Bottega Veneta A/W 2019 Milan Fashion Week Women’s
Mood board: 32 year old British designer Daniel Lee took the creative helm of Bottega Veneta in June 2018, but the former ready-to-wear design director at Celine, under the artful and intelligent eye of Phoebe Philo, waited until A/W 2019 to debut his full first men’s and women’s collection. We’ve had snippets of what was in store. A Pre Fall 2019 collection featuring modern innovations on the Vicenza-founded house’s Intrecciato weave technique, and a S/S 2019 campaign featuring models lolling around Ischia, Italy, clad in sexy leather coats and various states of undress (a more erotic look than Philo’s Celine).
Innovation in leather was integral to Lee’s offering. Coats were puffed up and padded, skirts interweaved in a modern Intrecciato and square toed shoes were quilted. There were fierce science fiction overtones to the exaggerated bovver boots (also see Prada and Tod’s) and biker leathers, and an off-kilter takes on bourgeois silhouettes, like blazers falling slightly off the shoulder, demure dresses with sculptural cut-outs and shirt dresses shimmering with square sequins.
Scene setting: For his debut, Lee erected a huge glass conservatory in view of Milan’s Arco della Pace. It offered comment on modernity and tradition, the setting a symbol of Veneta’s future, overlooking one of the five oldest city gates in Milan. The floor of the show space was lined in Ceppo di Gres brushed stone, in a nod to the materials used in the facades of Milan’s opulent Palazzos. Inside, benches were lined with oxblood, espresso and sky blue leather cushions, in an XL version of Veneta’s signature Intrecciato weave. Light radiated through the space, illuminating Lee’s contemporary vision.
Best in show: On the front row Lee’s first accessory designs for the house were highly present, and guests carried his oversized ‘Cabat’ tote bag, woven from huge strips of leather, or his squidgy cloud-like clutch bag. His A/W 2019 accessories were highly desirable. Those padded leather shoes are spot on for Phoebe Philo fans, all awkward toe and unusual fabrication. Elsewhere, a padded blue shoulder bag in blue resembled an ice pack, while new machinations on ‘The Pouch’ included a clutch constructed from loops of turquoise leather. §