Fashion Forward

Designer Patrick Church Talks Queer Creativity and the Art of Exploring Self

Welcome to the trash-glam world of Patrick Church, where more is more and bodies are pieces of art. It’s an other-worldly, distorted queer “alternity” dedicated to the reclamation of body and identity.

@patrickchurchny sunday chores in the new swimwear drop 🚙💦 #fyp #foryoupage #gay #swim #swimwear #car #carwash #fashion #artist #patrickchurch #queer ♬ original sound – patrickchurchny

The queer artist and designer has managed to make a considerable name for himself in just a couple of years. Especially considering the celebrities he has worked with, including Katy Perry, Megan Thee Stallion, and several RuPaul’s Drag Race alum.

However, his work is so much more than his celebrity clientele: It’s an intrinsic part of who he is. For Church, clothing is a diary entry as well as a collective identity that we can all share. On behalf of INTO, I stepped into his world so you could see it for yourself.

You’ve spoken in the past about how the Covid-19 lockdown gave you the opportunity to grow as an artist and designer. How has your inspiration evolved since you started designing and creating full-time? 

I always try to make things from a personal point of view. With my clothing and fashion pieces, me and my husband, who runs the brand alongside me, will spend hours talking about clothes we want to wear and can never find, and often come up with ideas together for new collections. He is a huge inspiration to me, and his drive and love fuels a lot of my creativity. He is also extremely creative and I trust his eye completely with the brand. 

With my artwork, I often use my paintings as a diary and I’m always trying to keep up with the practice of painting and making art, and pushing myself out of my comfort zones as a fine artist. I am also enjoying exploring making interior pieces, which has been a recent addition to my creative process.

@patrickchurchny It’s been a minute but my mind has been screaming for this process 🎨🖌✨ #fyp #popular #art #artist #artistsoftiktok #painting #paintingart #fashion #foryoupage ♬ Lovely Head – Goldfrapp

Watching videos of your painting is fascinating. You seem to do it effortlessly. What’s going through your mind as you paint?

Honestly, it depends. Sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps my mind still. I often think of it as a meditative process. I think it’s one of the only areas of my life where I feel pretty confident.

A lot of your own identity as a queer creator is seen and felt in your work. Do you feel a shift in yourself as your work and style evolve?

Initially, making artwork was a way for me to explore feelings I didn’t have the words to express, and in many ways, that’s still true.

Your brand is the epitome of inclusivity. For you, why is it so important to keep your brand inclusive, and how has your idea of inclusivity grown since you started designing?

My first collection was just items that I wanted to wear, when I released it I wasn’t sure if it would find an audience, but there were people that were really drawn to it. From then on, I really try and make sure that the audience is reflected and celebrated in the clothes we make. 

Home decor is another large component of your designs. What role would you say your surroundings, or home, play in your identity formation and creation process?

My environment is usually a little chaotic as I am surrounded by all my artworks and clothing. However, I’m pretty used to it. Having paintings around keeps me inspired to make more and I like being able to see my work evolve. I was surrounded by so much artwork on my studio walls, I just felt like stepping into the interior space was just the next step in the progression of my work, and something I can’t wait to keep exploring.

You recently stated that you’ve been creating since high school. What advice do you have for young queer creators?

Create things that move you, because if you are connected with the things that move you and touch your heart, they will find their own way to other people. ♦

*Photos by Hazel Kiesewetter-Spengler at Candy Studio NYC

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