Bottega Veneta SS23 – Milan Fashion Week
Michael Meir-Wright reviews the new collection from Matthieu Blazy at MFW
“The world in a small room” – that was the brief Matthieu Blazy set himself for the Bottega Veneta SS23 collection, his sophomore offering as creative director. Debuting at Milan Fashion Week, we saw a veneration of the human being through the lens of the storied Italian house. Including a cast of all ages and ethnicities, diversity was also placed firmly at the centre of this season’s story.
Featuring catwalk icon Kate Moss, the show opened with a subtle subversion of the ordinary. What at first appeared to be a plaid shirt and denim jeans were, in fact, designs constructed entirely from printed nubuck leather. Another twist came with the imposing, oversized silhouettes. The mock fox print fur coat and leather skirt suit and coat both drew larger than traditional outlines. And knitted dresses in bold patterns featured asymmetric lines, heavy fringing and striking graphic patterns.
Elsewhere, the iconic Bottega Veneta bag sporting the famous Intreccio weave was reconceptualised with everyday functionality in mind and made to be doubled up – a theme seen replicated in other Milan shows. Meanwhile, other wardrobe essentials like suiting and tailoring, were reimagined for both men and women and recalled the unforgettable eroticism and androgyny of a Grace Jones. Whether you’re dressing for morning coffee or attending the opera, Blazy’s expansive collection is made to reflect a wide gamut of human experiences next summer.
For the show itself, Blazy collaborated on the space with Italian architectural designer Gaetano Pesce, whose works spans art to urban planning to furniture. “We are all originals,” said Pesce of their thinking, “and this is one of the themes of my design”. The evidence was in his specially constructed backdrop featuring 400 of a new chair design from Gaetano that will be soon exhibited at Design Miami from late-November to early December.
In the end, the message of the Bottega Veneta SS23 collection and spectacle was clear. There is beauty and art to be found in both individuality and diversity, and character and clothing. When it’s all brought together in one story like this, you do indeed have the world in a ‘small’ room.
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