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Ottolinger AW19 campaign Berlin fashion Julien Ceccaldi
Illustration Julien Ceccaldi

The models in Ottolinger’s new campaign are not of this world

Designers Christa Bösch and Cosmina Gadient join forces with artist Julien Ceccaldi for a futuristic, sci-fi inspired series

Last season, Berlin-based duo Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient – otherwise known as Ottolinger – presented a campaign which was shot in an abandoned building on the outskirts of Paris. Now, for AW19, they’re taking it in an altogether different direction, debuting a series of illustrated figures in the places where IRL models would usually be.  

The work of New York-based artist Julien Ceccaldi, Bösch and Gadient stumbled across his illustrations when they first moved to Berlin and were immediately struck by what they saw. Having contacted him via social media, the three decided to collaborate – with the resulting series inspired by Chinese science fiction novel The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin. 

The casting process for the shoot was (unsurprisingly) more unusual than in previous seasons: instead of inviting a succession of models down to the studio and choosing them from there, the designers picked out three skeleton-like characters from a story Ceccaldi created in 2018. From there, they selected their favourite looks from the AW19 Ottolinger collection which the artist proceeded to style and paint onto the characters.   

The main character, Solito, wears a ski-wear inspired suit, while another wears a classic Chanel-style orange, green, and black tweed ensemble. Making its debut in Paris in February, the AW19 collection itself also drew inspiration from Cixin’s sci-fi books, with deconstructed knit dresses and cardigans, distressed denim jackets, and trousers with cargo pockets all on the line-up.

The new campaign comes hot on the heels of a succession of others in which IRL models have been made redundant by fictional characters and digital influencers. Talking of their decision to use a different medium to contextualise their latest collection, Bösch and Gadient explained they wanted to “transform the combination of the ordinary and the fantastic.” So there you go. 

Check out the gallery above.