There’s something in the fashion air lately that has ignited new interest in young, underground designers. Perhaps it’s the industry’s constant craving for something unexpected that draws us to those who discard convention. Or perhaps we’re beginning to catch up with the prevalence of this deconstructed, oftentimes DIY, approach to street culture. Or maybe we like to root for the underdog who lacks formal training. Whatever the reason, weird has become implicitly cool.
A prime example: Berlin-based Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient, whose Ottolinger label upends technicality and guidelines and is instead informed by their bodies, their friends’ bodies — clothes fit for the misfit. “There are probably some things you don’t get, and we don’t get, it’s a mix. We try to play with perception of what beauty is and shapes should be,” Gadient said backstage before the show.
The brand’s super-deconstructed aesthetic — flowy, broken-down clothing — explores the notion of what sexiness is. The collection’s asymmetrical red dress might read as sexy, but so could the ripped threads of a skirt paired with an experimentally crinkled button-down shirt. It need not always be pretty and it could be odd (although the tape-wrapped boots likely won’t catch on). A bevy of tattered, torn, sheer and fringed clothing hammered home the point.
For the less-experimental girl the duo showed toned-down matching sets, such as a yellow suede jacket and pants combo and some futuristic patent leather pieces. These aren’t traditional ideas of refinement, but it’s sure fun to see fashion embracing the unusual and the different.