Fashion / Fashion News

At Matthieu Blazy’s Bottega Veneta, luxury and utility collide for Fall 2022

If the fashion world had a beating heart, you could say it stopped dead the day it was announced that Daniel Lee had exited Bottega Veneta. As the newly transformed and now, much adored Bottega Veneta found a new leader in Matthieu Blazy, many wondered what would become of this House on the rise? After Blazy's first collection for Fall 2022, we're happy to report that the reign of Bottega Veneta supremacy continues.

But how do you begin to forge your own distinct path at the helm of a brand as cherished and mythologised as Bottega Veneta? For Blazy, the only place to go was back to basics. “Bottega Veneta is in essence pragmatic because it is a leather goods company", the creative director said. "Because it specialises in bags it is about movement, of going somewhere; there is fundamentally an idea of craft in motion. It is style over fashion in its timelessness. That is part of its quiet power.”

At the core of Blazy's collection lay Bottega Veneta's distinct DNA. That intrecciatio weave is staying put. Although, it's taken on a new form; think thigh high boots with lug soles and square clutch bags with golden orbs weaved in. In fact, the weave itself is tighter, pieced together from narrower strips and all from one cut of leather as we see with the Kalimero bag. Craftsmanship is spotlighted with ensembles consisting of tank tops, blue jeans and oversized boyfriend shirts, all deceptively made of nubuck leather — joining Prada in delivering a fresh take on our current obsession: the humble tank.

As if to emphasise Bottega Veneta's kinship with the handmade, crops of knitwear brought friction to an otherwise razor sharp and precise collection. Patchwork sweaters, shrunken and rough around the edges, evoked warmth as if treasured from childhood to now and weaved by a grandmother. Moments like these were a testament to the power of a garment with a lifelong warranty, as though Blazy had drawn a link between one piece at its life's end and the collection he now offered on the runway and said "this is what investment truly looks like".

Throughout the show, crumbs of Blazy's previous tenures at Raf Simons, Calvin Klein and Celine shone through. What, with the movement and essence of Phoebe Philo's 'Go Forth' woman in the tailoring, crew neck sweaters and drop-waists and the feathery presence of Leavers lace as it adorned the final heartstopping dresses à la Calvin Klein, it was a collection as much about Bottega Veneta's heritage as Blazy's own.

And the dresses! Can we please talk about them. Lustrous lemon yellow and lilac with sequins, embroidered cut outs, asymmetrical hemlines and styled with arms-length gloves (a fixture this season) and metallic boots that gave a fresh finish to what we know as 'Bottega Green'. They were a sweet dessert to cap off Matthieu Blazy's triumphant debut.

Mark our words it was triumphant. Like a racehorse with blinders, Blazy has proved he has a clear vision for his Bottega Veneta and all we want is to follow him there.

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