Botter charms Paris with highly successful maiden show
Botter’s show at the Paris Fashion Week Men’s was eagerly awaited, and it did not disappoint. On Thursday night, Dutch designers Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter, winners of the Grand Prix at the Hyères Festival in 2018 and also the creative directors of Nina Ricci, received a thundering ovation at the end of their debut Parisian catwalk show, for their well-balanced collection blending directional couture with a more casual tone. It was above all a prolific collection, a genuine declaration of their love for fashion.
The word ‘Love’ in bright red letters is the collection's main thread, popping up in most of the looks: a tiny printed motif on a pleated white shirt, small patches embroidered on a cable-knit sweater, or boldly in the middle of a mustard-coloured pullover. Another pullover claims that ‘There is no crying in fashion’.
Botter’s fashion is joyous and beautiful. Above all, it is accessible to everyone, as the Fall/Winter 2020-21 wardrobe created by the two designers seems to be telling us. With a pinch of imagination and plenty of inventiveness, they have created a democratic kind of couture, clothes with which everyone can look extremely elegant, even without too many resources or means, as the designer duo explained backstage, underlining that all their fabrics are salvaged or recycled.
A film of transparent plastic floats like a lightweight scarf, tied around the neck or rolled around the head in hat-headscarf fashion. A larger, stiffer plastic film transforms into a top, with the same pattern of a cable-knit sweater. The plastic pin heads used to pin the clothes’ price tags morph into decorative feathers, becoming a forest of spikes on original, brightly coloured hats, or creating a suggestion of volume on a pair of dark trousers or a micro-check suit, giving them a crazy feel.
The collection is brimming with details, evidence of the designers’ couture research, giving a surprise twist to each item. Like the thin blue strips, seemingly cut from a plastic garbage bag, that act as twirling appliqué stripes on a white shirt. Another example are the wisps of cotton, like a puffer jacket’s padding, with which the designers create fluffy flower-like patches on an oversize tweed jacket. Elsewhere, the top section of a jacket is slit open, folding outwards to expose the lining.
A special mention goes to the handbags shaped like birthday-party air balloons. Silvery or multi-coloured, decorated with trinkets and messages like ‘good luck’ and ‘happy birthday’, they were created in collaboration with US artist Adam Parker Smith. They will surely be a big success.
The two designers, partners in work and in life and linked by their shared Caribbean roots, met in the Netherlands and are based in Antwerp, Belgium, where they founded the Botter menswear label in 2017. Rushemy Botter, 34, lived until the age of 12 on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, while the mother of Lisi Herrebrugh, 30, hails from the Dominican Republic. Botter is distributed via some 40 multibrand retailers, chiefly in the USA and in Belgium.
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