«My style? A mix between trash and aristocratic. Layers of heavy fabrics with a bit of Lord Byron, Cold War aesthetics and updated new rich jet-set from Dynasty thrown in.» Roger Meier pauses a moment for dramatic effect only to burst out laughing. He is, of course, spot-on. The 33-year-old is a master of outré sartorial swagger and an ardent disciple of the lethal Wildean bonmot. Assets which come in handy for the cultural affairs agent whose ever expanding portfolio includes newly appointed attaché de presse at Kunsthalle Bern and masterminding Hidden Bar, Art Basel edition 2018’s best kept secret hangout, in collaboration with artist Hannah Weinberger.
«I’m currently very inspired by the cold war era, its tales of espionage and secret service, John Le Carré – but also by what happened politically and in art. In terms of style, I love the borderline ugly fashion.» Ch-ch-ch-changes and facing the strange are part of this citizen’s DNA. Resting his head on a shrimp print neck-pillow, Meier expands on why he prefers to be his own boss, walking the fine line between posing and positions, art and commerce: «People often ask me why I didn’t become an artist or a fashion designer. Frankly, I don’t fancy going on people’s nerves for the rest of my life. Also, I’m not enough of a business person or into planning a career. Besides, I find it hilarious when people still raise eyebrows when an artist does a handbag collaboration. The idea that art is intellectually sustainable is so obsolete. As to designing fashion: it would infuriate me greatly to see my designs going from luxury items to bargain bin within five years.»
Those accustomed to feeling the pointy end of Meier’s critical pencil are probably shifting in their seats. But regard the self-confessed “Contemporary Renaissance nerd” as a movie of his own editing and you’ll find its leading character has all the essential post-ness: he is cheeky, irreverent, wide-eyed, scurrilous, slightly lurid. Asked what dish describes his personality best, Meier deadpans: «Toast Hawaii and for dessert Belle Hélène.» A show-horse he may be, but Roger Meier knows how to run the course at a gallop.