The MBFW Spring/Summer 2019 opened fashion week with a show by emerging Dutch label Botter. The designer duo Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh were showing their new collection “Al Fombra” for the first time, mixed with looks from their current, multi-award-winning collection “Fish or Fight”.
The show at MBFW was made possible by Mercedes-Benz as part of its own International Designer Program, an initiative for supporting and developing young talents; it was complemented by an exhibition of one look per designer from all ten shortlists from the fashion category at the 33rd Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in Hyères in April of this year – Botter won the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision.
In their new “Al Fombra” collection, seen for the first time on a catwalk at the Berlin show, the designers Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh have combined simple and luxurious materials to create surprising, eye- catching ensembles. The cuts create an oversize and boxy look; striking prints are used on T-shirts and loose- fitting shirts; the trousers feature a shorter length, whilst jackets have a wider fit – all of which combines to create an unusual silhouette. Even though Botter presents itself as a purely menswear label, the looks can be interpreted as unisex.
As with earlier designs, the inspiration for the new “Al Fombra” collection stems from the Caribbean roots of Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh.
“We were affected by the lottery shops that you can find on every street corner in the Dominican Republic and Curaçao. I can still see my grandmother going into one of these shops and spending the last of her money in the hope she might win. But the reality is that most of these firms never pay out any prize-money. They play on the hopes of the poor for their own benefit. We want to get this aspect across in our clothing; and so we have played with the tension in the materials and the way the fabrics hang. And we have translated this idea even more literally into our prints. We thought it was wonderful how people who have so little can be so creative. They have to survive, and they simply don’t have access to all the materials that we can source in Europe,” explained the designer duo.
Alongside their new collection, Botter presented highlights from “Fish or Fight”, with which they won the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision at the Hyères Festival and were amongst the 10 finalists of the LVMH Prize 2018.
Complementing the main show, the exhibition “Mercedes-Benz presents the Hyères Festival 2018 fashion Shortlists” – staged in collaboration with the Festival organiser villa Noailles – showed one ensemble from each of the ten fashion finalists selected for the Hyères Festival by its jury, which included Haider Ackermann, Tilda Swinton and Jefferson Hack: Sarah Bruylant (Belgium), Manuela Fidalgo (Spain), Anna Isoniemi (Finland), Linda Kokkonen (Finland), Marie-Eve Lecavalier (Canada), Ester Manas (France), Jef Montes (Netherlands), Regina Weber (Germany), Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh (Netherlands), Antonina Sedakova (Russia).