Bottega Veneta Summer 24 by Matthieu Blazy brought all the stars out to Milan Fashion Week – Erykah Badu, Peggy Gou, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Pink Pantheress, and Julianne Moore, to name just a few – but it wasn’t just celebrities that made an appearance, no: Bottega Veneta Summer 24 is a collection packed with standout starlets of its own.
It started before the models even appeared, as guests poured into a room decorated with a tiled floor reminiscent of a swimming pool (aptly playing with sardines, for example, à la Bottega Veneta’s Sardine Bag), but is in fact a re-designed world map. Elsewhere, subway sounds, aeroplane noises, fireworks, and the hustle and bustle of city life was composed amongst a dream house mix, building the suspense for the collection’s unveiling.
And once it was unveiled, it was yet again Blazy doing what Blazy does best. Here are the key looks, pieces, and must-see items from the Bottega Veneta Summer 24 runway show.
Bottega Veneta’s Really Big Bags
Leather goods is what Bottega Veneta does. It’s the House’s speciality, and arguably what made it rise to the top of its game thanks to a number of its bags becoming staples of the season year after year. Matthieu Blazy has doubled down on this for Summer 24, not just delivering bags, but ones of gargantuan proportions.
The Bottega Veneta Sardine Bag is transformed into a larger everyday accessory, crafted in oxblood Intrecciato weave leather with a new wooden sardine-shaped handle. A crocodile-embossed brown leather bucket bag is worn over the shoulder thanks to two rope-woven leather straps, and is capacious enough to fit all your clothes – evidenced by the signature shirt falling from its cavity, and the model’s minimal black unipiece ensemble.
Foulard basket-woven Intreccio leather was spun in one continuous manner to create a variety of large shopping bags, as seen in the opening look.
That bag was also a clever play on Blazy’s behalf. For Fall 22, he opened the show with the leather trompe-l’œil jeans and tank top. For Spring 23, it was the leather shirt. Now, these components are thrown into the bag, showing how Bottega Veneta’s woman is transitional from season to season, or even minute by minute.
Thus, Bottega Veneta’s bags are so big for Summer 24, they’re really all you’ll ever need. Few “small” bags appeared – even briefcases in baby blue, or clutches that were reminiscent of picking up the daily newspaper, were super-sized.
That Red Leather Dress
Knowing leather goods like it does, Bottega Veneta also knows how to champion leather to the nth degree. Summer 24 presented a red leather dress – think Jessica Rabbit, only, make it Bottega Veneta.
The result is a masterclass in sensuality and sophistication at one. Asymmetric enhanced bust panelling crafted a sweetheart neckline, allowing the dress to follow the curves of oneself and fall down to the hips, cinching in for that timelessly chic silhouette.
Moving down, tubular red components line the dress with what emulates a pleat, while more of the same detailing dresses the sides of the garment, further cutting the silhouette into shape.
This isn’t just a dress, this is the dress of the moment – and you’ll be the moment, wearing this.
A Men’s Black Leather Wrap Skirt
We should get used to men wearing skirts, because as proven by Bottega Veneta, they look amazing in them.
For Summer 24, Bottega Veneta presented a shiny black leather skirt worn over matching black leather trousers. The skirt itself increasingly pushes Blazy’s creative direction the right way forward, challenging societal boundaries, gender norms, and what the House can do with leather.
As expected, it can do anything. This black leather skirt features a knot on the front, as well as fringes dangling from leather threads at the bottom. It’s the occasion.
On the Topic of Fringes…
Fringes were everywhere this season. The aforementioned skirt was just the start, as Bottega Veneta delivered a chevron woven dress with a fringed hem; a range of leather dresses (complete with high cowl necklines) that were covered in strips of leather fringing; a small red bag covered in feather-like fringes; a check two-piece that was tucked into one another, giving the illusion of the fringed waves meeting across the front of the piece; and another for men, this time using the fringes to create a dramatic spread collar.
On the coat, it felt more like a scarf, while on dresses (notably a baby blue number), the fringes were used to create movement and shape. Likewise, the use of scalloped fish scale wool (seen in previous work) was used to create three-dimensional detailing that evolved into a dramatic waterfall of frayed fringes, before continuing down to a jellyfish-like, orbicular web of fringes and threads.
If you want drama and movement, Bottega Veneta has the tactic for you.
The Fireman-Red Leather
Is it really a Bottega Veneta show without ample amounts of leather? For this look, the House used some of the thickest leather we’ve ever laid our eyes upon. Served up in a bright, fiery red colour, this overall features a storm collar that folds up to protect you from the elements, as well as epaulettes, sharply-angled straps, wide slash pockets, a low-waisted belt with a tonal belt buckle, and a wide-fitting front-pleated pant portion.
The way this look bounced against the swimming pool-esque map setting of the runway stage was unmatched – as was the opportunity that was taken to showcase this look with a bouclé coat held over the model’s body, of course in a fireman’s lift pose.
Striped Leather Dresses
If orange leather wasn’t bold enough for you, do not fear. Bottega Veneta had another trick up its sleeve.
What looked like bolts of leather, found in baby blue, grey, white, red, navy blue, and brown, were woven together strand by strand. These thick bars of leather wrapped around the body – it consumed the upper portion of the model, giving them a shawl to wrap up in. Beneath, towards the legs, we find the leather become loose, detached, and free, therefore moving with every stride on the runway.
To top it off, Bottega Veneta paired this look with a bag made of the exact same qualities. If you’re looking for a case study on craftsmanship, this is it.
Pom Poms Galore
Moving away from leather and fringes, Bottega Veneta exercised another one of its well-trained skills: fabric and silhouette manipulation.
For a duo of show-ending dresses, the House presented two dresses that were made from a knitted web of latticed fabric. The impact of this alone was already enough, but it was only enhanced the sporadic placement of pompoms birthing from the lattice like fireworks explosions in the sky.
The two dresses – one in off white, another in grey – are destined for the red carpet. Showstopping proportions and more movement gave the dresses bounce and presence, even in a room as big as the Bottega Veneta show space. Don’t you just want to touch it?
A Black Leather Coat Fit for The Matrix
Waxy black leather is another component that’s frequently used at Bottega Veneta. For Summer 24, the House presented one of the most desirable coats to ever grace its runways: a double breasted coat cut in heavy weight leather.
If you thought the buttons were big, then just look at those lapels. Nothing is more of a power move than a lapel and collar combo that spreads as wide as one’s shoulders. This is luxury embodied in a piece of outerwear, for if you wear this, everybody knows that you’re the final boss of the big coat game.
Finally, the Finale Dress
Bottega Veneta Summer 24 was an honour and a joy. So much greatness came from Matthieu Blazy and his design team, and how did they conclude? With a Little Black Dress, of course.
Forever a classic, the LBD in question was not your quintessential statement. Of course it was given the Bottega Veneta treatment, fitting from the very highest point of the model’s neck all the way down to the floor.
There was a cut at the rear revealing her back, and knotted white threads all over it. If there’s one key takeaway from this show, it’s that Bottega Veneta is the tastemaker. Fringes, leather, pompoms – it’s all about volume this Summer 2024.
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