Label it "stealth wealth", "real clothes", or whatever you may, Bottega Veneta continues to produce some of the most interesting pieces in recent years. With each collection, our collective attention would turn to Matthieu Blazy's vision for the brand. This time, what he presented for Bottega Veneta is deeply personal.
Inspired by a recent visit to his parents' home, Blazy rediscovered pieces of clothing from his childhood-some of which were dear to him because of the memories they contain. The made-for-children proportions, the playful imageries, differing textures and color palettes—everything gets recontextualized in Bottega Veneta's pre-spring 2024 collection.
One shirt looks like it has typical vertical stripes, but upon closer inspection the pattern depicts a swimmer in motion, jumping into a swimming pool. A hand-knit mint green sweater and skirt set sports a pattern of red crabs, inspired by Blazy's sister's childhood dress. The nostalgia and playfulness doesn't stop there—elsewhere in the collection, a cream sweater is wrapped around by embroidery of a snake. Labels of clothes are sewn on the outside of garments, just below the neck. What's on the label? A dog playing chess.
It is this sort of whimsical approach that makes the collection so endearing. Of course, there is no shortage of showstoppers and elegant pieces in the rest of the collection. There's the pink Andiamo bag that everyone's been talking about, on-trend silver runners, a tyrolean shoe with a chunky sole, black leather belt with an asymmetrical gold buckle, and sophisticated tailoring that manipulates the silhouettes. Ties are made with differently textured leathers—including ostrich—and the house's signature woven pattern appears everywhere, in multiple colors. A notable example is one oversized argyle vest, constructed by weaving knitted strips of material. Not everything is what it seems, as what appears to be a pair of sweatpants in one look is actually made out of leather, continuing Blazy's motif from preceding seasons. It is as technically impressive as it is silly.
This balance between playfulness and seriousness is what keeps Bottega Veneta so refreshing in recent seasons. These are highly wearable pieces, constructed masterfully, yet there is an underlying sense of whimsy in them. Afterall, why would you collect or wear clothes that doesn't make you smile, even just a bit?(alm/tim)