Blake Patterson Has Found a Winner in 90s Street Style, Logos and Political Satire

                                          Images courtesy of TRC Associates

Fashion can make a political statement. There is no debate there. However, the verdict is still out whether fashion can start a political movement or give rise to a cultural phenomenon. But, that is not what Blake Patterson is trying to do.

Since his appearance on “Project Runway: Season 14, Blake Patterson has been very busy. Patterson launched his eponymous fashion line in 2016,focusing on luxury custom-made garments for both men and women. He was also the wardrobe stylist for the upcoming Kim Bass independent film “HeadShop.” I am very excited for “HeadShop” to come out.”[Headshop]” It is a very interesting, funny, thought-provoking film that deals with gentrification, ethnicity and self- awareness … I had to design and make seven couture African-themed outfits for Arden Myrin’s character in a small amount of time. But I pulled it off, and Kim Bass was so great to work with. I also designed the wardrobe for Evan Ross’ character in “HeadShop,” explains Patterson.

                   Blake Patterson “Project Runway” image courtesy of heavy.com

But “HeadShop” is not the only project that has captured Blake Patterson’s attention. Understanding that fashion can enhance and promote cultural and political conversations, Patterson has put his creative genius to work, creating a capsule collection—The Putin Capsule Collection—that is both controversial, consumer-friendly with a satirical edge.“With this capsule collection, I wanted to take something that is very controversial— right now Vladimir Putin—that would spark conversation and make people think. And in addition to the controversial nature of this capsule collection, the garments are very wearable.” We are talking about a fully rounded capsule collection that includes hoodies, luxurious seasonal tees, a cotton unisex sweatshirt, and a phone case for I-Phone 6/7.

Though the satirical nature of this capsule collection might be lost on dyed-in-the-wool, stodgy conservatives, one thing speaks loud and clear, Blake Patterson is not afraid of taking risks. “I kind of like that people would have a negative and positive reaction. I think it makes the capsule collection more interesting by making people think and feel a little uncomfortable,” details Patterson. “If you are going to start a wave, I think it is my responsibility as a fashion designer to spark conversation, make people think and reconsider things.”

                                  Images courtesy of TRC Associates

In this ‘East meets West’ capsule collection, Patterson is also incorporating the current trend of logo embellishment with a 90s street wear sensibility. Interestingly, these trends are front and center in the spring 2018 collections of Versace, Missoni, Balenciaga, Gucci, Burberry, and a host of other luxury brands. “Street wear is a lot more mainstream now as compared to 20 years ago, and the kind of controversial risk I am taking by using Vladimir Putin as a logo image and reference choice would not have happened in the 90s. The 90s trends are definitely experiencing a resurgence; however, millennial designers are taking more risk and not being so focused on what has worked in the past, coming up with new directions and business models. In a saturated market, it is so important to set your brand apart from other brands,” concedes Patterson.

Keeping a fashion line relevant in an over-saturated retail market is the challenge, and Blake Patterson appears to be equipped to survive the vicissitudes of the fashion industry, no matter how rough and unpredictable the waters are. “You have to keep hustling. I really love what I do, so I am going, going, fueled by my passion for fashion.” Now, that’s a plan that works!! Not bad from a kid from Ohio.

The Putin Capsule Collection is now available on TeeSpring.

—William S. Gooch

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