Continuing the current trend of super brands cementing their worth with exhibitions – Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé and Louis Vuitton’s Series 3 both landed in London in the last month – Bottega Veneta is marking 15 years of Tomas Maier’s creative direction in a double-tiered celebration.
Firstly, in London, The Knot: A Retrospective arrives in the newly refreshed 3,000 sq ft Old Bond Street store, which has been transformed into a sleek walnut and sandy suede-walled vast space over two floors. The travelling exhibition, which has so far visited Vienna and Singapore and will be heading to Bahrain in November, tracks the history of the iconic clutch with over 100 variations displayed installation-like in-store.
Amongst the styles on show are the Camoscio Roselline Knot covered in intricate mauve suede flowers from the A/W 2003-04 collection; the sterling silver Nero Knot inlaid with a giant Onyx oval stone from the A/W 2005-06 collection; and the original sterling silver box clutch from the Bottega Veneta archives which appears, in fact, without the knot closure – that key detail was added by Tomas Maier when he reworked the shape upon his appointment at the house in 2001, transforming it instantly into a house signature.
Secondly, a new book titled Art of Collaboration by Tomas Maier is published this month by Rizzoli. The substantial tome features advertising campaigns from Maier’s 15 years at Bottega Veneta’s helm, including work from 27 photographers and artists such as Philip-Lorca, Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel and Nan Goldin.
‘Photography is one of my passions in life, and it has been very interesting for me to use photography to broaden the impression of what Bottega Veneta means today,’ says Maier. ‘My role at Bottega Veneta includes creating the advertising campaigns, and it was important for me to do something more than the usual, because I know how emblematic these images can become. I wanted to use the campaigns to express a wider idea of creativity and craft that Bottega Veneta stands for, beyond the normal bounds of fashion.’