Since her launch at New York Fashion Week in 2014, Melitta Baumeister quickly earned attention for her distinct approach to fashion. Interested in the sculptural quality of clothing, Baumeister exaggerates volume and plays with silhouette, often using rigid materials and experimental techniques. Garments are cast in silicone from molds of existing cable-knit sweaters and button-down shirts. Oversize proportions of neoprene or bonded velvet jackets generate a protective enclosure around a wearer. Padded paper dresses are sculpted to float on the body. The palette is largely monochromatic: either black or white. Baumeister’s push to defy textile construction and silhouette is perhaps not surprising given her background. Born into a family of tailors, she has been familiar with making clothes since a young age. Baumeister attended a tailoring school in Germany before studying fashion at Germany’s Pforzheim University School of Design, where she began exploring her own design language. In 2011, Baumeister moved to New York, where she is currently based, graduating with an MFA in fashion design from Parsons in 2013.