Text: Alec Coiro
All Images Courtesy of Bless
If you’re unfamiliar with Bless, there is, unfortunately, no category we can put it in or peer we can compare it to that will expedite your understanding. Your best bet is to take a “deep dive.” Fortunately for those who want to embark on an archeology of Bless, they have conveniently numbered their projects, which harken all the way back to ‘90s. Today we’re looking at the most recent: 60 and 61. These latest two offerings showcase the lobby and the swimming pool.
Bless no. 11 and Bless no. 30 were both about shops, so now there are Bless shops in both Berlin and Paris. In these shops, Bless creates fashion and showcases their products in spaces that shapeshift in a fluid way. Bless consistently combines fashion and decor with a deconstruction of everyday life, but they do so with a joie de vivre that is rarely encountered in the pages of Derrida.
Bless No. 60 aka Lobby Conquerors is actually based on a commission for the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The lobby they have designed in conjunction with furniture designers Artek is site specific to the extreme. The photos you see are from the Chicago Cultural Center, and as you can see the colors and patterns involved in the designs blend together in an almost chameleon-like way. Interestingly, in the case of one of the armchairs, the structure of the building itself is built into the design of the chair.
Bless No. 61 Swimmingtogether present a more appropriately insouciant mood. They’ve created poolside fashions to be worn while participating in the enjoyment of life. As they write in the press release, “BLESS has all along created presentations that toy with situational context and encourage the visitors to change their stance from passive to active, thus becoming a form of participators. By doing this, we aim to carry our presentations into a form that is not strictly visual, but rather facilitates a surrounding and experience existing of collective actions and interactions that mirror the mundanities of everyday life.” The fashions themselves combine silk with plastic and lace with waxed cotton in a way that reflects the devil-may-care spirit of the summer.