The creative collaboration began with Melgaard providing the designers with written prompts describing imaginary individuals for whom they’d create a signature piece of clothing—drug addicts, sex enthusiasts, high functioning sociopaths and other miscreants springing from Melgaard’s overactive mind. “They’re really sad archetypes of people,” says Eckhaus. “Some of them are direct alter egos—one piece is the result of if a coyote were to mate with Bjarne.” Regular studio visits with Melgaard helped Eckhaus and Latta grasp how the clothes, essentially exoskeletons for these hypothetical beings to live in, would fit into the larger artworks. “What the clothes looked like as we were making them, as opposed to the environments that he was creating for them, inspired this ever-evolving dialogue, says Eckhaus. “We would go back to the clothes with new ideas. That call-and-response was just as valuable as any of the character descriptions.”
Above: Promotionial poster for the Eckhaus Latta sex kits
“Fine art is so much more chill than fashion,” says Latta. “We spent a day with six art handlers trying to hang a poster who all have Master’s degrees.” Both Eckhaus and Latta agree that Eckhaus Latta, the brand, is about acknowledging this type of diversity in their work. “Our background is in fine arts, but we never segregate ourselves. Bjarne was so open to trusting us. He gave us a starting point and said, “Do what you want. It was working with no restraints.”
Bjarne Melgaard: Ignorant Transparencies will be on display at Gavin Brown’s enterprise through October 26th, 2013.