Aside from being an omnipresent fashion trend and an age-old plot narrative, “Boy Meets Girl” is also the name of a painting by the artist Ed Ruscha.
In one of the more unusual alliances in recent months, the artist has lent the design of his 1987 acrylic painting depicting a grid of lights, overlaid with the words “Boy Meets Girl” for one bespoke Huntsman jacket. Only one jacket will be made for a man or woman. That opportunity will be auctioned at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Rita Hayworth gala in New York on Oct. 25.
The collaboration was brokered, so to speak, by Anthony Peck whose father Gregory was a Huntsman loyalist. After seeing Huntman’s printed silk linings with works from Francis Bacon and René Magritte, the younger Peck suggested to chairman Pierre Lagrange that Ruscha would be a good candidate to team up with. Lagrange paid a visit to Ruscha’s California studio, and the artist liked the prospect and was keen to support the Alzheimer’s Association charity and support research.
The process, understandably, required great care. Ruscha approved each stage of printing the lining and then cutting it to fit the garments. Huntsman general manager Carol Pierce was responsible for finding a top-notch digital printer that could create the design with the right inks, quality of print and color palette. She said, “Technically, it’s quite a task that you have to take on, because you cut the actual lining so that all the detail of the painting matches up perfectly.”
To ensure that every element was up to snuff, samples were sent back and forth between the printer, Huntsman’s tailors and Ruscha’s studio. Far from a rush job, all of the parties involved spent nearly a year exacting the design until the printing of Ruscha’s work on the silk was approved.
Five artist’s proofs were made, but those are not for sale. Lauren Hutton, the owner of the original “Boy Meets Girl” painting, and a Huntsman client, has one of the jackets, as does Ruscha. His son Eddie, an artist in his own right, has a slate gray velvet smoking jacket lined with “Boy Meets Girl,” and fitted by Huntsman head cutter Campbell Carey. Art dealer Larry Gagosian, who represents the elder Ruscha, also now has a jacket in his closet. The Gagosian gallery in London will show Ruscha’s “Extremes and In-Betweens” through December 17.
Lagrange scored the fifth jacket. Bidders will vie for their own at the Cipriani 42nd Street event, which honors HSN president Bill Brand.