LÆS DEN DANSKE UDGAVE HER
TG Botanical, Thursday 10. August 2023 at 10.00 by Knippelsbro
When Ukrainian TG Botanical made its debut during Copenhagen Fashion Week last season as part of the then Zalando Sustainability Award, the brand, not surprisingly, had the respect and great compassion of many in the light of the ongoing war. And rightly so, because one could only imagine the completely unmanageable challenges that founder and designer Tatyana Chumak had to go through in order to be able to stand in Copenhagen with a complete collection made of textiles from raw materials grown locally in the hard-pressed country. But even if the war is still raging catastrophically, I think that this time we should let the above be all that is said about it and instead focus on what we crowded together to see this morning under the Knippelsbro in Copenhagen: the collection. Because it deserves our full attention. The brand deserves to be seen, not in the shadow of its tragic origins and circumstances, but for how it performs alongside the rest of the brands on the show calendar.
A lot had really happened since that time in February, when Fashion Forum’s reviewer praised the collection for not letting its “very hippy aesthetic” tip over – but only just – and in that same review asked for a bit more colour to be added to the very pale, perhaps slightly ‘wholesome’ appearance. And that wish was fulfilled this time. The colours were cranked up, so that in between the pale tones of beige, white and green we found a warm yellow, deep turquoise, a very fresh pistachio green and a few splashes of black: colours that still had a dusty sheen due to the unprocessed quality of the material, but which nevertheless helped lift the experience to completely new heights.
And it wasn’t just the colour palette that testified to a brand that is really coming to terms partly with its own DNA and partly with the world it must fit into. Here, too, the details and craftsmanship were upgraded. The examples are many, but I would especially like to highlight three looks that frame very well what the collection could do. An all-white look consisting of cargo pants in what looked like a stretchy cotton quality was styled with a short cargo skirt placed slightly lower on the waist, so that both trouser and skirt edges were seen – a detail that was repeated on several models and gave a slightly more contemporary counter-kick to the natural vibe. On the upper body, the model wore a delicate white bra which, with frayed edges and external seams in a faintly transparent linen quality, was completely simple and feminine and a really good match for the more masculine trousers.
Another feminine suit was in a very thin, slightly shiny, and curly pastel green material where a mid-length dress with an asymmetric hem, fluttering ruffles from the waist down, an open back, thin halter neck straps and a plunging neckline was worn with a matching bolero in the same material, so you were almost unsure where the dress stopped and the top started. And finally, an all-black look with an ankle-length, narrow dress with a deep open back and external stitching from top to bottom like thin branches that spread out greedily over the fabric, again styled with a very short, simple, long-sleeved bolero closed with a narrow band and buttons across the chest.
Not everything worked as well as these three examples – the last three entries playing with blue paint on white textile for example – but overall, the level was high throughout and testified to a new and more versatile side of the brand. But that doesn’t mean TG Botanical isn’t still TG Botanical. The collection was still a clear and loving response to the hard-pressed natural world. But the environmentally friendly dogma did not overshadow the design vision. Instead, the two had been fused together, walking hand in hand in a kind of symbiotic tightrope walk towards what is hopefully – and presumably – a rather bright future.
See a selection of the show look below and see the entire collection here.
This show review is translated from Danish to English by Graham Addinal.