The term “crush” doesn’t quite cut it here, because we’re head over heals for the extraordinarily beautiful and ethereal handiwork of Beatrice Oettinger. Drawing inspiration from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales and pulling pieces from her natural surroundings, the Berlin-based artist and designer constructs garments suitable for goddesses. Aiming for each piece to be a unique experience for the person wearing it, Oettinger focuses heavily on the concept of femininity and the senses of sight, smell, and touch. Delicate, dainty, and heavenly scented, each article is uniquely crafted using found objects like birch, rose petals, dandelions, and seedlings, and lightweight, flowy silks, cottons, and linens. “Blooming fabrics,” as she refers to them, are in a constant state of change, as the found materials blossom, settle, and wither with time, forming a wearable illustration of the cycle of life.
Beyond the predominant themes of “living” clothing, femininity, and sensuality, Oettinger’s intention surpasses simply wanting to make something beautiful. Working with what materials are in season, each plant has to be prepared and processed in a way different from the previous. Every garment poses a new challenge, and thus a new learning experience. While some of her pieces are inspired by specific fairy tales, such as the Peas Dress, a response to the popular fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” which deals with levels of sensitivity, other works reference much more technical sources, like the Birchbark Coat, in which each piece of bark is sewn onto the fabric in the form of the Fibonacci sequence. Some garments are wearable, others are not, and some may be made to wear for only one day; nevertheless, the work of Beatrice Oettinger is consistently composed with the utmost thought and care that those lucky enough to come in contact with her creations receive nothing short of a full experience