Dog wool as a new default sustainable material? Lou de Bètoly shows how it’s done

Berlin Fashion Week is known for drawing outside the lines. Whether it’s Namilia’s show featuring bold and statement-making looks, SF1OG creating high school-worthy looks without being cliché, or Sia Arnika’s grown-up collection, designers in Berlin like to ditch the rulebook of fashion while keeping an eye on the future. Lou de Bétoly showed up on the official schedule, leaving guests in awe with her jaw-dropping collection. The re-see taught something special; that one look you might have an eye on is made of dog wool. Cover image: James Cochrane

LOU DE BÈTOLY

After graduating in fashion design in 2006 in Paris, Odely Teboul learned the tricks of the trade at Jean Paul Gaultier before settling in Berlin to start her label Lou de Bètoly. Robustness and fragility, and innovative techniques intertwined with a sense of nostalgia: Teboul isn’t afraid to provoke and juxtapose with her work. “I usually start working on a collection when I have the materials [in mind],” Teboul starts when meeting her at a re-see appointment. “My work is about textiles; I often use experimentation as a starting point.” Take the undergarments, subtle yet sophisticated. When taking a closer look, you discover that the fabric is sliced. “The undergarments are sliced and woven by hand on a weaving machine. The “illusion denim shorts” are loosely woven yarn with sequins.”

MY WORK IS CENTERED AROUND TEXTILES; I OFTEN JUST START EXPERIMENTING.

Odely Teboul

MADE FROM SHEDDING GOOD BOYS

The central showpiece of the collection is a knitwear skirt and cropped sweater, both embellished with pearls and beads. It’s made of dog wool, the designer explains. “I received the wool via a woman who works in Berlin. She receives it from owners who brush their dogs and collect the leftover hair. When we receive the material, we wash it and spin wool. It makes high-end, luxurious yarn.” Chiengora, that is. Currently, De Bétoly experiments with the material in her Berlin-based atelier. “I don’t dye it; the pieces made of chiengora are based on the dogs to whom the wool used to belong.”

“THERE’S NO NEED TO CREATE WITH NEW MATERIALS.”

Odely Teboul

“Upcycling doesn’t have to be visible at first glance; it should be incorporated into a brand as a matter of course. There’s no need to create from new materials.”