When Fashion Meets Fine Art - An Artist's Journey from Paris to Provincetown

When Fashion Meets Fine Art - An Artist's Journey from Paris to Provincetown
OUR CURRENT EXHIBIT--When Fashion Meets Fine Art

Oil Paintings and Couture by Christian Kozaki

An Artist's Journey From Paris to Provincetown


Little Gorgeous Things will present a showing of oil paintings and couture by artist Christian Kozaki from July 13 to July 29, with a reception on July 13 from 7pm to 9pm featuring models wearing his creations.

The photo features Alena Zaneuskaya, summer student from Belarus, wearing a Kozaki gown and holding Kozaki paintings from the Dreamscape and Secret Garden series.


If someone had told Christian David Kozaki when he graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 1991 that painting would be the medium he would ultimately use to express his artistic talent, he would not have believed them. Although he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, studying art, design, and illustration, and even attended the Arts Student League of New York concentrating on anatomy and life drawing, Christian's passion was fashion design.

Upon graduation, he headed to Paris - with the hope of creating a name for himself in French haute couture. Armed with a portfolio of sketches and illustrations, he made the rounds of several "Maisons Couture" and landed a job as a sketch artist and general assistant at Chloe. While there, Christian encountered some people who encouraged him to present his "book" to Givenchy who hired him as a design assistant in the couture studio. "Working in the atelier--run in the traditional and austere couture manner--with muslin draped over all new garments as they were carried from workroom to design studio--in case of fashion spies lurking in the hallways--was quite an experience", says Christian. A stint at the house of Madame Gres completed his couture training.

After seven years in Paris, Christian decided to head home to the U.S. in 2001 to try his hand at his own collection. The collection was slated to launch during the fashion shows in September. Garnering a feature in WWD and a nomination from Gen Art for up and coming designers, the initial response to Christian and the collection was quite enthusiastic. However, the economic climate after September 11th made it all but impossible to keep the self-financed fledgling business going. "At the time, I was very disappointed and discouraged," says Kozaki. "I poured so much time and money into the collection, but people were just not interested in spending thousands of dollars on party dresses while the nation was mourning its momentous loss."

Christian stayed in New York City and did illustration work for prestigious designers including Randolph Duke. His work as an illustrator was highly acclaimed and appeared in several publications including Time Magazine. However, Christian was tired of New York and dreamed of a new life in a more beautiful, natural setting. In December of 2003, he made that dream a reality by moving to Provincetown, MA--a place he fell in love with while vacationing there during previous summers.

It was the natural beauty of the landscapes he observed in Provincetown that inspired his new career as a fine artist. "Plunging myself into painting, drawing, and printmaking was a new lease on life. Making art for arts sake was exhilarating. Diving into the world of fine art enabled me to express creativity without dealing with store boutique owners, manufacturers, and the myriad characters one encounters when bringing a collection to market."

Christian's work focuses on the beauty of nature and the human form. He works in various types of media including oil, watercolor, pastel and printmaking. He has quickly established himself as a local favorite of galleries in Provincetown with his work featured in group, solo, and juried shows at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown Public Library, the Mumford Gallery, and the Schoolhouse Gallery. Christian has already gained quite a following in the few years since he began painting and his work is hung in homes all over the world.

In addition to his painting, Christian currently teaches fashion design, illustration, portfolio development, and fine arts at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Bay State College in Boston.


Kozaki's newest exhibition "When Fashion Meets Fine Art" explores the ties between the fashion and art worlds. "When Little Gorgeous Things gallery mentioned the idea of combining the two mediums into a one-man show I jumped at the chance. I had been thinking for a long time about having a space where fashion and fine art could mingle and coexist. I always thought of fashion as a means of expressing myself artistically and analyzed it with sculpting in cloth. How wonderful to see the juxtaposition and relationship between three dimensional garments and paintings or prints done on a two dimensional surface. The similarity between the two mediums became quite apparent to me while looking at my paintings", says Kozaki.

"It can be seen in all of the elements: color, shape, form, movement and energy. Expressed in paint or in cloth, the similarities are there and quite astounding. The two definitely complement each other." Christian thought it would be marvelous to merge the two mediums under one roof where they play off each other in all their form, color, light, and movement. "Fabric moves, drapes, twirls, skims, caresses and accentuates the human form. Paint does the same thing--albeit on the canvas surface--be it nature or figurative work," muses Christian.

The opening reception will feature live models wearing Kozaki's couture.