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While Bottega Veneta recently surprised us all by opening up its world to livestream its Salon 03 Detroit show last week, the Vincenza-born luxury house opted to be far more elusive for Salon 02. Back in April, Bottega Veneta hosted a secret showcase at Berlin’s Berghain nightclub. As an antidote to the hyper-connected era and ever-accelerating conveyor belt of fashion shows, no phones or cameras were allowed in the notorious late night institution. Only the curated audience – a star-studded FROW which included Beyoncé, Skepta, Slowthai and Honey Dijon – were able to experience the collection, until the Tyrone Lebon-shot campaign was shared five months later. Then, now and forever, Salon 02 was, and is, worth waiting over. This is a collection that treats every sense, over and over again.
“The purity of material, spontaneous and immediate,” Daniel Lee explained, “that’s how I try to design at Bottega.” From the moment he took the helm at Bottega Veneta in 2018, the Bradford-born, CSM-educated, Céline-trained creative director has reflected and refracted the image of the Italian luxury house to create the luxury brand of now. Across both Salon and Wardrobe collections, Lee invites us down the rabbithole of house archives as classic techniques are continually reinterpreted, contexts shifted, and proportions pushed. His “new Bottega'' continues to be award-winning, imagination-igniting, and bank account draining. Through his distorting, ever-revolving kaleidoscopic lens, a familiar luxury instantly becomes otherworldly, the everyday elevated, and fantasy becomes wearable as the fabulous meets the functional. For Salon 02, he presented a much-needed sartorial reaction to 18 months of lockdown. Throughout its 61 looks, Salon 02 served up a sartorial shake-up of the senses with a collection that showcases essential shapes, distinctive details, and the finest materials. It’s time to dress up, go out and live life, safely and glamorously. Be bold, be confident, be uninhibited, be Bottega.
Beyond the attention-grabbing, headline-making showstopper pieces, which include 4,000 feathers, glass dresses that take between 135 and 250 hours to complete, a black and white zebra stripe coat that features 4.3 million stitches on an embroidery machine and a polished stone Kettlebell sculpture-bag, this is a collection that celebrates both sharp and subtle elements. As each and every garment and accessory showcases both the craftsmanship of the house alongside the ingenuity and playfulness of its design team, the more you look, the more you discover. From metal plates in collars to sliders on waistbands, buckle closures on tailoring to hand-applied rubber top-stitches and decoratively playful tassels which encourage movement, Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta delights in details just waiting to be discovered by the wearer. The soft-power philosophy of Bottega Veneta is dressing for yourself.
As ever with Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta, both the colour palette and materials are rich, velvety, glossy, tactile and inviting. Inspired by the work of Ellsworth Kelly and David Hockney, we are treated to an artist’s palette of blaster and vamp to punctuate black, while white cosies up to shades of butter and bluff. Delicious. Similarly, the materials – all developed in-house – are a treat for the senses in a heady combination of supple, three-dimensional, transparent, metallic, shiny and velvety. These are must-wear garments and must-have accessories that remind us that modern luxury can, and should, be both functional and fabulous, familiar yet otherworldly. To further amplify Salon 02’s sensory play and celebration of dressing up, LN-CC invited designer and developer @Italiano.jpg to experiment with our in-house shot editorial. Reflected and refracted through Italiano’s lens – a lens that intersects design and code – the sense of life, energy and transformative power of Salon 02 is further celebrated.
Music Joe Bush @jbus_