WITH CRAFT IN MOTION, MEMORIES ARE REIMAGINED AND THE ORDINARY BECOMES EXTRAORDINARY
INSPIRED BY THE PERVERSE BANALITY AND QUIET LUXURY OF BOTTEGA VENETA, PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER ANNA VICTORIA BEST SHOOTS A MOVING PORTRAIT OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND EASE.
In the six playfully deceptive looks that opened his sophomore Bottega Veneta show, creative director Matthieu Blazy focussed the exceptional craft of his Milan-based modern luxury house on pushing the possibilities of everyday wardrobe essentials. This moment of artisanal trickery was softly punctuated by one of the most viral moments of the season, which saw Kate Moss saunter through the Gaetano Pesce-designed set in what appeared to be the epitome of 90s model-off-duty chic. Of course, the flannel shirt and denim jeans were not what they seemed.
In an atelier-powered trick-of-the-eye, these archetypal basics were in fact crafted entirely from nubuck leather and printed up to 12 times to achieve the desired depth of colour and perceived casualness. At a time when a Succession-obsessed fashion discourse attempts to make sense of quiet luxury, one only has to reach out and touch Bottega Veneta spring/summer 23 to understand. Realised through exceptional craft and made to be worn with ease, this is a wardrobe of stealth power. Only the wearer, or those close to them, know the beautiful truth.
"I think the celebration of craftsmanship and effortlessness inspires the creation of something calm, almost like a moving portrait of the subject for me."
Anna Victoria Best
In addition to her much-shared show appearance, this season’s recently unveiled Kate Moss-dedicated fanzine demonstrates the extent to which Matthieu Blazy was, is – and probably forever will be – inspired by Croydon’s finest. Blurring fantasy and reality, the familiar and the unexpected, faded printouts of Corinne Day-shot Kate Moss editorials were reimagined in ultra-high-definition for now as the Bottega Veneta design studio’s own casual work uniform was pushed to extreme. Distorting time and defying expectation, these are elevated essentials for the fortunate – forever stylish – few.
In Blazy’s vision for Bottega Veneta, luxury is something you feel rather than see. The house’s recent campaign film, Craft in Motion, invited viewers into the workings of their artisanal workshop in Montebello and revealed that luxury a la Bottega Veneta is as an emotive experience for the senses that's powered by the smell of leather and the sound of tools. Inspired by the craft-unlocked "perverse banality” and effortless ease of this collection, Newcastle-born photographer and filmmaker Anna Victoria Best focusses her lens and our attention on Blazy’s softly-spoken yet utterly seductive luxury. Come closer. Reach out and touch…
Photography and film: Anna Victoria Best, @annavictoriabest Photography assistant: Chris Turner HMUA: Keia Morrison, @keiatamsin Talent: Amadeo, @amadeo__o at Linden Staub. Koujayn, @koujayn at Premier. Edit and grade: Avenue Studio