Over the weekend, all anyone could speak about on Fashion Twitter was Bottega Veneta. Creative director Matthieu Blazy’s sophomore collection for the Italian brand set the Web ablaze with accolades over his modern tackle wardrobe dressing, moving past clichés of the term and creating clothes for now and perpetually. The brand new “trend,” in truth, is the anti-trend. It’s personal, it’s private, it’s who we wish to be after we rise up within the morning and walk out the door. The notion of luxury dressing is dying. Blazy is single-handedly bringing it back to life.
On Saturday evening, Blazy debuted his collection in an area made in collaboration with iconic Italian artist Gaetano Pesce, who installed a colourful resin floor with 400 matching chairs, each uniquely dipped, none exactly alike. Pesce calls the chairs “Come Stai?” (“How are you?” in Italian). Blazy took this cornerstone greeting and infused it into his collection, almost reworking the phrase’s warm welcoming to mean “come as you’re.”
Bottega Veneta’s summer 2023 show space, designed by Gaetano Pesce.
Matteo Canestraro“This space is a tribute to diversity. It’s in regards to the human being; we’re all different. Individuals who say we’re all the identical—fuck them! We’re all different and that is our defining quality— otherwise, we are only a duplicate. We’re all originals and that is certainly one of the themes of my design.” —Gaetano Pesce
The opening looks, worn on the identical duo of models who opened last season, show the personality and personability Blazy imbues into his designs. Take, as an example, a plaid shirt printed over a dozen times to perfect the saturation and distressing, paired with a cashmere tank and nubuck leather printed jeans. Or a boxy gray T-shirt with a tan sweater tied nonchalantly across the shoulders. Nothing is fussy, clingy, or overworked. Proportion and fabrication are the celebs of the show. The look is finished with who you select to point out up as within the clothing. Understated luxury, but for those who know, you recognize.
That’s to not say all the clothes were so simple as the plaid shirt and jeans that Kate Moss sauntered down the runway in. Blazy creates three-dimensional looks that, yes, look good in a photograph, but look best on the road, hailing a cab, catching an elevator before it closes, taking it to the highest floor, and dancing the night away. Razor-sharp tailoring in buttery leather, knit jacquard dresses with fringed hems, and a trio of fringe finale dresses seduce, show restraint, and ground themselves in art, movement, and fashion with a capital F. The garments are mature and the value tag confirms they’re indeed precious. Blazy knows the trendy customer because he’s friends with them—he’s worked with them, and for them, not unlike gallery director Lucy Chadwick who also walked within the show.
When it comes to accessories, the large bag is in. Specifically, oversized Allez Hop! totes ring the death knell for the mini bag. A croc-embossed patent leather coat and skirt paired with jewels and a tank top are as fitting for Tilda Swinton because the archetypal Milanese housewife in I Am Love, or, perhaps, the contemporary creative on the go, with multiple bags in tow. I can’t stop fascinated about the lady in a sheer cotton-crepe white dress carrying her jacket and bag in a single hand, phone in the opposite, running late to dinner, but so rattling sure of who she is that she’s alright together with her tardiness. Come as you’re!
There isn’t any gimmickry in the garments Blazy designs. He’s creating quiet luxury in a time when brands are vying for our attention via superficial marketing ploys and artificial pizzazz for the sake of the additional sales, impressions, and Instagram likes. He taps right into a subversive return to minimalism, not a literal minimalism, but a minimalism of showmanship.
As he states via press release, “The premise is easy—the gathering is a couple of contrast of characters on the go, invited to travel through Gaetano Pesce’s landscape. Here, two distinct worlds are juxtaposed, while our journey of craft in motion and quiet power continues.” Blazy knows we’ve got shit to do, bags to schlep, imminent societal collapses to survive, and he desires to streamline the experience and expectations of getting dressed without sacrificing artfulness, craft, individuality, and, in fact, joy.
Watch Bottega Veneta’s summer 2023 runway show here:
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Kevin LeBlanc is the Fashion Associate at ELLE Magazine. He covers fashion news, trends, and anything to do with Robyn Rihanna Fenty.