Mono.Kultur, Berlin

Mono.Kultur #28: BLESS: IN DISGUISE

“Do you judge a magazine by its cover or its content?”

So much more than ‘just’ a fashion label, Bless is in fact a lifestyle (that comes free of style), an attitude, a view of the world. Founded in 1996 by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag and based in Paris and Berlin, Bless has always had its own way of seeing and doing: be it the famous fur wigs that were picked up by Maison Martin Margiela, or chairs that function as hoovers, or combs made out of (real) hair, or desks that turn into beds – you never know what to expect from Bless.

Renowned as a fashion label for quirky and unusual womenswear long before they actually presented their first regular collection, Bless successfully defies categorization by straddling the different worlds of fashion, industrial design and fine art with impressive ease and style. The underlying thread to all products and projects, however, is a constant questioning and rethinking of our world. And so, no matter what the designers set their delicate minds to, in the end it will always feel so surprisingly and refreshingly Bless.

In an interview that continuously reverses the roles of interviewer and interviewees, Bless talked with mono.kultur about the similarities between fashion and furniture, the importance of food, and their determination to improve our world.

The issue contains two separate booklets with a rollercoaster ride of an interview on your left, and the official lookbook of Bless’s latest collection N° 43 Know Howowow on your right.

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mono.kultur #26: Manfred Eicher

mono.kultur #26 is dedicated to Manfred Eicher, the mastermind behind the highly prestigious jazz and classic label ECM Records. Founded in 1969, ECM have by now released more than 1,000 albums, many of which were produced by Eicher personally.
Based in Munich, ECM has a long history of reviving and tirelessly promoting the avant-garde of contemporary Jazz, hosting the likes of Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek or Pat Metheny. At a time when Jazz was on its wane, ECM introduced a decidedly European notion to this primarily American genre, exploring new sound and different approaches to a stagnating phenomenon.
In 1984, Eicher expanded into contemporary classical music with his line ECM New Series, releasing seminal works by Arvo Pärt or Steve Reich. Both imprints have changed the face of their respective genres forever, due to the audacious release schedule, the high production standards and the aesthetic appearance of the label. All aspects attest to the personal touch of a relentlessly perfectionist visionary.
In a high-minded and challenging conversation, Manfred Eicher talked with mono.kultur about sound, silence and everything inbetween.

Interview by Bernd Kuchenbeiser
Introduction by Kai von Rabenau
Artwork courtesy of ECM Records
Design by Atelier Bernd Kuchenbeiser

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