“Resilience“, a force that connects us all, is the cornerstone of the BOTTER Spring/Summer 2024 collection, a refreshing response to the reductive misconceptions of Haitian Vodou. Design duo Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, the creative minds behind the label, expertly harnessed the powerful narrative of Vodou as a harmonizing force to create a collection that illustrates interconnectedness and protection, a timely and poignant message in our current climate. Prepare to delve into an enchanting fusion of creativity, sustainability, and technological integration that redefines the boundaries of modern fashion.
Embarking on a journey to rewrite the popular narrative around Vodou, Botter and Herrebrugh focused on its positive aspect as a unifying force. This is a stark contrast to the image of harm and malice often associated with the cultural phenomenon. Their vision, portrayed through intricate sartorial pieces, posits a vibrant world where the living and the spirit realm interact seamlessly, reflecting a narrative of unity, mutual protection and creation.
The fashion spectacle commenced with an eye-catching red tank top, ingeniously upcycled from scoubidou, woven into a knitted base that resulted in a pseudo-armor appearance. This innovative technique, a playful nod towards protection, became a recurring theme throughout the show, seen in full warm-up suits, coordinated women’s tops and skirts and handbags, all boasting the same plastic-like texture.
The introduction of Day Brierre, a talented digital artist hailing from Haiti, added another layer of authenticity to the collection. His vivid illustrations depicting the Haitian diaspora found their way onto flowing silk dresses and even a stunning algae-woven jacquard, further enhancing the collection’s narrative and visual appeal.
Adding to the mystical allure of the collection, a variety of accessories-cum-talismans, including belts strung from hands and doll heads affixed to dinosaur bodies, were interwoven into the collection. The artistry of Daniel Von Weinberger, renowned for his ability to intertwine the cool and the creepy, brought these pieces to life.
Yet, despite the riot of symbolism and narrative, the pair managed to ground their collection with more traditional, tailored pieces. These designs featured twisted, interlaced and wrapped patterns that stressed the designers’ theme of “ongoing flow“.
“We wanted to explore with more depth this season and apply what we’ve learned at Nina Ricci on our own terms“, Botter explained. “We want you to feel free when you see our collection“, added Herrebrugh. This exploration is evident in their aquatic-inspired garments, including trompe l’oeil triangle bikinis, elevated fishing nets, and organza cut like scales, that punctuated the runway with a breezy ease and exceptional attention to detail.
As their collaborators, Reebok had a tangible presence in the form of reimagined soccer cleats and 3D-printed slides. A testament to their increasing popularity, the show attracted a slew of music artists with a fashion flair, including Asake, Aminé and Miguel, who praised the brand’s commitment to sustainability and its distinctive creative vision.