French-born, Berlin-based designer Odely Teboul launched her semi-eponymous brand today. “Lou de Betoly” has a deeper meaning beyond just being an anagram of the designers name; “deux bêtes au lit” (say it out loud and you’ll get it) translates as “two beasts in a bed”. Speaking to Tagesspiegel, Teboul explained that she sees the two beasts as a metaphor for “the inner struggle of every human being”. Her inspiration for Lou de Betoly is drawn from human experience. Her website lists her primary interests: Chaos, Nostalgia, Decadence, Extravagance, Surrealism, and Onerism — in that order. A self-described “aristocratic punk”, Teboul draws upon the weird and wonderful to craft beautiful and surprising creations.
Previously, Teboul was one half of now-defunct and sorely-missed Berlin label Augustin Teboul. For a total of 12 seasons, Annelie Augustin and Odely Teboul were a must-see event on the Berlin Fashion Week schedule. Their highly respected brand was known for its subtle minimal shapes mixed with a chaotic and nostalgic aesthetic. Teboul has taken these elements and refined them for Lou de Betoly, creating a visual palette which is entirely her own.
The new SS18 collection stands out in the somewhat bleak and black Berlin fashion scene. It delicately toes the line between punk and kitsch, and blends sportswear with classic cuts. Teboul plays with seemingly incompatible styles, all whilst keeping traditional craftsmanship and attention to detail at the brand’s core. The clothes are well-constructed and cool, and encapsulate the grime and glamour of Berlin. Glitter, fluff and small flashes of skin are the most frequent themes throughout the collection, with mesh and knitwear at the core of most garments. The pieces are reminiscent of early Vivienne Westwood; and much like the Queen of Punk, Teboul is not afraid to comment on the corporate side of the fashion industry. In her interview with the Tagesspiegel, she remarked “in the foreground, everything is all about marketing and sales. Fashion is a balancing act between creativity and capitalism”.
To launch the label, she is holding an invite-only exhibition centring around two questions. “What if emotional intelligence would determine the value of beauty?” and “What if creativity and fantasy defined political correctness?” These two buzzword-filled questions focus on an important systemic issue of vanity. Fashion as an industry primarily focuses on outer beauty, and whilst there are plenty of designers showcasing diversity and ‘plus-sized’ models, fashion as we know it would not exist without the competitive nature so many brands reinforce by telling women they’re not quite perfect. Most brands inherently pushing an ideology of beauty on to the consumer, an ideology which they may not fit into. The Lou de Betoly brand and ethos look into these issues, and encourage a different narrative of craftsmanship and looking within to find beauty.
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Teboul’s collection will be available from select fashion outlets in the coming month. To stay up-to-date with her work and new collections, follow her on Instagram. For more images of the new collection, please visit the Lou de Betoly website.