bless up from your feet to your head top
we go again,
Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta is a lesson in creating a look without saying you’re creating a look.
It was fun to say Bottega is doing this and that. As in being hidden with the logos and not having ads and not paying influencers etc etc.. for a while. Bottega is known for being a stealthy brand that us seen and not heard, however under daniel lee, it was both for the full tenure in a head line or celebrity post constantly.
Daniel lee created collection after collection built with an aesthetic and an expressionist brush, as he sees it.
After the pandemic, (if there is even such a thing) Daniel Lee gave us the biggest post-pandemic vibes with FALL 2021 RTW. this latest collection. Creating a Bottega in his own image. A loud and experimental decision that paid in visibility.
Looking closely at the tapestry he is building he is seen to create a design language of expressionism in his designs. Giving us something new, with Bottega we are under the presupposition it has the foundation of minimalism, pushing the feeling of luxury and craftsmanship. What we see with Daniel Lee’s design is a progression I’m seeing with his ready to wear collections as one in all a continuity of storytelling that is telling a story that doesn’t live under the presupposition when we see Bottega Veneta. First I thought it was just the bags. And him creating an ‘IT-BAG’ then I was like… that’s weird… that’s suspicious. Bottega bags aren’t supposed to be loud or ostentatious, in two minds, seeing him pushing the intrecciato to the extreme at the same time, is this Bottega.
Now let us think… the point of the ‘IT-BAG’ is for it to let you know it exists. Bottega prides itself on not having a logo using its masterful leather work do the talking – Italian excellence as per. Okay Daniel Lee Bags are doing that, it’s very clear, yet it’s an ‘IT BAG’ – (what a cool revelation) – it almost sounds oxymoronic to say a Bottega bag is an IT BAG when the definition endears itself to everyone knowing it exists. Then you look at the Bottega GREEN the most loud and clear sign of Bottega and we see the “New Bottega” ads, all these would not mean all that much if it wasn’t the phrase, ‘pride itself on fitting seamlessly into the owner’s wardrobe’ and the Bottega bags TODAY are loud statement items that are now IT BAGS which also translate to the 2001 definition of letting everyone knows it exists.
The techniques are such today you can do so much with the intrecciato technique that it can be the most bold statement in fashion today winning awards, and every write up calling it an IT BAG, the design distinction doesn’t just stay there it also is prevalent in the ready-to-wear. Being a product of its times translating into today’s aesthetic of design which gets little to no awareness. It isn’t even a product of Phoebe Philo school of design. It’s a whole new schema using Italian futurism and likening itself to the Neo Futurism of today sensual lines and appealing details. An Art-Deco design aesthetic that is grandiose lets you know it’s here from a company that people are constantly writing about it’s minimalism.
The next thing everyone with sense will say is minimal isn’t simple designs they’re stripped down. Well, I’m counting multiple design elements that speak to New Bottega’s eccentricity, aesthetic and expressionism. The colours and silhouettes are inventive, renovating the shapes we can see today and adding a colourful lens to it.
Bottega Veneta today expresses a culture of feeling possible futurism (looking directly at the colours) and the angular nature of the constructive elements of these garments. True Italian Vetement – boldly executed under the guise of minimalism… texture – colour – fit – cut all considerations in cultivating this “New Bottega” – seriously, people keep speaking about minimalism and post-pandemic woes and Daniel Lee for the past several years has been delivering a direct execution of expressionist art-deco of his making and futurism with an Italian artisan flare and intuitive style lines.
I can picture Daniel Lee staring at Umberto Boccioni – ‘FUTURISTIC MAN’ – Forms Uniche Della Continuità Nello Spazio (Unique forms of continuity in space). The dynamism of a car but make it fashion, make it Neo-Futurist make it Bottega. I see the aerodynamic we will see in space-age mid-century architecture, function isn’t without beauty.
The relevance of the 1930’s Aero DYNAMIC vehicles I can speak to the puddle boot directly taking reference from works like streamline KJ Henderson motorcycle. You can pull a car from that era and see the gratifying expression of sensual lines in the puddle boot giving it a distinctive not like the other designs today. That GT (Grand Tourer) vibe.
I am talking about the bags and the ready-to-wear in the same breath. Daniel lee’s design language indicates and expresses the need for futurism ‘In the Hardest of Times, it is important to still dream’ Daniel Lee said that, fathoming what he meant in terms of expression and futurism puts the aptest lens on the ‘so-called’ minimalist brands’ Bottega Veneta’s DNA.
This thorough direction gave me time to ruminate on why possibly Daniel Lee would execute this. Chewing on these ideas and design sentiment is one thing. The latitude to execute on design principles like these while the rules of the house stipulate a more stealthier approach, all that is left is conjecture at this point. Daniel lee’s tenure is over and his work is in a capsule, the reason for the mutual parting is in the air. The question I am readily asking is, with a stealth wealth, conspicuous consumption house like bottega why are the designs so loud, to me mixed messages were sent when being the most talked-about creative house – in Italy and being a leader in Kering’s top 3 Gucci Balenciaga and Bottega – why delete your social media. And digital footprint. Regardless of all that Bottega is still popular amongst Americas Hip-Hop Millionaires, and Nouveau Riche. There’s a complicated relationship with the consumer Bottega needs to control or go with. Changing with the times or sticking to your guns.
Whatever Moves Your Dial
Damilare. Not Your Typical
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Please check out Some of my Thoughts On:
For some longer form write-ups Read some of My Dialogues
On My series work
How Bottega Veneta became the most hyped brand of 2019
History of Intrecciato from Bottega Veneta – PURSE BLOG
Daniel lee wiki
ALL BOTTEGA VENETA COLLECTIONS – vogue runway
BOTTEGA HISTORY -PRET A VOI
Fashion Awards 2019: The full winners list- vogue Australia
BOTTEGA VENETA 101: A HISTORY – rebag
THE BOTTEGA VENETA BIBLE – vintage bar
BOTTEGA VENETA -CATWALK YOURSELF
STEALTH WEALTH A SPOTTERS GUIDE – NEWS WEEK
Is It No Longer Cool To Look Rich? -READ A
Bottega Veneta Launches Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Advertising Campaign
Advertising, Fall/Winter 2002. Photography by Robin Broadbent.