Best Etsy Store (2011)

James Anthony

Designer James Anthony must have a lot of nightmares. At least we would after combing through countless creepy, antique medical books and science journals. But for Anthony, who cites as inspirations photography pioneer William Fox Talbot and the sideshow-style photography of Joel-Peter Witkin, these vintage, macabre images are his muses. And it's not just his predilection for the Victorian Gothic that has nabbed our attention. It's that he places these spooky images on the most prosaic of wares — pillows, T-shirts, underwear, hoodies — for his Etsy store. One tank ($44), depicting a woman in an elaborate bug costume, was inspired by a 20th-century French postcard titled Le Cigule (The Cicada). A woman's tunic ($50) shows a 19th-century French illustration of two corpse-like lovers about to kiss, their profiles creating the eye sockets of a large skull. A stag's skeleton, snagged from an 18th-century physiology book, graces a pair of men's seafoam-green underwear ($32). Anthony was born in Utah and studied fashion design in San Francisco before working in galleries in New York, where he learned to silk-screen. Living in downtown Miami since 2007, he hand-prints each one of his James Anthony Apparel designs, resurrecting forgotten ephemera so we can wear it on our sleeves and skivvies.


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