by NICK REMSEN
A glitchy track called “Channeltwo (Murderousdub)” by an outfit called Seekersinternational—which, on its Soundcloud page, proclaims to “champion the more introspective explorations of dub”—ricocheted around the room. The set mimicked the atrium of a could-be-anywhere, ’90s office building. You know the place—faux-marble veneers, poor airflow, synthetic plants growing thickening cobwebs. Sonically and scenically, the impression quickly registered as one of contemporary blight, of a world losing itself to flagrant generics and plasticky artifice. And the clothes, for Cottweiler’s second-ever runway show, delivered upon that narrative of decay.
“It’s a little bit apocalyptic,” said Matthew Dainty, who codesigns Cottweiler with Ben Cottrell. (They are London-based, and have been selling commercially since 2012, though they worked on Cottweiler for years before while sharpening their skills at other labels.) “It was our commentary on new communities using consumerism as a basis for modeling, and then inserting artificial nature into the model.” Cottrell added: “People don’t know nature anymore. If you want a tree, don’t go to a shopping mall.”
Those observations led to a sophisticated, dystopian wardrobe, with highly technical, whip-corded outerwear (in a palette not dissimilar to Versace’s excellent Spring 2017 collection), funkily shaggy pants, and lifesaving accessories like headlamps and extra boots. One model even carried a blow-up mattress. Yesterday, we saw fabric oxygen tubes at Craig Green. Is self-preservation trending? It would make sense, given the times.