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PEOPLEText: Peta Jenkin

Not to miss out on leaving their indelible mark on fashion’s most wanted, BLESS also take on footwear giant Adidas with their No. 12 series. Each pair is unique and part of a limited edition of only one hundred pairs, all of which, like most of the pieces from the BLESS collections, are completely sold out.

BLESS No. 12 – Customised Adidas Sneakers, 2000

From one must-have to another, the No. 16 series pushes our notions of a shoe beyond the expected with a diverse collection of woven boots that are at once elegant and unusual in their design and the combination of materials used. These boots rate as one of my favourites of their collections so far, a kind of future-gypsy meets medieval-glamour look, which would turn heads on any big city street.

BLESS No. 16 – Shoe Escorts, 2002

As a further reminder of their ‘will-do’ attitude, the designers recently released a collection of furniture pieces, entitled ‘Perpetual Home Motion Machine’. Wooden slabs and singular shelves are attached together at varying angles and positions to create multifunctional furniture which encourages interaction with the owner.

BLESS No. 22 – Mobil #4e, 2004

Clothes can be draped and hung from different sections, magazines fed through thin slots to hang with their pages pointing downward, and anything else fit into neat sections amongst the structure. The structures hang by steel wires from the ceiling, and depending on the placement and weight of the user’s various objects, the shelves move and twist, creating perpetual movement and balance/imbalance which gives the furniture a unique presence in the room.

Even though each collection is so varied, a clear intent runs through all of the BLESS creations. Their pragmatic approach to the objects we use and interact with in our daily lives seems a completely necessary antidote to the increasingly mass-produced articles on offer.

So, it is always nice to get the chance to speak directly to the ‘minds’ behind the objects, not only to satisfy a certain superficial curiosity but perhaps more importantly to put their practice into a wider perspective.

Unfortunately I was not able to speak with the other half of BLESS, Desiree Heiss, who is now based in Paris. But talking with Ines gave me a nice insight into how BLESS came about and a few thoughts on working in fashion.

We met on a quiet Easter Friday afternoon, over coffee in Berlin Mitte. Ines looked refreshingly ‘non-fashion’, wearing loosely fitted jeans and a pair of roughed-up Nikes. I could sense she had been through ‘the making of BLESS’ story many times before, but still found things to talk excitedly about.

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