Titled “Māteria,” TG Botanical’s fall-winter 2024 collection looks at the earth and everything it’s made of — translating natural landscapes into beautiful garments.

TG Botanical Gets to the Heart of the Matter At CPHFW AW24

Titled “Māteria,” TG Botanical’s fall-winter 2024 collection looks at the earth and everything it’s made of — translating natural landscapes into beautiful garments.
February 14, 2024
article by Mari Alexander/

photography by James Cochrane

“Are we going the right way?” I mumble to the group I’m following around the Bella Center, one of Scandinavia’s largest exhibition and conference spaces.

They seem to know where they’re going, I assure myself. (They don’t). It’s easy to get lost here. The complex is massive — 20,000 square meters, to be more specific — and today, it’s teeming with visitors. Designers, wholesalers, dealers and retailers have all moved in for the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF), which takes place twice a year during fashion week. And it’s busy, busy, busy. 

Finally, after a lap or two, we find it: a steel staircase that leads up to a bridge. Standing up there, under a canopy of steel and glass, you can see the whole center spread out like a metropolis of booths and towering indoor trees (yes, trees!) that articulate the enormous space. It feels at first impossible to shut out everything that’s going on around me. But then, when the show starts, the surrounding chaos is somehow anesthetized.

To the soundtrack of a somber and somewhat menacing soundtrack, the models trickle down the narrow bridge runway with a careful but confident stride. It starts with black — five volcanic-gray looks, each one boasting a completely different texture. Delicate knit, sturdy denim, textural popcorn, and a satin-like weave. Such variety. This doesn’t come as a surprise because if there’s anything designer and founder Tetyana Chumak excels at, it’s creating a whole world with just texture.

From the Ground Up

Tetyana has always had a planet-friendly mindset. Her approach to production is holistic: make clothes that speak of the earth they come from. But this way of thinking didn’t come out of nowhere. Tetyana grew up in a family of farmers in Ukraine, and has relied on that knowledge base to explore making garments from lower-impact crops and materials like certified batiste, cottons, silks, organic nettle, and linens. (She still perseveres amid the Russian occupation, during which her family’s fields were burned down.) 

On the leftKnits incorporate crisscross details and dainty ties, adding a little bit of romance to these separates.

Last season, along a canal under a bridge, she used her knack for texture — as well as color and form — to tell the story of earth’s corrosion. This season, the subject matter is, well, matter — everything that makes up the world. Titled “Māteria,” the collection draws its inspiration from the concept of material substance, which Tetyana “considers to be the only objective reality possible.”

Drawing inspiration from the earth’s natural landscapes, Tetyana gives us a bird’s eye view of our planet’s crust in 26 looks. A cobalt-blue, body-hugging skirt is puckered like the surface of an undisturbed ocean. Hard-packed soil is conjured up with crinkled fabric. Gridded plots of farmland are recreated with quilting techniques. Elsewhere, textures are distressed, gathered, and treated for a blistered effect. Everything is hyper-sensorial and so incredibly tactile. You can’t help but want to reach out and touch the fabric. 

Organic Matter

As a designer, Tetyana cuts clothing that hugs and floats away from the body — at the same time, in all the right ways. (This push-pull is something I’d love to see more of.) For this collection, she has evolved her ruffling techniques, which add a certain easiness to some of the looks. Tetyana also places an emphasis on the midriff with corsets and cropped bustiers. Loose, net-like knitwear serves as a counterpoint to structure; these pieces move like organic matter. Really fantastic. 

This season, we see Tetyana join forces with artist Dasha Tsapenko, who works with both scientists and local farmers to create bio-textiles. For this collection, spores of polypore fungus were grown on natural plant-based yarn, yielding cropped knits that look like the surface of a crater‐pocked planet. It’s interesting to see agriculture, science, and fashion come together in such an unexpected way, and I appreciate that Tetyana is continuing to explore more ways to bring natural elements into each and every collection. 

This extends to color – or more specifically, how she achieves it. Dark and bright by turns, her color palette ranges from sandy creams and moss-green to graphite and black — all made with natural dyes. It takes a rich understanding of plant pigments — from fruits, flowers, beans, and bark — which were historically used as the main source of color. I love this intimacy Tetyana has with nature.

“The whole colouring process is often intuitive, and it is impossible to exactly repeat the colour once obtained,” she told Sleek Magazine in May of 2022. “But this is what attracts me to work with natural pigments. Of course, colours will never be as bright and durable as synthetic ones. But they will always be deep, restrained and expressive.” And that’s really what matters.