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HomeFashionMelitta Baumeister Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear

Melitta Baumeister Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear

Shape and volume are themes in Melitta Baumeister’s work, and they shift and change with seasonal themes. Fall collections are sometimes humorous reflections on “extreme nature.” The designer came up with the theme through her partner, a long-distance cyclist on the grueling Tour Divide through the Rocky Mountains. When athletes ride along the Continental Divide, the different types of terrain create “all kinds of natural challenges … one of which is bears and other animals that you need to watch out for,” Baumeister said. This danger inspired Baumeister’s furry “teddy bear” look, as well as smaller animal comfort in the form of furry footwear and a carrying bear that converts into a tote bag. There were also cycling-inspired leggings with sternum loops (which the designer said added a little “kink”), but the rest of the collection took a more abstract theme, taking the brand in some new directions.

Baumeister’s most notable work is her take on technical outerwear. Black nylon pieces with exaggerated sculpted pockets range in shape from oversized to oversized (see Exterior 57 for the latter). These add an unexpected and functional element to the ironic series; nature seen through the lens of city dwellers. “There are almost more plywood panels around us than there are trees in New York or a big city,” the designer noted. Plywood inspired prints, woodgrain fabrics (not corrugated), and quilted pieces. (This includes a heart with the designer’s initials, which you might see carved into a tree). Actual plywood was used to create the shape of the third molding.

Baumeister also continued her love of the circle, using foam to create the rings. Paneled pleated pieces create a texture within a texture and are thoughtfully designed. The precise cut and lightness of Baumeister’s “flat” dresses and pieces make them appear similar to the paper dresses that will be on display at New York’s Museum of Art and Design (MAD).

The key piece of the collection is a silver metallic trench coat that resembles a thermal blanket or foil. (The designer likes to incorporate everyday objects, “like things around you,” into her pieces.) Contrasted with the first-look affectation are some oversized, hand-knitted angora sweaters, as well as hand-painted denim, reaching a Almost X-ray like quality. These complementary prints are screen printed using blanks. If knitwear lent an earthy feel to the collection, denim allowed Baumeister to infuse craftsmanship. Because of the way they are made, the pieces will be unique, as will the designer’s “big picture” view of fashion.

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