Every fashion week, there’s always a handful of most-awaited shows. They may not be the biggest brands, or the most established either, but they are all but guaranteed to be the ones with all eyes on them – in fashion week and beyond. This season, Bottega Veneta’s AW22 show was one of these, thanks to its new creative director Matthieu Blazy making his debut for the luxury brand.
After a shock and controversial exit from predecessor Daniel Lee, the brand’s announcement that Matthieu Blazy was to take up the role was met with equal parts excitement and apprehension: who was Blazy? What was he going to bring? Could he fill Lee’s (puddle) boots? Answers were to come, well, now – with the brand staging their latest show in Milan.
Somewhat surprisingly, the show started in much the same way as Prada: with a white tank forming the opening look. Perhaps this was Blazy setting the tone for what was to be his reign at Bottega, or perhaps it was his answer to the widely-forecasted shift back to minimalism, which Ms. Philo’s return to fashion is anticipated to pioneer.
However, as the show went on, the looks amped up – we saw Bottega Veneta’s signature woven texture worked into bags, boots and handheld baskets, accompanying crimson leather dresses with fur shoulders, brown leather suits and sharp, well-executed tailoring. Looks and pieces were wearable – there was less of fashion week’s pomp and grandeur, and more of a focus on commercially minded silhouettes, all infused with the brand’s well-loved and now signature design motifs.
An exception to the above though, were a two-set of fur ponchos which enveloped models like a flower: here, we saw a glimpse of Blazy’s experimental side, and how the brand could potentially lean into the avant-garde. Later came a strong fur tailored coat look, and a series of sequined slip dresses which arrived in various colourways, but were consistently slinky and bright.
The main event though was undoubtedly the boots – thigh high, and in nearly every colour and material imaginable, Bottega just became Boottega. First to stomp down the runway were a pair of classic Bottega green boots, woven of course. Then we saw crimson and brown leather iterations, before the army of sequinned slip dresses all arrived with matching metallic boots in tow.
Elsewhere on the footwear front, we saw bright red fur heels, alongside a new heel silhouette which was slightly curved, but still stood at 6+ inches tall. The Bottega pouch seems to have gotten a refresh, too – switching out the brand’s classic cloud-like design for one which resembled a puffer. Although not the loudest or, let’s face it, strangest collection at fashion week, this is what Blazy’s Bottega did best: updating and reinterpreting classic design codes, suggesting the multiplicitous potential of a luxury house that is actually just getting started.
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