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Oldham is New Again World

A few years ago a friend gave me a gift subscription to a magazine about “simple living.” At first I scoffed at the idea that a 130-page monthly periodical stuffed with advertising would simplify anything. But one day as I pulled an issue out of the mailbox, the warm, clean cover image actually seduced me [...]
Laura Dachenbach

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A few years ago a friend gave me a gift subscription to a magazine about “simple living.”

At first I scoffed at the idea that a 130-page monthly periodical stuffed with advertising would simplify anything. But one day as I pulled an issue out of the mailbox, the warm, clean cover image actually seduced me into believing that I might have a better life—maybe even be a better person—if I could just have a tiny stand to hold decorative towels, topped with a bonsai plant, a chunk of coral, and a framed picture. One weekend I went crazy with a can of white textured spray paint, glamming everything from baskets to picture frames to tree branches I found outside. What was happening to me? Had I begun to reach enlightenment, or had I fallen into a trap?

Todd Oldham laughs and reassures me I might be normal after all, or at least abnormal in a good way. (Somewhere between aerosol fumes and enlightenment.)

“The most important thing I think you’ll ask anybody who’s involved in creative efforts is about making stuff. That’s how you know you’re alive,” he says. “It’s not the end result—and I think it’s something that any creative person will agree with.”

I confess I peel the label off my shampoo because it doesn’t match my bathroom. Oldham tells me he cuts the labels out of all his clothes. And we both sigh for a return to the clean aesthetic of the generic aisle of the grocery store where shoppers of the ’70s and ’80s could buy cereal, ice cream, or even beer in simple white containers with square black lettering. (C’mon. We just lived through 2017. We’re allowed to be a little nostalgic.)

Oldham’s design retrospective, “All of Everything,” coming to the Wexner Center for the Arts is an exhilarating look backwards to a decade of runway fashion with more than 65 of his meticulously constructed garments, a sparkling thrift shop of pieces that indeed makes clothing with almost everything imaginable from plaid to pipe cleaners to Swarovski crystals.

“I was really never interested in trying to make something new, but I loved making something new from what was in front of me.” Oldham said, as he recalled a childhood DIY project of busting an old TV and using the cabinet to make a sink cozy. “It’s all the same to me; I think that’s why those clothes look the way they do. They’re built.”

Oldham dominated the runway from 1989 to 1999, becoming one of the first designers to work with then-rising supermodels Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington. Designing for an America trying to rock skate tees, wallet chains, and hair parted straight down the middle, Oldham puts a playful, even absurdist, twist on the colors and textures of childhood with nods to tie-dye, thick knits, and paint-by-number crafts scattered throughout his designs. While the pieces may call back an era where cable TV was the latest thing to hit the media, Oldham frequently receives comments that his collection looks surprisingly contemporary.

“We were always on our own little island in fashion, so to speak,” Oldham explained. “We were in fashion, but kind of off to the side. The clothes weren’t really about following trends or what things were at the moment. So they kind of endure in a different way.”

What is not contemporary is the entirely analog construction of the garments, each reflecting months of work, with beads, sequins, and embroidery attached by hand. The consideration to detail, combined with the diversity of material, brings a delightful balance to the craft of making and the art of design. As technology continues to disrupt the analog, Oldham and his studio have moved on from “old school” crafting by hand, not just to save time and money, but also to cull new creative possibilities.

“We’ve interfaced with these incredible makers in our studio who’ve grown up digitally and here they’re learning to embrace the analog part of it, and what’s coming out of that is extraordinary,” he said.

Oldham, a native Texan who moved frequently and spent four years of his adolescence in Tehran, credits much of his career and creativity to growing up in a family where ripping through pillowcases to build an ensemble, or visiting the botanical gardens, was just another normal day. That engagement has lead to a cross-pollinating career of masterful and eclectic design. After moving on from the fashion world, Oldham expanded his studio projects to furniture design, interior design, photography, filmmaking, and book publishing. But regardless or direction, element, or form, Oldham insists upon the singularity of his work.

“It’s no different from what I was doing when I was 6 and 7—which was just making stuff out of stuff.”

All of Everything: Todd Oldham Fashion will open February 3, and run through April 15 at Wexner Center for the Arts. For more, visit wexarts.org.

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Weekend Roundup: 5/29 – 5/31

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With Ohio slowly starting to fully reopen, initial in-person gatherings have trickled into our news feeds.

Below are a few things you can check out over the weekend if you’ve been itching to leave your house and are capable of following COVID-19 guidelines.

Friday

Fair Food Weekend @ Oakland Nursery

One of the most disappointing summertime cancellations was the axing of the Ohio State Fair. For those still wanting to get their elephant ears or deep-fried oreo fix, Chester Foods will be bringing a pop-up food truck to the Oakland Nursery. Corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried oreos, fresh-cut fries, and lemonade shake-ups will all be on the menu. Fair food will be set up on both Friday and Saturday.

Time: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Address: 4261 W. Dublin Granville Rd.

Saturday

Sonic The Hedgehog/Jumanji: The Next Level and The Hunt/The Invisible Man @ South Drive-In

With movie theaters in Ohio still closing their doors, the drive-in revival has been sweeping the state, nation, and world. Once drive-ins were given the go-ahead by DeWine, South Drive-In began to provide the double feature experience to eager moviegoers. Admission is $9.50 on Friday/Saturday and $7.50 on Sunday for those 12+, $2 for ages 5-11, and free for those under 4.

The showings for this weekend are as follows: 

Screen 1:

  • 9:05 p.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (PG)
  • 10:53 p.m. Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
  • 12:56 a.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (Friday/Saturday only) 

Screen 2:

  • 9:25 p.m. The Hunt (R)
  • 11:05 p.m. The Invisible Man (R)
  • 1:09 a.m. The Hunt (Friday/Saturday only)

Check out the South Drive-In website to see what social distancing guidelines need to be followed.

Time: Arrive 1-2 hours prior to first showing | Address: 3050 S. High St.

Sunday

Reggae on the Patio @ Skully’s Music-Diner

If you’re in search of a relaxing Sunday, look no further than Skully’s. The music venue/bar will be opening its patio for those to have socially distance hangs, drinks, and wings. Skully’s will be setting the mood perfectly for a chill Sunday by spinning reggae music all night long. Get yourself out of the house and go catch some island vibes.

Time: 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Address: 1151 N. High St.

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SoHud Collective provides fresh, stylish open-air experience

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The fear of ever going back inside of a building that’s not your home has become a general widespread worry. Open-air markets and garage sales are going to be a hot commodity this summer, and one new company has already taken a proactive and stylish approach to fill that need for consumers.

SoHud Collective is one of the first Columbus-based companies to corner this emerging market. The boutique pop-up shop, founded on the principle of friendships formed around fashion, art, and plants, hosted their first event on Saturday, May 23. 

And oh yeah, free lemonade.

An assortment of deep vintage finds at an incredibly reasonable price will leave you walking away with at least one purchase. The first installment took place on the corner of Hudson and Summit, across the street from Evolved Body Art.

The idea of a pop-up shop at this corner may be a new idea, but the format has been around for ages. Why SoHud Collective is important right now boils down to the consumers’ desire for an out-of-house experience and the employees’ obvious shared compassion for each other and thrifting.

“Fashion has been the glue to our friendship,” said the SoHud Collective, made up of Taylor, Connor, and Hayden. “We thrift together, we borrow each other’s clothing, and we send each other pictures of our outfits before we leave the house.”

A company formed on friendships in the SoHud region, the group behind this passion project has a specific goal in mind when passing down their used goods: keep the SoHud community stylin’. 

“Some of us have lost our jobs due to Covid-19, and this was a great way to keep our spirits up and redirect our attention to something that truly fulfills us,” the SoHud Collective said.

The items featured in the monthly pop-ups are passed down from an assortment of thrifting havens. Closets. Basements. Other thrift stores. Grandmas.

From shoes to shirts, Atari systems to board games, SoHud Collective is elevating the thrifting experience in the time of coronavirus.

“Currently, our focus is on elevating our display and merchandising technique to really give the people an experience and a fierce outfit and home decor to create that perfect photo for Instagram, the SoHud Collective said.”

SoHud Collective would like to thank Evolved for letting it use its parking lot for May’s edition of the pop-up. With a goal to have an installment of SoHud Collective once a month, the pop-up shop will return to the same location on June 27 (11 a.m. until 7 p.m.) and 28 (11 a.m. until 4 p.m.). 

A charity table where all proceeds will go to clothing the homeless LGBTQ youth in Columbus will be present as well. 

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Loop Daddy invades Columbus with first-ever drive-in tour

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The return of live music is going to be one of the trickiest industries to transition back into business as usual, if that will ever be the case. We’ve seen people getting creative, building concert stages within their own homes via live streaming. Some have participated in virtual festivals, probably the sector of live music to take the biggest hit.

But when an industry made up of innovative creatives always trying to come up with the next big idea is faced with incredible hardships, they respond with quick-witted imaginative solutions.

One of the first trends that popped up in the revolution of bringing back live music was the implementation of drive-in lots. Luckily for Columbus, the darling of the internet DJ scene Marc Rebillet aka Loop Daddy will be taking his first-ever drive-in tour through the Buckeye state in mid-June.

Captivating audiences with his participatory DJ scratching and immature antics, extremely goofy sex appeal, and sleazy porno stache, Rebillet was an act poised for a breakout summer before the pandemic shut music concert venues down. If you have access to a car, though, you’ll still have a chance to catch the wild virtual sensation.

On June 14, Rebillet will be pulling up to the South Drive-In for the third stop of his Drive-In Concert Tour. Rebillet will also be showcasing short films as part of his drive-in experience.

As far as sound is going for these events, a lot of drive-ins are opting to go the radio transmission route to encourage people to stay inside of their vehicles.

A very few grouping of tickets remain, which include three-person and four-person car passes. Tickets are running $40 per head (plus additional fees), which seems to be the average across the new wave of drive-in concerts. Two-people/one-car tickets have already sold out.

If you don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity, act right now. Tickets can be purchased at:

https://nightout.com/events/marc-rebillet-drive-in-tour-columbus-ohio-south-drive-in-presented-by-hotbox/tickets.

Social distancing guidelines are outlined at the point of purchase.

The South Drive-In is located at 3050 S. High St. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. Attendees need to arrive before 8:45 p.m. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

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