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At Timeraiser 2018, artist/philanthropist David Crinshaw was showcasing some of his signature gigantic 1-of-a-kind t shirts. Swallowing the wearer, and covered in brilliant brushstrokes. David’s shirts were displayed not only on models walking around the event but also on a large, to-scale versions of a metal clothing rack that was commissioned by Mr. Crinshaw. A beat up but well-loved white car was parked in the display, emanating a red light and various forms of smoke. This is where I met the assistant to Mr. Crinshaw, Nate Sasche, who explained to me that while the mogul Mr. Crinshaw was currently sailing around Thailand on one of his many yachts, he and I would be conducting the interview via phone conversation. I was honoured and humbled to be talking to the legendary David Crinshaw about many topics including art, inspiration, the industry, and the dance that is fashion.
Above: The author and Nate Schashe, assistant and self-described “coffee gopher” to Mr Crinshaw, speaking with Mr Crinshaw on the phone.
How did you get the idea for your most popular medium, your oversized t shirts?
Painting on our 20 xl’s makes them one of a kind, so we’re creating an original piece that is essentially unwearable. While we’ve been working with the shirts for a while, I find that it is a perfect combination of art and fashion.
What interests you about blending those two mediums?
I feel that fashion is equally a rise to the occasion of the demands of culture, participating in interactions socially, but also art. I feel like the art comes through in trying yourself to the nuance of the everyday. What is current? What is relevant? It’s equally as performative as it is an artistic enterprise.
Above: The 20xl t-shirts hanging on the giant rack.
Andy Warhol once said that fashion is more art than art is. Do you feel as though this resonates with your work?
Sometimes with art, new ideas are preaching to the choir. There are no more risks to be had. Fashion has a much more avant-garde nature because it has a lot more of an immediacy and relevance to pop culture. Art was traditionally consumed in the 20th century as a wall piece. Now, young people are not consuming art in the same ways. We don’t own property, so there is much more of a relevance with fashion because you can immediately wear it, and it becomes our property.
What does art mean to you?
Why are we alive? What is the meaning of life? Art. If we are infinitesimal organisms that observe reality and are bound to the confines of being born and born again, then the only excuse that we have – the justifications for being alive – is to create and experience art. Science is very important too. Life is about art, and understanding what it means to proceed in the nature of ourselves.
What does fashion mean to you?
Anyone can dress well, and anyone can have confidence. If I had enough confidence, I could go to an event and convince someone there that they were dressed incorrectly but I was dressed correctly. But what fashion really means is to have a certain aura. There are people that are followers, and there are people that are artists. The imperative is not to be one or the other… The joy is the experimentation that comes from conversations.
If you feel something good from wearing or doing something, you should trust your instinct. There is no dialogue between what is in vogue and what feels right – and that is the dance that is fashion.
Written by Astrid
Photography by Rachel Hanna