With unpredictable and exciting silhouettes, and an interesting mix of materials, the Dutch newcomer label Botter kicked off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2019 with their collection "Al Fombra". The design duo Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh has recently been awarded the Grand Prix du jury Premiere Vision at the 33rd edition of Festival International de la Mode et de la Photographie d'Hyères this past April. Corresponding with Mercedes-Benz's own emerging design talent program, the International Designer Exchange Program, the company puts an emphasis on supporting young talent. Alongside the show, the exhibition "Mercedes Benz presents the Hyères Festival 2018 Fashion Shortlist", took place, giving a platform to the finalists of the competition, which was in collaboration with the hosts of the festival, Villa Noailles. In line with their Caribbean heritage, Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh put a strong and visible focus on the mixture of beauty and misery, creativity and poverty, masculinity and non-gender-conformity. According to the designers, they were inspired by the lotto shops on the street corners of the Dominican Republic and Curacao, were poor people would spend their last money in hopes of winning the big prize; yet, those prizes were rarely given out. With this in mind, the mixture of hope and poverty was portrayed very visibly in trash bags tied to perfectly cut shirts, fisher nets dangling off jackets or water toys worn as hats. The beauty of the ocean, taunted by pollution; dreams of a brighter future taunted by reality. Surprising silhouettes dominated the collection, with strong H-and O-forms, oversized jackets and layers of various different materials. The intend behind using fabrics such as plastic, cotton and nylon was to out an emphasis on the atmosphere between these controversies. Prints were used to make them even more visible. Simplicity meets luxury in terms of fabric use, and a collection that could be worn every day turns into a piece of art; all with the touch of reality.
Berlin Fashion Week S/S 2019
Text by Sarah Weyers
Photo © Stefan Knauer/Getty Images for MBFW