Bless No. 54

Celebrating their 2016 collection with theatrical secrecy

Some of the best ideas come up when you are doing strange things.

Allan Kaprow was out searching for mushrooms in the forest with George Brecht and John Cage when he came upon the roots of his “happenings.”

I wonder what was going on in Sibylle’s mind while she was modeling recently for Bless? She didn’t have to walk the catwalk, no. Footwear and a swing of the hips were the last things she had in mind.

You see, for Bless’s latest Spring 2016 show in Paris, collection No. 54 Remembrance Subito, you needed a ticket and a time slot. Subito, sofort! For the monoglots out there, I’ll help you read that collection title. It’s an Esperantist command to have a “remembrance immediately,” and when you go through the heavy Second Empire apartment door, you witness a bit of absurd theater, a happening of a sort, yes, in the form of a group of eighteen models posing and pantomiming whilst saying a collective Ohhhhh and then later an Ahhhhh. One of those models was Sibylle.

It’s not the first time in history that a “happening” like this has happened. Fashion shows in the nineteenth century used to be secret too. Designers were afraid of fashion pirates, and setting eyes on a designer’s latest wares was a hard ticket to come by. You needed letters of reference and patience.

But I am willing to bet that back then, the models didn’t get to imbibe the bubbly whilst on the job. (And if they did, they probably snuck sips from hidden flasks.) Bless often collaborates with others, and this time the Blessadvanced designed by EXOTERIKA yielded a series of cocktail glasses like none other. A champagne flute loses its stem and gains a chain (called Chaincheers), a wine glass is mounted to a heavy stone pedestal (Stoner), another sits atop a long stick of willow (Opening Hiker). Every time you lift the stick, you have to be sure that you won’t severely bruise your fellow cocktailians. Drinking, in turn, becomes a violent act (or a careful one at the very least).

The thing you won’t know from the pictures you’re seeing here? The hammock is a lazy leftist’s dream machine. Sipping your champagne might require a lot of effort with those glasses, but they’ve made reading the newspaper Liberation, easy-peasy in the Bless No. 45 Soundperfume Melodized Pillow Hammock. Apparently Bless (and friends) pulled an all-nighter, reading out loud almost the entirety of the newspaper and recording it so that you could enjoy it like an audio book, as anyone should: feet up—or rather banana-curved, hammock-hugged, and happy.


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Oderberger Strasse 60, rear building/3rd floor, 10435 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg), Germany

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