Friday, November 1st 2013 marks the grand opening of the two-time AIA award winning BOFFO Building Fashion series with a three week fashion and architecture retail installation by Michael Bastian + Bittertang. A shipping container configuration at the SuperPier at Hudson River Park (15th Street) in New York City, has been radically transformed inviting visitors to experience this unique public art spectacle. A mound of hay covering a house of melted wax by Bittertang was built in response to the Bastian’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection inspired by a New England Gothic style often depicted in Andrew Wyeth’s paintings.
This BOFFO Building Fashion project is designed as a series of experiences that transport the customer from the meatpacking district into the somber world of Michael Bastian’s Fall 2013 collection. Upon entering the cavernous warehouse space, first impression will be the sight and smell of a giant 20ft. tall pile of hay. A small opening gives access to the hidden wax room, the first space of this mysterious world. Back lit to glow, warm beeswax walls emit sweet smells and create a soft and eerie background for a few special pieces from the collection. The space feels both familiar and strange, even haunted, with detailing that creates a refined craftsmanship characteristic of Michael Bastian’s tailored clothing. The next room, where most of Michael Bastian’s collection will be displayed and sold, will be stylized in typical Michael Bastian fashion, referencing a ticking fabric. The clothes are displayed on custom built furniture including a shelving system with painted spindles and swinging chairs. The shop will also carry special collaboration pieces such as the G.Frost x Michael Bastian wing necklaces and wallet chains, as well as a special hand knit Ouija-board sweater and made-to-order balaclava by Josh Bennett for Michael Bastian.
The 20-foot pile of hay cascading from the SuperPier at Hudson River Park turned heads on Monday when the unconventional retail installation by Michael Bastian and Bittertang opened to the public. The opening marked the beginning of this year’s BOFFO Building Fashion series which offers fashion designers and architects the opportunity to imagine and bring to life a temporary retail installation.
Bittertang designed a public art spectacle based on Michael Bastian’s American Gothic inspired fall/winter 2013 collection. Just beyond the hay exterior, slanted glowing wax walls house distorted antique furniture. This room takes an unconventional approach to retail, holding very few pieces from Bastian’s collection. Instead, Bittertang and Bastian decided to focus on establishing the collection’s eerie tone. An embedded wax portrait of brothers and conjoined twin beds create an unusual feeling, Michael Bastian explains, “we wanted the narrative left unfinished. It’s nice not answering everything.” Instead, he would prefer to “let people fill in their own gaps.”
The majority of Bastian’s collection can be found through the feathered doorway. Here one finds novelty and classic pieces from Bastian’s collection from the tiger camo sweater, the dark gray cotton military jacket, to the blazer pants. The shop also carries special collaboration pieces such as the G.Frost x Michael Bastian wing necklaces and wallet chains, as well as a special hand knit Ouija Board inspired sweater and made-to-order balaclava by Josh Bennett for Michael Bastian. Faris Al-Shathir, BOFFO President and Co-Founder, points to the one of a kind pieces, untried construction, custom made furniture and explains “everything was an experiment with building and materials, which was great because that’s why BOFFO supports things like this, so artists can experiment and play.”
In addition to the contributions by Michael Bastian and Bittertang, BOFFO Building Fashion 2013 utilized materials sourced from Architectural Systems and lighting by Focus Lighting. Also at the SuperPier will be a BOFFO popup bookstore, offering a wide selection of exciting arts and culture publications. An opening celebration with Corzo Tequila, book signings, sales, and special events will be held at the SuperPier throughout the series. Bittertang was selected through an international architecture competition hosted by Architizer.
Store hours from Nov. 1-21, 2013: Monday – Saturday from 12 PM – 7PM and Sunday 12PM – 6PM. Press Preview by appointment: Nov. 4th, 11AM – 7PM. Credit cards are accepted. No Cash.
Michael Bastian is an American luxury menswear designer based in New York City. According to Bastian, his experience as men’s fashion director for Bergdorf Goodman revealed “a real need for a new American voice in the men’s designer world– something modern and luxurious, but also a little broken down and familiar.” Now in its thirteenth season, Michael Bastian is carried in over 35 retail locations in America, Europe, Asia, Canada and the Middle East. In 2011, Michael Bastian was named the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year. He had been nominated for this same honor the 3 previous years and was nominated once more for 2013. He was also nominated for the 2007 CFDA Newcomer Menswear Designer of the Year award, his first full year in business. The shop will feature novelty pieces from Bastian’s Fall Winter 13 collection such as the tiger camo sweater, the dark gray cotton military jacket, the blazer pants and tiger camo cargo pants.
Bittertang is a small design farm run by Antonio Torres and Michael Loverich who strive to bring happiness and pleasure into the built world. Their work explores multiple themes including pleasure, frothiness, biological matter, animal posturing, babies, sculpture and coloration all unified through bel composto. Bittertang’s explorations are based in digital and visceral matter with output transitioning between scales and localities. Although trained as architects, their prolific interests and methodology associates them closely to the organization of a farm. Digging deep into the fertile detritus left by thousands of years of human history and artifacts, their goal is to add thick rich fodder to contemporary material culture.