Bottega Veneta wins Wallpaper* Design Award for Best Women’s Fashion Collection A/W19
For his debut runway collection for Bottega Veneta, Daniel Lee – formerly ready-to-wear design director at Celine and a Phoebe Philo protégé – presented a collection of subversive bourgeois silhouettes and strong biker looks that drew on the house’s artisanal leather-making history. Blazers fell slightly off the shoulder, while demure dresses boasted sculptural cut-outs and shirt dresses shimmered with square sequins. Exaggerated bovver boots and leather jackets suggested a futuristic, rebellious force, while accessories reimagined Veneta’s signature Intrecciato weave – think oversized tote bags woven from strips of leather and heeled pumps formed from cushioned quilting.
For autumn, hemlines were lowered, the micro minidress shape of Celine’s S/S19 show swapped for more a demure dimension: knee-length culottes or A-line pleated skirts. Slimane can now also lay claim to ultra-sexy, thighskimming shapes. The look, all capes, fur coats, blue denim and silk dresses, with smatterings of sequin and leopard
print, was exuberantly 1970s, and nodded to an earlier era of Celine, beloved by bourgeois Parisian doctors’ wives. Knee-high boots, horse-bit belts and gold-buttoned details were all on display in Celine’s black-and-white ads from the 1970s, and for A/W19 they took on an elegant modernity.
Chiuri explored 1950s British style, drawing on the aesthetic of Teddy Girls, who favoured androgynous quiffs, silk scarves, Edwardian men’s jackets and rolled-up trousers.
Her modern take on that rebellious rock’n’roll trend? Quilted boiler suits, vinyl trench coats with a classic Dior ‘Bar’ cinched waist, swathes of Buffalo check, and bow-detail
sweaters. Silhouettes were unusually sporty, offsetting the collection’s more feminine gauzy skirts and bustier dresses. Christian Dior’s last collection in 1960 featured a long
black coat called ‘Le Blouson Noir’ in reference to the name given to Paris’ Teddy Boys and Girls. Chiuri reimagined this style, putting her own stamp on a Dior classic.
John Galliano’s A/W19 collection was an antidote to ‘digital decadence’. It featured a reduced presentation of garments that drew on the brand’s typically deconstructed aesthetic and Galliano’s reassembling-focused ‘décortiqué’ technique. Using humble menswear fabrics such as herringbone, flannel and cavalry twills, the collection featured pieces reduced to their truest form, including men’s trousers twisted into a bustier dress, a faux-leather trench sported as long shorts, and tailored trousers flattened into bulbous skirts. There were still elements of excess here: skinny jacquard trousers had colourful flamingo patterns, while wadded coats nodded to the brand’s squidgy ‘Glam Slam’ bag.
Something spooky was afoot for autumn, with Miuccia Prada drawing on a host of gothic references, from The Matrix to The Addams Family, in a collection that featured
stripe or lightning-bolt print high-school horror ensembles, dresses emblazoned with graphic Bride of Frankenstein prints, and utilitarian tailoring swathed in colourful fake
fur. Models stomped in (more) bovver boots and backpacks and, in a more romantic turn, sported lace capes, tweed and rose-print evening wear, and A-line skirts and accessories embroidered with oversized 3D flowers formed from drooping fronds of silk.