Techno Mermaid. Ottolinger SS23

Ottolinger designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient opened their spring-summer 2023 fashion show with a sharp 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. Gen Z’s love of near nudity knows no bounds, and the fan base that lounged on the show venue’s mattress seats 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.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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NET-A-PORTER Limited