Published March 1, 2010
Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag of Berlin design duo Bless excel at making fashion seem ridiculous, unnerving, and exquisitely conflicted—in other words, they do exactly what a design duo from Berlin ought to do. They’ve sold a hairbrush, hair attached, as a “beauty product.” They’ve turned Levi’s into scarves. As with Margiela, the curious nature of the “objects” Bless produces attracts a certain type of sophisticated, self-imagined fashion insider—and, improbably, Beyonce, who wore the brand’s signature “fringe shades” in last year’s “Diva” video. I’m curious to see what she makes of Bless’s new season of novelty eyewear, which turns aviator shades into breezy punchlines.
Aviators’ disturbing, mirrored qualities—perfect for initiating intimidating, one-sided communication—are all too serious for Bless, so they lampoon the style even better than Cartman did. Instead of your own doomed visage, their “picture glasses” reflect pleasant kitsch scenery; my favorite pair shows a red-shirted guy with a receding hairline, grinning on a boat circa 1978. Those should be a hit with the ironic “yacht rock revivalist” set, if not Beyonce—though don’t be shocked if Gaga picks up a pair, or several.
Bless’s Spring 2010 eyewear collection is currently sold at Colette. The duo’s Fall 2010 Fashion Week presentation is tomorrow in Paris.