Matthias Vriens-McGrath and his partner Donovan launched BL33N, an exciting t-shirts collection with an unusual and uber-cool concept, along a very “geil” marketing campaign.
LOS ANGELES, SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2011
Editor João Paulo Nunes Photography Donovan and Matthias Vriens-McGrath
Matthias Vriens McGrath has never been someone known for absconding from controversy. As
a photographer, he shot the US soccer team in
revealing Roberto Cavalli trousers for The New
York Times, and explored male sexuality for
magazines with gay readerships such as the
French Têtu or the British Attitude. While editor
of the (now defunct) magazine Dutch he explored gender crossing by dressing male models
in female clothes. His latest venture, in partnership with his partner Donovan, is a range of tshirts called BL33N that, in true Vriens’s style,
resorts to nudity and unabashed sensuality in its
buoyant promotional campaign.
Many designers and labels have explored the
possibilities of t-shirt collections over the years.
However, very few have done it in such a rebellious way as BL33N. The spirit of the campaign
suggests a hedonistic approach to physicality
fuelled by a grunge state of mind. In its seemingly negation of the fashion world, BL33N also
goes against the current conservative grain in
so far as it refuses the predominant heritage and
preppy trends to concentrate on a humorous approach to clad male and female bodies.
The T-shirt collection includes a number of designs of printed body parts and written
messages on white fabric. In addition, there are also ‘made in Los Angeles’ T-shirts that
incorporate an abstract drawing of a monster on the inside of the front that is revealed
with a mask-like effect as the garment is lifted to cover the face and head. In this
sense, BL33N could not be more amusing and nostalgic in the way it captures childish
behaviour as appropriated by adults who also feel comfortable revealing their bodies
in the process. For all its playfulness and light-hearted eroticism, BL33N is a brand of
garments with original designs for men and women that we at Geil could not get tired
of following. And with such enticing marketing campaigns to boot, who are we to deny
Matthias and Donovan the opportunity to succeed while dressing and undressing the
bodies of models to their (and our) delight?