There are some collaborations that are predictable, and others we never could have seen coming. In the latter camp is Garrett Borns and Sweetfin Poké. To celebrate the release of his new album, Blue Madonna, the electro-pop singer and Gucci muse, better known by his stage moniker BØRNS, teamed up with the L.A.-based, fast-casual food chain, helmed by former Top Chef contestant Dakota Weiss. Their perfectly 2018 project: a poké bowl that pays homage to the record’s themes of mortality, love, and lost innocence. “There’s a lot of duality of good and evil on the record, so I wanted the look of the bowl to resemble the album artwork,” he tells InStyle. “The base is dark rice and we added blue Borage edible flowers, Green Dragon apples, and golden beets for contrast.” Here, more from Borns about fashion, fresh fish, and his new Calvin Klein ads.
How did this kooky collaboration come about? When I was recording Blue Madonna, I was eating a lot of poké, so it felt natural to make my own bowl. [Sweetfin Poké] chef Dakota [Weiss] specializes in dishes based on music albums. She has an amazing artistic eye and palette. You can’t really escape poké now—it’s the big hot ticket item.
When did you get into poké? Definitely when I moved to L.A. My old roommate was an avid fisherman, so he would bring home fresh yellowtail.
You mentioned that the bowl “tastes like it sounds.” What did you mean by that? I’m all about the full sensory experience—attaching visuals to sounds, sounds to visuals, and making the intangible tangible. In an ideal world, someone would listen to the album as they eat the bowl. It gives you some time to work on your chopstick skills. Everyone could use some help with that.
Why did you decide to name the album Blue Madonna? The title came from this old, Italian religious painting I saw. The subject was looking into the distance, and you could tell she was looking at something, but you couldn’t tell what it was. To me, it represented nostalgia, but also the fear of what’s coming.
Speaking of nostalgia, I loved your Calvin Klein ads. Are you a boxers or briefs guy? Definitely briefs. I’m wearing some pretty ambitious pants these days, so I’ve got to make sure everything’s in order. [Laughs]
What others designers do you wear most often? Thom Browne has been blowing my mind lately. I saw his show in Paris and there was a dope suit with a skirt—it was pretty badass. Stella McCartney has a great cream double-breasted suit that reminds me of David Bowie’s Serious Moonlight Tour back in the ‘80s.