Bottega Veneta has become known for its non-conformist approach to fashion weeks, announcing last year a shift to non-scheduled, salon-style showings that fall outside of Milan’s usual fashion week. This seems to have come hand-in-hand with an acknowledgement and appreciation for techno: Bottega’s last showing was to a private audience in Berlin’s Berghain, and this time around, the label showed from Detroit – the birthplace of techno.
Speaking about this location choice, lead designer Daniel Lee drew comparisons with the North of England, saying “I’m obsessed with Detroit,” after the show. “I first came here six years ago and fell in love with the place. I’m from Leeds; it’s the industrial heartland of the U.K., and Detroit being the industrial heartland of America, I feel this kind of connection.” Then there’s the music thing: “Detroit really is the birthplace of techno, and techno was the music that I was growing up to and going out to. I wanted to use my position to shine a light on all of that.”
Debuting last Friday, we’re taking a closer look at some of the standout elements of the collection, from texture, to the showcasing of a new silhouette, to the quirky accessories Lee sent down the runway.
Entitled Salon 03, this collection was an experiment in textures, delivering crunchy, metallic overshirts, shell-encrusted slip dresses, crocheted handbags, sequined shifts, dramatic faux-fur coats, and playful towelling dresses. In the midst of all of this, Lee continued Bottega’s preoccupation with knits: tracksuits were engineered in a crosshatch check knit meant to imitate the house’s signature motif.
Here, Bottega’s interest zoomed in to the level of fabric: much of the outerwear was shot through with metal threads, which gave the anoraks, jackets and the trousers they were worn with a glossy colour and greater dimensionality. It all seemed very fitting for the setting – an old Detroit theatre, which would have played host to sparkling costumes in its heyday.
While elevated cocktail dresses opened the show, Bottega’s trademark skin-baring was more subdued in this show, largely due to the inclusion of technical, workwear-inspired looks. These consisted of storm jackets, which had been pinched at the shoulders or blown-up with blouson sleeves, creating a signature silhouette that carried through the show. These ruffled, puffed sleeves came in multiple colourways and designs, appearing on everything from a metallic bunched one piece to lime green metallic overshirt.
No Bottega look can be complete without the mention of accessories – remember the brand’s pouch bag that has filtered down to seemingly every high-street store since? This time around, the brand is championing neon. From lime green mules to neon orange clutches and electric yellow over-the-shoulder bag, the accessories injected looks with new colour and new life.
New triangular sandals and colour-pop trainers came in “spongy technical towelling”, and the brand’s iconic Cassette bags, too, were treated to new textiles. If you aren’t a fan of colour-clashing though, Bottega also delivered in the matching department. Notable accessory-moments from this roster included a large white-metallic bag, a dark-wash denim baguette bag to tuck under the matching hued denim jacket, and a royal purple leather clutch bag, texture reminiscent of the iconic pouch from earlier seasons.
After the last year or so of turmoil, it was refreshing to see Bottega break the mould and monotony of scheduled fashion week proceedings, whilst still remaining true to it’s key pieces. And, for anyone concerned, Lee assures that “puffy and comforting bags are (still) reassuringly soft to hold”.