Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient’s autumn-winter 2022 Ottolinger collection challenges what prettiness or functionality mean in our digital age. This season, they continue with themes begun during the pandemic: bulbous, hefty knotted tops; long, trailing flare trousers with tons of stretch; and chunky outerwear either cropped or belted with a shearling rope at the waist. The shapes almost look virtual, rejecting the natural laws of gravity or glamour. Finding new ways to take up space, now modes of projecting the body, is the duo’s stated mission with their fall line. There’s enough clingy body-con stuff out there already; enough sexy and seductive. The designers have tapped into a new aesthetic that is more organic, bordering on biological. And they have worked for two years to perfect their language of lumpy, bumpy bad gals, partnering with a women’s collective of hand knitters for a white cardigan and bringing on new knitwear production to make filmy post-apocalyptic layers. It’s not all fashion for philosophy’s sake: the designers have also introduced their first bag “that can actually hold something!” said Gadient with a laugh before the show, demonstrating the use of their new slimy shoulder bag, large enough for a phone, wallet, and maybe even a Nintendo Switch. The show was held at an Esports Arena in Paris, where guests watched a video on personal monitors before the models came out, and heard for the first time Azealia Banks’ latest banger, “Rule The World“. In addition to pushing their garments to a steady, intriguing place, Bösch and Gadient also contribute to play in the digital world. It’s a smart move and they will surely be among the first to define the new aesthetic language of Web3 and beyond.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.