Transmutation has been a prominent theme of Fashion Month Spring 2021. It was highly evident in Ottolinger’s video presentation for Paris Fashion Week where fire, tornadoes, and laser eyes were among the catalysts for models to change clothes. This makes a lot of sense for a label whose designers (Berlin-based Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient) find reverence in the deconstruction and rebirth of matter.
This season, the design duo further integrated their noted sustainability practices with a deep appreciation for art and transformation. They incorporated original artwork from Swiss painter Markus Gadient (Cosima’s father) into the collection as a print on a dress, pants, and bikini bottoms. An assortment of alchemical concepts have also been applied to the clothing — resulting in bleached fabrics, oil slick patterns, and picturesque prints. The designs are mainly accessorized with drippy ceramic handbags and rubberized sandals.
Ottolinger has become well-known for its slinky, off-kilter dresses with creative cutouts and lacing. This silhouette showed up in the SS21 collection in quite a few iterations, including a sheer monogrammed version with black strings. The designers also featured a handful of knitted co-ords and power suits into the mix. The cut of the blazers truly dazzled me as they often buttoned asymmetrically to reveal the fabric worn underneath.
As with previous Ottolinger collections, many of the zipper flies and fasteners are off-center and/or excessive. Yet, the styling is approachable — a cream linen blouse over ombre trousers appeared relaxed and resort-ready. The ombre colors reflected a sunset on the horizon and elsewhere, this colorway showed up on a mesh skirt set and under a dip-dye hoodie. Throughout the collection, textures take on new forms; there’s a lovely, shredded linen dress that’s styled monochromatically with a pair of puffy espadrilles.
There’s something intuitive and cohesive about how Bösch and Gadient use different art mediums in their construction. Since Ottolinger’s inception, it’s seemed as if the designers were struck with sartorial inspiration while fulfilling other artistic ambitions. The pair have achieved a distinct manipulation of fabrics and mixed-media that makes their garments prime for repeat studying and optimal wearing.
Check out the visual for Ottolinger SS21 below.