“HI! We’re Ottolinger!” reads the opening page of the Ottolinger SS22 press release. It’s a bold welcome. The double exclamation mark is widely understood as a professional no no, but Ottolinger are hardly the brand that yearns for formal, and its usage was a not-so-subtle hint for the tone of the show. Radiating energy, encased in a wash of bright colours, and featuring unusual shapes reminiscent of roller coaster rides, Ottolinger’s SS22 collection fluctuated from fun to funner.

Designed to take you on an exploration of Ottolinger’s sensuous Elf-core, the collection traverses the otherwordly elements of nature, overlooking reality to create seas of pink lava, crashing waves of turquoise denim and Obsidian Archipelago that blossom into fluorescent fantasies.

Citrus greens paint the distressed summertime dresses loosely tied together with strings, so long they pool around the feet, guiding your eyes to the snake like shoes – a gentle nod to the previous snake brooches that decorated the hips and upper arms of models. In further continuation from AW21, Ottolinger recruited artist Lucie Stahl to create signature mesh pieces in which imags of wheat, roses and other earthly delights are distorted. Ribbed knits are a welcomed addition to the collection and feature in shoe form and cropped tops, again incorporating the electric tones of blue, orange and red to create flame like imaginings.

The consistent use of hot pants across the collection could suggest a nighttime glamour, or perhaps a summer’s heat cheek? It’s a Y2k trend we’ve seen on numerous catwalks for SS22, and one that very few of us are prepared for after a lockdown of working from home. But the power of Y2k is wired to evade this sense of self doubt – it is all about being ostentatious, and Ottolinger have clearly signed up.

The use of drawstrings, zips and buttoned pockets usher in an utilitarian feel, while the the straw bags offer an unusual contrast to the otherwise robust nature of the collection. The last time we say straw bags at Ottolinger they were dipped in black ceramic that concealed the majority of straw. Saying that, when you look closer it becomes apparent that the ceramic (first used by Ottolinger in their debut collection) is still a feature and has encroached onto many of the accessories of SS22 – the handles of the bags, the frames of the shades, the flower like earrings. Each ceramic accent serves to refine the Ottolinger aesthetic with an impressive ease.

The Ottolinger ecosystem is thriving, and it’s about time we caught up.

by Lily Rimmer

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