A new era is unveiled at Bottega Veneta, with a fresh interpretation of contemporary meets classic, through the eyes of Matthieu Blazy.
There is perhaps no place more apt for Matthieu Blazy’s first presentation at the creative helm of Bottega Veneta than the Palazzo San Fedele in Milan. The 19th-century building with a rich history, is under restoration and soon to become the new headquarters for the label. The pared back aesthetic of the venue left traces of the building’s past in view, resonating with the concept behind Blazy’s debut collection – to build on the foundation of the past in order to realize the present and look towards the future.
Without having to play on the shock factor, it is obvious that the House has changed hands at the creative helm. This delicate act of transition that Blazy plays off masterfully in his debut collection, shows how well he plays with color, texture and fit. Leather is heavily featured, especially the label’s signature intrecciato leather – seen in thigh-high boots, oversized cubes held in the crook of the arm, and in the new Kalimero bag, slung over one shoulder and held loosely with the hand. Effortlessly cool, it shows off the brand’s heritage while projecting a modern and free attitude.
In Blazy’s own words, the label’s dedication to craftsmanship is what he hoped to bring out in the collection.
It’s something that is made by humans yet it’s timeless… A universal kind of technology.
– Matthieu Blazy, Creative Director of Bottega Veneta
In the same vein, a pared down palette stands out without shouting out loud; a range of purples – from milky to deep, yet never loud, along with toned down yellows that enhance the texture of the fabrics they adorn, and occasional pops of bright orange and red, appear among a mostly monochromatic range of hues. The textures are fascinating – from slouchy leather trousers, buttery leather full skirts with a burst of fringes below the hemlines bouncing with each step, to color-flecked herringbone and cosy, furry coats layers, and metallic finishes on thigh-high boots paired with light, shimmery slim-cut dresses that would seem out of place if not executed correctly, yet Blazy gets it right.
The different layers of Blazy’s vision also translates into the campaign of his debut collection. Aptly described as an alchemy of a multiplicity of viewpoints: from photographers and cinematographers and models, it brings Blazy’s concept of craft in motion and quiet power to life in 41 still and moving images, mostly shot on film. In an intentional move, these shoots took weeks instead of the usual days to complete; the aim was to capture the reciprocity between photographers and models, and inject each of their stories, experiences and movements into the process. The end result is a rich narrative that weaves the personalities into the clothing and accessories.
From San Fedele in Milan, to the Horst Festival in Belgium, and then back to Italy’s southern coast, the cross-generational cast embodied the collection from the catwalk to each shoot location. Through the lens of both established photographers and cinematographers, as well as newbies at fashion photography, the fresh takes and unscripted process realized Blazy’s vision of introducing “different ways of seeing”.
Bottega Veneta was created by a collective of artisans. This is the history, and this is how we approached the campaign: together, with many different ways of seeing.
Matthieu Blazy, Creative Director of Bottega Veneta
To sum it up, the Bottega Veneta Winter 22 collection feels like what you’d want to take from the runway to the everyday; masterful cuts with character that exude confidence and look comfortable. These are not clothes meant only for photoshoots and still images, but design that considered motion and movement. From oversized coats to slinky dresses that feel effortless and sculptural, rustic gold hardware on leather loafers and new bag silhouettes that show off the label’s leather expertise and craftsmanship while keeping that futuristic tone in full view. But that’s not to say that there are no statement pieces that pushed the boundaries – sculptural high heels, furry footwear, and what appears to be see-through sequined dresses with fruity, feathery details were spotted.
Daniel Lee is a tough act to follow, but Matthieu Blazy appears to ease into the hot seat with a first cut where he holds his own, building on the foundations of the brand while bringing in his own interpretations.
Images courtesy of Bottega Veneta, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.