Every year, the non-profit arts organization BOFFO fuses fashion and architecture through BOFFO Building Fashion. The program connects a fashion designer who has never had a retail space with an architect who designs the space. The first of this year’s partners, menswear designer Michael Bastian and Bittertang, debuted their collaboration this week at New York’s SuperPier. Visitors can peruse through Bastian’s fall 2013 collection in the immersive space, a giant haystack created from two shipping containers. Shoppers have the chance to purchase items from the line, along with one-of-a-kind garments that can’t be found elsewhere. The Manual spoke to both Bastian, and Antonio Torres from Bittertang about the endeavor.
Tell us about your fall 2013 collection.
Bastian: Our fall 13 collection was inspired by Andrew Wyeth, the American painter, and that idea he lived in worked in this tiny little corner of Maine, and Maine is such an interesting state to me anyways because it’s dark and remote and freezing most of the year. It’s kind of like one of the last American wildernesses, and he explored that a lot in his painting, and we were thinking about a lot about the idea of American gothic and the darker corner of America and American menswear.
How was it designing a space for the collection?
Torres: All the ingredients were already set up by Michael and his description of the collection and his interest in the art and Andrew Wyeth and the Windsor chairs became a big departure point for a lot of the furniture, and formerly we also spoke a lot about a lot of New England architecture and the houses and we were kind of imagining being under an attic where you see these angles that are always pushing you down, grounding you to the floor, and creating the atmosphere and the mood for the collection, and also giving the people a more visceral experience to the whole space.
What do you think of the pop-up shop?
Bastian: The Bittertang guys came back and took our idea and took it 10 blocks further down the road with the idea of this cocoon made out of wax and a 20-foot hay sculpture on the exterior and incorporating all these things that we had in the collection, like the feathers and the colors, the red, white and black bird. It was one of those moments when these guys really got us.
BOFFO Building Fashion: Michael Bastian + Bittertang is located at SuperPier through November 21. For more information, visit boffo-ny.org.