In this story from the new issue of HIGHStyle, we imagined a shoot combining two of our favorite things: stellar clothing and interstellar interior design. It came together in a delirious raid through the warehouse of Friedman Benda, the gallery championing design iconoclasts of the past, present, and future.
The resulting shoot is a truly inspired smorgasbord of aesthetics. Presented as an oral history from Highsnobiety fashion director Corey Stokes and curators Alyse Archer-Coité and Josh Itiola, enjoy the splendor:
KAWS x Estudio Campana, 'Monster' (2019)
Corey Stokes: This is a chair that needs to be in the Highsnob office.
Alyse Archer-Coité: It's funny, because I feel this kind of chair can really take someone on an educational journey. It's silly, but that doesn't change the seriousness of the design.
Misha Khan, 'Angelika Pickles' (2019)
Archer-Coité: Misha is great. He's the king of textures and maximalism. And somehow it all works, even though nothing goes together.
Stokes: This lamp felt perfect with skin-tight Versace.
Ettore Sottsass, 'Geology 11' (2000)
Josh Itiola: Sottsass is such a prolific designer, and his ceramic work is so, so good. There's a book that came out a couple of years ago with a lot of his love letters that he wrote. He'd do little sketches in them, like he'd draw a penis on the side and say "I can't wait to see you."
Archer-Coité: That's where we are now with COVID. I'm sick of getting nude photos. Send me a nude artwork.
Nendo, 'Cabbage Chair' (2008)
Stokes: This chair is actually very confusing in person.
Archer-Coité: Nendo can do no wrong for me. They had an exhibition a couple years ago that really stood out to me, where there was one chair done more than fifty ways in the courtyard of an old church – or maybe a monastery – in Milan. He put a bunch of black tarp down on a bunch of white rocks, and all the chairs were bright silver. The precision of every piece – it was like an engineer making a chair.
Gaetano Pesce, 'Prototype for Seaweed Chair' (1991)
Itiola: I selected this one because I've been a big Pesce fan for years, and I also worked with him on a couple projects. Seeing Pesce sit down and make these chairs is incredible. He has studio hands shred out, like, ten trash bags of newspaper, and then he dips it into resin. He's in his 80s at this point, and he's still very involved in every making. He also has a lot of meaning behind his designs, so I'm sure this black chair with a little bit of red was not just a design thought. There's a story behind it.
Stokes: It felt appropriate with this Rick Owens bodysuit.
Erez Nevi Pana, 'Fossilized' (2018)
Stokes: We wanted to print both angles of this setup because the model and the piece really both felt like statues, and I love the detail on the back of this shirt.
Itiola: I was really drawn to this piece because it's made of Egyptian cotton and tar.
Archer-Coité: It makes you think of expensive sheets, and tar to ruin it all. The form of this piece is very totemic, like something you should be worshipping at.
Chris Schanck, 'Invasion' (2018)
Archer-Coité: Schanck's studio is in Detroit and he works with different artists and artisans from around the area. If you're going to choose a white male, you have to justify it at this point, and he has a great community story.
Stokes: I wonder why it's called Invasion.
Itiola: It's a very controlled alien mash, which I guess goes back to the community idea. A lot of people put their hands into this thing.
Archer-Coité: These are the extras from The Fifth Element that didn't make the cut.
Experience the full story and others in HIGHStyle, a print magazine by Highsnobiety available on newsstands and the Highsnobiety shop now.