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The New minimal Luxury of Bottega Veneta

Daniel Lee confirms himself as one of the most interesting designers on the scene

The New minimal Luxury of Bottega Veneta Daniel Lee confirms himself as one of the most interesting designers on the scene

Among the impressive and bright theatrical stages created by brands such as Moncler, Gucci and Versace, with extensive deployment of rotating booths, megascreens and installations, the show of Bottega Veneta's FW20 collection was elegant and contained. The brand didn't try to strike with the magnificence of the venue, nor was it more intellectual than a fashion show requires to be. The white catwalk ran in the midst of a series of semi-opaque separators on which was projected the image of a neoclassical lodge populated with statues. Accompanying the models on the catwalk was a sensual string music, haunting and gloomy, which together with the architectural appeal of the dim-lit portico and the subtle animations for which the lightpainted statues moved resembled certain Gothic atmospheres of Thomas Harris's novels and Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire. But in contrast to this dark romance, the entire show was based on a strong presence of technology and its ability to evoke sentiment. It was, however, a technology not ostentatious or eager to impress with futuristic gadgets, but discreet to the point of hiding machinery and projectors, elaborated without excess, with an ethereal effect almost from a magic lantern. 

This set was the most suitable frame for the collection on the catwalk. To dominate the color palette was, as you can imagine, black, in a series of lean and tight silhouettes, but with sudden dramatic twists given by the subtle flares of sleeves and trousers, the controlled yet plateal use of the fringes, the huge and sharp collars on jackets and knitwear and sudden injections of neon green and pink both as an insert on darker looks and as explosions of all-over color on some of the maximalist looks. The second half of the show, however, presented a series of more "daytime" colors in shades of green, beige, red and chocolate brown. The technical virtuosity of knitwear, women's clothes and intrecciato items (which has also been reproduced in a hybrid of vest and puffer jacket as well as accessories) is extreme, but it never gets to denote exclusively the garments, to reduce them to pure exhibition of talent. Lee's love of dance is very visible from the use of elastic fabrics in garments that together with the creative cuts and fringes that decorate the lower hems of sleeves and skirts define and enhance the human figure and his movement, along with the appearance and texture of the materials.

Daniel Lee, the brand's deservingly celebrated creative director, is one of the spokespersons for that new luxury that has characterized fashion in recent years – one of the key elements of which is the value of the experience. His show was the second most watched of the entire fashion week, with 8.8% share and, soon after, the word "fringe" had an increase of 198% in online searches. And in a fashion week where the fashion shows remained among the traditional, the already seen and the pompous, his show was able to combine, with the typical talent of the British for understatement, aesthetics and entertainment without ever exceeding the mark nor unbalancing itself but carrying out a precise and complex vision – a vision rightly celebrated by the digital archive @newbottega edited by Laura Rossi and also by the market figures with a growth of 9.8% in sales in the fourth quarter of 2019, as reported by the research engine Lyst, whose approach to contemporary luxury, judging by the feedback it has received, will influence the fashion we will see more and more in the coming months.