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Bjarne’s blow-out giveaway

by Dan Duray  |  23.02.2017
Bjarne’s blow-out giveaway
Bjarne Melgaard’s The Purge was a novel way of offloading his clothing collection (Image: Megan Mack, courtesy of Red Bull Arts New York)
On Valentine’s Day, waves of unruly hypebeasts (the more consumerist incarnation of the hipster for those in the know) descended on Red Bull Arts New York, the pop-up exhibition space, for The Purge. This one-night-only event was the climax of the Norwegian-born artist Bjarne Melgaard’s fashion week send-up, The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment. The Purge was said to be Melgaard’s way of ridding himself of his designer clothing collection (and some items of his own new line), among them pieces from the labels Comme des Garçon, Eckhaus Latta, Issey Miyake, Lanvin, Margiela and, of course, Supreme. The giveaway was to begin at 5pm, but eager bargain-hunters started queuing outside in freezing weather around 2pm. Inside, people tore at small piles and ripped wigs off mannequins in disappointment. “Someone tried to rip my coat off me,” someone complained, and I recalled a quote of Melgaard’s from 2011, about a show of his having been inspired by “heterosexual failure”. By 5.11pm, it was all over. Bouncers had trouble dispersing those who hadn’t even had a chance to see the show. “I guess I had a feeling we might get pranked,” said the stylist Roxie Saba, watching the chaos outside. “I just wish it wasn’t so cold.”

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