For Spring/Summer 2024, the designer broadened her catalog with foamy phalanges and parabolic shapes

For Melitta Baumeister, the medium is literally the message: Her garments’ stories lie in their shape. Sometimes billowing out into huge, inky bubbles, other times descending into slinky, almost-neon nylon, the MB silhouette is always unexpected. This season, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist leveraged her newly-expanded audience to push her ebullient catalog further, showing dresses adorned with thigh-sized foamy phalanges and oversized denim separates, Canadian tuxedo-style.

Baumeister rebukes the idea that her namesake brand limits itself to a monochromatic scheme, showcasing high-visibility orange and grassy green pieces alongside snake-print hosiery; it’s easy to imagine the serpents gliding along the models’ limbs. Across the collection, bananas offer a pop of yellow, peeking out of bags, or are more abstractly cast in the parabolic shapes of sleeves and hems.

In the wake of her Spring/Summer 2024 presentation, Baumeister speaks to Document about the contours of her latest collection, a configuration best described as “volume, with airflow.”

Maya Kotomori: What are some construction techniques or fabrications unique to this season?

Melitta Baumeister: For Spring/Summer 2024, we’ve used ruching and shirring to add volume to lightweight fabrics, creating a sense of texture and movement. Print is something new we applied, both on vinyl and pleated fabric. Additionally, we’ve introduced soft jerseys into our collection, enhanced with bonded foam edges to give the [material] a soft stretch, with form.

Maya: You’ve talked about wanting to ‘push the boundaries’ of form through exaggerated silhouettes. How does this collection fulfill that task?

Melitta: We used details and trims to sculpt lightweight fabrics, which allowed us to create bold silhouettes, while ensuring that the garments remained easy to wear.

“Even if the timing is tight, I try to cycle to and from the studio. Sometimes, I even talk through rehearsals on the bicycle.”

Maya: What does a body dressed for summer look like in your brand’s visual language?

Melitta: Shaped, lightweight garments that have volume for airflow. Shorter pieces, mesh underlayers, swimwear, partial transparencies.

Maya: Describe your relationship to color this season.

Melitta: Black has always been a staple in my work, but this season, I decided to explore a new color. Orange was something I considered in the past, but I struggled to find the perfect shade or complementary combinations.

Green is a color I’ve always loved—this season, a more saturated tone felt like a natural and exciting progression.

Maya: The sort of nostalgic platform shoe is a staple in your label’s visual identity. What draws you to the style?

Melitta: I like how platforms can change a silhouette; they give the body a specific posture, and I find it to pair very well with the brand’s language.

Maya: Do you have any rituals, pre- or post-show?

Melitta: Even if the timing is tight, I try to cycle to and from the studio. Sometimes, I even talk through rehearsals on the bicycle.

Maya: Tell me about a milestone you and your team have achieved this season.

Melitta: We are especially proud to be a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. And presenting during New York Fashion Week for the first time is something very special.

Maya: I love this Instagram video of you and your team, revealing what goes into an MB dress. Were any bananas harmed in the making of this latest collection?

Melitta: We actually had so many bananas at the show, and now we’re running our smoothie blender 24/7!

Maya: What’s next for the brand?

Melitta: We’re looking forward to working on collaborations, and opening a pop-up shop in the fall.