Fritz Donnelly & Christina Clare, Closets
Fritz Donnelly & Christina Clare
"Everything is wearing clothes. Everything has a surface and an appearance." Fritz Donnelly

Fritz and Christina met at a party in Bushwick while both were wearing fishnets. Soon after, Fritz won Christina over fully once she had checked out all of his movies online and was bowled over by how hilarious they were. And if women's hosiery and humor wasn't enough, when Fritz first saw Christina's clothes that she reconstructs from vintage pieces, he cried over how much her art touched him. Today, Fritz, "the eccentric kid" in high school who was class president and went to school barefoot in doctor smocks (very avant garde for Seattle), and Christina, who “started picking up odd objects” in thrift stores among the strip malls of Minneapolis, have founded HiChristina!, a community and performance art space where people can be goofy, act like kids, and, most importantly, find an excuse to explore the edges of their personalities. “By engaging people and bringing them in,” Christina says, “It helps me to find myself, too.”

For Fritz and Christina there are no boundaries between life, style, and their zeal to help people heighten their own self-awareness. Life is their stage. Fritz's criteria for an interesting outfit is whether or not it can be recognized while he is a blur running in it, often over the Williamsburg Bridge. This is why he never wears jeans. Instead, you might see him in his red “filmmaker's” ensemble, or a gold jacket and unisex leggings -- kind of signature for him, as is his mustache, the “international passport to being male,” Fritz says. Once, leaving a play in the metallic piece, a member of the audience was certain that Fritz had been in the cast. By making a “difference” in the world, he feels, maybe somebody will be a little more of themselves. “I think the interplay of our similarities and our differences can take us to a new place in terms of social progress and personal satisfaction.” Christina, in a vintage Pucci dress, toile Dr. Marten's, torn stockings over crocheted ones, and a Victorian jacket worn backwards, explains that, for her, being “in style” can make you afraid to have fun with how you dress, not to mention what you miss when you get that feeling of finding an unexpected treasure.

When Fritz first met Christina, he put her in his phone as “Christina Punk”. It takes guts to add an exaggerated Mozart wig to a white lace dress while walking down the street, but going against the grain is what creates change; the truest definition of punk. It's not just dressing up in leather and studs. Punk is what Fritz's father was living when, as a Roman Catholic priest in New Zealand, he tried to introduce Planned Parenthood and suffered the consequences: getting excommunicated from the priesthood. And Christina's sewing together a shirt out of his father's old ones for Fritz is another form of punk; making a conscious and original choice, no matter how small, matters. In his new book, How To Live The Good Life, Fritz explains its main character, who is trying to make other people happy by making his own life happy; someone who is doing something a little bit beyond himself.

If you love Fritz & Christina, you may also like Max Vernon, Lizzie Brandt and Hannah & Landon.

Share this story
view more on youtube
other inspiration
Closets
Closets
Closets
What's Underneath