Text: Joanna Papazoglou | Photo: Gregory Sparks | Link: buildingfashion.org
Architecture and Fashion, two art forms that seem to be indifferent. The foundation on the one hand and the fleeting essence of fashion, on the other are getting linked through a connecting bridge at Building Fashion. The new project of BOFFO and Spilios Giannakopoulos is an ambitious pairing attempt of fashion designers with architects, through a series of installation under the roof of HL23. Designed by architect and theorist Neil Denari, HL23 is build in the rail bed of Manhattan’s reborn High Line Park, next to he art galleries of West Chelsea, in New York. In HL23 five pairs of designers and architects meet since 9th September to project their creative collaboration. The aspiring architects have been chosen through the open and diverse Architizer platform and the designers accordingly without any expected esthetic mold. The only thing needed was to have fashion designers without any specific retail store, we wanted them to have their collection in a completely new space and develop a dialogue with it by translating their original idea in terms of space. The couples worked together and overcame their methodological differences. It can be intimidating for a fashion designer to work with an architect. In architecture everything is larger, more expensive and lasts longer. What triggered Building Fashion? BOFFO aims to provide exposure for artists and designers through exhibitions and events, to create a community of artists and designers to network, and explore a subject matter that educates and informs the public. Spilios Giannakopoulos, an architect himself, has worked in the past with Neil Denari on the HL23 Tin, a converted container which served as the Sales Office for the luxury apartments of HL23. When HL23 was nearing completion of their model apartment and the office was about to move Spilios realized that something good had to be done in that space. Last February he had attended 23 shows at New York Fashion Week and he was in awe by the overdose of creativity and vowed to find a way to continue his architectural work through the liquid world of fashion. Faris Al-Sahir, Gregory Sparks (co-founders of BOFFO) and Spilios Giannakopoulos set a meeting and brainstormed ideas about a project there. Until that time none of them had personally done a project of this magnitude. They had to convince sponsors, developers, partners, everyone that we can group together and produce high results. There were many battles to win and construction schedules to beat. Six months later it was materialized. Each installation stays on display only for ten days, therefore the pairs were encouraged to take advantage of the temporary nature of Building Fashion and be most expressive, ambitious and experimental.