I must admit, I hesitated for a sec when Norwegian-born contemporary artist Bjarne Melgaard called the connection between art and fashion “boring.” However, I then took pause—which I am learning is almost always beneficial—and realized this sort of comment is exactly why I should focus on Bjarne during Art and Fashion week. Let’s discuss his extremely interesting art and fashion collaborations.
Bjarne Melgaard is often referred to as the best thing to come out of Oslo since Edvard Munch. In fact, he recently did a collaboration with Los Angeles brand “69” for a show at the Munch Museum in Oslo. Based in Brooklyn, Bjarne often collaborates with other artists and designers. His best to date is definitely his show, and simultaneous clothing launch of the same name, the Casual Pleasure of Disappointment. Really, the impetus for this feature was that I was dying to wear one of the Bjarne Melgaard suits. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play Muppet for the day? For the Thaddaeus Ropac show, the artist collaborated with designer Andre Walker (along with hair artist Bob Recine, furniture designer Kwangho Lee, makeup artist Kanako Takase, and artist Susan Cianciolo). Together, they created a whole world of colorful, Muppet-like suits, dolls, furniture, and paintings. The inspiration for this deceiving play on beauty was Catherine Breillat’s film Abuse of Weakness. The film, the exhibit, and the fashion line are all meant to explore the deconstructive aspects of beauty. For the unisex clothing line, Bjarne enlisted the help of creative director Babak Radboy. They describe it as “streetwear for people who don’t like streetwear,” and will ultimately have six collections. One is called “Housewives” and is black and white, one is called “Dinosex” and has online images, and another is titled “Disappointment.” The pieces include hoodies, sweats, and tunics, and all contain biographical references. They are meant to convey mental states and provoke us to think about fashion in a different and more emotional way. Frankly, he had me at the fact that Radboy and the Jim Henson Company worked together to create a Bjarne Melgaard Muppet. I was a little jealous.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Locations in Paris and Salzburg
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
620 Greenwich Street
New York City