This show review was translated from Danish to English by Graham Addinall.
LÆS DEN DANSKE UDGAVE HER
TG Botanical, Thursday, February 1, 2024, at 10.00, Center Blvd. 5, 2300 Copenhagen S
A love of nature is absolutely central to TB Botanical’s focus on materials – starting from the actual sewing of the seeds in their native Ukraine, through the process of harvesting, treatment, spinning, knitting, weaviing, cutting and sewing. Finally the fabric ends as a series of beautiful dresses, skirts, tops and sweaters on models walking down a runway in the middle of the Bella Centre during Copenhagen Fashion Week. That journey is clear to see in the brand’s collections. The love for nature and the world is also the starting point for this AW24 collection, which mimics the surface of the earth from a bird’s eye view: fields, soil and desert are then reflected in the textures and structures of the fabrics.
The textiles are naturally coloured with, among other things, acorn, coffee and tansy flowers, and the materials themselves are spun from hemp, cotton, nettle and flax. TG Botanical then transforms them into sexy dresses with very thin spaghetti straps tied criss-cross, bare backs and stomachs and high slits in the skirts . Being responsiblehas become very attractive.
With all that skin, the collection could easily be mistaken for a summer one, but what made it suitable for winter was the use of stronger materials than we’ve seen from TG before. For example, they used a canvas-like material with appliquéd squares side by side, which created a three-dimensional checkerboard that was perhaps a reflection of tiles or maybe cultivated land. The same appliqué style was applied to a bold satin that looked almost like leather and worked beautifully in both skirts and jackets.
For this collection, founder and chief designer Tetyana Chumak has collaborated with artist Dasha Tsapenko, who has a so-called bio-atelier. This has resulted in knitting, which has acted as a breeding ground for fungal mycelium, which has then grown beyond the yarn and created a denser textile. I wouldn’t call it fully successful, because it looked more like knitting with an over-risen bun dough poured over it than anything else, but the experiment and the urge to explore the materials is exciting. In this way, the collection constantly returns to the starting point – the earth – and reminds us that we enter into symbiosis with much more than ourselves.
Elsewhere, the knitting was much better sans mycelium, when a thin yarn was very loosely constructed with dropped stitches, giving a delicate and net-like appearance. With a wide frill along the opening of cardigans with thin ties, they, along with shrugs and long narrow skirts, were a nice interpretation of the returning, slightly more funky, trends of the late nineties. The long narrow skirts worked particularly beautifully in a white version with an extra skirt at the back for a bit of drama and movement or in army green with the aforementioned appliqué checks and cargo pockets on the sides. The pockets were also used on a pair of loose-fitting cargo pants with ties which were a really nice take on the popular pants.
That Tetyana Chumak has created this collection in the middle of the war in Ukraine and still manages to employ her 30 female employees deserves praise and admiration from all of us. It may seem ridiculous and unimportant to have a fashion show in the middle of all the chaos of the world, but today it also seemed hopeful. With the rapid decline of the climate, there is a need for brands like TG Botanical, who rethink the fashion system and do something completely different. It reminds us that we must take care of the ground we walk and stand on, because it is essential and beautiful, and that is probably the most important reminder of this fashion week.
See a selection of the show looks below and see the entire collection here.