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Diotima Spring 2024 Ready-to-Wear

Rachel Scott held her first presentation this New York Fashion Week in a quiet gallery in Chelsea, where models moved languidly around conical and anatomical heart-shaped sculptures laid on the ground. The clothes were unmistakably Diotima: Scott’s signature doily tops, the relaxed trousers with sprays of crochet, her knee-length pleated skirts, the suiting separates and work shirts with knit inserts. Almost every piece in the collection was intricate, and the backstory was equally complex.

Since launching her brand in 2020, Scott has aimed to show a rich view of Jamaican culture that challenges stereotypes. In the past, she cast the dancehall queen Carlene in her look book, and she works with a knitting circle of women in Kingston to create her signature pieces. For spring 2024, she collaborated with the artist Laura Facey—whom Scott refers to as “probably the most famous living artist in Jamaica”—to stage her collection titled Nine-Night. It was named after a Jamaican funerary practice of “meditating on someone’s death for nine nights,” culminating in a “release” on the final day. Celebratory but also serious.

Facey and Scott met over DMs, though Scott was long familiar with Facey’s oeuvre, which interrogates the legacy of slavery in Jamaica. The heart sculptures, of which models wore miniature versions, are pieces that Facey will place on boats to honor the lives lost to the transatlantic slave trade. The look book was also photographed, in part, on a property that was previously a plantation. The experience was “haunting,” according to Scott. “We often see this idealized view of what the Caribbean is. We are never allowed complexity, we are never allowed growth,” she said. “I want to show that there is a fullness, there is a culture that is complicated, but it is rich and we are moving toward the future.”

She wanted the collection to have a gravity as well, describing it as “contemplative.” (Though in the show notes, she wrote that the final day of the wakes resemble parties more than funerals.) The clothes then, fittingly, didn’t feel dark. Instead they felt like Diotima. The mesh and crochet of all different sizes and textures lived next to mens-y suiting. A compelling addition was the gold basket-weave fabric used in pinafores and skirts with a vibrant red lining. Scott has a soft spot for her new white fringe dress, worn over a suit.

Her collection is inherently ambitious. This is a designer whose most recognizable pieces are almost entirely see-through but whose label remains sophisticated and intellectual. She’s speaking to artists—or at the very least artistic people. Through these clothes, this location, and the collaboration with Facey, she drove that point home. “People keep asking who my customer is; I think it’s a wide range of people, but people who have this attraction to this tension within clothing,” Scott said. “You can have the sheer, but you can have the more reserved, and have the two together. It can be anyone. I want to show who the customer could be.”



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