MILAN – For years, the fashion world whispered about a young designer called Matthieu Blazy, an alumnus of Raf Simons, Martin Margiela, Celine (under Phoebe Philo) and Calvin Klein (with Mr. Simons). In fact, he was the most hyped secret in the industry that no one had ever heard from outside. Whenever there is a big job, his name is mentioned, but he stays behind the scenes.
At least until November, when it was rumored that Daniel Lee, the British designer who revived Bottega Veneta, left after less than four years – and will be replaced by Mr Blazy, who served as his second in command.
It’s not just stepping into the limelight, it’s jumping into its red-hot center.
After all, Mr. Lee has turned the old, slightly stern Italian brand into a harbinger of cool. He has everyone obsessed with a very distinctive Pop Art style green. He has won all kinds of awards. And he’s gone under particularly murky circumstances, leaving behind a fog of speculation – and that hasn’t even been considered by Covid and geopolitics.
However, Mr Blazy said backstage on Friday after his first performance, “I just feel the time has come.”
So what did he do? He rejected the expectation and took Bottega Veneta home. In more ways than one.
After Mr. Lee’s trilogy of pandemic-era shows in London, Berlin and, most unexpectedly, Detroit, Mr. Blazy chose to return to Milan, where the company’s headquarters are located, to present his line. And not just Milan, but a dilapidated theater will be another Bottega headquarters in the city.
Guests sit on a pile of shiny old metal mix straight from the recycling mill, with black leather cushions on top that later appear as large clutch bags on the runway. They also happen to foretell what is to come, for those who are thinking about them and are not distracted by the presence of Jacob Elordi of “Euphoria” in the front row. Mr. Blazy is going back to first principles, to rebuild.
He started not only with Bottega’s signature intrecciato, the leather textile that makes the house so famous, in the form of knee-high boots, bags, skirts and loafers, but also with a white shirt and a number of jeans. That they just happen to be made from leather to look like denim, and therefore not so basic, set the tone.
There’s a little something for everyone. It all looks bourgeois and polite until you look back.
And, for example, we’ve seen the perfect navy blue jacket, but with its spine-like back, cut to curve out the back. A navy blue V-neck top with sleeveless sleeves, padded straps and rolls just enough to lift like a shrug. An oversized boyfriend shirt, made of white leather, that looks like cotton and is worn with thigh-high black boots. Middle-aged dress in butter yellow and lavender all-leather, voluminous not with hem but with a hemmed acre.
There is a lot of leather goods, often mixed with grandparents’ sweaters patched together. Some elegant crombie coats. And for the evening, the lace tops feature nude sequins overlays for flow and shine – and in the final look, sequin l’oeil trompe breasts, complete with nipples, suggest that There may be some more interesting ones already on sale in the store.
(Maybe literally in the store? Who knows.)
In other words, they’re not the clothes that will revolutionize the brand image or suddenly make us sit up and feel the urge for a new pair of pants to represent who we are. They are not current streetwear clothing (not a single pair of sneakers on display). In many ways, they are a throwback to the classic Bottega. They don’t ask too much or try too hard. Surname suggestwith a wink and a nudge.
The look is old money with new ideas.
Subtle has fallen out of fashion in the past few years. Really not a bad time to bring it back. There’s always been some brand that claims it’s going to be the Italian Hermès. This show looks like maybe a winner has arrived.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/27/style/bottega-veneta-matthieu-blazy-milan-fashion-week.html Bottega Veneta New, New