by Gabriel Bell
Ironically named for a line so bold and bright, Los Angeles's Cavern is the creation of fashion-school friends Adam Tullie and Angeline Rivas. "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," Rivas says of his competitors, "taking clip art, mixing it up, and slapping it on a t-shirt. There was more to be done." 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.
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."