For spring Johanna Ortiz headed West. “I’ve always been an equestrian,” she explained on a Zoom from the Paris showroom where she was holding appointments. “That’s where we started this season.” There were Western-jacket motifs on a long cream cotton jacket with a wrap belt at the waist and delicately pin-tucked details throughout that made the fabric appear as it was a tonal stripe. It was also used on a tobacco brown linen jacket with a tonal floral-esque insignia made from woven raffia that had been patchworked in the back, like a marker of a cool club. A similar patchwork treatment featured on a black maxi skirt—the patchwork in raffia’s more natural coloring instead—worn with a voluminous off-the shoulder cotton shirt
Raffia played a starring role in the collection, something that Ortiz often returns to season after season, though spring found her hitting a particularly magnificent sweet spot. Take the ecru cotton dress with a dynamic checker print; towards the hem, a row of fringe turned out to be little rolls of it woven into the fabric and adding a wonderful element of movement—if not magic. A similar technique was used on the bodice of an elegant black and ecru number where 18 strands of raffia, left fringed on either end, marked a sort of classic line on a bustier. On another dress they formed an intricately woven fan shape that rippled into rows of ruffles across a slim skirt. The simplicity of the shape combined with the humble materials created elegantly pared-back evening solutions.
Elsewhere, Ortiz’s restrained (but never quiet) elegance could be summed up by two looks: one, a black bodysuit with a deep-V back, paired with a low-slung embroidered cotton voile skirt in black and tobacco brown, accessorized with a thin leather belt with a silver clasp. Another took the two-piece approach of the look and simplified it even further, converting it into a dress with a black tank top whose dropped waist merged into the lace fabric (this time in black and white). Naturally, both styles had pockets. “It’s a perfect summer dress, and the fabric feels a little bit silky—almost like a voile,” Ortiz said. “I think it really shows my love for textiles, and that’s how everything starts in our collection. A passion for textiles, for prints, for textures, and trying to give comfortable-yet-luxurious fabrics that make women feel good in their body.” What else could one ask for?