Forms and volumes are the themes of Melitta Baumeister’s works, which change and shift depending on the season. The fall collection was a sometimes humorous meditation on “extreme nature”. The designer came to the subject through her partner, a distant cyclist who was taking part in the grueling Tour Divide, which traverses the Rocky Mountains. As the athletes travel along the continental divide, the different types of terrain create “all kinds of natural challenges … and one of those is bears and other animals to look out for,” Baumeister said. This danger inspired Baumeister’s fluffy “teddy” looks, as well as smaller conveniences in the form of furry shoes and teddy bears that convert into tote bags. There were also bike-style leggings with sternum rings (which added a little “kink,” the designer said), but otherwise the rest of the collection was a more abstract take on a theme that took the brand in some new directions.

The most notable addition to Baumeister’s repertoire was her take on technical outerwear. Black nylon separates with exaggeratedly dimensional pockets came in shapes ranging from large to larger (see Look 57 for the latter). These added an element of unexpected functionality to an ironic collection; Nature seen through a city dweller’s lens. “We have almost more plywood around us than trees in New York or in big cities,” remarked the designer. Plywood inspired a print, wood patterned fabrics (no moirĂ©) and quilted pieces. (This included a heart with the designer’s initials like you might see carved into a tree). Actual plywood was used to create the Third Glance shape.

Baumeister also continued her love of circular shapes by creating ring shapes out of foam. The patchwork pleated pieces created a sort of texture within texture and were made with great care. The precise shape and thinness of Baumeister’s “flat” dresses and separates apparently made them related to the paper dresses soon to be exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York.

The highlight of the collection was an inflatable wind jacket in metallic silver, reminiscent of electric blankets or aluminum foil. (The designer likes to incorporate everyday objects, “like things that surround you,” into her work.) Contrasting the first look’s deliberate artificiality were some oversized hand-knitted angora cardigans and hand-painted jeans achieved an almost x-ray like quality. These supplemented prints made using blank silkscreens. If the collection’s knitwear added a homely hand feel, the denim allowed builders to engage with the craft. Because of the way they are made, these pieces will be unique, and so will the ‘big picture’ that the designer takes from fashion as a whole.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *