Less conceptual than experimental in appearance, the Bless approach seeks to define a new type of object which cannot be pigeonholed in the traditional categories of apparel, accessory or furniture. The objects born of the “cooperation” between Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag could best be described as mobile-immobile hybrids. There is a strong temptation to preserve them as inviolable “collector’s items”. The content and container form a unified whole, accompanied by a postcard bearing tongue-in-cheek exhortations: “Goes with all styles! Cut it and try it!”, “Corrupts all styles! Relax!”, etc.
Once out of its cocoon, the object reveals its functional side and its positive effect on the body in relation to the environment. The stretch fabric “Suntops”, one of the earliest Bless creations dating from the summer of 1995, roll around the chest like a bandage. Cut from old fur coats, the wigs are pulled on like stocking caps (only to be pulled off and thrown at Martin Margiela’s winter 1997 fashion show). The “Prêt-à-maquiller” packaging (featured in Kostas Murkudis’ show for summer 1998) is based on a principle of makeup which is easy to apply and remove, consisting of pieces of fabrics held onto the skin by invisible elastic bands. The product “Bless 01” resembles spats to be worn over any shoes as “Boot Socks”. The “Customizable Footwear” shoe kits of Concept N°6 are designed to be cut from a piece of fabric and fastened onto any sole. Series N°7 ”Living Room Conquerors” is in fact clothing for furniture: outfits for chairs, door covers which also serve as hanging wardrobes, table service-tablecloths, etc.
Bless makes items of every description (T-shirts, bags, “turn signal” bracelets) which are sold selectively in limited series in selected stores (Colette in Paris, Brown’s focus in London, Horn in New York, Beams in Tokyo, etc). These creations by two former design and art students have remained at the fringes of the fashion mainstream. Rejecting the principle of the semi-annual collection, Heiss and Kaag launch four objects per year, with something new appearing each quarter. Exploring the frontiers where art, fashion and design meet, their products are both fun and functional. The objects by Bless have earned their place in contemporary art museums like Paris’ Palais de Tokyo as well as in the trendy spots of the day. They have been widely discussed in the avant-garde press while remaining outside the fashion world.
Ensemble with a “BLESS” motif: blue sweatshirt with black cotton overlay in a “B” pattern, jeans slashed to spell “LESS”.