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Global Warning: Botter alerts on the climate emergency

By Julia Garel

Oct 15, 2021

Fashion

Image: Botter - SS22 (FHCM)

Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter, artistic directors of Nina Ricci and founders of the Botter brand, are what we call emerging designers. With this status comes a lot of media attention, which they are using to confront the fashion world with climate change. Their spring/summer 2022 Botter collection, ‘Global Warning’, was no exception to this commitment.

Presented as part of the official Paris Fashion Week calendar, the unisex line was unveiled by appointment on September 28 in Paris and in a video on the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) website. The message was clear: global warming is accelerating and time is running out.

Protecting the oceans

For the SS22 collection, the creative duo worked with the NGO Parley for the Oceans, an organisation that works collaboratively to protect the oceans and marine life. The partnership enabled Botter to offer a summer collection produced from 60 percent recycled ocean plastics, as reported by WWD.

Both Dutch with Caribbean roots, the designers have been telling a story focused on the world of the sea since their debut at the Hyères festival - at which they won the 2018 Première Vision Grand Jury Prize. However, more than just an inspiration, for Herrebrugh and Botter the marine environment is also a cause to defend.

Image: Botter - SS22 (FHCM)

“Making clothes is no longer enough,” said Rushemy Botter, last September in an interview with Vogue magazine. It is therefore logical that the brand has doubled up on the presentation of its SS22 collection, with a strong message aiming to alert people to the threats and climate catastrophes that alter or destroy the ocean’s balance. The result is a video with a dark and frightening staging.

Sirens of ocean liners, the sound of waves and sea winds, a dynamic rhythm - although filmed in a refined concrete setting, the video transport viewers to the seaside. But it is a far cry from the paradisiacal beach of the Chanel spring/summer 2019 fashion show. The bluish atmosphere suggests the simulation of a cruder reality, that of the threatened oceans. The models wear diving masks, recycled umbrella hats (designed by the Piganiol company), walk at a fast pace and tap on the camera screen as if to come and wake up our ecological activist soul in a more confronting way.

The silhouettes are true to Botter’s style: oversized polo shirts, tailored pieces and fishnet tops. The palette is predominantly blue and beige, with yellow and orange-red accents. There are also further references to diving, such as compact materials, bags inspired by buoys and diving bonnets. As for the jewellery, the necklaces were created from fishing hooks, designed alongside the Japanese company Dowluck.

Image: Botter - SS22 (FHCM)

By opting for a message of climate urgency, Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter add their presentation to the list of shows that have confronted the fashion world with the same subject. These include Marine Serre’s ‘Black Tide’ collection (2019) and Francesco Risso’s spring/summer 2020 collection for Marni (2019).

Image: Botter - SS22 (FHCM)

According to a report published in August by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the number of disasters caused by weather, climate and water has increased fivefold over the past 50 years as a result of climate change - which is mainly caused by human activities. Aware of its environmental impact, the fashion industry has taken numerous actions to reduce the damage caused by its industry. In this regard, the Climate and Resilience Act, which was published in the Official Journal in August 2021, will have an impact on the clothing industry.

The luxury ready-to-wear brand Botter was launched in 2017. Its collections are distributed on its e-shop as well as at international retailers such as Dover Street Market, Ssense, KM20, Boon the Shop, Printemps, Nordstrom and Galeries Lafayette.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.