Style Local: Andrew Novick

Categories: Fashion

Peter Miles Bergman
Andrew Novick is known in this town for many singular reasons -- a big one being his artfully out-of-control need to collect things, any things, nay, all things, and another his involvement with the legendary band the Warlock Pinchers -- but his spot-on fashion sense is probably not one of those reasons. On the other hand, Andrew is unique in his tastes, and that in itself makes for good, if quirky, fashion talk in a stylish world often straitjacketed by its own rules and exclusivity. You see, I don't think Andrew gives a hoot about rules or exclusivity. Andrew is Andrew, and this is what he does and wears.

With his wife Janene, Andrew imports Japanese pop-culture clothing and novelties. They used to have a store in Belmar, Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast, which closed, but they still sell their strange mix of cosplay wear, Harajuku style and kawaii online and at short-run popup ventures, making trips to Asia about once a year to restock. There, they make pilgrimages to Nakano Broadway in Tokyo, a Blade Runner-reminiscent mega-mall of vendor niches and shops catering to pop-culture-hungry otaku (the Japanese term for anime, manga and video game-obsessed über-fans) with floor upon floor of stuff and more stuff. "It's like a street fair in a mall," Andrew explains. Other destinations might include the Design Festa international art expo, also in Tokyo, or the Amerikamura district (or, in the local lingo, Ame-mura) in Osaka.

In the near future, they'll be co-hosting a costume-demanding Harajuku Street Fashion Party from 8 p.m. to midnight October 16 at Hinterland, 3254 Walnut Street; the refreshments to be served are rumored to include sticky-sweet Ramune punch and Japanified cupcakes. Admission is $8; go to the Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast website for details, or visit GGPT on Facebook.

And as for the Warlock Pinchers (recently profiled by Tom Murphy for Westword), their August shows at the Gothic Theatre were, he enthuses, "insane, off the hook," and they've already been booked there again for New Year's Eve. Though the legendary locals aren't hitting the road or even the club scene any time soon, he notes, "We're not over by any means."

Which somehow leads us to a discussion of Andrew's sense of style.

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