Seasonal Official Bottega Veneta Fall 2019 Thread - post pics & discuss here.

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MILAN,FEBRUARY 22, 2019
by NICOLE PHELPS

Daniel Lee’s runway debut was a long time coming; the 32-year-old Céline alum was appointed Bottega Veneta’s new creative director last June. In the interim, Lee presented a Pre-Fall collection in the company’s Milan headquarters that indicated he was well acquainted with the Bottega DNA—it’s a leather specialist with a proprietary intrecciato weave—and that he’s not afraid to blow it up. Literally. Along with a distinctive square-toe pump and boot, the maxi intreccio totes were the pre-collection’s big takeaway: distinctive and identifiable without resorting to logo branding. The house motto of old was “when your own initials are enough.”

At today’s show, held in a clear tent with the sun blazing, the benches were decorated with leather cushions in that maxi intreccio pattern. They’re a useful signifier for Lee’s approach to his first big gig: He respects the house’s heritage, but he’s got an independent streak. The designer wasn’t doing interviews today, but at the Pre-Fall appointment, he said, “I like real clothes. I think there’s a need for a return to elegance and sophistication.” This collection was far bolder than that statement suggests. For the Philophiles wondering, it wasn’t a straight-up Céline redux either.

The show started with a black leather tank dress cut with a simplicity that belied the experimentation that would come later. Lee worked leather in all sorts of ways: quilting it into a slim puffer coat with a chain belt, laser-cutting it into small squares linked loosely together on skirts and more tightly on outerwear, and bonding it (apparently) with neoprene to create the look of motocross gear. The biker leather was more believable on the men.

Knitwear was a big part of Lee’s vision for both genders, and it produced the collection’s most desirable pieces: subtly sexy sweater dresses with cutaway clavicle-exposing necklines, and another double-layer dress in black and white of twisting, complicated construction that nonetheless looked like it will be easy to wear. A scoop-neck sweater had a substantial gold chain built in. The guys got clingy, asymmetrical, double-layered knits of their own. They’re not a conservative, bourgeois proposition.

Neither was Lee’s tailoring. His women’s jackets were cut with a raised collar, which created a strongly sloping shoulder line, or, more compellingly, they were lapel-less with gold hardware at the neckline that created a graceful cut-out framed with leather. For the men, there were narrow, almost two-dimensional sleeves that extended well past the wrists and a pronounced shoulder line that put Martin Margiela in mind. Most of this marched out on sturdy lug sole boots—real stompers.

A lot of what was on the runway was directional enough to challenge the eye, or at least to challenge what we expect from Bottega Veneta. This was an ambitious debut, full of risks. We don’t get a lot of those these days. Watching Lee hone his vision isn’t going to be boring.

*article courtesy of vogue.com