Tyler Rowland wears all pink. Not just occasionally. Non-stop.
More specifically, the Cal Arts second-year graduate art student has worn the rosy hue since May 16, 2002. For almost a year, pink has been his uniform, a long-running performance-art display of pinkness Rowland calls the Artist’s Uniform.
"I went to Catholic school and wore a uniform from kindergarten through eighth grade," says the bespectacled 24-year-old. "And then I had a dress code in an all-boys high school. I’m playing off the idea of a uniform. But I’m the only one who’s wearing it. It contradicts the idea of the uniform in a group. I feel that art has social value and can really make a cultural critique," he continues. "So while I’m being fashionable, I am making a point about a commodity fetish and being materialistic."
If reaction is the goal, then Rowland gets it in spades. "I’m calling attention to myself because I’m wearing pink in the world where normally, you see people in all brown, blue, white or even green. Rarely in yellow, chartreuse or magenta. It’s definitely a bright color. I had this one guy in West Hollywood sing out of his car window, ‘Pink pants, pink pants, Oh I love you, Pink Pants.’ I had another guy ask me if a woman made me do it."
Why pink? It’s a question Rowland fields every day. "I feel very comfortable in pink," he says. "I used to wear it a lot, and it was the color that I equated with comfort."
Comfort, maybe. But it looks like a considerable amount of work. Rowland painstakingly removes color and re-dyes every piece of clothing he owns. On a recent afternoon, he opened the closet door of an on-campus art studio to reveal an impressive array of rose-colored tones. There’s a pair of faded pink camouflage shorts that would make Fred Segal buyers swoon and a white Prada man’s suit covered 475 times with Rowland’s own pink lipstick kiss marks (Neutrogena, he offered). His obsession even trickles down to pink-dyed Gap underwear and socks, all identified with his own label: Artist’s Uniform.As of May, Rowland says he might just stop wearing pink. It’s not that he is weary of the attention or the upkeep. It’s just that his next project looms large. "I’m giving members of the faculty money to buy my clothes so they get to make the decision on what I wear," he explains. "It’s the opposite of wearing all pink. I thought of having my mother choose all my clothes, but I’ve already done that. I’m interested in giving up control. My girlfriend has a problem with it, because she wants to decide, too."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast