Chris Rellas Has Worked With Some Of The Top Fashion Brands And Added His Own Artist Flair

Once an intern at Nasty Gal and now a student at Georgetown University, Chris Rellas, is a 19-year old with an extraordinary flair for merging art and couture in a way that feels fresh and new in an overly saturated market.

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Going by the name, CopyLab, on his popular Instagram account, Chris came across the project organically while browsing one his favourite art blogs. “my main interested are in modern and post-modern art and so the idea of mixing high and low, old and new, really appeals to me”, he told us, “I was looking at denim ads and simultaneously scrolling through my favourite art blog when the idea just hit me”.

The project took off in a big way and has been covered by Vogue, GQ and Paper Magazine to name a few. This wide-scale interest has even extended to designers and the project became a collaboration with the prominent people of the fashion world, from Anya Hindmarch and Calvin Klein to Steve Madden.

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My Parents 1977 by David Hockney born 1937

Think Jesus, in his chanel swimming costume, climbing out of a swimming pool or the Mona Lisa clutching her Dior bag and you’ll see why Chris’ work has become so popular. Like an art-history reality series where we get an insight into the guilty pleasures of some of the icons of the past.

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We spoke to Chris about just how this mesmerizing, witty and astute collection has evolved.

The Plus: How do you choose the images you use?
Chris Rellas:
I usually decide pretty quickly. Either I’ll be looking at an artwork in class and I immediately think of a bag or a dress or a necklace that would go perfectly with the artwork, or I’m shopping or on style.com and I see an item that I think would go great with a certain work of art.

TP: What do you like about collage?
CR:
Everything I’ve ever done with fashion has always been referential. I love that collage allows me to make references to fashion and art that I love.

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TP: What’s your understanding of the relationship between traditional and contemporary art format?
CR:
Traditional art speaks for itself; it’s paintings and sculptures that work within the confines of what we normally think of as “good” art. Whereas contemporary art knows no bounds: graffiti, ready-made, etc., allows contemporary art to have a much broader definition.

TP: How do you acquire your creative ideas?
CR:
Most of what I do is inspired by things I find after searching for hours on the internet. I take a lot of my inspiration from the magazines and blogs I read, from the fashion stories I am interested in, and from the influencers who make art and fashion what it is today.

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TP: Do you intentionally use your work as satire to criticise social phenomenon’s?
CR:
In the beginning, I was making works for the sake of creating images that I found funny and visually interesting. But now I’ve been challenged to push a little further and make some commentary. At this point, yes, I definitely take into consideration what is happening in art and fashion today. I try to play with those ideas and create images that actually mean something.

TP: Tell us a bit more about yourself.
CR:
I am a student at Georgetown University and created Copy Lab during the Summer of 2014. Since its inception, Copy Lab has successfully collaborated with Gucci, Vogue, Calvin Klein, Anya Hindmarch, Moda Operandi, Steve Madden, and most recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

TP: Other hobbies?
CR:
Travel, languages, yoga, and of course fashion!

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