Andrew Novick is known in this town for many singular reasons -- a big one being his artfully out-of-control need to collect things, any things, nay, all things, and another his involvement with the legendary band the Warlock Pinchers -- but his spot-on fashion sense is probably not one of those reasons. On the other hand, Andrew is unique in his tastes, and that in itself makes for good, if quirky, fashion talk in a stylish world often straitjacketed by its own rules and exclusivity. You see, I don't think Andrew gives a hoot about rules or exclusivity. Andrew is Andrew, and this is what he does and wears.
With his wife Janene, Andrew imports Japanese pop-culture clothing and novelties. They used to have a store in Belmar, Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast, which closed, but they still sell their strange mix of cosplay wear, Harajuku style and kawaii online and at short-run popup ventures, making trips to Asia about once a year to restock. There, they make pilgrimages to Nakano Broadway in Tokyo, a Blade Runner-reminiscent mega-mall of vendor niches and shops catering to pop-culture-hungry otaku (the Japanese term for anime, manga and video game-obsessed über-fans) with floor upon floor of stuff and more stuff. "It's like a street fair in a mall," Andrew explains. Other destinations might include the Design Festa international art expo, also in Tokyo, or the Amerikamura district (or, in the local lingo, Ame-mura) in Osaka.
In the near future, they'll be co-hosting a costume-demanding Harajuku Street Fashion Party from 8 p.m. to midnight October 16 at Hinterland, 3254 Walnut Street; the refreshments to be served are rumored to include sticky-sweet Ramune punch and Japanified cupcakes. Admission is $8; go to the Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast website for details, or visit GGPT on Facebook.
And as for the Warlock Pinchers (recently profiled by Tom Murphy for Westword), their August shows at the Gothic Theatre were, he enthuses, "insane, off the hook," and they've already been booked there again for New Year's Eve. Though the legendary locals aren't hitting the road or even the club scene any time soon, he notes, "We're not over by any means."
Which somehow leads us to a discussion of Andrew's sense of style.
Here's what he's wearing: a "dentalcarie" t-shirt with, um, a "cute" dental checkup theme, black cotton pants, unidentifiable black shoes, a pair of big, chunky women's sunglasses. He's carrying a ruby plastic Tru Blood blood-orange soda bottle that he uses for a water bottle. His haircut has that hacked-up Gothic quality, but it suits him, and most importantly, he looks very, very comfortable. And happy.
"My thing is the ironic T-shirt," Andrew says. "I've been wearing them forever." He also prefers non sequitur T-shirts, of which "dentalcarie" is clearly representative. "I have a thing about teeth and dentists," he adds. He's brought along a couple more screenprinted shirts, including the wordlessly iconic "Bieber" T-shirt, which is a graphic play on multiple themes: Warlock Pinchers, the Oakland Raiders and Justin Bieber. The wearer, he says cheerily, might get all -- or none -- of the references, but it's still cool. And there's also "Fawn of the Dead." There it is. I mean, what can one say about this shirt?
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Of his black cotton pants, Andrew says, "It's the only thing I've worn for the last thirty years. Even as a kid, I never liked jeans." He estimates he has about twenty pairs of black pants and shorts, because, you know, "You can get black pants everywhere." As a rule, he likes to wear contrasting monochromatic outfits: white and black, maybe with some red. And his sunglasses? That came about originally out of necessity: "I needed sunglasses that were big enough to fit over my regular glasses." Then he got Lasik surgery, but the big-shades habit stuck. I'm sure he has hundreds of them, but he does let this out: Some of them he buys at Forever 21.
Catch the "Bieber" at YesPleaseMore, opening tomorrow night at the Denver Pavilions. And get the skinny on the Warlock Pinchers NYE gig online; tickets officially go on sale October 17 during a special afternoon event at Wax Trax, 638 East 13th Avenue.