One of Ottolinger’s signature pieces is a white ruffled sweater partly destroyed by fire. With the fabric’s delicate charred edges, a bit of skin showing through burnt holes, the design is poetic, sexual and arrestingly beautiful. Destruction has been an integral part of the label’s vision: raw margins; rips and cuts; hanging threads; bags that look like they’re made of melted plastic. In the world of Ottolinger, destruction is not so much an act of rebellion as it is a research method, a pathway to creating the new kind of beauty for our similarly distorted melting world. Moreover, Ottolinger’s destruction is carefully calculated—that is, at least to the extent possible. “Burning is a process that can only be controlled up to a certain point. We find it beautiful how fire makes its way through the garment. Of course, sometimes we try something and it doesn’t work, but we continue until we find the garment beautiful and interesting—or we start a new experiment,” explain designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient. “It’s very surprising what we find when we deconstruct or manipulate a garment. It can be a lining, a colour or a finishing that we didn’t expect. Through this process of deconstruction, we discover our way of beauty.” Originally from Switzerland, Christa and Cosima met while studying at the Basel School of Design and established Ottolinger in 2016. The name appeared almost by chance: it was on the mailbox the designers shared with the neighboring apartment at their first studio in Berlin, and they decided to keep it, as it looked nice on parcels. Under the name of someone who might have no connection to fashion, Ottolinger was nominated for the LVMH Prize in 2018, only two years into the label’s existence.