Story by Keith Spencer with Photos by John Andrews (Behind The Scenes) and Bill Crisafi

Hogan McLaughlin grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and began his professional career as a ballet dancer when he was only 16. A course correction came three years later when he moved to New York City to pursue work in illustration. After meeting artist and heiress Daphne Guinness, he found a spotlight in the fashion industry despite having no formal training.

His first collection launched five years ago, and Hogan has received incredible recognition and support including commissions for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball and profiles by the New York Times, Vogue, and other publications.

His unconventional designs offer a blend of fantasy and mystery that create a unique sense of old world meets new world.

“I am forever influenced by the fantasy genre and darker themes, and have always been drawn to the costuming in that type of film or series,” Hogan explained. “Getting into fashion was my way of entering that world.”

In his seventh season, Hogan took a bare bones approach to designing his 2016 spring collection. The pieces evoke early, medieval dressing with clean, minimal pieces that range from dresses and gowns to coats and capes with separates that can be mixed.

“There is a very modest, almost utilitarian feel to some of the pieces, as was the way in both the 400’s and the 1600’s, but there is an obvious modernity to the silhouettes,” Hogan described.

As his work on the collection progressed, the designer reached out to Bill Crisafi, a creative with connections to Salem and the North Shore of Massachusetts. The two had known each other through social media for quite some time, but only met in person for the first time last fall. They hit it off right away, and their complimentary aesthetics developed into a desire to work on an editorial project together.

“There is an incredible community of artists who are interested in darker themes that connect, collaborate, and support each other through that platform,” Crisafi said.

“I think Bill’s photography is so atmospheric. I love the moods and intricacies he is able to capture,” Hogan complimented. “There is so much depth and detail that comes through in his work because he is such an incredible illustrator as well.”

Crisafi grew up in Salisbury, and attended The Fashion Institute of Technology as well as the School for the Museum of Fine Arts, graduating with a B.F.A. in 2013. He currently lives in Salem, and he is set to begin a tattoo apprenticeship in Beverly in the coming months. He runs his own website as well as Burial Ground, the collective vision of Crisafi and his longtime friend Jamie Mooers.

“I want to point out that I don’t label myself as a photographer by any means at all,” Crisafi clarified. “I find making a photo very similar to constructing an illustration. I story boarded this shoot so each shot was planned out.”

During initial planning for the shoot, Hogan saw Salem’s Puritan history emerge in their discussions, and began to marry it with the medieval base developed in his collection. He ultimately decided to take the shoot to Pioneer Village at Bill’s recommendation.

“It was amazing to just let the surroundings inform our shots and have it be featured just as much as the clothing and models,” Hogan admitted.

Many talented people local to the North Shore were involved in the shoot including their good friend and makeup artist Steffanie Strazzere, hair stylist Steph Bartley, and models Lauren Enman, Kris Hatch, Sophie Ploegh, and Ana Prescott. Our own John Andrews of Creative Salem also tagged along to document the event for this behind-the-scenes look.

“I am blessed to know so many talented people who want to play a part in making art and are willing to help out whenever they can,” Bill said.

“I think the most rewarding aspect was the sense of teamwork we all felt during the shoot. Everyone brought their best to the table, and were excited to create,” Hogan added.

He called Salem a great place for creativity, and even plans on relocating to the community in the coming months.

“I’ve met an amazing group of friends and artists that are thriving in their respective mediums,” Hogan says, “and it’s so inspiring to be around that energy. There is no limit to what can be done when you’re able to work with these inspiring individuals.”

Bill agreed, noting he had moved to Salem just last June. He called it the best decision he ever made because he believes the community is much more interested in the type of art they produce, but also harnessed a popular idea reiterated often in this community.

“I can only hope Salem’s “weirdness” will stay alive through the years,” Bill said. “I think people are drawn by the idea of magic and witchcraft which is especially great for the artists who resonate with those ideas, but we should also be properly educated about the tragic history that took place here.”

For more information about Hogan McLaughlin, visit his website and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.  For more information about Bill Crisafi, visit his website, follow him on Instagram & Twitter, and learn more about his company at