“You’re very excited when you first buy something, but after you wear it the first time, it’s never the same - there’s this existential disappointment that I think most people feel," observes Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, who recently made some pretty buzzy waves with his version of a controversial work by Allen Jones from 1969. Jones's Chair features a topless women in skimpy leather shorts and stiletto-heeled hooker boots, laying on her back with her knees pulled up by her ears. Bjarne managed to make it even more offensive by adding a racial compoenent.
But I digress.
"I was thinking about creating clothes that are about the mental state you’re in and the faults you feel you have,” he continues. "I’m more interested in the brink of hysteria that brings clothes into people’s lives...And rather than do that in sculpture, I wanted to try it with a commercial fashion line.”
Voila: BJARNE - streetwear for people who don't like streetwear. At least, according to his collaborator, Babak Radboy, the creative director of Bidoun magazine and cofounder and president of Shanzhai Biennial, an art collective devoted to subverting the tenets of luxury branding. (But doing so cheerfully.)
While BJARNE is technically a menswear line, it struck me more as perfect for fashionista-types who love offbeat, "cerebral" and avant garde designers, such as Comme des Garcons and Yojhi Yamamoto. But less spendy. “We wanted it to seem kind of cheap," adds Radboy, "and disappointing.”
The aggressively unstudied and deliberately "cheap" feel of this endeavor is very congruent with the vibe of the Apocalytical fashion tribe which has a chic (but somewhat depressing) cloud of effitalltohellalready Doomsday & End Times that seems to follow them everywhere. For more of my posts and podcasts about the Apocalytical tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.
- Lesley Scott