Cavern's duo re-thinks L.A.'s oldest fashion staple. By Gabriel Bell
Ironically named for a line so bold and bright, Los Angles's Cavern is the creation of fashion-school friends Adam Tullie and Angeline Rivas. While Tullie's excursions to Europe and Rivas's continued pursuit of her BFA at The Otis College of Art and Design didn't see the two graduate together, still, they took on the greater challenge of entering the fray of design hand in hand. "When we first conjured Cavern," says Rivas, "our focus was to make solid, hand-drawn T-shirts." While the market is glutted with such wears, particularly on the West Coast, the duo was determined to distinguish themselves. "Everybody is making the same shit," Tullie says of his competitors, "taking clip art, mixing it up, and slapping it on a T-shirt. There was more to be done."
As planned, with references to utopianism and mystic symbols, Rivas and Tullie have set themselves apart with the use of metallic appliques, intelligent cuts, arresting abstract designs, and a complete rejection of camp. Angeline and I are on some cosmic mindtrip where we are in agreement about 99% of the time in regards to creative output," says Tullie. Sure enough, one can see the imprint of two hands on each illustrated piece. "Cavern will always be a reflection of the current works we've created in the studio using paint and ink. We work heavily in ballpoint…at this point, we should be sponsored by Pentel RSVP brand pens."
The duo has followed up their initial successes with some collaborations and more ambitious plans. "We recently completed a collaboration with Devendra Banhart on the merchandise for his world tour," says Tullie. "And some of the more recent work we are creating is looking more painterly and loose. We're doing plenty of experimentation for our Fall 2008 collection. All in all," he says, "we promise to keep it interesting."
Cavern's duo re-thinks L.A.'s oldest fashion staple.