MOVEMENT AND REDIRECTION
BOTTEGA FALL-WINTER 2022 COLLECTION
By Kaleigh Werner
An unexpected location collided with an unexpected departure when the announcement came that Daniel Lee’s Detroit, Michigan show would be his last as creative director for Bottega Veneta. The third and final salon, Salon 03, embodied the reputation Lee had constructed for himself and the Italian fashion house since leaving Celine in 2018. Prediction was never intended from the first-time creative director, and it wasn’t as he continued to take the brand to new heights weaving in bold and bright colors, reviving intrecciato, marketing exclusivity to millennials and redesigning runway during the pandemic. Yet, amidst surging sales and a unique new leisure wear direction for the Spring 2022 collection, Lee and Bottega decided to part ways.
New collaboration meant a new creative direction, but not without prior influence or inspiration from the already three-year legacy. The brand announced the appointment of Matthieu Blazy, Lee’s right-hand man since 2020, just a couple of days after he had left. From Raf Simmons to Maison Margiela and Balenciaga, Blazy has garnered a designer reputation of being widely talented, yet widely unidentifiable, a contradiction until now.
Staged thousands of miles away from Bottega’s October show, Blazy imprinted his own impression on the brand in Milan Fashion Week with his Fall-Winter 2022 Collection. Subtle leather, oversized structures and featured fringe appeared on the runway in Palazzo san Fedele, a 19th century old building with visionary character, set to become Bottega’s new headquarters. The symbolism of constructing movement within the collection was mirrored in the cement and scaffolding that outlined the inside perimeter of the building. With the intention of generating seamless, yet lush “ready-to-wear” looks, a white tank top paired with jeans made from leather allowed the first character to carve the path of forward momentum and journey on the runway. Front slits and loose-fitting jackets with matching low-waisted baggy pants, were all indicative of such a pure and literal take of what a “ready-to-wear” collection should be.
But the collection reflected his own journey as well with design influence of his past work at Celine and Calvin Klein. The words “just keep walking down the street” spoke as the final run through of the collection began, a nod to the design vision of having the ability to keep up with the pace at which we are all going. Fusing Lee’s trending creativity, the brands exemplar archives and Blazy’s own inventiveness, the collection received the praise it needed with the front-row support of Anna Wintour and François-Henri Pinault.