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July 12 2014

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Rocker Liza Thorn Is Fashion’s “High Priestess”

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Liza Thorn Somewhere between psychedelic, street, and old-school grunge lies High Priestess, a collaborative limited-edition capsule from Lindsey Thornburg (a bohemian New York designer known for her sumptuous cloaks) and streetwear label Obesity and Speed’s Lyz Olko. “We’ve known each other a really really long time,” said Olko about her partner in sartorial crime, adding that it dawned upon them to collaborate while sitting around a bonfire at a friend’s wedding in Santa Barbara earlier this year. “We have really similar aesthetics and this was the perfect merging of our styles. I guess she’s a little more ‘witchy’ and I’m a little more ‘urban street,’ but together, it really works.”

The resulting range comprises hand-shredded denim shorts and jackets, destroyed T-shirts and tanks, printed “Don’t Exist” tops that have been dipped in water so the lettering runs (one of Olko’s favorites), and a raw silk bomber jacket with “High Priestess” embroidered across the back. “We just thought it made sense,” explained Olko when asked about the title. “It’s definitely kind of trippy, but at the same time, it’s super feminine and regal.”

Liza Thorn

And who better to represent this gritty queen than Starred’s front woman (and Hedi Slimane muse-cum-campaign face) Liza Thorn? “Her voice is like a saint’s, and she’s hypnotic in a way—her personality and her music really suit the capsule, and she’s super seventies hippie rock ‘n’ roll,” said Olko, who met the musician a while back through her pal, the Misshapes’ Greg Krelenstein. “Since we were already friends, I called her up and told her that she’d be perfect for this collaboration and she was like, ‘I’m so down,’” recalled Olko. “And then she said, ‘Actually, randomly, I just shot this Saint Laurent thing for Hedi [Slimane], too.’ And I was like whoa, that’s crazy! That’s a big deal. That’s like, huge.”

The girls didn’t let it go to their heads, though. According to Olko, the shoot, which was lensed by her old friend Jason Nocito, was laid-back, and largely styled by Thorn. “Nothing was pre-planned. We all just hung out in the dressing room and it worked out beautifully,” said Olko. The images debut exclusively here. As for the collection (priced between $70 and $395 and hitting stores like OAK, bonadrag.com, and American Two Shot, as well as obesityandspeed.com and lindseythornburg.com, the first week of September), Olko offered, “This is one of my favorite things that I’ve done so far. And I hope people get that there’s a story behind everything that we made. It’s not just a T-shirt. It’s more than that.”

Photo: Jason Nocito

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