The first Bottega Veneta collection by Creative Director Daniel Lee is Pre Fall 2019 wasn’t presented on the runway but rather an exercise in intimacy, in true essentialism. The intention is to define, from the outset, what a Bottega Veneta wardrobe can represent.
With an ideology of craft drawn from the patrimony of Bottega Veneta, Pre Fall 2019 lays the foundations, establishing signature shapes and silhouettes. There is no rigidity, the softness of Bottega Veneta’s cabat bags applied to an entire collection. A sensuality is expressed throughout, coats tailored to a slender line, scarf-dresses draped against the figure. The notion of skin is a constant, either revealed through transparency or windows opened onto the body itself, or in a reiterated use of leather, Bottega Veneta’s signature material.
There is a synergy between men’s and women’s clothing – they have a familiarity, an echo. Menswear toys with the concept of sprezzatura, an unstudied, natural ease that also informs the womenswear. Both play with looser, louche proportions, with mixing the relaxed with the formal, evoking the reality of dressing today.
The idea of the knot is subtly reflected in the importance of knit, and the significance of chain jewellery, while the intrecciato is blown to macro-size on both accessories and garments. Materials are true: cashmere and silk, wools, cottons, shearlings and every permutation of leather. Colours are humble, natural – cordovan, espresso, amber and oxblood, punctuated with heightened shades and contrasted with chalk and Milanese black.
The superlative leather working skills of Bottega Veneta’s artisans are expounded through accessories. Celebrating and exploring the intrecciato, methods of knotting, weaving, braiding are applied to a range of new handbags – box clutches and high-handled totes. They also feature in footwear, streamlined variations of classic men’s footwear, and for women sandals and pumps with a squared toe. Structure in accessories is minimal and architectural, using the natural qualities of material to achieve their effects. Hardware on handbags and belts draws on Milanese Reductionism, also present in jewelry, with hammered balls and chains in gold and silver. Charms on elongated lariat chains have the feel of inheritance – combined and contrasted, they give an air of diversity, of eccentricity.