On the floor rays of rust and cherry-red light filter reflections, the play of chiaroscuro through Chinese windows, creating lacy paper-cuts and origami patterns on floors and walls. These shadowy images spill over the creative mess of sketches and paper-cuts strewn on the wooden desk where Kathrin von Rechenberg works, refining the textures and lightness that characterize her choice of fabrics. The walls are covered with pinned, hand-drawn sketches attached to pieces of cut fabric in indefinable shades of rust. Her blue indigo-stained hands, almost sculptural when folded, reach out to touch the colors, feel the textures.
When she breaks the rhythm of her work to go out into her garden maybe that‘s where she captures all the details of the afternoon sun and the blossoms.
Sometimes, you enter the studio to the sound of classical music playing and recognize her love for Bach, inspiring her as she leads her small team with precision and attention to every minute detail.Her rigorous and unrelenting process in the search for the lines and architecture to be teased out of the unstructured silk fabrics that then freely adorn the shapes of her wearers, is unique.
She folds and cuts the patterns into geometric shapes - triangles, squares, and lines - then blends those freely, releasing the fabric from its geometrical grid and transforming it into light and floating forms, akin to musical punctuation, stops and pauses.
These are the lines and melodies found in free-form poetry: she wrapped you as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals in your dress and it fly like a dash of wind around your body.
Kathrin von Rechenberg has made her home and has been working in Beijing since 2000. Graduated from Paris’s distinguished fashion and design school, the “Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne” she honed her craft in various Haute Couture houses such as Jacques Fath, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix and Chanel before striking out on her own.
She came to China in search of a very special fabric known as “tea-silk” which has since defined her and become the signature on which she founded her own label. It remains today a cornerstone of her collections. The natural dyeing process of this special silk continues to fascinate her and has inspired her to work with other natural dyes. She creates her own materials by experimenting with different traditional and natural dyeing.
rechenberg boutique design
The new Rechenberg boutique opened in late spring 2019, in the Qianmen East area of Beijing, located South of the city’s historic Legations quarter. This leafy revitalised corner of the city is drawing more and more people attracted by its growing number of individually styled restaurants, inviting cafes and design-led boutiques. Entering Rechenberg is to experience an “authentic immersion" into Kathrin’s world. The Rechenberg name stencilled onto an iron Stele, stands beside the entrance, defining the signature haute-couture brand for which she has become justly known. It is an invitation to explore the realm of her imagination, expressed through the elegantly simple clothes that sophisticated women love to wear.
The new space, interior-designed by Kathrin herself, extends over 2 floors. She explains ‘I followed the same thread I use when I design my clothing. In the same way as I create space around the body, I created a wallpaper, ‘fabric’ with which to line the walls, and a look for the boutique interior that gives the space an organic and translucent feel’. The long lengths of handmade Xuan paper, randomly overlaid, marking the organic texture of Kathrin’s garments and the walls appear to be breathing.