Bottega Veneta on Saturday unveiled the first collection under Matthieu Blazy, the French designer who was appointed creative director after the sudden exit of Daniel Lee at the end of last year.
Mr Blazy, who previously cut his teeth at Martin Margiela, Celine and Calvin Klein, cleaned the brand's slate, with little continuation of the aesthetic that had seen Bottega Veneta rise to one of fashion’s most in-demand brands.
A clean slate
There was less streetwear, no puddle boots, and no discreet triangles in lieu of logos, as previously seen on flap pockets and accessories. Gone too were the chunky intreccio bags like the padded Cassette and slippers that became instant sales hits and saw Kering’s revenue soar to 17 billion euros in 2021. Bottega Veneta is responsible for 9 percent of the French conglomerate's turnover, a pressure no doubt felt by an incoming creative director.
In cleaning the slate Blazy propelled the brand forward. Like BV’s bags, which Blazy said are items used to be taken somewhere, the collection was full of motion. The white vest and jeans of the opening look were an illusion. Made of the softest nubuck leather, Blazy cemented the artisanal craft and know-how of the brand’s ateliers from the onset.
Leather was the crux, for both men’s and womenswear. Jackets were mostly double-breasted and cut roomy. Trousers were straight and flared, cut longer in the front, as if made for long strides. Skirts were a-line with fringing under the hem. While in photos leather can look heavy, the tailoring bore lightness executed with ample room to move.
Colour and print came via knitwear and dresses. The former in cropped variations of crewnecks and zip up intarsias, the latter in patchworks and beaded slips. A blanket coat in black and yellow wool worn over a herringbone suit popped in the menswear.
Most interesting were the accessories and whether or not they will continue the uplift Bottega Veneta has enjoyed over the past two years. The woven knee length boots were sumptuous and came in a wide palette of textures and colour. New shoe shapes - like the platform boots, Mary Janes and pointy wedges - are likely to perform well at retail. In bags, there was plenty of newness in the woven leather, but a pillow bag in bordeaux was the star of the catwalk.