By Alice Butterlin

Most of the world has been in lockdown for over a month now due to the COVID-19 crisis. A moment frozen in time, when people are faced with solitude, grief or anxiety and see their daily lives shift for the better or the worse. In this time of extreme uncertainty, we can also take the time to reflect, create and enjoy the passing of these strange elastic days. We thought it would be interesting to ask artists around the globe how their creative process has changed during the quarantine and if it has been an inspiring or rather daunting experience… with a quick snapshot of themselves in lockdown. Meet Cosima Gadient and Christa Bösch from Ottolinger, a wildly creative fashion house based in Berlin. Queens of deconstruction, odd shapes and hybrid aesthetics, the two Swiss designers definitely belong to the future of fashion. Discover how they are spending their days lately.

How has your daily life changed since lockdown began?

Our whole team is working remotely and switched to biking. In general our life in Berlin changed a lot – as we are both living in neighborhoods with a lot of bars, cafes and restaurants. It’s spring time now when we all would start to sit outside in restaurants and bars – we would start spending more time outside than at home. But since it’s all closed now, our cooking skills improved a lot and we can’t wait to cook for all our friends soon again!

Did you realize anything in particular during this time?

The fact that we are staying most of the time at home gives us room to read and research more. It feels like time slowed down and that we can dive deeper into our thoughts and creativity. We realize how fast the whole fashion system is (or maybe was…) and how little room and time there is for deeper thinking, experiment and rest. And we also realized that going grocery shopping only once a week is totally enough.

Do you feel more inspired or paralyzed by the lockdown?

Definitely more inspiring than paralyzing. We both grow up very solution-oriented and with the positive feeling that there will always be a way – as long as we believe in it, keep working hard and adapt to new situations. This positive feeling is something we would love to spread with Ottolinger – to give confidence, trust and strength.

Have you started or returned to any activities that you do not normally have time to do?

The limited access to consuming gives us more time to read and to go deeper into our thoughts – we are both very curious in general and reading all kinds of things. Books and interviews inspire us a lot. At the moment we are reading Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russel Hochschild about the Trump paradox, Susanne Kippenberger writing about her artist brother in Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families and we just ordered Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang and translated by one of our all time favorites Ken Liu.

What do you think you’ll take away from this shutdown?

To take time to cook properly and invite friends for dinner at home. As well as taking time to rest and focus on our creativity instead of rushing – as we would like to keep the mindset to do less but better.

Are you worried?

No – we truly believe that every crisis has its silver lining and that we can learn from it and become stronger. It’s not easy now but we hope that this time has a positive impact on our society and planet on a long term view. Hopefully it improves access to healthcare for everyone, social security systems, environmental awareness and much more. In terms of fashion, let’s hope to achieve a shift to fair production, environment friendly materials and to give room for creativity and quality instead of over consuming and rushing from hype to hype.

How do you see life after this crisis?

Periods like this are depressing and hard, but we should always keep in mind, especially in the worst of times, that creativity will adapt and quickly get to new and higher levels of well-being and this in the end is much greater than all the bad things that can be thrown at us.

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