After four weeks of late nights and early starts, the fashion pack could be forgiven for power napping as they waited for a show to start on a Sunday afternoon. The temptation was even greater at Ottolinger, where seating comprised a giant tessellated pile of mattresses. That is, until the techno started pumping.
Backstage, designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient explained they wanted guests to feel as if they were waking up and heading out into the world full of GIF-y, girl-bossy ebullience. “It’s like in the morning when there’s really warm light, and you have a good feeling about the day. You start the day upbeat, you go off and you sign a deal—it’s not an average day; it’s a really good day,” said Gadient with a laugh. If it took a little creative license for this writer to imagine inking a business deal in the show’s opening look—a deconstructed belt–meets–bra top whose straps covered the nipples and little else, paired with low-slung leather-look trousers made from recycled polyester—the audience didn’t share such prudishness. Gen Z’s love of near nudity knows no bounds, and the fan base that lounged on the mattresses wearing skin-baring looks from the Berlin-based label would think nothing of wearing a crop top to talk shop.
The designers recently launched a pre-collection that they said had allowed them to tackle more conceptual ideas in their runway shows. No longer beholden to showing denim and mesh dresses, which are their big commercial hits, this freed them up to present deconstructed biker jackets and skintight bodysuits. Ironically, though, the strongest pieces were arguably the most commercial, especially the dresses that draped and hugged the body with some rubbery-looking embellishments. Dipping items in rubber is a trait that reads recognizably Ottolinger: The punked-up court shoes, which saw a classic pump wrapped in a futuristic rubber-like casing, were as covetable as the diamanté jewelry dipped in brightly colored rubber that currently sells well on the label’s website. They’d do well to continue hammering home those codes as the Y2K trend keeps rolling and numerous other labels look to replicate their success with the sexy and the skintight.