Modern grunge and ladies having lunch
When Bottega Veneta creative director Matthieu Blazy launched his first collection for the Italian brand last year, the surreal jeans – surprisingly, in leather – were an impressive display of his talent for capturing the ease of everyday life with a twist. subversive.
For Spring 2023, the most evocative pieces had a similar sentiment: how do you transform distinctly understated everyday wear into new luxury items? For starters, a directional glam Kate Moss grabbed everyone’s attention in an oversized blue plaid shirt; white tank top; and baggy, low-rise jeans. The trompe-l’oeil look was made all leather. With no accessories except a simple pair of hoop earrings, it was very reminiscent of light 90s grunge.
The understated minimalism that punctuated the start of the collection continued with baggy khakis, baggy polo shirts and white tees, knee-length denim shorts (all leather too) and white henley dresses with the sweet look, straight out of the mall culture of the early 2000s, with an undeniable expensive twist. The style — a chunky sweater tied over the shoulder, layered bags, a piled fur coat over denim shorts, and one particular bag that looked like a brown shopping bag — was intrinsically tied to celebrity culture. and style out of order; a hint of voyeurism through a polished eye. It also grounded the collection, so it carefully toed the line between runway and real life.
Blazy’s debut last season was solid and he also showed a knack for finding new ways to explore texture. It did just that, again, for the second half of the Spring 2023 collection. A trio of shiny feather-like fringed dresses swayed and quivered as they closed into the show in hues of banana yellow, tiger lily orange and robin egg blue. Each of them recalled similar dresses from Fall 2022, which then sold for an incredible $30,000 each.
With a backdrop of a fantastical rainbow resin catwalk and artistic chairs created by Italian design icon Gaetano Pesce, it looked like a brave new take on extreme luxury. The collection also contained a bit of subtle storytelling with visible flashes of different characters – we saw the office lady, the eccentric artist, and a new take on a high society dweller. Erykah Badu, Kirsten Dunst and even pornstar Cicciolina sat front row, all dressed in their own very neat and specific aesthetic, adding to the riot of different looks.
It was one thing to watch Blazy’s confusing dresses as static images, and quite another when each piece was in motion – which is where her attention to detail really shines. Blazy worked under Raf Simons at Calvin Klein before joining Maison Martin Margiela, then Bottega; you could easily see some influences from the variety of these houses. One only had to contemplate the 3D babydolls covered in flowers, the jacquard knits with hand-knit fringes or the intricate knits to see how Blazy carefully creates a unique new DNA for Bottega Veneta. That he can do both understated minimalism and whimsical maximalism is truly spectacular.