Deep Dive: Mystery School Collection

I’m going to start doing this when I post the monthly collections. It’s a way to talk about each piece a little bit, its history, its provenance and so on.

This month’s collection is called Mystery School, and features 12 unique pieces of clothing.

Secret Franny ladies medium black/black baseball shirt. 1/1/

Franny Farmer was an infamous actress from Seattle whose career was torpedoed by McArthyism in the 1950s. She reportedly died in an insane asylum. She was later made famous again in the 1990s by the Nirvana song “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”. This is a unique mash-up composition of the Franny print I produced in 2020.

Owls Aren’t Real medium grey t-shirt.

This is a one of one mash-up composition, using a thrifted tee. What if owls were real though? What then?

OG Princess Ladies Raglan available in small or medium. Customizable.

OG Princess used to be called Ghetto Princess back when we first started printing it around 2004. Then we found out the artist who originally claimed it had stolen it, along with a whole bunch of other shirt designs. His name was Curt Eichelberger and he profited off of other people’s work, over and over. Anyway the silver lining of that story is that we met the actual original artist, Pat Hamou, who sold us the rights to continue to print the princess. And so she became OG Princess, because the phony princess had been deposed.

Ever After silver tee available in small and XL.

This artwork was originally a collage piece I created from a pile of old 1950s LIFE magazines I acquired at the flea market. I made a bunch of collages from those, including another old print from about 2009 some may recall called For Your Love (I didn’t like how it turned out so it only ever made it onto a couple of shirts). Anyway I’ve always sort of been fond of this print, I printed these in 2020.

Left Behind ladies tank tops available in all sizes.

Left Behind, also known by its full title I Can’t Believe They Left Us Behind, was a print I did in the summer of 2018. The image is adapted from an early piece of collage art by German photographer Helmut Newton. I also did the print on some white unisex long sleeved shirts which I’ll post a little later in the year. The print is made with water based ink, which is nice and soft.

Deirdre black long sleeved shirt, available in all sizes.

This print, like the Franny print, was adapted from a photo found in a book called Hollywood Babylon 2. The Hollywood Babylon books by Kenneth Anger are highly recommended. It was originally printed around 2006 but very few shirts were ever made. This is a “concept shirt”, which means that it is made to order and can be customized in any way right inside the store. Try it, you’ll like it .

Head with a View x2 large ladies raglan.

This “double exposure” print of Hutch’s Head with a View was only done once, and only for this unique one of one ladies large raglan. This over sized print was originally screened back around 2012, though I did another run of them around 2019 or so. Hutch is still a very active UK-based artist and I’m hoping to do more prints with him in the future.

Inversa XXL grey long sleeved shirt.

This is another fairly recent print, adapted from an old fashion magazine cover I held onto for a few years. More variations of Inversa coming soon.

The Master large ladies long sleeve.

This image is a bit cringey, it’s from when I was just starting to get the hang of AI modeling last year and the results aren’t the best. Anyway this art was created by Brain Trust, an Ontario-based art duo that are no longer working together, and was printed way back around 2011 with soft water based inks. We did 2 other prints by Brain Trust as well at that time, though one of them never saw the light of day as I wasn’t happy with how it turned out. Only a few prints left.

Evil Incarnate men’s long sleeve available in every size.

It’s nice to see some newer images starting to come through on some of these pieces. I do tend to get bogged down with old images and old prints, but what can I say, it’s hard to let them go sometimes. Anyway this is a one of one heat press mash-up composition that will not be replicated (don’t think I could even if I wanted to). You will see more variations on this print coming down the pike soon too.

HELMUT large zip-up hoody, one of one.

This is a zip-up I sewed in 2022 I believe, using elements of another completely new print, And yes it’s called HELMUT because it’s based on a (very mangled) Helmut Newton photo. This was one of the first pieces I made with a lot of patchwork elements, something I’ve been exploring more and more in the interim.

Ever After youth small ringer tee.

This piece’s main claim to fame is that it’s the oldest one in the collection, dating back to the very first numbered batch of custom-sewed shirts made around 2011. This was sewn by another person, because when I started making these I didn’t have the necessary skills or equipment so I hired local seamstresses to make them for me (props to Mary Hoopey, Sara Russell and Zoe). So what’s up with the weird puppet? This is a kid’s shirt, and for some reason AI kids are hands down the creepiest kinds of AI models. So I made the decision that for now, I’ll substitute puppets for the youth shirts.

That’s it for this month. If you’re still reading this, I urge you to go join the ZBQ Fan Club . It’s a newsletter with zing. More blog posts soon folks!

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