There’s been a lot of talk about sexiness being back this fashion month, with designers opting to showcase designs that bare more skin, and operating in unusual patterns. From the multitude of cut-outs to a resurgence of early 2000s silhouettes, this enhanced sensuality across the board speaks to the need for an antidote to lockdown dressing. Berlin-based Ottolinger embraced this notion too, showing a futuristic collection at Paris Fashion Week.
The show began with a group of ribbed cotton two-pieces. Racer tops, leggings, t-shirts, and briefs all appeared with skin-baring cut-outs and extra straps. Along with tapping into the zeitgeist, these details have been part of co-creative leads Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient’s vocabulary since the beginning of the label. That they have been dominating the fashion sphere is testament not only to the popularity of their design but also, as discussed, to people’s post-pandemic inclination to dress up and show all.
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Described by some as ‘one-part underwear, one-part athleisure’, the opening group of separates gave way to one-sleeved denim jackets and a series of even strappier cotton dresses that revealed as much as they concealed. The collection also included a plaid mesh tank dress that has become somewhat of a signature piece for the brand. This appeared as one of a set, with another version of the same silhouette printed in an artist collaborator’s work. The message portrayed by these dresses was one of body-consciousness (not in the embarrassed sense, but with emphasis on awareness of the body) and seduction, whilst remaining functional and ready-to-wear, set to appease the brand’s already dedicated following.
The final phase of the show exuded experimentation: here we saw the pair use wire to create outlandish, or perhaps futuristic new silhouettes. Fabric draped over the wire jutted out from hips, and corsets orbited torsos in a display of sculptural fashion that went beyond the usual parameters of the body.The effect gave a nod to the social distancing of the last 18 months – enjoy the designs, but don’t come too close.
Bösch and Gadient’s futuristic universe for Ottolinger was a good fit for the digital realm, managing to translate well on a screen for their past two seasons. But seeing them on the runway once again made their real-life appeal, and craftsmanship, all the more apparent.