It’s time to face reality head on.
That’s what the Botter fall show telegraphed on Wednesday, with a lineup of smartly tailored looks livened up with handcraft and their eye for repurposing.
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“We felt this is not a time for fantasy and we felt like we need to be grounded on Earth,” said Lisi Herrebrugh backstage.
The array of workwear shirts blended into a blazer, patchwork overcoats, trompe-l’oeil shirt-and-slacks coveralls and dress shirts with jacket cuffs felted into them using needle punch techniques comprised what the pair called their most realistic collection yet.
Leaning into office-appropriate attire certainly seems a canny choice for the 2022 ANDAM winners, given the genre is gaining ground, now at a 24 percent share of total menswear sales in department stores, according to recent figures from the International Association of Department Stores.
That’s not to say the designing couple left playfulness behind. It came in subtler ways than previously, through their bike saddle bag, trousers reworked into a cocoon-like blouson or using their “Hell” bootleg of a famous petrochemical logo to evoke a seashell bathing suit.
“We’re here to talk about certain things that happen in the world and translate them in a relatable or poetic way,” she continued. “But it can be quite straightforward like this.”
Take sustainability. Though the algae-based eco-friendly textiles they’re planning for are still at the R&D phase, they made a case for circularity with an artfully frayed denim Canadian tuxedo.
One could imagine giving a new lease on life to well-worn trousers with felted patches or repurposing their own denims — good luck achieving Botter’s pin-sharp execution, though.
Also, squint and the piecemeal patchworking and layering could read as an evocation of migrant populations, a “tribe that’s moving constantly,” which Rushemy Botter finds beautiful and that doesn’t get enough attention in his opinion.
All this amounted to the sense that no matter how dreamy and poetic their work, there’s nothing fuzzy about the logic at play at Botter.
Launch Gallery: Botter RTW Fall 2024
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