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Monday, February 19, 2007

Christina from Rx Apparel Part Deux

Above: the artist in the flesh, quite unlike the mannequin beside her
Interview with Christina Ewald Continued...

What's it like to be self-employed- to live by your own deadlines and your own rules?
It's terrible! I am really a bad procrastinator, but then, I do much better work when I've invested interest in something, when it's for me. In New York there are so many distractions, but you have to know where to draw the line. I like to go out a lot, and I'm always mixing up business with my personal life- like I'll say that if I go out tonight, I might meet someone interesting or important. But sometimes, you need time alone.

What do you spend the most time doing, apart from your job?
Seeing friends. I have a lot of artsy friends (that are into the same things as me). I go out to dinner alot- I'm always networking. I like talking to new people.

Do you have any favourite designers, or indie designers?
Well, I have a lot of friends who do art. I'm really into Vivian Westwood now, but her older stuff from the 70s when she was working with the Ramones and other rock bands. I'm into her at the moment. Since I just got started at making clothing, I don't really know any designer names and I don't have any real influences.

That's cool, though- it's like the process and the clothes come wholly from you, or maybe from some subconscious area, since you don't think you've got influences.
Yes, I wish I had more things to say! I just have this whole arsenal of vintage, and I'll just grab a polka dot thing and chop off of sleeves. I use this weird stream of conscious method of creating. I just start without knowing what I'll end up with. That's another thing- I don't work with patterns.

So, are you still fluent in Japanese?
I haven't studied Japanese for years! I used to be very fluent. Fortunately, in Minnesota they offered it in High School so I ended up studying it for like seven years. I've forgotten a whole lot of it though. I should really pick up a few books; I miss studying it but I've been so busy!

Why are vintage stores in New York so incredibly expensive?
[Laughs] It bothers me too. I have no idea! Everything in New York is so expensive, and vintage clothing is cool now. I haven't really bought anything in clothes stores here. They're boring to me, and everything is too expensive! I like to window shop, though.

Have any vintage shopping tips?
Go to legitimate thrift stores, where they sell clothing by the pound. Unfortunately, there aren't any that I know of in New York.

I meant to go to Beacon's closet when last I went to New York, but it didn't end up working out.
I've heard good things about it. Perhaps I'll go this week.

During your travels as part of the theatre troupe, which state do you think has got the best vintage clothing?
Any place that is not New York! I found a lot of stuff in thrift stores in Boston and Philadelphia, as far as cities go. We ended up in some really random small towns, so it was fun to go to random small thrift stores!

What catches your eye when you're looking for something to reconstruct? What has got the most potential?
Anything really bright, ridiculous, and polyester! I like to pick out ugly things and make them look cool. I especially like huge heinous things from the 80s, like sweaters and appliques. Sometimes I'll just keep them heinous- there's beauty in everything, and hipsters will buy anything!

Do you consider yourself a hipster?
Some people would. I consider myself a bohemian artist.


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