that, fortunately for us, prints perfectly digitally. When we got our first printed samples, the quality of the image, color, and details was so exact that we fell in love, so we decided to do an all-silk collection. This collection lets women be comfortable but also look sophisticated at the same time. It’s a fresh fabric that really works for any season and any time of day or night.

Does this collection have a specific name and what do you love most about it?
This collection is named the Nova Collection. What we love the most is the colorful array of pieces that are offered in a classic style that is both flattering and comfortable for any body type.

How does this collection represent the brand’s message?
It really manifests our dedication to high quality and limited edition pieces that are also versatile and practical. We want to offer women clothing and accessories that can be worn day and night, and to any type of occasion or event. You can dress up or dress down all of our pieces and always look fabulous.

The artTECA brand has such a unique history. What inspired the idea to have limited edition prints and what is it like creating clothing with various artists?
We grew up in a very artsy family and culture. We wanted to work with artists in a different medium and since we both love fashion as well, we thought of creating a brand that specializes in limited edition prints. We thought to ourselves, “What is more original than contemporary art?” We knew we could create something very special by collaborating with artists to offer truly unique, one-of-a-kind and limited edition prints in beautiful garment styles for women.

What is the ultimate goal for the brand as a whole as well as for the new collection?
Our goal is to reach and dress the artTECA woman and be successful in providing her special and high-quality clothing. We want women to wear clothing that will make them feel both confident and comfortable at the same time. We do not believe in compromising comfort for style and sophistication.

What are some of the best features of this new line?
One of the best features of the line are the exclusive prints we offer designed in collaboration with artists from all over the world. Designing comfortable pieces that are easy to style is also a key focus of our brand. So, we created modern pieces that can be styled seamlessly with any basics you have hanging in your closet. Dressing artTECA pieces up or down is just as easy as changing your shoes from flats to heels.

What can you tell us about the fit, style, and design of the various pieces in your collection? I am loving the idea behind lightweight work/event outfits that are super cute and comfy!
That’s correct! That is exactly what artTECA is all about: easy to wear modern styles that have a comfortable and functional fit. The collection is transitional, so you’ll always be looking perfect for any type of occasion.

How is your brand something that everyday women need?
Today’s everyday woman is a superwoman. Many times, she is a mother, a wife, a professional or entrepreneur, juggling a thousand things each day. Time is of the essence for women these days and 24 hours don’t ever seem to be enough. artTECA was created to be the answer to the reoccurring question: “What I am going to wear that will be perfect for work or a professional meeting, but that I can also wear to go watch my kids’ soccer practice later today? Or maybe keep on to head to a date night or business dinner?”

artTECA simplifies women’s lives by making it simple to get dressed in the morning and not worry about having to change an entire outfit. Instead, artTECA makes it easier to spend more time with the kids, your partner, or your friends—all while looking effortlessly chic. Our pieces will make any woman feel confident, beautiful, sophisticated, and ready for whatever comes her way.

How do you both think artTECA is changing fashion? How is it better than the average brand?
The best aspect of artTECA is that it is truly unique. It’s not the same reoccurring print you find at stores and boutiques. Every piece is collectable, limited edition, and has a story behind it.

artTECA has also changed the game in wearing a piece only for a particular season. We are not a seasonal brand; our pieces can be worn all year round, whether you are traveling or simply as a layering piece. The exclusivity and uniqueness of our prints is what makes each piece so special. Wearable art is the new black.

Is there anything you both would like readers and customers to know about your brand?
artTECA was founded out of passion for art, fashion, color, and the love of empowering women in all walks of life. We want women to fall in love with artTECA and find art within our collections that resonate with their personality and perspective, and wear it proudly and confidently. Art speaks to everyone, so why not your wardrobe?

What are your favorite pieces from the collection?
Choosing a favorite piece is like choosing a favorite child; it’s not possible. We are in love with every piece we create. They are all special and beautiful in their own unique way, like every single one of us.

Read more Fashion News on ClicheMag.com

Embracing Silk Trends With artTECA: Featured image and all images courtesy of artTECA.com

David Longshaw’s Inspiration For His Spring Collection

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Working in London as a designer and illustrator, David Longshaw has developed a clothing line and a character, Maude, who has inspired the vast majority of his work. He designs for women and recently released his Spring 2016 collection. He studied at St. Martin’s, one of the leading arts and design schools, after being inspired by many of his favorite designers who had also studied there. Read on to learn more about David, Maude, and his brand.

Cliché: When and why did you decide to enter the fashion industry?
David Longshaw: At school I always loved art and the idea of design, so I selected my secondary school because it had a good art department and they played rugby, which I was very into at the time. Even at primary school I remember loving the idea of how Ralph Lauren had these stores full of all sorts of products (not just garments) that he had designed. I remember designing logos from my initials and drawing lots of branded teddy bears, polo tops, etc. Then at secondary school I began to become more aware of the creative side of fashion which drew me in even more. I became fascinated by the creative possibilities of womenswear and the broader possibilities it offered. Women in general are more daring with what they wear–even to the basic extent of fabrics, shapes, and print. Most of my favorite designers had studied at St Martins, so I decided I was going to study there. I went to the St. Martin’s open day whilst I was studying for my GCSE’s so I could find out exactly what I needed to do to get in. They recommended I stay on at school to do A-levels and then do an Art Foundation. So I did. While doing my A-levels the head of 6th form at my school, [Mr. Siggins] let me have Wednesday afternoons off so I could study pattern cutting at a local adult education centre. I also applied for work experience with my favorite designers, including Hussein Chalayan (because I could pattern cut I got to work on his collection the summer before starting St. Martin’s) to help broaden my knowledge and experience.
What is your favorite part about being a designer? An illustrator?
I love the versatility of the projects I do, the different ways they allow me to explore my creativity. I’m fascinated by so many forms of design, art, fashion, and animation that it’s fun to be able to work in different areas. I find they all feed into each other in terms of ideas. When I’m working on an book or a little animation, I start to think about the fashion collection that I could design from it–whether it be from the colors I’m using or the little outfits I’m drawing or just the mood. I find it energizing working in all these different seemingly unrelated areas; it’s when you explore other creative avenues other than fashion that you start to create more original work, rather than just constantly referencing other brands garments designs.
What materials do you like to work with?
It changes depending on the inspiration for the collection. At the moment, I like to turn my illustrations into digital prints (on drill) and into jacquards and combine them with silver pleating and lace.
What is the most unconventional thing you have ever designed?
There’s been a few… But then there should be. One that springs to mind is a human-size version of my fabric fashion mouse, Maude, I made out of Triumph lingerie (they commissioned me to make it for fashion week) using their lingerie bodies/cups. She was sat wearing my latest collection at a vintage sewing machine looking like she was sewing a customized version of a Triumph X David Longshaw bra.  
What is your typical day like?
It all depends on the time of fashion season and where in the world I am. Usually, if I’m in London, I’ll spend most of the day in my studio. My wife(Kirsty Ward) is also a designer and we share a studio. I spend the day designing, drawing, playing with fabrics, catching up with stores I sell to. Normally because there’s always lots of deadlines I stay up late working.
CUT-OUT-MAUDEWhat was your inspiration for Maude and how has it influenced your ongoing design work?
Maude (fictional fabric mouse fashion editor at large for numerous publications and Editor-in-Chief of MAUDEZINE) is what might happen if the late Isabella Blow got together with Daphne Guinness, Alan Bennett, Katie Grand, Anna Wintour, Paula Rego, Tilda Swinton, Dame Maggie Smith, the cast of Last of the Summer Wine and The League of Gentlemen produced a fabric child.
I originally created Maude whilst at St Martin’s. Maude and her fabric fashion team have now been made  into a book series(The Maude and Doris Series), launched last year. Grazia said of the Maude book, ‘David Longshaw’s mouse is a franchise waiting to explode…The devil no longer wears Prada; the devil eats gouda’.
Most of my characters have names usually associate with a generation you would expect to find in retirement homes, not the front row of a fashion show. Critters, particularly mice, are usually seen as dirty and about as far removed from fashion as you can get. I like the idea of taking these elements and twisting them, stylizing them and repackaging them, which is also something I like to do with my design work–taking something deemed old fashioned, or ‘non-fashion,’ as a starting point to design something new.
How do you develop your illustrations and imagery to go along with your designs?
Each season I start with an idea for a story/narrative that I then might turn into an animation, an illustrative story book (I have 5 books published and available to buy through stores and on amazon) or a series of drawings to display; these then inspire the garments in collection; from prints, to shape, silhouette and mood. The style depends on the setting and ideas behind the story.
When you created your Spring 2016 line, did you create the clothes for a specific type of person or with personal style more in mind?
Both. I’m inspired by the people that were my pieces, but also by the creative process. For Spring 2016, the collection (everything from print, to garment style to the color) is inspired by my latest book A-Z: A Fashionable Alphabet by Fashion Fascist ‘Fashion B’ aka Gertrude
Do you have a favorite article of clothing you have designed?
It changes all the time. From my SS16 collection, I’m liking the ruffle and jacquard pieces most. I had the jacquard made with my illustrations woven into it in silver on grey.
What do you hope to accomplish within a year?
More frocks, more stories, more drawings, animations, and more collaborations.
Who has inspired your most in your artistic and fashion careers?
Maude.
To read more on Maude, check out David’s published works on  Amazon.com.
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David Longshaw’s Inspiration For His Spring Collection: All photos courtesy of davidlongshaw.co.uk

Bodies As Work Of Art

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More than 700 people gathered to experience “Bodies As Works Of Art” created by thirty-two artists, from more than a dozen countries, displaying unimaginable works of art on living canvases. Arriving early in the morning, the artists and models setup individual studios including work lights, paints, brushes, sponges, stencils, airbrush sprayers and compressors, drawings of their intended masterpieces, headdresses, and accessories of all kinds. Employing nude models wearing minimal yet discreet covering, the artists went to work focusing on this year’s theme, “The Human Condition.” After six to seven hours of painting extremely patient models, the “artwork” emerges from the studios for judging based on creativity, technique and interpretation of the artist’s statement into the visual artwork… simply amazing. After the judging was completed, the artistic models were photographed and then retreated for a bite to eat and “touchup paint” before the evening festivities: a dynamic performance by body-painted, Angela Reign of Southern Rock and Hip Hop, followed by a narrated catwalk show of the artistic models accompanied by the artists on stage.
Body Painting by Terry Check IMG_5525 Body Painting by Terry Check IMG_5471
Awards for this North American Bodypainting Championship were presented to Cheryl Ann Lipstreu of the USA in first place and Alex Hanson of Canada in second place in the professional division. Additional awards were presented to other artists. Closing out the evening was a “meet and greet” with the models, and entertainment by the rock group, Motor Earth. At the end of the day the artists, models and volunteers were exhausted after being on their feet from 8 am until midnight.
Body Painting by Terry Check IMG_5737 Body Painting by Terry Check IMG_5607
The body painting festival, sanctioned by the World Bodypainting Association, was produced by Living Art America as a benefit for The Chelko Foundation Scholarship. Follow upcoming events at livingartamerica.com and bodypainting-festival.com/en/
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Written and photographed by Terry Check

Tatiana in Wonderland: Whitney Museum of American Art

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I spent another lovely Friday, with the addition of the not so lovely New York City heat, at a museum. Being re-opened this year, I went to the Whitney to bathe in art after a long week. To my surprise, it wasn’t mobbed with tourists as I thought it would on a summer afternoon. I was relieved to give my shoulders a rest and check in my purse and bags in the free coat check downstairs. With my small crossbody purse and art-loving friends, I was ready to explore the lovely museum.
We started on the top floor and worked our way downstairs, using the outdoor staircase while admiring the view of the city. We took a little break and sat in one of the colorful chairs in Mary Heilemann’s installation, “Sunset.” I took a few art courses in college and was happy to recognize pieces of art that I’ve learned and studied about. From the evident style of Pollock’s drip painting to Hopper’s eerie “Early Sunday Morning,” I was taking in all the art that I could get my eyes on. Timeless and distinct works of art by Grosz, Warhol, Cornell, and Johns also caught my attention. It’s nice to find time to spent a day at a museum and feel content and full.
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Walking out of the Whitney with only The Meatball Shop on our minds, we noticed a long line waiting to get into the museum. We were so glad we beat the rush and could carry on with our day. When in New York City, be sure to check out the museum and try to go when the weather is nice to take advantage of the “Sunset” installation which ends on September 27th. Their two other current exhibits, America is Hard to See and the photograph installation by Michele Abeles, Baby Carriage on Bike or Riot Shield As Carriage, also end on September 27th. Nonetheless, check out The Meatball Shop where you can find true meatball happiness.
The Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014
Ticket Pricing:
Adult $22
Senior $18
Student $18
Under 18 Free
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Tatiana in Wonderland: Whitney Museum of American Art: Photos courtesy of Tatiana Stec

Tatiana in Wonderland: David Zwirner Gallery

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I’m glad I was able to make my way to the David Zwirner Gallery before Yayoi Kusama’s “Give Me Love” exhibit closed. The 86-year-old Japanese artist debuted the installation on May 9th and has had a great response. As I walked down West 19th Street and still a few blocks away from the gallery, I noticed several people walking with polka dot stickers on their clothing, the same stickers used by Kusama. By the time I got to the gallery, a line of about 40 people were ahead of me. I waited in line for almost 30 minutes and didn’t mind since I was excited to view the exhibit since I heard about it. I’ve seen photos on social media and had to make my way to the gallery to see it for myself.
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The exhibit was held inside the form of a house completed with windows, mailbox, and the American flag hanging. Before viewers entered the house, an employee handed each person a sheet of polka dot stickers to apply anywhere inside–a great and unique way to viewers be part of the art. Collages of polka dot stickers covered almost every inch and crevice of white surface. Viewing the exhibit made my eyes smile; such beautiful colors displayed excessively, but through the simpleness of stickers on plain white surfaces. “Give Me Love” is how I’ve experienced true love, at times it can be helplessly demanding, but beautiful. It strips you down and all that you have left is excessive and overwhelming passion.
After exiting the house, the gallery had Kusama’s exhibit of large metal pumpkin sculptures spaced throughout a room. Some of the pumpkins had cut-out holes while others matched the stickers and were covered in polka dots. I don’t think I’ll ever look at polka dot stickers the same anymore. As Kusama said, “With just one polka dot, nothing can be achieved.”
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To learn more about Yayoi Kusama, click here.
David Zwirner Gallery
529 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
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Tatiana in Wonderland: David Zwirner Gallery, photos courtesy of Tatiana Stec

Daniel Hanifan Interview

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HanifannDaniel_CMYKThe humble and creative artist Daniel Hanifan knows a thing or two about visual design. Using a mix of different mediums, Hanifan has created interested works of art that are sure to spark various emotions in his viewers. Below, we chat with the artist about his creative process, inspiration, and how his work has evolved over time.

Cliché: Tell us a little about yourself.
Daniel Hanifan: I grew up in Michigan, attended U of M, and eventually relocated to warmer climate in Georgia, on the Florida line. The warmer weather and art had appealed to me while growing up. After years in the entertainment industry, I decided to stop traveling and settle in a small town. Creating art was my real passion since I was a child.

Describe your creative process.
My creativity has been in many areas through the years, but working with oils, acrylics, glass, and a number of other materials has been exciting. The initial plan is in place, but the process takes on its own life. Mixing materials that don’t mix, applying them to a surface, and watching what develops is the real excitement as it transforms slowly during the drying process. Only after many hours later do I see the end result.

What or who do you draw inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from within. It’s a spiritual journey and I always work alone in silence. It’s a very personal experience and the work talks to me during this process. I am just the vehicle that delivers the work as sometimes I cannot work large enough nor fast enough to create these pieces of work. The viewer who attends one of my exhibitions will see and feel something that may even resonate a higher sense of awareness and touch a deeper meaning within them. Not everyone sees the same thing and that’s the beauty of my work.

Do you think your art has evolved over time?
I think my work is ever evolving, even changing just as time and space. I never create the same thing twice; there’s so much I want to put out there, just not enough time to create all I want to share with others.

Are you working on anything for the near future?
I am always working continuously on several projects at the same time, even if it’s creating specific artwork to fit an interior designer’s vision or designing works for future exhibitions. There’s clearly a need for creativity in our lives and I am so very fortunate to be able to share my talents with those who enjoy art on all levels. Those who have seen my work on display in public spaces, art exhibitions, or in private collections can feel energy, emotions, and possibly a higher sense of awareness… knowing it really is a “Daniel Hanifan Experience.”

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BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Daniel Hanifan Interview: Photographs courtesy of Daniel Hanifan

Kester Black x Anny Wang

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AnnyWang-Portrait2-696x886Copenhagen Spatial Designer and Visual Artist Anny Wang isn’t only good with her hands, but also with her eyes. Her vision for design is truly unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and her latest campaign with Australian nail and bar soap company Kester Black—made up of 3D props and unique contrasts—is no exception.

“I don’t really know how I got into art since art wasn’t a topic we spoke of in my family,” Wang explained in an interview with Kester Black in February. “But I knew when I chose Fine Art and Design during high school that it was the starting point for me.”

The 24-year-old Swedish designer is just one of the many talented designers Kester Black has teamed up with for their annual campaigns, but it’s obvious why she was a solid choice. For Part 1 of Kester Black’s newest nail polish campaign, Wang portrayed the four colors—Perennial, Rust, Petra, and Quartz—in fashionable, emotional, and explosive ways.

“I did have a clear image in my head of what the images should contain,” explained Wang of the project and her creative process. “Then the color/material choices are some things that often fall in place towards the end. But this time I incorporated the human hand in the middle of the process—I thought it would be fun to present the nail polish on its right place, too,” she laughed.

Kester Black also provides itself in creating polishes that are high-shine and 5-free, meaning they do not contain harmful ingredients like toluene and formaldehyde. This is absolutely a brand after our own hearts.

Kester-Black-Nail-Polish-Petra Kester-Black-Nail-Polish-Quartz Kester-Black-Nail-Polish-Rust

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BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Kester Black x Anny Wang: Photograph of Anny Wang by Tim Söderström, artwork courtesy of Anny Wang and Kester Black