Berlin label Ottolinger wants you to feel ‘sexy and free’ in its clothes

Next Generation 2023: Berlin-based label Ottolinger – by Swiss designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient – is looking forward with sensual, liberated clothing made to challenge convention

Person in Ottolinger studded outfit on stool
Jacket, €2,200; skirt, €762, both by Ottolinger. ’Colonia’ stool, by Ettore Sottsass, for Kartell, available for loan from Time & Space
(Image credit: Photography by Jessica Madavo, fashion by Clara Mary Joy)

Ottolinger is part of ‘The New Fashion Vanguard’ – four international fashion labels and designers presenting a new way to dress, as featured in ‘The Future Issue’ of Wallpaper* where we meet the rising stars shaking up the creative industries. 

Ottolinger’s Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient hope to capture a feeling of forward movement in their collections, which are defined by sensually-charged, deconstructed silhouettes and often feature slashed or manipulated elements, intricate strap fastenings, or skin-bearing cut-outs. ‘To look backwards is to die,’ read the accompanying notes for the Switzerland-born duo’s S/S 2023 show, in which models hurtled down the runway with wheelie suitcases in hand, as if onwards to somewhere new. ‘You are ready. You will not slow down… you will never look back.’

Ottolinger: ‘You have to be challenged’

Woman in denim Ottolinger outfit

Jacket, £916; skirt, £608, both by Ottolinger

(Image credit: Photography by Jessica Madavo, fashion by Clara Mary Joy)

The hope, the duo say, is to capture a feeling of freedom: ‘It’s hot, it’s sexy, but it’s also really free,’ say the designers of Ottolinger, having first met while studying at Basel’s Institute of Fashion Design. ‘We want to create a new language, and freedom for us is extremely important – to not be restricted by anything.’ As such, the S/S 2023 collection marked the beginning of a movement away from the wrapped, strap-heavy pieces for which the pair were originally known. Instead, the nexus was a motorcycle jacket. ‘We’ve been doing the strap for so long, and it’s around everywhere right now. With the biker jacket, we want to make you look at it differently… to create a picture where maybe you can see where it came from, but it’s not really clear.’

Bösch and Gadient also recently collaborated with Majorca-based footwear label Camper, creating a collection of pieces inspired by the brand’s archive, which dates back to the 1970s. ‘Everyone has a different way of approaching things, and that’s when you learn something new,’ they say of the collaborative process, which introduces Ottolinger to Camper’s wide consumer base. ‘It feels like there are changes coming, and it's always very interesting to be at a change moment. It’s always easier if it’s comfy, but you have to be challenged. That’s what makes it interesting.’

Models: Xelia at Milk Management, Phyllis at Milk Management. Casting: Feranmi Eso. Hair: Kim Rance at LGA Management using Authentic Beauty Concept. Make-up: Marina Belfon-Rose using RMS Beauty. Photography assistants: James Robertson, Sam Callahan. Fashion assistant: Yun Zhang. Hair assistant: Anastasiia Gryniuka.

A version of this story appeared in the January 2023 issue of Wallpaper*, available now in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands. 

With contributions from