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August 28th     11:52 pm


Bless
Photography Mark Borthwick
Heiss, who hails from Paris, graduated  from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. The Berlin-based Kaag studied fashion at the University of Arts and Design in Hannover. The two met by chance when, at a design competition in Paris, they discovered that their work had been displayed next to one another’s. A friendship ensued. Then a company. Since then the products they have created under the burgeoning Bless umbrella have included “cut-and-try” recycled racoon fur wigs (designer Martin Margiela commissioned Heiss and Kaag to make a set of these for one of his own collections), packages of disposable t-shirts, boot socks, customisable footwear with New Balance or Charles Jourdan soles, material make-up (scraps of paper, leather, and fabric made applicable by a thin elastic band and sold with a suggestive how-to Polaroid), and a series of bags that, depending on which body part you choose to put through which hole, can be manipulated into a variety of useful items of clothing—pants, skirts, tops—or simply carried as, yes, bags.

Visionaire’s Fashion 2001: Designers of the New Avant-Garde by Stephen Gan

Bless

Photography Mark Borthwick

Heiss, who hails from Paris, graduated  from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. The Berlin-based Kaag studied fashion at the University of Arts and Design in Hannover. The two met by chance when, at a design competition in Paris, they discovered that their work had been displayed next to one another’s. A friendship ensued. Then a company. Since then the products they have created under the burgeoning Bless umbrella have included “cut-and-try” recycled racoon fur wigs (designer Martin Margiela commissioned Heiss and Kaag to make a set of these for one of his own collections), packages of disposable t-shirts, boot socks, customisable footwear with New Balance or Charles Jourdan soles, material make-up (scraps of paper, leather, and fabric made applicable by a thin elastic band and sold with a suggestive how-to Polaroid), and a series of bags that, depending on which body part you choose to put through which hole, can be manipulated into a variety of useful items of clothing—pants, skirts, tops—or simply carried as, yes, bags.

Visionaire’s Fashion 2001: Designers of the New Avant-Garde by Stephen Gan

August 28th     11:24 am


Bless
Photography Mark Borthwick
"Bless is a visionary substitute to make the near future worth living for. She is an outspoken female—more woman than girl. She’s not a chosen beauty, but she doesn’t go unnoticed. Without a definite age she could be between her mid-twenties and her forties. She has no nationality and thinks sport is quite nice. he’s always attracted by temptations and loves change. She lives right now and her surroundings are charged by her presence." This is how Desirée Heiss and Ines Kaag describe Bless, the label they launched together in 1995. A statement, like the product of their collaboration itself, left deliberately open to interpretation.

Visionaire’s Fashion 2001: Designers of the New Avant-Garde by Stephen Gan

Bless

Photography Mark Borthwick

"Bless is a visionary substitute to make the near future worth living for. She is an outspoken female—more woman than girl. She’s not a chosen beauty, but she doesn’t go unnoticed. Without a definite age she could be between her mid-twenties and her forties. She has no nationality and thinks sport is quite nice. he’s always attracted by temptations and loves change. She lives right now and her surroundings are charged by her presence." This is how Desirée Heiss and Ines Kaag describe Bless, the label they launched together in 1995. A statement, like the product of their collaboration itself, left deliberately open to interpretation.

Visionaire’s Fashion 2001: Designers of the New Avant-Garde by Stephen Gan

August 21st     6:01 am


Spring–Summer 1999, BlessOctober 1998, Paris
Throughout the 10 years, Margiela has kept presenting various alternatives to half-yearly collections and conventional shows. It is obvious that his criticism of fashion rituals has influenced the younger generations. One such successor is Bless, who had an opening with the release of a new item and retrospection at Colette on the first day of the collection week. Desiree Heiss is one of the female pair designs and explains their intention. “We want to change for us the images of fashion entirely,” she says. “It’s not an ideal structure that everyone works on an idea by a genius. It would be better to progress with partners that you can trust, than to dominate everyone by a designer’s ego. I appreciate spending time with family and friends, and would not like to spend my whole life just for fashion.” Bless was established in January 1997. Desiree Heiss, who studied fashion in University of Applied Arts in Vienna (graduated in 1994), met Ines Kaag from University of Arts and Design in Hannover (graduated in 1995) while she was still at the school. The collaboration work of two women who both have strong characteristics has been a rocky road. Having gone through many “clashes and tears”, they have progressed together. They would like to continue the collaboration.
Desiree was taught by Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang and a costume designer Frida Parmeggiani at school. Frida inspired her the most, and Lang encouraged her to have confidence. But after she finished school, she realised she was very much influenced by Lang. She decided to make something completely different from what she used to make, because “I came to know that it was very important to go to where I could not be compared with someone else.” As a result of careful investigation and experiment, Bless creates four new items a year. They publish their new collection to the world by buying off advertisements in fashion magazines. All the items are limited production and you can buy them after the season if any stock is left. But price goes up, as the stock becomes scarce.

Fur wigs used in Margiela’s show (item no.00, limited edition of 93 pieces, sold out)
Boot socks in jeans and leather (item no.01, limited edition of 120 pieces)
Disposable t-shirts (item no.02, limited edition of 60 pieces, sold out)
Set (item no.03, limited edition of 50 pieces)
Bags (item no.04, five models, limited edition of 100 pieces each)
Bless subscribe; a purchasable right to be part of the trust partnership valid for one year (item no.05)
Footwear (item no.06, limited edition of 250 pairs).

The footwear presented at Colette has two different types of sole (one with heels by Charles Jourdan and the other by New Balance) and comes with rubber bandage. You can cut the rubber bandage to fit your heel and shape it just like play dough. “I would like to present some ideas and what to do with them is up to the people who have bought them. I want them to play with them just like kids. I think interactive is most exciting now,” Desiree says.

Paris Collection Individuals, 1998–––1999––– Nakako Hayashi, Little More

Spring–Summer 1999, Bless
October 1998, Paris

Throughout the 10 years, Margiela has kept presenting various alternatives to half-yearly collections and conventional shows. It is obvious that his criticism of fashion rituals has influenced the younger generations. One such successor is Bless, who had an opening with the release of a new item and retrospection at Colette on the first day of the collection week. Desiree Heiss is one of the female pair designs and explains their intention. “We want to change for us the images of fashion entirely,” she says. “It’s not an ideal structure that everyone works on an idea by a genius. It would be better to progress with partners that you can trust, than to dominate everyone by a designer’s ego. I appreciate spending time with family and friends, and would not like to spend my whole life just for fashion.” Bless was established in January 1997. Desiree Heiss, who studied fashion in University of Applied Arts in Vienna (graduated in 1994), met Ines Kaag from University of Arts and Design in Hannover (graduated in 1995) while she was still at the school. The collaboration work of two women who both have strong characteristics has been a rocky road. Having gone through many “clashes and tears”, they have progressed together. They would like to continue the collaboration.

Desiree was taught by Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang and a costume designer Frida Parmeggiani at school. Frida inspired her the most, and Lang encouraged her to have confidence. But after she finished school, she realised she was very much influenced by Lang. She decided to make something completely different from what she used to make, because “I came to know that it was very important to go to where I could not be compared with someone else.” As a result of careful investigation and experiment, Bless creates four new items a year. They publish their new collection to the world by buying off advertisements in fashion magazines. All the items are limited production and you can buy them after the season if any stock is left. But price goes up, as the stock becomes scarce.
  • Fur wigs used in Margiela’s show (item no.00, limited edition of 93 pieces, sold out)
  • Boot socks in jeans and leather (item no.01, limited edition of 120 pieces)
  • Disposable t-shirts (item no.02, limited edition of 60 pieces, sold out)
  • Set (item no.03, limited edition of 50 pieces)
  • Bags (item no.04, five models, limited edition of 100 pieces each)
  • Bless subscribe; a purchasable right to be part of the trust partnership valid for one year (item no.05)
  • Footwear (item no.06, limited edition of 250 pairs).
The footwear presented at Colette has two different types of sole (one with heels by Charles Jourdan and the other by New Balance) and comes with rubber bandage. You can cut the rubber bandage to fit your heel and shape it just like play dough. “I would like to present some ideas and what to do with them is up to the people who have bought them. I want them to play with them just like kids. I think interactive is most exciting now,” Desiree says.

Paris Collection Individuals, 1998–––1999––– Nakako Hayashi, Little More

May 13th     11:29 am


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”.Bless (1999) 
ANDAM: La Mode Contemporaine, STEIDLtext florence müller photography ola bergengren styling mattias karlsson

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”.
Bless (1999) 

ANDAM: La Mode Contemporaine, STEIDL
text florence müller photography ola bergengren styling mattias karlsson

April 27th     12:18 am

"Bless No.9 deals with the label hype: Bless is printed, stitched, painted on all their designs in any way. It was Prêt-á-Porter autumn 1999. We took the fashion and let its models present them at other designers’ shows like YSL, Watanabe, Balenciaga, Martin Margiela a.o. we were invited to. I filmed the interaction between the show and the Bless models in the audience, then edited the footage every night after the shows and Carlo worked on the sound mix to complete the own virtual show. The result was presented at the last day of the fashion week. An instant movie of the Bless collection and the fashion world at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris." Marc Comes

"BLESS N° 09 is more of a MERCHANDISING project than a fashion collection. The newly developed FAN-ITEMS are made to show their owners as like-minded persons / fans / searchers for a different kind of value, besides a specific shape and colour. Thus the creation of an intentional UNISIZE basic shaped clothstyle (sweatshirts, t-shirts, polo shirts all in xl size, and jeans) which means a chance for everybodyshape - and allows easy access to people in a UNISEX (female, male, thing) and UNIAGE (first - last days) spirit, ignoring stereotypical taste, social classifications, dressing habits and usual shape preferences. Since it’s not about the clothes themselves but their values they portray (through their speaking front and quiet back), they can be worn at any kind of occasions (FOR PRESENTATIONS) to demonstrate a personal attitude or to give a fashionable statement or not." BLESS

Starcut Jumpers, BLESS № 9 MERCHANDISING

(Source: Yahoo! Japan)

April 18th     3:15 pm

Visionaire 25: Visionary, Martin Margiela for Hermèsphotography bettina komenda styling desiree heiss make-up houda renita

Visionaire 25: Visionary, Martin Margiela for Hermès
photography bettina komenda styling desiree heiss make-up houda renita

February 16th     12:58 am

Winter 1997, Martin MargielaGap Press Prêt-à-Porter Collections Volume 11

Winter 1997, Martin Margiela
Gap Press Prêt-à-Porter Collections Volume 11

(Source: cotonblanc)

February 16th     12:49 am

Winter 1997, Martin MargielaGap Press Prêt-à-Porter Collections Volume 11

Winter 1997, Martin Margiela
Gap Press Prêt-à-Porter Collections Volume 11

(Source: cotonblanc)

February 15th     11:51 am

Winter 1997, Martin MargielaGap Press Prêt-à-Porter Collections Volume 11

Winter 1997, Martin Margiela
Gap Press Prêt-à-Porter Collections Volume 11

(Source: cotonblanc)

September 11th     10:12 am


Claire and Nathalie, Dazed & Confusedphotography bettina komenda styling desiree heiss of bless

Fashion Images de Mode Nº4 (1999)

Claire and Nathalie, Dazed & Confused
photography bettina komenda styling desiree heiss of bless

Fashion Images de Mode Nº4 (1999)

May 27th     3:29 pm

fall–winter 1997-1998, martin margielaphotography ronald stoops
visionaire’s fashion 2000: designers at the turn of the millenniumstephen gan, laurence king

fall–winter 1997-1998, martin margiela
photography ronald stoops

visionaire’s fashion 2000: designers at the turn of the millennium
stephen gan, laurence king

May 6th     3:11 pm

fall–winter 1997–1998 photography anders edström street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

fall–winter 1997–1998
photography anders edström
street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

May 6th     3:02 pm

fall–winter 1997–1998 photography anders edström street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

fall–winter 1997–1998
photography anders edström
street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

May 6th     11:40 am

fall–winter 1997–1998 photography ronald stoops street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

fall–winter 1997–1998
photography ronald stoops
street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

May 6th     11:33 am

fall–winter 1997–1998 photography ronald stoops street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

fall–winter 1997–1998
photography ronald stoops
street magazine volumes 1 & 2 (1999)

s.t.